Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I have no pictures, so no Wordless Wednesday for me.

And Curious Firsties hasn't has a Wednesday Wow in a while.

What's a girl to do?

You'll get a Wow...

I think I am a good teacher. I am learning to differentiate my instruction. I am working on using informal formative assessments to guide my lessons. I read blogs, and books about teaching/ideas and get loads of ideas to try (often the next day--who can wait until next year?). I hash over many subjects, strategies, and situations with my fabulous team of teachers.

But still.

I do not do well with creating HOW I'm going to teach something, unless I can piggyback off of some other awesome teacher, or have a guide of someone's idea (aka: a basal) and do another piggyback.

Moving on.

Place value. My students struggled so much with this last year. Because I didn't have a good way of teaching it.

Not this year!!

So happy to have found Engage New York. My teamie and I have been using the lessons (that are free and CC aligned) and have seen such a dramatic difference of what our students can do this year.

Time out for a Happy Dance. Go ahead--it is fun.

Module 4 has so many good lessons for teaching place value and comparing numbers. 

On Monday I had a list of 11 kids that raised their hands, that they just aren't sure they "got" our lesson. Today those same kids were shouting during our guided practice--"I GET IT!"

No kidding. Shouting. And I didn't stop them. I just handed out "roller coaster whoooos" like they were smiles.

I totally cannot wait to build on this tomorrow.

Wow, place value does not have to suck.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Field Trip Day

What is the best way to start a fresh/new week of school?

Greet the kids, keep coats on (it snowed last night) and board a bus. Travel 2 miles to a farm and spend 1.5 hours in the great outdoors.

It was fantastic, really.

First stop--silage.

Next stop--the tractor takes the silage to the cows and it is delivered to the bunk.

Beautiful cows.

Learning from Mr. Williams.

The babies. Didn't get a close look, though.

Mr. Williams' brand. Look at the brown cow's right hip, you can see part of the brand.

Inside the shop.

Remember, it snowed last night? Well, it was cold and super windy. I will leave you with a selfie.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday (4-11-14)

Sitting here on a Friday night. Thinking about the great activities of the week.

Being a parent is a reflective job.

Being a teacher is a reflective job.

Being a person is a reflective job.

Let's reflect!

1. I have two wonderful sons. My older son is deep into middle school fun. This week his Scholar's Bowl team took first place in the league meet. Our family went to support him. To learn what happens in this type of activity. And to see if we knew any of the answers. Our selfie with congratulatory smiles:

And his second track meet of this season. He recorded personal bests in the 3200 meter run (blue ribbon) and in the high jump (white ribbon). 

And now... On to the events of Friday evening...

2. The annual MCC Central States Relief Sale. Where we go eat a lot of food and the proceeds go to fund the good deeds of MCC. Dinner tonight was verenike and pluma moos.

3. Then, to see if a person can hold their food down--6 trips down the big slide. I'm told it's fun. Perhaps someday I will try it. For now my job is to get the picture.

4. More dessert. New Year's Cookies. We have eaten one each so far. Will there be any left by lunch tomorrow?

5. A picture that is very seldom taken. My husband and me.

I am linking this with Doodle Bugs Teaching, and will reflect some more on my wonderful life/family/friends/job/students... You get the picture. 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Reading Comprehension

It's a new party for me. Thanks Christina @ Sugar and Spice for hosting this fun linky!

I taught another comprehension strategy today: Read, Write, Talk.

Love it.

What is your favorite reading comprehension strategy to teach?

Now, hop over and view more fabulous pictures.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Five for Friday (April 3, 2014)

Welcome to the weekend my friends!

As every week--there is so much I could share! But let's talk about five things from today.

Thanks to Kacey @ Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting this fund party. Here are my five...


Last night I was pondering my class (while I was freezing at a track meet) and their TERRIBLE handwriting.

My first idea was sit them down with a sheet of paper and have them copy "The lazy, brown fox leapt swiftly over a log" or some such sentence. Boring and not at all relevant to our lives. Next...

Second idea: write letters to our pen pals in Ohio and require my worst writing offenders to sit at my table. Brilliant. They beg to write with pens, so this time I let them. I ended up making twice the copies of paper, because they messed up, couldn't erase, and I expected better. So they rewrote.

I am so pleased with the results and am excited to plop that big envelope in the mail tomorrow.


We spent the week learning and practicing making connections to our reading, so that we understand the text better. We used Meerkat the Connector from The Critter Cafe, and boy did we have fun. We read a lot of books and used this strategy (and Quincy the Questioner from last week) and wow, I'm impressed! Can't wait to do another critter next week. 


This just melts my heart. These two love to spend their recess with Eyore. And Eyore loves it too.


This young lady asked for math to do. I said, "Figure out if these equations are true or false, and create a chart to show me." She was so excited to do this and did a fantastic job.


We started working on our class project that will be auctioned off at the PTO carnival later this month. A wonderful PTO mom (whose son was in my class last year) came to our class this afternoon and led them in creating these. They could do anything they wanted, as long as it had a heart on it. She will staple them together, apply a sealant, and then it will be ready.

Well, time to link up and get back to movie night. Jurassic Park with my family.

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