Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just So Busy...

Happy Fall Sunday!
It FINALLY feels like fall here in SoCal! Sheesh-I was beginning to wonder if we would EVER get some cooler weather. Today is just beautiful!

So, I've been super busy trying to wrap my head around this year.  I can't believe we are already starting to do report cards! Ugh! On one hand, I'm happy because it means this year is 1/3 over, but then again, I'm freaking out because I haven't gotten through everything I need to get through!!

Can you relate to how I feel??

One awesome thing that we are doing in my class, though, is KidBlog. I am fortunate that I get to house a cart of Chromebooks in my room, and luckily, no one ever signs up to use them. Woohoo! So, I have my kids on them all the time. I have my kids do research; use them for AR tests; and do their iReady; but the BEST thing is KidBlog. The sweet Mrs. Bentin from Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard is joining me on this journey. (okay, actually, I'm joining her) We are having our kids respond to each other on their own blog pages. We've just started, but from my end, my kids L.O.V.E. having a friend in a new state! Every time I say, "Okay, login to KidBlog," I hear this low excited cheer. It makes me smile, for once in the day, that they are having fun with something. And I think the more we do, they will get better at keyboarding and other digital literacy for the real world. (yep, gotta make sure I'm hitting those CCSS) Ha Ha Ha!!  I also have my kids respond to questions that I post. It's not just "chatting" with new friends.

Have you tried KidBlog in your class? I'd love to know what you've done.
Have a great week!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Overdue post

Happy Saturday, Friends!
It's been a while since my last post, and I apologize, but as I read other people's blogs, I see I'm not the only slacker this year. What does that mean? I know for me, in my district, we are all so overwhelmed with Common Core and the lack of training we aren't receiving, it's a very stressful time.

However, I did want to share something super cute-at least I think it's cute. It made me laugh. And if it made me laugh with all of this stress, I figure I should share it with everyone. I hope this brings a smile to your weary face.

So a few weeks ago, we had our school book fair. You know, the Scholastic Book Fair. As I was perusing the shelves and tables, I saw this book, Mouseton Abbey. Now, I don't watch "Downton Abbey", although I hear I should, but I do love mice, so this caught my eye. What do you think? Have you heard or seen this book before? Isn't it just so cute?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's an "a-ha" moment!

Here's a post that I had to share. I'm always complaining, and feeling like I'm the worst teacher ever this year. However, the other day, we were working on revising writing. I have taught my kids BABS-Build a Better Sentence, from those uber cuties over at Collaboration Cuties, and for a change, something actually stuck with my "thirdies".  I was teaching them that revising is when you take your boring sentences, and make them fluffier. You add those great details to make the reader really able to visualize the idea you are trying to convey. So I wrote this really lame sentence on the Smartboard: "Once my cat and I had a tea party. We served fishcakes and milk tea. It was fun." Then I told them, this is pretty boring. How can we make it fluffier? What details can we add? "Remember BABS". And look at what they came up with!! The ideas were flowing! They couldn't stop. It was so much fun! I loved their ideas. I'm really excited to see how they revised their own stories they were writing last week.
Here's the picture of what we did:
If you notice that "served one-by-one", that actually came from a student who remembered that from doing Jivey's Mentor Text Sentences activity. :) 

Another awesome moment last week was while teaching about Theme and Main Idea, my principal walked in the room. (she comes in ALL.THE.TIME to our rooms. can I just say-somewhat annoying...) But, I she comes in for her little informal observation, and I was just starting to review the difference between theme and main idea. We had been working on this all week. My kids gave some great answers, and showed they really understood the difference, and they knew what themes were.  Then, I put them into partners and gave them this sorting activity from Teaching with a Mountain View. So awesome! My kids did a fantastic job, talking to each other about how they knew it was theme or a main idea. And the bonus was that my principal said in her note (she leaves notes every time she comes in-stating what she observed) that she loved my lesson! Ya know when a principal loves your lesson, that you've just inched up a notch in her mind. I was so thankful for Mary and her brilliance! You should check out her post.
Here are a few pics of the activity in action:

Have a great week everyone! Now, I need to figure out what to do this week that will be stellar. I know my principal will be in again, soon!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October Currently

Sheesh! Is it really October already??  Slow down, world, please!
I'm linking up with the wonderful Farley for October's Currently...

Listening: Yes, the AC is on, again. My poor bank account is being drained by my AC having to run all day long, almost 7 days a week! Ouch.

Loving: My husband works most weekends, so we don't do too much. But a few months ago, he bought tickets to see Jersey Boys at the Pantages Theater, and tonight is the night. I'm really excited! Not just to go out with my hubs, but to see the show, too!

Thinking: It has been so HOT here in Southern California, I'm so tired of it! I really wish Fall would find its way here, and the temps would cool down. This weekend it's supposed to be over 100 degrees in the valleys. And of course, I live in the valley! Ugh!!

Wanting: I went for my physical last month, and while everything is fine, I need to start exercising to keep my cholesterol in check. Unfortunately, this school year has been a killer so far. I have been working my tail off, just trying to stay afloat, and when I get home, I'm so exhausted, the last thing I feel like doing is exercising. But I know I need to. Bring on that motivation!

Needing: I need to get my plans done for this coming week, but I can't get them together. Grrr...

Trick: I know many people already use this, but if you don't, maybe you will want to start. I'm using Class Dojo for management this year. The thing I love about it is that the parents get daily reports about how their child did in class, and they can address poor behavior with their child right away. It's a free app on your phone or iPad, but it can also be accessed from your computer!

There you have it. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and enjoy your October!
Now, be sure to go link up with Farley, and join the party.