I’m Baaaaack in Action!

I’m Baaaaack in Action!

My apologies to all for the lack of content and update on this blog.  I had some minor, ok major, things going on in life and I just couldn’t keep up.  I am happy to announce that I will be back in action committed to sharing thoughts, ideas, lessons, content, etc. on this blog.  And I can’t wait to connect with other educators and/or just plain thoughtful people that can help me grow.

First, a little “me” update.  I AM NO LONGER IN THE CLASSROOM!  What??!!  I know.  It’s like I’m experiencing a sort-of-career-identity-crisis. It’s summertime and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself or where to begin preparing for this new role.  (Perhaps, someone out there can offer words of advice.)  I have accepted a position as an English Language Arts Instructional Coach for the district.  What does that exactly mean, you ask…?  Not quite sure yet.  Job description is a work in progress as this is a pilot program.  But from what I understand, I will basically be a teacher’s support system, a partner to aide in enhancing their greatness!  Nothing evaluative about it.  I truly hope to be an asset to teachers and relieve some of the constant stress they feel as they work tirelessly in the trenches.

Fingers crossed and I’ll keep you posted.  Successes and failures to come, I’m sure.

Moving on from that topic, over the next couple of months my goal is to post lessons and projects from my last couple of school years.  You know, the lessons that I learned a ton from that I made a mental note to post right away.  And then I never did. Ya! Those ones.

I couldn’t help myself, but share some photos of my final Open House.

Sniff.  It was a great ride, and who knows? I may return.

Shoebox State Floats! Shoebox state floats!  Voting time!

Loved, loved, loved how these shoebox state floats turn out as their final product.
Loved, loved, loved how these shoebox state floats turn out as their final product.
Follow me for upcoming posts about all Open House projects!
Follow me for upcoming posts about all Open House projects!

Love me some Open House! IMG_6405 IMG_6418 IMG_6421

Follow me for upcoming blogs and free sharing on all Open House lessons/projects!
Follow me for upcoming blogs and free sharing on all Open House lessons/projects!
Saved all the EQs we worked on throughout the year.  Follow me for upcoming post on all EQs and lessons!
Saved all the EQs we worked on throughout the year. Follow me for upcoming post on all EQs and lessons!
Free 40 Book Challenge--and I'll upload the Reading Ribbon final project FREE soon!
Free 40 Book Challenge–and I’ll upload the Reading Ribbon final project FREE soon!
Follow me to see lesson on which event would have pushed your students over the edge! So fun.
Follow me to see lesson on which event would have pushed your students over the edge! So fun.
Follow me for all free sharing on projects and lessons!
Follow me for all free sharing on projects and lessons!

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I love this job-follow me for all free lessons and projects shared for Open House.
I love this job-follow me for all free lessons and projects shared for Open House.
Used mentor texts during our slavery unit to identify quality sentences, then analyzed each of them.
Used mentor texts during our slavery unit to identify quality sentences, then analyzed each of them.
Such a good lesson having students read quotes then determine who said it.  POV project
Such a good lesson having students read quotes then determine who said it. POV project
Follow me for free lesson shares!  Text connections
Follow me for free lesson shares! Text connections
Keeping it relevant for our kids!
Keeping it relevant for our kids!

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Open House ’12-’13

My favorite time of year is Open House!

I know, I know, it sounds crazy because it’s so much work and stress at the end of the year, but I can’t help myself. I just love it. This is the time where the students get to showcase ALL of the hard work they have done all year long. Parents are wowed. I am wowed. And best of all, the students are blown away….at themselves! The pride I see as they walk their guests around the class is just amazing.

Below are some pictures I took of my class last year. I’ll be posting pictures of my new classroom to begin the school year soon.

This is a picture of the writing wall.  Students wrote a persuasive essay after researching the long lived “School Uniform” debate.  Each student then received a blank template to either create the ideal uniform or ideal outfit for themselves, depending on which side of the debate they were on.  Surprisingly, a handful a students preferred the uniform.

On the counter are my biography jar book reports.  This year I assigned famous African-Americans during February, but in the past it’s been a famous American in the Revolution time period.  You can see this product in my teacherspayteachers store under Two Biography Jar Book Reports. 

School Uniform Debate & Biography Jars
School Uniform Debate & Biography Jars

For the new year 2013, my students had to create some goals for themselves.  After these goals were created, they wrote a letter to their future self.  I told them they would open it with their parents during Open House to see if they held true to their goals…… It was interesting and the students got very excited to open this letter most of them forgot about.

Students wrote this letter months ago describing the goals they wanted accomplished by Open House.
Students wrote this letter months ago describing the goals they wanted accomplished by Open House.

This was an awesome game that was introduced by a fellow colleague Ms. Derus.  We played a water cycle game in which each student represented one water droplet.  First, I read the book A Drop Around the World.  Then, the students were assigned a station and played the game which you can find here.   When I do the activity this year, I will post with pictures.  It’s pretty awesome.

Finally, I made a water droplet with lines and students wrote a summary and reaction piece of their individual journey.  Attached to each droplet is the bracelet they made from the different beads they collected along the way.  (See game to understand.)

Students wrote a summary of their water droplet's journey and attached their bracelet.
Students wrote a summary of their water droplet’s journey and attached their bracelet.

I read aloud to my students everyday after lunch.  I took pictures of each student reading a book then they attached a speech bubble to their bodies.  The bubble stated which book was their favorite and why.  Last, the students folded an index card and glued their body to it to stand upright.  The display always looks so cute and it takes no time at all.  (Okay, maybe 20 minutes–students write their sentence on a post-it first.  I proofread.  Then, they write their speech bubble.)

Students chose which read aloud they enjoyed the most.
Students chose which read aloud they enjoyed the most.

Found this idea on pinterest so not sure who to credit exactly as I’ve seen it a bunch.  Students create a portrait of themselves using 1 inch colored construction paper.  I take pictures of their faces because I think photos make everything better. They then calculate the area, perimeter, and percentage of each color used—this takes longer then I thought.  Math!Area & Perimeter People

Here the students were given different quotes of figures from the Revolution. Students had to decide whether it was spoken by a Tory or a Whig. I divide the classroom in half and read each quote one at a time. Students then move to the side of the room they feel said the statement. They must then choose a spokesperson to explain their reasoning. I give the students a chance to switch sides if they change their mind before I tell them the correct answer. This activity makes for some great discussions.
Who Said It? Tory or Whig?

These are pictures of my science and social studies boards. These activities I will be uploading to my tpt store as soon as I get a chance. I’m working on the state projects and activities we do all year. Shown below are their state flip books, an alternative to a written report.
Science Board

State Flip Books

Social Studies Board
These last two are just some more views from the classroom. Hope you enjoyed and got some ideas for your class! If you do something similar or just want to share how you make your open house amazing, please do!

Entering the classroom for Open House 2013
Entering the classroom for Open House 2013

Open House 2013Coming soon…. pictures of my classroom to start this year. Yaaay!!!