Thursday, January 30

Rock On!

So, we are currently working on our Rock On! unit of inquiry. The students are really excited about this unit, and I am, too! I think the changing of the Earth is incredible and the processes are astounding... volcanoes, earthquakes, weathering and erosion... wow!

Yesterday, our first day back at school - after our 4th and 5th days off this year due to extreme cold - we chose our research topics for our summative assessment. I paired the students using my popsicle sticks, and together they chose their topics. They got to choose from earthquakes, volcanoes, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, gemstones, minerals, fossils, plate tectonics, precious metals, and crystals.

The summative assessment ties in with our writing unit, so the students will be working in pairs to research their topic and create a poster with everything they've learned. We have a lot of samples in the room, we've done some experiments, and we are really looking forward to seeing these posters develop over the next few weeks!

Here is a picture of the beginning of the process, and a really great Borax crystal a student brought in!

Wednesday, August 14

The Book Whisperer

What a fantastic week! I had the opportunity to attend two workshops given by the wonderful and hilarious Donalyn Miller!! The workshops were so wonderful. We talked about books, research, books, and ways to instill a love of reading into our students' lives.

There were many things Mrs. Miller discussed that made sense and made me think about what I have been doing in my class. She helped me really look at the readers in my life and how to look at my students as readers. Here are just a few thoughts:

  • I haven't let my kids take books home because I am worried about them walking away. She said that the reason we have the books in our rooms in the first place is so kids will read them! She even said exactly what I was thinking... I bought the books and I don't want them to get lost! I know this might sound silly, that it took a workshop for me to think of it differently, but sometimes we aren't ready to hear things. 
  • Let the students choose their own books. I already do this so I was happy to get some reassurance.
  • Book Choice Frenzy - I haven't been able to find a great time to let my students choose their books. I've tried the first day, second, fourth... nothing seems right. Then, as I read Mrs. Miller's book, she did it the way I have been dreading to do it for years... let the kids have at it!! How fantastic!! I think I am going to try it this year.

Have you had any experience with Mrs. Miller, The Book Whisperer, a book frenzy or any wonderful PD?

Saturday, July 6

Google Docs

Do you use Google Docs? Does your school/district?

I use it, and my district is using it more and more.  I think I have a love/hate relationship with it, to tell you the truth.  I mean, I think it's a wonderful tool!  I can save something at school and pull it up at home, at my in-laws' house, or at my sister's house.  Fantastic!

However, I am not yet in the habit of actually saving things to it at school! It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I really enjoy making my documents and I get so into it that I just save them on my computer. Then I get busy and forget to upload them. I've been thinking about setting aside time once or twice a week specifically to upload items, but I am not sure if that is ample time for everything, or if it's too much time.

What does everyone else do?

Saturday, June 8

A Year Ago...

Almost a year ago I was writing blog posts, creating things to add to my classroom, and getting ready for school to start.

I am now here, after a crazy busy year full of field trips, performances and getting to know my amazing students, writing another post. I haven't been on here since last summer and I am sad about that. I love reading other teacher posts, learning from you and getting inspired by you!! That is why I started writing here.

I am going to try my best to post something new every week! {I completely wanted to say I'd post something every day, but I thought that was being too optimistic!}

So my new thing this week is that my school year ended yesterday and I am sad. My students were amazing!! They were happy, independent, hilarious, and full of wonder. We learned so much and everyone was sad to go yesterday. I am already planning for next year and getting things on my To-Do List for the summer.

I am so excited!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful year!!

Sunday, July 22


I am obsessed!!

I love to organize things and have little containers and bins for things so I would, of course, love the company Thirty-One. Have you heard of it? I got their Thermal Tote at the 2011 HPE Silent Auction. I love it so I decided to get a their Soft Wallet about a year ago. I love that too!! I've been toying with the idea of going into the Thirty-One business, but I am not a sales person so I am not sure how it would go!!

Anyway, I have been looking for a great bag for work and have been considering the Organizing Utility Tote.
I have seen MANY posts about this bag, but the three that really sold me on it are from Tiffany at The Nest Effect, Jen at i heart organizing, and Tiffany at Teaching 2 Many Diligently. These ladies, among others, talked of how they fell in love with this bag because of how useful and stylish it is.

I am also getting the All-In-One Organizer, the Mini Zipper Pouch, and the Wristlet Key Fob for school. I am planning on putting things in the Organizer for {parent} volunteers and will keep the Mini in it with pencils, highlighters, etc. I am SUPER excited to see these items in use and think it will help the {parent} volunteers when they come in.

The last item I am getting is the Littles Carry-All Caddy for home. I think we're going to try to hold our crazy amount of remotes in it, but I'm not sure! We'll figure something out!!

One of the best things about getting all of this, two of the items were Customer Specials for the month of July!! The Mini and Little were $5 each! Plus, I got a few of the items personalized for $5 each, another Customer Special! Oh my goodness, I am SO excited!!