Monday, February 24, 2014

a february vacation update and a daily 5 freebie :)

Well everyone, its been just about forever since we've last posted. As you're all very much aware, life in the classroom around this time of year is just plain crazy. There's just so much to do and so little time. Plusssss this past week was February Vacation. Stacy spent some time with family in New York and had a wonderful time! :)

Friday after work I [Colleen] came home and was so motivated to get so much done over vacation... however... funny story: that motivation just continued to decrease throughout the week. I think the below picture is a pretty accurate depiction of why....
Can I get an amen?

Here's 10 things I did/made over break. Stick with me till the end, I promise I did some  2nd grade stuff in the process of sleeping and enjoying some time off!

1. Hired some youth groupers to correct papers for me. YUPPP. they're awesome.
they were paid in love, hugs and deep appreciation. <3
2. Drank some coffee with some beautiful friends....
3. Made these sweet potato creations [basically on repeat all week].... they're perfection. Here's where I found it.
Nailed it, pinterest!
4. Started this amazing book called Crash The Chatterbox by Steven Furtick. If the idea of hearing God's voice above all others resonates with you, go get this book ASAP. It's incredible.
5. Went to young adult small group on Wednesday night and made deli-flat individual pizzas. That was a strike of pure brilliance if ya ask me. (This post so far looks like all I do is read and eat..)
6. Went on a super long walk and soaked in all the stinkin vitamin D I could. Dear Punxsutawney Phil.... really? come on man... I'm way over this winter.
7. Listened to this awesome sermon while I walked and scraped ice off my driveway.
8. Baked some oatmeal breakfast muffins with my friend Emily. Found here...
....another strike of pure genius. These are great to take to work if you need something quick and healthy to grab (far too early) in the morning :) ps- add coconut..... sooo yummy!
9. Went ice skating.... Did some triple axle double toe loop twistys... ya know... :) I mean it's kinda casual but you can just call me Michelle Kwan....
Slash I may or may not have had to hold onto these guys. But only at first because I got the hang of it pretty quick. Champion status. 
10. Woke up every morning and told myself I should go to work and get things done....
.... and then didn't go. No picture to document that one, sorry....

But I did think a whole lot about Daily 5 centers in my classroom. As you may have read before here or here, this year has been a struggle with finding a way to do centers that works for my kiddos. I think I'm finally getting somewhere good. I've taken lots of ideas from lots of amazing bloggers and combined it with great advice I've gotten from those within my building. Here's what I started with...
But I realized that though it was working for many of my students it wasn't working well for all of my students. It's a little too sophisticated for some of my friends with all the choice involved. But it was a good effort. I used what I learned and made some changes... Here's what I've got now.
Now we move in 3 rotations each day. The center cards don't change but the name cards do each day. The kids are grouped together but not by reading groups. With this way of doing things I just call a different group each 15 minutes (and pray that I don't call people during their computer time because that's pretty much instantaneous water works). That way if their group is called they just leave the center they are currently at and come up to the table to meet me. We're on a 2 day rotation and I think it's working a lot better already.

Now getting onto the freebie! Thanks for sticking with me :)
I've also really enjoyed adding in some reflection to our Daily 5 time. At the end, all the students return to their seats and we fill out our station checklist (inspired by this amazing educator- who also just got a new blog design which is beautiful). On the front the students color in the stations that they went to that day and on the back we write sentences about 1 thing we are proud of and a goal for tomorrow. I love hearing the students share out about this at the end and support one another in both their proud moments AND "still working on" goals. It is something really special to see them clap for and congratulate each other with genuine hearts. 

Click on the pictures to be directed to the google drive doc. Or just click here
I copy them back to back.

Last thing...
(You're a CHAMP for hangin in there all the way to this point)
 There's a sale going on at TpT this week! Check out our store and be sure to stock up your carts!

Ps- any teachers out there have any requests for new Fundations sets for Stacy and I to create? We'd love to know what you're looking for and hear from those of you who have been using our sets in your classrooms! Leave some comments below! 

Happy week back from vacation, all.

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