Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let's get Acquainted!!!

So its Sunday (how did that happen?) And time for Flying into First's linky party! If you read my wonderful weekend book review (and you should) I told the answers to my 2 truths and a lie- which was last week's lets get acquainted.

The lie was that I am a vegan. I did try it for about two years. You would think that it would have become a habit by then but my complete addiction to cheese won out in the end. I got so exhausted trying to watch what I was eating that it consumed my life.

I AM 18 months older than my husband. I guess that makes me a cougar. (GROWL).

Aren't we cute :)

I also was 21 when I started teaching my own kiddos. Way too young to be in charge of a room full of 12 year olds :)

This week is the NOUN GAME where you talk about your favorite person, place, thing, and animal.


My favorite person is my husband. :) I just love more and more the longer we are together. It is strange how that happens. I do not know what I'd do without him.


My favorite place is anywhere that is warm, tropical, and has a beach. I LOVE sitting on the beach and reading/people watching. I particularly like do this with my sister. Do I want to go swim? NO WAY. Do I want to walk? NO! I want to sit, read, and watch people.


My favorite thing has got to be my ipad as much as I hate to admit it. It is never more than a few feet away from me when I am at home. I carry it around everywhere I go.


My favorite animal is absolutely my baby yorkiepoo Bentley. He is literally my child.

I mean, look at that face! Ah! Love him!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wonderful Weekend Book Review

So it is Friday night! Woo hoo! I had a long  week this week and I'm very excited to see the weekend!

So this week we are going to look at Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney. I read this book this week because my colleague at work is going to have her 7th graders read it after our spring break. I read it so that I can help her with small grouping and I wrote a novel guide to use with the book.

Synopsis: Code Orange is a realistic(ish) fiction novel set in New York City in 2004. Mitty is a 16 year old high school student who is as carefree as they come- especially about his school work. However, in order to stay in Advanced Biology with his crush, he needs to turn SOMETHING in for his infectious diseases paper. During his "research" he finds some old medical books in his family's weekend house. Inside the books he finds a strange envelope with scabs inside. The scabs turn out to be smallpox scabs. During his research, Mitty begins to wonder if it is possible that could have contracted the disease from those scabs!

Review:  I think this book is supposed to be "realistic fiction" but is very implausible. Once you "buy in" to the implausible events, however, the novel is exciting. It keeps you guessing as to whether or not smallpox is about to break out all over New York City. It is a very fast read because it is interesting. I think middle school students would enjoy this novel- and it goes well with infectious diseases which are studied in science.

If you are interested in this kind of thriller, suspense, scientific book it will be a good read.

Find the Novel Guide HERE.

Let's Get Acquainted:

The lie for my 2 truths and a lie was that I am a vegan. I used to be- for a few years. I love the idea of it but the actual no animal products on a daily basis is exhausting. So I do eat LOTS of vegan meals- just not religiously. 

I thought it was funny most people didn't think I was older than my husband. I am a cougar :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Smile It's Spring Linky and Lets get Acquainted

Smile It's Spring! (Almost). I wish it were spring-like here in the mountains of NC. I went to Charlotte for a wedding this weekend and the temps were in the 70's and it was sunny and wonderful. Then I drive the hour and a half north to my house. By the time I got home it was in the 4o's- then this morning it was icy and 30 degrees! AHHHHHH what a slap in da face. It is supposed to snow Wednesday-Saturday. Sigh. Well it might not be spring here but a girl can dream.

So I'm liking up with Mrs Kelly's Klass for her Spring Linky. I liked up my Spring Holiday Nonfiction Readings which are nonfiction readings for the Spring Holidays. These are appropriate for grades 4-6. I used the St. Patrick's Day reading with my 4th grade RTI group. They needed help reading it  but enjoyed the reading. Which is saying a lot since I have them the last 30mins of the day!

And now, Let's get Acquainted my new friends. I am also linked up with miss LaToya at Flying into First who does a get to know you weekly linky.

This week's theme is:

2 Truths and a Lie

1. I am a vegan. I do not eat any animal products including dairy.
2. I started teaching in my own classroom when I was 21 years old.
3. I am 18 months older than my husband.

Now it is your turn to guess which one is the lie! Answer in the comments below. The FIRST person to get it right will get a free item of choice from my TPT store. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday

 I'm not sure if doing two things on Friday nights is counter-productive but with Spring ALWAYS being more busy for me it might be the only time I get to blog!!!

So I'm going to start the Doodle Bugs Teaching blog's Five for Friday Linky. We are supposed to talk about five things that happened this week so here we go!

1. Not only did I find this funny but I am also two months and one week in to this CRAZY diet I've been doing. It is crazy because well, I am now eating about half of what I was eating. I was gaining weight at the rate of 10 lbs per year- so this is a good thing. Just an adjustment :) I've lost 15 lbs so far and hope for 15 more before we are all said and done!

2. If you are new to this blog I am a Literacy Coach/Reading Specialist and I work with various groups of kids. Today I was working with a group of first graders and we read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover. We had a great time and the kids loved it. We did some sequencing with the book too. FUN FUN :)

3. I had about one MILLION meetings this week. One of them was on the assessment we have to do next week. It is the pilot for the End of Grade test next year. I predict it will CRAZY since it is new and online. I see some stress in my future.

4. I live out in the middle of nowhere (population 213) so my husband and I drove the 30 minutes to town and ate crab legs! What a great way to end a long week! YAY

5. And last but not least- I am having a SALE at my TPT store this weekend. If you have had your eye on anything now would be a great time to snatch it up!

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Book Review

Well, it is Friday night! We survived another pre-Spring Break week :)

This week I will be talking about Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. Sharon Draper is a great author and she is the author of one of my favorite books Forged by Fire. Draper's books always are about difficult topics, and Out of My Mind is about a student with a disability.

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

This story is truly moving. Melody's character is rich and easy to love. Due to her physical disabilities, fifth grader Melody is unable to show her incredible mental abilities. This story is more moving for teachers in my opinion because it shows how students with disabilities can be more than what they seem. They are not a label. They should not be confined in the limitations our society places on them. This would also be an important story to teach in a classroom to show children that although we may not all look, act, or have the same capabilities- we are all humans inside.

Here is what Sharon Draper said about the book:

People often ask me, "What was your inspiration for Out of my Mind?" I reply, "All great stories emerge from deep truths that rest within us." But the real truth of a story often can be found in places that not even the author has dared to explore. I suppose the character of Melody came from my experiences in raising a child with developmental difficulties. But Melody is not my daughter. Melody is pure fiction--a unique little girl who has come into being from a mixture of love and understanding. Out of my Mind is the story of a ten-year-old-girl who cannot walk or talk. She has spirit, determination, intelligence and wit, and no one knows it. But from buildings that are not wheelchair--accessible to classmates who make fun of her she finds a strength within herself she never knew existed.

I was fiercely adamant that nobody feel sorry for Melody. I wanted her to be accepted as a character and as a person, not as a representative for people with disabilities. Melody is a tribute to all the parents of disabled kids who struggle, to all those children who are misunderstood, to all those caregivers who help every step of the way. It's also written for people who look away, who pretend they don't see, or who don't know what to say when they encounter someone who faces life with obvious differences. Just smile and say hello!

--Sharon M. Draper

If the premise of this story interests you I recommend you try the book. You will not be disappointed.

Please comment if you have 1. Read this novel 2. Have a book to recommend to others OR have a book you'd like reviewed.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Collaborative Reading Quads!

One of my favorite collaborative reading strategies! This strategy helps students process and work through their reading (especially difficult texts) while working collaboratively.

I am also on the lookout for new fun ideas for students to read beyond the outdated "round robin" or "popcorn" style. If you are looking for an alternative I suggest you try this one out.

I hope you enjoy the strategy! Let me know what you think in the comments below :)

You may download the strategy HERE .

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Night Book Review

It is that time again! Book review time. I am going to do another really good book this week. It is called Divergent by Veronica Roth. This book is EXCELLENT. I think, for the moment, it is my favorite young adolescent book. It is riveting. I gave it to a co-worker this week and she stayed up all night reading it. You will not be able to put it down. Promise. It is another Dystopain fiction- sorry but it is my favorite genre. I will do a different genre next week.

The summary: Beatrice is turning 16- with this birthday she must choose in what faction of society she will live the rest of her life. The society located in former Chicago is now divided into factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I suggest reading this as an adult. I do not suggest giving it to your students to read or reading it as a classroom novel (There is potential parent drama). There is a lot of violence, suicide, and a sexual assault in the novel. Oh boy is it excellent though! You'll want to move immediately to the sequel, Insurgent.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Currently

Time for the Oh Boy 3rd Grade Currently if you don't read this blog, you should! The author is hilarious :)

Listening- Flip this House- the people who try to do this are brave! Oh the stress!

Loving- So today is the hubs birthday- the big 3-0. He is a year and a half younger than me and for those 18 months he has been giving me a hard time about being in my 30's. Now it is time for PAYBACK. I am going to fill the house with over the hill balloons.

Thinking- My house is a mess :( 

Needing- A Spring Break......... GEEEEZ we've had a lot of snow days from school. We have to go a week longer until school is out for the summer and now we are taking Spring Break days. NOT COOL. Old Man Winter needs to take a HIKE see ya next year. We are supposed to have a big snow event Tuesday. AHHHHHH.

Like, Love, Hate- Wearing Capri's rocks :)  Gotta love that coffee!

And once I post this I have to go and clean the house. BOOOOOOO.

Have a great March everyone!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekend Book Review

I have decided to start doing a book review every weekend. I can't promise it will be done EACH AND EVERY weekend but I am going to try.

I am a voracious reader, I particularly love young adolescent literature( now we know why I like to teach middle school Language Arts). There are SO MANY wonderful book in this genre that I will have a hard time deciding which ones to highlight each week!

I am going to start out with The Host by Stephanie Meyer. YES that is the author of Twilight. 

However, in my opinion, this book is much better than the Twilight Series. 

The Host is a sci-fi adventure novel set after an alien race takes over the planet. The aliens are body snatchers, who take over human bodies at the spinal cord. Once you are able to "buy in" to this premise, the novel really is good. The novel starts out when the alien named Wanderer takes over Melanie's body. Usually the human hosts fade away when overtaken by the alien- but not in this case. Melanie just won't go away- she fills Wanderer's mind with images of her love, Jared. Jared is still human, hiding in the outskirts of the world, trying desperately not to be taken by the aliens.

I am not a huge sci-fi person, but I really loved this book. It is really engaging and so different from anything I've ever read before! I highly recommend the novel.It will keep you thinking long after you've put down the novel!

If you want to read it HURRY- because the movie is in theaters March 29th!

Second Grade Nest Linky

Here is another Spring Linky party with great freebies! Second Grade Nest Linky

Spring Fling Linky

You can check out this HUGE Spring themed linky party on Perfectly Poetic Page!!

This great linky has free and paid products! How fun! :)