Friday, February 22, 2013

Five For Friday

I'm linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share 5 random things from this week. I'm glad it's Friday, but that means we're closer to...
Our State Writing Test!!! Here is our countdown...yep, two days left. At this point, I have mixed feelings: on one hand, I can't wait for it to be over, on the other hand, I think...if I had one more month! I am so proud of my students and their hard work they do ALL year, and I know this is just "a moment in time" of their writing careers, but I want these judges to see their GREATNESS! So, of course, I use the following:
Yes, it's magical pixie dust! You know you say to your students, "If I had some pixie dust I'd sprinkle it and everything would be fixed!" Well, they sell it!!! I was explaining to my students today that we can't have anything on the walls or desks to "help" us in our writing and they were upset that they couldn't use some of our "goodies" for writing. I wasn't going to show them this "magic" until the morning of the test, but I could tell they needed this inspiration! They were so excited! (Of course, there's always a few that are skeptical!) hehe! Hey, if it works on a few, it's worked!

We're now reading Flying Solo as our class read aloud. I'm fortunate to have several class sets of  chapter books, but I don't like them to keep them in their desks (for obvious reasons). Keeping track of their thinking with sticky notes is important to me, but all the sticky notes were falling off and finding "their" book in the tub was so time consuming! This seems like such a simple idea, but it's taking me all these years to think of it so I wanted to share in case it can help someone else: I have 6 groups in my class, so I used color coded rubber bands for each group. One person from each group gets their books and passes thems out. It literally takes seconds to get our  books passed out!
Each group made a t-chart of their predictions based just on the cover of the book, then after reading the summary on the back. I can't believe the detail they observed to make such great inferences! For example, "I think the students and the teachers don't get along because there's an apple which represents teachers, but then there's a pencil stabbed through the middle." Also, "I predict that there will be 1 kid different from everyone. The other kids are wild and mean to the teacher and "solo" means: 1 nice kid out of all." Pretty great thinking right? BTW, they're both incorrect!
I took this bulletin board down today (from Literacy Week). Just wanted to share the "theme" one of my students came up with! Pure genius! We've incorporated heels/shoes into EVERYTHING! Even for Red Ribbon Week: Shoe Away Drugs! Love them! They know how to warm my heart!
Happy Friday!


  1. Love your rubber band idea. I also hate having the kids keep them in their desks, so this is a great option!

    Fifth in the Middle

  2. Good luck to your students (and you)! I know how nerve wracking state testing can be. Love the Pixie dust.

    Extra Special Teaching

  3. Joanne, I really love the idea of color-coded rubber bands. It seems like such an easy fix. Thanks for sharing :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  4. Reading about your great ideas always reminds me of the 3 years we spent working together! I especially love the pixie dust idea. Our kiddos can always use the extra pick-me-up...another trick to add to our "bags"!!

  5. I am soooo super excited that I found your terrific blog and am thrilled to be a new follower :) you are fabulous! Good luck with your testing! And you can buy fairy dust?! Eeeek! Who knew! I'll be snagging myself some of that! Thanks so much for sharing!


  6. Where in the world did you find pixie dust!?! Tell your kids good luck with their tests! I'm in love with your blog, it's adorable! I'm so happy I found your blog. I'm your newest follower! I just recently started a blog. If you have time I'd love for you to stop by sometime! Hope you have a fabulous week!

    Jungle Learners

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