Saturday, May 3, 2014

Six for Saturday

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share 5...make that 6...things from my week. I wanted to wait until after school on Friday so I could post some Friday pics, and we all know how Friday afternoons go :) So now it's Saturday, and here I am!

Our Tournament of Books has ended! All of our fifth graders created cereal box book reports for their favorite book they had read this year. We then chose 16 to be in our Tournament of Books. (You can find the AWESOME product by Hedrich's Hive that we used to create this display here.) The kids were SO excited on voting day to cast their ballots and to see who made it to the next round! It really got our students talking about the books they've read and recommending them to their friends. (YAY!!) Even the other grade levels in our hall were excitedly watching our display. And the winner is...

I Survived the Japanese Tsunami! I was so excited to see this book win, because I love the series! I actually haven't read this particular one, so it's on my summer reading list. (I seriously doubt it will be available before then, because all of my students who haven't read it are waiting in line now!)

We are wrapping up Area & Perimeter this week with a fun partner project! Students are designing their own Zoo! I am using a fabulous TPT find: Zoo Design by Digital Divide and Conquer. They are having so much fun creating their zoos and deciding which animals to include, all while practicing their area and perimeter skills and doing a little animal research! 

We are just getting started with a writing tie-in. We were starting a research unit anyway, so students will be writing a mini-research paper on one of the animals in their zoos! I just love when I can so easily integrate multiple subjects without it being a forced correlation!

I am officially a cool teacher! One of my girls asked me to fill out a page in her friend book yesterday! Ahh, fifth grade...I love these kids!

Many things are different when you teach on an Army post. It's not always easy, but this week has really highlighted some of the more fun differences. Wednesday, the unit attached to our school came over for an afternoon of fun and demonstrations. We did some of their PT exercises, learned how to use their radios and night vision goggles, and played "how many fifth graders can fit in a Humvee" at every stop along the way!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen this one. Career Day was extra fun this year! Soldiers from an EOD unit brought over two of their tactical robots. Our kids absolutely loved watching the soldiers operate them to climb hills, pick up trash and pinecones, and throw them away. They even got to operate the controls a little. If you ask my class, most of them would say it's the coolest thing we've ever gotten to do with our soldiers!

Friendly reminder...just because Scholastic sells it in their book fair doesn't mean it's appropriate for our little ones. This is a page from a book I picked up at our book fair this week. The book is US Presidents: The Oval Office All-Stars, by Dan Green, published by Basher History. It was in the reference section, and it looked kind of cool until I flipped to the most recent presidents. 

First of all, there's this lovely reminder of Bill Clinton's indiscretions - why we need to give that much information to elementary students is beyond me. And how exactly is a teacher supposed to explain to our kiddos what sultry means without being inappropriate?


Then, there's the extremely obvious political bias. Regardless of your political persuasion, shouldn't we be trying to present facts to our students in a non-biased way so that they can make up their own minds? With only two paragraphs per president, the author's choice to push a political agenda, throw out insults, and play up scandals really bothered me. Even the pictures show bias...
Needless to say, this book will not be appearing on my classroom's bookshelves. I'll choose to go with factual reference materials that show the proper respect to our highest political office and avoid bias, thankyouverymuch.

And number SIX...

I found out Monday that I have a JOB next year! Thanks so much to everyone who extended well wishes and said prayers! There's still some uncertainty as to what school, and even what grade I will be in, but everyone at my school will still be employed by our district next year. The sigh of relief was audible when the announcement was made! I am so thankful for a God who cares enough to get involved and take care of these things.


  1. Nice tip about the book fairs! I can't believe that was in that book. AND...I loved your book tournament.
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. I taught at a school on a military base for the past twelve years! Such a different but great group of children. They need us even more when their parents are sent overseas for 9 months at a time. Have a great weekend!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  3. So glad to hear you have a job next year!! How disappointing is it that an author couldn't just give the facts for children.
    A Tall Drink of Water

  4. Hi Kristen!
    What a relief it must be to know you have your job for next year. I am so happy for you. My name is Brianne and I am somewhat new to the "blogging world!" You should come check my blog out Hooo-Ray For Teaching

    I am going to be moving to 5th grade next year and I am incredibly nervous!! Any ideas or advice is welcome! :)

    I look forward to seeing more of your blog in the future. I am your newest follower and I hope you will come follow me and help me get my blog out there! Happy Tuesday!

    Hooo-Ray For Teaching

  5. Good catch on the inappropriate content and bias in the presidents book. I can't believe even the illustrations were so biased! Such a shame, because I have always been a big fan of basher books.


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