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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Edmodo Book Club: City of Orphans

 Hello all! I hope that you are all enjoying your breaks and spending time with the ones you love most. I am so happy to be spending some quality time with  my family in my hometown.

After spending the evening trimming the tree my mommy, Grandma and sister (while the boys watched football), I am about to curl up with my new book club selection: City of Orphans.

At our school, we have been using Edmodo as a forum for book clubs.I wrote more about that HERE

 We started off the year by reading Ninth Ward. The kids loved the book and we celebrated with a pizza party before we left for Christmas Break. 

We are now reading City of Orphans by Avi.
I've just started the novel but so far it's great. The setting is especially interesting: New York City in the 1890's. 

One of the other teachers at school posted these videos to help our students visualize the setting:


Several of the kids have already started reading and discussing online. It makes me happy to see them so excited about reading...even on their break!
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas Break!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

3 more days....

but who's counting?  :)

I picked up some goodies during the Cyber Monday Sale and I have final had a chance to use them this week.

First up, this fun Christmas Around the World pack form Christina.  

This pack is adorable!! It comes with mini books about the traditions in different countries. I bought the bundled pack which includes a powerpoint for each country as well. I am so glad I found this pack. It saved me so much time and energy since I didn't actually need to do any research myself.

I made some quick reading comp questions to go with these fun little books and a couple of writing prompts so that I can hit a few standards before we leave for the break and review some test taking strategies before the break.Gotta keep my principal happy. And the kids haven't complained about the questions once since they are having so much fun with learning about each country.  Great fun way to practice comprehension skills

We will also be using Larura Candlers's December Activity pack later this week.

October Activities
I can't wait to make the cute little sugar cone Christmas trees!

On Friday, we will also be making a variation of these little guys:


These last three days are going to FLY by! I will be napping by the fire by Friday! Can't wait. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week, too!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy ChristmaHanaKwanazaa!

Last week we started gearing up for the winter holidays. As a class we researched Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. We spent a lot of time reading informational text which is a BIG standard in California for 5th grade and obviously important with Common Core, too! (Getting ready for our school's official switch next year!:) )

Here are some fun resources we used to find out about the history, symbols and traditions of each holiday.

Children Just Like Me: Celebrations!

Love, love, love this book! 

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Kwanzaa: With Candles, Community, and the Fruits of the Harvest   [HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD CELE] [Paperback]

I just picked up this book and the photographs are amazing! 

Okay so my kids are a little old for Elmo's world but sometimes he does a better job at explaining things then I can. We watched a clip about Hanukkah from Elmo's holiday special. It really helps to have the students wee children actually celebrating each holiday. 

As we read and researched, the kids practiced taking notes. They looked for connections between the holidays we studies. 

We turned those notes into these quick little foldables.

 Each holiday foldable was divided in to four sections: history, symbols, traditions and  connections to other holidays. 

photo.JPG             photo.JPG

I had originally wanted to add a larger writing component to this mini unit but the week just went by too quickly. Plus, I think the kids really enjoyed being able to show their understanding of the content without having a formal writing assessment.

 How do you teach about different holidays in the classroom? 

Saturday, December 1, 2012


It's that time again! Time to link up with Farley  for this month's currently. Don't you just love the fun Christmas graphics on this one?!?!?!

My responses are pretty self explanatory this time around. I am finally starting to get into the holiday spirit  I really tried to get into it last week but I couldn't bring myself to pull out the decorations or start my shopping. This weekend that might actually happen! This cold weather is making Christmas feel a little bit closer. Changing the Calendar over to December helps too!

Speaking of December and Christmas....I wanted to share a link to The Family Giving Tree. It is a great organization  Every year our local Wells Fargo partners with them. You can choose a child from the tree in their lobby and purchase presents for them. I know that their are similar charity drives going on through different organizations. I have participated in several similar organizations over the years and I can truly say that purchasing a gift each year is one of my very favorite parts of Christmas.

I hope you all are having a great start to the holiday season! Don't forget to link up! Head on over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade! 
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