Monday, September 3, 2012

Where Oh Where Have I Been....

Last week was our first full week of school.  I came home EVERY afternoon and worked my fanny off to get things ready for each day.  I'm not back into the routine yet, hope to be soon!  Our first few days were amazing!  I have been blessed with 24 kids who are respectful, creative, and are excited to be at school.  I am thrilled to have had such a good start.  We spent our first week doing many team building activities.  One of my favorites is "Save Fred."  I wish that I could remember where I saw this idea, but I've been doing it for the last four years and I have no idea where the original idea came from.  I know it is not mine though.  This activity fits in perfectly with my school's approach to learning.  We are a problem based school (very different than project based learning) and focus on building fluent thinkers.  Our curriculum is engineering based and this was the perfect activity to begin building those thinking skills.

This year we decided to try a new behavior incentive in 4th grade.  Our inspiration was Harry Potter.  We sorted our students into scientific laboratories.  Students gathered around the wheel of fate and anxiously awaited their lab.  Throughout the year, students earn tokens for their labs for creative thinking, respect, random acts of kindness, etc.  The lab with the most tokens at the end of the year will have an elaborate banquet. 

We chose Thomas Edison's lab at Menlo Park, George Washington Carver's lab at Tuskegee University, and Edwin Armstrong's lab at Columbia University.  To give students knowledge about each lab, we built non-fiction reading into our guided reading last week.  Students were given a biographical sketch about each scientist.  We broke it down paragraph by paragraph and chose the most important word in each paragraph.  Each word was written on a post-it note.  After we wrote all of the words down, students then used the words to create a summary of the text.  These summaries were published in Notes using our iPads.

I'm also linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade today for her Currently feature.  I love this little post each month.  I do apologize for my sloppiness.  I am totally being lazy today and did not feel like grabbing my  MAC or getting the stylus for my iPad.  So, I used my finger to write and oh boy can you tell.  Sorry.

There is nothing better than having a lazy Monday to finish up a few last minute things.  I am a huge fan of One Tree Hill and enjoy watching the reruns.  When I work on the weekends I have it or 90210 going in the background.

I LOVE the laziness of a day off from school.  I went to breakfast with the hubs and we have just been chillaxin' on the couch.  Hubs is napping off the big breakfast and I am snuggled with little bit on the couch.

I have a TON to do as team leader this year - field trips to be booked, curriculum night presentations to write, iPad trainings to plan, etc.  I'm loving it, but my to do list is HUGE>

I want to plan the PERFECT getaway with my hubby soon.  We work like dogs and need a restful vacation, even if it is just to the beach.  We are talking about planning a wow vacation for our 15th anniversary next year.  I would love to go to Europe, but don't know if we can swing it. 

I went shopping this weekend - thanks, Cheney! - and racked up on great pants and tops, but I NEED a good, stylish pair of comfortable shoes.  I teach on the 3rd floor of our building - everything we travel to is on the first floor.  I walk up and down the stairs probably 30 times a day easily.  Here's to having rock solid glutes by the end of the year and losing a few pounds. But, until then, I need a good pair of shoes.  I wll not compromise comfort for style though.  They must be cute!

Favorite Things:
1.  My new navy pants - I found a great pair of Westbound pants at Dillards this weekend.  They are kind of stretchy, but have structure so they fall just right.  The best part - they were only $30.

2.  I discovered author Stephanie Bond this summer.  She writes in a style similar to Janet Evanovich.  I'm reading her series right now and I LOVE it.  The only thing that is frustrating is the fact that my library will not let me return the ebooks as I finish them.  I have to wait until my checkout period is over.  I finished one in 2 days and have to wait the full 7 until I can check out another.  Ugh!

3.  I'm loving The Beatles right now!  Friday afternoon I turned my Pandora channel on and ran it through the Promethean board speakers.  I was totally busted belting out "Hey Jude."  Hoping to get the Greatest Hits soon.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Janet!!!! Will have to check out Stephanie Bond...thanks for the tip! :) Can't wait till November and #19!

    Found your blog through the problem-based learning! I taught 4th for 8 yrs and that age is so much fun! (Currently, I teach 2nd).


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