Monday, May 30, 2016

The Good. The Random. The Fun. v. 22

The Good:
Went downtown to get some shots for 52 Frames. Had a good time playing around with my new camera and the reflective Hancock Tower windows.

The Random:
A healthy blooming onion?

The Fun:
Summer is unofficially here! That means time to hit the pool!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Scav Hunt Sunday: Fenway and Ferns

The allium have burst open in town. My favorite spring flower!

 Time freezes in parts of Fenway Park, America's oldest ball park!

In My Bag:
With t-minus 13 1/2 days left in the year, some extra caffeine is a good thing to carry around!

Made By Me:

I bought some fiddlehead ferns this week, a perfect spring veggie. Tossed them with some black bean pasta and roasted garlic. Perfect spring supper!

Pool water is always so blurry, but relaxing, looking.

And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

Friday, May 27, 2016

May Randoms v. 2

park art...sunny morning...watermelon season
sunday pancakes...latest read...lone cheerio
lilac bush...fraction center...bright start
 delicate flower...poofy dandelion...looking out
unsharpened pencils...sesame salmon...strawberry shortcakes
running view...fenway seats...fenway art
big papi...wrinkles portrait...cold brew
purple allium...spring supper...rhododendron blooms
blooming onion...tiny flowers...hancock tower

And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

52 Frames: 8 Weeks More

I cannot stop raving about how much I am loving being in this group. The new photography friends I've made, the support I've gotten for my photography, and the new tips and tricks I've learned. Thank you Yosef and 52 Frames!

Week 14: Negative Space
Week 15: Magic Hour
Week 16: Food Photography 
Week 17: Macro
Week 18: Red
Week 19: Blue
* Featured in the Top 52 Album! 
Week 20: High Key
Week 21: My Bedroom

And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Song-osity: Baseball Season

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good...

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good...

{Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamon}

First Red Sox game of the season!
Great seats. Great weather (thank you Mother Nature for not raining as planned!).

Great show from the Sox. My personal fav Predroia got on base at his first at bat. Then David Ortiz, whose in his last year before retiring, came up to bat. And the inning ended 2-0 Red Sox.

The crowd went wild every time Ortiz was at bat. He went 4-4 - with one homer and one in the park double. Jackie Bradley Jr. expended his hitting streak to 27 games with a solid single.

Great fielding. Great energy. Great game!

The final score was 5-2. Go Sox!
And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Good. The Random. The Fun. v. 21

The Good:
The lilacs are all in bloom! So pretty and such a lovely smell.        

The Random:
A few Fridays ago my tired teacher brain made a pig face in a kids face instead of a star. It's become the thing, to get me to mark their work so they can get a funny animal!

The Fun:
I had friends over for Shabbat dinner. Been a while since I'd hosted a shabbat meal so it was fun to cook and have great company! Peanut butter spaghetti squash, garlic salmon, sesame quickles, and shortcakes!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Scav Hunt Sunday: Signs and Seltzer

My Favorite Color: 
I'm a blue girl. Loving the shade on my toes these days. And the fact that it's finally warm enough for flip flops.

There's a cute kid behind that sign and a lesson in what it was like for immigrants who came to America at the turn of the century.

I have a seltzer maker, but every now and then I treat myself to the fun Polar Seltzer flavors. I got a multi pack of these at Wegmans, so good!

Wishes are messages right...? Make a wish!

Never realized morning glory blooms have a triangular appearance.

And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Flexible Seating

Without fail, every year that I have been teaching, I decide to try something new in April/May. It's always been something I've been looking into all year and am ready to bite the bullet and just try. I think it's because I am confident my current class can handle it, I've done all the research I can, and I want to test it out before a new school year.

This year: flexible seating. It's all the rage in education right now. The idea is no longer do you assign a kid to a desk or a table with other kids (which they will moan about and beg you to change). You also offer many styles of seating for the students to choose from.

You, as an adult go to Starbucks and pick between the comfy chairs, the small table, the large communal table, or even the high bar where you can stand or sit on a stool. So, why can't a child make a choice for where they want to work? Where they will work best? Won't they do better work if they are in control and comfortable?
I've always been flexible when it comes to work times. They knew they could use the rug, but when they had an assigned chair it was "their spot" and they often stuck to it. So mid-April I threw out the name tags, we had a class meeting and I told them the new plan. They were THRILLED and instantly showed me how well they can handle it. I bought some new options and got rid of some chairs. There are now a variety of seating options that suit all types of learners.

A little peak at our options:
I got these awesome scoop chairs at Kmart. Kids love using them now with clipboards. They fit a third grader perfectly (truth be told, I fit in them too - but not my taste - see choice!). I have tons of pillows and my old couch cushions too. Some kids work best when cozy and comfortable!

I also got a few sensory cushions, kids love sitting on them on the rug or on a chair. I set the expectations of no sharp objects and no feet on them and they are respecting them!
The big purchase for this overhaul was my hokki stools. The best wobble stool on the market, even though it's pricey, it's worth it! They naturally wobble as the kids move on them and they provide the movement some kids need to focus. One kid, who can be very hyperactive is so zen when using them! I can't wait to get 2 more for next year. I personally LOVE these for myself, too! (for my 3rd graders I ordered the 15" stools, which are perfect) 
The last big element was making 4 milk crate stools. I had seen this on pinterest and knew flexible seating called for these! It's plywood cut to fit (take the crates to Home Depot and they cut them to fit!), 3 inch high density foam, and then fabric wrapped around and staple gunned on. Super easy to make and a huge hit!
Overall, it's been an amazing rollout of this stucture. The kids get right to work; they choose a smart spot in the room and are happy and working. Sure there can be chatting since they choose who they work near, but we talked about "smart choices" and they know a teacher can move them if they aren't making a smart choice.

My basic ground rules are: get to work quickly, do your 3rd grade best quality work, be flexible and fair, and respect the seating options.

I found, it worked best to give everyone a chance to try something, that way there was less arguing and rushing for something. Also, once they had all tried it, they knew if it worked for them and the novelty wore off. There is very little bickering, very little miss use of seats, and 100% buy in from them!

Too often, in education, teachers don't give kiddos enough trust or enough choice. I feel like I have empowered my kiddos to make choices and be independent learners. A skill that will for sure be with them forever.

I plan on honing it more over the summer, the main goal - fewer chairs and more options!

And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!