Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 5

"I can't believe that we're already 4 weeks into the school year!

And tomorrow's Thursday! How the heck did that happen?!"

Ha! That's all that I managed to write when I started this post LAST THURSDAY. I mean, come on-it's not like any of us are busy around here!

4 weeks and 2 days into the new school year, and I've made some very important revelations:

1. This is exhausting. But you already knew that.

2. I am LOVING my new 'recommend a book' bulletin board! L-O-V-E it! I already have some very devoted contributors!

I love how this looks at the back of my room-totally makes me smile when I see it! (You can get the kit that I use from my TpT store)

3. I am IN LOVE with The Daily 5-and so are my kids! Seriously, I have kids come up to me EVERY morning and ask when we're going to do Read to Self. EVERY morning! And the kids that are asking aren't strong readers, but they're learning to love their reading time. It's amazing.

One Friday afternoon, we decided that we were going to shoot for our goal of 45 minutes of Read to Self. Previously, our record had been about 30 or so. The kids were so excited to try for 45.

So. Excited.

Check it out.

 And the only reason it wasn't longer, was because we had to go to lunch.

Today, I remembered that I have a bunch of whole class and small group sets of books sitting on my bookshelves, not being used. I pulled a copy of each book off of the shelves and showed them to the kids. We've done Read to Someone a couple of times, but the results haven't been the greatest. (When we read with our 2nd grade buddies once a week however, they are FABULOUS!) I've been really hesitant to do Read to Someone because I was really worried about off-task behaviors and general goofing off.


When I told them that they could pick out a book to read with a partner, you would have thought that I had told them that they had just won a $1000 shopping spree! They were SO excited to pick their books and get started!

I was convinced that it would all fall apart the minute they started to "read."

No joke, guys-it was one of the best, nope, probably THE best moment of my teaching career.

EVERY group was engaged and focused on their books-and these weren't easy books. I've got kids reading I Am Number FourThe Lightning ThiefInkheartWanted! (by Caroline Cooney), and several others.

One pair of girls had chosen Let the Circle Be Unbroken; they flagged me down as I observed the groups. "Ms. Ellison! This book is SO hard to read because the author uses words like 'ain't'-NOW I understand what you meant yesterday when you told us not to write the way we talk! It's SO hard to read!" "Yeah!" the other girl chimed in,"The author spelled 'nothing' n-u-t-h-i-n!"

Cue the hallelujah chorus.

Another pair was reading Zach's Lie and called me over. "At first Jack was talking about being on a plane, and now he's talking about something completely different! What's going on?!" I then explained to them that the italicized text was what Jack had written in his journal. "Oh! I get it!"

Another pair was reading a Dear America book about a girl on the Titanic. "What does 'consideration' mean?" I gave it to them in a sentence and asked what they thought it meant. "To think about something?" Got it!

I was so excited that I emailed my principal and had her come down and see-even she was impressed!

It was like Christmas!

Seriously AMAZING stuff here! I was so proud I could pop!

Check these out (Even Walter got in on the action!):

How awesome is that?!

I had only planned on having them read with a partner for 10-15 minutes (if you noticed, our record was less than 10), but they were doing such a PHENOMENAL job, that they read to someone for 27 minutes! It was glorious!

4. Class Dojo is awesome. But you already knew that.

5. Charlie is quite cute when bathed. Also, he seriously LOVES peas. Yeah, the little, green, round guys.

I know he's weird.

6. Only 19 more days until the wedding! Eek! I went to pick up my dress from the seamstress last Friday...and tried it on...and the zipper only went up halfway. Uh...not good. Thankfully, I didn't gain 20 pounds, she had just taken in the sides too far. Whew. The sides are being let out and I'm picking it up (again) on Friday.

Also, my awesome co-workers threw a shower for me and our secretary (who got married last weekend) last Monday! Check out the adorable new sign that Teri made for me-she knew I was going to have to replace the one that I made 2 summers ago and saved me the trouble of doing it myself!

Tomorrow, we're meeting with our photographer to go over the schedule for the day of the wedding as well as picking up our disc with the engagement pictures and copyright release. (Of course I'll be sharing more of them!)

Last Friday we also met with our DJ (which we only decided to book a week and a half ago-talk about waiting until the last minute!)! I have banned The Chicken Dance from the reception. Call me crazy, but I just don't feel like flapping and shaking my butt in my wedding dress. Also, country music has been limited to requests only. If you know me, you know I HATE country music with a burning passion. Yuck.

7. I. Love. Fall. So much.

Anyway, I'm going to TRY to start posting more regularly (I know I've said that about 5 times already this year), but it may not happen until after the wedding. All of this school, wedding, and moving stuff are a bit of a handful to balance!

Thanks for sticking in there with me!


  1. Don't you just love when they ask to read?! My kids are always asking to build their stamina in reading too, and always groan when I stop them! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun!!

    Smiles and Sunshine

  2. I wish we had MORE book sets in our 5th grade closet. I would love to do more literature circles and book clubs... where the kids are partner and group reading. It always seems to be a HUGE hit!

  3. I love when I finally see something working. Looks like things are going so well in your room! :)

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad