Today was a fun day! Not for any reason really, except that we finished our Title I Math test and could relax a bit. We had an extra long indoor recess, read a lot of books and did a lot of laughing and playing games. I found some great Smartboard games for ending blends and divided the class into 2 teams, for some reason they are so motivated when I assign teams, even though I always make sure to end the game on a tie (it's amazing to me that no one has caught onto that yet!)
In the afternoon I found a great book on Storyline Online and my 19 kiddos sat completely silent as Amber Tamblyn read it aloud to them. I think it is particularly appropriate considering the holiday on Monday!
If you can't access the website in your classroom, I highly recommend purchasing the book to read aloud yourself. It is a story of how a little black girl's misunderstanding of a "whites only" sign leads to the black townspeople standing up for her and the sign's disappearance forever. My class was very interested in the story and we had a great discussion about it afterwards. It will be great to refer to during our MLK activities tomorrow!
At the end of the day we got to try a new fruit! On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays we get a fruit or vegetable snack as the result of a grant that our PE teacher got for the school. It is a great way to expose the kiddos to a greater variety of fruits and veggies. I stress that everyone has to take a "no thank you" bite - i.e. you have to take one bite to try it before you can politely say that you don't like it and throw it away. When we try something that I know is probably not going to go over well (like grapefruit!) I have everyone take a bite at the same time. This prevents the kids from seeing that so-and-so doesn't like it and then refusing to try it themselves.
Today's fruit was blood oranges. I had never tried them, and neither had any of my kids. We talked about how in the color song for orange it says that oranges are always orange but in this case the orange was not orange on the inside. They had to use their inferencing skills to figure out what color the orange would be inside! I peeled 2 oranges and handed every kid a segment so that we could all eat it at the same time. They tried to convince me to try it first, but I didn't fall for that trick! There was some talk about whether eating blood oranges would turn us into vampires! On the count of 3 we all popped the orange segments into our mouths at the same time. My kids were so excited and they loved them!
I told them that anyone who liked it could have their own orange to peel and eat and almost every child took another orange! I even had kids begging to take oranges home to share with siblings and parents! No one turned into vampires fortunately, but I did overhear one kiddo remark "This is proof that the cafeteria ladies are zombies!" I can't wait to share that conclusion with them tomorrow!
Oh yeah, and I mentioned my math test at the beginning of this post right? I have to brag just a bit. My only students who didn't score above an 85% on the test were my 3 new ones that I've had less that 2 weeks! I had some kiddos show a 50% improvement over their scores in October! This is why I love January - you can finally see the growth that has been occurring on a day-to-day basis! And why I love working in Title I schools - I can now get my newbies some tutoring help and remediate them in the areas that they need!
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention in my last post a great Dr. Jean song for MLK Day! It is simple enough that the kids learn it quickly, but we performed it last year at our city's MLK Day celebration and it was great! It's called "Stand Up For Martin Luther King" - click the link to see Dr. Jean's free printable book. The tune is "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" so even if you don't have the cd you should be able to figure out how to sing it. If you do want the cd (so many good songs on it for all occasions!) it's this 2 disc set with 51 songs:
I have to give a shout out to a couple of blogs that are having super giveaways right now too:
Miss Chrissy B of Buzzing with Ms B. is having a giveaway for one of her sweet Valentine's Day TPT units! There will be four winners and it ends on the 18th so head over to her cute new blog!
Growing Up Teaching is having a giveaway for a $10 TPT gift certificate AND a handmade 100th Day of School shirt! This one ends Sunday so head over to enter asap!
Okay, stop reading right now please. I'm blogging about this next giveaway so I can get an extra entry - not because I want you to go enter for yourself. Did you stop reading yet? No?! Honestly, it's in your best interest to stop right here! Taming My Flock of Firsties is having a giveaway for a not very nice prize at all. In fact, it is absolutely not worth your time to click the link. You're thinking of clicking the link aren't you? Please, trust me on this, there is no reason to go check out her blog or her giveaway....you're not buying it are you? Darn! Well, hopefully I have a lot of good luck stored up so I win even though you're entering the giveaway too!