Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book Study #1: Reading in the Wild {Giveaway!}


I know I "teased" this in yesterday's post, but I wanted to make sure I told you a little more about both of the book studies I'm joining this summer.

Last summer, I worked with a group of bloggers as we read through Donalyn Miller's first book, The Book Whisperer.

I absolutely love her voice and the way she makes teaching our kids to love reading so real! I've read through it twice, and I've taken away something new each time. It absolutely transformed the way I thought about setting up my classroom library and the way I shared new books with my students.

Reading in the Wild is very much a follow-up to The Book Whisperer. One of the frustrations Donalyn Miller shares is that after her students leave her classroom, they lose the love for reading she worked so hard to foster within them. Reading in the Wild explores how to "grow" a passion for reading in our students that is stronger and more sustainable - even when the next teacher doesn't share in that enthusiasm. :)

So to kick off this study, I'm giving away one copy of Reading in the Wild to a reader! Just enter the Rafflecopter below. I want to make sure the winner has time to start reading before June 19th, so this giveaway will be quick! Enter before 11:00 pm on Monday, June 2nd.
 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Lovin'!

http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/2014/05/top-ten-things-i-want-to-do-this-summer.htmlThis is my 2nd official day of summer vacation, and I'm trying to make the most of every day! We have a LOT to do before Little Man arrives in September - it's going to be a busy summer!!

When I saw Deanna's link-up, I thought this would be a great way to prioritize the big stuff I want to finish before we head back to work on July 28th. Can you actually "nest" on your blog?? :)

(Yes, you read that right. My district is headed back to work on July 28th and kids come back on August 4th. I know. It's gross.)




1. We need a nursery!

Little Man has a room, but that's about it. We have to put his nursery together this summer. Thank goodness I have a job that allows for ample time in the summer to get it done or we would be in trouble! This is the "theme" we're planning on...


My sweet Mama painted this once we told our parents about our sock monkey theme. (Her grand-mama name will be Mia.) I cannot wait to start putting everything together. I love that we'll be able to pull things from lots of different places.

2. Come out of the classroom!

This was an unexpected (but welcome!) change I found out about a few weeks ago. I had initially asked my principal to consider letting me move grade levels (somewhere between K-2), so when she asked me to consider taking a position outside of the classroom I was a little more than surprised.

Next year, I'll work as an EIP teacher at my school. {EIP = Early Intervention Program} I'll go into different K-5 classrooms and help my fellow teachers by pulling small groups of kids who are considered at-risk in reading or math. I'm really excited to put my math shoes back on! I'll also get to peek at different grade levels, and hopefully practice some of the early literacy strategies that have been rusting away in my brain for awhile.My school is full of incredible teachers and I'm most excited about being able to see so many of them in action!

It was really weird to pack up my classroom and move into an office, but I'm excited (and really thankful!) for the opportunity to try something new!

3. Remember how to teach math!

http://amzn.to/1rkmtrz
Ha!! I've been in a departmentalized ELA only classroom for the last 7 years, so I'm looking forward to teaching math again. To get myself ready, I'm working with a group of fabulous bloggers on a guided math + conferring book study. We'll start up on June 19th, so if this is something you're interested in go ahead and grab a copy of Guided Math Conferences. Come back SUNDAY for the chance to win your own copy!!

4. Be a bookworm!


My iPad is FULL of books to read for the summer. I've already started You Should Have Known and I cannot wait to stay up late reading!

5. Enjoy our babymoon vacation! 



Mr. Bookworm and I are headed to Palm Beach for a few days before: a) it gets too late for me to travel  and b) I look like a beached whale. :) I can't wait!!

6. Parenthood!
I have to join Deanna for this next "to-do" - 



I'm about 6 or 7 episodes behind on this year's season. I LOVE this show. I'm going to be so sad when they air the last 13 episodes in the fall! Thank goodness for DVR + Hulu Plus!

7. Avoid my pregnancy kryptonite: heat + hunger

I don't know about my readers that have already done this, but I've learned that I absolutely cannot get hot or hungry. Both result in a cranky, nauseous, miserable person I do not enjoy becoming. Mr. Bookworm has already recognized that he longer controls the thermostat, and that we will pay the energy bills with a smile all summer long!! :)

8. Stockpile the freezer!

I love to cook! However, I know that in September my energy and time will be a little depleted. So I'm planning to spend a little time this summer prepping some meals we can pop right into the oven or (my favorite!!) the crock pot. I also love using my crock pot in the summer because it doesn't make my house hot like the oven would.

If you want to see some of the recipes I'll be trying out, follow my "What a Crock!" board on Pinterest!

http://www.pinterest.com/abbylee621/what-a-crock/

9. Read a little more...

I know. I can't help myself! :) Before I knew about my new position, I wanted to participate in a second book study for Donalyn Miller's new book - Reading in the Wild.

http://amzn.to/1kpLEzo
This one also starts up in a couple of weeks... and I'll be back SATURDAY to give away a copy of this as well!

10. Float on!



If I'm not at home with one of my gazillion summer reads, you can bet I've probably gone to float in a friend's pool somewhere. If we don't take time to sharpen the saw this summer, we can't be the teachers our little people need us to be!

I'm headed to check out everyone else's lists... maybe I'll find a few ideas to add to mine!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Face Time: Using Student Pictures in the Classroom!

I'm so excited to back on board for this month's Bright Ideas Blog Hop! I hope you've already spent some time this morning clicking through all of the awesome posts - I know I have! :)


As our school year has started to wrap up, I asked my kiddos to share some of the things they loved about being a part of "Team Sparter" - a mash-up of my name with my teaching partner's name. One of the responses that surprised me was, "You use our faces in the hallway and on our work sometimes!" So, I thought I'd share a bit about that with you.

I remember reading Ron Clark's Essential 55 book years ago and coming across the tip to use your students' faces on work pages and around the room whenever you can. It seems like such a simple tip, but it really does have a big impact!

At the beginning of the year, we spend a couple of days putting our display boards together for the hallway. Parents LOVE looking at these during Open House and it makes it really easy for the kids to switch out current work pieces during the year. One less thing for me to do, too!


On the first or second day of school, their morning work is to color a "paper person" that resembles them. It's funny to see which kids immediately start to try and recreate the exact outfit they are wearing. :) While they do that, I go around and snap a quick picture of their cute faces. Not to mention, the bobblehead look is pretty freaking hilarious! :) 



I try to get a new picture around Christmas time because their faces change a LOT in 3rd grade. Whenever we get a new student, our Papparazzi team (2-3 kids) is responsible for helping the new student put together their own display board and take a "head shot" for them to use.

We use the pictures to jazz up published work as well...



This is from a recent piece we worked on for our Book of the Month. Instead of having the kids color in the face on the piece of clip art I used, I took their most recent "head shot" and printed it out wallet size. The kids cut their heads out very carefully and glued it over the clip art face. It's really interesting to see how much more effort they put into publishing when their faces are on the page!




These were up during our Leadership Day a couple of weeks ago, and I had a couple of visitors tell me how much they enjoyed reading the kids' pieces and looking at all of their bobbleheads. :) I've also used them in place of name tags on our Homeworkopoly board, as labels on job cards, etc. It adds a bit of "spunk" to our classroom and we like it that way!

I hope you've enjoyed our "Face Time" tip. Please make sure to check out the link up below and find some more incredibly bright ideas to use in the last weeks of your year. Or, if you're like me - start saving them up for next year! It will creep up quickly!

If you enjoyed hanging out with me today, make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest for more great ideas!





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