Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Book Stash Blog Hop - Character Traits

I am joining up with Minute Mom on Wednesdays for a blog hop about the books I stash away for read alouds! This week we are talking about books that we usually read in the beginning weeks of school – character education/I am special books. These books are a great place to start right out of the gate, because you want to set the right tone for your classroom. Now obviously these books aren't only for the first weeks of school, but throughout the year when things need to be revisited. Now these books are just a handful of 100’s of great books out there, they just happen to be some of my faves!

Have you read Odd Velvet, by Mary E. Whitecomb? It’s a book about this quirky girl, who doesn’t mind being the odd-man out. She brings “different” things to school for show and tell, lunch, and presents for her teacher. The other kids are nice to her, but at the same time very skeptical of her. Velvet has a birthday party, and invites the class to come. They are all hesitant at first, but at the same time curious about what her house is like. So they go to the party and have a great time. Over the course of the school year Velvet grows on them, and they realize she isn’t odd at all, but just a little different. I love the illustrations in this book because they are so colorful! 

This book leads into a great opportunity to talk about how each child is an individual, and how we can celebrate each other’s differences. I am attaching a FREEBIE to go along with it! Click the picture below to pick it up!

Have you had liars in your classroom? Or at home for that matter! I have an almost 6 year old who lies about the most ridiculous stuff! You can bet we will be reading this next book before it goes back to school! Lying Up a Storm, by: Julia Cook is a story about a little boy and his "itty-bitty lies". He talks about how he doesn't tell big lies, but just small insignificant ones. The kids at school pick up on how he tells small lies about everything, and nickname his "Le-Lie". His mom sits down with him and talks to him about how clouds gather to storm when he lies, and with each lie the storm gets bigger. He goes back to school the next day and instead of lying tells the truth and feels great about it! The rhyming makes for an easy read, and the pictures are nicely done as well.

Oh I loathe thee! At school or at home, it follows me everywhere! It
is hard sometimes for kids to understand the difference between tattling and reporting/ warning someone. I think that sometimes a lot of it boils down to simply attention, and they don't know how to get it appropriately. In comes one of my next faves - A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue, by: Julia Cook. Do you see an author theme brewing?! She writes great books for hard life problems.
The boy in the story tattles on everyone for EVERYTHING! No one wants to be around him. Then in rides the Tattle Prince, who gives him the rules to tattling vs. reporting/warning someone. When he tattles, his tongue turns yellow with purple spots and grows longer. He learns and uses the tattle rules and all is right in the world (obviously with some happenings in between!) The tattle line is catchy and my kids always love saying it with me. Afterwards we make an anchor chart with the rules and I use the freebie from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!  (click her blog title to go to the post!)

I'm sure we all have someone whom we didn't like till we actually got to know them! Enemy Pie, by: Derek Munson, is a great example of that. The story is about a young boy who doesn't like Jeremy Ross, another boy in the neighborhood. He seeks his dads help, so dad makes him a pie, and calls it "enemy pie". He won't tell him what is in it, and then gives him stipulations on it. The main character has to play with Jeremy all day before they can have pie. After spending the day with Jeremy he realizes that he isn't so bad after all. He goes to feed the pie to him, but doesn't want to because he likes him now, but there is nothing wrong with the pie! Dad knew that if he got to know him, he would like him. A great activity you could do with this is to have kids write the ingredients to the recipe for a good friend. Another one is there are a few ideas on Pinterest about friendship salad.

I have enjoyed sharing a few of my favorite character education books with you! Please share your faves in the comments below.

Now hop on over to Kelsey at Whole Hearted Teaching for another great list of books! Click that logo below!

Hop hosted by Minute Mommy

Happy reading!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Guided Math in Action - Chapter 1

It's Monday night, and I just got home a little while ago from my nephews championship baseball game, which they won! My kids are finally asleep and I can sit down and write. I am going to switch my Guided Math books around. So tonight, it's Guided Math in Action, by Dr. Nicki Newton. 

Chapter 1- Guided Math an Introduction is pretty basic. It is an overview of what a guided math lesson in action looks like. Guided math is all about meeting the needs of your students, and giving you the time to pull small groups in order to achieve this. 

While the teacher is meeting with their small group, the rest of the class is working in various centers and independent work, which is also at their level. 

At the end of each chapter are reflection questions to help you think through the chapter.
1. Currently, do all the students in your class feel that they can learn math? I am on summer vacation, but if I think back to my most recent class, no I feel like some of did not feel like they could learn math. It was a struggle for them.
2. What do you do with the students that are frustrated? I would try talking to my kids, seeing if there was an underlying problem. I would ask them if they are honestly paying attention, are they participating in the discussion, are they trying their best? Most of my students would have a problem with one of those three questions, and we would address the best way to solve that problem. If they were doing what they were supposed to be doing, then we would sit down and figure it out. 
3. Does everyone participate in mathematical discussions? The answer to this is definitely no. And the reason why I am reading this book. I am looking for better ways to engage my students, so that I can help them love math, and not be frustrated by it.
4. How do you promote perseverance in your classroom? We talk about giving up, always trying your best, what to do when you get frustrated. I had a student that would instantly shut down every time we took a test. He would complain that the didn't know what he was doing. We sat down and talked about how his attitude would effect the grade he got on the test, and what he could do to fix it. Eventually when I passed out tests and recognized the look, I wouldn't give him his test, I would just tell him to come and get it when he was ready. He almost always did okay once he came and got it, and usually passed. 

This chapter was a short and easy read, but didn't give a whole lot of meat. I can't wait to delve into the upcoming chapters, and learn how I can use this in my classroom in the fall, and make it work! See you next Monday for Chapter 2 - Guided Math in a Numerate Environment; or tomorrow for Chapter 1 of Guided Math: A Framework for Instruction. 

I hope you are having a great week!

Friday, June 24, 2016

It's Foodie Friday!!

It’s Foodie Friday, and I am super excited to give you my first recipe! It comes from Spoonful of Flavor and a dash of Life. I’ve made it one other time, and the family really liked it (which means something for my picky eaters). I love it because it’s a “one pot” meal. Which means less dishes, and who doesn’t love that?!?
**Disclaimer: I am not a crazy good chef (I like to keep it simple & follow recipes), and am by no means a professional photographer- so please excuse the sorry pictures!
One Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta 

First I cut up the carrots, onion and garlic. I put the carrots (about 1 C) in a boiling pot of water and the garlic (1 clove) and onions (1/2 C) in a large pot with 2 T of olive oil. In the original recipe, you sauté the carrots with the onions, but they didn’t cook well enough for my family last time, so this time I cooked them separately.

Once the onions were good to go, I added the chicken, salt and pepper, and covered the pan so the chicken would cook quicker. While you are waiting mix 3 T flour with about ½ C milk. Once the chicken is cooked, pour in 1 ½ C of chicken broth, and then the flour and milk mixture. Add another 1 C of milk and stir. Once it’s combined, add pasta (8 oz. fettucine). You may need to add more broth to cover the noodles completely, about ½ - 1 C more. I went to use my fettucine, and didn't have enough, so I subbed penne noodles. I figured 8 oz of any kind of noodles, should be the same, this turned out to be a bad idea. They must be thicker or something, because they took 3x as long to cook, and probably 3x as much broth added! No harm done, we just had to wait longer to eat. :)
Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down to low, and cover and cook for 20-25 minutes (or a lot longer if you switched noodles) or until the pasta is cooked to your liking. Make sure to stir it often as the noodles tend to stick the bottom of the pan. At this point, if you haven't already, turn the carrots off and set them aside, leaving them in the water. I added frozen peas to the water, but you don't have to. When the noodles are done, take the lid off, and let sauce thicken for about 5 minutes.  Then add 1 C of shredded cheese, mix, and enjoy!

This is a pretty quick (about an hour all said and done) and tasty dish for the week night. Go ahead and give it a try!

See you next Monday for the first installment of Guided Math! Check out my summer reading/blogging schedule below!

I hope you are having an amazing and restful break!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Blog Series

Are you ready to join me on a teacher learning adventure? This summer I am going to be reading several different books in hopes of adding their knowledge to mine! You can join me in a couple of different ways: read the book with me and comment below, just follow along and pick up some new skills that I am blogging about, or read along with me and blog about it too. Either way, I hope you will come along with me! Below are the books I am reading and their “tentative” schedule, because you know it is summer vacation after all!

On Mondays I am going to blog about the book: Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction. Two of the four books are about Guided Math. I want to incorporate small groups in math, and this seems like a great place to start.
Tuesdays I am joining Anna over at Creative Teacher Resources in reading: Guided Math in Action K-5. This book is about how Guided Math should look, and how you can differentiate your instruction. And should be a good companion read to Mondays book.
Wednesdays are going to be all about behavior with: Positive Discipline in the Classroom. I am looking for something to help change my classroom environment and atmosphere….which starts with us, the teacher!
Friday is going to be all about food! I am looking forward to giving you a simple and quick meal that you can cook on a school night. I may even throw in a crockpot meal or two! If you are like me, you are tired a zombie after school and the last thing you want to do is spend two hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. And don’t get me started on the dishes that come with it!!
So join me once a week – or get crazy and join me all four days! I’m looking forward to a summer of learning, and getting some reading done that doesn’t happen during the school year!
Have a great night, and see you tomorrow!