Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jog the Web

So I found a wicked website that allowed me to keep a running track of middle grade authors. Here are 11 authors sites. Some may be new but most of them you should recognize...It's called Jog the Web and you can "jog" along with me by clicking here: X

Hear Ye Hear Ye

Don't forget that Reading Logs for September are due Wednesday!

You also need a white t-shirt on Friday for Tye-dying! How messy and exciting! Twist, twist, wrap with rubber band- snap!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Busy Week!

Not only do we start Stanford Testing this week. We also have these celebrations going on:

Tuesday Night: Curriculum Night
Wednesday: Drama Club Tryouts and Math Curriculum Night in the Round Room
Friday: Scholastic Book Orders are due!

Phew....I'm looking forward to seeing all the parents again or for the first time!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our Read ALOUD

The Wednesday Wars
On Wednesday afternoons, Holling Hoodhood is alone in the classroom with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, who Holling is convinced hates his guts. He feels more certain after Mrs. Baker assigns Shakespeare's plays for Holling to discuss during their shared afternoons. Each month in Holling's tumultuous seventh-grade year is a chapter in this novel set in suburban Long Island during the late '60s.
Mrs. Baker is too good to be true: she arranges a meeting between Holling and the New York Yankees, brokers a deal to save a student's father's architectural firm, and, after revealing her past as an Olympic runner, coaches Holling to the varsity cross-country team.
However, Schmidt, makes the implausible believable and the everyday momentous. We are finding the story's themes: the cultural uproar of the '60s, the internal uproar of early adolescence, and the timeless wisdom of Shakespeare's words very interesting. Holling's unwavering, distinctive voice offers a gentle, hopeful, moving story of a boy who, with the right help, learns to stretch beyond the limitations of his family, his violent times, and his fear, as he leaps into his future with his eyes and his heart wide open.
Schools then Vs. NOW
SO far we have found that in Y2K there aren't many chalk-filled erasers here to clap at Baldwin.
Just like Holling's school, we too have little rodents running around freely!
They have textbooks for each subject while we only have 1.
That Shakespeare is a wordsmith!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hurricanes, living things, Podcasts- Oh My!


So we rounded up the week classifying the alphabet! How do you classify letters you ask? Easy. First we grouped them A-J (the first 10 letters) then we broke them down into smaller and smaller groups. Students came up with grouping them by shape, strokes, sounds they make, vowels, even students names. So creative! We related this activity to how scientists classify animals. Scientific Classification is a grouping in itself. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Or as we like to say: Kings Play Chess On Fine Grained Sand.

Can you name the 5 kingdoms?

Our Living Things Research Project

Students created a web of the 6 functions of living things. Then in groups of 2 they analyzed different animals from Sandra Markle's Animal Scavengers Series. Here are a few of the finished posters. This is one bunch that is crazy about living things!


We are reviewing map skills by locating the current hurricanes. Students are also locating places on a map using longitude and latitude coordinates. Check out Ike and Josephine here!

Podcasts- Oh My!

As word nerds and future word nerds unite we are sharing books that we love by giving book talks. We listened to our first Podcast: Chatting about Books from Read Write Think. Emily Manning introduced us to some This week we checked out the Spatulatta Cookbook and Fairy Tale Feasts- two great additions to our library.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Toot Toot! ____ of the Month Club

Each Month I will be spotlighting interesting facts, authors, websites and adventures for you to peruse on the world wide web. From the crazy and zany- to sad and misunderstood, we will shine a light on all of them.

Random Fact of the Month:

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting cricket chirps? Here's how you do it. Go outside at dusk or at night and find a chirping cricket -- don't get too close or it will stop chirping. Count the number of chirps it makes during a 15-second period. Then, add 40 to the number of chirps. The total will be pretty close to what the actual temperature is in Fahrenheit. Pretty cool, huh!

Author of the Month

Beverly Cleary Romona, Henry, Socks and Otis- need I say more? Her characters and their adventures made me laugh, cry and laugh so hard I cried. These are classics!

Websites of the Month

Neuroscience for Kids Check out the brain games section- YIKES!

CryptoKids Future Code Makers and Code Breakers of America- MOUNT UP!

Biggest Eye Roll of the Month

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says a man who led a deputy on a high-speed pursuit told investigators he was sleeping, not driving, during the chase.

5th Grade Class Blog of the Month:

Mrs. Putnam's Class

News Source of the Month

The Post With the convention in Denver wrapping up and the RNC gearing up, here is just one great news source for kids to gain a better insight on our candidates.

Ah Ha Moment of the Month:

1 simple thing you can do to save the Earth:

Be a Bottle Bandit! We all know that we can't throw glass into our recycle bins, so what can we do? Save it in a different bin or box and deliver it to the Quincy Recycling Center. They will not pick it up on your curb, but they will let you drop it off. Every month we toss away enough glass to fill up a giant skyscraper.

Book of the Month:

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little

Nine-year-old Moxy Maxwell sticks close to her copy of Stuart Little all summer - so close, in fact, that the book is now sticky from a lemonade incident and warped with pool water.Moxy’s summer has been spent mainly at the pool, where she’s perfecting synchronized swimming as a flower petal. August 23 has snuck up on her from out of nowhere. This is the last possible day she has to read Stuart Little. Tomorrow her teacher, Mr. Flamingo, will be testing the class on their Stuart Little summer reading. Moxy is finding this one hundred and forty-four page mouse book tough to crack open. It’s not because she doesn’t like reading, because she does. In fact, she loves reading - but Stuart Little lost its appeal the minute it was assigned to her. Nevertheless, Moxy plans to read the book in her bedroom, and during “in-betweens.” It’s too bad her plans keep being interrupted by thoughts of Mudd and Rosie training, best friend visits and phone calls, a distractingly dirty room, and a grand idea involving peach pits.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Coming up for air...

Wow- I can't believe it's been this long since I posted last. I am so excited about this year and my 22 Busy Beavers. They are such a great bunch. I have only been lucky enough to be with them for only 7 and a half days, but I can honestly say I am so excited to be working with them. They have such positive energy and a love of learning. They are avid readers and so artistic. This year will be such an amazing adventure.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Begin with the End in Mind

Or I may not have begun...

So, Monday I was finally able to get into Room 122 and "get things ready." Here are the before photos taken from corners of the room:

Scroll down..............

And the after:

This is the view as you walk in the door. Check out the curtains I made- don't get too close. I wouldn't submit them to be judged at a 4-H show or the fair, but they work! Students will be grouped in 4 teams. There will be 22 students in the room and I cannot wait to meet them.

Taken from the library- to the right is the door. Don't worry- the bulletin boards will have things on them soon. There are two reading areas in the room. James and I made tables and chairs from wooden spools donated by electrical companies. We had fun- he's quite the painter. The last picture is of the fiction section of our library. I am a word nerd. I cannot get enough. I love books and love collecting them.

Thanks for stopping by! A little over 1 week of vacation left! Ahhhh!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Class Website

It's a work in progress, but check back in a little while!

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten

Welcome to our classroom blog. My name is Mrs. Beaver and I am very excited about where this year will be taking us. This is my 10th year teaching and I can't wait to get started. As you can tell I am a technology junky. I love blogs, websites, podcasts and anything innovative.

Besides learning, I love to read. Some of my favorites are Hatchet, Love, Ruby Lavender, The City of Ember and Walk Two Moons. I am always looking for a good recommendation, too. I also enjoy running, biking and swimming. I have plans to be running in the Chicago Marathon again this year and maybe the Iron Man Wisconsin next year- unless my sanity returns.

I have a three year old son named James. In order to promote global cooling you will definitely run into us biking. He has a horn on his bike trailer and if you make eye contact be ready for a drive by honking.

My husband Matt is an avid Cubs fan. Because I grew up outside of Chicago, I too share his love of the Cubbies, and losing. Our pug Wrigley, has also been known to roll off the coach to catch up on the score.

Well, that's all for now. Check back in to see how the year unfolds. I can't wait to add before and after pics of the classroom. I love a good makeover!