Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving!

Who else is teaching this week like me?

My class went on a field trip yesterday, so we only have two days to squeeze in some Thanksgiving stuff.  Being in Hawaii, the kids have a hard time making real connections to the Pilgrim and Native American traditional Thanksgiving story.  As an educator, I'm not even sure I want to teach that story since it's not entirely factual (see this National Geographic Kids article).  But I'm not here to argue that, I'm here to show you what we did instead!

I love using the book The Most Thankful Thing.

It talks about things in the mom's life that she is thankful for.  But in the end, she is most thankful for her daughter.  It's so sweet and I cry reading it every.single.year! You'd think after 11 years I'd pull it together? Nope! 

If you are interested in using this book, maybe my Thanksgiving Feast unit would be helpful.  


I did find a 190 Lexile reading passage on ReadWorks called The Pilgrim's Path that the kids will read.  We're going to practice marking the text and answering text dependent questions.  I love ReadWorks for that! 

We'll also make a cute book that I used to do at my old school in Oregon.  

The kids cut out each page around the design, then stack and staple.  They practice reading for fluency.  I re-made the wording (the original was in Spanish and Russian).  This time, your students will get to copy the message and practice writing.  


Do you have any non-traditional Thanksgiving activities that you love? 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

November Bright Ideas!

Welcome to November's Bright Ideas! This month we are rounding up all our best posts into one!


I'm sharing some fun ideas for Guided Reading and small groups!

First up, I love to open my groups with some warm-ups.  Sometimes I use slinkies to practice stretching out the sounds in a word for phonemic awareness.

 Sometimes I do some dictation and have the kids practice writing and then blending CVC words on whiteboard dots that are stuck right on my guided reading table.

Then you'll want to see how I level books and organize my take-home books.

And lastly, kids will need to reference the word wall.  See how I set mine up to be interactive!

Do you use any of these ideas in your classroom? Make sure to check out all the other amazing ideas in the Round Up below!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bargain Hunt for Black Friday!

Are you as excited about Black Friday as I am?? I love saving money on things that my family loves.  Stocking up on Christmas gifts is a bonus, too! 

I remember the first time I went shopping on Black Friday.  I was home for Thanksgiving when I was pregnant with my son.  My mom and I got up at 5 am and headed out to my small hometown to scour for some deals.  We hit up Walmart and got my son a Nintendo DS on super sale, as well as a digital camera for our family.  We also went to Staples for some computer accessories (and teacher stuff!) and Sears for some tools for my husband.  Another year my sister in law and I woke up super early and headed to Target, it was a madhouse! We also waited in line for over an hour at Old Navy just to save extra money on clothes for our families.  Even though it was busy and we had to get up early, we were able to snag some awesome deals and made our dollars stretch extra far for Christmas those years.

When we were on Lanai for the past two years, I couldn't participate in Black Friday because there is no where to shop there! Literally! But now that we are over on Maui, I'm excited to go out again, get all my Christmas shopping done, and save some money while I'm at it!

A funny story - last year we actually spent Thanksgiving weekend on Maui.  We stayed at a hotel, played in the pool, and went to a Luau that served traditional Hawaiian food, as well as a Thanksgiving feast.  It was awesome! My husband worked in the purchasing department of a hotel on Lanai and they had ran out of Snapple.  Since the island is remote, it was hard to get things out there last minute.  Even though he was on vacation with his family, he had to run out to Walmart on Black Friday, buy Snapple, then drive it 30 miles away and put it on a ferry for Lanai.  My husband hates traffic and general busyness.  Let's just say that he was not a happy camper!

This year, I'm going to use Coupons.com to make sure I save even more money! While over on their site, make sure to check out Coupons.com Black Friday Sweepstakes!

Also check out the Black Friday articles on The Good Stuff.  It's the Coupons.com magazine where you will find everything you need to know for Black Friday shopping!



What things are you excited about snagging on Black Friday?

I was compensated for this post by Coupons.com, but the opinions are my own. 
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