Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Can it be? Only 6 more days!

Since my last post was long and rambling, I'm going to do my best to keep this short.

I'll try.

But I can't make any promises.

Once I get going, it's hard to stop.

As our last class novel of the year, we've been reading Zach's Lie (which the kids LOVE). In the book, the main character is put into the Witness Protection Program because his dad got caught up in a drug cartel. One of the key elements of the story is the journals that the main character keeps.

After the back to school sales in the fall, I managed to pick up some cheap composition notebooks for $0.15/each. Really good deal. I love clearance. I had no idea what I was going to use them for at the time, but the deal was too good to pass up, and I bought about 30.

When we started reading Zach's Lie, it occurred to me that journaling would be a great extension activity for the book (and would get some use out of those notebooks I had sitting on a shelf). So I made cute labels with each kid's name, and handed them out. The only condition that I put on the journals was that they had to write one page per day. I don't care what they write about and they can request that I not read their entries and just glance to make sure that they did it.

Occasionally, some of the kids get writer's block, so I made a bucket full of writing prompts. If a student gets stuck or needs an idea, he can go to the bucket and pull out a prompt. I downloaded the prompts from TpT, printed them on bright pink paper, and then cut them into strips with fun scissors.

I found a small, empty paint can at Lowes for $3 (that I had originally bought to hold my shelf markers), and then used some foam stickers (that I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby) to label the bucket. Today, I decided that the white stickers didn't stand out enough on the can, so I used my bright colored Sharpies to outline each letter. Much better.

I must say, it is quite cute (and the kids enjoy using it)! The only downside is that I had way too many prompts to fit in the bucket, so I'm going to have to rotate them out from time to time.

In other news, my kiddos are really enjoying the fact that our greenhouse actually has something growing in it! During work time today, the girls asked if they could put it under the document camera to look at the seeds' progress. Um, yes!!! Those little seeds are making quite the impression with my 12 year olds. They've been wanting to do an experiment to see how different liquids (juice, pop, water, etc.) affect how a seed germinates. It sounds like a great idea, but I'm just not sure that we have enough time to get it started and really observe the results! (And I don't really need a dozen bean plants hanging around this summer.)

I have more to talk about, but I promised that I would try to keep it short...and it's getting pretty long. 

Cute dog bonus for sticking with my rambling:
I got up for 2 seconds, and Charlie stole my chair. Not cool.

For tomorrow: Our end of the year memory books

P.S. Who wants to help me get more followers? Any ideas? :)


  1. LOVE the paint can bucket! I'm going to be redecorating my classroom next year and love the idea of using recycled goodies!

    1. The thought of redecorating my room scares me! I'm trying to figure out a way to rearrange it so that it at least looks different, but space is pretty tight. My big goal right now is getting my room organized so I can actually FIND my stuff!


  2. The paint bucket is super cute! I need help getting more followers too. You might join a link party. I credited you for introducing me to teacher express in my post yesterday. Have a Great Wednesday!

    1. Hey thanks-I'm glad I could help! Those ebooks make my life SO much easier!

      (By the way-am I following your blog? Could you post a link so I can double check?)

  3. Laura --
    I love your blog! So many fun ideas and stories. :)

    I'm very jealous of your $0.15 composition notebook purchase. I am planning to buy up as many as humanly possible while cheap this summer during Back-to-School sales.

    I Want to be a Super Teacher

    1. Thanks-I love your blog too!

      I am a HUGE fan of those back-to-school sales (and an even bigger fan of the back-to-school clearance sales). Most of my classroom either came from a clearance rack or a garage sale-I try my hardest to not pay full price for anything!


  4. I love love love your blog!!! I want to be a follower but I don't see the button. Am I crazy? :)

    1. Thanks a bunch! I'd love you have you following me! If you scroll up toward the top, on the right sidebar under "Followers," you should see the little blue button that says "Join This Site."

      And of course you're not crazy. I'm pretty sure those buttons enjoy playing hide and seek from time to time. :)