Friday, September 6, 2013

Just Keep Swimming {Five for Friday}

I'm trying just to keep my head above the water right now with all the new curriculum, new leadership, and new district mandates.

When I forget about all and actually teach I make the most impact! I'm enjoying my class this year and  staying positive about everything going well!

Here are five wonderful things from our week:

1. Books in the mail: 
I love love love getting snail mail! I love Amazon Prime shipping even more! It is like getting a present for yourself when you see a package on the door! My present to myself was a box full of wonderful books! I got Star of the Week, Interrupting Chicken, Lacey Walker Nonstop Talker, Wimberly Worried, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Happy Birthday, Mouse, and some other titles I can't remember. You can find tons of used and new books on Amazon on the cheap! 

2. Stay in line:
My kids were having a tough time finding their spot in line so I put numbers down on the floor to organize them a bit more. I used to do this when I taught Kinder but I haven't done it in a few years. My kids this year just need it though! The teddy bears are for the line leaders and door holders. 

3. Read to self: Keeping up with their stamina and reading for 13 minutes! I put some of my developing readers on RAZ kids. They are working hard to build their stamina but need more books they can read on their level which RAZ kids has!

4. Math centers: Learning how to "math talk" through games.
    They love math centers so much! I have differentiated their games. The two boys are playing a game called Blast off addition where you land on a star that gives you a sum and you have to come up with an addition problem. The three kids below them are a simple match the number to the number word and picture. 

5. Star student:
My kids picked our star student today. I told them a star student is someone who follows all the rules, goes above and beyond in class, is helpful, friendly, and kind to their classmates. I gave them some think time and our class list on the smart board so they could write down their answers on a sticky note. The kids think everyone should be a star but one person was voted for four times so she got to be the star of the week. I'll have the kids choose a different person each week to be the star!  I use Erica Bohrer's fabulous Star Student packet. My kids love being recognized and being a star! 

Have a beautiful weekend and take some time for your family and yourself! I heard some great news this week from a former parent who tried for 8 years to get pregnant again and finally did! More great news from a former colleague that tried for a long time and is 20 weeks pregnant! My current co-worker who has been trying for 3 years told me this week she is going to have a baby in May! I'm so excited for all three ladies! Miracles happen around us all the time we just have to look for them! 


  1. I know what you mean about keeping your head above water. Your kiddos look precious.

    Mrs. Tretbar’s Library

  2. I agree, there is nothing I love better than a packet from Amazon. It always feels like a treat!

    Your class looks adorable and very focused.

    I just found your blog through Five for Friday and I am happy to say I am your newest follower.

    Have a great weekend.

    Granny Goes to School

  3. I love all of the websites. My son used Razkids at home and at school. It was extremely motivating for him and I saw nice gains with his reading skills last year when he was in first grade.

    As a reading specialist, I use the fluency passages from readingatoz with my Grade 1-3 students. They practice the passages daily and when they hit the target rate, they move onto the next story. It's been extremely motivating for them and again, I've seen nice gains with their oral reading fluency. I love how the passages are leveled too. Do you have access to this feature as well?

    The Rungs of Reading

    1. I have access to RAZ kids and I can see their progress through the site. I don't have reading a to z though so I don't use the fluency passages. I love how the passages are leveled on RAZ kids though! I just put my kids at the level that correlates with their running reading records. They are very into it and motivated to read!

  4. I totally understand how you feel about Amazon deliveries! My two favorite things in the World - Amazon boxes and Scholastic boxes - Brimming with new books!

    1. I love Scholastic boxes too! Especially because they usually contain a deal or something free!

  5. I'm feeling the same way with the head above water's sad what the districts and state can do to a teacher:/ Haven't felt this stressed in a long's not good. Your classroom looks adorable:) My kiddos love math centers too! I am loving the student of the week idea....wonder how I can make that work for 4th.....hmmm:) Have a refreshing weekend:)

    4th Grade Frolics

    1. I'm guessing you are getting a lot of the same pressures being from Florida. I think a lot of has to do with they way the state,district, and even my admin deliver all these new mandates. They want us to teach in digestible bites but don't practice that themselves. It can be frustrating! I know many teacher who have taught for years and feel like they are back at year one just making it by every day! Hopefully things will slow down so we can just teach!

      I think you could incorporate a student of the week by character traits for older kids. We have character traits for each month like citizenship, trustworthy, perseverance, etc. You could teach a trait few a couple and then have the kids decide who best fulfill that trait. Then that student would be the student of the week and then start over again.

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!