Saturday, February 25, 2017

Making Inferences

We did one of my favorite inference lessons recently! I bring in my new neighbor's garbage. Of course I play it up, explaining how mysterious they are and how I haven't seen them since they moved in a few weeks ago. Then, I tell my sweet little third graders that I took some of their garbage to try to get to know them better. The kids always come up with the best inferences as I show them the garbage. I usually have a lot of food wrappers, receipts, toiletries, etc. The receipt from grocery shopping at Wal-Mart was highly analyzed this year! It was really great that the kids were so focused and excited. After this, we relate our inferences with the garbage to actual trade books!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

I have gone fishing, a very long time ago as a child! I was pretty awful and never caught anything. I think it was mostly my uncle fishing and then letting me hold the rod after he cast! I think that I would enjoy fishing now that I'm older. It seems really relaxing.

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

I HATE carrying purses or bags of any kind, so I usually stuff my pockets with everything I might need when I go out. Usually, I have a hard time when I need to dig out any cash. It falls everywhere and it's a crumpled mess.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

Finding Nemo, of course.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

Sunrise. Because I am a total morning person. I'm conking out on the couch at 9pm every night but I'm always up before the sun.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

I have been the same size since like, middle school, so I definitely have clothing from a long time ago. I also hate throwing anything away that still fits! The oldest clothing I have is probably a sweatshirt from ninth grade when I played on the field hockey team. The sweatshirt is ripped and permanently stained, but it's perfect for layering under my coat when I walk the dog on frigid winter days.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

I love winter! Now that I live a hop, skip, and a jump away from the school I teach at, it's really nice waking up to a snowy morning. No more driving an hour to work, scared to death in the blizzard-like weather! The best part about winter is when it snows A LOT and I bring my bulldog, Lucy, out to play. She hops like a rabbit in the high snow! So, no, I'm not itching for a vacuum.

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffett fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

I didn't realize it was National Margarita Day until I saw my sister's instagram feed. She had her boston terrier sitting near her margarita glass, wishing everyone a happy day! Check out rufiegram....that dog is hilarious!

I like Jimmy Buffet. I think I could sing all of the lyrics to Cheeseburger in Paradise.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I have been all Lego all the time lately! My school is pushing STEM/STEAM big time, so it's been a major focus this school year. I've been creating Lego STEM/STEAM activities to incorporate into my third grade classroom. Check them out by clicking here.

Oh! And here is a picture of Lucy from our recent hike at Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, New York. She's awesome.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Five For Friday

Ever since our school incorporated a STEAM component into our summer school sessions last year, I have been Lego crazy! The kiddos are SUPER motivated when Legos are involved, so I continue to figure out ways to fold them into my teaching, recess, or more!

These Valentine Science kits literally save my life every year! They're educational, fun, and totally engaging. Plus, they don't cost me an arm and a leg to create! Seriously, my kiddos brought in so much candy to devour on Valentine's Day that I couldn't rationalize giving them even more, so this is how I rolled!

My boyfriend and dog visited Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, New York over our February vacation. If you can believe it, the weather was gorgeous! It was nearly 60 degrees and sunny! We hiked all over and checked out a bunch of waterfalls. It tired Lucy out so much that she's been spending a lot of time dozing on the couch since we went. While hiking, my boyfriend had his fitbit on. It told him that during our 3 mile hike, we walked over 50 flights of stairs! That was a lot of elevation! It was pretty awesome.

Has anyone read Pax by Sara Pennypacker? I seriously cried for the first 10 chapters! It's our newest read aloud chapter book in my third grade class and the kiddos are really enjoying it! I even had some tears from my third graders! It's pretty powerful when a book can evoke that kind of emotion in ten year olds. Anyway, it's the story of Pax, a pet fox, and his owner Peter. Peter's dad makes him release Pax into the wild and the story flip flops between Pax and Peter trying to be reunited. I highly recommend it!

Lucy always uses a pillow :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Classroom Fairy Door

This little door from Amazon has worked wonders in my classroom for behavior management! My little third graders really believe that there is a fairy living on the other side of the door. They think that diary brings them clean desk notes and treats, messy desk reminders to clean up, and little rhyming notes for fun in their mailboxes!

The coolest part about the fairy door was the WRITING it inspired. My kids write stories about the purple door and what is behind it. They write mysteries, fictional fantasy stories, and riddles. It has been INSPIRING! And a ton of fun for me to sprinkle glitter on the floor every once in a while. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

We called both sets of our grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. When talking about them to each other in my immediate family, we sometimes added their last names to differentiate who we were talking about.

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? What's one tourist attraction along the coast you'd add to your must-see list?

Oh my goodness, taking a trip to San Francisco was one of my favorite family vacations! We flew out there from New York, explored San Francisco, and then rented a car to drive down the coast on route 1. My dad was freaking out because there are no guard rails on that road and the cliffs were SCARY. Some of the things we did included Muir Woods, Ghirardelli, Fishermen's Wharf, the cable car museum, a bus tour of San Francisco, seeing the painted ladies, Alcatraz, walking the Golden Gate Bridge, and visiting Hearst Castle. Probably tons more. We really packed a lot in!

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

I don't know how to cook well. I also don't know how to crochet, although I have watched Youtube videos and attempted to learn. I also do not know another language.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true, what and how will you celebrate?

I will celebrate positivity. It's easy to get sucked into the complaining!

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

I loooooove macarons! I could gobble up a ton of them! And I did at my sister's bridal shower.

I do not make anything that calls for almonds, but I enjoy them raw as a snack!
6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

I'm an early riser! I am up and out of bed early, and then I snuggle up on the couch with coffee and my adorable dog, Lucy. After that, I get some work done while my boyfriend sleeps in!

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I am currently reading  A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman for my teacher club. We do a book club meeting every April.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am currently on February vacation and have an entire week off from school! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

School-wide Writer's Gallery

Our school started an initiative this year to CELEBRATE writing! We are all writers and we have begun implementing a Writer's Workshop daily for 40 minutes. In the hallway outside of our cafeteria we have a bulletin board for teachers to post writing across the grade levels. 
It shows the span from UPK writing to fourth grade writing.
Hi there! I'll be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday today. So, let's get started! :)

I've been experimenting with new ways to incorporate our secret agents day into the year. My second graders had a blast with this room transformation last year! I created secret agents days focused on area, multiplication, addition, subtraction, and time to make this year memorable for my third graders!

Have you ever made a deep dish pizza in a crock pot? It really works! Just use Pillsbury pizza dough and layer your toppings! It was DELICIOUS!

Yet again, the Valentines science kits I found on TPT were a hit with my students as a Valentines day gift! And so easy! I bought the materials for less than $15 and packaged them in an hour!

I became a Seesaw ambassador recently! Seesaw has transformed my parent communication and I LOVE IT! Email me for more information. I also have a Seesaw ambassador code to get you some free Seesaw Plus, which is an amazing formative assessment tool.

I started a new bulletin board in my classroom recently. I began pulling mentor sentences and paragraphs from my students' writing journals and posting them on the bulletin board as inspiration for the class. The kids love reading each other's writing and using this variation of a mentor text.

Friday, February 17, 2017

How To Writing

Our third grade class used Amy Lemons and Hope King's Write On unit to help us through procedural writing. The kiddos LOVED  making Pie In a Cup! We discussed the materials, made it ourselves, used sequence words to write a paragraph, and saw our writing through to publishing! It was a lot of fun and something different. All third graders have done How To Writing before, but none of them had made Pie In a Cup before!