Five for Friday! {November 7, 2014}

 I finally uploaded my photos from Yosemite, a little getaway I took a few weeks ago. It was my first visit, and it was a great weekend with perfect weather and one especially challenging hike. But it was worth it for views like these. (Not to mention, it made a great small moment story to write with my students!)

We started several new word sorts this week during Word Study. I'm happy with how engaged the students are, and so far, they seem to like changing it up each time with a different sort. Although I do want to settle into a routine with how long we spend sorting/studying our words, so far I'm having a hard time balancing the time they need (a lot!) with the amount of time we can actually spend (not that much). I'm hoping they start to move a bit more quickly in the (very) near future. But I'm trying to be patient. We'll see how much longer that lasts. ;)

On a related note, this week we went back to some recent pieces of writing to look for strong words or phrases that help the reader "picture" the story. Some students focused on verbs, while others focused on adjectives. Then they highlighted the words they felt were the strongest. This was a great visual to help them (and me!) see if their writing was descriptive and specific. If they couldn't find anything to highlight, they knew exactly what their writing was lacking. I was thrilled to see pieces of writing like this one:

On a personal note, I've finally started taking French classes. There are seven of us in class, and it feels good to be a student again. I'm enjoying the feeling of not needing to know much of anything. No one expects anything from me (yet), and I'm thrilled when I can string together a sentence or say something in an accent that sounds even slightly decent. Learning another language after Spanish is definitely easier, and I'm trying to take the risks in class that I want my students to take in their learning. :) It is humbling though.

Finally, I couldn't resist ending this post without a tribute to my pastry of the week. Seriously, I have an addiction to this bakery. What's your favorite food for breakfast? I try to alternate between heathy smoothies and goodies like this one.

Happy weekend!

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