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?


  1. Your kids are reading great books! Glad your son is doing better!

    Happy Holidays!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

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  4. SO Sorry! Third time's the charm, I've heard!

    Hi Cindy:
    This post just touched my heart.
    I am CERTAIN that God placed that precious little girl with you!
    (I love all of the strategies you implemented in order to find out the necessary details.)
    Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for our many blessings...
    Merry Christmas!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    PS I'm your newest follower!