Saturday, September 26, 2015

Celebrate 9/26

It's Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres' blog to read others' celebrations.

How did it get to be the end of September already? How the time flies!

This week I am celebrating...

  • Peaceful Independent Reading time and an increase in reading stamina among my students. 
  • A smooth start to conferencing with my students. Some of them didn't even notice that I had started.
  • Vitamin String Quartet music on Amazon Prime that helps us have peaceful work times
  • Writing enthusiasm among my students and the variety of genres and topics that they explore each day
  • Enjoying Rump together and hearing the insights and predictions of my students as we read
  • Joyful, happy noise of our weekly board game time--we got out the Hot Wheels cars and ramps this week...
  • A really fun curriculum from Hot Wheels for 4th grade Science. (Speedometry is the name of the's free and aligned with NGSS)
  • A nice stack of Student Council applications to sort through and the excellent ideas these middle school students have
  • Barre classes and the enthusiasm I have for getting back into workouts because of the studio I go to
  • PUMPKIN everything! I love this season! 
  • The cool fall nights that have brought some relief from hot days in the school
  • GoNoodle---a great resource for brain breaks in the fun!
  • My new Birkenstocks and my orthotics that will help me have good arch support and hopefully heal the tendonitis in my ankle (and keep me from needing a boot for the same reason).
What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/21

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? --From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme started by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week: (or in the last few weeks)

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King is not my favorite book by her. I think it was really just the style that threw me. The surrealism just really was hard for me to swallow. I really liked and sympathized with the characters who had some really big challenges and trauma that they were dealing with. I would still recommend this book for high school and up, but I would just warn that it might be kind of confusing for people who are not willing to suspend their disbelief for the surrealist elements of the book. It was a big stretch for me. I am sure others will absolutely love it and I am impressed with this author for taking a big chance and writing another important YA novel.  I got this copy from NetGalley. Look for it when it comes out this week.

The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen was a fun read. I enjoyed the adventures set in Ancient Rome. It was a fun book that I had a hard time setting down. I would definitely recommend this one for grades 4 and up. I am looking forward to finding the second book in this series to read more of the adventure.

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. It is an interesting read. I love watching Master Chef and Top Chef. It is fun to get a glimpse into restaurant life through this gritty memoir. There are a few things I will change in how I order when I eat out as well. I am also reading Rump aloud to my class. They are eating it up and they love to speculate about the character's motivations.  SO fun!

What's Next?

I have no idea! There is so much involved with the beginning of the school year. I do read every night but usually end up dropping my kindle on my face. We'll see what this week brings.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Celebrate This Week! 9/19

It's Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres' blog to read others' celebrations.

I have had such a hard time getting to my blog lately. As I am getting back into a school year routine, I am working to try to carve out the time for everything I want to do. It doesn't help that the school year always starts with super hot temperatures and humid conditions which make it hard to get through the school day in a building that is not air-conditioned. Since I now know that I have MS, the extreme fatigue at the end of a super hot work day makes much more sense to me. At the end of one of these days, the only thing I want to do is veg out on the couch and go to bed early.  And so, the first thing I am celebrating today is the fact that I remembered and made the time to write a blog post.

I have had a great week! 

On Wednesday, Liesl Shurtliff came to do an author visit at my school. I was super excited about this visit and so were the students! We loved her presentation and I know there will be a lot of kids reading both Rump and Jack this year. I know that I will be able to celebrate the release date of Red: The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood this Spring with many students at my school.  

At home, my new cabinets were delivered on Wednesday. We are now waiting for the contractors to come to unbox them and inspect them and then we will have a schedule for the kitchen remodel. It is pretty exciting to think about how my kitchen will look at the end of the remodel, but it is also quite nerve wracking.  Today, the dishwasher and range hood will be delivered also. 

Last, but not least, I am celebrating a great start to the school year. I have a very sweet and eager class of students. I am really enjoying the first few weeks of getting routines and rituals started in the classroom. My students have built up 20 minutes of stamina in independent reading and are also doing well with stamina in writing time. I am really excited about the community that we have already started to build in class. 

What are you celebrating this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!