Friday, December 30, 2011

New Blog

Hi all, I just started my 2nd blog. It is not a teacher blog but I am looking forward to posting on it throughout the year. It is called Avoiding Temptation and it will be a place for me to celebrate my successes and whine about my setbacks as I work towards my personal goals for 2012.
Check it out here

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The BFG and some other Randomness

My class finished reading the BFG today and they absolutely loved it! We will be watching the movie of The BFG tomorrow. So far this year we have read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Fudge-a-Mania, The Watson's Go To Birmingham - 1963, and now the BFG. When we come back from our winter break we will be reading A Land Remembered (which goes along with our social studies Florida History) and then Matilda

My kids absolutely were enthralled with The BFG and it was an awesome tool to use for teaching figurative language. After each chapter we would list on a piece of chart paper all the examples of figurative language from that chapter. They had to tell me what kind of figurative language it was (metaphor, simile, hyperbole, idiom, etc) and what it meant. They LOVED finding the forms of figurative language and I have started to see a lot more figurative language showing up in their writing (I was sick of hearing how someone ran as fast as a cheetah ugghhh). I am so happy I choose to not use the bass series this year and go all out with novels instead. I use to get the audio of the books we read so they can listen to the book read with fluency and inflection and different voices and background music to make it fun. They beg for reading time every day, this never happened with the basal series.

They are so engaged and their reading scores have skyrocketed. We do Edusoft testing in my district and at the beginning of the year 16% of my students tested On Target (which basically means they were on target to pass our state reading exam in April), we just did our 2nd assessment last week and 78% of my students were On Target! With 19 students I basically only had 2 that didn't test as On Target. I was so excited when I saw their scores.

Other Randomness
I am happy to say that my son's ankles are healing well. We go back to the orthopedist next Wednesday so we'll get a better idea of how he's healing and if they still want to do the MRI.

I found out today that my daughter has to have dental surgery next Wednesday. She lives 2 hours south of me and I am dying to drive down to be with her but my son-in-love will be off work that day so I have to let him take care of her. Although I did tell her to have him call me as soon as she is out of surgery and if he needs me to come and help I will be there ASAP

Finally I just want to say that I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! I feel so blessed that God has done so much for me this year. I decided to pay it forward, my school does an Angel Tree for students whose families are financially disadvantaged. The tree has paper ornaments with numbers on them, along with boy/girl, grade level, and age of the child. We don't know who the child is. I chose an Angel yesterday and I went to the person in charge of the tree and I found out that the number I chose belongs to one of my neediest students. This poor baby girl wears the same 3 or 4 outfits each week, she has mismatched socks, and her shoes are falling apart. I had to find out a way to get her sizes and find out what kinds of things she wanted for Christmas, without being obvious so I went into stealth teacher mode LOL I decided we needed a good writing lesson on details - So I gave every student 3 pieces of paper, I told them the first one was for practice, and the 2nd one was for a game we would play. On the first page they had to write a detailed description of the outfit they were wearing I told them they had to include the sizes colors, etc. LOL That gave me her clothes sizes, then for "the game" we played. They each had to describe their shoe with the same details, including size (of course). They each then took off one shoe and we out them in a pile and then I called up one student at a time and read the description of the shoe and they had to find that shoe and return it to its rightful owner - and I got her shoe size! Last I had them all make a Christmas list and they had to describe each item on the list. So with these writing activities I was able to have her clothes and shoe sizes plus an idea of what she would like for Christmas. When I read her list I almost cried, she asked for a "cute clothes and shoes", a backpack with a matching lunchbox, a soft pink pillow, a white board for her room with a pink expo marker, and at the very bottom of her list she wrote "I would like a new door knob for my house." My husband and I went shopping last night and we got her brand new Danskin tennis shoes, 4 T-shirts, 2 pair of pants, a cute purple backpack with the matching lunchbox attached, a Barbie, a Littlest Pet Shop set, and a bracelet making kit. I couldn't find a whiteboard but I'm going to try again this weekend. Her only toy listed on her entire list was the Littlest PetShop so I made sure we found that. It just made me realize how blessed I was when my kids were little, I always worried about money and it always seemed that we were always struggling but our kids always had what they needed. My kids would have never put a backpack or a pillow on their Christmas list. Anyway, I am hoping that by us getting her these things, maybe we can make her Christmas a little brighter and maybe keep that belief in Santa alive a little longer.

Take a moment and count your blessing, then thank God for those blessings. Think about this... What would you have if you woke up tomorrow and all you had were the things you thanked God for today?

Monday, December 5, 2011


Wow, I have been MIA for quite a while. I have had so many things going on in my personal life that I just haven't had much time to post about my teaching life. 

My 18 year old son has been the center of a lot of what's been going on. My son has decided that he is finished with high school, he wants to quit school, get his GED, and go to the local community college. I can't say that I blame him, he is 18 years old, he will be 19 in a few months and he is a junior in high school, thanks to No Child Left Behind, he was retained TWICE in elementary school. I can't really say anything bad about his idea, I myself quit school and got my GED in the 11th grade, because I hated school (oh the irony), and now I have a Master's degree so having a GED instead of a High School Diploma didn't hold me back at all and I know it won't hold him back either. The fact that he wants to leave high school for college is not something I can disagree with. He is more mature that his classmates, and he has to be careful which girls he dates because of the age differences. So I have been busy helping him prepare for the GED test. 

Then on top of all that (and the Marzano meltdown earlier this year) my son (Yes the same one) was in a go-cart accident last Tuesday. We thought he broke both of his ankles but thank God, he only sprained them. His right ankle was just sprained but his left ankle is a deep sprain with soft tissue damage and bone bruising. He is in 2 compression boots for about 2 weeks, and then he can stop wearing the right one. He may have to wear the left boot for 4-6 weeks. 

This is what his left ankle looked like the morning after the accident

Cool new kicks!! LOL

My poor baby!

This is how it looks today - getting better but still painful