Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Bedside Table

You can tell a reader by their bedside table. Even if you aren't a reader, you know what these tributes to reading look like. The small table stacked high with books, borrowed and bought, just waiting to be read. Like any good teacher, my stack tends to shy away from adult fiction and focus on young adult literature. Although my students may not be able to read some of these books yet, they are quickly becoming part of culture and things most students know about. My goal is to share with you some of my favorites, the ones I read late into the night.

First on my list is Out of My Mind by Susan M. Draper

This is one of those books that you cannot put down. It is intended for ages 4th-8th grade, but I think it could be read to younger children depending on the situation. Everyone high school and up should read it too, especially teachers. 

Out of My Mind is the story of Melody, who is a physically disabled girl. But this disability has nothing to do with her mental powers. She remembers everything she has ever encountered, but nobody knows. Finally she is able to communicate with a computer, but will it change anything? This book is heartfelt and makes you reevaluate how you tread others, particularly those with disabilities. Just make sure you have some tissues! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monster Bookmarks

Last semester I student taught in fourth grade. I loved my students, they were the sweetest kids! Fourth grade was older than I wanted, but I ended up really enjoying my time with them. At the end of my 12 weeks, I wanted to do something for them, but 48 kids is a lot of gifts to give! (I saw two classes of 24 each day, so 48 total). I ended up deciding to make each student a bookmark and give them a cool pencil. But not just any bookmark would do! I decided to copy the ones I found on Tally's Treasury.

Well, it was a much larger undertaking than I thought! I ended up making 50 of them, but it took SIX HOURS. Yes, a literal 6 hours. Some friends and I made them for our students and watched movies, which made the time go faster. But it still took quite a while. I ended up doing them a bit differently then the instructions simply because I was making so many. I basically just cut out a few steps. Scroll down to see what I mean!

The aftermath of the table. So much clean up! 

 Even at an artsy angle, a messy table still looks like a mess! 

Our finished bookmarks! 

See, a little different, but still adorable! 

Demonstrating how the bookmark can go over another page. 

Most of my bookmarks! I love that each one is different. I made sure there no two bookmarks were identical. On the back of each one I wrote the student's name so there would be no mix up. 

My kiddos loved them! I went and visited them a few weeks ago and several kids showed me the bookmark in their independent reading book. I'm glad I was able to give them something cute, inexpensive (though time consuming!), and practical. If I have time this summer, I think I will make one for each of my students for next year as birthday gifts. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Someone has to go first

Welcome to my new blog, Sweet Tea and Second Grade. This fall will be my first year teaching, and I am so glad that it will be in my favorite grade! I will share my creativity, success  and challenges here as a first year teacher. Welcome to my new adventure!