Book Character Day

We dressed up as a book character today. 15/17 of my 6th graders participated which I thought was pretty good!

I was Slim from Hank the Cowdog, and my husband brought one of our cowdog a to school as Hank! πŸ™‚

Forgot to get a picture of him, but here we are.


I would say we had a great day, but I wouldn’t know. I already had to leave at 11 to get to Perdido Beach for a meeting at 6. But 1st thing this morning I found out I was supposed to be at a common core meeting at our central office from 9-11.

Let’s just say that today was VERY stressful. And after a 275 mile drive down here, a 2 hour meeting, and supper- I’m done!

Happy Halloween!

Partner Running

Here’s to partner running!!! 9 miles in 3 days!!

We ran 3 miles Monday, 3 miles Tuesday, and 3 miles today.

It’s so much easier to get out there when you know others are depending on you. You can’t just kick back with a pint of ice cream and a bag of chips! I mean you have to get out there and run first-THEN you can kick back with…. πŸ™‚

I can’t tell you how good it feels to have run this much this week.

Now I remember why I love running!

Here’s a picture of my fave running shoes ever!


My brooks pure connect. Love them!

What shoes carry you through the miles???

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Goodreads Summary:

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.
Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

My Thoughts:

Graphic novel that starts with an emotional BANG and ends with wanting to continue with the adventure.

2 of my 6th graders have already read it and want to read the whole series! πŸ™‚

4 out of 5 stars

Special Guest Visitor

We had an unexpected guest in our classroom today. If he had called ahead of time, I would have been glad to put him on our schedule! How rude of him to just show up!


So we did the only thing we knew to do. We gave him the old dustpan treatment!!

Student Engagement

I came across this article on twitter and thought it was very insightful as it came out of the mouths of the very ones we teach each day. How many of these do you practice in your classroom?

I think I’m headed in the right direction. πŸ™‚ However, I know there are lots of improvements I could make. The one that stands out in my mind is #3-connecting what they do to the real world, including project-based learning.To be honest I’m not sure how to really do this sometimes. Especially the project-based learning, which I can see as a HUGE engagement tool for math. But-how to do that and still teach them the skills that seem to be so deficient? Any ideas?

I would say, if someone were grading me, that I might receive a 9/10 on a progressing kind of scale where I’m attempting 9 out of these 10, but need to check myself closely to see if I’m really doing a good job of them in ALL areas! πŸ™‚

What about you?

Evernote Lesson Planning

I think I’ve finally decided to use Evernote for my lesson planning!

This includes my actual lesson plan template that has to be turned into administration AND my resources.

I like being able to type up my lesson plans in the format that I want and not having to fit it into a particular box which is why I opted not to use any of the lesson planning websites.

As for resources, I looked at live binders (it’s just not my cup of tea), Pinterest isn’t file friendly, and educlipper-although visually pretty- didn’t cut it for me either.

SO- Evernote it is!

Here’s a screenshot of my lesson plan inside a note in Evernote:


I copied and pasted the text from my word document template into an Evernote note. It went all whacky with my boxes, so just the text got copied. Then I inserted tables in Evernote to separate my subjects.

I FINALLY figured out how to duplicate the note so I can just use the same template over and over like I was doing with my Microsoft word template.

I’m so excited! Now if I want to make a change to my lesson plan, I don’t have to have my laptop. Sweet!!!!

I won’t admit how long it took me to research and play around with it today to get it figured out. Because then you would think I’m stupid. And I like making y’all think I’m smart. πŸ™‚

Now for the fun part- working on some notebooks in Evernote for my resources!!

What do you use for your lesson plans and resources??

Six Months Later by Natalie Richards Book Review



Six Months Later

Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

Goodreads Summary:

Chloe didn’t think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six months of her life. Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her.

What happened to her?Β 
And why can’t she remember?

My Thoughts:

An exceptional young adult book that I COULD NOT PUT DOWN!!!!!!!!!

Ok-I admit that I have become a HUGE fan of young adult so maybe this is a biased review??? πŸ™‚

But, it is just what I think teenagers want to read about-high school, crushes, friendships, and then you have a big time mystery thrown in. Now that’s a recipe for GOOD READING!

And even though some of the elements are common-like high school, crushes, friendships, college applications, etc.-the mystery is a unique one that you don’t find too often in young adult books. Or at least in the ones I’ve read. πŸ™‚

Oh, yeah-I read this in one day. I put aside the laundry, cooking, cleaning, running errands. Seriously, I could NOT put it down because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next!

5 of 5 stars

Writing Prompts

I’ve never had my 6th graders respond to a writing prompt. GASP!

I mean, yes, they have answered questions about a text, etc., but never just an open ended writing prompt.

I’m taking an online class about teaching middle school writing, and writing prompts were our lesson for last week. We had to read an article about them and then create one.

Here’s mine:

Emotions and feelings are a daily part of our lives. They Β include happiness, sadness, anger, embarrassment, and many others. We may feel one or many throughout our lives. Some emotions stay with us for a short period of time, while others have a bigger impact on us and tend to stay with us longer.

Think of an emotion that you have felt in your life. Did it stay with you for a short or long period of time? What caused it?Β 

Write about this emotion in a way that your reader will truly understand how you felt and why you felt this way. Your writing should be ABOUT a page long.

This is the first writing prompt I’ve ever written. What do you think? Do you use writing prompts?

I’m going to have my kids respond to it this Friday as their English assessment. We will see how it goes.

I’m telling you that writing is HARD to teach!

Well, so is math. And reading. Hmm… πŸ™‚

I’m Positive

Yep! I’m positive.

I’m positive that appositives are VERY HARD for my 6th graders! πŸ™‚

Today we imitated our model sentence again for more practice. Then we looked in the books we are reading to see if we could find an appositive.


Every phrase or sentence that had commas- they thought it was an appositive!

Moving right along- we tried to revise our mystery short stories by finding somewhere we could insert an appositive. This went a little better.

English is so hard. Writing is harder. And reading like a writer is impossible. Lol!

Not really. But they are so not used to doing this. We are going to keep on and persevere and become better writers and readers and thinkers. We are. πŸ™‚

I’m positive!