Friday, May 29, 2015

Writing Reflection

Do you ever look at something you've done and think, hmmm, that was pretty good. 

I've done some classroom books -- I got the idea from Tammy at Forever in First. She does all kinds of different class books -- telling time, Elf on the Shelf, Reading Makes Me Feel Good --- etc. etc. {You should thank me for this link - Tammy really likes writing and has like 90 posts with that label!!!} And at the end of the year, she gives away the books to the kids. 

She started me on a journey of class books -- and the kids do like them! I don't bind mine and at the end of the year, I sort out each students' pages and make them their own book of their own writing for the year. 

While I was sorting through the writing, I realized I had done some good things.

Nonfiction writing:

Well, apparently I didn't snap a pic of any of the actual writing - 
What I had the kids do is research an animal and write about it. I think they had to have four facts. Then {because we had just finished studying text and graphic features} I had them draw a picture of their animal and label it - I think I asked them to use 4 labels. The first two are actually by the same girl. As I was looking through these as I was putting them in their individual books, I kept thinking what a nice job they had all done. 

Narrative writing - some small event that happened to them.

 Although this girl's wasn't a small moment - it was when her step-dad proposed to her mom. Very special story. 

We also did some writing on the computer, using powerpoint. I am very disappointed in Microsoft -- they've changed the way they do their clip art and it is not as kid friendly as before. 

I had kids review books they read. This didn't go as well as I had hoped. I need to figure out a way to tweak it. 

I also had an end of the year writing project where they wrote about a book that they liked. No pics on that, either. 

I'm happy about these writing samples -- and it helps my end-of-the-year discouragement, thinking we didn't get much done. Yes, we did! 

So I'm doing a bit of reflecting and reminding myself of the good things that happened. Next year, we are using Empowering Writers, which will be more structured than what I've been doing. I haven't looked at it yet, but I'm excited about it. 

I'm so enjoying my first week of summer. It has been cool and rained several nights. My part of Kansas has certainly needed it. Happy Friday to you!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Last Day 2015

Yep, that's me in my Happy Last Day of School shirt -- with a long sleeve shirt underneath, and a hoodie in my hand.  I even took my lighter winter coat! Brrr, it was cold outside. 

But God was good to us -- it rained on Tuesday, A Lot! And in this drought ridden area of the country, you just don't like to say, no thanks, God. But no rain on Wednesday and Thursday was our last day, and no rain. {And it drizzled all day Friday.} Our PE teacher plans a whole bunch of outdoor activities - and the kids rotate around every 15 minutes. It is a nice way to end the year. 

I actually think the cooler weather was good, because my little friends weren't fighting and fussing like they sometimes do on the last day. 

The last full week, I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to this group of kiddos. And then Monday, yep -- we're done. LOL. 

We had our 2nd grade Fun Day on Tuesday -- indoors, because of all that rain. And it was nice and fun. And we had a movie day on Wednesday -- and that was nice and fun. And Thursday -- I told them it was my fun day, too, and it was. 

I gave everybody a book on Wednesday:

Thank you Scholastic -- they make it fairly easy for a teacher to get enough books that everyone in the class can not only get one, but get one they really want.

And now, hub-bub and I are off to College Town to see College Girl, who will turn 21 on Monday. What? How did that happen!!! She's turned out to be a good one, so I guess it's ok. :)

And then, hopefully, some sleep! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Are you shopping???
TpT is having one of their big sales today and tomorrow. I have a couple things I'm thinking about getting, but I don't usually buy too much. 

I do want to tell you about one thing --

Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching (eBook)

I just bought this book by Angela Watson -- she blogs at The Cornerstone. She really encourages teachers to remain positive and to remember why they are doing what they are doing. 

I hate to admit it, but I feel like I often see the cup as half empty in a lot of situations. This book, I think, has some good, concrete suggestions to help overcome that. And it's only $4.79 at TpT - plus you would get to also subtract some more when you use the site wide discount.  

I bought my book a couple weeks ago, and it has been terrific for the end of the year yucks that sometimes happen. 

I'm not getting reimburse in any way for this -- it's just something that has helped me, and I thought some of you might be interested. 

Happy Shopping -- if that's your thing!