I’m Moving!

If you’re a student (or parent) in my school, then by now you know about all of the change that will be happening next year!  While I’m really sad that my old friends and colleagues are leaving, I’m excited about the prospects of all the new opportunities, learning and experiences that will come my way.

I’m welcoming 3 (yep, I said 3!) new teammates to 5th grade.    I haven’t even been in the same room with them yet, but I need to give an official 20somethingkids shout-out to Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Hong and Mr. Keischnick!  You are coming to an AMAZING school with AMAZING kids and AMAZING parents, and I know that you will bring even more amazingness to our team and our school community. 🙂

Oh, and the “I’m Moving” part–if you’re around school next year looking for me, I’m moving to Rm 202 next door.  I just couldn’t resist all the chalkboard paint Mrs. LeSeure was leaving behind…


Summer Homework?

Yes, I’m giving you homework.  What??  Summer homework?  You hardly gave during-the-school-year-homework, Mrs. Bearden!  I know, but now you have lots more time, right?  And don’t worry–it’s easy and fun.

Read.  Your homework is to read.  Read whatever you want–the sports page, the back of the cereal box, or…a Truman Award nominee.  Remember how we read some Mark Twain nominees this year?  Faith, Hope and Ivy June and The Secret of Zoom were nominated for this Missouri award, and I know several of you also read some of the others, like The Potato Chip Puzzles and Love, Aubrey.

Well, lucky you, now that you’re in 6th grade (well almost!), you get to vote for another MO award–the Truman Award.  This one is for 6th-8th graders, and the rules are the same: read at least 4 of them and you can be one of the many other MO middle schoolers who choose the lucky book to win this award! Find the list for 2012-2013 here. And I must be honest here: I was going to insert all of this information in this post for you, but the post I linked to is really well done, so I chose that one instead. 🙂

Now for my summer homework….it’s reading, too.  But not Truman Award nominees.  I’m reading new Mark Twain nominees to decide which to read to my new class of 5th graders coming this fall.  I think technically this award is chosen by 4th-6th graders, so maybe you’re just double lucky and can vote for both of them!  I’d also love to hear what you, my friends, think about what my new kiddos would like.  Read some of the new nominees and then tell me what you think!

This is my short list right now:

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea (thinking about this one for the beginning of the year)

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (I love his writing as an adult, and I had another 5th grade friend who LOVED this series a couple of years ago.  This should be a good one. )

Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret (you know my thoughts on Peg Kehret’s books, but kids LOVE her, so I need to try this one, too.  Crossing my fingers…)

Half Upon a Time by James Riley (this is a crazy twist on familiar fairytales and looks pretty funny)

I am also going to try When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  My friend Archie gave it to me as an end-of-the-year present, and Mr. Bearden recommends it, too.

But the best part about all of these reading plans is that I just got this big stack of books from Barnes and Noble, and it WAS ALL FREE!!  Ok, I think I may have spent $5 or something, but I bought the rest with a gift card (big thanks to Dr. Wheelehan!!).

Alright friends, you have your summer mission.  Let me know how it goes, and I will hopefully update you on how it’s going for me on here, too.  Happy Summer Reading!

What other suggestions do you have for summer reading or for 5th grade read alouds?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!





The Other 22 Hours of the Day

Hello!  Remember me?  I’m the one who blogs here.  I know–you probably forgot I had a blog.  But no, I’ve just been so busy that it has been very hard to get here to tell you about it!

There is a quote (and I CANNOT seem to find it anywhere to share the exact words with you), but it goes something like “I write 2 hours a day, but it’s what I do the other 22 hours of the day that give me what I write about.”  I am certain that the exact words are more poetic and well-said than the way I paraphrased it, but you get the idea. 🙂

And I think this is absolutely true!  I have taught my students for a very long time all about how to use their Writer’s Notebooks and how to figure out what to write in them.  One of the tips I give is to pay attention to the things you are already doing.  We talk often about how the events/thoughts/ideas that you capture in your notebook don’t have to be monumental or “big” or necessarily special, they just have to be yours.  If you carry your notebook and pay attention you will find countless things to write about.

But then there’s my problem….I have been so busy with the “other 22 hours” that I have been neglecting the 2.  I mean that I haven’t been writing any of it down and that KILLS me! If you have a minute, be sure to check out the kid blogs, because they have written about it!

And while I know you’re hoping I’ll write a 1000 post right now all about those things, friends, I simply CANNOT do it right now.  We have one last busy, crazy day with kiddos tomorrow, and then it’s SUMMER!  I am hoping to come back in those next few days and update you then.  Can you hold on until then?  Please?  🙂

What do you do in your “other 22 hours” that you would write about?  What is a quote that you think is worth sharing?  What things have been keeping you busy lately?  We’d love to hear about it!  Leave us a comment! 🙂


Remember how I told you about how lucky we were to be able to Adopt-a-Pilot?

Well, since that first visit, he’s come back two other times, teaching us all sorts of awesome things about geography and flight, as well as life-lessons related to doing our best and working to achieve our goals.

During this second-to-last visit with Mr. Smith, we got to Skype with him while he was out-of-town!  We got to guess “Where in the USA was Mr. Smith?” using clues he gave us.  We used our big map to mark where we thought he might be:

Molli guessed on the FIRST CLUE that it was Birmingham!  Way to go, kiddo!

Check out a clip of our Skype session:

This was only the second time I’d ever Skype’d (and the first was the end of Adopt-a-Pilot last year!), and it was so great!  I know lots of teachers use it in really creative ways in their classrooms for mystery read-alouds, conversations with authors and for class-to-class chats.  I can’t wait to see what else is out there that I might try next year!

How do you use Skype? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂