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Monday, August 12, 2013

Hello Good Books!

This summer I have been trying to read some books that have been student favorites (that I hadn't previously read) and some new books that I thought looked interesting.  Here is a summary of some of the books I have read:

1.  Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Divergent (Divergent Series #1) (B&N Exclusive Edition)Insurgent (Divergent Series #2)
     I really enjoyed both of these books and am excited to read the third book in the series when it comes out. It is a dystopian story about citizens being split into communities based on a certain skill, with some being "factionless" which means they don't belong to any group.  I was hoping to purchase these for my classroom, but there is some mature content that I don't think would be good for a 5th grade room.

2.  Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth
Boys without Names
     This story takes place in India, where the main character is kidnapped and forced into working for a man keeping him locked up in a warehouse making picture frames for his "boss".  He is joined by several other boys who remain "nameless" (hence the title) because the boss doesn't let them speak.  It is sad to know that things like this really happen in other parts of the world, and it is a really good book for kids (gr 5 and up) to get a view of how kids in other parts of the world live.

3.  The Fault in Our Stars by Johns Green
The Fault in Our Stars
     Super book!  However, not age appropriate for my 5th grade classroom.  I heard a lot about this book, and heard the movie was coming out, so I wanted to read it first.  Two teenage cancer survivors find each other and fall in love.  They go through many ups and downs with their cancer throughout the book, but are always there for each other.  Have the kleenex close by, this one is a tear jerker!

4.  Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Bradley
Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children
     I love finding good historical fiction that ties in with U.S. History and what I teach in my classroom.  This book is about Jefferson's sons that he had with one of his slaves.  Very interesting account of how the different groups, kids, races interacted at that time, and how the sons were viewed.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hello Math

I love math!

When I was in elementary school, I loved math!  I understood it, and thought it was fun.

Then Jr. High happened, and I no longer loved math.  Why?  Because my teachers were impatient, assumed that teaching concepts one way would work for everyone, and got frustrated with ME when I didn't understand something. I went through Jr. High and High School with a strong dislike of math.  It wasn't until a Statistics class in college that I learned to love math again.

I think that is part of what makes me a good math teacher.  I know what it felt like for me to not understand something, and what I disliked about how teachers treated my questions.  I feel like I make an extra effort to teach concepts in multiple ways and have the patience to answer kids questions.

I am excited to teach math this year!  I teach 6th grade math to 5th graders who have advanced math skills.  I have been working on some fun ideas that I am looking forward to incorporating into my math class this year.

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hello August

Hello August-  is it really August already?  I feel like it was just a couple weeks ago when I still had the whole summer ahead of me.

It is about this time every year that I start to think about school- projects, ideas, decorating, picking up glue sticks, notebooks, random miscellaneous at the Target Dollar Spot (I can't get past that section without grabbing something!).

Today I worked on making a "teacher sample" of the word root cards I have my students make to go along with our Greek and Latin word root spelling.  I love to draw/doodle, so it was a fun project for me!  Here is a picture of four of the completed cards.
The kids always love making these cards (some of my girls could decorate these cards for hours!).  I then have the kids write the word root meaning on the back of the card along with a list of words containing that root.

Have a great weekend!