March 27, 2016

Five for Friday: Finding Balance

Tomorrow morning Spring Break '16 is officially over and I will be returning to work. I am excited to see my kiddos and hear all about their week off.
Confession: I love my job but I did not work over break

I do not feel guilty. I feel refreshed, relaxed, and like an actual human being! So here is a snapshot of my week that had nothing to do with teaching!

I saw an article about 21 things teachers should do over break. I didn't quite do all of them, but I did finish a book, get a massage (and facial OMG it was amazing), spend time with family, road trip/ field trip, eat ice cream (such an easy one), and start planning summer break! This is going to be my must do list every break from now on! 

Speaking of spending time with family.... I caught a flight back to Michigan and spent a long weekend with my wonderful family. I can't even begin to describe how much I miss them when I'm away, or how myself I feel when I'm back with them! My mom decided to spring a weekend trip to Chicago on us and it was time well spent! Museums, yummy food, silly selfies--- a great visit! 

After I returned back home, the hubby and I took the boys all over. They loved all our trips to the parks. We took care of some needed errands ... overall wonderful break! 

Which leads me to where I am currently at mentally. There are a lot of things up in the air and decisions that need to be made in the next few weeks. This is when I usually end up talking myself out of heading home... but I'm not obsessing. I'm just letting what happens, happen. 

Last night we were supposed to have an end of spring break date night, but I just traveled so much over break that I just wanted to sit on the couch. So my wonderful hubby changed our plans and we spent the night watching Gilmore Girls and Game of Thrones and definitely enjoyed our snacks! 

March 6, 2016

Going to Med School

Our wonderful 3rd graders have only a few short days left before spring break and testing season. We leave for spring break in 7 days and the day after we get back we begin our week of 3rd grade FSA (Florida Standards Assessments). Perfect timing of course :) 

In order to combat the crazies that come before break and manage the stress of test anxiety, I decided to try something new and transform my classroom--- Okay maybe not totally new, but I can honeStly say this is the first time I have gone all in. #setthestagetoengage #weregoingtomedschool was a HUGE success. Here are some sneak peeks into our operating room last week.....

Operating tables and surgical trays were prepared for the kiddos when they entered Monday morning. Each student had a syringe needle pen, bandaid post it notes, surgical mask and cap, along with a patient file (their work for the week) and their surgeon badge. All of the little props definitely made the week so awesome for them. They weren't too expensive either. I have a mom who works in the medical field that donated the caps and masks. I bought the pens and band aid post it notes off Amazon for about $10 and made the badges myself then just printed, laminated, and cut them out. Parents donated white or light blue bed sheets or table cloths and cookie sheets for us to use for the week. And the little yellow man (Carl) was kindly cut out from butcher paper by a talented parent.  



The first item on their agenda was to read "What to Expect if You're Having Surgery" an article from ReadWorks. They got right to work with their syringe pens, taking notes and making sense of this passage. When they were done reading and take notes with their partners, we read it together as a class and discussed our thoughts. I was so proud listening to their conversation, about how they noticed that part of the article was organized using sequence because it was giving the information of having surgery in order from before you go to recovery and they used signal words like before, first, then, finally. Or how there was a word they didn't know, but they looked for clues to determine what it was and noticed that after the word there was a comma and a definition. EEEEKKKK! My teacher heart was just thrilled! We used this article as we transitioned to our next activity using the bandaid post it notes to create a main idea and detail web with Carl (the yellow patient on the table). 


I found neat candy which the students thought looked like medicine (not my original intention but hey it worked perfectly!) to use with the Distributive Doctor packet I purchased from More-Time-2-Teach which was a great chance to review strategies we can use to multiply as well as hitting that tricky standard one more time! 



Another fun activity was when the students practiced their measuring to the nearest quarter, half, and whole inch AND creating line plots. These two standards go hand in hand for our 3rd graders. I found a cute clip art of some bones and printed them out in various sizes for the students to measure. They used this measurement data to create their line plots. We also measured each other, because you always get measured and weighed when you visit the doctor! 


Throughout the week we read several doctor related articles, save many patients (word problems) thanks to our symptom analysis, evaluations, surgical procedures, and check ups. We learned about creepy medical procedures like mummification, the history of modern medicine, and cool facts about our bodies like how hiccups and our nerves work. We also had lots of fun------ #setthestagetoengage #weregoingtomedschool #testprepcanbefun was a wonderful week that I know both myself and the students will have in our memories for years to come. Who knows I may just have created 20 wanna be doctors?