Friday, June 27, 2014

It's Summer!


Isn't this a great find?  Who is loving Pinterest this summer?  I have to admit, I have already spent way too many hours looking at pins for my classroom.  I've heard it said that a teacher never stops thinking about his or her classroom.  It is true!  Along with working on my Masters, I am finding time to read for fun.  I am currently reading The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx.  It was slow to start with, but turning into a fabulous read.  I hope you all are having a relaxing and enjoyable summer!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Go Hawks!

Next weekend is the big game - Iowa State Cyclones v. the Iowa Hawkeyes.  Here in Iowa, you have to pick a side.  After teaching in different states for many years, I finally moved back to Iowa in 2009.  I realized very quickly that on the Friday before the big game, you were expected to show your support for your team by wearing either Hawkeye gear or State gear.  Well, lucky for me, I love the color black and just happened to have a black shirt on that first year.  As the big day gets closer, I wanted to get my students involved in the big rivalry.  As I was "Pinteresting" one night looking for art ideas, something hit me out of the blue.  How about having the students draw Herky if they support the Hawks and draw Cy if they support the Cyclones!?  Well, I wasn't sure how they were going to do, but I was pleasantly surprised.  After putting up the bulletin board, I sent out an email inviting other teachers to have their students add to the excitement.  I am hopeful that by next Friday, we will have the entire wall filled!!!  (Hopefully with more Herkies!!!!)  I couldn't be more excited about this great display of team spirit!  Enjoy ~ and GO HAWKS!

Friday, August 2, 2013

     And... it's that time of the year again!  Almost time for back to school - well, some of us have already been back to school for a bit.  :-)  The picture above shows the amazing donations I have received from Mr. Roper and his wife - my neighbors who adopt my class every year.  They are incredibly generous and have provided supplies for my classroom and students for the past 3 years.  I am so grateful to them for graciously helping out the community in this way.  What a wonderful reminder that there are people out there who do amazing things every day to support students and our educational system.  Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Roper.  On that note, I hope that your final days of summer are filled with fun, sun, and pleasant thoughts about returning in a very short time.  Keep calm and summer on!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's that time of the year again... time to start planning for fall!  As I am going through my student writing notebooks, I am finding that "Work on Writing" is a weak area as part of my "Daily 5."  I plan to revamp my writing options and I'm wondering if anyone out there has ideas they would like to share?  What works for you?  I will be working on this throughout the summer and would appreciate any helpful hints and tips!  Thank you so much and have a wonderful summer!  
(Time flies when you're having as much fun as we have!)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Give a cheer, spring is here - FINALLY!

What a beautiful day we had today, and hopefully the week will be just as wonderful.  As I look toward the end of the school year, I have been looking for end of the year reflective activities for my students.  Do you have any favorites that you use?  I would love to hear what you do in your classroom.  In the past, I have made a bulletin board that features the quote from "A Tale of Two Cities" - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  I have the students share their favorite thing about the year and their least favorite.  The answers always surprise me!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Student Teacher Anyone?

Good Snowy Friday Morning!  What a mess we've had this spring, or shall I say extended winter!  I do love rain, but this snow is a little much.  (See previous letter to Winter.)

Today I am wondering about all things "student teacher."  I have been asked if I would be interested in hosting a student teacher next fall.  This is something new for me as I have never had a student teacher in my classroom.  I have had many college students who are studying education come into my classroom for a day or two here or there, but never a student teacher for a field experience.  So, I'm looking for the pros/cons, positives/negatives, thoughts, comments, concerns of my fellow teachers.  If you have any advice, I would love to hear from you!  

Thank you in advance for your candor~
Ms. Lukes

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How do we help the endangered animals?

This week, one of my reading groups was reading the book, "Endangered Animals."  We were able to have amazing discussions and one student  asked what we could do to help.  As we spent more time talking about the many endangered species of animals, the students continued to ask if there was anything we could do to help.  So, while watching television one night, a commercial came on for the World Wildlife Fund.  I decided that this would be a perfect way for my students to help endangered animals.  The next day I showed the students the many animals that we could choose from for a "symbolic adoption."  They ended up choosing the snow leopard.  For a donation of $25, we will receive a certificate showing that we have adopted a snow leopard and a picture of a snow leopard.  I let the students in the reading group explain what we had decided to do to the rest of the class and they were all very surprised and excited!  I sent home simple certificates with the students so they could share the news with their parents.  On Friday, one of my students shared that he and his little sister adopted a macaw!  How exciting!  This was an amazing opportunity to make a real world connection for my students.  Hopefully they realize the importance of protecting endangered animals.