Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Notice When You Lose Your Way

Does anyone else feel as if this is week 27 as opposed to week 7 of school?  It might just be our school but I have honestly never felt this stressed and slammed before, add in trying to plan a wedding... HA!  Needless to say, blogging has sadly been put on the back burner (even though my mind has still been going a million miles a minute with ideas).

We continue our journey through the Comprehension Tool Kit with the mini-lesson: Notice When You Lose Your Way.  The kids were so funny with this one!  You should have seen their eyes when they realized that myself and other students felt the same way they did sometimes and we all lose our way while reading.  We made this anchor chart of reasons why we lose our way and how we can fix it when it happens.  Not necessarily how to fix that specific problem but the problem in general.

We followed this up by reading a scientific article (because that is when I lose my way, lol!) and read a chunk at a time and used three different strategies that we came up with from the chart above.  Also a great way to show the students that reading is cross curricular.  I continually refer back to this chart and it has a place of honor on our wall so students can always refer to it when necessary.  I am finding, as with most things, that the more I refer to the anchor chart the more they talk about it while they read.  During our guided reading groups they are the first to admit when they've lost their way and which strategy would be the best to fix it, without my support!  Loving it!!! 


Monday, September 17, 2012

My 50's Housewife Bridal Shower

I know, I know... it's not educational but darn it it was FUN!  (And it falls under the title category of "life's other joys")  This theme was chosen because I am an old soul and my whole life I was told I was born in the wrong decade.  My fiance also was apparently born in the wrong decade as well because when we first met he had this whole "50's housewife" mentality.  Don't worry, a few bad meals and wrinkled shirts later he learned real quick that while I loved that era, there was no way that was me (poor guy).  So this is a nice nod to all that.  Luckily, today we are celebrating our three year anniversary together and gettin' hitched in less than two months!

To the right is a picture of me (in the middle) and my wonderful maids of honor who have been my rocks for the past five-six years.  They went above and beyond with this shower and I loved every minute of it!  I'm telling you what, there is no way I could have survived back then.  The amount of time it took just to look like that was forever!  No wonder the women had to stay home!

Everyone showed up in aprons and pearls and we played some fun trivia (both 50's and bridal) games: Price is Right 50's Style, Sabra and Spencer go together like... and you had to match up famous pairs/couples, a bridal poem where you passed it around and never knew who it would land on, and the ultimate Do You Know the Bride?  My mom won that one!

Here are some more amazing pictures from the day!

The super cute invites and recipe card!

Welcome table! The favors are mason jars full of 50's candy and there were envelopes out for people to put their addresses on them so I could send them Thank You cards. Included in the invitation was a recipe card to fill out and bring to the new bride, so people dropped them in the box when they arrived.
So many wonderful gifts!!! I got amazing personalized items to use for the wedding day, a beautiful clutch with one of our engagement photos printed on the fabric inside, a "Good housewife kit" and "How to keep your Hubby happy kit."  Even Mr. S got a few surprises sprinkled in there!  People were so stinking cute and creative I wish I could give them all shout outs!
One of my bridesmaids made these AMAZING cupcakes that look like mini-pies!
 The whole spread! There was bottled Coke with red and white stripped paper straws, pigs in a blanket, a big cheese ball and crackers, cheese puffs, Rice Krispie treats, finger sandwiches, deviled eggs, fruit and dip, chocolate chip cookies, punch, cupcakes, chips and salsa and so much more!

Words of wisdom from "The Good Wife's Guide" article in Housekeeping Monthly: May 13, 1955.  If you have not seen this before it is hysterical!  A must to look up and read!

Me and my new maid Maud! A wonderful gift from my future mother-in-law.  She is made up entirely of house hold items that will come in handy!
I had an amazing time and could not have asked for anything better!  It flew by so quickly and I just love looking at all the photos over and over and remembering everything.  If this is what happens for just my shower, y'all might lose me for a little while when my wedding photos come back!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First desk note of the year!

One of my favorite things to do to students is write them notes on their desk!  Usually it is a, "We missed you!" or "Welcome back," but occasionally when they leave a mess I like to leave the rant note, lol.  So this is the first one of the year!

Now this little darling has left all of this in his desk...  You might be saying, "Well it's his desk and he's a little messy.  So?"  NOPE!  In fifth grade they do not have desks since they switch classes.  Their backpacks are their desk and he shares this desk with 3 people.  So occasionally the desk fairy comes around and if it looks like a natural disaster in there I'll pull it all out for them to sort through and leave a little note.

If you have never left a note on their desk you should!  It is hysterical to watch their reactions when they come in in the morning and see that you wrote on the desk.  All you have to do is use an Expo marker for the writing utensil and TA DA!  It easily wipes off with a tissue but if you still have some smudges a baby wipe or Clorox wipe gets it all off.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Comprehension Toolkit and a Feature!

First things first... the fun stuff!  Today Dana from Fun in 1st Grade is featuring my blog on her New Blogger Tuesday section!  I am very honored that she has given me this opportunity, especially since I have found so many new blogs through this post.  Head on over there and check her out!

Now onto the educational (but still fun) stuff.  This year our county has implemented Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis' Comprehension Toolkit.  I have used it a few times in the past and really liked it but this year we will be doing a new lesson each week.  I still use CAFE but I do that mini-lesson during our novel study.

Last week's lesson was Monitoring Comprehension: Follow Your Inner Conversation.  They do provide you with picture books for some of the lessons which is really nice except that they are the same picture books for third through fifth grade so that by the time they get to me, most of them have heard it.  Since a good amount of my kids had already read that book, I chose another one: Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco.  I love this book for multiple reasons and it works great with this lesson!

It's about a little girl who is having trouble in school, how her peers treat her and how she overcomes it.  It has a nice twist to the ending and a good life lesson, especially for the beginning of the year.  This is one of my favorite lessons because I love to watch the kids who are incredibly verbal try to hold it all in and write it down as opposed to shouting it out.  They scribble furiously across their sticky notes and never seem to have enough, lol.  At the end of the lesson when we discuss what we all wrote and share it with our shoulder partners they are always the first to say, "THAT'S WHAT I WROTE TOO!!!!"

The kids love getting to use the sticky notes during our novel study and use them to reference back when they are writing in their literature response journals.  If your school does not have the Comprehension Toolkit I highly suggest that you invest or write a grant for it, definitely worth it so far!