Friday, June 29, 2012

Fiction Friday!

Wow, it is already Friday!! This week went super fast, and I think it was because of my summer class! It is pretty boring, but I'm already a third of the way done!

So today I am linking up with Amanda at The Teaching Thief for her Fiction Friday linky! 
Do you teach about figurative language, idioms, or figures of speech? Well, then you are in luck, because I have a book for you!
More Parts, written by Tedd Arnold, is about a little boy who is absolutely BOGGLED by the crazy things that adults say! For example, when his dad asks his son to "please give him a hand," the little boy gets super paranoid and glues gloves onto his hands - just to make sure they stay on, of course.

This book is very funny and cute, and it would be a great addition to any mini-lessons on figurative language! As an extension activity, you might want to have students choose a specific idiom and illustrate both what it sounds like it means literally and then what it actually means. It could be a cute display of learning and would increase your students' vocabularies for sure!

Moving on...

I recently just finished a fantastic chapter book - The Mighty Miss Malone by the amazing Christopher Paul Curtis. Do you love him as much as I do??
The Mighty Miss Malone is sort of a companion book to Bud, Not Buddy - but it's not imperative that you read that book first. This is the story of Deza Malone, an 11-year-old girl living in Gary, Indiana during the Great Depression. While reading this book, I was reminded of how incredibly difficult the Depression was and I learned how it affected children and morale overall. It was also really interesting (and, of course, heartbreaking) how race relations were so different in cities like Gary compared to Flint, Michigan.

You could use this as a general read-aloud, as a vehicle to discuss character traits, or as a supplemental text if you teach about the Great Depression. Students might enjoy hearing the story because they can relate to Deza and can imagine themselves in her tattered shoes.

The author's note at the end of this story was especially sad when he pointed out how many American children live in poverty every day. He wants Deza to be a face for child poverty so people want to take a stand against it. How can you argue with that?

What have you been reading? Feel free to check out my Goodreads widget in my sidebar to see what I'm currently reading! :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Good morning and happy Wednesday!
I'm loving the mini PVC pocket chart stand I made! The stand is sitting on our dining room table and every time I look at it, it makes me happy because I made (pretty much) by myself. :) If you have those little Target pocket charts from last summer laying around, go check out my tutorial!
I'm loving the Bachelorette still! I was pumped to see that Doug went home. He was a nice person, I guess, but acted way more like Emily's dad than her boyfriend. That kiss was so incredibly awkward... yikes. And Arie is still in it to win it!! I love you, Arie.

I'm loving that I started a new knitting project! I used to knit a LOT in my senior year of high school through college but it has gotten away from me a bit. One of my former first graders who I will have again in second grade is getting a new baby brother in August! So I've been working on a baby blanket for the baby.
I'm loving that my summer ESL class is only 3 weeks long. I'm not loving that it's 6 hours per class period and that my teacher is super quiet and likes to read off of powerpoints............

I'm loving that I picked up a TON of books at the Salvation Army last week with my cousins. We were probably there for 2 hours. There was an entire wall consisting of only bookshelves that were stacked two deep. My cousin, Kelley, is taking children's lit next semester, so she's trying to pick up books to fulfill her book list, and usually I just go along and throw things into her basket, but this time I actually bought books!

I'm loving that I got to catch up with all the teachers at my school yesterday. The priest from the church associated with our school was reassigned to a different church, so there was a going-away party for him yesterday. It was really nice to chit chat and see my buddies again. :)

I'm loving my cousins. :) Here's Kelley and me getting ready to check with with our million books the other day!

What are you loving today?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Made It: Pocket Chart Stand

I'm so happy for Monday Made It because it makes Monday so much more wonderful!
This week, I made a mini pocket chart stand for my $1 pocket charts I got last summer at Target. I was inspired by Carly at First Grade Fabulosity's post about her pocket charts!
It was crazy easy! Here is how you do it!

First, you'll need to gather your supplies:
Side note: my pipe is already cut in this picture, obvi. You will need to buy a 10' piece of 1/2" PVC pipe at your preferred hardware store. :) It will cost you about $1.50 for the 10' pipe.

Then, start putting it together!

First, put your two elbows on either side of your 18" piece. This will be the top of your stand.
Then, put your 24" pieces in the other ends of the elbows. Just shove 'em in there!
After that, put your tees on ends of your 24" pieces.
Next, put one 5" piece in each tee opening.
Last, put your little caps on the open ends!
Then it should look like this bad boy. Feel free to relax at this point, as that is what I am clearly doing in this picture, haha!
Now if you would like to, you can spray paint your stand. I had some spray paint already so we painted it navy blue! Also, I have metal rings that I am going to use to hang the pocket charts but they are at school, so for the purpose of this post, I just tied the pocket charts up with yarn!
If you already have the pocket charts, this project will cost you less than $5 to make one stand. That is a pretty good deal to me!!!

There are two pocket charts back to back on the stand so two students can use the chart simultaneously!

I'm planning to use this as a station during reading time. Our first grade program features 3-4 word families per unit, so I'm going to make up little cards so they can make words independently using the word families.

Do you have any other ideas or ways we can use this awesome stand during independent work time?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ahoy, Matey!

A few weeks back, I mentioned that I was taking a sailing class! This week was the week, and now I am finished and I have my sailing card!
Yesterday I got to have a real sailing adventure on a giant sailboat on Lake Michigan.

It was a fun day, but those big sailboats are a LOT of work! I will just stick with the little ones. :)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Hooray for Wednesday!
I'm loving my sailing class!! Being on the water is so relaxing and it is pretty fun to sail around! Also I'm pretty sure that the guys on the Bachelorette a few weeks back had a hidden sailing master on their boats - otherwise, I have no idea how they did not capsize!! It's not easy to sail!
Speaking of The Bachelorette......... I'm loving this show!! I could NOT BELIEVE that Ryan went home this week! I mean, it was like 4 weeks too late, but I really never thought she would send him home. But thank goodness she did. I hope it is Arie and Sean in the end!!

I'm loving the amazing Robert Munsch collection book that I picked up at Goodwill on Monday! There are 10 books in this giant book and I bought it for $0.63!!! 63 cents!!! Holy mama! Check out your local Goodwill or Salvation Army ASAP for amazing deals. Here are all the books inside my Munschworks:
I'm loving my dog. He cracks me up. Last week I took him to school to pick up some books, and when we got back in the car to go home, I looked over and saw him sitting like this. Haha!
I'm loving my cousins, as usual! I feel super lucky to have been born into a fabulous familia. :)
What are you loving today?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Made It: Contraction Shakers!

Happy Monday! Today marks the first day of my sailing lessons!!! I hope I don't regret this adventure... I'll let you all know tomorrow. :)

Time for Monday Made It, yeah!
Here is what I made this week: contraction shakers!!!!!!!!
This idea has been cooking in my brain for a while, and I had the empty bottle collection to prove it. :) A while back, Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade posted about her synonym shakers, and I was totally in love with them! I knew my class would for sure love them, too.

Our reading series puts a TON of emphasis on contractions, and for some reason my class was really into them this past year, so I decided to make contraction shakers!

And you can make them, too!! I put my word lists and labels into a little document-o for ya.

When I looked up the Common Core standard for this activity, I noticed that it did not exist in the first grade set. So, question for you today: in which grade does your school teach contractions?

I teach one set of contractions in first grade in the fall and then the other set in the spring.

How about you?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

I got a new bike today!!!!!!!!
I am so pumped! I have been looking on Craigslist for a bike like this for a few weeks now and my mom found this one the other day, and now it is mine!

Now I can go on more twenty mile bike rides and carry stuff in my cute little basket!
Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cassettes into CDs Tutorial

Did you know that you can make a cassette tape into a CD??

Does anybody even have cassettes anymore...? Haha!

So I am working on building up a listening area for next year. Whether or not I can make Daily Five work for me, I definitely need a listening area so my chillins don't go off the deep end during reading time. :)

Anyway, I have found or acquired a number of books on tape, but I didn't think I really wanted to have to deal with the kids rewinding tapes or pulling all the tape out. This past year they all did fine with CDs when we would listen to our Reader stories, so I wanted to make my tapes into CDs, and my brother helped me figure out how to do it!

Here's what you need!
You can also use a tape player if you have one in your CD player! It just takes up less room if you do it this way. :) I got my auxiliary cable at Meijer for like $10; you can find them in the electronics area!

First, download and install the Audacity software. It is free and safe!
Then plug one end of your auxiliary cable into the headphone area of your Walkman or tape player and plug the other end into the microphone part of your computer.
Open up Audacity, hit play on your Walkman, then hit record on Audacity!
When you have recorded your whole tape, push stop. Then, click on File and then Export...
It should automatically come up to save as a WAV file. Name it whatever you want. I saved mine to my desktop. Then I added it to Itunes and burned it to a CD! Done and done.

I don't know if anyone will be able to use this little tutorial, but if you need it then hooray! Let me know if anything is unclear. :)

I'm off to find more books on tape!!! Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Girl Power!

First, thank you for the prayers and thoughts for my dad! All the tests came out perfectly fine yesterday. He has a follow up appointment today but everything is looking good. I really appreciate you all!

In a few hours, I'll be done with my fourth class to go towards my ESL endorsement! This term, I took Developing Cultural Awareness Through Multicultural Children's Literature. Quite a mouthful, but it was a fun class and I learned to be a LOT more critical of the books I read to and with my students. :)

As a final project, I critiqued my boxed reading series to check for cultural authenticity. It did okay, which is kind of a relief. I also had to pick out a lesson that wasn't incredibly multicultural and make it better by supplementing it!

In the first grade curriculum, there is a story in the kids' Reader called The Foolish Giant. In the story, two boys and one girl are pretending to be a giant, a knight, and a princess. In the story, the princess gets stuck in a tower and is totally dependent on the two boy characters to help her get out.

Multiculturalism absolutely includes gender, so I chose to compile a small collection of fractured fairy tales that feature strong female protagonists. Each of the stories either feature a strong female character or offer a different perspective on the typical fairy tale formula.

Here are the books I included!

And if you'd like my annotated bibliography, here it is! This is what I'm bringing as a handout to my classmates this afternoon. :)

Do you know of other fairy tales with strong female characters? I'm always looking to add to my collection!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Hi friends! It's Wednesday, and you know what that means...
I'm loving the bike ride that I took with my cousin, Lisa, over the weekend! We rode 20 MILES all the way from a nearby town to the border of Wisconsin. That is just craziness. We were pretty much exhausted and dying on the way back but we made it. :) Next time I know to bring double the amount of water and some snacks for the road! Here I am working on my fitness:
I'm loving that the disgusting milk-stained and wrinkly carpet has already been torn out of my classroom! That means we are for real getting new floors, yeah!
I'm loving that I acquired my very own wiggle seat for my classroom. Do you have any students who use one? One of my more active students was given a wiggle seat by the district OT, but it isn't made for first grade chairs and basically hangs off the edges of his little chair. My new wiggle seat is from a retiring teacher, it is smaller, and I can't wait to show my student when he comes back in August. :)
I'm loving that I'm already finished with my final project for my ESL class that ends tomorrow! I am a HUGE procrastinator, so this is a big deal for me. I'm going to share some of it with you all tomorrow - someone might be able to use what I put together!

I'm loving the weather today. It is really quite pleasant - 75 with a slight breeze. This weekend will be 90 degrees again, ay yi yi!

One last thought - please keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers today. My mom took him to the hospital earlier this afternoon because he had some blurred vision and lost his balance a bit and wasn't feeling too well. He had a slight stroke back around Christmas time so they just want to make sure everything is okay. So far I haven't heard anything since they left and I'm not super worried, but every little thought and prayer helps! :)

What are you loving today?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Made It: Mod Podge Paint Cans!

First of all, OMG! I almost had a heart attack watching The Bachelorette. I don't know if west coast people watch it later so I won't say anything, but I definitely shed a happy tear today during one of the dates, and before she gave out the last rose, I was feeling very anxious!!! But I'm happy now, all is well, and I can keep watching. :)

Second, I am participating in Monday Made It hosted by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!
This is a really big deal for me, people. I am a visionary.... I get visions of things I want and that is pretty much where it ends. Haha! So I am really proud of myself for actually following through on a thing I wanted to do!

Here is my finished product!
I was inspired by Natalie's post about her paint cans!

This was my first ever Mod Podge project! I feel like that is crazy talk in the blogging world. I am trying not to care that there are some wrinkles in the paper and that it doesn't look perfect........... :) I'm sure I will get better with more Mod Podge practice!

I am going to use it to hold these bad boys:
They are the little rubbery things that come on Target prescription bottles! My mom had been saving them for me and I had like 4, and then I was able to go through a retiring teacher's stash over the weekend and she had TONS! I am going to use them as counters.

Last, over the weekend I picked up The Phonics Dance book!
I actually have an older version... it is well-loved. :)

I spent the afternoon lining up the hunks and chunks in The Phonics Dance with the order that I teach them in my reading program. I think this will make a HUGE difference for my students this year and I can't wait to do it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I haven't linked up with Jamie in a LONG TIME! But today is the day to tell you what I'm loving!!
I'm loving that summer gives me a chance to read a lot! I love reading and this school year was kind of stressful, so all I wanted to do was NAP when I came home. I've already finished 5 books since school has been done! I just finished this book yesterday and it was fabulous - but I'd only recommend it if you want to think while you read it. It's not really a beachy book. :)
I'm loving that I FINALLY organized my sticker stash! I was inspired by Teri but I used an expandable file thingy for mine.

I'm loving that I found this amazing sticker sheet in my stash:
It's okay to be jealous; I would be if I were you. ;)

I'm loving taquerías!!!!! The family of one of my second graders owns a taquería/grocery store in the town where I teach, and I ate there yesterday for lunch when I went to school to clean my desk. It was MUY delicioso!
Okay, time to tell you what I'm NOT loving! Just one thing though. :)

I had this crazy dream last night about the first day of school! In my dream, I had 35 students, a crazy aide who was taking over the class, students who were taller than me in second grade, a TV whose buttons I couldn't reach, and one student who was a cyclops! Like straight out of Greek mythology. Also I had forgotten to plan for the first day, and only one of my second graders came back from last year.

I didn't think I was nervous about next year.... I guess my brain is telling me to step it up or something, haha!!

What are you loving today?
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