Saturday, November 29, 2014

Five for Friday 11-28

It's been a while since I've linked up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday link-up.

Connecting with the Community with Persuasive Writing

Last year, one of my students' choices for opinion writing was to persuade me to visit a business in our town.  Several students chose this, and they did a great job.  This year I decided to make this a bigger writing task for all students.  As an added incentive, I told the students that I would deliver their paragraphs to the businesses, and they would likely display them.  At a conference last summer, one person talked about the importance of students writing for more than just an audience of one (the teacher).  It made complete sense.  The other ELA teacher and I finally finished up this project, and delivered over 100 student essays to over 25 businesses!  I live in the small town where I teach, and was excited today to see them already displayed in some places.

We gave them a green letter to hang with the paragraphs to explain them.  I'm excited to make this an annual project, and am already trying to think of another project that will allow students to feel "published".

No Crowds on Black Friday at the Park!

No Black Friday shopping for me!  Instead, my kids and I took the dog for a nice walk around Evergreen Lake at the wonderful Metropark that is just a few miles from our home.  We didn't come across one other person on our 1.5 mile loop around the lake!

Decoding Fun with Nonsense Words

 If you've read my others posts, you'll know that my Friday is a "center" type day.  I've loved this opportunity to be able to pull groups of students for a variety of purposes.  I'm constantly adding to my "Choose Your Challenge" board of choices for the students.  I finally got something for our decoding choice.  I made a series of beginning and ending sound sticks that students can put together to make nonsense words (with an occasional real word).  I adapted this from a flip book I made for my own children growing up.  I put great care into making sure that no inappropriate words can be made with the placement of any two sticks!


Unlocking Cell Phones!

Cell phones for kids: I caved in and got my daughter a phone when she entered 7th grade.  I always said she'd get one when she needed it, and cross country every day after school seemed like the need was finally here.  I put her on a Virgin Mobile plan.  It is a great deal!  If you set up auto payments, it is $30 a month for unlimited text and data.  Of course the lower end Smartphone I got her wasn't what she wanted, and I again caved and upgraded her to an iPhone when she broke her arm the following summer.  Now my son is getting to that age.  The downside of Virgin Mobile's cheap monthly plan is that you pay A LOT for the phone (price of not having a contract).  Today I researched unlocking phones.  We have a couple of other iPhones around the house that are tied to Verizon, and have been keeping them as back-ups.  Well, today I paid $45 to have it unlocked so that I can use it with Virgin Mobile.  Hopefully this works, it will save me a lot of money.  Here's the site I used, in case anyone wants to check it out.  *I'm not being compensated by anyone for anything in this post!

Bloglovin' Feed - A Wonderful Start to My Day!

I love Thanksgiving, but this year was a bit rough for me.  Nothing big, but had to deal with some family drama that was for nothing.  One of them involves use of FB.  I love how FB allows me to keep in touch with family and friends near and far.  However, people use Facebook in very annoying ways.  I can overlook annoying, but there's something I can't overlook.  People read something shocking on FB, and share without thinking or fact checking.  Fake stories are made up with an agenda to attack some group (religious, political, or other).  This propaganda needs to be stopped, not passed along.  It divides us as a people, and isn't productive in anyway.

What I've loved about my entrance in the blogging world recently is that everything I've read HAS been productive or positive.  Thank you to all the bloggers that I follow that give me something to read each day that is worth my time and inspiring!  


  1. I love your students' letters to local businesses! What a great idea. I hope you're having a great Thanksgiving break, despite a bit of drama :) I've been sick most of break (surprise, surprise), so I am eager to get busy on some house projects and decorating today and tomorrow!

    EduKate and Inspire

  2. I absolutely love the idea of giving your students a real audience through local businesses! We took a tour of City Hall a few months ago, and they hung up my students' thank you letters. They have been thrilled to see them up. I bet the business idea would be even better!