Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Winner is Crowned!

Congrats Corinne! You're the winner of an Uncommon Goods gift certificate!

Check your email for more information. 

Thanks to everyone who entered to win. Hopefully another contest will pop up on my blog soon!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Uncommon Goods GIVEAWAY!

You may remember this post from a few months ago... 
The company Uncommon Goods made all my dreams come true. 

They made my beloved Chip President of the United States! 

Now, Uncommon Goods is offering a gift certificate to their web site to a reader of the newly named "Half-Full Chronicles".  First, let's chat a little bit about the company Uncommon Goods. Their focus is to, "feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and  without harm to animals or people." Many of their products are made right here in the United States AND the mission of their company is impact the world in a positive way. <--That's fantastic.

While browsing the pages of unique products online, I came across a gratitude kit in the Housewarming section. I was in love! 

As soon as I found the Year of Gratitude Kit in the Home Decor, I knew it would be the perfect complement to our engagement. Scott and I have so much to be grateful for at this time in our lives and why not share that with others? The entire kit revolves around giving thanks for 52 weeks! 

Since Scott and I are homeowners now, we are always hunting to decor items and pieces to fit our new place together. Uncommon Goods has quite the array of Home Decor items you should check out. 

Another fun item making its way into our new home is this Cheese & Crackers Serving Board. I can't wait to fill it with my favorite cheeses - like gouda... yum! -  and crackers for our official housewarming party this summer. Did I mention we'll be husband and wife by then? Oh my! I can't wait. 

Here's a first for the 'ol blog! How about a giveaway?! Uncommon Goods is giving away a gift certificate to their site and YOU could win. 

 Leave a comment below and share what you would buy with a gift certificate! 

The winner will be revealed on FRIDAY! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 8, 2015

I Appreciate YOU!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I've had my 3 classes write letters of appreciation to their current or former teachers. It's been remarkable to watch as they knew exactly which teacher they wanted to write a heart felt note to. Some even had to sit for awhile and decide on only ONE teacher to write a letter to because they loved so many. 

I've watched as students thanked teachers for helping them read, inspiring them to achieve their dreams, setting examples for siblings, and helping through rocky times in their own lives. Some just simply said, "thank you for being you." 

It's this time of year when things start to get a little shaky, kids get a little goofy, and schedules get a little foggy... but it's also the time of year to cling tight to your students because your days remaining together are so few. 

Sure, I get tired. We all do! I'm worn out on Friday afternoons. My brain goes on overload. I take on too much. I worry too much. I feel like I'm doing too little. With all that in mind, I wouldn't switch my profession for anything.   I'll always remember the advice of my dad who said, "Find a job where you are excited to wake up every morning and go to work." (Side note: this was a time in my life where I couldn't quite find the direction I was headed...")

So, I thank YOU faithful educators who inspired me growing up and for the educators I'm surrounded by each and every day - even in the summer! :) 


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Letting Them Choose

'Tis the end of the school year is upon us in 5th grade. I'm not usually a countdowner (unless we are referring to the wedding.. in THAT case, we have 44 days!) but I can sense the end is near....

We just wrapped our How Does Exericse Affect Learning PBL project (details to come!) and I wanted to hold onto that student engagement and choice-driven environment that had flourished during the week of our PBL project. 

A fellow 5th grade teacher and I collaborated and created a (in my opinion) totally awesome choice menu for the rest of the year. The menu items feature some writing, some reading, some social studies, fluency, poetry, and even opportunities to be creative.

Monkeyin' Around Visual Aid
As a requirement for class, students must complete seven out of the nine choices. Some of the choices require students to publish through their blog or in their writer's notebook. I have a checklist to manage as students complete various tasks. Students who go above and beyond and complete all nine will be rewarded with ice cream sundaes. 
I mean, c'mon? Who doesn't love an ice cream sundae?

Here are a few of the options:

A few more choices available to students:

Another one of the options involves making a visual aid to represent their favorite book from this year. I had a young man do this project at home the night I introduced the choice menu! 

Fine by me!

How is the rest of your year shaping up? Share with me your "end of the year" activities!

You can access an editable version of the choice menu through Google Docs ------------> HERE.

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