Saturday, December 7, 2013

Celebrate 12/7

Discover. Play. Build.

This is a fabulous idea from Ruth Ayres in which we write about something to celebrate each Saturday. I am looking forward to participating in this link up each week and hearing about the awesome things happening in everyone's classrooms and lives.

This year is going so fast!  This week was a crazy week with students full of energy and difficult to get them to work.  I am so glad I have this weekly ritual of looking for celebrations because the positive energy really pulled me through the week.

The power of a good read aloud is something to celebrate.  I read Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen every year because my 8th grade students need to start learning about the awful things that happened to slaves.  This book is quite graphic, but powerful and a great story.  This week we got to the intense part of the story and the quiet descended on the room.  I love when that happens!

I chose an article of the week that was about slavery today in the world.  Then, I sat back and listened. I love that my students made the connection that I was hoping they would make.  They were astonished to learn that there is still slavery in the world.  Their thinking was so deep and I was so happy to see that I was extending their world view and giving them something to think about.

This week, I also started using the brilliant ideas of Jeff Anderson.  I had planned to use his ideas throughout the school year, but never got myself together enough earlier in the school year.  This week we did a study of commas after introductory phrases.  I love how my students reacted to the ridiculous acronym AAAWWUBBIS.  They really got it and I am excited to do more with it next week.

One of the best lessons, in this series of lessons about the comma, was writing using the inspiration of "If I had $1,000,000" by the Barenaked Ladies.  I figured out that I need to use music more often in the classroom.  The students didn't all love this song, but they did love the fact that we used it in the lesson.

A personal celebration this week was my hair appointment on Thursday night.  I love the chance to get pampered for a little while.  I also love it when my hair is straight.  I do not have the patience or the skill to get my hair so straight so I enjoy the day after my haircut and the compliments that I get.

My husband wants to create a classroom library for his Spanish classroom.  He is working on finding books in Spanish for his heritage speakers to read.  Therefore, we made it a priority to get to the Scholastic Warehouse sale last night.  It was such a nice Friday night.  We shopped the sale and I got a lot of great books that I have been wanting to read (although I  really shouldn't buy any more books until my TBR pile is smaller). We also found some books in Spanish for his classroom.  Then we went to a local burger place for dinner and to our favorite bar for a beer before going home.  It was a nice way to end a stressful week.

I was able to make my #nerdlution goals every day this week!  I am loving the fitbit pedometer for motivation to get to the goals I set.

One last small celebration is the new antenna I ordered on Black Friday from Amazon's flash sales.  We have had a really hard time getting good reception on TV channels with the other antenna we have. This one is amazing! I can't wait to watch the Packer game on Sunday without having to adjust the antenna every few minutes.

What do you have to celebrate?  I would love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. Kids seem to be so taken with books about slavery. I know when I read about that topic they are so mesmerized. I went to our Warehouse sale this week also. And it was perfect timing because we had a snow day the next day - so I was armed with lots of choices! Have a great week!

  2. Congrats on completing your #nerdlution goals everyday. I can't say that, but I can say that I'm working on it. Love using music in the classroom. I don't do it as often as I should either. Thanks for sharing your celebrations!

  3. Wow-so many good things about your week, Andrea. I love your evening last night with your husband, helping him find books & then going out for dinner, etc. Sounds quite wonderful. Glad you had such a nice week!

  4. Any week with a Scholastic warehouse sale has to be a good one. I was able to get to one in our town on Wednesday, just before the sleet and snow landed here. Kids engaged in thinking and learning is always a celebration!

  5. Books don't just help to grow readers but they grow thinkers. That's why read aloud is valuable far beyond primary grades. I like that you included the hair appointment celebration. Feeling good matters. Congrats on a successful #nerdlution week.

  6. I love when teachers in middle school still read aloud. It's such a valuable practice. My students beg for read aloud. It's time for a new one in my 4th period. You've inspired me. I've never made it to Scholastic warehouse sale. Someday soon...

  7. I love Jeff Anderson and love Bare Naked Ladies! I heard their holiday song (one of their holiday songs? I'm not sure how many they have...) in a restaurant over the weekend. Scholastic sales are always fun, too!