Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fascinating Blog and Hilarious Science Videos!

I got nominated for a "Fascination Award." What a nice honor! You can click here to vote for me...I was nominated for my post about my Sensory Details and Bacon lesson!

accelerated degrees

And in other news, the Science STAAR test is coming up! Here's a secret, I LOVE my job, but I REALLLLLY miss teaching science!! So, I've been sneaking in some science lately to help my team get ready for the test coming up this week! We've done several non-fiction reading activities with science books.

But, what the kids and I love most of all is sneaking in some Mr. Parr science songs from Youtube! They are perfect to throw in here and there for a little song break! If you haven't checked these out, you must!! Each video is a pop song with the lyrics changed to be about science topics. The vocabulary and depth of the concepts are definitely grade 5 and up! Here are some of my classes favorites:

There are so many more, so I hope you check them out! Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hailstones and Halibut Bones: Adventures in Color

Here is a book that I've come to love. It is new to me, but it was published in the 60s, so many of you have probably seen it. Okay, on first looks, I definitely judged this book by it's cover. I thought it looked a wee bit hokey. I was totally wrong! This is a very neat poetry book. Each poem is based on a particular color and lists words, nouns feelings and associations that go with that color, all done with beautiful poetry. My kids enjoyed this book very much and loved guessing what color we would do next. I would HIGHLY recommend it for poetry grades 3-6!

The new state assessment in Texas (STAAR) now has poetry listed as an objective that could be tested. So here is a long list of concepts we worked on/activities you could do with this amazing book!

- Predicting: Each poem lists many things that are a color. So, for example, to hook them into the lesson, you could share with them the color of the poem before you read and have them predict what words or items of that color would show up in the poem and see who gets the most correct.

-Imagery! The "What is Red?" poem has some great images!

-Internal Rhyme--"What is Grey?" poem contains internal rhyme! (This is eligible to be tested as well.)

-Figurative Language runs throughout.

-Sensory Details and onomatopoeia examples come up frequently.

-"Sketching through the text" as they visualize the poem could be used with any color.

- After you have read some of the poems, you could have them write their own poem with a color you haven't read about!

These are just a few ideas you could incorporate into a poetry unit using this book! I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

"What Makes my Heart Happy"

Sweet Kim at Finding Joy in 6th left me a comment this week, that inspired me to write! (Thanks, Kim!) She noticed I hadn't written in a while and said she hoped I was doing what makes my heart happy. And, my friends, I have!

So I thought I would do a little update on my life and classroom with iPhone Pics!

Since I last posted, Valentine's Day has come and gone! A sweet little darling in my class gave me this ring. "It's real," I was told... :) It is "real"ly something, alright! Sweet that he noticed my affinity for large rings! My kids make my heart happy.

And, since nothin' says "I love you" like basketball, my Valentine's Day weekend included a Mavericks game. Basketball + Time with the Husband makes my heart VERY happy.

So, one of my post-grad school goals was to workout more. I really have no excuse not to anymore. I'm working on it! :) At the end of February, my husband and I ran the Cowtown 10k...Here we are, post race...

These last few weeks, I've been able to spend a great deal of time with family and friends! Spring break included a trip to visit family and a trip to the lake house! Bliss and happy hearts!

But the large majority of the time has been spent here...

If you teach 5th grade in Texas, you know that tomorrow begins our STAAR testing! I have been working like crazy to plan the best possible teaching and center activities that review all our concepts with minimal "practice passages" (although we've done a good chunk of those, too!) I have been so focused on my instruction, and I've literally memorized the 4th and 5th grade TEKS. I've worked to do a great deal of instruction in small groups. I have LOVED doing literacy rotations and reading novels and poetry with my kids! I hope to post more on these things very soon! I love teaching in small groups, that makes my teacher's heart VERY happy! :)

And each week, I've made a bit of time to sit in my mother-in-laws massage chair with a pile of magazines.

Since testing season is coming up for many of us, I thought I'd attach this video. I showed it to my kids today to pump them up before the test! It is a great scene from Facing the Giants, and my kids loved it! Hope you enjoy it.