Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finally! A classroom post!

Hey! Remember me?!

I don't blame you if you've forgotten all about my little blog. I've pretty much been the world's worst blogger the last few months.

But now that all of wedding festivities are done, I should be getting back into the normal swing of things. (I know, you've heard it all before.)


What's new with my class, you ask?

Well, that's a loaded question.

A few of my kiddos are, quite frankly, driving me a little crazy.

While a lot of my kids are settled in to the new school year, some of them are still acting like it's the first week of school. I mean, come on people, is it that hard to raise a hand?! And seriously, I know that you can hear me talking to someone-last I checked, that wasn't an invitation for you to talk over both of us!

On a happier note, my kids are really starting to L-O-V-E reading! Within the last week, I've finally won over one of my last two reluctant readers-thank you, Rick Riordan for writing The Red Pyramid.

Unintentional bonus: I've been reading more, too!

Confession: I was a HUGE reader as a kid, but once I hit high school, I just didn't have time anymore. (The irony? I worked in a library from my Jr. year of high school until I graduated college. Oops.)

And truthfully, I've really missed it! Not to mention, I can totally feel justified buying those new tween books when I know I can let my kids read them (after me, of course!).

My kids were SO excited when I told them that I found a new Lemony Snicket book at Target! We started reading The Bad Beginning as our first read aloud of the year back in August. When we finished reading it and the kids realized that it was a whole series, they BEGGED me to read the next book, after that, they BEGGED me to read the book after that. We're now about halfway through book 5 in the series. I'm going to really have to pick up the pace if we're going to finish the series by the end of the year!

After I read the new Lemony Snicket (and Wonder, The Name of This Book is Secret, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel), my kiddos were dying to get their hands on them. Since I had technically purchased them for my collection, I didn't want to turn them loose in the library. And since SO many kids wanted to read them, I didn't want to hand them out, (especially knowing that I would forget who I promised the book to next) so I made some super-cute sign up sheets.

I didn't post the sign up sheets until I had read all of the books (I did buy them for me, after all!), but man, those kids were chomping at the bit! The day I was ready to put them up, I told the kids that morning that they would be posted some time during the day (you know, to avoid stampede). While they were at lunch, I posted them on the closet doors, and then opened the doors so that the sheets would be hidden. When they came back, I didn't say a word-I thought it would be more fun if they found them themselves. Half of the class was at glee club, so I didn't have many kids in the room. Most of them were helping me grade, or reading, or talking quietly. One of the girls came up to me and said, "So you didn't remember to put the sheets up while we were at lunch, did you?" (I can be a little forgetful, you see.) I looked at her, put a quizzical expression on my face and said, "Or did I?"

She bolted off to the closet with a pencil and went to work. Another kid saw her over there and figured it out. Then, they ALL rushed over to the closet. Now, normally I don't condone running in the classroom, but if there was ever a reason to let students run across the room, that would be it.

No joke, you guys.

My shortest waiting list had 7 kids signed up. The longest? 17.

I have 20 kids in my class.

I know. I was amazed, too.

(P.S. If you're interested, these are now in my TpT store along with a simile activity that my kids really enjoyed!

Another thing that they're super excited about?

Getting postcards from the Middle School Postcard Exchange. You would think that I was bringing them candy. They get SO excited about getting postcards! We've gotten cards from Japan, Germany, Kansas, and West Virginia (I think it was West Virginia) so far and they are ecstatic about finally getting to write their own postcards.

Their excitement about these postcards brought up something that I need your help with.

My kids would LOVE to have pen pals!

Because I have some my class, I was hesitant, but I had them write me persuasive letters to convince me that it's a good idea.

Well, it worked.

You try to tell them no.

Anyone interested in being pen pals? I have 20 kiddos in my class, so I'd like to partner with a class at least that big so that all of my kids have a pen pal, but I'm not opposed to doubling up.

As a side note, I'm trying to get some extra technology for my classroom, and would LOVE to be able to Skype, but there's no guarantee that I'll be able to Skype, so there's that.

If you're interested, let me know! My kids would be giddy!


  1. I'm part of the Postcard Exchange as well. My 8th graders LOVE getting mail. :) They ask every day if we have a new postcard and get so disappointed if I say no. I mailed ours about a week ago so, if you haven't gotten it yet, your students can *hopefully* delight in that one soon.

  2. Hi! I teach 6th grade in Japan on a military base and I would love to do a pen pal exchange with your class or another class that might be interested! Let me know!!

  3. This is a little different than a pen pal, but it combines book motivators and letter writing-- you should have your students write book authors. It is an ongoing activity in my room when we need a filler activity. It is super exciting to get replies from authors! I have a post about how to contact authors at and free lesson plans at Caitlin

  4. I teach Middle School Sixth Grade ELA in Belgium! Half my class are American students and the other half are students from one of 22 countries. They speak English and we would all love to be pen pals. The best part is that I have about 60 students to spread around. That would be three classes of 20 in three different parts of the US or world.