July 5, 2016

Slice of Life: Tell Your Story


WRITE your story.
SHARE your link.
GIVE some love via comments.

I have always loved a good story.
Whether it was hearing the story on my dad's lap, or
via a tape player that year he was stationed in Korea and we were in Tennessee.
Whether it was a children's book or a classic tale.
Whether it was a full length movie or a weekly sitcom.
A good story always draws me in and doesn't let go.

I have always said and told my students,
"Everyone has at least one story to tell."
It is up to us to tell those stories.
You can tell your story by writing it down in a journal.
You can tell your story by writing a poem.
You can tell your story by drawing a picture.
When I was a SAHM, I told our family's story through our family blog.
I am sad to say that since I have been back to work that blog has been neglected.
I did this because I wanted my children to remember our stories.

Earlier this year, my friends and I discovered Plunder Jewelry.
We fell in love HARD!
We fell in love SO hard that some of us started selling it.
I have always worn your basic jewelry, but was never a BLING girl.
So, why in the world did I start selling this jewelry?
Because it helps you tell your story!

Whether it is a simple bracelet worn to remind you to 
hope.


It might be the necklace that reminds you to
take the road less traveled.


It might be the personalized pendant that holds
a member of your family
along with their handwriting close to your heart.



However, there is more to it than that.
We need to listen to these stories.
When our students write from their heart - listen and ask questions.
When we hear a story being told - be in the moment.
When we see something personal - ask for the meaning behind it.
Listen.
Listen and hear because one day that might be part of your story,
and that person could help you through it.

What's your story?

July 4, 2016

Summer Shelfie List

I was not able to write on Days 2-3 of
We were out of town with family.

I was so glad to be able to write this post though.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do - EVER.
However, when the summer comes along,
I am very guilty of doing nothing but reading.
I always have a great "to read" list which usually grows
as the summer goes along.
Here are the books I really wanted to read this summer.


My oldest child has to read Gathering Blue for her high school honors English
class this summer.  I have never read it (and, sadly, she is not a big reader), so I thought 
I would read it with her.  She started today - I have not.


A few summers ago, I read Kiera Cass's series, The Selection
and fell in love.
My husband got this one for me.  
It was so different from any of The Selection books, but it was
wonderful!

Speaking of The Selection....


I am so sad that this series has ended with this book - The Crown.
I have LOVED this series.
I describe it to people as Hunger Games meets The Bachelor.
OH SO good!!
I kind of saw the ending coming, but loved each moment of it anyways!
I will be rereading this series again!


This book was one a friend had recommended.
I bought it.
It sat on my shelf for - forever.
I picked it up, finally, and read it in a day!
A.MAZ.ING.
Now, I am ready to read the next book in the series,


AND go to the Biltmore.

I do try to make myself a better teacher over the summer as well.
I have been looking/reading this book, The Reading Strategies Book.


I can't wait to be able to implement some of the strategies in it.
I bought this book in order to read this summer since it is the companion to
The Reading Strategies Book.
The day it came in was the day I found out I was moving to second grade, so....


I went home and bought this one.
I guess I need to get busy reading it since school begins soon!
I just can't bring myself to read it yet!

I don't know about you and your school, but 
our school system is making a big shift to writing.
I have been blessed to be part of a system wide book club this summer using 


It has had some great ideas and wonderful discussions have stemmed from it.
I think the best thing I like is having talks with teachers from 2nd grade-6th grade.
We really do learn from each other!

As you can see, I do LOVE to read!
What is on your to read list this summer?

July 1, 2016

Currently: July 2016 Edition

Boy, I did a great job for awhile.
Then, I took a break.
Let's be honest.
I stopped.

There are lots of reasons I stopped, but that is a whole other blog post.
(Let's be honest - probably not.)
I have wanted to come back.
I have missed it.
I have missed learning from others.
I have missed the connections.
So, when I saw Big Time Literacy promoting her Big Time Blogging Challenge,
I knew I had to do this!

I hope this means I am back!!!!
So without further adieu..

Currently: July 2016

Listening: We are about to head out for a family get together in Middle Tennessee for the weekend.  I am listening to my son singing as he packs.  The daughter is watching Reba

Loving: I am loving my summer vacation.  I have exactly one month until our first day of school.  ONE. MONTH.

Thinking: "WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO DO!!!????" I am moving to second grade this fall - in one month (have I mentioned that?), and I have no idea what I am going to do.  I have only taught third grade. I am moving rooms, moving teams, moving grades and my brain has been going 200 mph all summer long!!! I am sure many of my posts will be about this!

Wanting: I am wanting lots of things at the time.  I want a day where I don't think about school starting.  I want time to slow down just a little bit because my oldest starts high school in ONE. MONTH.  I want to savor and enjoy each moment that is left.

Needing: I am needing to get my shelf painted in my room.  Once that is done, my room will come along much faster!  I can't complain. We have NEVER been able to get in our room this early! We are usually the last school to be cleaned.  We are usually scrambling about 1-2 weeks before school starts because we were just able to get into the room.

Hoping: That second grade is a good move.  I am hoping I am what these kids need.  I am hoping I can make a difference. I am hoping I can enjoy every little moment.

So... that is what is CURRENTLY going on in my life.
  I am excited about this challenge and can't wait to see what this month holds!
Be sure to check out the other posts at Big Time Literacy each day!

February 23, 2016

JFK: Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean? You Decide.

John F. Kennedy
by Amanda Perkins

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, MA. He had 8 brothers and sisters. His nickname was Jack.  John was sick as a child. When John was 3 years old, the family moved to a new home. John’s father, Joseph, was a good father. Joseph was a businessman. He fought discrimination because he was Irish Catholic. John’s great-grandfather came to the United States from Ireland. John’s grandfathers had both been politicians..

The family lived a happy life. They had a vacation home in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. John’s family had a nanny to help care for the nine children. John went to Choate, a school for boys. In 1936, John graduated from Choate. He went on to Harvard University. John graduated from Harvard in 1940. After college, he joined the Navy. He fought in World War II.

After returning from war, John’s dad pushed him to run for Congress. He won in 1946. John served a 6 year term in the House of Representatives. He was elected to the U.S. Senate. As a senator, he married Jacqueline Bouvier. Soon, the couple had a little baby girl, Caroline.

John decided to run for president. At the age of 43, John became the youngest president ever elected on November 8, 1960. He was first Catholic president. John and Jacqueline’s second child was born right before the inauguration.

On January 20, 1961, John became the 35th president. In his speech he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” During his presidency he started the Peace Corps, helped to fund a mission to the moon, and worked to end racial segregation.

President Kennedy worked with Dr. Martin Luther King to help end segregation. On June 11, 1963, Kennedy proposed the Civil Rights bill to Congress. He stated that, “One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free.” Sadly, President Kennedy was shot and killed on November 21,1963 while riding in a parade in Dallas, TX. 

In life, people choose to be a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean.  A carrot seems strong but then falls apart after being boiled.  An egg starts with a moldable center but changes and hardens in the heat of the action.  A coffee bean actually changes in hot water.  When the water gets hot, the coffee bean releases the fragrance and flavor.  The coffee bean, when things are the toughest, makes things better and changes the situation.  

STUDENTS:  Write an opinion paragraph about and illustrate the following prompt.  In your opinion, was President Kennedy a coffee bean, a carrot or an egg? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

February 11, 2016

Science Circus Night

We have had the best Parent Involvement Nights this year!
At the beginning of the year we had Camp Read-A-Lot.
Then, we had Family Game Night.

Last week we had our Science Circus Night.
Yes, a night all about science and science experiments!
It was amazing!

The third graders began in the meeting room and learned about volcanoes.



Then, each child got to make their own lava lamp to take home.
They were SO cool!
The kids LOVED those!



Then, we headed to the gym where each student made a glider.



They practiced flying their gliders and then had 4 chances to fly their gliders.
They recorded their flight path on a sheet of paper, and turned it in to our p.e. teachers.
The next morning, our principal announced the winners of the longest flight paths!



Our last "science" station was going into the cafeteria for a science snack.
Each child got gummy worms, crushed Oreos, and a cup of pudding to make an underground snack.
Since the night was around Groundhog's Day, they watched a movie about groundhogs while they ate.




We really are blessed at East Chester to have our "special" teachers to help on nights like tonight.
Our librarians ran the volcano room.
Our p.e. teachers ran the gym.
Our special education teachers ran the snack.
It really takes everyone to make nights like this possible and successful!

STUDENTS:  What was your favorite thing about Science Circus Night?

February 4, 2016

Top 3 Thursday: Valentine's Edition

I am so excited about a new link up with
Cole from

Each week different educators will be featuring their Top 3 ideas,
products, books, etc. to go along with certain themes.

Since Valentine's Day is coming upon us, this week's Top 3 Thursday is centered around
Valentine's Day.

#1 - Giving Heart Attacks

This idea started from an idea from Pinterest.
(Isn't that where they all begin these days?)


My husband and I did it for our children for Valentine's Day, and they loved it so much I thought my kids at school would eat it up.
I die cut 20 million hearts in all kinds of Valentine's Day colors.
One day a week during the month of February, we choose one or two faculty/staff members in the school.  We each take a heart and write something positive about that person on the heart.
We don't sign our names.  
Then, we sneak to their room's door and tape the hearts ALL over it.
The kids LOVE doing this part, and they try to stick around to see the reaction!
Super easy and a wonderful moral booster!

#2 - 52 Reasons We Love

This idea can be used at any time of the year, but I thought I would go ahead and tell you about it here.  I have done this twice already.  Once was for my son's second grade teacher, and
I did it last year for my interventionist.  Both adored the gift and thanked me constantly for it.
I love this idea because there are so many ways you can adjust this to meet your needs.


Buy a deck of cards.
Give your kids a topic and let them go!
Punch holes in the cards and bind them together some way.
(I usually put one hole in the top corner and attach it with a ring.)

What could they write about?
52 Reasons We Love....
Our School
Our City
Our Classroom
Our Student Teacher
Reading
Math
Social Studies
America
Your State
Earth
I could keep going.....

#3 Valentine Science Kit
Last year, this was our Valentine for our third graders.

Click on the picture to see the kit.

Almost everything we needed for the kits was already in our room.
The kids LOVED it.
The parents LOVED it.
This is, for now, our go-to Valentine's gift for the kids.
It is WORTH every penny you put into it, but not many pennies have to be involved!

What do you HAVE TO HAVE for Valentine's Day?

Head on over to Teach Glitter Grow to see more wonderful Valentine's Day ideas.

February 1, 2016

Currently: February

I remembered!
I remembered only because I put it on my calendar!
I am so excited to be back for this month's edition of 
Currently!
It is hosted each month by Farley at 


I am LISTENING to college basketball right now.  More specifically, I am listening to North Carolina and Louisville.  I don't know why it is still on but it is.  I am the kind of girl that can watch ANYONE play college basketball, but I can't stand either of these teams!  The channel will probably be changing soon!

I am LOVING Pioneer Woman!  I have always loved her!  I have every cookbook, but always get lost in the photographs she has and her stories.  However, tonight I was determined (after a one hour meeting after school) to make her Baked Ziti!  I got her Dutch Oven for Christmas and cooked it in that. OH. MY. GOODNESS.  I will be making this again in bulk to freeze because, let's be honest, it was a little much to try to throw together after school.

I am THINKING that I am not ready for our testing to begin next week.  Yes, in Tennessee, we are taking Part 1 of our TNReady testing next week.  Now, I have done all I can do to get my precious children ready.  I know I have done everything possible, but I am not ready to see what this is going to be like for them!  This part is mostly responding to a prompt and writing an essay on the computer.  They will do that for social studies (see my social studies tab to see how we have been TRYING to prepare them for that) and reading.  Math is a whole different world, and I am so glad I don't teach it!

I am WANTING another day off of school.  I actually am getting one next week in the middle of testing - great planning, right!  I will be off the day they do their math testing, so that is my day to babysit while they aren't testing.  I really just want a "Becky" day, but don't see that in my future!

I am NEEDING some extra hours in the day.  My son was sick yesterday. My daughter isn't feeling the best today. I have had no sleep in the last 2 nights.  I just have a lot to do to get ready for next week.  When it rains, it pours, right!

I am SWOONING over the fact that my dear husband knows I am at my breaking point.  He knows our boy did not let me farther than 5 feet away from him yesterday and my house looks like someone dropped a bomb in it - especially the kitchen.  I came home today to laundry done and the kitchen clean. (Only for me to mess it up again cooking that delicious Baked Ziti!  However, I am glad to say I was able to clean it tonight so he won't be upset!)

I am glad February is a short month.  I am glad we get a 4 day weekend in February.  I am glad there is always a chance of snow in February.  I am glad this writing test will be over in February.  Looking for the blessings during this month.  How about you?

January 31, 2016

Natural Resources

We have learned that natural resources are things from our environment that help people. Examples of natural resources are trees, oil, the sun, wind and water.



 All natural resources can be put into one of three categories:

nonrenewable
renewable
alternative energy

Nonrenewable resources are resources that cannot be replaced.  When they are gone, they are gone.  Minerals and fossil fuels are examples of nonrenewable resources.  Fossil fuels are made from dead plants and animals having pressure and heat on them for many years.  Then they are mined and burned for fuels.  Oil, coal and natural gases are examples of fossil fuels.  Many of our power sources are run on fossil fuels, and these resources are becoming scarce in our world.





Renewable resources can be replaced.  Examples of these kinds of resources are trees, animals, oxygen and water.  These resources are able to be replaced in a short amount of time and are always being replaced in our world.



Alternative energy resources can never be taken away from our world.  They will always be with us in the form of waves, wind and solar energy.  Scientist are working on ways to use these resources for our power instead of fossil fuels.  They hope to do this so we don't loose all of the fossil fuels in our world.



STUDENTS:  There are several activities you can share on natural resources.

1.  Write a paragraph explaining how fossil fuels are made.

2.  Write a paragraph about natural resources in which you explain the difference between nonrenewable resources and renewable resources.  Also, give examples of each kind of resource.

3.  Write an acrostic poem using the word "renewable" explaining what renewable resources are as well as giving examples in the poem.

Hurricanes


Many people believe hurricanes can be one of the most dangerous storms the earth sees.


These storms are fierce and leave nothing but destruction in their paths.


They have been known to wipe out complete towns with their damaging winds and water.



STUDENTS:  Many people believe hurricanes are dangerous storms.  Do you agree or disagree?  Use evidence from the text Severe Weather Alerts to support your answer.

Book Challenge #14 & #15

Dear Students,

      This Book Challenge update had me read another book in a favorite series as well as introducing a brand new book series to me.  I will start with the favorite series.  Seth challenged me to read I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944,  I had a feeling I would enjoy it simply for two reasons.  One reason is because I love the I Survived series.  The other reason is because I love to read anything to do with World War II.  This book shows WWII from a different point of view.  As Americans we usually see WWII from the USA's side.  However, in Europe, many people were treated unfairly years before America joined the war.  This book showed how it was for those in Europe who were run out of their homes.  I loved the different aspects of the invasion this book showed.  The author did not limit herself to just one part of the invasion, but shows the reader lots of ways the Jews had to run to escape the Nazis.  This book is full of history, action, adventure and surprises!  I would recommend it for sure!



      The second book was one Lily S. challenged me to read.  It is called.Thea Stilton and the Chocolate Sabotage.  OH. MY. STARS!!!! Can I just say how much I am in love with this series now?  I love how it emphasizes vocabulary words.  I love the little mouse puns that are all through the book.  I love how this one incorporated so much of our social studies standards into the book. I am going to be reading more of these for sure! I really liked this one and how it was a mystery.  I usually don't like mysteries, but I love how all the friends worked together to solve the problem.  What a great life lesson that is for us!  Of course, I love the chocolate involved!  I can't wait for the next one I read.


I would recommend these books to any of you!  I know a lot of you have read the I Survived series, but if you haven't read the Thea Stilton or Geronimo Stilton books, go NOW!!!!

Love,

Mrs. Becky

January 26, 2016

Goods and Services

Almost everyone needs goods and services. People use money and trade for goods and services that they want or need.
Goods are things that are made or grown. Some goods are made, such as clothes, computers, and cars. Other goods are grown such as fruits and vegetables. All goods are made from natural resources. This does not mean that the good is a natural resource. For example, a table may be made from the wood of a tree. While the tree is a natural resource, the table would not be a natural resource.
Some of the goods that are made in the United States are sent to other countries. Those goods are called exports. Some goods are made in other countries and are shipped to the United States. These goods are called imports.
A service is work that someone does for someone else. A doctor and police are people who provide services. Some services are paid for by taxes, or money paid to the government. Taxes pay people like public school teachers and police officers for their services. Other services are not paid for with taxes. These services include lawn care, hair salons, and taxi drivers.
People that make goods are called producers, because they make or produce goods. People that purchase goods and services are called consumers. Many people are both producers and consumers. Producers depend on consumers to purchase their products. This allows them to make a profit. Consumers depend on producers to make the goods that they want and need. This is called interdependence.



STUDENTS: After reading the text and looking at the 2 world maps, answer the following prompt.  Goods and Services are sent from the United States all over the world.  Do you think that the United States is dependent on imports from other continents?  Why or why not?

January 21, 2016

A World of Art

Our world is full of all different kinds of art.
We have cave paintings from the earliest times that show us how they lived
and what they hunted.
We have simple pictures that were carved and used for storytelling as well as 
for trade.
Paintings are still treasured in museums and other places showing us how people looked
and celebrations from years ago.
Dances are done to celebrate, to show rites of passage and to entertain.
Storytelling has evolved into books, plays, movies and theater.
Music has taken us through people's emotions as they experience different times
in life.

All of these are different types of art that have been important over time to many different
societies in our world.

STUDENTS:  As you read the introduction to our text A World of Arts, you learned how art was and is so much more than just drawings and paintings.  You also learned how each one of these was important to people in our world.  Do you agree that art is important to the world in which we live?  Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

January 19, 2016

The Panama Canal

          Have you ever heard the phrase, “I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth?”  Many people use this phrase to describe having to go out of the way to get somewhere.  Instead of a straight shot to where they wanted to go, they had many detours before they finally made it to where they wanted to go.  For many years, whenever a boat needed to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, the sailors would have to go “around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  There was not an easy way or a short cut.  The sailors would have to navigate their boat around the Cape Horn, the area between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica. 

            Why was this a problem?  For one reason, it was a long journey.  Going around the horn would add close to 1,000 miles to each trip a sailor would make from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  While that is an inconvenience, the problem was the type of weather a sailor would have to encounter when coming into the cape.  Winds gusting at a range from 50-80 mph would meet a ship as they tried to steer through the cape.  With these winds came waves that might reach up to 90 feet high.  A crew would only have a window of about 100 days a year where they would not encounter these conditions.


            As explorers studied maps, they were convinced there had to be another way to get from one ocean to the other.  Everyone came back to one place on the map – the Isthmus of Panama.  This isthmus joins Central America to South America. To the east, the Caribbean Sea would eventually meet the Atlantic Ocean while the Gulf of Panama would merge into the Pacific Ocean on the west side.  The isthmus at one place was only 30 miles wide!  How close the two oceans were while being so far away.  Would there be a way to cut right through Panama?

            There were many problems that kept the canal from being built.  France had begun building a canal, but due to diseases, flooding and, eventual bankruptcy, they had to stop.  They wanted America to pick up where they had left off, but other problems stood in the way.  Panama had to win its independence from Colombia, and eventually did in 1903.  Since America had helped them gain their freedom, the following year, a treaty was made between the USA and Panama to allow the USA to finish building the canal. 


When finally finished in October 1913, the canal came in at 48 miles long and 200 feet wide.   The Panama Canal helped launch the United States into a world trading empire as well as allowed other countries to expand their trading.  The US Navy was able to protect America during times of war thanks to the Panama Canal.  Ultimately, the east could finally get to the west without “having to go around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  

STUDENTS: Explain why the Panama Canal was necessary for the world.  Use evidence from the text and the map to support your answer.

January 12, 2016

Which Government is for You?

What Kind of Government Would You Want Ruling You?


            In our world, many people have different visions of how people should be governed.   In early civilizations, a monarchy was the way groups of people were ruled.  In a monarchy, a monarch, a king or queen, would rule over the people of a state or country.  This leader was born into this position and held the position for life or until the next of kin was ready to assume the throne.  The monarch would make the decisions he or she thought was best for the people or even primarily for the monarchy.  The king or queen would not listen to, and some didn’t care about the people they led.  Some countries do have groups of men and women who will help the monarch make laws and other decisions that will be in favor of the people.  Ultimately though, the monarch makes the absolute decisions. 

            There were some citizens who abided under the rule of a monarch, did not appreciate being told what to do and how to live.  Sometimes these citizens would rise up and revolt.  The fighting might result in a change in the government to a democracy.  Others would just up and leave their home country to find a new land to begin a democracy, a type of government where the people have an active role in voting for those taking part in the government.  Ancient Greece was one of the first countries to have a democracy.  Their form of democracy was called a direct democracy.  This meant that each person was able to have a voice as to what going to happen and the rules that would be put in place.  The majority of countries with a democracy now have a representative form of democracy.  This allows the citizens to vote for those they want representing, or speaking for, them.  The candidates, men and women wanting to run for a place in the government, tell the citizens the ideas they have for the state or country.  Then, the citizens are encouraged to vote for the candidate they feel would do the best job.  While they are some stipulations to holding an office in a democracy, most any citizen can hold some kind of office in the government unlike a monarchy.  Time limits called, terms, were also set so one person is not always in an office.

            While some citizens fought the monarchy for a democracy, some citizens wanted to be in complete control or to dictate what happened in the government.  In this form of government, a dictator would come in with force and use their armies to wipe out the leaders that were presiding.  When the dictator would gain complete control, they would make all decisions without consulting the citizens of that country.  He or she would not listen to the citizens of the country when making decisions that would affect them.  What made a dictatorship different from a monarchy was the laws made by the dictator were usually very unfair to the citizens.  Plus, the dictator rarely followed the rules himself even though punishment was given to citizens who broke the laws.  A dictator was usually in office until another person or group of people were able to take back control.

            Each of these kinds of governments is found all over the world.  While some of these are better than others, no type is perfect.  Which do you believe is best?





STUDENTS:  After reading the text and viewing the diagram above, which government would you like to have where you live?  Why would you choose this form of government for your life?  Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

January 5, 2016

Water Scarcity

 For many people, water has never been a big story in their lives. This is because they live in communities that have good water supply systems. They turn on the tap and clean water flows, everyday of the year. This makes it very difficult for people to appreciate how precious water is.

Water is life. Plants, animals and humans all depend on this invaluable natural resource for life. Besides this, water is used in moving waste, cleaning and sanitation, manufacturing, construction and farming. Almost every human activity you can think of involves some use of water.

Water covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface, so how can there ever be scarcity?
Less than 3% of water on earth is fresh water, and the bulk of this is trapped in snowfields and glaciers and not easily accessible. The rest form the seas and oceans and cannot be used in the same way as fresh water. Only a tiny fraction (0.014%) is surface water in the form of rivers, lakes and swamps.

Naturally, the 3% should be enough for all humans and animals on earth, but unfortunately, many factors have caused a major upset in the flow and use of fresh water and has caused massive crisis in many regions of the earth.
 water scarcity

But why should you care?
We should care because a lot of the factors that cause water scarcity are broadening and becoming more complex and uncontrollable. This means if we do nothing in terms of preserving and using it wisely, it is only a matter of time that all regions shall begin to experience water crisis and all the repercussions that come with it.

** This text and map was taken directly from http://www.eschooltoday.com/global-water-scarcity/global-water-shortage-for-kids.html 

STUDENTS: After examining the map and the text, compose a paragraph to answer the following:  What areas of the world are concerned with the scarcity of water?  What effects will water scarcity have on the area with the greatest scarcity?

January 3, 2016

Book Challenge #12 & #13

Dear Students,

     I was really hoping to get more of YOUR books read over Christmas break.  However, I am glad to say I did get 2 of your books read as well as some books that I just wanted to read.  Isn't that what Christmas break is all about anyways?  So what did I read over the break?

      Kendyl read a book for enrichment after school that had a lot of my favorites rolled into one book - Christmas, World War, New York City, historical fiction and diaries.  It is called When Christmas Comes Again.  I absolutely loved it! I have read these Dear America books before, but had never read this one.  I really like them for many different reasons, so when Kendyl told me about this one I was ready to read it.  Most of the historical fiction books I read take place during the Civil War or World War II.  This book took place in World War I.  I don't know if I have ever read anything from that time period, but loved it.  I will be looking for others now to read from this time period.  One of my favorite things about the book was seeing Simone change.  She grows up in a very well-to-do family in New York City.  Her mother is from Paris ( I loved that we had just studied France when I read this.).  Simone decides she needs to do more to help the war effort than just roll bandages at home.  She leaves a life of comfort and joins the war effort going back to her mother's home city of Paris.  The book really gives a great look at life during the war for families back home, soldiers and those who were helping.


     The next book I read was a challenge from Kaylee.  I was excited about this one as well even though it is a genre of books I don't normally care for - mysteries.  Kaylee challenged me to read Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Dance Off.  This was a great book for many reasons, but I loved seeing Nancy Drew as a young child.  As you get older, there a a TON of Nancy Drew books you can read.  Boys, never fear!  Nancy had great friends, the Hardy Boys that you can read about instead of having to read about a girl!  I love how Nancy doesn't let being a girl stop her.  She is a great problem solver and uses her brain to think about how to use the clues given to her to solve the problem.  You think you have the mystery solved when others pop up into the story! I would recommend this one to any of you!


     What did you read over the Christmas break?


      Your bookworm teacher,
Mrs. Becky

January 1, 2016

Five for Friday: Christmas in Europe

Again, something I haven't done in forever, and almost didn't make it today!
This 5 for Friday is brought to you by my students!
This is their 5 for Friday about our recent Market Day - Christmas is Europe.
They are pretty excited, Doodle Bugs Teaching!



France

The students loved being the tour guides for France.  They welcomed all the other third grade classes and taught them about France.  I just took pictures! I loved seeing them stepping up and being wonderful teachers for their friends.  They each took a 20 minute session to be tour guides.
They loved the berets I found for them.  They thought that was amazing!
See this post for more of how we taught our friends.





Food

The food from all the different countries was a huge hit!
In France, we had Ratatouille, bread, cheeses and sparkling grape juice.
In Russia, we enjoyed pirozhki, beet chips, Russian tea cakes and Russian tea.
In Germany, chocolate was devoured.
In England, English tea and cupcakes were a hit.
In Spain, Spanish meatballs and a Spanish punch was served.
In Italy, salomi, panettone bread and cheese were inhaled.

                  

                  


FUN

We just had the best time going from country to country. We also enjoyed our "layovers" in the different rooms.  Our county librarian brought Christmas books that showed the different countries and cultures in Europe. The kids enjoyed her telling the stories.


Another layover found us in a room where we put together puzzles of the world.
We were joined by our superintendent of schools!
Some chose to spend the layover time coloring.




Learning about Europe

Each country was so unique.
We loved how Italy was set up like someone's house for us to visit.
In Russia, it was so cold because in Russia it is cold.  We also loved the art in Russia.
In Germany, we ate great chocolate.
In Spain, we learned some of the language from a university professor!
In England, we got crackers we could pop open and find candy! 

                 

                 



Friends

We had such a great time just being with our friends.
We taught them and they taught us.
It was a great way to spend time with our best friends.



                       

                       

What a great trip we had!
Check out #ECESEuropeanTour on Instagram and Twitter to see more.