Having a little FAITH!!!!

Hi everyone!!!  I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged...well, I guess I can! :)  I thought I'd take a second to fill the gaps and get back into it!!

As many of you know, I'm in my 2nd year of teaching 5th grade after 10 in 2nd, 1 in 3rd, and 1 in 6/7th grade Spanish.  Well, all I can say is...THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON!!!!!!  I knew I wanted a change and to challenge myself, but I did not know I would be making one of the best changes I have ever made!!  In the beginning, I had a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of teaching big kids.  I thought,

"They're going to be smarter than me."  "I can't read all of my picture books!" 

What I wasn't saying was...

"I'm going to get to read awesome chapter books!""I get to be their last teacher of elementary school!"

I've always been a pretty positive person and up for changes, but for some reason, I struggled.  I was going to be teaching in a portable that wasn't ready until 2 weeks into the school year.  I had 60 boxes or so that needed to be unpacked.  All the while, we were teaching our 5th graders in temporary rooms.  It was a bit more than I think I anticipated.

HOWEVER, we rolled with it, and all of that changed!!!!

When we got into the portables, everything seemed to fall into place!!!  I have AMAZING teammates and coworkers who were BEYOND wonderful to me!!  I also had all of YOU supporting me with encouraging words!!! Something happened and all of my reservations melted away!  My kids were AWESOME!

It's amazing what can happen to you when you let go of the fear and just have FAITH!!  

It makes me tear up a bit when I think back to the beginning of this 2-year journey so far.  I truly feel that God put these kids and colleagues in my life to not only uplift and encourage me but to teach me that we are all stronger than we think!  Sometimes, it just takes a second for us to catch up!  Once we do, our world is never the same!!

On top of absolutely LOVING 5TH GRADE (my favorite grade now!!), I started another journey of obtaining my Administration License!!  I never ever thought I would get that in my life, but when my sister and friends said they were going to do the 2-year program, I thought why not!  It will give me options for the future!  Well, I almost changed my mind on that during the 2nd semester. haha However, once again, people put into my life helped me make the best choice for me!  Our first teacher in the program was the same person who hired me for my first teaching position!  He told me to call him when I said I wasn't sure about continuing.  His faith in me as well as another professor, once again, made me push away the fear and go for it!

Well, yesterday we COMPLETED our administration program!!!
We had such a great cohort and really learned a lot!!

So now after a nice chair massage today, I'm ready to get back to blogging and sharing with you all!!!

Thank you for all of the support and encouragement you have always given me, and I hope I can do the same for you!!

"ORGANIC" Task Cards!!!

HI EVERYONE!!!!!!!!  I cannot believe it has been a complete YEAR since I blogged!!  I will make sure to fill you all in on what's been going on soon :), but I HAVE to share about this OMG moment I had to today!!

I always say my best ideas come to me in the shower; however, they also come randomly in the middle of lessons! :) So let me explain!
I always try to incorporate grammar within writing mini-lessons, but I need to do a better job of it. SOOO...we started reviewing how to combine sentences with conjunctions.  Oh man, I had no idea that they had no recollection of what conjunctions were or how to combine them.  As a former 2nd grade teacher for 10 years, I KNOW they were taught how to do this! hah

Well, one thing I have learned from teaching 5th is to never ASSUME they know something simply because they are 5th graders.  Everyone needs a refresher all the time now and then.

On to the lesson...

Today, half of my class was taking the IOWA test inside the school (we're in the portable) so I was left with about 16 kids.  I wanted to do an INB with them, but with half the class gone, I decided to save that for another day!

As a way to assess which students understood what a compound sentence was and how to create one, I had the kids take one of their books they are reading.  I did not care if it was one they were reading for pleasure, lit circles, or whatever.  They took that book, and they had to reread to find a compound sentence.  Once they found one, they wrote it on their desks with a wipe-off marker.  They had to circle the comma and conjunction and underline the 2 sentences.  Last, they wrote their numbers on their desks.
Once they were done, they took out a notebook and numbered it 1 to 29.  From here, they started their journey around the room reading the sentences the other students wrote on their desks.  Their job was to write YES if it was a compound sentence and NO if it wasn't.  My student teacher and I went around the room asking students to explain their answers.  

Not only was I able to see if my students could justify their answers, I could look on their own desks to see if they found a correct compound sentence.  Many of them did write a compound sentence, but some wrote sentences that had "and" but was used to separate 3 things.
This ORGANIC way of making task cards hit the spot!!!  You could do this with ANY SUBJECT!!  I can't believe I never thought of this before!  The kids loved it, and they were engaged the whole time!  I was also super excited for the responses we were receiving when asking the kids to justify.

This activity just seemed to make it all way more RELEVANT to my students!!!!!!!  Hope that you can use this in your classroom too!!!

Till next time! :)