Friday, March 29, 2013

Hey, Macklemore! Can We Go Thift Shopping?

A few weekends ago I went thrift shopping with a dear friend.  She didn't have much luck finding the chairs she was looking for, but I found these Haikubes.

The set includes 63 word cubes, including two red die to help determine the title/ topic.  The package boasts that there are thousands of possible combinations.  I'm hoping it will make for a fun station activity during our poetry unit...or maybe a party game with friends!

Below is my first attempt, A Vision for our World

friendly, sweet, happy
turn along smooth promises
dreaming there, hmmmm

Pretty sure I'll be winning a Pulitzer with this bad boy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Immigration Museums

Friday we wrapped up our Immigration Unit in Social Studies with a museum.  It was way better than a test!

For this assignment, each student chose one country and researched the way that culture immigrated to the U.S. as well as its cultural influences.  They created lovely, informative, interactive displays to show off their learning to our guests.  Costumes encouraged!


What a fun way to celebrate our learning!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break!

Today is officially day two of Spring Break. It's been lovely to spend time with family and recharge. I came across this quote today that seems very fitting. I know this break will go too fast! But stay posted for some posts on recent classroom activities, including the winner of our March Madness competition!

Friday, March 22, 2013

March Madness Champion!

Our champion has been decided!  It was down to Harry Potter versus Fever 1793.

And the winner is...

Fever 1973 by Laurie Halse Anderson!
What a shock!  It was a narrow victory...down to the buzzer if you will!  If you haven't read it, my students and I highly recommend you do now! 
Happy March Madness!  Looking forward to next year's already!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

To Do

Are you excited?! Exciting posts to come!


But first, the push to Spring Break! Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Final Two!

We're down to the final two in March Madness! 

The latest round has brough us to Harry Potter versus Fever 1793.  I'm shocked the latter beat out The Hunger Games!  Who said historical fiction is boring?  My students and I love it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Final Four

We're down the Final Four in our March Madness Brackets!

Today I added a twist!  Students had a chance to influence their classmates' votes by writing one paragraph about their favorite book.  Fever 1763 and Rules have some avid fans!

sweet student strategizing which book to write about

With that being said, here are the results:  We're down to Harry Potter versus Narnia and Fever 1793 versus the Hunger Games.  It's an exciting race!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Am Lucky!

Check out our latest project:

Thanks to our snow day last week, I came across this super cute project from Sunny Days in Second Grade.  Her project was adorable and totally adaptable to fifth graders.  On Monday we journaled in response to the question, "How are you lucky?"  Then I gave students a copy of a shamrock and some pretty open ended directions to complete it at home.

I encouraged students to work on it WITH their families and be as creative as they wish.  The rule was that it had to include some writing.  How cute are the final products?!

My example.  Don't you love "Pose C" from my school pics?  Ha ha.
Have a LUCKY day!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Elite Eight

My students were so excited when they walked in this morning about March Madness!  I love this group of boys that gathered.  I think this is the moment when one said, "This is like Duke versus Indiana!"*

I hope that I am able to ride the wave of NCAA March Madness and spark some reading madness!  I think they were about to start taking bets...

I only wish that I could open a pool on this.  I know I would do much better than basketball!

So here it is!  The winners of the "East Conference": Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Fever 1793, the Hunger Games, and Rules.  I think my favorite match up is Fever versus Wimpy Kid.  Could there be any more dissimilar books?  It's going to be an exciting division for sure!

And the winners of the "West Conference": Harry Potter, The Tale of Despereaux, Matilda, and Narnia.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the Final Four next week!
*Thanks to CJ Hop for confirming that this did indeed make sense.  My basketball knowledge is severely lacking.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

Earlier this week I wrote about some Pinspiration for March Madness.  Our snow day was the perfect chance to get it together.  I brainstormed some of my students' and my favorite books and printed out their covers.  After school I put it all up in my room with the "brackets."  And here it is in all its glory!

I love the way it looks. The colors look awesome and I can't wait for my students to see it.  Ultimately, I hope it encourages students to try a new book or two and gets them excited about reading.

For round one I tried to think about some good pairings: by genre, author, theme, etc.  I think you could do this any way you like, though.  "Seeding" them would be an interesting twist.

Here are the contenders in round one: Percy vs Harry, Despereaux vs Winn-Dixie, Matila vs Charlie (and the Chocolate Factory), Narnia vs Terabithia.

In the "East Division" we have: Greg (the "Wimpy Kid") vs Captain Underpants, Fever 1793 vs Chains (both by the fabulous Laurie Halse Anderson), Katniss vs Gregor (Suzanne Collins 4 eva!), and Rules vs Wonder, two of my most recent favorites.

A close-up of the covers (sorry about the glare/focus!)
I am letting the students determine what their decision is based on.  Of course I know they haven't all read each book, so they had the option of opting out of a match-up.  Our gifted teacher suggested that voting could also be based on the character traits of the protagonist.  I'm sure there are other great ways to do it, too!  I'll just be happy if it inspired someone to try a new book!
Who will win?  Any predicitions?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Snow Day!

It's been a few years since we've had a snow day so I am basking in all its glory today!

I couldn't sleep last night. I think I get more excited at the chance of snow now than as a kid. In fact, I woke up at 4:30 to find our snow day posted online and then couldn't go back to sleep as I dreamt of all the fun things to do today. So far, I've watched half of Downton Abbey Season 1, made soup, shoveled, and finished "The One and Only Ivan," this year's Newbery Winner by Katherine Applegate.

What a sweet story with endearing characters and a profound message.

This is one of my favorite parts...

Just lovely.

Wishing you all the best today!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Madness

I was looking around on Pinterest and spotted this awesome idea for March Madness.

Pinned Image
source: flikr by covs97

I am totally stealing this idea and will share my version soon!

I have a colleague who has done a similar project with poetry and has the students each bring in an entry of a favorite published poem. 

Anything fun you're doing to get into the spirit of competition?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Judy Blume on Writing

What to my wondering eyes?

Catch this sweet snippet of an interview by Chelsea Clinton from Rock Center of Mrs. Judy Blume.

Sorry about the crazy tv filming...

"Writing...gave me everything.  It gave me courage."  She's a genius!