Friday, July 3, 2015

Two Poems for Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to my American readers!

Originally these poems appeared on my poetry blog Poems of Silliness.  I have combined them in a printable page for individual classroom use.  

Click here to download Two Poems for Independence Day from my Google Drive.

The poem at the top follows a noun verb adverb pattern.  Students may use this as a mentor text to create their own poem with this pattern.

The poem at the bottom is a tanka.  It follow a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable pattern.  I have other poems that follow this pattern on Poems of Silliness here.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's Currently July 2015

It's time for Currently July 2015.  I love this blogging party.  I also find a blog or two that I hadn't read before.

Currently, I'm listening to construction.  I live on what used to be a small, quiet street.  Our city thinks we need a new semi-permeable sidewalk.  They have been working on it since last summer with a break for winter weather.  I am so done with construction.

I love that my class starts today.  I have decided to take an accounting class online and I need to log in and start today. When I was in middle school I worried that I couldn't get my locker to work and I would be late to class.  Now that I'm in college again, I worry that my username and password won't work and I will be late to class.

I'm thinking about changing the name of my Teachers Pay Teachers store to Artistry of Education.  I can't think of any downside to this.  Any thoughts?

I really want rain.  June was the hottest on record here in Seattle.  My garden is so dry.

I have quite the to do list for today and I need to get going.

I think I'm an all-star at listening.  People tell me all sorts of things they wouldn't tell others.  I love to hear about other people's journeys and I don't share what's not my news to share.

Be sure to join Farley for Currently.

Ten Blue Ribbon Books -- My Choices for Reading Aloud

Here are ten books that I have recently read and reviewed that would be my picks for reading aloud in an upper elementary classroom.  Click on the links to find out more about each book.  Each book review has a teaching suggestion to go with it and often a printable graphic organizer.

The Gollywhopper Games
Flora and Ulysses
Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word
Lincoln's Grave Robbers
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Fortunately the Milk
Something to Hold
Have a Hot Time, Hades
Starry River of the Sky
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor

If you are interested in all of my graphic organizers, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for the paid products below.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Do you feel stuck?

This year I packed up my twenty-fourth classroom and decided not to return next year.  I submitted a letter of resignation and I'm currently looking for a job outside of education.

This wasn't the first year that I considered leaving public education.  About nine years ago I went to my first retirement seminar to see what options I had.  At that time I decided I needed to teach five more years to reach twenty years of service.  Each year after that I found a reason to keep teaching.  This year I knew by September 12 I had had enough.  I progressed through the year with the goal to make this year the best possible for this group of fourth graders, and simultaneously I made an exit plan.

My first attempt at this blog post was whiny -- detailing all the things I believe are wrong in public education, but I am not really a whiny person.  I like to take action.  I have decided to share in several blog posts how I have decided to move forward.  There are plenty of blog posts encouraging teachers to stay in teaching.  I want to share what happens when you know it's time to move on.

This spring I read a book called Do Over by Jon Acuff.  I was encouraged by his four areas of assets people have as they consider a career move: relationships, skills, character, and hustle.  Working through the book, I could see how many abilities I have that will transfer to a different industry.  I am enjoying reconnecting with friends and family.  I am taking an accounting course to learn some new skills.  I have the next few steps of a plan.

Notice that I wrote I have the next few steps.  I'm not completely sure where this path will take me.  What I know for sure is I have peace for the first time in a long time.  I don't want to discourage the teachers who know that education is still their calling.  I want to encourage those who just feel stuck.

I plan to keep blogging this next year to share the ideas that I have collected over the last twenty-four years.  I invite you to keep reading.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Metric Measurement Review

This post wraps up the series of measurement activities I have been sharing for intermediate students. To find all of my measurement activities, click on the "measurement" tag at the bottom of the post.

 This activity is based on my Odd One Out series of activities.  I give each group a half sheet with four items on it and students write everything they know about the measurements.

The full paid product is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my Teacher's Notebook store.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Junior Genius Guides by Ken Jennings

You may recognize the name Ken Jennings as a winner on Jeopardy.  He has also written a series of informational books for elementary students. 

The books are engaging and interactive.  Each book has suggestions for related activities and a quiz at the end.  The books are also infused with the type of humor that grade school students enjoy.  (He has school-aged children.)

Several of my students enjoyed reading his books this year.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

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