Friday, May 9, 2014

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching this week for Five For Friday!
Our class recently finished the read aloud novel Journey to Nowhere, written by Mary Jane Auch. Auch is a local author from Williamson, New York, which is pretty cool. The book is about a girl named Mem and her family who are moving from Connecticut to the Genesee Country in the year 1816. The students recognize many local places as we read. Now, this book is part of a trilogy, and the third book involves Mem’s father working on the Erie Canal, which is also very fourth grade. Unfortunately, the second book becomes a bit grim, with a main character becoming depressed and eventually dying. (Did I forget to say “spoiler alert”? Oops!)

Pictured below is the easel I use for read alouds. We add to it as we read each day, including character traits, notes about events we think might be foreshadowing, ideas for theme, etc. It’s awesome for kids who are absent, substitutes, and our class as a whole!

 I scored the math state assessment all day today. It was brutal! You know how you’re exhausted after a day of school, but it always goes by quickly? Well, I’m doubly exhausted after a day of sitting and scoring…but it went by as SLOW AS MOLASSES!

Sidenote: Our Word of the Week is “haphazard.”

In other news, my fourth grade team was given a day to work on the Math modules yesterday. It was great time out of the classroom to work as a team, and really nice of the district to give us subs! I ran back to the room to grab something during the day and one of my boys goes, “Miss Caminiti, you look a tad bit haphazard today.”

 Gee, thanks.

 We’re trying to get creative with Writer’s Workshop. I just want the kiddos to love writing…and a lot of them don’t this year.

I have mostly boys in my class, and while they really enjoy researching topics, the writing part isn’t there.

And while they really enjoy brainstorming humorous fiction stories, the writing part isn’t there.

And while they…oh we could go on like this all day. Anyway, the point is, I need to get crafty. So, last week was all about poetry and picture prompts. This week is all about the websites. I’m using  StoryJumper. This is a website that kids can write their own stories and print them off to make books. With StoryJumper, you can actually order the book if you’d like, too! Since Kerpoof shut down in April, I was happy to find this replacement for the kiddos!

So, wish me luck!

Since our class finished our read aloud, the next novel we’re working on is The One and Only Ivan, written by Katharine Applegate. My students chose it. I gave the option of reading this novel together or No Talking by Andrew Clements. Personally, I was hoping that they would choose No Talking because I’m eager for our annual NO TALKING CONTEST! We do one every year after reading this hilarious and very relatable Andrew Clements book! And my class this year needs a quiet day! But they selected The One and Only Ivan, which is equally awesome. What will we do while reading aloud this novel?
-       - Research the real Ivan!
-       - Research zoos, gorillas, rehabilitation centers, etc.
-       - Tagxedo word clouds for character traits! (These are SO cute!)
-       - The novel study I made with questions that align with the text. (Click here to check it out.)
-       - Watch the book trailer on Katharine Applegate’s website..
-       - Do a wax museum! My students dressed up like Ivan last year, painted a backdrop, and re-enacted a scene from the novel!

Anyway, we finally have nice weather in upstate New York, and 
I'm ready to enjoy it! I love the warm weather!!!


  1. I love your read aloud easel- great idea to record thinking and important details from throughout the book.
    Here's an idea- if you do a wax museum your kids shouldn't talk, so that's like two birds with one stone! :) That's pretty close to a no talking contest!!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

    1. Thanks so much!

      Yea, our wax museum is silent...but creating costumes and backdrops in the weeks leading up to it can be quite noisy! I'm REALLY looking forward to our Reading Marathon. It's an entire day of snuggling up in the classroom and just reading...SO RELAXING AND FUN! I read too, of course!