Wednesday, February 22, 2012

stay-cation snapshots


Orchids at the botanical gardens during our visit on Dollar Day

I've been reading and knitting, just like I planned. I didn't expect to give in to sleep by midnight and wake up by 8am. Oh well. I set one "reach" goal about not shopping that has been going well - shocking, I know! I think this is a restorative stay-cation to prepare me for the upcoming roller coaster storm of high-stakes standardized testing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

mid-winter break

Fast forward a month... I gave a "benchmark assessment" to all my students that lasted 3 weeks due to my 4-day schedule, scored the tests with 2 colleagues in one whole school day, and lost my drive for the aforementioned nonfiction book adventure. I did continue lessons on nonfiction reading comprehension and writing skills (identifying main idea, paraphrasing, nonfiction book features). My awesome school librarian let me borrow about 100 nonfiction books to use in my classroom, and students really enjoyed choosing books from which to read and write about nonfiction texts. Our mantra was: if you're a living, breathing human being, there are many nonfiction books in the universe for you to enjoy.

After this week's mid-winter break (and my lovely stay-cation), we'll be marching straight into preparations for this year's high-stakes standardized test in mid-April.

You can learn about my reading adventures from Goodreads.com (see widget updates in right column on this page). After falling head over heels in love with The Scorpio Races right before winter break, I started reading Inheritance, also known in my life as the Beginning of The End of the Eragon series. I have many, mixed feelings about this book so far and the series overall, but to say these books changed my life is not an exaggeration. In contrast, I've read 4 Sarah Dessen books the last few weeks and enjoyed them all, except the last quarter of each book really drags (for me).

Of course, I've been knitting! Ladies all around me are having baby boys, so I'm trying to knit several of these darlings. Meet Coco, my daughter's teddy bear and my baby hat model:

As always, happy reading to you all!