Sunday, November 16, 2014

5 for Funday?

Ok, I know I'm extremely tardy to the party BUT I have had a great week...(and I haven't often said that phrase this school year!) so I want to share some of the awesome stuff that's been happening :) 

We had our district assessments this week so I did a gallery walk for reviewing the steps of analyzing poetry.

Listen, if there is any "test strategy" I teach, it is the steps to reviewing and analyzing a poem. For the past 3 years they have proved worthwhile for helping students figure out what elements are in a poem, the author's message, etc. And because I like you people, I'll share my secret ;) 

 It is seriously that simple but we learn all the vocabulary and definitions of the various elements and poetry types early in the school year and then start analyzing by the second six weeks. I have my kids analyze lots of popular songs first because they find that a little more fun :) but then we move on to poems that are a little more "meaty". One tip: When identifying the speaker, I always tell my kids, don't write down the author's name...write down the type of person who would have authored this poem. 

I am a Texas girl. I love the unpredictability of Texas...this week it was 81 on Monday and all of our kids were in shorts and then Tuesday the high was 50..which in Texas means it's freezing so the next day they were all bundled up. I LOVE it. And now it's snowing...which means everyone is already crossing their fingers for no school tomorrow. ((Yea, yea, we know...Texans are winter wimps...but come talk to me in the summer when it's 110 and we're outside playing sports.)) :) 
Seriously. In November. In Texas. I am beside myself. I. LOVE. WINTER.
Fossil Ridge HS lost their playoff game on Friday which means football season is over and I have my hubs back!! :) I'm not a terrible person for being a little excited they lost, right? I mean, we all know they were never going to be state champs this year...
So remember how in #1 I told you we took our district assessments this week? Well I typically don't put a lot of emphasis on these tests (and I didn't this time either) because I'm not about to stress kids out over a little test. They have plenty of stress when it comes to the pass-or-repeat-5th grade STAAR test....
BUT...ya'll, I have 50 kids in my 2 gen. ed classes and I had a 90% passing rate!! I was stoked. They did such a good job analyzing those texts! :) 

 Ok, and now the most exciting part of my whole week. In our school district, the PTA (same as a PTO) always puts on a Jam The Gym Basketball tournament in the Spring and a Volleyball tournament in the Fall. If you know me AT ALL, you know I live and breathe volleyball. It is my happy place. But I don't get to play that much now that I'm teaching and a momma....but our school decided to put a team together with a few of us that like to play afterschool sometimes and WE.WON. We won the whole in we are the best (elementary teachers) volleyball team in Irving ISD. It was such a fun day spent with my Elliott family. We played hard but most importantly we played as a team. Shout out to my teammates: Rebekah, Jenn, Maria, Corinne, Mike, Warren, Jeremy, Tino and Fernando! In the words of Mr. Love, we GOT IT DONE!

Side note: Our final game was against Good Elementary which had an AWESOME team...and they also have awesome admin...they have BOTH of our old principals! :) It was almost like a family feud.
My cutie teaching partner Kristin stayed for most of the day--what a loyal fan! 

You guys have no idea how excited we were!! 

Check out the hardware! 

5 days until Thanksgiving Break. Let's do this, people! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Currently November

Listening: I love this new show. I don't even know why. I just do.
Loving: Volleyball. Me. It makes me super happy to be playing again...such a stress relief
Thinking: Need I say more?
Wanting: Also..yes, please. I wish I had one day (that wasn't on the weekend) to just work AT school. I could get so much accomplished. 
Needing: Football season is (sort of) winding down and I want a night with my man!
Reading: Listen, I read 3 books this weekend. 3. It was awesome. Now I'm reading the Geography of You and Me. I really like this author...because her books are sweet but also light hearted and sometimes that's just necessary! 

Yay me! It's the same week and I'm already linking up. I'm on top of things! (kind of..)
Head over to Farley's blog to see all the other amazing blogs! 

A Fresh Start :)

Man, what a better way to turn over a new leaf, than to be nominated for a Liebster Award?! I was nominated by Julie at Kindergarten to the Core...thanks, Julie! (PS. I'm totally jealous because she's a teacher in Hawaii...lucky!) 

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I'm pretty sure I've been blog-stalking for a while now. I think one of my very first blogs I found and returned repeatedly to was Farley's Oh Boy! Fourth Grade. She's awesome. I could spend days reading everything she's done...but I just started my own blog in February of this year..

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and whyWow. Tough question! I feel like the best word right now is perseverance. My blog was sort of started because I wanted an outlet to write down all the fun stuff that was going on in my room but I'm not always as consistent as I'd like to be. Perseverance applies to my bloggy life, my classroom philosophy and life in general :) 

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?I've only been blogging for like 8 months and 1/2 of that was summer and I haven't exactly been consistent lately so I'd have to say, the lesson I'm learning is that blogging is sort of therapeutic for me. I feel like it's a great release, so even when I'm's not necessarily another item on the To-Do list but more on the "Want-To-Do" list. 

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?reading, shopping, playing volleyball 

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?...can I plead this 5th this month? 

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I love me some ELAR blogs...anything Farley does, Michelle at BigTimeLiteracy was so inspirational to me this summer with her blogging challenge, and my fav non-teacher blog to follow is Mix and Match Momma. Shay Shull is the bomb.

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from
Gosh, I guess the blogs I already mentioned...those girls seem to write like they talk, and I'm all about that..I also am a fan of Kristin at My Carolina Classroom

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
Gosh... probably my Reading Review folder, my Wizard of Oz in the classroom or maybe just the consistency of my posts for the blogging challenge this summer!

9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now? I would eventually like to do a blog post about my anchor charts or my students' reading journals which I feel like I have FINALLY (this year) utilized the way I always envisioned them being used. But I want to see how the rest of the semester works out...stay tuned! 

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
Meeting other educators and sharing ideas. ((I totally agree Julie!)) 

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?
Well I am a 5th grade teacher so alot of the Kinder stuff doesn't directly apply BUT I have a bestie who is a kinder teacher so I'm always looking for links to send her way :)

Ok, my nominees: 
Heather @ the Meek Moose (she was my first SLANT Box buddy)
Colleen @ Literacy Loving Gals
Carrie @ #HashtagFifth
Kayla @ Texas Teaching Fanatic
Angela @ Southern Fried Teachin
Nicole @ Going Places in Fourth Grade
*Ok, I can't find 11 at the moment and I really want to put blogs on here that I actually follow :)

Now that you've been nominated, here are the "official" rules for accepting:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

PS. This week is already better. I have awesome people that I work with. Truly amazing teachers and encouraging people from Kinder to 5th. Shout out to Gabby Lopez for being an encouragement (even when you may not have even realized it!) last week. :) 
Also, 13 school days until Thanksgiving. just sayin...