The Book Whisperer had been on my reading to do list for a long time. and I was happy to finally read it. The book contains many interesting ideas, and challenges the things in your class that are just "educational wallpaper," systems that have always been in place, but maybe aren't the most effective for you or your students. I will be passing this book on the our 6th-8th grade Language Arts teacher, who I am sure will get some great insight from it as well!
This last week was a bit hectic with parent conferences and an in-school field trip. We had the Julian Mining Company come out to our school for a 2 hour presentation on early American life. They did 4 activities with us. The first one was making apple cider.
The field trip included students from Pre-K to 2nd grade and we split into 2 groups. The students added apples to the grinder and the 2nd grade teacher and I took turns spinning the wheel to grind the apples down. That wheel was no joke! Definitely a good work out! After we crushed all of the apples, 2 students were selected to do the press, and get the juice out of the apples. The apples juice was strained, and everyone got to enjoy some fresh apple cider!
The cider was so fresh and delicious, all of the students enjoyed it. After the cider, was candle making. The students dipped wicks into 2 pots of wax in rotation and their candles grew bigger and bigger. I don't have any pictures of that because I was anxiously standing by one of the wax bowls making sure no one was getting burned : )
Next up, we did old fashioned chores. The kids rotated back and forth between washing clothes and stuffing mattresses with hay. They had a lot of fun, and of course enjoyed getting soaking wet with the wash boards (Thank goodness for that Southern California sunshine in November to dry clothes quickly : )
We ended the field trip with some farm animals. I couldn't believe how brave the kids were to have chickens on their arms!!! I am not a fan of birds, the field trip organizer had the first grade teacher put a chicken on her head, and I was like -No way Jose!
They also brought a couple of goats for us to pet who kept fighting with each other. They let the goats wander around our grass area, and it was so much fun. One of my students was not happy about the goats, so she spent the entire time during that activity in my arms. I didn't really mind, because carrying her around gave me a good excuse to steer clear of the chickens : ) The kids had so much fun that day, and I know it is something that they will remember for a long time.
Along with the in-school field trip as I had mentioned, were our parent conferences. Have you all checked out A Teeny Tiny Teacher's conference forms? I used to use the previous one that she created where you had to write out all of their strengths and weaknesses. This new version, where you just have to check off areas of strength and need was a wonderful time saver!!!
She gives you an editable slide that you can modify to your needs. I edited mine to include all of the things on our report card, and it gave the parents a clear view of what their children were excelling at, and what they needed some extra practice with.
The teachers at my school have been working so hard these past couple of weeks. I was dragging myself to the finish line on Friday and that three day weekend, and I knew I wasn't the only one who felt that way. To show my appreciation to my fellow teachers, I made a Costco run and got them some Starbucks Frappuccinos, and added a little note of thanks on each one. This is a common pinterest craft, but here is a link to a Kinder Craze freebie if you are interested.
On to my plans for next week! We are doing a mix of Thanksgiving and Veterans Day this week. If you would like to view these plans and download them as a PDF, and to get clickable links to all the products, click HERE
Have a wonderful 4 day week everyone!!