I know, I know – It’s supposed to be “High Five for Friday,” but our last day of 2014 this year is on a Tuesday! We go right up to the 23rd. Hey, some people complain, but I like it for several reasons. It gets us out earlier in the summer, it keeps us busy, it forces me to be more prepared and organized for the holidays, and I know some kiddos are getting the warmth and food they need as close to the holidays as possible. So I don’t mind a bit!
Here are some highlights from our last week(s) of school:
1. Reading Turning Into Fun!– One of my 8 intervention students decided to make this game – ALL BY HERSELF! She asked if we could play it during our intervention class. I got everyone a game piece and one die for the group. Then, we read a Newsela article. After we finished each section, I asked the students a reading comprehension question (ranging from simple recall to inference and analysis). They enjoyed this, and I will definitely bring it out again.
2. Grammar Posters – I just made up a few random sentences and hung them on my bulletin board. We’ll see if they help!
3. Paper Wig Fashion Show – In art class, my students made a series of paper wigs. They look phenomenal, in my opinion! They asked the teachers to each model a wig and do a ‘runway fashion show’ for the school. I had such a blast! I really wish I could keep the wig, too – it’s really neat!
4. Krumkake – My mother, sister, and I got together for an afternoon to make Norwegian Krumkake. They are made on a hot press and then rolled onto a wooden dowel until they cool into this conical shape. You can eat them as is, or fill them with whipped cream. YUM.
5. Ready for Christmas! Here is Ruffy (one of my two dogs) in his Christmas best! Such a sweetie. We have all our gifts purchased, wrapped, packed, and ready to go! I just love Christmas 🙂
How were your last few days of school before Winter Break? I hope they were filled with good memories to last you until the New Year!
And just like that, it’s October! We’ve been back to school for 5 weeks now, wow!
1. October – I enjoyed decorating my classroom for October. One can never have too many pumpkins, amiright?
2. I don’t read – I finally snapped this week. I’ve been so sick of students (AND parents! AND colleagues!) telling me, “I don’t read” with this brazen nonchalance, as if it’s a badge of honor or something to laugh or bond over. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I stole ideas from this article, added several of my own ideas, and I created a full 12-page Keynote presentation entitled, “My reactions to people who proudly proclaim, ‘I don’t read.’ ” If you’d like to see the full presentation, you can download it by clicking here: I don’t read (c) Kristen Dembroski
3. noredink – I had all of my students create an account and log into my virtual ‘classroom’ on noredink this week. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a wonderful FREE website where you can assign grammar homework and quizzes. Right now, my classes are learning about action and linking verbs. They really love this website because it gives you immediate feedback. It also tailors each sentence to student interests (based on a quick interest inventory when signing up). Check it out!
4. Birthmarked – This past week, I’ve been reading Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien. And when I say ‘reading,’ what I really mean is ‘spending every single minute insatiably consuming.’ This is a very interesting read! The main character, Gaia, is entrancing, strong, clever, deeply caring, and easy to fall in love with. And the story is a complete mystery! I find myself fumbling for words as I try to even describe the plot to anyone. I don’t know what to say, because I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on myself! I started reading it because I saw several of my students with it, and now I find that I can’t wait to see them at school to ask them what they think.
5. Pumpkin Spice – Everyone is completely gaga and obsessed with pumpkin spice, THE flavor of fall. The thing is, I don’t drink coffee (yeah, I know, I’m weird). So instead, I’ve been finding ways to enjoy the flavor in other foods. For example, I give you: Pumpkin Spice Cookies! I’ve also made pumpkin spice pancakes, which are just phenomenal. Canned pumpkin, plus a dash of pumpkin pie spice, are staples ’round this kitchen, and it’s pretty easy to substitute them in many of your favorite baked recipes. Very filling, tasty, and oh-so-appropriate for the lovely season of colors and change.
How was your week? I hope you are enjoying the changing colors! My husband showed me this Fall Color Report website that indicates where the colors are at their peak in Wisconsin. We are adventuring out this weekend to enjoy them for ourselves!