Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Oh my. Adverbs were tough this year. We spent twice as much time on it as we expected to but I do believe most of us REALLY know a lot about adverbs now!

We sorted adverbs and nouns. Adverbs and verbs. Adverbs and adjectives and then adverbs, verbs and adjectives. Whew!

Shared Research!

We are delving into our first research project!  

Working in pairs, students began their research today and are learning all about animals and how they adapt, migrate or hibernate in the winter. This research will continue a bit because we are also honing our keyboarding skills - so some of this took more time than expected. 

But we are doing great so far and will culminate the research report with a diorama illustrating the habitat of their chosen animal. I love family projects and the diorama will be done at home and then presented to our class! 

Can't wait!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Author's Study: Patricia Polacco

We have delved into an amazing author's study this week - and it'll continue through next week! I found some great TpT resources and made some of my own and the kids are just loving the stories! 

We've read Rechenka's Eggs, My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother, Mr. Lincoln's Way and Thunder Cake so far. 

We've learned about character trails, compared characters, talked about main idea, even made some text to world connections and we tossed in several Thinking Maps. These are a few of the activities we have done so far...

Responding to Internet Articles

We are loving dogonews.com! 

The kids learned how to find a website, login, read, watch and respond!

What an awesome day!

Video Of The Week - Giant Panda Cub Bao Bao's First Encounter With Snow

By Meera Dolasia on January 12, 2015
CCSS Grades: K-3 Grades: 3-8 Word Search
While frolicking in soft snow never gets old, it is always super special the first time around. On January, 6th, 2015, America's favorite giant panda, Bao Bao, that resides at Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington D.C., experienced the white fluff for the first time and like any other toddler, could not get enough.
According to zoo officials, the 16-month-old spent much of the morning tumblingdown the hill in her outdoor enclosure, climbing trees and rolling over her mother Mei Xiang, who was keeping a watchful eye on the excited youngster.
Bao Bao who recently celebrated her first birthday with an impressive party, is the offspring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian - giant pandas on loan from China as part of theconservation effort to revive the dwindling population of the beautiful animals. Bao Bao is expected to remain at the National Zoo until the age of five, after which she will head to the special giant panda breeding program at the Wolong Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province.
Resources: Smithsonianscience.org
Article Comprehension:
  1. What did Bao Bao experience for the first time on January 6th? What was her reaction?
  2. Who are Bao Bao's parents? What will happen to Bao Bao when she turns five?

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Goals!

So it was sad to say goodbye to 2014 because it brought lots of awesomeness - like Willie, all of my students, Twinkle, beginning National Boards, 1st wedding anniversary, THIS BLOG, and so, so much more. But I feel that 2015 is going to bring even more, if I work for it!

So (drumroll here) without further ado, here are my goals for 2015...

Personal: Achieve better health!
Ok. actually yesterday was my Day 1, but you get it.
In case you didn't know, Whole30 means I'll be eating only whole foods for 30 days. 
There's other rules, too, of course, no sweeteners of any kind - not just sugar, no fake grains... I gotta say, I felt FANTASTIC after my first Whole30 and learned a lot about myself. I'm addicted to sugar for one. It's best for me just to say no to sweet treats or it sets off major cravings. I also learned I can control my health to a major extent with food. No thank you, blood pressure meds! 

And, I have major willpower. Naysayers make me stronger, but support makes me even stronger! I'm in a group with almost 40 over 60 other elementary teachers and we are all doing a January Whole30 together! How awesome is that!?

 I'm also committed to getting stronger. I'm in another group with teachers and we're committed to 30 days of fitness.  We're also doing this challenge... 
It's been a couple days of this and I've already learned that sit-ups are SUPER HARD and my I'm definitely feeling those squats.

I've started yoga again, which was my long-lost love, and I think Mr. Dixon's Darling Dolphins will be heading there with me tomorrow! 
And, I'm going to start running. With baby steps - after my quads stop burning from all the squats!

Professional: Up.My.Game!
I will be getting into the full swing of the beginning of this program this month. This is like teacher Olympics. It's the Big Game. The Real Deal. The process has changed - and it's changed drastically - so it's a little difficult not having anyone who's gone before me as a mentor. But I will do this and I will rock it!

I'm also very excited to get more tech savvy and will be attending the CUE conference in Palm Springs in a couple months.

And finally, I want to up my TPT output and create more awesomeness!
Which leads to the next goal...

Financial: Handle my business.
In case there's anyone who doesn't know, teachers don't make a lot of money. 

I know, it is shocking. 

However, teachers do have to be educated and if you want to be competitive or just learn more about the craft, you're probably gonna be highly educated with a masters or some such. Well, along with that nice USC masters degree that's sitting in one of my drawers, comes a USC price tag. A big one. So my goal is to make a major dent in my overwhelming student loans.

Another financial goal is to spend less on silly things so that I can save a bit more, travel a bit more, relax a bit more.