So Long September!

WoW!  I can't believe that this is the last day of September.  This month has completely FLOWN by.  There are still so many things I am adjusting to, that this little 'ole blog has just completely been ignored.  I'm so sorry about that!  I'm going to make a much better effort to blog a little more regularly!  Stick with me. :)
Here is a quick recap of my September:
My Little Man and I both celebrated birthdays in September:
I love the card my hubby found for him.  It contained a tattoo that says I <Heart> My Parents.  I tried to get him to wear it to the first football game but he refused.  Such is the life of a 12 year old!
Speaking of football:
We celebrated my husband's new job this month by attending our first football game as USA Jaguars. 
At school we celebrated September 11th, and reviewed Story Elements and really got into Figurative Languge and Inferences with Chirs Van Allsburg's books.  The Stranger is one of my favorite stories to read for inferences.  We also worked on inferences with The Widow's Broom.  It was a great introduction to personification as well.  <Books below are linked to Amazon>
The Widow's Broom is a perfect way to end September and flow into October.  My kids LOVE to ready creepy stories this time of year, and this just got them right in the groove!
In Math we worked our way through Numeric and Algebraic Expressions.  As many of you know I use interactive notebooks, so I tried out a few new items including this expressions sort.  
I'm fixing a few things, but I'm hoping have them up in my store soon.  There will be three new foldables for expressions including order of operations, numeric and algebraic expressions.
They will also be part  of my Algebraic Expressions and Equations Bundle.  If you buy this product now, you get all of the future downloads for free.  Go {HERE} to check it out, and I will notify you when the new foldables are added.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting me, and letting me catch up on this crazy month!

Sparking Student Thinking with an Index Card Challenge

Happy Saturday!

 Today is my handsome Little Man's Birthday!! and my South Alabama Jaguars take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a little college football action.  This will be our family's first game at the stadium, and we are super excited to see what this team, and more importantly, the marching band can do!
Before I head out to the game I wanted to link up with one of my BBBs, Joanne, over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for a little Sparking Student Motivation.
Recently, my students completed the index card challenge.  Have you challenged your students with this yet?  It's fun, and easy to organize.  All you need is a piece of paper and scissors.  The orginal experiment says to use an index card, and this does work, but even with sixth graders we needed something a little more pliable.. you know.. those pesky fine motor skills and all...even with 11 year olds!
Basically, I gave my students a piece of paper and scissors and challenged them to figure out a way to cut the paper so I could fit through it.  THEY WENT CRAZY trying to figure this out.  I think I went through a ream of paper! 
I did gain a lot of insight into how my class thinks, who jumps in feet first, who is a quiet leader, and who is a good listener.  This is a great challenge to complete at the beginning of the year to find out a little bit about our students!
If you would like directions, you can go {HERE} to download the ones I typed for my students.  You can also go {HERE} and watch a Youtube video about the process.  The directions are a little different, but you get the idea.
How can you resist these smiles!
Don't forget to visit Joanne and see a few other ways to motivate your students!


Celebrating Grandparents Day!

We celebrated Grandparents Day at my school on Friday.
This is my grandpa.   He just turned 89.
Honestly, this was new for me.  I've been teaching sixth grade for more than 15 years, but it has always been in a middle school.  In middle school we don't celebrate with parties, Halloween, Christmas, or Grandparents, so this year having a sixth grade class in an elementary building will be full of new experiences for me.  The grandparents were invited into our classrooms for about an hour.  While there they visited with their grandchildren and their friends, helped them practice for our Mentor Sentences test, and read books together.  I was nervous about them coming, and not knowing what to do, but things went very smoothly.  These ladies and gentlemen were amazing to speak to, and their grandkids were so PROUD!

 Before our celebration day I was wrecking my brain about what we could do to celebrate these special people in our lives.  I wanted to have my students write about their grandparents, but I wanted to keep it within our currciulum, and make something that where we could practice a skill.  I was pressed for time because we had Monday off from Labor Day, and our computers were being rolled out so I didn't always have an entire class during the week.  We had computer orientation, and various other bits and bobs.  The week ended up being pretty choppy, so I decided a fun way to celebrate the amazing grandparents of my students was to write similes about them.  I modeled the activity after an I Am poem, similar to Eric Carle's Quiet as a Cricket.

My kiddoes loved the project, and their grandparents loved the writing.  They were laughing when reading what they were compared to.. oxes, beavers, snow globes, a monkey!  The kids were pretty creative.  I also wanted to have my students practice following directions.  This is a big issue in my room at the moment, so I created a glyph to color as part of the activity.

Overall, the hour was a great success.  If you need something quick to celebrate your grandparents you can find the activity that I made {HERE}.
Do you celebrate Grandparents Day at your school in September?  I would love to hear about the activities that your school does or that you do in your classroom!
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