Five For Friday ~ Vacation Vibes + Last Gasp of Summer!

Do July and August go by faster than other months?  Time sure does fly when you're having fun on vacation!

If you love this number clipart, I got it from PrettyGrafikDesign on Etsy (~on sale for 99cents)!

First Stop - New York City - Lower East Side

Last Friday my husband and I hopped in the car and drove to NYC.  I even drove in the city to our hotel - the Marriott Courtyard Hotel.  Check out the roof gardens from our hotel window:


Later on Friday, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we saw beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows, mummies and A LOT of famous paintings.

Later, we went out for dinner, and I tried my first frose (frozen rose).  It was delicious!

The Tenement Museum

On Saturday, we visited Little Italy and Chinatown on way to the Tenement Museum.  I'd read a lot about this museum and wanted to visit because my mother grew up in the West End of Boston in a tenement building.

The Tenement Museum has several tour options - we went on a "Meet the Residents" Tour that featured Victoria Confino - a 14 year old Sephardic Jew who lived in the building back in 1916.  "Victoria" let us into her apartment; gave us a tour and answered our questions.  It was very interactive and highly informative!  On top of having a tiny three room apartment for at least seven family memebers, the bathrooms were in the hallway - two shared bathrooms for four apartments.  At least, there was running water!

Of course, I checked out the books in the Museum Bookshop:

I definitely want to check out these books!

In addition, if you go here, you can check out teacher materials about immigration, primary sources, etc.

National September 11th Memorial

The new 9/11 Memorial is breathtaking:

There are two memorials - one for each building.  Each memorial contains the names of the victims.  It's such an important place to visit because each name represents a person who had a family and friends who still miss them.

Also, check out the new World Trade Center - it's quite tall!

The Lion King on Broadway!

I have seen the Lion King when it came to Boston years ago, however, my daughter, Bethany (we went to NYC to visit her), her boyfriend, and my husband had never seen it.  I went on-line and bought tickets in the orchestra for the Sunday afternoon performance for us.  What an extraordinary performance and opportunity if you ever get the chance, take it.

Here's a picture of the grand finale:

Stop 2 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

On Monday, my husband and I headed to Mystic, Connecticut for a few days.  I've always wanted to go there, and it's midway between NYC and Boston.

Monday was the eclipse, and we were on a cruise on the Sabino, the oldest steamboat in use.

The Mayflower 2 is in the white enclosure to the right ~ it is being restored for its BIG 400th anniversary!

While cruising on the Sabino, we saw a drawbridge; a train bridge that rotated; and the filming of a Weekender segment for Fox 61 from Hartford!  The eclipse was the background of all this excitement!

Well, that was my summer vacation!  Now I've started making final preparations for back to school!

Thanks for visiting today!


The Grand Finale of The Reading Strategies Book ~ Check Out Strategy 13 ~ Improving Writing About Reading!

Hello and welcome to the final installment of Teaching Little Miracles' link-up:

Goal 13 - Improving Writing About Reading

This goal is mine, too!  I'm always trying to express myself in a more clear, succinct and interesting way when I write in my blog.  Writing well is a lifelong quest for many of us!

 *Strategy 13.7 - What's Worth Keeping

This skill is key in some many ways, and it's an essential skill when it comes to summarizing!

what's worth keeping

*Strategy 13.8 - Five-Sentence Summary

I LOVE and use this strategy all the time!


I love how this anchor chart incorporates transition works, too!

*Strategy 13.10 Note Taking Helps to Understand Non-Fiction

This is the perfect lifelong skill that helps all through school, college and beyond!  I wish someone had taught me this back in the day (sometimes I wonder how I survived without all this direct instruction; although I guess in the end we adapt and teach ourselves):

taking notes

I demonstrate this strategy with my third graders as I make live-action anchor charts when we read in our Science and Social Studies books.  Before they know it, they'll need to read the book themselves and take notes.

If you'd like to catch up from the beginning of this book study, head here:
The Reading Strategies Book - Breaking It Down
Goals 1 and 2
Goals 3 and 4
Goals 5 and 6
Goals 7 and 8
Goals 9 and 10 
Goals 11 and 12 

As always, thank you so much for visiting and reading my blog!  It means so much to me!  You're the BEST!



Show and Tell Tuesday - August Edition!

Happy Wonderful Wednesday!  It's never too late to link up with Forever in Fifth Grade for:

Sparty, the GIANT Bernese Mountain Dog

When my brother and his family go away, I'm the trusted dog-sitter for my nephew, Sparty, who has managed to keep growing even at 18 months old!

Bernese Mountain Dog

Sparty is a gentle and playful dog who weighs in at 100+ pounds.  This time I made sure to use my right hand to hold his leash while walking my dog with my left because last time I ended up with a sore elbow due to being pulled.

The Second Mrs. Hockaday - Great New Historical Fiction!

If you like historical fiction and mysteries, this is the book for you:
Click on book to read more on Amazon!

This book is told through letters and journal entries both during the Civil War and the years afterward.  The second Mrs. Hockaday is a young woman who ends up marrying at a very young age to a man who goes off to continue his role in the Civil War.  In the meantime, Mrs. Hockaday finds herself a mother and the person in charge of the farm and its employees. 

Back to School Letters In the Mail!

I know that Back to School Time is right around the corner when I put these letters in the mail:

welcome back letter for students

In the meantime, I'm trying my best to enjoy every last day of summer.  Soon we're off to New York City to visit my daughter, Bethany.  On the way home, we're stopping in Mystic Seaport.

Whale, Thanks for stopping by!

Reading Strategies That Improve Comprehension

It's that time again - although I am a few days late - to link up with Teaching Little Miracles for:

If you'd like to catch up from the beginning of this book study, head here:

The Reading Strategies Book - Breaking It Down

Goals 1 and 2

Goals 3 and 4

Goals 5 and 6

Goals 7 and 8

Goals 9 and 10 

Goal 11 - Understanding Vocabulary and Figurative Language
In fact, research shows that if students are truly to understand what they read, they must be able to understand, not only decode upward of 95 percent of the words. (p. 297)

*Strategy 11.1 Retire Overworked Words

This is absolutely a strategy that I use right from the get-go.  My students love to describe a character as nice or kind way too often throughout the school year, and we need to work constantly on using more specific adjectives such as honest, respectful or caring...


*Goal 11.3 Insert a Synonym

Synonyms are words that mean the same.  

I love this strategy, and it explains why I always used my thesaurus every time I needed to write a paper (I LOVED my thesaurus!).


Goal 11.9 Stick to your Story

This strategy comes into play in a big way when we are preparing for our MCAS tests (state testing).  When answering questions that refer directly back to the story, students often invent their own version of what happened or they'll tell a story of what happened to them.  Either way, they're not answering the question ~ either because they didn't understand the story, the question being asked or both.


Goal 12 - Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension
*Strategy 12.1 Listen with Your Whole Body

This is such a life skill that needs constant review and reinforcement.  I often find myself refocusing my attention when I'm listening to another person.  Having someone listen to you is such a gift.

listening skills

 Strategy 12.10 Sentence Starter Sticks

In this activity students chose a stick with a sentence starter on it.  They use the sentence starter to begin their answer:

Here's the best part - I took a class years ago and made similar sticks with questions, and I've never used them.  Needless to say, I am bringing them to school this year!

question sticks

Thank you for checking in today!  I hope you have someone who listens to you with their whole body!


It Was Monday, and Here's What I'm Still Reading!, hola, Coca Cola!  Thanks for popping by to hear about some fun books as I link up with Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers for:

*Click on the covers of the books to read more at Amazon!

 Urgency Emergency ~ "All in a day's work!" ~ Series by Dosh Archer

I love these fun books by author/illustrator Dosh Archer who writes books that are fun to read and funny!  One example is:

In this twisted tale, the Big Bad Wolf is rushed to the ER due to choking.  Upon doing the Heimlich maneuver, the doctor ejects a pair of slippers with a person wearing them (I bet you can figure out the mystery person!).  My third graders went crazy for these books, and I had just as much fun reading them out loud.  

All the books have animal characters from nursery rhymes or other stories!

7 Ate 9, The Untold Story

Follow Private "I" as he solves a mystery in this laugh out loud book:

All of the above books contain creative language and puns that are fun for kids and adults!

Today I posted over at Conversations From The Classroom:

 Click on the picture to read about what's happening to cursive writing these days!

I'm so happy you visited my blog today ~ thank you!

Back to Top