Saturday, October 29, 2016

Five for Saturday... and a Holiday Freebie

Happy Saturday! Since I fell asleep on the couch around 7:30 last night, there was no way this was happening on Friday. Lol! I'm in the midst of parent-student-teacher conferences and I'm exhausted! We've got a workday on Monday and I have six more scheduled. In between them, I'll be working on report cards. I'm tired just thinking about it. :)

Aside from conferences, we've had a lot going on this week. Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting this Linky and allowing me to share some of it with you.

This might be why I'm so tired. In the last two weeks, I see the sunrise as I'm driving into work. 

By the time I head home, the sun is setting. Anybody else putting in some long hours at work right now? 

We made a solar still to study the water cycle this week. I think I was as fascinated as the kids! I got the idea from another teacher at the NCSTA Conference that I attended and presented at last week. It was super easy to make! I just used two cups of sand and two cups of soil mixed. We put an empty cup in the center of the plastic tub and spread the sand/soil mixture around it. We poured 6 ounces of water over the mixture (leaving the cup empty). Then we sealed it with plastic wrap and tape. The students recorded the process and their hypotheses in their science journals. Then, we took the solar still outside and placed it in the sunlight. We put a few small pebbles on top of the plastic wrap over the cup. When we checked it the next day, we could see water droplets on the inside of the still and there was water in the cup!  We're going to continue to observe for changes over the next couple of weeks.

I'm not a fan of worksheets or tests, so when it came time to assess my student's understanding of the water cycle, I used a project-based assessment. I did give the students a worksheet with the words and an illustration on it, but they did not follow the cut and paste directions. Instead, I asked them to create a model of the water cycle using a paper plate, the worksheet words, and art supplies. They had a great time creating and I thought the projects turned out well. I love seeing the same information presented in so many different ways!

I finished my Multicultural Holidays Around the World poems last weekend. Since this is a project I first conceived and started three years ago and have been working on off-and-on ever since, I'm really happy to finally have it in my store. I promised you a freebie, so I chose one of the poems from the packet to share with you. You can download it here.

Were your kids crazy on Friday? Mine sure were. They were so excited about Halloween and (for them) a three-day weekend, I'm amazed we got anything done! We did, of course, not that I got any pictures of anything. We had a blast cutting and de-gutting a pumpkin as we described the outside and the inside of the pumpkin. We also read pumpkin stories and pumpkin poems among other pumpkin-related activities. Next year, I'll have to remember to take pictures of our Pumpkin Day. Until then, I'll leave you with a picture of this adorable alien pumpkin one of my sweet boys made for me.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Five for Friday on Saturday - A Hurricane, a Show, Mom, and Some Math

I'm sitting on the couch still in my pajamas on this rain-soaked Saturday. In Charlotte, we're just seeing the peripheral effects of Hurricane Matthew. That's not the case for my friends and family in Florida. Here are a few pictures of what they've been dealing with. Thankfully, everyone was able to evacuate or lived far enough away from the coast to avoid the storm surge. No one I know was hurt. Too bad I can't say the same for my niece's house. She lives near the beach and her home was flooded. Much of the roof is gone. They're still assessing the damage. My nephew has roof damage, too and they've lost part of their fence.  So thankful it wasn't worse. Houses and things can be fixed or replaced. Lives can't.

Photo by Jerrad Hillis
Photo by Jerrad Hillis

My niece's house sustained a lot of damage from the high winds and flood waters. Thankfully, the family had evacuated by the time the storm hit. 
Photo by Jerrad Hillis

Photo by Cassandra Bailey
Photo by Cassandra Bailey

Photo by Cassandra Bailey
Photo by Cassandra Bailey

Photo by Cassandra Bailey
Photo by Cassandra Bailey

On Tuesday, my friend Patty and I went to see a great new show at the Booth Theater. We were excited to have our seats upgraded to directly in front of the stage. The show, First Date, was hilarious and showcased the challenges of modern dating life.

Patty and I used to work at the same school and I miss my teacher BFF. Thankfully, we are able to get together on a regular basis through the Teacher's Lounge receptions and shows hosted by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

One of Mom's rose bushes is in bloom. Such a nice fall surprise. It made me miss her, of course, but also brought back some nice memories. She loved yellow roses and always got such a kick out of seeing them bloom. Sometimes when I see a yellow rose bloom, it feels like she paid me a visit. 

Math Workshop is getting closer to full operation. The students are working well together and they love playing the games. I asked the kids what was going well in our small groups and one of them said, "We were all collaborating and having fun." 

Mission accomplished. :)

Just in case I think things are going too well, I always get a reality check when I give assessments. 

After days of talking about word form, standard form, place value, and expanded form...

After days of writing today's number in different ways...

After days of talking about different ways to write or show a number...

This is what I get. 

Face. Palm. 

I couldn't help but laugh.

To be fair, they do look different. 

On that note, this concludes my Five for Friday (Saturday edition). Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting!

I hope everyone who was or is in the path of Hurricane Matthew is safe and well. Hug your loved ones close and be grateful for what you have.

Until next time,