Friday, March 15, 2013

Crazy Week and just getting crazier

Because the writing assessment had to be done this week a lot of other things got pushed aside. Somehow I did manage to get a lot done this week though! First of all, we managed to finish our reading of Toliver's Secret today. 

For those that haven't read it, Ellen is a young girl tasked with secretly delivering a message hidden in a loaf of bread to the Patriots in a nearby town. She is forced to cut her hair and dress as a boy in order to make the journey. The simple trip becomes more complicated than it was supposed to be, and Ellen is forced to overcome her fears and continue onward. It's a great tie-in for our American Revolution unit, and a great example of a strong female lead character.

As a way to get more exposure to historical fiction and cover some of our Social Studies curriculum during reading time I usually switch our read-aloud between a unit-related historical fiction and a high interest fiction. Now that we're done with Toliver, we can finally start Wonder! I've been chomping at the bit to start this book with this class. Next year it'll be the first book we read, because I think it will lend itself really well to building community. I'll be sure to update with some of the fun activities we do with the book. I'll be using my very own Wonder Novel Unit again! 

Now that we can stop worrying about formulaic writing practice, we are celebrating by beginning a 12 day Poetry mini-unit. We started today during our computer lab time by creating word clouds to use as the cover of the poetry anthology we will make. I have the students type words into the box on the website "stream of consciousness style" for about 5 minutes. They love the results.

During Math Workshop today my students had a lot of fun playing two of my math games at the independent stations. I am trying to let them practice a few of the skills we just haven't had time to really cover enough yet, but will likely be on the state standardized math test. It's just impossible to cover all of 5th grade by the time we take the test in early April!

The first is my "Variable Slap" game. They try to be the first to find the unknown value represented by the variable. They have to slap the card and say the answer to collect it. It was so fun to see them really get into the game.

I also had the kids play my "I have, who has...Fahrenheit Temperature" game. I have the kids play it in small groups by shuffling the cards, and dealing them out so that each player has 5 cards. (there are 25 cards in the game) They play until one player has used all of his/her cards. I've just added that game to my store today, just $2! 

It's hard to believe how much is coming up. My kiddos have their 5th grade Opera next Friday, we have Spring Parent Conferences the next week, then we have our big (and LONG, 5am to 9pm!) 5th grade trip to Philadelphia, and finally we have the dreaded Math and Reading state standardized tests the following week. Because of all the other things going on we only have 11 days of school before the state tests (and about 3 of those have big interruptions). It's crazy that we take them in April. There are still 2 more months of school to go after that! Sheesh, let me teach them before you test them!
Just one more day until my first giveaway ends! And the great news is that I'm almost to my first benchmark number of followers! As soon as I hit 25, I'll throw another giveaway! 

The college town I live in is basically unlivable this weekend (Woohoo St. Paddy's Day!), so I'll be holed up in my house with my wife watching tv, catching up on reading, and waiting on Spring to get here already! Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I found you through the Blogs by State linky. I live in Central PA too. Welcome to blogging. :)

    Read with Me ABC

    1. Thanks! I love that linky idea! And I love your blog as well! I'm one of your newest followers!


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