Saturday, November 5, 2016

Five for Fraturday - Halloween Week


Very tired.

Very, very tired.

Wow. This week has been draining. Parent conferences all day Monday (yes, Halloween was a workday for us) and on Tuesday afternoon. Children on sugar. Report cards and Sub plans. In-service training for Letterland. Vocabulary parade and movie afternoon. All of this in just one week. For the second Friday in a row, I fell asleep on the couch before 8:00. Seriously, it's no wonder I'm single. The only people I'm awake to see are children, their parents, and my fellow teachers. Lol!

On that note, here's a taste of my busy week.

I did my civic duty this week. No matter how you feel about this election or the candidates, I think it's important to have your say about who will run this country for the next four years. Local elections, in particular, are so important to schools and the community. As teachers, we need to exert our influence in one of the best ways we can - by voting for those who support public education and teachers. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that everything turns out for the best.

I scored some cute mini erasers on clearance at Target's dollar spot this week. These erasers will be fun to use for math problem-solving activities. It's always a good idea to check out the dollar spot after a holiday. Even if you can't use the holiday-themed items this year, you will have them for next year's holiday - and at a pretty significant discount.

I love Jigsaw activities. In a Jigsaw activity, partners work together to learn about a topic. After reading and discussing the topic, they team up with new partners to "teach" others what they have learned. This week, I used the activity to help students learn about citizenship. After posing the question, "What does a good citizen do?" I assigned partners and gave half the class one book about helping in their community, while the other half read about electing a president. These seemingly unrelated books taught about different aspects of citizenship. During the first stage of the activity, the partners read and discussed their own books. After about 15 minutes, the students came back to the carpet. Because this was the first time we had done a Jigsaw this year, I did not split up the partners for the second half of the activity. Instead, the partnerships became teams of four. Each partnership needed to teach the other partnership what they had learned about citizenship. The activity was very engaging throughout and I had a great time walking around the room listening to the rich discussions students had. 

Reading under a table makes learning fun. 
Students were completely engaged. These two didn't even notice that I took their picture.

The discussions were on task and expanded student's understanding.

I love it when one student plays "the teacher."

If you haven't tried a Jigsaw activity before, I highly recommend trying one. Students love teaching each other what they have learned!

Vocabulary Parade!  We had a wonderful time sharing our words and their meaning with creative costumes and a parade at our Academic Celebration. Our vocabulary parade was based on the book, Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier.

For my word and costume, I decided not to stray too far from what I know. I'm a poet, so I chose poet as my word. I printed off mini-versions of some of my poems and glued them to two cardboard file box tops. A little decorative duct tape made great shoulder straps. My friend, Becky loaned me a beret she had made. Costume - done. I wish I had taken pictures of my kids' costumes; from a "delicious" cupcake to a trash bag "fruit" bowl to an explanation of "potassium" and its sources to a "stealth"-y ninja, my students (and their parents) were very clever and creative!

Movie afternoon! After a fun - and very long - day on Friday, my colleagues and I put in a couple of hours supervising our 2nd grade movie afternoon fundraiser. We showed The Peanuts Movie. I had never seen it before. It was super cute and the kids - even those who had seen it before - loved it! I usually don't mind movie day, because it's fun to see the kids sprawled out on the carpet with their pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals. Some fall asleep. Some get all giggly. Some can't settle at all and never stop moving. Hmmm. They might be like that in class, too. Lol.

That's it for this week. Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for letting me link up. Make sure you check out the other great posts in this week's Five for Friday linky!


  1. I love jigsaw learning! You're right, they end up having really good conversations! We do our vocabulary parade in the much fun!

  2. Hi Teresa,
    What a fun idea to have a vocabulary parade! (=