Friday, May 31, 2013

Five for Friday, Big News and My June Goals

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday for the first time! Of course I've seen lots of others link up before, but I've just never had 5 things to talk about before I guess!

So, here we go with #1!

We've been popping a balloon each day with a couple of surprises inside for the next day. This week we had a PJ day, a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament, played some minute to win it games, wrote thank you notes to support staff, had lunch outside, made balloon rockets, and a few other fun things. The kids are excited, and popping a balloon before we leave each day requires "excellent behavior" for that day.

And, #2!

My kids having been wrapping up what I call their "Personal Passion Projects." It's our multi-genre culminating writing project. I have the kids pick a "people problem" and then make a 'zine about their topic. They have time to research and complete control over the topic as long as it is a "people problem." They make some pretty killer end-products, and their presentations about their 'zines are usually pretty awesome too. My kids this year have chosen topics like dog fighting, breast cancer, frakking, modern slave labor, etc. 

Here's a freebie copy of the rubric I give them. Most of the kids are so excited about their topic that they go overboard and work on it at home as much as at school!


A Bird in Hand Blog Design
I decided to take this ol' blog up a notch! I have been pretty proud of my patchwork self-made blog design that I've had going on here for the last couple months, but I think it is time for an upgrade! So I've sought the help of A Bird in Hand Blog Designs! Many of my favorite blogs have been designed by her, so I'm going to challenge her with designing a blog for a man (who's only kind of manly) that teaches elementary! I'm on the list for an upgrade in mid-June! I can hardly wait!

A linky within a linky for #4!

I'm linking up with I {heart} Recess for her June Goals linky!
Here are my goals!

And the BIG one for #5!

An opening appeared in our school for an intermediate teacher, and I put in my request for it a while back. My principal has honored my request to change grade levels! 

I'll be moving to a 3rd and 4th grade multi-age class next year! I got to meet next year's 3rd graders today!

Before moving to 5th grade last year to fill the spot of a teacher who moved, I had previously taught K, 1st and 2nd for the previous ten years. 5th grade has its charms, but my heart is with the younger grades. I think 3/4 will be a really great fit for me and the science and social studies units we teach in intermediate here are awesome. The units change every other year. Next year we'll be teaching Africa, Japan and Festival of the Arts for Social Studies. Ecosystems, Air/Weather/Aviation, and Energy and Electricity will make up Science! I taught a Japan unit for years in GA as part of 2nd grade and I think it is probably my favorite unit ever.

I am beyond excited about the move. Learning two grade levels worth of curriculum and teaching two grades at the same time will be interesting, but I taught a 1st/2nd multi-age class for the 5 years before I moved to 5th so I know I can handle it. 

So now I need to go find about a hundred boxes to pack up my classroom, AND I get to dig through my spare bedroom and pick out all of the things from my 2nd grade boxes that I think I will be able to use with my thirdies! 

So, any exciting changes coming for the rest of you out there?


  1. I *LOVE* the balloon idea - that must be so motivating for your students!

    I had my blog re-designed by Megan and she is AWESOME! You're going to love working with her.

    Wow - exciting news! I think you're brave for teaching a split-level class :) Have fun prepping and organizing!

    Joy in the Journey

  2. Hooray for a new design coming! You'll love Megan's work. :) and I'm so excited to hear your official news! ;-)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  3. Congrats on 20lbs! I just put your Wonder Pack on my Wish List! Good luck on the spilt level class, our state will be going to this in the next couple of years.


  4. Wow- I love the balloon idea, too! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  5. Good luck with all of your June goals, Nick, especially the DIY home items... right there with you! I am astounded by all the grade changes you have made in your teaching career... also a bit envious, just a bit! I've taught sixth grade for 32 years and will be doing it again next year.

    The Teacher's Desk

  6. So glad you stopped over to our blog so that I could discover yours! I really enjoyed reading your post. Congrats on your request being granted to move grade levels. Change is good--I believe... Also, reading about your kids' passion projects makes me long a bit for my fifth grade days(taught for many moons). It sounds to me like kids will be fortunate wherever you go... :0)

    Thanks again for stopping over, and I look forward to seeing your new blog design (although I really like the one you have now)!

    All the best--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers


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