Monday, February 2

February Currently

So I missed out on January's fun but I am back and only a few days late for February.

Listening: Oh you know just enjoying one of my favorite shows on Netflix. Love it is so easy to watch!

Loving: I have started to focus more on my dreams and believing it all is possible. My mindset and everything else has started to change and right now everything seems pretty great. 

Thinking: What books should I read? Do you have any good suggestions? One of my goals is to read two books a month- one for fun and one for my own personal development.  Also here in Northern Michigan we could use some more snow. 

Wanting: SNOW!! I am a winter lover. 

Needing: Time to do all I want to do. 

Pageant Title: This goes right along with my needing. 

Happy February to all!!

Friday, January 9

Five For Friday- First of 2015

Yeah for being back in a routine!! Seriously this break was all over the place I felt like it was Saturday for over two weeks. Break was much needed but I was glad to see my students on Tuesday. 

I have taken a serious approach to reaching some of my goals. One of them is getting back into fitness and helping others do that. I have started my first step starting my own blog- 

Go check it out if fitness both being physically fit and happy is important to you. 

We officially get to start our Global Studies project next week. I am so excited to embrace all things Australian. This lets me secretly relive my study abroad trip. Plus I know my students will love learning about the animals, the crazy dangers, and building our own coral reef. I'm thinking big here!
TBT to my study abroad trip to teach in Australia for a few weeks. Such a great experience!

Nearly finishing our parent Christmas gifts. Three snow days this week put a kink in this plan.

Winter has officially arrived here! Yes it is brutally cold, but it is also beautiful. As the temperature warms to the double digits next week we will finally get to enjoy it. Skiing anyone?

Tuesday, December 2

To Italy and Back Today...Travel Tips for Holidays Around the World

We started our Holiday Around the World travels today. I honestly don't know who was more excited me or the students.

The morning started with them finishing decorating their suitcases. It was awesome hearing them walk in already talking and wanting to show their parents their suitcases.

Here they are hard at work

I really like to use videos to help give the students a better understanding of the place. Here are a few that were helpful and the students enjoyed.

This is told from a child's perspective about the differences between Santa Claus and Befana. Also has good views of the markets. Some of it is in Italian, but there are subtitles so it is easy to understand. This was my students' favorite! 

This shows many different images from Italy. It would be a good one to use to compare their decorations to ours. 

A longer video but does explain more about the markets and shows what is special about different cities. I would have definitely used this video with my third and fourth graders last year if I had known about it. 

Also I was grocery shopping tonight and saw that Meijer (the Michigan's largest grocery chain) had panettone- the popular Italian sweet bread at the holiday for sale. If I didn't have food allergies we would be enjoying that tomorrow. So be on the lookout as it might be at your grocery store.

Now I have to go shop before the TpT cyber sale is over. Praying I don't forget to use the code like I have in the past.

Monday, December 1

December Currently

Glad we have finally reached December since it has felt like it here for a few weeks already. Gotta love Northern Michigan weather. Here is how beautiful our school looked last week.


But it is time for Farley's Currently...
Listening: I just read As You Wish by Cary Elwes. It is a must for anyone who can quote most of The Princess Bride. I had to rewatch it and see if I noticed some of the things they were talking about. 

Loving: I love winter and Christmas movies. The fact I get to enjoy both right now makes me happy.

Thinking: There is a lot going on right now and I keep worrying about it all. I need to stop thinking the worst scenarios and just accept what will be. 

Wanting: This goes with what I am worrying. Teleporting abilities and health of everyone are what I want the most. 

Needing: I experienced my first complete blinding and painful migraine yesterday. I have had both parts separately but never together. Still going on today.

Giving: First I am giving away two copies of my newest Holiday Suitcase to the first two people to comment. 

With everything going on, don't forget to enjoy it. Life is short so helping to make it a better place as we do as teachers is quite something. So thank you!

And with that time to go shopping! Happy shopping for all!

Friday, November 28

Essentials for Holiday Around the World Traveling

After teaching Christmas or Holiday Around the World for the past few years, I decided I needed a better option for students to keep all their maps, passports, fact sheets, pictures, project and project pieces in.  Folders didn't work. The scrapbook approach didn't work when I started projects. That and I wanted a passport that was authentic looking.

So I made exactly what I wanted. 

A suitcase and my authentic like passport

Pack my suitcase? (Any other Home Alone fans read this sentence in a Macaulay Culkin's voice?)

Why yes! 

I have included photo and step-by-step directions for each part of the suitcase you and your students will create. 
Passport pages
World Map
Country and continent stamps to use for passport or suitcase
Luggage Tags
Pattern templates for suitcase pieces
Extra stamps to decorate suitcase with

Here are what the directions look like. 

Here is a preview for the packet. Click here to check it out. 

We will be busy making and packing our suitcases on Monday. Can't wait to see how students personalize theirs.  
Happy and safe travels on your Holidays around the World!

Saturday, November 22

Do You Wanna Build A ....?

An island
A marble run
A bridge
A house for the frogs
A museum

Yes, building has become a daily part of our day. Actually it is how we start our day. Yes I am probably crazy for doing this. Especially since I much prefer the little or no chaos to any chaos, but I have started to let go a little bit and I am enjoying it more and more. I'll admit sometimes it is the highlight of my day.

The favorite building materials. Something I can best describe as a treehouse. 

The attribute pattern blocks. Students decided they were easier to use when sorted.
Also rulers, yard sticks, and wooden blocks have been used plenty. 

I have done the traditional or more popular morning approaches with morning work. Each year it is a little different with sentence work or math exercises. I tried the no morning task approach too where students got to come in and socialize. It had its up and downs.

This year I start with morning work yet not in the traditional sense. Some days it is getting a head start on an art project I know we won't have time to completely finish. Another day it might be choose a spot to read when we get new books in the room. Another day it might be make as many words as you can out of a larger word. Another write sentences about a recent event to put on our class blog. Then after since I have such a difference between when students can be 45 minute difference...I give them three options everyday- read, work on their journals, or build. Build is again and again the most popular option and I am loving the result.

Why chose build?
It lets students be creative and problem solve with each other.
It provides a daily opportunity for students to work as a group. They come up with the task and the process.
It is student led.
I have a class with many who like to be leaders. It helps give students the opportunity to lead and follow.
It creates problems but also opportunities to talk them out and figure out different solutions.

Here are some of our more recent creations.

Both of these are islands. Just within these building processes there had to be a solution to where to use the dark blue pieces (It is where the deep water is. They figured out deep water is not always far from shore). 
They had to figure out the best place to put a house, how to do it, and who was going to do it.
They had to decide if there was going to be a bridge and where to put it to connect to another island.

As a teacher I love watching this daily process. I'm always amazed at what students come up with. 

Happy Building! 

Saturday, November 15

Five For Fraturday

I finally made it to this party. 
It seems like one extremely crazy week, but I have 5 things that stick out.

It was our 50th day of school on Wednesday. We looked at the toys and clothes from back then. We used lincoln logs and legos for math that day. We learned the hand jive. We tried root beer floats. I was amazed how many of them have never had tried root beer before. My favorite of the day was having my students do this:
well, not sit and watch a movie, but the fact I introduced them to I Love Lucy and Harpo Marx. We talked about how TV shows are so much different today. 

Favorite quote was "Are we watching the one where Lucy thinks she is going to get murdered?" Ahh, a kid who knows what good TV is. 

Parent teacher conferences are over with great success! As much as I can dread them at times they are so helpful.

Since I had some long gaps between my conferences I had time to completely prep for the week. I got my new reader theater's all highlighted too.

These are from my latest packet. 

IT SNOWED!! More is coming. I love snow. It makes everything so pretty and makes it feel like the holidays. I am one Michigander that has no complaints about the snow, even in May it is an adventure.
View of our playground

View from my house. Sorry for the screen effect.

I know it is hunting season or at least rifle season here. It is a huge deal. This year was the first time I have ever gone out bow hunting. I loved it. Didn't manage to get anything yet. Here was the view last night from the blind. Can you tell it has a bit cold here?

Happy Weekend!