Monday, November 11, 2013

Writing Like Scientists...and Catching Up!

Well, I feel like I haven't chatted with you all in forever. To be honest, I feel like I haven't chatted with anyone in forever (well, except my students). It has been crazy around here... if you don't want to hear about my life, skip to the bottom for some school stuff...LOL!
You may remember I was sick...ugh...still fighting that but finally on the mend I think.
I haven't told you that I started coaching middle school basketball (the assistant). My daughter was so excited to have me help...although she did tell me, "Just don't yell at my friends too much." HA! She knows me too well. :-)
In music, we are working hard on our Christmas program (yes, already -- remember this is my first time teaching music). I'm happy to report I think it is coming along family is sick to death of hearing me practice the songs though!
We are getting a furnace!!! Hip hip hooray! We have used only a wood burning stove the last three years for heat (we used to have a wall furnace as a back-up but it had died). It works great, but made for some late nights getting the fire going after we got home from games, etc. I'm so excited to actually walk into a warm house at the end of a long day. And, hey, it made hubby have to put in my walk-in closet I've been waiting for so I'm really happy. Well...I will be...when it is all finished. Right now it is just a messy and dusty house, but hopefully we'll be done soon.
Saturday we had family pictures on my side...that is 19 of us. We hadn't done it in 17 years!!! I can't wait to see the real thing, but here is some the kids snapped with my phone while we were waiting (FOUR hours).

Okay...on to Writing Like Scientists! I'm using Lucy Calkins' Units of Study. We started with a simple experiment to answer the question: "Will this car go farther off the ramp on carpet or a bare floor?" We did the first experiment as a class and worked on writing a lab report last week. Today we talked about how scientists use experiments to come up with more questions. I encouraged them to work with their shoulder buddies and adapt the experiment in some way. Then we headed to the gym (benefit of small school - pretty much can use it whenever we want!).

Most of the kids just tried different objects or heavier cars to send off the ramp. Some of them made steeper ramps. The picture below shows my only really inventive idea...these two decided to use the ramp and try two different objects instead of comparing distances on the carpet and bare floor. Of course they didn't really realize that is what they were doing when they started! They were just excited to use the big ramp. ;-)
One more thing...I'm loving the Grammar Flippers that I got from Teacher's Clubhouse. They gave the file away this summer and I snatched it up. I don't see that it is still listed in their store, but if you can find it, I'd highly recommend it. I use it in my small groups to review our grammar skill of the week. I'm able to differentiate with it by requiring more from some groups. Love it!
Have a great week!


  1. My family DESPERATELY needs to get family pictures taken. Well...desperately might be a tad exaggeration...but I feel like it has been forever (maybe not 17 year...haha)! Best of luck on your basketball coaching, and congrats on the heater! :)

    Mind Sparks

    1. Thanks, Katie! Hope you can get pics soon. ;-)


  2. This must be Lucy's new units of study. Hmm, it sounds awfully fun!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First


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