Monday, March 18, 2013

Snowy Day and a Giveaway! (just for starters!)

So, the phone DID ring at 5:30 this morning. Aargh! In November or even early December I would have rolled back over with a faint smile on my face as I drifted back to sleep...not so much today.

I'm not a huge "prep for the test" kind of dude, so I really haven't deviated from my normal teaching methods at all so far this year. I do, however, think that if we are going to force our kids to take the tests we should equip them with some skills for doing so. In addition to all the cool things I wanted to do this week(Animal and Plant Cells, starting Wonder), I was also planning to introduce the 12 Powerful Words to the kids.

Not to mention, this snow day means that I need to spend the next hour or so adjusting my carefully laid plans for the week...sigh.

I did manage to get a little something done for 4th Grade Frolics' March Monday Made It though!

My kids earn "read beads" when they finish reading a book. I require them to read a minimum of 25 novels in the school year. The books have to be from a variety of genres. I got the idea from The Book Whisperer. The kids are well on their way to meeting their goals, so we're looking ahead to Spring and proudly displaying our beads in the hallway, with a handy key at the bottom so people can see which genre matches which color.

Sometimes the world works in mysterious ways. I woke up this morning annoyed, opened up my computer and found a couple of nice surprises! One, my blog had reached 28 followers! Two, I was a winner in another blogger's giveaway!

So, in celebration of busting through the 25 follower benchmark, I present to you the "The Dodecahedron (x2 +4) Leads the Way" Giveaway! Sticking with the numbers meet words theme of The Phantom Tollbooth, I'm giving away 250 Scholastic Book Club points. If you don't use the book clubs in your classroom, you should! I've literally built three classroom libraries using them.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was so excited to be a runner-up winner in Upper Grades are Awesome's recent giveaway! 

I'm excited to try out her Fortune Cookie Question Cards for Non-fiction 

Now, off to reschedule my school week, watch a marathon of Scrubs on Netflix and wait for my wife (who still had to go to work today!) to get home!


  1. I wish we had snow days here in our part of Arizona! Lucky you, you better buy a lottery ticket today!

    Love the reading beads idea! I'll have to pin that for next year!

    Thanks for the shout-out, and enjoy your prizes! Yay for giveaways!
    Upper Grades Are Awesome

  2. Nick, I LOVE your Branch Out to Different Genres display. I am going with an owl/forest theme for my classroom library next year and I am definitely going to use a variation of the tree for next year. It's going right into my 2103-2014 folder now. Thank you so much for sharing. ~Stacy @

  3. Love the read beads! Very cool!
    ideas by jivey

  4. Love the reading display, such a great idea.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I live in NE PA and found you the state blogger page. My blog page is almost ready. It will be called Reading and Loving It!

  6. I am praying for a snow day tomorrow - or at least a 2-hour delay! I long for that 530am phone call :) Unless, of course, it's to tell me that school is STILL on! I've had that happen a couple of times - dashes my hopes and makes me cranky :)

    I LOVE the reading beads idea. I have been hearing so many good things about The Book Whisperer - I will have to check it out!

    Joy in the Journey

  7. My first comment disappeared...congrats and I want to get back to school, too!

  8. Thanks everybody for the compliments on my read bead board! One thing I've noticed that the read beads help with on my end is letting me know how to expand my classroom library. For instance, at a glance I noticed that hardly any of my kids were reading mysteries. I started looking through my classroom library (it's h-u-g-e by the way) and realized I really only had a few good choices at the different reading levels. Definitely helped guide my point spending on my next book order.

    And for upper elementary, The Book Whisperer is a great read!

  9. We had a snow day here in MA, too. We're also prepping for state testing- ugh! Hopefully this winter is over soon. I'm ready for warm weather!

    Love that bulletin board- it's great! Definitely putting that on my to do list.

    Caffeine and Lesson Plans


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