Monday, October 7, 2013

October Update

I am linking up with Farley's Currently monthly linky party !!

Listening- I am in love with the show Shark Tank! I find it incredibly fascinating and it really makes me want to go into business!

Loving- The weather here has been AMAZING!! Cool mornings and evenings and sunny 70's-80's during the day. This weather reminds me of my I moved to AZ five years ago.

Thinking- I have so much work to get done by Friday! Grades close, math night, field trip ...the lost goes on and on!

Needing- A need to start cleaning and getting my house "company ready". I would love to hire a cleaning company to come while I am at work and make my house sparkle and shine.

Trick or Treat: I LOVE Halloween -- Check out my store on October 31st and get 5% off all of my TpT products.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Peek at My Week!

ONE MORE WEEK!!! Fall break is right around the corner and I am really ready for a break! I am currently completing my internship for my Principal certification and I am worn out!! Here is what is happening this week:

1. Since this is the last week of the term and break is coming I really want to finish our class novel "The Outsiders". We are just a few chapters away from the end and each time I have to say "Ok guys put away the books" I hear... "NO!!" Music to my ears!! When we finish a class novel we always watch the film or a live production. I love that in the CCSS it gives me permission to show films in class!! My students cant wait to compare and contrast the film vs. novel.
2. My district has moved to a more formal assessment system and one of the new additions to the assessment schedule has been adding in CFA's. CFA;'s are Common Formative assessments and all students K-8 take them on the power standards in ELA and Math. We rocked the first CFA on character aspects and need to take the second one on Author's purpose this week. One class has already taken part A and the beauty of these assessments is that there is a part B for retesting. I noticed many of my students had a hard time with understanding what the bias in the speech was so as an instructor I am able to use that data, reteach and give a second assessment to see if they have reached mastery level. As much as I hate testing this has truly made me a more proficient and effective teacher! Not to mention they are quick-- only 5 questions so it doesn't take that much time!

3. As one of my internship duties I have been planning our first Family Math Fright Night for this Thursday! I can't wait!! Each grade level will be creating different math games for students of all ages to participate in. I have a ton of work ahead of me but I am ready! I will post an update later this week to tell you how it went!

Picture 4. Did I mention FALL BREAK is almost here!!!! I have family coming into town so we will be traveling and having a great time! 

Have a great week everyone!! Don't forget to check out Mrs. Laffin's Laughing's blog to see what everyone else is doing this week.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thursday Thorw Down!

I’m linking up with I’m Lovin Lit ‘s monthly Thursday Throw Down student engagement party. Social media is where most of my students express themselves on a daily basis. Facebook, Tumbler and Instagram are all social media outlets that allow teenagers to discuss their ideas and create an individualized digital presence. With all the wonderful qualities theses social media outlets can bring they can also be dangerous and students need to be taught internet safety. Last year I added blogging into my writing block during the second semester and I loved the response I got back from my students. I decided to use a program called Kid Blog-- for a few reasons.

The site is safe and secure – I set up a web page and add in users (my students) and only a student with a username and password can access our blogging world. I am able to monitor all comments and posts so, if a student creates a disrespectful or inappropriate response I can delete it before it was made public. Students are able to choose a background, avatar and other setting features that make their blog unique. Once you have set up your class students can access this site anywhere! I love that they can access their writing at home, on any computer at school and I can also access this information without a ton of extra paperwork. Since I am only able to secure the library on Wednesdays we spend Wednesday afternoon’s blogging. I will usually post a kid blog assignment that they use to guide their activity. My students love Wednesday Blogging days!!  Even my most reluctant reader’s and writer’s enjoy communicating their thoughts and ideas in this creative and technologically savvy way. I love that all my students are engaged in writing and commenting on other students blogs with constructive criticisms.

Many of my students chose to free write on their blogs! If you look above you will see an example of one of my kiddos poems! This week’s assignment was a Pre-Assessment on research skills. I chose Teen Drop Out rate as our main focus. Students were asked to first write a 2-3 paragraph opinion essay on why they think teens drop out of high school. Then they needed to go an research this topic and add the links to their post so that they can access this information later when we practice taking notes. Then they needed to read 3-4 student responses and give quality comments to each of those bloggers.