Saturday, March 31, 2012

Information Books

This week (after studying author's purpose) we began a writing unit known as Informational Writing...also known as All About or Expert Books....the kids are so engaged and excited!! 

We began by making lists/webs of things we know a lot about...
Then we created webs with subtopics...
Then we "tried on" our subtopics or chapters by writing drafts of what would go in those chapters.  We tried "how-to", persuasive paragraphs, and narratives...

Once we felt comfortable that we had chosen the right topic we began our drafting on pages to go in our books.  I am writing my expert book about Training for a Half-Marathon.  My class gets so excited to see the new pages I have completed and in turn take great pride in making their own pages for their books during workshop.  I can't wait to see how their books end week we will continue creating chapters and then they will write an introduction to their topic, create a table of contents, and design a cover.

Friday, March 30, 2012

What's Inside My Lunch Linky...

So I am alive (haven't blogged in over a week...oh my) and linking up with Tara for her Lunch Bag Linky Party!!!

Check out her blog: Fourth Grade Frolics  She is also giving away a fabulous bag from 31 so go check out her page and link up too!

Here is a picure of my lunch bag and a few lovely items from yesterday...

I was a lucky girl on Thursday....the hubby delivered a diet coke and a reese's egg!!  I usually have yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, and almonds in my lunch bag......I love this bag.....a new one from, the lovely 31.  It is insulated and has a drawstring which keeps everything inside even when smooshed and trampled in the Staff fridge.  I used to eat lunch everyday in the staff room but lately it overwhelms me...I am not sure if it is because I am new to my grade level and I am always in a frenzy, or if I am getting old and need some peace and quiet.   But....I do love to sit at my desk and read blogs, books, and enjoy the peace and quiet!!  I also like to have lunch in my favorite teacher's room who is also new to 3rd grade.  We typically plan, vent about frustrations with teaching math, and giggle about just about everything!  I am so lucky that I have choices of what to do with my lunch....and I have a whole 45 minutes of it with no duty!!!  I am sorry for those out there that do not get a duty free lunch....that just stinks!!

I can't wait to share all the great stuff that has been going on in my room over the past two weeks!!  Stay tuned.....

Monday, March 19, 2012

tales from my multitasking Sunday

So after the busy sleepover and late night,
Sunday turned out to be busy busy...

I started my day with a 5K Shamrock run
with my sister, I was so glad that I finished
and felt good!  This was my longest run post
surgery, I was just under a 13 minute mile.
Now I can train up for the mermaid 5K in
May....I want to improve my time by at 
least a minute per mile....

Next up my sister and I had a yummy breakfast at
Denica's.....followed by grocery shopping so 
I could gather all the supplies for dinner to 
celebrate miss double digits!

First up was pasta salad....

Followed by cake and sugar cookies...

Then lots of frosting which led to the final products... yumminess!

That my friends is a ding-dong cake....Cooper family 
tradition....chocolate cake, whipped cream filling and
then chocolate frosting from scratch!  I got kind of 
fancy and made three layers of cake and two layers 
of whipped was tasty!

We ended our night with this cute picture....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

cupcakes galore

So I came home from a busy day at work to get prepared
for my daughter's first slumber party....I still can't believe
she will be 10 on Monday!  Here are some before pics!

Yellow solo cups with names on to use all night and the next morning!

Cupcake boxes for girls to take home the cupcakes they decorated...
My cupcake creations.....for the girls to eat....I am loving the new fancy cake decorating
tips I bought....these cupcakes are from scratch as well as the frosting....
Cute Easter egg tree that my mom sent....made the perfect stand for the cups
filled with sprinkles...
Tables ready for the girls arrival....apron decorating!

And one of my beautiful birthday was a great night!

Time for a nice nap now.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

test prep

So tonight I started creating a packet to use with my Lucy Calkins
style test prep reading unit of up is to plan out my 
skeleton of mini lessons....wish me is the front of the 
packet....our school mascot is the eagle.  I took some reading 
passages of different reading levels starting with easy and 
getting more difficult as well as different genres.  I took out the 
questions with multiple choice answers and made them open 
ended with blanks.  I am hoping to get them to learn to think 
of the answer before looking at answer choices!  This is my first
year having to prepare kids for testing, I hope they do well!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

where would you live

Over the last couple of weeks we have been reading books that are about
different "places" that are imaginary....created by main characters etc....

With each text the students worked in their reader's notebook envisioning,
noticing character traits, finding wow words, and connecting between texts...

Then the kids chose where they would like to live and wrote a paragraph explaining why!

Next up we are reading a short chapter book called The Chalkbox Kid....
they are really enjoying this unit that goes so well with the pretend communities
they have been working on in small groups (more on that tomorrow)!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

i am lovely again and way more organized

Woohoo....I got a lovely blog award again....feeling the love times 3!

Thank you to Jen at Teaching, life, and everything in between...

I am feeling pretty lovely today.....reportcards are finished, conferences 
are almost finished, and my classroom is looking way more organized.

This is just one area that is looking way fabulous....can't wait to hear the ooooohs and ahhhhhs
tomorrow from my students!  I am hoping I can get some test prep and planning completed 
on Thursday and Friday after the kids leave.....gotta love minimum week we are 
focusing on author's purpose and writing expert reports ( what I call all about books).  I am 
Hoping to plan and write out a skeleton of mini lessons for test prep (reading) following 
Lucy Calkin's unit in the most recent curricular calendar as well as poetry using Amanda 
Nickerson's great poetry resource as a guide!  I think it will be fun for the kids to have a light
writing unit while we tackle the test prep in reading.....I am finally feeling above water this year!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Family Dinner Traditions

So, I grew up in a family of 5.  Every Friday night my mom would make pizza, YUM!

And she made the dough from scratch....double yum!

When I married Mike we continued the tradition and now with our children
we call it Friday pizza/movie night!  The kids LOVE it!

We make our dough and sauce from scratch (well more the dough than the sauce).
Recipe can be found in our favorite recipe book---Test Kitchen!!

So along with our Friday night traditions.....we have been serving Breakfast for dinner on Monday nights....after swimming lessons, it is quick and easy!!  Not always with a mimosa though....

Sunday nights we have been (for the last two) enjoying a super yummy sandwich I had growing up!  They are called Papa's Sandwich's....sourdough roll with mayo and italian seasoning on one side, italian dressing on the other, then top with ham and salami (thin sliced from the deli) and provolone on the other in the oven and warm it up until the cheese is melting....then add pepperocinis!  YUM!
(I promise to add a picture later) add a new tradition ( and to make my life easier on busy Saturdays)...

Today I am whipping up Chicken Tortilla took literally 10 minutes to put it all in the pot!
I will be serving it over tortilla chips, topped with sourcream, cheese, lime, and cilantro.
The adults will be enjoying a Dox Equis with a lime as well!!!

I guess I need to come up with some other fun traditional meals to make life easy.....
we do make meatballs (from the cook book too) often as well as tacos.  
The other one that I loved and tried a couple months ago was a mashed potato bar!!

Do you cook any traditional dinners that you serve on the same day every week to make your life easier?

Friday, March 9, 2012

cupcake party favors

So my daughter is turning 10 and we will be throwing her
First ever slumber party next Friday night!  She is so excited!

The girls will be decorating an apron and cupcakes to take 
Home with them the next a thank you for coming to
the party we made cupcake mix in a jar!  

And now.....back to reading and a glass of wine....happy weekend y'all!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

what i'm loving wednesday

Today was the best Wednesday I have had in quite sometime....
Many of you may know that I am a TSA.....teacher on special
assignment.....what does that mean?  Well....I am released from
my classroom on Wednesday's to hold 504 and SST meetings as
well as to do reading and writing coaching for our staff.  I love
doing this because I feel like it keeps me in the special education
arena and I get to help families in need as well as supporting teachers.
The downside is I have to leave my class once a week and write sub, since there is no school on Thursday or 
Friday I decided to not leave my was so nice!

We spent the morning working on some cool community and city stuff....
will post about that later.....then we had a celebration of our animal reports.

I loved this unit from lesson plan SOS....we added some fun things like 
About the author and a fiction book recommendation too!  The kids started 
by telling a little bit about their animal using a cool microphone, then they
read each others reports, books they recommended, and wrote comments too!

When I got home the hubby was busy making breakfast for I had to have a mimosa...
thank goodness for the bottle of champagne that I had since I forgot to take it with me for our 
girls weekend half-marathon in Disneyland!  Yum!

Love this guy so much.....he has put up with so much in the last few weeks....through my 
surgery, recovery, return to work, and being patient as I stressed over report cards!

Ok.....and this new book.....OMG....have you heard about it?  I guess they discussed it on the
Today is a trilogy.....supposed to be kind of racey......I got a sample on my kindle 
And now I am hooked.....maybe it will turn into a movie with this guy in it.....


What are you loving this Wednesday?

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Currently Linky

I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade...

Every month she does a fun linky party called currently....
check out her blog and link up too...she loves the Birchbox just like me!!!

Here is what I am currently doing:

 Of course....a little explanation on the "3 words"....they are what my Students, Friends, and Family (in that order would say) and they have to start with the first letter of my last I asked My loving hubby to tell me one word to describe me.....eeeek....I guess I have been a bit CRANKY this past weekend....must be those darn report cards!  Happy Monday Bloggy Friends!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Snuggie Bling

So of course I can never say no to anything...

Not even when I am in the middle of report cards
and parent teacher conference prep time...

Kate is on the performing company at Tiffany's
Dance of her dances is called 
"Cuter than a Snuggie"....they wear pjs and dance
With a pillow in hand...

Super cute.....but a tad on the blah side.....why?  No bling!  So when the email
came out that they needed someone to volunteer (because the ultimate bling lady
was so overloaded) to add bling.....I said yes!  Well I have been putting it off all
Weekend and had a massive headache the afternoon....but I finally sat down and
Completed the fronts and the bows....I think the girls will be thrilled!