Be sure to check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers.
Slice of Life and Celebrate in one post. Two birds-One stone.
Be sure to visit Ruth Ayers blog to check out how our friends are celebrating today.
This past week was pretty awesome. Here are 5 things that I loved about it.
Spending 12.5 hours at school Monday and Tuesday makes for a long week, but the conversations that I got to have with my students and their families were wonderful. You couldn’t pay me to not have a conference with each and every one of the families that trust me with their child.
2. Publishing Day
We spent most of Thursday publishing. You can read a little more and check out a cool video if you read my slice from yesterday.
3. Book Of Inventions
Yesterday I came home to this notebook filled with Breslin’s ideas for inventions. The world would be a better place if some of these inventions come to be. I’d share a picture of the inside, but I don’t want to give away any of his secrets.
4. Baseball Game
Yup, I’m working on putting together a baseball game at the end of May with some of the guys I went to high school with. We are going to use the money we make from the game to help buy kids books for Nerd Camp Jr. It has been great reconnecting with some of the guys.
Books and baseball-it doesn’t get much better than that!
I’m number 43.
5. Yellow Belt Test
Last night my 7 and 5 year olds tested for their yellow belts. After a day of practicing their vocabulary with homemade flashcards, and working on their high and low blocks they totally aced their test. I am so proud of them.
Be sure to check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers.
Yesterday my students spent most of the day publishing their infographics. From about 10:00 – 2:30 my students were engaged in one of the most powerful learning events that I have ever been a part of.
It was magical.
I’ll probably write more about our day at a later date, but I thought a quick video of our day would be the perfect “slice”.
Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake, the third book in the series (I’m really sure what to call the series), Julie Sternberg and Matthew Cordell have created a wonderful book for the chapter book reader. I’m super excited to be able to reveal some of Matthew’s beautiful art in this post.
Before I give you at the inside art, I’m going to share a little bit about what I liked about this book. I got 99 problems and the new kid is one. Sometimes I feel like that is the rap song some of my third graders are singing. A new kid and school can totally change the dynamics both inside and outside of the classroom. I think Julie does a marvelous job capturing how a new student can effect friendships in a school setting.
Another thing I dig about this book is…a crush? I’ve decided that one of the best ways for kids to learn about getting crushes is from children’s literature. Kids are growing up WAY too fast, and I fear that reality television, social media, and YouTube are teaching them all the wrong things about how to view the opposite sex. I recently reread Linda Urban’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect. In A Crooked Kind of Perfect Linda Urban is able to take us inside the head of a kid trying to navigate the new and excited feelings she is having. I think that Julie Sternberg is able to capture the “new crush” issue masterfully in Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. The more we can get our kids to learn about big growing up moments inside the pages of a book instead of behind a screen the better.
Now for the main event. The art! This first picture could hang in every classroom and library in the universe. Aces!
Now for picture number 2. I don’t know about you, but this image screams mentor text, or maybe mentor image/text.
Be sure to check out Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. It’s super good.
Be sure to check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers.
If you haven’t read Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle you probably should change that. If you have any interest in young adult literature chances are Grasshopper Jungle will blow your mind. The voice is so unique. A+ to Mr. Smith.
If you have read Grasshopper Jungle you know about these crazy 6 foot praying mantis-grasshopper killing machine bugs. They are quite possibly the scariest creatures I have ever read. I’m not really a bug fan, so monster killing bugs aren’t really my thing.
The picture above hangs in the hallway outside my classroom. The students next door are working on informational reading and writing, and a lot of their learning is displayed in the hall.
Well the learning displayed in the hall is great, but staring at a picture of a praying mantis each time I walk into the hallway is pretty unnerving. I feel like that stupid bug is staring at me. It looks like it is ready to do one of the two things Andrew Smith’s bugs like to do: eat (if you want to learn the other things bugs love to do read Grasshopper Jungle).
I’m learning to live with the bug picture. I always walk on the opposite side of the hallway, and whenever possible I walk down the hall with a student next to me. I always make sure the student is between me and the bug.
Be sure to check out Cathy Blacker’s Nerdy Book Club review of Grasshopper Jungle.
Another day-another slice.
I really want to read Tom Angleberger’s Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue. After two long nights of parent-teacher conferences I came home and found a package sitting on my table that more than likely contains Mr. Angelberger’s new book. Not opening it last night was torture.
I’d really like to drop everything I’m reading and read this book cover to cover.
I’m not going to read Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue this weekend. I’m going to wait. Liam is going to read it first.
Liam is a third grader in my classroom that is obsessed with the Origami Yoda series.
He’s read them all at least three times. I encourage him to try and read other books. He humors me by reading something else for a few days, but as soon as he finishes it he goes back to whatever Origami Yoda book he feels is due for a reread.
Today when my little SuperFolder walks into our classroom he will find the package sitting on his desk. I imagine he’ll open it and then other students will gather round. The commotion will get our classroom a little flustered. I’ll probably smile, talk with the group a little bit about who we think will yield Princess Labelmaker in the book, and then move on to my next reading conference.
Princess Labelmaker is waiting for Liam.
It is March fourth and I have SLICED each day this month. Huzzah, huzzah!
This morning did not get off to a good start. Right before I got in my van and headed to school I noticed that our dog had some fun with our bathroom garbage can.
After cleaning that up, I started rushing around a bit and dumped my entire cup of coffee all over the floor in my van.
The Frozen soundtrack calmed me down a bit on my drive to school. My kids were at my parents’ house, so it was just me, my empty cup of coffee, and “Let It Go”. I picked my kids up at my parents house and started chatting with my two fifth grade brothers. My son was telling them about D.E.A.R., and they told him about how they read for the record yesterday. I asked them about what record they read for. I like to think that I’m on top of the reading game, so not knowing about this record was a little alarming. They informed me that they were trying to help break the record for most AR test taken in a day. WTH! (what the heck) – This made me throw up in my mouth a little. I have no problem with doing a whole bunch of reading in a day, but celebrating the taking of AR test is pretty depressing.
Things got a little better when I got to school. I vented a bit to my teaching partner and principal. When the school day started I could tell that I was on edge a bit, but I tried to pull it together for the kids. I was in the middle of a reading conference with a boy reading a Michigan Chillers book when my principal dropped off a cup of coffee. With the first sips of that coffee, I felt a lot of the tension drain from my body.
I spent most of the day a little bit on edge, but my students and I had a blast. It is amazing how far a small act of kindness can do for a person. Doing something nice for someone was not really on my radar this morning, but it was on my principal’s. I shared with my students my bad morning and how much Ms. Haney helped me get back on track. We had a great chat about it.
Here’s to a better tomorrow!
Be sure to check out Two (it’s is really six) Writing Teachers for more information about Slice of Life.
Welcome to “reading month”, universe. I always have mixed feelings about celebrating a reading month, but when done right, it can be a pretty cool thing. We want to celebrate reading all year long, but I don’t see giving it a little extra attention in March a bad thing. We Nerdy Book Club members do the same thing in January with our ALA Youth Media Awards obsession (at least I do).
The view from my reading spot.
From 8:45-9:05 this morning every student in my school read. Our principal made an announcement at the start of the day that EVERY person at Parma Elementary would be reading for the next 20 minutes. Being the good boy that I am, I sat down my reading conference binder and picked up a copy of George Brown Class Clown. I read with my students. This is something that I don’t do enough of. When my students read, I confer with them. It felt good reading with them today. A couple of students sat next to me for a few minutes, but they quickly went back to their normal posts.
Reading with my students was a magical 20 minutes.
I managed to finish George Brown Class Clown during D.E.A.R. I booktalked the book a few minutes later and quickly passed it on to an eager reader.
Today’s class blogger took a picture of me giving my booktalk.
I have the best job in the world.
Two straight days of Slice of Life! I’m on fire.
Nope, not that kind of Sunday school. My wife had a wild and crazy week, so the kids and I decided to spend some time Sunday at school. The kids and I can get a little loud, so leaving home while my wife slept seemed like the best option.
I had plans to get a lot done at school. I got a few papers graded, cleaned up a bit, and made sure that my ducks were in a row for conferences, but the best part of the trip to school was watching the kids play. Breslin spent some time taking batting practice, playing Minecraft, and working on his pop-up map.
Dharia took a few swings the baseball bat, rode her bike around the school, and searched my drawers for juice boxes.
AJ rode her bike. A lot. Pretty much the whole time. She also visited a kindergarten classroom, where the teacher was kind enough to let her play with the toys.
You gotta love Sunday school.
I can’t seem to get my YouTube account to work, so no video today. I’ll try again later.
I’m super pumped about this month’s #SharpSchu! Details below.
I have always wanted to do this Slice of Life March thing. Well, maybe not always, but I have wanted to do it since I first heard about it a couple of years ago. I even tried it a couple years ago. I failed miserably. This year, I have decided that I want to start it, knowing full well that I won’t be able to keep up all month.
If you’d like to know more about the challenge check out Two Writing Teachers.
Yesterday, I had a two hour delay. I had been up for a little over an hour when we got the call that school would be delayed. Usually when this happens I can’t go back to sleep, but after a long week I passed out instantly.
After a quick “nap”, I used the late start as a opportunity to school to school a little early and get a bunch of stuff done. My to-do list was way too long, so when I hit my classroom I was moving at full speed. I’m one of the leaders of my school’s communication team, and I felt like this was the day where I could show my team how to do morning announcements. I bounced all over the school trying to find communications team members that were at school early, hoping they would help me out. One of my last stops was the office. I wanted to see if my principal would be interested in letting me film her for our project. When I walked into the office I found my son sharing with his principal the story he wrote while I was running around the school. He managed to write a story and convince someone in the office to make him 22 copies all in the time that I was making announcements.
His story, The Adventures of TryPower, was handed out to his class yesterday morning. I’m glad that I was able to take some time before the morning bell to chat with my son about his book, and I’m thankful that I teach at a school worried more about developing writers than conserving copies.
My son even managed to give a booktalk for the morning announcements. He had a busy and productive morning!