Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Florida Writes 2013

Oh. Baby. Today was the day we were all anxiously awaiting! Florida Writes 2013!! After warming up to the Cupid Shuffle, our fourth graders kicked butt today and wrote their little hearts out for a full hour. After we wrote, we celebrated with some homemade treats (Paula Deen's gooey butter cake, anyone?) and got to relax with some indoor recess while it continued to rain outside. We were SO happy we avoided a tornado warning during the test. Wouldn't that just be a nightmare?

In honor of being finished with FCAT Writes, I thought I'd share some of my favorite snippets from the kids' journals they've been keeping. Enjoy!
Selena Gomez is my standard of beauty, too.

It's easy to mix up "hands-on" and "hands-down". What a great new saying!
Writing is HANDS-ON my favorite subject!

"Ugh! This is not my style" Princess in the making. I feel the same way, girl.

Alluding to Jackson Pollock. These are 9 and 10 year old children.
Are you as impressed as I am??

My favorite: "...they look so beautiful it makes me feel like I'm a dirty street rat."
Where did this come from??
I just love reading everything these kids write. They have so much personality in their writing! I'm so proud of them and happy that we. are. done.

In TFA news, I received two books in the mail today: Teaching as Leadership and A Chance to Make History. These are for "onboarding" which is prep between now and Institute in June. It basically looks a whole lot like my online classes- read sections and then respond in a group of 6-8 people online. I'm also applying to more schools and preparing for some phone interviews. Very exciting stuff!

Special delivery!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Multiplication Workshop Lesson

Hi everyone! I wanted to share my lastest supervisor observation because the kids LOVED it and I was super excited about that =] If I haven't told you before, we have 3 or 4 supervisor observations and 3 mentor observations per semester. It's a lot, but it definitely is making me step up my game!

So I was doing a lesson on multiplication and really wanted to do more of a workshop/inquiry-based type of lesson. I found this blog post about using anchor charts and was *iNsPiReD* to try something we did in a math class I took on-campus at UF.

I started the lesson by giving the students a multiplication word problem and telling them to solve it in their math journal two different ways. Then we talked about some of their strategies, developing their vocabulary. They had the traditional algorithm, partial products, and repeated addition. We also added arrays and the inverse operation. Then I put them in mixed-ability groups of 3 and gave each group a sheet of chart paper, markers, and a word problem. They wrote as many ways to solve it as they could think of and explained their thinking.

We taped them to the walls around the room and each group had a set of post-its. They rotated around and decided as a group one compliment per chart and any questions they had for other charts. Eventually they got back to theirs and got to read what everyone said! Then we went around as a class and everyone got a chance to answer questions on their charts. Here are some of their questions/comments. I was SO impressed!

 The kids were engaged the whole time and really developed their vocabulary! I think it stretched their brains to think of multiplication deeper instead of just an algorithm. One more observation down, four to go!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the Air

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! I love love love celebrating holidays with my babies. They are always so excited about every little thing that we "adults" often overlook. It's so fun to dress up and do holiday themed activities and then [drumroll] EXCHANGE VALENTINES AND EAT CANDY!!! If I had a nickel for every time today someone said "When are we gonna do valentines??" I would be able to afford a treadmill to burn off all the chocolate they gave me. See?

My collection of chocolate- so spoiled!
Tulips! They just took over our desk! 
Each of the students brought in decorated shoeboxes and had a BLAST walking around the room and passing out their valentines. Then they spent another half hour reading every last note (and sampling the treats). One of the boys made homemade cards with personal messages to every child. It was so stinkin' sweet I about died.

So what did the kids get from me? Funny you should ask! I found a fantastic blog post through Pinterest about candy-free valentines and gave them glow-stick bracelets! It led me to this blog, which had printables already set up for you. All I had to do was buy glow-stick bracelets (15 for $1 at Target!) and cardstock to print out my valentines. Then I cut them up and signed each one. Boom! Quick and cheap, but my kiddos loved them!! 
Love how easy this is 
I "accidently" snapped like 6 glow-sticks while attaching the bracelet connectors.
Party time in the living room!


Confession: This was just me practicing how to use my timer on my new camera.
Good news: it works!
So that was my Valentine's Day! After seminar with my supervisor and fellow interns, I'm changing into sweatpants and ordering chinese with my momma while we watch girly tv. This is how Valentine's Day SHOULD be, ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Spend My Day with Nine-Year-Olds

Ok, to be fair, some of them are ten ;) But seriously, I spend my day with nine-year-olds and they say the best things! I just wanted to take a minute and share a couple things I've heard this week (and it's only Tuesday!)

Today, one of my girls was showing me the back of her book, which was an informational book about some famous person. It was listing other books in the series and she said, "Ms. Douberly, who's N-S-Y-N-C?" and I said "NYSNC??" and she was like "Uh ya. Who's that?" I just died a little inside. Then I said "Well, do you know Justin Timberlake? It was a boy band with him when I was your age." But you guys. It was so sad. Not ONE child in the vicinity knew who NYSNC was. Like didn't even recognize the name as something. Sad day.
Sorry I let you down, fellas
Then on a sweet note, the kids were reading about inherited traits yesterday and one of my boys got really excited and said "Ms. Douberly, did you know that if you have one parent that's African-American and one that's Caucasian, you get to kinda look like both?!" Haha I just said "Yup" and he was clearly disappointed at my lack of enthusiasm because he continued "I mean, you get BOTH. You get traits of BOTH races. Isn't that cool??" It really is fun to see them learn things that most people already know and be so excited about it. You forget sometimes how little they are and then they remind you. Also, this led to a conversation on Mariah Carey. I'm reppin' 90s pop this week apparently.
He only recognized her from American Idol. *facepalm*
Finally, today we were messing with the SmartBoard after we hadn't used it in awhile. The kids came in as we were playing with some programs and were curious if we were gonna use it this week. I said we might and one of my boys goes "Well it could definitely lead to some exciting learning opportunities!" Careful, your gifted is showing ;) I love them!

Hope your week has been as fun as mine's been! Also, my Gator's are playing my mentor teacher's Wildcats tonight, so here's hoping I get bragging rights tomorrow! Go Gata!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken Gyro Recipe

Last night was one of those perfect nights with friends- complete with bonfire, acoustic guitar, nostalgic story telling, crazy dancing, and burgers at 2am. It was also a little celebration for taking my final FTCE (Florida Teacher Certification Exam). I'm SO glad to be done with those exams. They aren't too hard, but pretty pricey and way too long. Bad news is I have to take two Tennessee ones now [sigh]. Hopefully these won't be too hard, either! Certification is a tricky thing, y'all.

So after (hopefully) acing my FTCE and staying up late last night, I was so happy to sleep in today and decided to make chicken gyros for dinner! I spent the summer of 2010 in Paris with Cru at UF doing outreach on college campuses and we absolutely fell in love with gyros, or kababs, as they called them. You have to eat them with fries stuffed inside and you have to have a banana/Nutella crepe for dessert. Sorry. Those are the rules.
See- House of Gyros, what more could you ask for?!

My first Parisian crepe. Oh baby. 
So tonight I had a little taste of Paris again. Awwww. Before I tell you about the food, let me introduce you to my IPad stand I use in the kitchen. It is magical.

I use online recipes A LOT (and listen to music) so it comes in handy.
You can find it here by Belkin

Anyway, important things: I used the gyro recipe from Hungry Girl and doubled it so we would have 4 servings :

Ingredients (original amounts for 2 servings): 
1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
3 tbsp. peeled and finely chopped seedless cucumber
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. salt
Marinade and Chicken
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. salt
8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 high-fiber pitas
1/4 cup chopped seedless cucumber
1/4 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

All of the above. And fries. Duh. 

Mix your sauce ingredients, cover it, and put it in the fridge.
Mix your marinade. 
Chop up your chicken and put it all in a giant ziploc bag for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
Dance to music in the kitchen until your 20 minutes is up [optional].

Then you saute the chicken on the stove, put the fries in the oven, and mix together the chopped cucumber, halved grape tomatoes, and feta cheese.

When you are ready to assemble, you can warm the pita up in the microwave, then put some sauce, chicken, and cucumber mixture in your pita. Fries go last ;) Also, I put everything INSIDE the pita because it was easier, but the website originally said to put it on top. To each his own.
Mmmmm so yummy. 
Afterwards, homemade crepes from Skinnytaste! With bananas and Nutella, of course.
C'est bon. C'est tres tres bon.
Hey, let's just run away to Paris and eat like this every night. Who's with me??

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Teacher Humor

Wow, it's February! Which means we're bustin out the heart patterned tablecloths and getting ready for Valentines Day and FCAT Writes. They're both outlined on my calendar with a big heart. Just kidding. Kinda. Anyways, instead of going to a super bowl party (not gonna apologize for being lame), I'll be staying in and quilting tonight and wanted to share a little teacher humor with you, seeing as how we're all so test crazy right now!

As I hope most of you realize, teaching is hard. It's exhausting and teachers don't get enough credit for everything they put up with. Which is why it's important to have a good sense of humor! This post is dedicated to a handful of websites that make me laugh really hard when I have bad days. Hope they make you laugh too! =]
Fake it till ya make it baby
Remember that "Hey Girl" tumblr for Ryan Gosling-loving-feminists? Well this is for Ryan Gosling-loving-teachers. It's basically what every teacher wants to hear with a picture of a cute guy. I mean if that's not motivation, I don't know what is.

So great. The Gos just gets me, ya know?
I found this through one of the girls in my cohort (shout-out to cohort 76!) and it's a webseries about teachers. It's hilarious. I watched all 14 episodes in one sitting and they. totally. nailed. it. Here's my favorite:

"Just because you leave a shoe at his apartment doesn't mean you can show up whenever you want"

I've talked about it before, but New Girl is my JAM. I wish Jess (Zooey Deschanel) was still a school teacher, but there's still plenty of quality teacher jokes and the whole show just kills me. Between that and The Mindy Project, I feel like my life is adequately represented in sitcom form.

Don't forget Pinterest for teacher humor galore.

Silence means someone's feeling guilty...
Remember to laugh today!