Hi, friends! I am so happy to be linking up with Doodle Bugs this week for Five for Friday. One of my goals for myself this year was to blog more. I love blogging. I love sharing ideas with other teachers, collaborating with you all, and I feel it makes me a better teacher. Blogging has helped me become so much more reflective as a teacher, and I feel that my instruction has been so much more effective and purposeful since I started blogging two years ago. Holy Cow, I'm just processing that for a minute...two years. :)
Our week started off with two cold days. The windchill had temperatures in the -25 range. Now it is raining and it's 51 degrees outside. #thatsohioforya
Even though we started the week a few days late, we were extremely busy this week. With a few reminders, we jumped right back into our Daily Five routine. For that I am extremely grateful. We did a chapter book study for two weeks before break and it was awful. I mean the book itself was good, but the disruption in routine really did a number on my kiddos. When I announced Daily Five was back in action on Wednesday they all cheered. :)
Rather than tweaking my plans, I just started my plans for Monday on Wednesday.
We are hitting prefixes and suffixes hardcore over the next few weeks. So I tried to do a fun game or activity with them before starting reading groups this week. On Wednesday, we played a fun prefix/suffix decoding game from Deana's Read Like a Champion Pack. Even though my kiddos are bigger, they still love fun games like this. Every week, I try to do a Find the Evidence sheet from my friend Jenny's Text Detectives Pack for January. My kiddos love them. The passages are highly engaging and it's a great concrete way to reinforce the fact we need to use the text whenever we answer questions about the text, even "right there" questions. Our main story this week was My Brother Martin from our reading series. In our small groups, my students read about Coretta Scott King or Harriet Tubman, which they loved. We also broke the ice and did my Winter Break Find Somebody Who sheet and my teaching partner did my Snow Day Find Somebody Who. Fourth graders are very social and love any opportunity to socialize with their peers.
Thursday was another busy day in language arts. Each group started with another activity from Deana's pack. They matched up works with prefixes with their meaning. Most groups finished reading their biographies on Coretta Scott King or Harriet Tubman and we started working on non fiction sharing boards, which are available from Laura Candler here. I tweaked what we did in each box a little bit, but it was a great way to practice lots of informational text standards! Some of us started working on the outlines for their fictional narratives and some of us finished up the story lines we planned on using for our fictional narratives The organizer seen above is from Third Grade Doodles. We also watched the video of the book Martin's Big Words. After we watched the video, we did some shared research by taking notes on what we learned about Martin Luther King.
Friday kept us busy as well. Since we didn't give a spelling test this week, we used the extra time we had to watch and discuss the Brain Pop video on Martin Luther King. It's a free one in their library, and you can find it here. We also read My Brother Martin together and took notes on what we learned about Martin Luther King together. On Monday, I will print off the notes and my students will use them to write short essays on Martin Luther King. Hello, RI 4.9. :) My afternoon class needed a little inspiration/break in the middle of the day, so we watched this Kid President video. My kiddos love Kid President, and so do I! It was the prefect mid afternoon pick me up. Most groups finished up their non fiction sharing boards. I was SO IMPRESSED with their work. They did a great job using the text to support their answers and their answers were AWESOME. It was hard to find an example because the paper we used was darker, but I was super impressed with this gal, who is actually in one of my lower reading groups. :)
This year I want to take better care of myself. I got frequent migraines due to stress last semester, so I am taking a semester pause from graduate school. Even though I've only been back to work for a few days, it has already made a huge difference. Classes will be there in the summer, and I'm loving the extra time to spend with my little family and being able to be creative again in the classroom. It makes a huge difference. When you are excited about what you're doing in the classroom, so are your kiddos. :)
I've had more time to cook dinner at home, which I've loved. I've focused on eating more whole/natural foods this year and I've loved it. I've had more energy and I just feel better.
Though this picture makes the former food blogger in my shutter, this chicken sausage jambalaya from one of my favorite cookbooks, was a hit this week!
Since winter break is over, I am back to writing lists and making routines to keep my sanity.
While parts of me hates that I'm tied to lists/routines, part of me knows that without them, I'd be doing laundry and cleaning my house all weekend. Or being left to my own devices while shopping and buying all kinds of things I want but don't need. :)
I'm off to savor one last cup of coffee before tackling that closet and making my grocery list for the upcoming week. I've finally been struck with some creative inspiration for some new resources and I can't wait to share them with you. :) Happy weekend!