May 31, 2016

Tuesday Writing PaWs: Olympic Tickets

This is the last Writing PaWs of the 2015-2016 school year. Look for more free topics when the new school year returns in late summer. This week's topic is a companion to last week's and continues the theme of the Olympics. Besides providing timely topics, the original Paragraph a Week (PaW) Program attempted to introduce various writing genre to our intermediate grade students. Last week's Olympic topic asked students to write an informational paragraph; this week's asks them to compose a friendly letter. You can download your free topic sheet HERE.

May 24, 2016

Tuesday Writing PaWs: Olympic Sports

One of the goals of the original PaW (Paragraph a Week) Program was to provide timely, engaging topics for our students to write about. A topic that appears in a cyclical fashion is that of the Olympics. With its rich history and multicultural tones, it is a topic our students can really immerse themselves in. Start now to prepare or wait until the new school year begins; the Olympics is set to begin in Rio in August 2016. You can download your FIRST free Olympic PaW HERE.

May 22, 2016

Task Card Giveaway

The days are winding down for my sixth graders, but learning isn't. We will be working this week to strengthen our ELA skills, particularly distinguishing the kinds of objects in sentences. To help my kiddos with this skill I created a pack of 24 task cards.

We will be using them to play a game of Bingo, a fun way to utilize task cards as a learning tool that I just learned about. Perhaps, you'd like to use this pack of cards with your middle school students as well. Visit my Facebook Page. Locate the post about the task cards and share how you use task cards with your students in a comment on the post before the evening of May 25th. I'll choose a name at random and send you a complimentary pack of cards. Easy-peasy! Good luck!

May 20, 2016

Five for Friday 5.20.16

I can tell that things are beginning to calm down as the end of the school year approaches. This is two weeks running that I've been able to join...

FIRST... Last Saturday I did something that I've never done: I chaperoned our high school prom. Mind you, I am only a sixth grade teacher, but since we're a preK-12 school all of the students from the very young to the old are "our kids". The seniors invited all of their teachers to attend. Since the prom was being held on The Goodtime III, a scenic river cruise ship, I decided to accept the invite. Oh my, what a night! A wonderful dinner, fun dancing, an exciting cruise, and AWFUL weather- from rain to hail to even a little snow... YES, snow in May! What can I say, I live in NE Ohio.

A view from inside the ship during one of the downpours
The same view a little later as the weather cleared

SECOND... Early this week we finished a fun project that took us several class periods. We combined a little art (agamographs from Art with Jenny K) with a little writing as we prepared to celebrate Memorial Day.

The view from the front is rather unusual.

However look from either side at an angle...

... and it's like magic!

THIRD... Because I teach at a Catholic School, when we undergo a self-study (every five years) and create a school improvement plan we must create goals for religious/faith improvement as well as academic improvement. Our current plan's religious goal is to learn and implement the Works of Mercy throughout our school community. The first phase of this goal has us focusing on the Corporal Works of Mercy (phase two, starting next year will focus on the Spiritual Works of Mercy). Our music teacher is a tremendously talented puppeteer. She wrote a captivating puppet show script that highlights the Corporal Works of Mercy. She and her troupe, along with some of my seventh grade English students, performed the show for our K-6 students this week. It was AWESOME!

FOURTH... Today was our annual Fun Day! Our kids wait for this all year long. There is everything from a slip and slide and a bouncy house to arts and crafts as well as goodies and treats all day long. Classes select theme songs and wear like colored T-shirts. The day ends with our annual fifth versus sixth grade kickball tournament.

Some of my sixers and their second grade buddies are creating our parade banner.
Can you guess what our theme song is?
Just waiting for our time to march in the Fun Day parade

FIFTH... The highlight of our Fun Day, at least for my sixers, is the dunk tank. My kiddos wait for this moment from kindergarten. They get to be the ones who get soaked! This year there were fifteen brave sixers who volunteered to get dunked.

Be sure to stop by Doodle Bugs Teaching where you can read many more fun Five for Friday posts. It's a great way to keep current with the teacher blogging world!

May 17, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday for May

I can not believe that a month has already past since our last Show and Tell session. That's a good thing, I think! Usually at this time of the year, time has a way of dragging on as we wait expectantly for the last day of school which BTW is ONLY eleven school days away! EGADS, still so much to do! But first...

First up is a fun shot from a recent junior high mixer. Our 7th and 8th graders were invited to spend the evening at the school for song, dance, games, and goodies. I hadn't volunteered to chaperone a junior high mixer in years (I hadn't taught junior high in years until recently) so I gave this one a go. Oh what fun we all had, even the teachers!

The first week of May was designated as Teacher Appreciation Week. My students and parents were SOOOOOO good to me! From special gifts and cards to washing my car, I am truly blessed.

It is finally turning spring-like in NE Ohio! There are signs everywhere.My friend and I took a ride through our local lakefront park this past week where we found the peacock was out (a sure sign of spring) enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine, and where we made a new little friend who tried to actually hitch a ride with us!

Finally, Show and Tell would just not be Show and Tell without at least one photo of my beautiful fuzz girls. This month I'm sharing one of each of them, Daisy Mae and Lulubelle.

You've seen my choices for this month's Show and Tell, now what would you share? Leave a message in the comments below, then hop on over to Forever in Fifth to read many more Show and Tell posts.

May 16, 2016

Tuesday Writing PaWs on Monday: Quit Bugging Me!

I know, today is Monday and here I am posting the Tuesday Writing PaWs. I didn't make a mistake or fall into a time warp. No, nothing like that! Tomorrow, the third Tuesday of the month, is a very special linky that I don't like skipping, and I don't like skipping our weekly Writing PaWs, so I'm sharing this week's topic a little early. You can download your free topic sheet HERE.

The Tuesday Writing PaWs will be taking the summer off and returning with the new school year. There will be two additional topics posted, one on May 24th and the second on May 31st.

May 13, 2016

Five for Friday

Holy Shmoly! I couldn't tell you the last time that I was able to join this fun, Friday linky hosted by Doodle Bugs Teaching.

FIRST... We had a wonderful visit from our Science Coach, Dr. Ann. She is the chemistry professor from the local branch of Kent State University whom we have the pleasure of working with throughout the year. Dr. Ann presented a lesson, along with three hands-on activities, about electrochemistry. My kiddos were totally engaged for the complete 90 mins. During this time they exploded (took apart) a flashlight, drew its schematic, and then put it back together; they built a simple motor from a simple kit (base, magnet, battery, and copper wire); and they drew working circuits by using special pens with silver ink.

SECOND... I was given an old, rusty cast iron skillet. It was a mess so I googled how to clean/season it. You see, I was craving an old family dish that I hadn't had since long before my mother died, over six years ago. Known as placki, I LOVE these fried potato pancakes, and was taught by grandma then mom that REAL placki could only be made in a cast iron skillet. Mom had one that was used ONLY for this favorite dish, but it sat unused for so long that it looked awful so I threw it out! SHAME ON ME! This past Wednesday, I fried a batch of placki in my refurbished iron skillet and ate every single pancake by myself... YUM!

THIRD... One of my students has a mother who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. As a sign of our love and support for her, we made her cards and purchased pink, stretchy band bracelets to wear throughout her treatment time. Here we're showing off our bracelets for a photo we popped into one of the cards. I have THE BEST kiddos!

FOURTH... We completed a fun-filled STEM project earlier in the week wherein we designed catapults to help Jack-Be-Nimble jump over his candlestick. Check out the variety of designs!

FIFTH... I FINALLY finished a set of task cards that I've been working on FOREVER, and just in time since Pentecost is this coming Sunday! The pack consists of three distinct sets of cards, each focusing on a particular ELA skill. However, you can also mix the cards to form three multi-skill sets of cards as well. Each card contains a QR Code answer so the sets are perfect for placement in a literacy center. They are also perfect for a round of Scoot, Scatter, or a Scavenger Hunt. You can read more about them HERE or even download a pack for yourself.

I hope you all had a terrific week just as I have had! Be sure to stop by Doodle Bugs Teaching for more fun Five for Friday posts!

May 10, 2016

Tuesday Writing PaWs: Memorial Day

This week's Writing PaWs (Paragraph a Week) is just in time for an upcoming patriotic holiday. This particular topic is not found as part of the original Paragraph a Week program, but rather one that I created for this year's group of sixth graders to accompany an art project from Art with Jenny K. that we are currently completing. Watch for an upcoming blog post detailing the finished projects.

You can download your free PaW instruction sheet HERE.

May 3, 2016

May Pinterest Pick Three

Pinterest is probably one of my most favorite apps, websites, pastimes... whatever you want to call it. As such I really look forward to the third of each month when this fun linky is held.

When you think of May, what do you think of? Memorial Day, Mothers' Day, May Day, May flowers, the end of the school year? All those things and more! Here are three pins picked just for you to use in your classroom or home during the marvelous month of May and beyond!

First up is a pin for a fun art activity created by Art with Jenny K. If you have never tried a collaborative art poster created by Jenny, give this one a whirl. My kiddos fell in love with this cooperative projects and we try to do one each month. This one is FREE!

May's second pin is for an amazingly simple Mother's Day project that can easily be adapted for any age student. While the original pin calls for simple statements to describe mom, I'm thinking of doing this one as a poem, An Ode to Mother, with one line per strip of paper.

The final pin this month is for a set of recipes that shout, "Summer!" When I saw the photo for this pin, I knew I had to repin it and SHARE!