Five for Friday: Lots of Professional Development and Family

I need a better blogging routine!  Summer is closing out fast, and even though I have a month to go before school is back in session, I need a little more motivation!  Thank you to everyone who is starting to go back, and posting about everything you are doing to get ready.  It is making me think a little more about school.

Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday... I love the new design of her button for this: isn't it fabulous!

My class list finally came up on School Tools!  Yay!  This year is going to be very different for me because I am part of a 2 man team instead of a 3 man.  Basically I know have only 50 students instead of the 75-80 that I had before, and I have to teach 2 math classes and learn the social studies curriculum for 1 class.  Most of that class will probably be co-teaching with my teammate since it is new for both of us, and we want to try something new.  If you teach Ancient Civilizations and WWII, I would love any helpful resources you could send my way!  Leave me comment and link to check things out!

A large part of my summer has been spent Reading.  No complaints here, I <puffy> heart books.  I have read 2 professional development books this summer:  Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, and Minds on Mathematics by Wendy Ward Hoffer.  I participated in a book study about Minds on Mathematics, which is a great way to look at using a Math Workshop format with Grades 4-8.  Twice a week we posted about each chapter, and have also started discussions on Twitter (#momathchat).  If you use a math workshop format, consider joining us on Tuesdays at 8pm CST to talk about mathwork shop.  Many of us are new to using the format, so if you have been, we would love to hear the good, bad, and ugly of it all!
The second book that I read for Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  Holy WOW!  Motherload of creativity and critical thinking in this one. So many people have been talking about this book over the summer.  I have also been participating/hovering in Twitter chats (#tlap) about this book.
You can find one almost every night with specifics to ELA, math, science and social studies.
What I love about this is that Dave Burgess often joins the chats.. hello!  direct from the author!  He listens, he contributes, he GETS it!  You can follow me on Twitter by going {HERE} 

Speaking of Professional Development.  I started my week in the most wonderful way!  Meeting fellow Bloggers for lunch!  Since I was in the Orlando area, I had the opportunity to meet up with some fabulous, funny ladies for lunch at Planet Hollywood.  If you do not know these lovely ladies already, Gina blogs at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans,  Natalie is The Queen Bee isn't Easy, and Joann blogs at Head over Heels for Teaching.  We had such a great time talking about blogging, and teaching, and LEARNING from each other.  You can't get better professional development than that!  Plus.. total added bonus~  Our kids all got along while we were chatting!  YAY!

While in Florida we visited the Santa Fe College Zoo in Gainesville.  Have you ever been?  If not, the admission is really low, and often there is a Groupon for 1/2 off.  It is a great way to spend a couple of hours in a naturalized setting learning about endangered animals.  What I really liked about the zoo was the students.  Throughout the exhibits they were giving demonstrations, answering questions, and generally helping and sharing information with everyone.  It was a great family day!

Last, but not least, I found out my little sis had a beautiful baby girl this morning, so I am a new auntie!  Welcome to the world Evageline!

Any last minute Random thoughts for a Friday.. for social studies... or math workshop?  Let me know!


  1. I'm team teaching for the first time this year! I'm a little nervous about it, but mostly excited!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. I teach ancient civilizations and math (and literacy and science) too!
    When it's time for Mesopotamia, come and visit. I have lots of stuff!
    Can't wait to hear about your new school year...

    Good wishes sent your way!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. Team teaching is a neat concept! Congrats on becoming an aunt!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  4. Hi Michele!
    Congrats on the new family addition! I love being an aunt <3

    I bought TLAP at the beginning of summer, but never got around to reading it, but now I'm just gonna have to, maybe it'll help break up the school work and class work I'll be neck deep into this year ;)

    Oh & I came across this thing called #geniushour one night while blog/twitter/social media stalking. I bet it'd be great to incorporate into Math or Social Studies. Seems like it's a great fit for middle school kids :) They use the above hashtag for their monthly twitter chat the 1st Wednesday each month 9pm Eastern, I also caught #STEMgeniushour too which happens right after the other one.

    Darnee (1 of your SLANT partners, hehe!)
    Tales From Two 2nd Grade Classrooms

  5. It was SO great to meet you Michele! We had so much fun! Congrats on becoming an aunt! Her name is so pretty. I team taught one year and it was great, as long as you are with someone you can work easily with. I don't know much about math workshop. The Sisters have developed a Daily 5 for math but I have not looked into yet. For social studies, I use lots of outside resources like picture books, primary sources, etc. Our text book lacks substance! Can't wait to hear how the year goes!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans


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