Five For Friday 2-19-16

Hi!! Very excited to be linking up to Five for Friday!

I am OBSESSED with Periscope! Do you scope? You should. Whether you are just watching other teacher scopers or scoping yourself, there is SUCH positive energy and you leave each scope READY to rock your life. I wrote this post after my first experience with scoping with some tips for first time scopers...read it if you don't want to make the mistakes I did at first! Sheila Jane's scope about Periscope is also awesome for understanding how Periscope is for EVERYONE! 
Follow me @VoraciousTeacher! 


I scoped this week about Simple Hacks for Your Classroom...VERY SIMPLE things but they have made my teaching life better. Check out this post I wrote to go along with it.

My second graders have started their Real World Problems research! 

This is a BIG project (think eight weeks!). 

Last year when I started the long term project I really didn't have an overarching view of the project or an end goal. This year I KNOW what the end result will be and possible hiccups along the way so it makes it a lot easier this year to know how to approach each part of the project. 

One example is last year, I expected students to choose a topic and write two wonders in week 1. Then in week 2 students were expected to research using websites and books. 

Whoa! Slow down! 

This year I split both lessons in half so instead of taking two weeks, it will take 4. I'm hoping by doing this, less students will be left behind at each step because I'm pushing too much in each lesson. 

I expanded the worksheet from 2 pages to 4 which I hand out in chunks and divided the first two pages into sections A-D, and each week the focus is on a different letter. It lets the kiddos marinate more in each section. 
For example for choosing a topic, we really took our time discussing what real world problems are, what's the difference between smaller everyday problems and big worldwide problems, analyzing William Kamkwamba's story The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind for problems that were in William's life. 

Then students turned and talked about a problem they wanted to learn about and wrote it on the top of their paper. They went on Padlet and typed their name and topic that I'll use for grouping the students for week 2. That's it. 

Sure some of the students finished early and went on to write their wonders. But most of the students didn't. But unlike last year, they chose some really great deep topics because I didn't rush the process and I really let them reflect on it.

I have given up social media for Lent. It's weird how something can sneak up on you and take up SO much of your time without you even realizing it: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, Twitter, Snapchat, even YouTube. What!!! I mean, that's SEVEN social media platforms and on Twitter I have THREE Twitter handles. 

I view social media as a way to share but I had become a mindless consumer.

The only two "social" venues I planned on keeping are my two blogs. I feel blogging is more concrete, more thoughtful and less mindless: it's harder to read blog after blog without getting information overload. 

Then I got hooked on Periscope and initially was going to keep Periscope on my phone until 2/13 so I could watch the Trials live via Flo Track (see below!!) ...then I had such a hard time deleting it!  

My goals for this social media purge are: 
Open up more space social media took up.
Build closer, more true relationships.
Use that time to pursue my passions: teaching, running, yoga, writing, and blogging.

This past weekend was exciting not because it was Valentine's Day (although I do love Valentine's Day - especially kiddos Valentine's! Aren't they the sweetest when they come up to you and hand you their Valentine with the sweetest little smile??). And not because it was February Break (Four Day Weekend!).
Because it was the Olympic Marathon Trials in LA!

The top three men and top three women go onto represent the USA at the Olympics in Rio. I was rooting for Meb for the men and Kara for the women (plus any other Oiselle birds!). The race was INTENSE!

Watching on Periscope and checking the paces and places throughout the race was completely nerve wracking. Meb ending up placing second. Then I was waiting for the women's race results. Shalane, Amy, Desi and Kara were vying for the top three spots. I was refreshing FloTrack when my sister came in and told me Kara was fourth. I collapsed on my bed and took a nap.

Wait what??

I was emotionally drained! Hearing the disappointing news Kara didn't make the team? My body just collapsed. Boom. Nap time! Yes, I become very emotionally involved in elite racing!


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