Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gone Gardening...

I should not be allowed in another plant nursery this year.  Seriously.  My gardens are full - but I keep finding plants that I to have.  I have seriously blown past my gardening budget.  But, I am getting close to having everything planted, and hopefully I will soon be eating some of my hard work.  My vegetable garden is looking delicious.

That is where I have been lately.  Spending my spare after school and weekend times gardening like crazy.  Oh, and I am training for a 10 km road race on June 6th.  So I have been running a lot too.  I will try to post a bit more regularly this month, and then my next courses start July 6th, so I should have lots to think and write about then.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shaking with Anticipation...

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5)My most recent scholastic orders came in today - a whole week earlier than expected.  In it was the copy of The Last Olympian I had purchased for my classroom.  Well...when my students saw the box, they knew exactly what it was and all of a sudden I had 6 kids at my desk, practically shaking, waiting for me to pull the books out of the box.  I got a bonus pack of three graphic novels and those were snagged out of my hands faster than I could get them out of the box.  More and more I am starting to see my class as a community of readers, ready and willing to share and discuss books with one another.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day Messages

Thanks to Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, I came up with a last minute Mother's Day idea.  She posted a "Wordle" of her class constitution.  I had never seen a Wordle word cloud before, but I played around with it last night after seeing one on her site, and decided they would make great Mother's Day cards.  I can actually think of a ton of ways I could use Wordle with class projects...but maybe more on that another time.

I had my students type a paragraph about their moms straight into the wordle text box.  I emphasized (against my better judgement) for them to use repetitive, bad writing in the text box, as the words used the most frequently show up the largest and most prominent in the word cloud. A lot of them figured it out pretty fast and wrote "I love you mom, I love you mom," over and over.  Anyways, we printed the resulting word clouds and made them into cards.  Take a look at how they turned out:

Not bad for a last minute idea... This afternoon I took my class outside and we took pictures for our Mother's Day gifts.  Each student had to write a message in black marker on white paper and pose holding their message.  I had the photos printed in black and white - which was a good thing, since I dropped my camera and it now is taking pictures that are very pink.  I think it may be broken for good.  The messages were very honest, and I am hoping the moms will appreciate the sincerity.  (I'm not a mom - so sometimes I miss the boat on things that are important to parents.)  And, the project only cost about $10.00 - total - much less than what a lot of the other classes at school have spent.

Any other simple Mother's Day ideas out there?  I am not known for elaborate holiday celebrations in my classroom.