Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five for Friday... and RAIN!

WOW! What a week... Okay, I'll admit: I think I say that every week!

Today I am linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky party. I don't get myself organized for this link-up very often, but I always enjoy seeing what other people post. And today my little purple bloggy button will be in the mix!

Here's a peek at some things that happened in sixth grade during this week of February...

I think we are FINALLY getting the hang of fractions! I know, I know... This is a fourth grade skill. But we are slowly making progress (and I also have seven kids who are working on some advanced algebra skills). Despite our slow pace, I honestly think that fractions have become more "understandable" to more kids this year than any other year. Sometimes they say they "see" fractions (in a good way!). I hope to send them to middle school with better number sense and more confidence. And I think fractions and decimals provide the foundation for understanding and accessing many other math concepts.

I gave the test twice (with different problems) this week. By the second round, more than half of the students scored "proficient." It was a new class record! One of my kids (who really struggles with math) went from getting none right on the first test to answering seven out of eight correctly on the second test. I cried! Then she cried! Then we both had a great laugh. Sometimes teaching is truly JOYful!

The fourth of my five reading groups is finally getting comfortable with Book Clubs. After complaining (extensively!) that it was too hard and that the book was too confusing, they are slowly becoming comfortable with reading for meaning and discussing the text. This group was not used to the "analytical" part of reading; they just wanted to know what happened next (and how many pages to the end). How fun to drop in on their group and hear them asking each other questions and even challenging an answer now and then. One more group to add to the mix (hopefully, next week) and they will all be a part of a book study. Whew!

I love a happy accident. Somehow I ordered the same item from Really Good Stuff (which I call Really Great Stuff!) three times. (I really should LOOK before I hit "Submit"!) Now I have a collection of pencil baskets in the prettiest colors! Even if I never use them, I will just enjoy stacking them up and rearranging the colors!  I DO have plans for a few, but twenty-four? Maybe I could have a bloggy giveaway?!

I just LOVE the TpT sale! Although I have a store, I am far more interested in being a purchaser! I bought lots of great stuff... including Ashley Hughes' umbrellas... HERE at TpT. Even the sale banners were pretty! This one was made by friend, Zippy, at Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs. She's another of my go-to clip artists. Check out her shop if you aren't familiar with her lovely work.

I'm so proud to be a part of the TpT community... and prouder still to know so many teachers who create and share such wonderful things. I'm guessing that TpT has saved me hundreds of hours--and I have been able to purchase lessons and activities that I wouldn't have thought to create even if I did have the time! I can't wait to try out some of my new purchases next week...

It rained on Thursday! Rain. I can hardly remember what it looks like, it has been so long. (This group of kids has heard the words, "California drought" more often than most classes through the years.) The rain didn't last, and it wasn't much, but it DID happen during recess. (Of course!) I brought my rain boots... and I didn't get to wear them because there were no puddles! 

I bought these boots for a trip to Canada several (and I mean several) years ago. They are my "adventure" shoes, but occasionally they are called into service when it rains... which is, well, seldom. At this rate, my rain boots will outlive me!

On Friday, it rained MORE! We are just not used to rain in our corner of the country! More than once, I saw the kids looking out the window, mesmerized. At one point, there was rain and wind. Several were convinced there would be a tornado. Or a hurricane. Or a tsunami. Not that it changed anything. Most of the boys were wearing shorts. Two of the girls had on short-sleeved shirts--and no jacket. And there was only one umbrella in the bunch... brought by a child new to the United States!

Somehow the rain was a nice ending to the day. It felt a little like it was polishing off the week and getting us ready for what lies ahead.

This weekend will be spent doing report cards and sorting through my TpT acquisitions from the sale (YIPPEE!). I hope that the weekend finds you well, with a chance to mix school thoughts with some relaxation.

Now check back into Doodle Bugs' linky. Better yet, let all of us know how YOUR week went...


  1. That rain looks beautiful...especially knowing how badly you need it. I loved your story of the growth of your students with fractions. The fact that you cried with your student is just another example of how compassionate and passionate you are as a teacher. I'm so proud to call you my "bloggy friend". :)
    Fun in Room 4B

  2. So happy to see you! Friday's rain was something else! Crazy rain, wind, thunder and lightning, and all during lunch. And don't feel like you have to explain about being in fractions; we just started decimals. Do we share the same class?

  3. I just love how elevated your empathy it ... and that you'd share that with us. And WoW ... thank goodness for boots! We wore boots yesterday, too, but it was to celebrate Go Texan Day and kick off the Rodeo ... wish you could be here to experience that! Happy March ... expect good things today.


  4. So glad to hear that your book clubs are coming along! Isn't it sad that kids would rather barrel through the book without pausing to think and talk? I love that you're helping them learn to think through and communicate about their books! Good luck with your next group!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  5. YAY! Finally rain for you! Love the rain boots! I'll send you my snowboots anytime, I'm totally over the snow here on the East Coast. I want a little sunshine! Send some my way please my friend!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  6. Hey Kim! I nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award over on my blog today. You are such a thoughtful and caring person - you bring sunshine into my day when I see a post from you! :) Check out my blog for details!
    Loose Shoelaces

  7. I live in Florida, have never owned an umbrella or raincoat. I like to live on the edge? I do have rainboots though that I often wear even if there's not a cloud in the sky. Is that weird? They are black with colorful polka dots. They make me smile. I'm glad y'all FINALLY got some rain...even if it was short lived. My family lives in Cali...and my dad is in agriculture, so he was a happy guy! Oh...I loved reading that your kids were mesmerized by the rain. Let's face rains almost every day in Florida (not really, but it seems like it) and my kids still act like they've never seen rain if we are walking down the halls at school and completely lose their minds. :)
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


Thanks for reading this post. Comments bring me JOY! Please share your thoughts and join the conversation...