Five for Friday ... Riding the Crazy Train

14 June 2013
I would just like to start by saying how truly unfair I think it is that June is the busiest month ... I have no energy left in June.  None.  Not a drop.  Why can't it be this crazy in September when I actually have the energy to handle it all?  And forget "riding" the crazy train like I said in my post title ... I think I may be dragging behind it.  Waving the white flag.  Help.
To give you a glimpse into my crazy week, I linked up to Doodle Bug's Teaching for another fabulous Five For Friday.

Soccer season has started (inspired my choice of numbers this week).  LOVE being a soccer mom.  For the first year, all three of my little ones are in soccer - and they couldn't be cuter. This is putting me on the crazy train because it is keeping me busy 3 nights a week (I don't even want to think about my Monday nights where all three girls play at the same time ... but at three DIFFERENT fields all over my city).  I coached soccer last year, but once I saw the schedule this year, I knew it wasn't even a remote possibility.  The photo below is my oldest and youngest at their soccer academy camp (my middle was at a dance reheasal).

I created a new resource this week - Math Concept Posters.  I love them, and I know I'll get so much use out of them, but it put me on the crazy train because I absolutely didn't have the spare time to create a new resource ... ate up a lot of my sleeping time.  However, I created it out of necessity because I still needed a few more marks for my last math unit.  I plan to use these pages in their math journals next year.  You can click on the picture to take a peek at my newest resource.

It's dance recital week.  We spent all night at dress rehearsal on Wednesday, and I can't wait for the recital on Sunday.  I danced for 14 years while I was growing up, so this just brings it all back.  My middle and youngest are both dancing in the recital this Sunday, and I think I just may be the proudest mommy in the audience.  Precious.  But it has me on the crazy train for obvious reasons.  

The dance recital isn't the only special part about Sunday.  It's also Father's Day ... and I've got to think up some special way to show my husband what a remarkable dad he is (especially since he has to dance in the recital on Sunday with my littlest one), and remind my dad that he'll always be my #1.  This has me on the crazy train because I totally forgot to do something with my own students ... until the last block of today.  We had a PD day on Monday, and then I was out of the class for meetings on Wednesday and half of Thursday.  I've been playing catch-up all week, and apparently, I'm not great at it.  So, I recycled an idea from last year and we made shirt-and-tie cards.  You can read more about it in my blog post HERE.

10 days left.  Yes, 10.  This may be the only thing that's keeping my fingerhold on the back of the crazy train.  If it wasn't for that light at the end of the tunnel, I'd be lying on the tracks by now.  10 days left seems do-able.  Just have to make it through 8 soccer games, 9 soccer practices, one dance recital, one Father's Day celebration, find that library book I got a note for from my youngest daughter's teacher, report cards, my class trip, four class trips for the girls, the end of my course (and the start of part 2) ... and breathe.  Breathe.  10 days - I can DO this!!!

Happy FRIDAY!!!

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Friday Art Feature - Comic Book Onomatopoeia

07 June 2013
I LOVE saving figurative language until June - it's such a fun language unit ... and perfect for our "dreaming of summer brains".  We finished up our EQAO testing mid week, and this onomatopoeia activity was the perfect break from testing.

How fun is that???  Students chose two contrasting colours - one for the background and one for the word and border "bursting out of the page".  They also needed newspaper (cut just a fraction smaller that the "bursting out of the page border" and glued the newspaper on top.  They glued their word on top of that (we had brainstormed a lot of onomatopoeia words, but for some reason most of them chose SPLAT for their word).  I also had them do a little shading under their letters for that little extra POP (see, I know some onomatopoeia words, too).  ;)

I had seen this awesome idea on Pinterest and followed it back to Artisan des Arts.  Her examples are FANTASTIC!!

We also wrote simile poems this week.  I found a little template HERE for the students to use for their rough copies.  When students were finished their templates, I had them write out their good copies, and illustrate a few lines with a small image.  

I hung these up, too ... LOVING our bulletin board switch up ... even this late in the school year!!!  (I have two of these "smART class" bulletin boards side by side in the classroom.

15 more school days left ... I think I can ... I think I can ...

Happy Friday!!!


End of the Year Memory Bags

03 June 2013
Okay, all you friends who are just about to finish up your year (not you super-lucky ones who are already done) ... have I mentioned how VERY jealous I am??  As of today, I have 19 school days left ... 19 sounds do-able, until I think about everything I still need to squeeze in ... then I start to hyperventilate a little a lot.

So, maybe while I was dreaming of already being on summer vacation, I decided to create an end of the year resource for my students - End of the Year Memory Bags.  These are very similar to my Paper Bag Character Reports (which is my second most popular blog post of all time).  My students were very disappointed we weren't doing the Paper Bag Reports this year, but since I keep half my class for a second year every year (I have all the grade 5 and 6 students in the school), I don't do anything the same two years in a row.  I thought this might pacify them.  ;)

As it is WAY too soon to get my students into that end-of-the-year mindset (I'm not that crazy), I tested the resource out on my daughter at home (the things she has to do for her mama) ;).  She loved it, though - and I LOVED hearing about her reflect on her school year - what things stood out as her proudest moments.

All your students need to complete this project is a paper lunch bag - preferably the ones with the flat bottom.

Your students have different choices when picking out what organizers they will include on the different panels - so they can reflect on the experiences that they will truly remember.

The best part is what's on the inside - students have to choose 10 items that symbolize or remind them about something meaningful over the school year.  For each object they include in their bag, they will fill out a card explaining why they chose that object.

Students can present these bags orally, or they can be hung on a bulletin board or lined up along a shelf, students could also set them up gallery style and have students walk through to see the displays ... or they could take them home to share with parents if you're already cleaning up your classroom.

I've even included a rubric just in case you need to squeeze in one more assessment.  I can't wait to pull these out during our last week of school - I'm so excited to find out what memories my students made this year ... and maybe what they'd like to forget.  ;)

If you're interested in checking this one out, just click HERE or on any of the pics in this post.

Happy Monday!!!  (only three more Mondays to go for me).

Currently in June

01 June 2013
Well, the 1st of the month means a new Currently ... thank goodness - I've been such a terrible blogger lately, I needed something quick and easy and fun to get me back in gear again.  I have to admit - I barely have the energy to crawl to the end of the year right now - school is crazy (I got two new students in the last two weeks), testing has just begun, my girls are super busy right now, I'm taking a course, haven't even started report cards ... and I still have another month of school!!!  {waving white flag}  I think I'm having anxiety just thinking about it all.

Anyhow, here it is ... I'm linking up to the ever-so-fabulous Farley for her June Currently at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Listening ... to hockey playoffs.  Now, I can sit and watch a game with my hubby with the best of them ... but it's June.  And I'm.Over.It.  When do I get my TV back??

Loving ... that the girls' soccer season is starting this week - LOVE watching these games (and LOVING even more that I'm not coaching this year).  All three girls are in soccer this year - can't wait.  Also loving that I'm getting ready for the girls' dance recital - my two youngest dance and their costumes this year are the most adorable little things I've seen.  I danced for 12 years when I was young, and loved every single moment of it - this brings it all back.

Thinking ... about my friend.  I went to a benefit tonight for my friend whose son has cancer (you might remember my fundraiser for Taten).  They're doing as well as they can right now - have been travelling for chemo treatments at least twice a month, and she has stayed so strong throughout everything.  She is truly my hero, and I will never forget how lucky I am.

Wanting ... more air conditioning.  It is SO hot and sticky right now.  Now, I know I shouldn't be complaining as we had snow LAST month, but I am ... and this girl wants some air conditioning.  At home and at school.

Needing ... organization.  Everywhere.  At home, at school, in life.  Everywhere.  I'm going to live vicariously through Ladybug's and Fun in Room 4B's organizational linky ... (and marvel a bit at the organizational genius) and maybe I'll be inspired to pick up an idea or two.  Okay, if I'm being honest, not pick up an idea or two, but actually carry out an idea or two.

Vacay Essentials ... I have to admit ... I'm not there yet.  I still have another month to go.  And it's such a crazy month, that I can't let my head get there yet.  But, I know I'll be needing to get my passport paperwork finished, patience (three girls under 10 at home all summer will require some patience), and plans ... just in case that patience thing isn't working out for me.  ;)

Happy Saturday!!!