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! 


  1. What a fun post! I love that you're excited about the volleyball win! Have a great week!

  2. Hey Caitlin!!! I just read your comment on my post, and I thought I would come and check out your blog. Texas huh?? I have been to Texas a couple of times. I am really interested in how you guys do the pass or fail test thing.. I WISH we did that here!! I'm so glad to have found another 5th grade blogger!! Keep in touch! I love sharing ideas! :)
    A Touch of Class