Fabulous Five For Friday!

It's Friday so I"m linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. 
Make sure to head on over to check out what other bloggers are up to! 

This week we were very lucky to have a Mystery Reader!  Nicholas' Mom came in to read Tacky and the Winter Games.  Due to the Olympics, this book was in BIG demand, but Mrs. L. used her connections to get a copy.  She tried to order it online for her younger son's first grade teacher, and the book was quite expensive.  Any way, the kids were delighted to have a special reader:

Today (Friday) we had a Mystery Guest speaker!  I asked Karim's Mom to come to class so I could interview her for my RETELL (how to teach/help ESL students).  The students and I came to the rug with our clipboards and took notes as we asked questions.  Mrs. C. has had quite an amazing life!  She was born in Lebanon; grew up speaking Arabic and French; came to the United States with a 9 month old son; and could not speak English and had no family/friends in this country.  Well, 14 years later, she speaks English very well, and the family has a bilingual home.  She also emphasized to the class how important education is.  Here's Mrs. C. and Karim:

After our interview on the rug, Mrs. C. was writing in Arabic on the Promethean Board.  Shoshana then wrote in Hebrew.  I invited Mrs. Johnson to come see the board, and she wrote in Greek.  I was so excited that I invited Mrs. Johnson's class in, and her students wrote in Chinese, Czechoslovakian, Portuguese and Spanish.  I loved this whole experience because I love learning about different cultures and languages!

This afternoon we had a delightful magic show performed by Tommy James who delighted the Goodyear School with Dr. Seuss themed messages and tricks.  At the end, he even made a real live rabbit appear!

Also, this morning, we had a raffle sale, and here are some of the prizes:

Luckily for me, I won markers that squeak. 

Last, but not least, we went to school for FIVE days this week which makes me very happy because we did A LOT of MCAS prep. and started learning about the Puritans.  We learned that Governor John Winthrop kept very detailed diaries which are at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston.  We were very amazed and impressed about that!


Peek at my Week!

Guess what time it is!

It's time to link-up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings, to tell what's happening next week.

Social Studies

I love teaching Social Studies! 

This week we're starting a new chapter on the Puritans and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  During vacation week, I worked very hard to create an interactive flipchart.  Creating this flipchart turned into an enormous undertaking, but the final product contains so much information, pictures, primary sources, review check-ins and video clips.  If you want to check it out, there's a link below the map.


 Check out an amazing prize package/15 winners in all!

I love Rafflecopters!

Head on over to Deb's blog at: 
  http://crafting-connections.blogspot.com/    to check out a fabulous give-away with 15 winners. 


I love geometry!

This week in Math, we'll be continuing on with slides, flips and turns while continuing to work on our multiplication facts.


I love this writing prompt!
I saw this most adorable idea in a blog this week - I need to start writing this information down so I give proper credit.  Any way, the prompt was to write about something that has been said to you 100 times.  That got me thinking about what I say to my students 100 times:

*Write your name on your paper.

*Make sure you have 2 sharp pencils.

*When we line up:  "Single, straight, silent."

*Remember that sentences begin with a capital letter and have an end mark.

*Indent when you start a paragraph.

Here are 2 examples of what my father used to say - probably more than 100 times, too:

*"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."

*"Patience is a virtue."

I think I just went off on a tangent, but I just couldn't help myself - thanks for reading along!

Have a wonderful week! 


Storybook Sunday & Mentor Text Link-Ups! (another two for one)

Today I'm linking up with Paula's Place for Storybook Sunday.

Last week, I was on vacation, but I decided to go to my classroom and do some tidying up.  While I was reorganizing the library, I found one of my favorite books:

There is a whole series of Just Grace books by author Charise Mericle Harper.  Here's a summary of the above book from the Just Grace web site.


Everyone’s favorite Grace is back. And this time she has a dog. Unfortunately, he’s only made of cardboard and rides a skate board. Grace is determined though to prove to her parents that she is responsible and dependable enough to get a real dog. Things you learn in this book: 1. Sometimes it is okay to be sneaky if you don't get caught. 2. How to do flashlight Morse code. 3. What happened at school that was exciting: nothing. 4. How it feels to walk into your class after going to the principal’s office! 5. Many other things, but most important, how to convince your parents to MAYBE let you get a dog. A real one, not one made of cardboard. 

Here is some other interesting background information about Grace:

*She's in 3rd grade.

*There are 3 other Graces in her class.  The other Graces are identified by Grace and a last initial while this Grace is known as "Just Grace."

*The author's writing style is fun and full of dialogue.  That's why I LOVE reading this book out loud!

Luckily, there are so many more books in the series, and you can learn about them by clicking on the book below:

Just Grace

I think your students will love reading and hearing these engaging chapter books!

 To avoid overblogging, I'm linking up with  Amanda and Stacia, the Collaboration Cuties for another amazing link-up.  This week's theme is social studies!

 Sybil's Midnight Ride by Karen Winnick is based on a true story!  Check out this sign in her hometown:

I heard about this book when reading Judy Moody Declares Independence by Megan MacDonald.  Judy's teacher, Mr. Todd, gives her a book about "the female Paul Revere."  Of course, I had to get the book and check it out since I had never heard of such a person.  I particularly love this book because the heroine is a girl, and women definitely played a role in the Revolutionary War, but we never hear of them.


Sunday Funday Link-Up and Giveaway Time!

Today I'm linking up with Deirdre from A Burst of First and Molly from Lucky to Be in First  for Sunday Funday which can be about anything we've done during the week that's fun and interesting.


 Since I was on vacation this week, I entered several rafflecopters including the one from Molly who is also starting this link-up:
You could win $50 worth of goodies from this blogger's  TpT Store.  Plus, there is a HUGE amount of other fabulous prizes!

Now you have added incentive to head on over to her blog, both for the raffle and the new link-up.

On Thursday, my father, my sister and her 2 daughters came over, and we had a wonderful visit.  My dog, especially, loves when my father comes to visit because he gives her a LOT of treats.

My dog literally cries when my father comes over because she's so excited to be spoiled.

We also went to lunch at Chili's because my father had a gift card.  We each tried out one of the new lunch specials which are quite affordable and tasty.  

 I went spinning 5 times last week, and I still managed to gain weight.  It must be the Valentine's candy because spinning burns a LOT of calories so I don't know where the weight is coming from.  I would think it's healthier to gain weight than lose weight without trying.  

Since this is supposed to be about fun, I'll end on a fun note.  Yesterday it was so warm and sunny here - the temperature was probably in the 50's which is much warmer than it has been.  The sun was so bright and felt so good.  Now I have spring fever.  

Here's to sunny skies and good weather for the week ahead!

Wardrobe Wednesday + Five For Friday = A Double Link-Up

Today it's a two-for-one link-up with:


and Doodlebugs for Five for Friday.

Since I was on vacation I was able to go to the gym in the morning vs. late afternoon or after supper:

This is me in the spinning room at my gym, the Reading Athletic Club.  When I go spinning, I always wear a tank top with a pair of exercise capris or shorts - depending on the temperature.  These days I'm wearing capris to the gym.  I don't have a favorite brand of exercise clothes, but I always buy my gym clothes at Marshall's or TJ Maxx.  I am very lucky to have 2 Lululemon exercise tank tops because my friend, Kathy, gave them to me since they weren't fitting her just right any more.  Of course, all the younger women wear Lululemon, but I just don't want to spend so much money on my gym clothes.

Also, if you want to try spinning, I highly recommend it as an excellent work-out.  You burn a lot of calories, and most importantly, you are in a dark room so no one can see you so you go at your own pace.  Plus, the music really helps make spinning more fun. 

This week I also worked on my Chinatown adventure blog posts.  Here's one last lion that I forgot to put in my blog:

 I really loved going to Chinatown for the Lion Parade - so colorful and fun!

 This week I took my dog for her annual physical.  She used to live at the VCA Animal Hospital before we adopted her, and when we first got her, she loved to go there.  Now she's very nervous and pants the whole time.  We had a lovely new veterinarian, Dr. Pelletier, who was very kind to Gabi (my dog) and who agreed to take a picture:

 The older I get, the more I notice how young doctors seem to be.

I went to my classroom to clean my desk, but instead I rearranged and reorganized my classroom library which really needed a good dusting and cleaning.  If I could, I would dust my room more than twice a year, especially since I'm so allergic to dust.  Oh, well,....

Today is the last day of my vacation so I need to finish all the chores I need to do.  Of course, I have been procrastinating on cleaning my teacher shelves in my house.  I wonder why?  Now I'm blogging so I can put off the inevitable. 

Back to work for me!

P.S.  Here's one more thing I've been doing this week:  downloading A LOT of clipart.  I do LOVE clipart - so much fun!


New Blog on the Block! Educated vs. smart?

I found this great new blog that is definitely worth checking out.  On top of that, they are sponsoring a HUGE giveaway.  Click on the link under the picture to check it out:


Here's something you wouldn't know about me:  I'm always a day late reading the newspaper; it's just a habit I developed when our former paper delivery person brought the Boston Globe after I had left for work so I had to read it a day late any way.  Now I could read it on time, but old habits die hard.

In Tuesday's (2/18/14)  Boston Globe, there's an article by Tom Keane titled - Is college worth it?  Here are some highlights that I think are worth directly quoting:

...College doesn't make you smart.  Rather, smart people go to college.  And it's an important distinction...being educated and smart is something that happens before college. Some of it is the luck of the genetic draw.  But much if not most is what happens from birth (or even before birth) through age 18.  Nutrition...culture you're raised in...Character, especially qualities such as grit and determination, matter.  The stuff that happens before kindergarten, when the brain is rapidly developing, matters...K-12 education matters.  Your peers and the adults around you matter...

I'm just quoting a very small part of this article which is totally worth reading in full because we - parents and teachers working together - are an important team in the education and success of each child.  

I reminded my 22 year old son, Derek, as he was leaving this morning for work, he owes his success to his mother - I got a small chuckle in response.  Any way, I watched my first "Kid President" video at:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5-EwrhsMzY.  In one of the videos, he mentioned that MOM spelled upside now is WOW.

Wow, enough said for today!

Ladybugs mean good luck.  Plus, they're the state insect of Massachusetts!
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