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
Social Studies
Your State
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 
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?