Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Introducing What's the theme? Wednesday

Teaching theme has inspired a new linky party!

Each week we will be hosting a link up to a new theme!

To start our first week:
So I probably should explain the way I book shop.  I love... LoVe... LOVE books.
In high school, I used to work at the library.
So when I go shopping for books, I go with a completely open mind.
My first goal is to find a great book.  Then figure out what I am going to do with the book.
I look at lists online, but there are SO many books that never get the recognition that they deserve, so I don't solely rely on those lists.
That being said, some of the books you will see in this post are ones you might expect.  Others are just ones myself or other teachers found.

The first theme is A Place in This World.

A book to talk about how where you are from helps you to be who you are.

A book that shows that even the homeless have a place they consider home.

A book that shows that the place we most want to be is determined by the important people in our lives.

A book that says, "There is no place like home."

A book that shows sometimes a character has to find a journey to know where they belong.

A book about another adventurous animal!

Now it's time for you to join in on the fun.

Do you have a book that would fit this theme?

EmilyK & Antoinette

Next week: Theme Family

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veteran's Day (The Redux)

Last year, I posted my Veteran's Day lesson here.

This year, I have a new spin on this lesson.

I still plan to read America's White Table with my class and make a rememberance table.

After we finish reading the book, I am going to ask them to write.

They can write to an active duty service person.  I will send them to

Or, they can write about a veteran in their family.

How are you teaching about veterans?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Workshop Wednesday... a little late

I am linking up with Jivey's blog.

This week's topic is fractions.
Love 'em or hate 'em, the kids have to learn 'em!

Teaching 5th grade there are two challenges with fractions.
They don't have concepts for small fractional parts and there are a lot of rules/ processes.

I came up with the most ingenious idea.

What if I could replicate the thinking process for each problem with a generic flow chart!

Click here to get a Goole doc version.

This chart is meant ONLY to address the adding and subtracting process.
It assumes the students already know about equivalent fractions.
It doesn't talk about simplifying fractions.  (That's a 'whole 'nother beast' as the saying goes.)

I know this isn't a pretty version but it is doing the trick for my kids.
One student who has struggled for days told me today, "Fractions are easy."

Great!  I didn't want them to be difficult!


Monday, November 4, 2013

My Schedule: A linky

So, I am supposed to be entering math test grades, but I would rather be blogging!

TGIF (Thank Goodness It's First Grade) is hosting this linky party.
It is amazing to see how schedule differ!

My schedule:

9-9:15 Morning Work/ Student arrival from breakfast

9:20-10:25 Math
                  Mini lesson  & 3 rotations: teacher, independent work, and fact/technology practice

10:30-11:30 Reading Workshop
                  Mini lesson, Independent work time, & Share time

11:35-12:00 Lunch
                   No teacher in my district has lunch duty, thanks to our teacher contract.
                  25 mins is short for elementary lunches.  Our classes are staggered every 5 mins, so the kids    
                  don't have to wait in line.

12:00-12:45 Science or Social Studies  (These rotate by units.)

12:45-1:45 Specials
                   Monday: PE & Health
                   Tuesday: Computer lab & Music
                   Wednesday: PE & Computer lab   (Teachers in Professional Learning Team meetings
                   through the whole hour
                   Thursday: Art
                   Friday: Music & Counselor/Library Research (This is every other week.)
                   All specials are covered by certified teachers.

1:50-2:20 Recess
                  My school has 2 clerks that cover all lunch periods and then recesses.
                  There are 5 teachers in my grade level, that's around 140 students out at recess.
                  (I know it sounds crazy, but it really is awesome.)
                  Coverage is 1 adult:30 kids, which means each teacher only has recess 1 day a week!!

2:20-2:50 Guided Reading/ Word Study
                  We use Words Their Way to teach spelling and vocabulary.

2:50-3:55 Writing Workshop
                 Mini lesson, independent work, share time

3:55-4:10 Pack up and Read Aloud

We are a "late start" school, so we have are contractually there, 8:50-4:25.

On Thursdays, my district has a 30 min. early release each week for teacher professional development.  Once a month, my school has a staff meeting that extends the early release time to 5:20pm.  (I know CRAZY, right?!)

Also, my school is 2-5 and our partner school is K-1.  This means the dismissal time takes a bit longer, since the buses have to go to two schools to pick up kids.  Teachers worked last year to stream line dismissal, so we could get out of school at the end of the contract time.

What is your schedule like?


Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Currently

Ok, we admit it.  This school year has been a busy one.
We are have been researching, planning, assessing, and analyzing so much this year that it seems there is no time to share with all of you.
We hope you understand!

In spite of our busy work lives, we would never miss a chance to link up with Farley for her monthly Currently!

So check out our Currently and click on the cute turkey below to head over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade to check out others as well.
 November Currently at Oh Boy Fourth Grade

Emily's Currently is in brown.
Antoinette's Currently is in orange.

Ok.  I admit it.  I love that ABC Family shows movies.  Many of them remind me of my childhood.  

This week, I am loving the Kauffman Performing Arts Center in Kansas City.
As part of the symphony series they are hosting a couple of Screenland at the Symphony shows.
On Halloween it was 
They had a guest organist that played the massive pipe organ during the whole movie.  It was PHENOMENAL! 

Now I can't wait for 
That's right... the symphony live, playing during the film, with Judy Garland recorded vocals.  
It's not until next year, but hubby already bought the tickets for our (near) Valentine's Day date.

I am by nature not a monthly goal setter.  I am trying to change that.  My goal this month is to walk a mile each day for exercise.  This might not sound like much, but as a few of you might remember, I had an ankle surgery one year ago.  I did extensive physical therapy and now it's up to me to keep this ankle going.  Each day I will walk a continuous mile in my own shoes.  

Landscaping projects are very weather dependent in my neck of the woods.  Hubby and I need to build a flower bed and fill it with dirt.  We also have 3 tons of rock we got for FREE that need to be put on top of a couple flower beds.  
Hope for some rain free weekends!

This time of year, I LOVE soups and I LOVE using my crock pot, hence my yummy pin recommendation.
click on the pic for the recipe
Easy ingredients, Italian flavors, and topped with cheese.  All of this is a plus for me!

Now it's time to hear from my Indian food loving co-blogger Antoinette.
I do love Indian food and it provides Emily and I the opportunity to get together every once and awhile.  We had the Friday before last off and so we met up in my neck of the woods (south of the river) and went to my favorite Indian restaurant.
It had been so long since I had been there.
They've painted the place and the owner commented on not seeing me in awhile.
Yes I am usually a regular! :)

For a little over a year now, they have been building "something" across the street from me.
So every morning, at 7:15, I hear it...
On weekdays it is no biggie because I am already up by that point.
But on the weekends....

So those of you who are use to my currently posts know that I always write in blue.
At least for quite some time now.
That's because I LOVE ME SOME KC ROYALS!!!
My boys and blue had a great season... for us at least.
We haven't been above .500 in over 10 years.
But this past season we were AND we actually had hope of getting into the playoffs.
Well... the season is over.
So happy the Red Sox won the series.
I digress... lol
I chose orange for my color because I LOVE FALL.
The colors of the leaves are absolutely amazing this year.
This is a pic from outside a building where I was in training this week!

I feel like looking at all the colors of the leaves on the trees is kind of like looking at Christmas lights in December.

Lots of OHH look at that one and those colors are gorgeous.

It's almost a driving hazard, lol.

My thinking, wanting, and needing are all really kind of linked.

THINKING weekends should be longer because I am NEEDING more time to clean my apartment amongst MANY, MANY other things.

So I am WANTING my apartment to clean itself.
Any chances???
Didn't think so!

For those of you who follow Emily and I, you probably know I have been on a weight loss journey.
Well the last month has been quite difficult for me.
At my lowest, I had lost 75lbs.
Unfortunately, I am up about 6 right now.
But... I went shopping last night...
And bought this little (literally) black dress.
I was so excited.
I picked up a medium and a large.
Tried the medium first...

Please ignore the jeans at my ankles.
I was being lazy. lol

So... for my yummy pin...
I decided to go with a healthy recipe.
There are so many healthy recipes that are super yummy.
I make chili and stuffed peppers that are quite good.
I am playing around with a curry recipe using Greek yogurt.
It's still in the works but is getting there. lol
I found a healthy fall site and decided to go there.
It had beautiful fall trees in the photo so I had to. lol

 Healthy fall recipes from Pinterest

Then I found a sweet potato fries recipe.
Love me some sweet potatoes.
I have tried making these a few different ways.
I haven't made this exact recipe but I have tried cumin on them.
LOVE cumin.
If you don't, there are tons of recipes without them.
A good friend of mine gave me the idea of cooking them briefly in boiling water so they are light and fluffy on the inside.
That helped a lot, I think!

 Mexican style sweet potato fries from pinterest

We hope you enjoyed our Currently and got some yummy recipe ideas from us.

We also hope that our crazy lives will slow down and that we can re-enter the world of blogging.

Happy Fall!!!

Antoinette and EmilyK