Friday, February 17, 2012

Week in Review 2/17/11

A thought occurred to me today: I do not post as often as I would like to. What I will *try* to do from now on is provide you with a "Week in Review." As I stated in my first ever blog post, this blog is primarily to share my teaching life- the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly. I will share my ups and downs in hopes that you will benefit from what is (and is not) working for me in my educational endeavors. And, for fun, I may include some random stuff, too. 

This week, my kids and I started reading Phoebe the Spy. It is part of our anthology (which I am openly not a huge fan of), but it is a theme paper back instead of the textbook. I decided to dip into these paperbacks because my teammate (who is the math, science, social studies, and health teacher)just started a unit on the American Revolution with our kids. I wanted to support this in my room by reading some historical fiction related to that time period. The kids like the book, but I am not sure I like what I am doing with it. I originally got the idea from the Comprehension Toolkit. There is a lesson (I can't remember which off of the top of my head) in which you use historical fiction to complete a Fact, Question, Response (FQR) sheet. At first it seemed like a great idea, but this story is somewhat long to do this with. I may probably will abandon the idea next week and replace it with the tried and true sticky notes. 

We also started working on an opinion piece about whether or not gum should be allowed in schools. We are currently in the research and outline phase. The technology integration teacher showed the students how to do a keyword search that would help them find sites that would contain facts supporting their opinions. They came up with "bubble gum benefits," "bubble gum facts," "bubble gum school," and "bubble gum bad." The kids are really into it and have found a lot of information that supports their opinion (the majority obviously think it is a GREAT idea). Our principal liked the idea and what she heard from the kids while she was in the computer lab with us so much that she is in the process of ordering enough gum for every student taking the state tests next month. I hope this helps them realize the power writing can have!

Things that "made my day" this week:

  1. I had a nice hearty laugh when one of my kiddos came bursting into the room in the morning, excitedly announcing to his buddy that he had finished the first Harry Potter book and how he "couldn't BELIEVE that..." Only to be shushed by said buddy so he didn't "ruin it for everyone else." They then scampered off to our library to whisper secretly about the ending. SO cute.
  2. After returning from a grade level meeting that took me away from my homeroom, I came back to a note from the substitute complimenting my class on how hard they worked and how well behaved they had been. This was, in the sub's opinion, "a direct reflection of my wonderful classroom management." That would make any teacher feel great, and I made a mental note to remember her words the next time I feel like my management is less than "wonderful." 
  3. Our superintendent has agreed to be a guest on our televised school announcements for World Read Aloud Day on March 7th. He will read a poem or short story to the whole school. (We are also working on getting in touch with Ben Carson to see if he has some availability...cross your fingers and toes!)
  4. My Donors Choose project has posted and is already receiving donations! I hope we raise all the money needs, our classroom library could use some sprucing up!
On a personal note, my mom just got me a fantastic belated birthday present from Etsy. I am in LOVE with all things Harry Potter (which is probably the reason behind my owl obsession, too). I found two necklaces that I fell in love with containing quotes form The Deathly Hallows. These quotes both still bring tears to my eyes. I could not possibly decide between, my wonderful mother got both! *YAY*

I hope you all had a great week and are going to enjoy a nice three day weekend! 


  1. I love when I have to "hush" kids up before they ruin a surprise in a book. The best part of that is that it makes everyone else want in on the secret!

    I love your idea of posting the great things from the week. I think I'll make a point of jotting some of those down over the course of my week. Sometimes we focus so much on the challenges and stressors of the week that we forget it's all those little "wins" that keep us in the business.

  2. I agree. We have to focus on those wonderful moments...they are the real reasons most of us became teachers in the first place.