Tuesday, March 12, 2013

California Bound

Day 2 of Spring break and not enjoying the weather so far.
Rainy at first and now just COLD!!!


Tomorrow I leave bright and early for Temecula, California. :)
I am sooo excited!

We will get to Cali at 8:45...
So have the entire day to enjoy the high 70's-80's weather.
SOOO my kind of weather.

As I wrote in a post a couple days ago, my niece is getting married.
So you won't be hearing from me during the next few days.
I don't get back until late Sunday.
Not sure I like traveling on St. Paddy's day,
But I really can't complain. lol

Be expecting a post on Monday with some fun Cali pics.
Have I mentioned I am SOOO excited. :)


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Research projects and Spring Break WOO HOO!!!

Where has the past week gone??
I have been MIA again and besides being super busy with work and preparing for Vacay, I really don't have a good excuse. lol

So one of my big projects this past week had to do with compiling resources for my teachers on research projects.
They are working on standards RI5.4, RI5.7 and RI5.9
These standards include:
*  Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to agrade 5 topic or subject area
*  Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
*  Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Thus the research project...

Where a curve ball comes into play is incorporating the writing piece into this.
Our district has adopted Matt Glover's philosophy on writing workshop.
Do you know who Matt Glover is?
He is a truly inspirational presenter.
My teachers who were lucky enough to listen to him present left truly inspired to make changes to what they were currently doing.
I left completely missing teaching writing workshop.
Below is a screen shot of the book some of my K-1 teachers are reading.

To briefly sum up Matt Glover's philosphy, I have include a blurb from the Heinemann website.
Click on the image below to get more information.

In Engaging Young Writers, Matt Glover (coauthor of Already Ready) presents ways to encourage students to pick up the pen and share their remarkable thinking. With multiple entry points for writers, he helps you match your teaching to children’s individual interests and patterns of learning. Glover shows how you can:
  • nudge writers into action through meaning, choice, and purpose
  • invite preschool children to write through conversation and invite primary students through units of study
  • spark imaginative writing through read-aloud and dramatic play
  • inspire kids to write stories from personal experiences
  • give students the chance to share their passions and interests through nonfiction writing.
Engaging Young Writers features teaching tested in real classrooms and the student samples to back it up. Glover takes special care to address how his ideas can be applied to the unique developmental needs of writers in preschool, kindergarten, and grade one.
Inside every child is a writer. Inside you is the desire to give children a great start. Inside Engaging Young Writers is the teaching to help you create that wonderful moment when your students decide to become the writer within.

With that philosophy in mind, as well as how strongly Matt Glover feels about providing the students with a vision of what they are writing through exposure to mentor texts, research projects just got trickier.

Matt believes that if you are asking children to write something, you need to provide them with a vision of what the final project looks like.
For instance, if I want my students to write a narrative, then I spend the first 2-3 immersing them into what good narratives look and sound like.
During this immersion, I would read them a variety of published narratives giving them exposure to what the end product would look like.
So if I am reading picture books, then my students will be writing picture books.

This is where research reports get tricky.
Matt Glover himself says that you can't find a "stack" of research reports because that is not what published authors write.

So the task is what vision can we provide our students for their end product of a research report?

One group of 5th grade teachers is doing state projects.
The students get to choose a state to research.
That sounds easy enough...
Travel Brochures

Another group of 5th grade teachers are allowing the children to have complete choice (which is another part of Matt Glover's philosophy).
They are to write about something they have questions about or a problem situation.
I am absolutely behind giving them choice.
If I was in the classroom, I would leave it open to them also.
The problem lies in the vision we provide them with...
What mentor texts do we put into our "stacks"?

At this point, we are going with writing nonfiction books which would mean exposing them into a variety of styles.
We had a difficult time coming up with a vision.
Do you all have any suggestions?

Okay... Enough with school talk. lol
I am on SPRING BREAK!!!!!!!!!

I leave Wednesday morning for Temecula, California.
Have you ever been there?

Wednesday and Thursday are mostly relaxing and enjoying the beautiful area.
We also will be helping out with my niece's wedding craziness prep some during those two days. lol
Friday and Saturday will be wedding fun!

Below is a screen shot of where Temecula is located.
Be prepared for some more exciting photos upon return! :)

The weather is suppose to be high 70's/low 80's!

What are your plans for spring break?

Antoinette :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March Currently!!!

After working for only 3 days last week (due to snow days) I have been exhausted.  You would have thought the week was much longer than that.  We had school Monday, snow days Tuesday and Wednesday, and work Thursday and Friday.
Why was I so stinking tired then?!?!

This weekend has been quite busy as well spending some time with the fam!
Hung out with my little niece, Marie, on Friday and we spend a good portion of the evening dancing! :)
Here's a pic of her...

Have a cute pic of her and I to share.
It's kind of dark, but cute nonetheless...

And hung out with my other nieces last night.
Audrey got ahold of my phone and took a few pics of herself.
Thought I'd share one... lol

Always love Farley's currently.  Wish we would have completed it Friday though.
If you are one of the few who haven't checked it out, click on the image below to go to Farley's amazing blog.

My responses will be in green (I LOVE March and St. Paddy's Day) and Emily's responses will be in dark green. (Great minds think alike...)

I am being such a bum and still in bed.  So at this point, I am listening to absolutely nothing. Silence is golden as they say!!

I have been working on losing weight since August.
I have some highs and lows, but have lost 38 pounds and am SOOO excited!

I am in TOTAL agreement with Farley.
Spring break should be longer!
Especially since I am traveling to California for a wedding during that short week.

The wedding in California would be the reason I would love to lose 10 more pounds by spring break.
I know it is wishful thinking but if I set my goal high, I will lose more.
At least that's what I am thinking.

So if I worked out more often, I might be more likely to achieve that goal. ;)

Now for my Like, Love, Hate...
This was hard to do when thinking about the letter A.

I started with attitudes...
When we hear the word attitudes, our minds usually go toward negative ones.
But I like the positive ones!!!
My focus has been positivity and I am totally liking those who contribute positively to that goal.

Yesterday I tried on possible dresses to wear to both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.
So I went with attire...
I am LOVING the way these dresses, which I've had for years but haven't fit, are looking on me.
It feels amazing being 38 pounds smaller.
I have my attire for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding and didn't have to buy them.
I do need to buy some accessories but that is so much cheaper than a entire outfit!

I really hate the word hate but that doesn't start with an A. lol
I went with aging... 
I am really starting to see it in my face.
I found some pics of me from years before and thought "WOW, how young my face looked."
I have been checking out many different anti-aging products but haven't found any I love yet.
Any suggestions for me?

Well it's time to hand this off to Emily!  Miss you, girl!!!
I love me some Pete Yorn! (Ok, that sentence only makes sense to my sister and one of my best friends, but it is totally true.)  
Have seen him in concert several times.  If you are interested, on the above album my favorite song in "Closet."

We recently had several snow days, thanks to two snow storms that delivered 15 total inches of snow.  Boy I needed those!  They let me get caught up on grading.  And my 30th birthday is this month.  Loving my birthday, not necessarily the number!

There is one week (5 school days) until Spring Break.  Hubby and I will be spending it in Charleston, SC.  (Happy bday to me!)  
I  can't wait! 
Walking on the beach, looking at old houses, and Southern cooking!! 

Before we leave I have to finish my latest grad school assignment, implement and collect data on a strategy used with a student who has ASD, for the purposes of adjusting their IEP or 504. (Riveting, right?)  I am getting my Masters in Autism Spectrum Disorders.  I am half way through my degree, and I have learned SO MUCH.  
But I will be glad when I have my degree, and my free time back. :)

Now my 3 words:
(BTW, Farley this was a bit of a challenge.  With a name like Emily, I had to think about this one!)

I like being an erudite.    It means showing great knowledge and learning.  (Yes Antoinette, I had to look that one up!)  -FYI for readers, Antoinette and I always talk about the vocabulary I use in conversation.  It is apparently very extensive. :)

I love eating!  With my upcoming Spring Break trip, I have already looked up restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Thanks, Guy Fieri! 
Though I love eating, I HATE eggs.  It's a texture and a taste thing.  No egg scrambles for me!  As my mom used to say, "Good.  That just leaves more for people who like it."  
Eggs, you can have them.

What are your plans for this month?  We are entering our last quarter after Spring Break.  Where has the time gone?

If you get the chance link up to Farley's Currently, we are only number 311!  (Funny, I love that band, too.)

Antoinette & EmilyK