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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Five For Friday (Saturday Edition)

Let's talk about the end of the year. We still have a solid TWENTY school days left (thanks, snowpocalypse) and I already feel like there's hardly enough time in the day to go to the bathroom, never mind shower, cook a healthy meal, exercise, or (God forbid) relax. Tell me I'm not alone? I'm not sure who coined the idea of a school year 'winding down' but clearly they've never spent five minutes 30 seconds in an elementary classroom in June. So obviously I'm getting through this the only way I know how: obsessive to-do lists, lots of Taylor Swift, and copious amount of wine sarcasm.

As the days are flying by, I'm more thankful than ever to be linking up with the incredible Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday (Saturday edition) for a little self-reflection on the week. Although it was only four days, this week felt equally as though it lasted 6 months and 6 seconds. My kiddos are more amazing than ever, and the nightmares of having to say goodbye to them are starting to pour in.  Thankfully we are working on some exciting projects to end this year with a bang. June - we're ready for you!




This is always that time of year when a bit of paranoia sets in. "Did we learn ALL the vowel teams?" "Will they really remember what 'Show. Don't tell.' means in writing?" "Am I sure I taught measurement with non-standard units?" And, of course, there's always something I realize we just NEVER taught. For me this year, it was compound words. I woke up in a panic Monday realizing this somehow never made it into my guided reading lesson plans (I'm going to stick with the theme of blaming the snow. We did only have 7 days of school in February...never mind about the other 153 we had between September and now.) So thanks to one of my favorite resources from Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade, we are now compound word experts. And I'm checking one more thing off my to-do list.







 First graders are truly amazing. These two kiddos above? Started September working on mastering letter sounds. And now? Reading almost almost almost on grade level and LOVING it! At what other point in our lives do we achieve so much growth in such a short amount of time? 


Read to Someone might be one of my favorite parts of our day. Combining equal parts cuteness, excitement, and teamwork it's really just 30 minutes of awesome. I often use this time to run assessments or work with an intervention group, but this week I just had to stand back and take it all in.  Clearly I'm feeling a little sentimental about the end of the year, but man oh man, I love seeing kids that LOVE to read. Future bibliophiles of the world? I can only hope.



Another favorite part of our day? Math journals. This week we focused on one goal: prove it.  We often use math journal prompts that are both vague and open-ended, and encourage kids to find as many solutions as possible. In October, even the idea that a math problem can have more than one right answer can be mind-blowing for a newbie first grader. But now? We are at expert level. So to kick things up a notch, we have been focusing on organizing, sequencing, and aligning our thinking to prove we've found every possible solution.  



Looking for a great set of math journal prompts to use in your own classroom? Go check these out from my good friend, Jillian's TPT store: The Starr Spangled Planner


What kind of teacher would I be without a summer reading list?  As much as I'm dreading saying goodbye to my amazing group of kiddos, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to lazy afternoons on the patio with one of these in my hand. My reward for finishing all my end-of-year assessments? Emptying my shopping cart! What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?




Recently, I've been way into cranberry juice. And I mean real cranberry juice. A little splash over a glass of seltzer with some lime? Can't Get. Enough. And anyone I know will tell you -- this is not my usual relationship with water. So this week, I decided I'd dust off my water bottle and load it up with my new favorite concoction. An excellent idea -- until the WHOLE THING leaked in my school bag. Thankfully my soaking-wet-school-owned laptop made it through (thank you Mac Gods) but my planner? Gonezo. Caput. Done for. So obviously I had no choice but to immediately order this beauty from Plum Paper. Something I may or may not have been eyeing for a casual....six months. I'm going to count this as a glass half-full moment. And, as I write this, I am realizing my new planner and my blog will match.  If that doesn't make my OCD heart happy, I don't know what will. 



Happy weekend everyone!

9 comments:

  1. HI Nicole!

    Awwww I love your post! It is soooo amazing to see just how much your kids have improved over the year! I am going through everything I taught and double checking …because I get nervous that I didn't teach them EVERYTHING that they needed to learn before they go to 3rd grade! Yeeeeesh … so much to get done!

    Have a nice weekend!

    Amy

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I feel like as teachers we are always thinking of what we *didn't* do rather than all the amazing things we DID do (at least, I know I am!). Wishing you a great end to the year - I am sure your kiddos will start third grade ready to go!

      Nicole

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  2. You've inspired me to go to Amazon and see what's been on my wishlist. I might just need to browse for a few more books. I have 15 days left. I'm in Northeast Connecticut, and we didn't get hit quite as hard as you did! Also, it's easier to clear rural streets! Have a good last month! It'll fly.
    Jan
    Laughter and Consistency

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    1. Hi Jan!

      This year I have been so blessed with one of the (hardest) but most amazing group of kids I've ever worked with! I don't think I've ever been so sad to say goodbye, so my summer reading list is my strategy to distract myself from feeling down! Nothing like a good book, right?

      Have a great week!

      Nicole

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  3. I loved reading your post Nicole! It's so true, first grade is unlike any other grade. The growth we have the privilege to witness is amazing. Even when we don't think the kids can rise to the occasion, they always do! Enjoy these last few weeks with your kids they sound like an amazing group. I can't wait to check out my summer reading list, yours is giving me some inspiration! Have a great weekend!

    Jayme
    Teach Talk Inspire

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    1. You are always too kind, Jayme! Thank you for your sweet words. I can't believe this year is coming to an end. This is definitely the time when I realize more than ever how AMAZING first grade is! So glad we get to witness so many small miracles! Can't wait to hear about what's on your summer reading list!

      Wishing you a great week!

      Nicole

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  4. I have 3 of the same books on my summer reading list. You're going to love WBT. I read that one the first time two years ago and am often referring back to it. Fantastic strategies! So sorry about the cranberry juice in your bag, but it looks like it turned out ok in the end, lol. Have a great weekend!

    ~Laura
    Luv My Kinders

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    1. Hi Laura!

      I'm so excited to begin reading the WBT book. I stumbled across WBT a couple years ago and have been meaning to make it a consistent part of my classroom routine. I'm hoping reading this book will help solidify my knowledge and help me implement it more meaningfully. It's not too early to start thinking about next year, right? ;)

      Happy Monday!

      Nicole

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  5. Well, I have NO teacher books in my summer reading stack right now (which also made it on my 5 for Friday post this week), but I have read Teaching With Intention and it's Great! -Stephanie Applelight Moments By Stephanie

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