Friday, February 1, 2013

February Currently and 5 for Friday

It's Friday!  What a wonderful day of the week it is.  It's definitely one of my favorite days as a blogger because there are tons of fun linky parties to join.  This Friday is especially special because it's also time for Farley's February Currently.

So, without further ado, here is my currently.

Ah, relaxation, an old friend I haven't gotten to catch up with in far too long.  Tonight things just came together and I was/am able to chill.  My plans for next week are done, I have nothing going on this Sunday, so I don't have to grade work tonight etc.  It's so nice.  I actually rushed home today, so I could get started relaxing right away.  Unfortunately, I discovered that my cable and internet service was down, which bummed me out a bit since I wanted to catch up on some shows.  However, I ended up enjoying watching Julie and Julia and doing a crossword puzzle.

Now, that my service has returned, I am happily catching up on my favorite show, The Biggest Loser.  It is so inspiring!   Does anyone else watch that show?  

Since, I don't think I really need to explain my "Wanting" and "Needing," I will move on to my Pet Peeve.

Right now, many of you may be scratching your heads and asking, "What are "precarious things?  How is that a pet peeve?"  

Well, I will tell you!

Precarious things are things that are stacked too tall or stood up on end, so that they look like they are going to fall, e.g., a cordless phone standing up vertically.
My family teases me mercilessly by stacking up condiment jars and bottles, salt and pepper shakers, and all kinds of other things.  It takes a lot of self-control for me not to immediately dismantle the towers until everything is once again stable on the table.

I honestly don't know exactly why such "precarious things" bother me.  I guess I just don't like feeling like things are going to fall over.

Does anyone else in the world share this feeling?  Anyone?  Anyone at all...?


So, now, that I have shared a slightly weird and embarrassing pet's time for Doodle Bug's Five for Friday party.

I am actually going to share five things from the whole week because it was quite a good week.

1. Daily 5 Success!!!!  I believe that I have mentioned in previous posts that I am trying the Daily 5 for the first time this year.  In fact, it is actually the focus of my Professional Development Plan.  My goal for this year is to begin to implement some of the strategies and routines to see how they would work for me and for the kids.  So far, the verdict is that...they work great!  I LOVE it!  

I finally introduced Word Work this week, so the students were switching between Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, and Word Work.  I was nervous to give them the freedom to choose when to move, but they blew me away by doing a fantastic job!  On Thursday, they were engaged and focused on their "centers" for 40 minutes!!!

Read to Someone
Read to Someone

Listen to Reading
Word Work
2. Unannounced Observation...NOT-  My Thursday began quite eventfully.  At 8:40, five minutes before I had to pick up the kids from the blacktop, my principal visited me and said, "I will be coming in today to do your unannounced observation."  

Cue major adrenaline rush.

Now, I knew that my unannounced observation was coming, but I did not expect it that day.  Needless to say, I spent my morning prep meticulously planning and preparing for my reading lesson, so that it would go perfectly, splendidly, magnificently well.  I planned to spend my lunch doing the same type of preparation for math and writing if she didn't show up for reading.

Well, guess what... 

She didn't come for reading...or math...or writing.  The observation didn't happen.  Something came up.  Now it's next week...or the week after...or who knows when?

Fun stuff...not.

3. Tricky Math-  This week's math lessons were quite a challenge for both me and the students.  We began learning ways to add numbers to get sums greater than ten.  The first technique took 3 days of practice with manipulatives and the kids are still just starting to get the concept.
Here's what the strategy looks like:

Basically, you have to break apart the smaller number and steal from it to make a group of ten.  Then, you add the ten and the left over ones.  Told you it was tricky.

4. Scholastic Book Club Order- I don't know about you, but I LOVE Scholastic!  They have amazing resources.  I especially love being part of their book clubs because I get tons of free/cheap books!  This week, I submitted a $75 order for one of my students, and as a result, I got $20 of books free!  I ended up ordering 6 books with CDs to use for my listening center, since I only have about 3 sets there now.  I can't wait until they come!

5. Nonfiction Reading-  Today was the launch day for our nonfiction reading unit.  To start off the unit, we looked through several fiction and nonfiction books to note the differences.  The kids got really into the discussion.  Then, the students sorted out the fiction books from the leveled book bins, so that only nonfiction was left.  During this unit, I want to be sure that all of my kiddos are practicing the nonfiction reading strategies we are learning about, so fiction books become "dessert books" only.

Here are some pictures from the book sort.  The students had some great conversations about how to distinguish fiction from nonfiction.

In celebration of the new unit, I have a nonfiction freebie for you all.  Click here or on the picture to go get it.

Well, that's all folks!  I hope everyone can fit some relaxation into this weekend.  Have a great one!


  1. I love your pet peeve!! Definitely original, but fantastic! I'm your newest follower and am now going to check out more of your blog :)

    Crofts' Classroom

    1. Hahaha, original is a good word for it. Thanks for following. I am going to head on over to your blog now. :-)

  2. Hi Becky,
    I found you through precious are you?!? You have a wonderful heart for our Lord. I love reading your bio. Compassion International is a great organization. I teach first grade in public schools in Ca. I love your blog and am thrilled I found you. God bless u!
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet compliment. I am so glad you found me too and that you love Compassion. I am hoping to share more about it on my blog in the near future.
      Thanks for following me. I am going to go check out your blog now. :-)

  3. I need to start going to bed early. I hope you have a productive & relaxing weekend.

  4. I am so happy to hear that your daily 5 is going well. I am thinking of starting it next year rather than the literacy stations I do now. Glad to hear you had a relaxing evening. We all need those! I LOVE The Biggest Loser as well! I am so glad Jillian is back on the show this year! :)

    Have a great weekend.

    Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten

    1. I definitely would recommend the Daily 5. I am not even doing it exactly "right" this year, and it's already better than conventional centers.

      I am so glad Jillian is back too! The show wasn't the same without her screaming! Hehehe. :-)

  5. Your pet peeve made me laugh! I guess it does bother me when things are about to fall over, but it's probably not my pet peeve.

    That math strategy is interesting. It's hard to break down the numbers sometimes, but maybe it's because I didn't learn it that way and I can't switch my thinking. We are asking our kids to do so much thinking with the common core. I think their brains hurt sometimes (at least mine does).

    Collaboration Cuties

    1. I totally agree that we expect a lot from our kids. I know I didn't learn math this way. I think it will be good for them to learn how to break apart numbers in the long run, but it seems kind of complex for first grade. This is our first year of the curriculum, so it will be interesting to see the students' progress and understanding through the rest of the year and in years to come.

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. I'm having such a hard time going to bed early....I'm in the habit of staying up way to late and it's not looking good on me:) I'm your newest follower!!

    Come By and Visit My Blogs!
    ”Dots” of Fun!
    1...2...3...Teach With Me

    1. Thanks so much for following! I am with you on the accidentally staying up to late thing. Hope you can get some rest this weekend!

      I am off to check out your blogs!

  7. We've had that observation thing happen a few times this past week. We were told our administrator's bosses would be walking through, then again the next 2 days, they never came. I know we should always be on the ball, but I really did wish they would come and watch, then I'd be able to breathe again! I love Scholastic too, I wish I could get my kids to order some books, it seems like it's always me! :)