Friday, July 25, 2014

Yay, vacation!!

Hi Friends!
I recently (Tuesday) got back from my only vacation this summer. (okay, I did go to Santa Barbara, but that was just an overnight for my anniversary. I don't count that as a "vacation") Buuuttt....this last little trip was the only "vacation" I'm getting, so I'm going with it. The husband and I went up to Cambria.  If you have never been there, it's about 212 miles south of San Francisco, and it's on the coast. It's beautiful! And we had perfect weather!  We went to  Hearst Castle, which is in San Simeon-a 10 min. drive from our hotel.  He was a very eccentric man! (W.R. Hearst)  So there are animal descendants of his stock that roam the property, and as we drove up to the castle, we saw 2 deer! They were so cute. And, he had zebra, too! (told you he was strange) When we were driving back to the hotel, we saw many of those zebra!!  Imagine, driving along Highway 1, the Pacific Ocean on one side, and black and white zebra on the other, roaming around with the cows!  It was interesting.

But what a relaxing time we had.  Walks overlooking the beach, yummy food, and sunshine!  We saw dolphins playing on Tuesday morning and seals hanging out on the rocks.  I think we saw otters, too.  But my eyes are so bad, I don't know if I was looking at otters or kelp! Ha ha!!

Here are some pics from our trip...
 This was the view from our room. :)

 These guys were all over the walking path! So cute...

 These are elephant seals. Smelly & loud...

 Look closely at the rock-that's a seal!!

Have a great weekend!  I'm heading into my classroom to get serious about getting ready Monday.  I feel like this is my last weekend of "freedom"!!  Are you excited or dreading going back?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Classroom peak

Happy  Friday-although, when on summer vacation, does a "Friday" really matter? Of course not!  Everyday is Friday! Or Saturday! (insert evil laugh)
Anyway, I popped into my classroom yesterday,  just to take a look, and start thinking about how I want to set things up this year.  I wasn't there long enough to do anything, but I did take some quick pics. So here they are.  {we leave a map of how we want our room set up after they clean our floors in the summer}

So, these are the bins I keep most of my books in. They are sorted by topic.

These are pics of my room from different angles.  Sorry the light stinks. My boards are from last year, but I'm going to stick with the same theme/look.  It was so bright and cheerful, I can't change it yet.

As much as the thought of going back to work freaks me out, I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you are doing in your rooms. I hope to get some new ideas!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reading in the Wild Book Study Ch. 3

   This is a long one...sorry.                                              

Click here to join the party over at Teaching to Inspire in 5th 

I really liked reading this chapter about sharing books.  I know for myself, my friends and I share books ALL THE TIME!  That's how I've known about many of the books I've read-recommendations from friends.  But I never thought about my students sharing book recommendations. (total duh moment for me!)  I do teach third grade, so to think about my students "discussing" books amongst themselves, kinda hard to grasp.  BUT...reading about Donalyn Miller's Book commercials, I can totally visualize this happening now!  Starting in first grade, teachers always assign book reports.  Well if those aren't book commercials, then I don't know what is!  So now, rather than assign some goofy diorama (which, by the way, I never assign) I am definitely going to start having my kids do commercials!  I love the concept of not having to take tons of time away from those "precious instructional minutes".  Rather, right before recess; right before we go home...boom.  Students sharing books with other students. I LOVE THIS!!  
Last year, I had a student who was NOT a great reader. We do AR in our school, and he was so behind.  His mother asked me if I would let him take the tests after school, and I said "of course!". He didn't like feeling pressured to get off the computer. He was a very slow reader.  Anyway, he loved nonfiction, and he started reading those "Something VS Something" books-like T-Rex vs. Godzilla (or something) and he ate those books up! Then I started seeing other kids reading them.  And he brought a few from home, and he was sharing his books with the other kids!  And then a bunch of kids were talking about those books-even the girls! (the books seem to be geared towards the boys)  It was so great!  I was so happy for this little guy!  And so, after reading this chapter, I could just see last year being so much better, if I had thought about sharing books.  My goal is to make my students super wild readers!
One other thing I really liked that Miller did was her Reading Graffiti.  I love the idea of the kids writing meaningful sentences from books they read.  I think it will take a little bit of time for my 3rd graders to grasp the idea, so they aren't writing a bunch of ridiculous sentences on the paper, but once they get the hang of it, I think it will be fun and inspiring for the others to want to read the books.
So, how do you have your students share books? Link up and let us know!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Suggestions Wanted...make that Needed

Hello Friends! I was at Target yesterday, picking up a few things-not school related-when I HAD to cruise through the $1 bins.   What do my wandering eyes spy?? These super cute tins! They are about 6 inches tall, so they aren't huge, and can't hold a ton of stuff.  But...

The hibiscus flowers go with my beach/surf theme. My borders are hibiscus flowers, so I thought, "too cute, must purchase!"  I got six of them, thinking I would put one at each table group. (When I set up my desks, I usually have 6 cooperative groups).  But here's the thing...I'm really not sure what I'm going to do with these cuties.  I REALLY need your help!  I would LOVE to hear how you would use these tins in your classroom.  They don't have to go on desks, they could be anywhere.  I am eager to hear your suggestions!  Thank you so much!

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's starting to look like work...again.

Happy Sunday, friends! I have about 3 weeks left before I head back into my classroom...unofficially, of course.  You know, those days before you actually get paid to be working in your room.  I know it's a Sunday, and I should still be enjoying my freedom, but like most of you, I can't get my "teacher brain" to relax!!  I've already hit Staples, Office Depot, Target, Angels School Supply, and Lakeshore.  I don't think I need to buy anything else in regards to supplies.  I will have to get some organizer items, once I clean out my back closet, but that is for another day. What I did today was to make my homework folder cover sheets and glued them to the folders. (thank you Office Depot for that 1 2-pocket folder sale!)  I'm going to attempt attaching the file, so if you'd like to use the cover sheet, feel free!
                                                                                                            homework cover sheet
(divers are courtesy of "Scrappin Doodles" and I actually used KBDark Side font)

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday.  It's H-O-T here in Los Angeles.  I had to turn the a/c on at 8:30 AM!!  Yuck!  Have a great day!

Friday, July 11, 2014

One Year Anniversary!!

Hi friends!
   So, I'm super bummed I couldn't make it to Vegas this week, but hopefully there will be a "next year"!  But...I did have some fun at the beginning of the week.  You see, it was my first anniversary! I can't believe I've actually been married for one whole year! I remember my wedding like it was yesterday.  So, here are some pics I just had  to was super windy. :(

Me and the Hubs

Fast forward one year:

We had a really great time in Santa Barbara for the night. Just a quick get away. Ohhh...see those earrings??  That was my gift from my sweetie!! I couldn't believe it! Pearl earrings?!  And all I mustered up for him were photos of us from the past year, and some coupons for things: dinner, wine, movie, car wash...I think I made out better, for sure!  Ha ha!!