Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey Book Reports - Freebie

      Starting in November, I realized that many students in my class were reading their required twenty minutes at home, but they weren't reading an entire book or a book at their level. To keep them accountable for doing these things, I started giving a monthly book report. I keep it simple since my purpose isn't to test comprehension but to make sure that they are reading at least one whole book every month (not counting their literature circle) that is at or close to their level.
     For November, I made them do their book reports in the format of a turkey. My students enjoy projects, so many of them enjoyed making this turkey. Since we were learning about writing paragraphs, three of the five feathers required a complete paragraph. The report covered setting, problem and solution, favorite part, and characters. Overall, it went well, except for a few students who didn't read the directions or simply didn't do the project (yep, that was a big 0).

If you want a copy of the instructions, click the picture below.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Currently and Help Wanted

Hello to those of you visiting from Farley's Currently Linky Party! I am a first year teacher with a fourth and fifth grade combined class at an international Christian school in Venezuela.

     I've been a little absent from my blog recently. One reason can be summed up in three word: first year teacher. The other reason is why I would like some help: I have grown tired of the template I had on my blog for the past two years and am working on trying to just use the simple template and add my own picture as a heading. The problem is I can't figure out what to do. I'd like to make something with some different clipart that is more related to what I'm doing. I would like a globe or something that would represent the that I am at an international school. I would also like the colors to be blues and greens. Any ideas? I also like animals, math, and books. Does anyone have any ideas? As a missionary teacher, I don't really have money to pay for a blog update, but I desperately want one. Right now, I've taken my template down and am just playing with the bland, boring one. Help!

Anyways, here's my currently:

Listening: Christmas music and men making a garden - Okay, so first I put Christmas music. Then I decided that some people would think that's weird because it's only November, so I added men making a garden (it's right outside my door and mildly noisy), but now I realize that this also sounds weird to most northern people because you are probably done with gardening until spring. Well, let me explain. I live in Venezuela where it is between 60 and upper 80s every day (yet I'm still actually very cold right now). Therefore, it never feels like Christmas with snow, so we start looking forward to it early. Plus, I love Christmas music any time of the year, but we're also setting up our Christmas tree this weekend.  Since it's so warm, it's also always perfect gardening weather. My neighbors (I'm in a sort of townhouse) are rebuilding an old garden that is right outside my house.

Loving: Being done with parent-teacher conferences - Yesterday was parent-teacher conferences. While I only have fourteen students, it took all day. By the time I finished, all the other teachers had left. None were too bad, but I was frustrated that many of the other teachers basically had the whole day to work since they only had 4 conferences, but I was busy all day and now am behind on work.

Thinking: What do I need to do today? There are so many things that I need/want to do, and I'm trying to figure out how to prioritize it. Story of my life :) I'm excited to go to my first Venezuelan baseball game this afternoon, but I need to get some work done before then. I've been wanting to blog for a while, so I'm counting this as work ;)

Wanting: A new blog template - I already talked about this above. I'm tired of my old template and having troubles just trying to make a heading that I like. I'd appreciate any sort of help or ideas you have.

Needing: To grade and write lesson plans for next week - This is what I really need to do this weekend to be ready for next week.

A Yummy Pin: Chocolate Chip Cookie for One - This was very hard to decide. Lately, I've been looking at Pinterest for food ideas often. The problem is Venezuela doesn't have a lot of the ingredients most pins I want to eat require. After lots of searching, I finally found this pin, which makes a sweet dessert for one person and has ingredients I actually have in my pantry. Granted, it would be a special treat because the brown sugar and chocolate chips are from another country and flour, sugar, butter, and eggs go through shortages here, but it still sounds delicious.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any ideas about a blog template.