Hi Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving Week! Yes, I get the WHOLE WHOLE WHOLE week off! Which means I can do some creating and blogging. I am thrilled! A few months ago, I shared a picture of my RAK bulletin board ideas. A few people requested that I go into more detail on my blog.
One of my goals as a classroom teacher is to create respectful 5th graders. I want my students to feel loved and excited when they walk into Room 20. My classroom theme this year is from the country song, Compass- "So let your heart sweetheart, be your compass when you are lost, you should follow it where you go".

What are some ways I have been "teaching" my classroom theme and goals?

 Classroom Read Alouds
-Wonder by R.J. Palacio
-The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio 
-Pay It Forward Catherine Ryan Hyde
-365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio (We will start this in January)
-Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy

R.A.K Project

I started my RAK Project playing this video by Bombshel. It was VERY powerful! My students were totally moved by the video and even clapped at the end. #ilovemy5thgraders.
Each student signed a  "Kindness Never Stops Traveling" pledge card.
For homework, each student went home and brainstormed different Random Acts of Kindness they have seen in their community. I had the students do this with their families. I was blown away by the responses the students returned the following day. Sorry! I have no pictures of the completed Graffiti Walls.The kids keep this page behind their binder and can add it to when they see new RAKs.
I created a RAK center by the Social Studies wall. The students must complete at least one RAK a week. They may share a RAK they saw or demonstrated or they may write a friendly letter to someone in the class or staff member. At first, I let  them write to their friends, but now they must write to different people. Every Friday, I pass them back to the students in the class or deliver to the teachers.

My favorite RAKs thus far,
"Dear Student C,
Thank you for helping me feel welcomed in this class. I am new this year and I do not know anyone. Your cheerful smile is always so warm."
Sincerely, Student B"

"Dear Miss H,
Do you know how much I love your class?I have never had a teacher who cares so much about their students. Thank you for always believing we can do our personal best.I love 5th grade."

Here is the RAK Center

This will be in my TpT tonight with a few other fun new treats! 

Remember- A Random Act of Kindness Never Stops Traveling!
Are you teaching about VERBS or Direct Objects? I have the book for you! BULLFROG POPS by Rick Walton is fabulous to help students understand direct objects in a fast and fun away. The story grabs the attention of the students by first looking for the verb and then the direct object isn't until the next page. My colleague said she been teaching this skills for over 8 years and the kids have never pick it up this fast. Rick Walton has books for all parts of speech. He is highly recommended by Ramona Recommends.

Happy Tuesday,

Side Note: Today is the FIRST day of Fall. We have been in the midst of a huge heatwave. The thought of sweaters and boots right now make me want to faint.

This week we are starting our Persuasive Writing Unit. My teammate introduced me to Hey, Little Ant! O.M.G what a gem! To engage our friends I am going to read, Hey, Little Ant! It a great story to teach the art of persuasion. First, I will read the story to the class and discuss the main theme: To persuade. To SQUISH or NOT SQUISH. We discussed breaking our classes into two groups. The SQUISHERS and the NOT SQUISHERS. They will need to make a pro and con list for the reasons behind their stance. This is a short and simple activity, but will engage our students into my favorite writing unit PERSUASION!

Don't have the book? Check out this video. It is the full story with an ANTastic beginning. 

Hi Friends,

3 week DONE...in the books. I love my class so much. They incredibly sweet and work so well together. Today was a "bookful" day at my school because Tom Angleberger came to our library to give an engaging presentation. I want to emphasis the word ENGAGING. It was hilarious and the kids were HYPED up. I was able to get a picture with him and a book signed. Such a nice guy and great with the kids! The Ramona Recommends side of me was jumping for joy inside my heart. I have not read any of his books, but I want to start. The kids were able to preorder the books, and then he personally autographed each book. One of my boys ordered all the series. I just need to channel in my entire Star Wars. :)

Hello Friends,
TODAY'S LESSON: My exciting news and some wonderful books to use in September!

If you follow me on instagram or facebook, I am sure you know the news. If you aren't aware I have not had a full time in my own classroom position in 4 years. Since education is my passion, I have done everything possible to stay connected and share my love education with kids. Honestly, there were days when I was so depressed because I just didn't know how everything was going to turn out. I just kept praying and knew something would come! Well, lets just say BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE EVER PLANNED! It was around 8:15am Wednesday, August 20th when I received one of the best phone calls of my life. The admin of my school called to set up an interview. This school is BRAND new with top of the line technology. I graciously accepted the interview and ran downstairs to tell my mom and sister who were chatting in the kitchen. My heart was pounding with excitement, nervousness, and everything in between. I became a hermit until Saturday morning and just practiced every interview question I thought they might ask. I stayed off of instagram and pinterest because seeing all of the cute classrooms made me more nervous. Saturday morning arrived, and I walked into the building with my black skirt suit ready to share about my love for teaching. The interview was 20 minutes and everyone was friendly and smiled as I spoke. The principal said she would make a decision by Monday. Oh! Saturday was the LONnnnnnnnggggggggesssttttt Saturday of my life. I tried to keep busy by cleaning, organizing, baking, and eating out with some friends. I also didn't want to start room design planning  because well I would be crushed if I wasnt offered the position.
On Sunday afternoon, I was at the mall with my mom and sister and my phone rang about 3:30. I didn't recognize the number, but answered it right away. It was the principal- my heart about jumped 50 feet as she offered me a 5th grade position at my school. I graciously accepted and signed my contract that following Monday. I have literally not stopped since that interview call on Wednesday. My mom, my brother in law, my best friend, and family friends gathered together to help me set up my classroom. I would not have been able do it without them!
The first day of school was AMAZING! Knowing that this class is mine for the whole year just makes me SMILE SMILE SMILE. My kids are funny, unique, investigators, sweet, strong, and AWESOME. My team is great! I am just H.A.P.P.Y! I need to find a way to continuing blogging, but right now I must give my whole heart into my job. I know you all understand. Don't give up on Ramona Recommends, but there might be a few more breaks then before. THANK YOU!
 I always wear RED-WHITE-BLUE on the first day of school. (Well, this was the second because the first day school we had to wear our school opening shirts).

HERE IS A SNEAK PEEK INTO MY CLASSROOM, I will do a more in-depth post when I find the time (hahahahah). 
 Yay for The Amy Groesbeck's Writing Posters, and The Teacher Wife's Writing Pencil.
My favorite part of my room right here! My best friend made me this sign plus the adorable supplies holders. I'm OBSESSED! Oh and did you see behind my desk is the cute first day of fifth grade sign by Teacher to the Core. I printed mine at Staples, but wasn't thrilled with their service. My poster is bubbling and they charged me 2.00 a cut. :( BUT, I love the poster!!!! Thank you!
 My grade book cover. I have to make everything cute! :)
 My first file in the cabinet! :) I will be going through boxes today from four years ago. Since I have never taught fifth, I am excited to start with a clean file system.

Since grammar is an expected skill we teach, and it is not the most fun to teach, I love using picture books to set the scene. One I will be using this coming week is Puncuation Takes a Vacation. Talks about the different types of puncucation and why we need them. 

Another book I will love to share with my students this week is Memoirs of a Goldfish. My class has several (like 15 kids) who all own goldfish. This book is perfect for narrative writing instruction. The best part- it is HILARIOUS!
Lastly, this week I will read The Name Jar. I have a few students with beautiful names that I am struggling to pronuonce correctly. I fell horrible, but I just it as a lesson of practicing will make perfect. I will be practing this weekend. This story is a true gem that teaches acceptance and respecting everyone's unique names. 

Happy September! Thank you for stopping by! I must go work on my master schedule. Oh, I love how that sounds. :)
Hi Friends,

Can't believe the time has come to say good bye to sleeping in, forgetting what day of the week it is, no stress Sundays, and morning workouts. I still have 2 weeks, but I am speaking for all my teacher friends who have already returned. :)

I am so excited for this blog post. Almost as excited as I was when I revealed my home library. Did you see it? I literally lay on the floor and just stare at it. It makes me feel so joyful. #thelittlethings. Ok, back to today's excitement. I did my FIRST video. Omg! My heart is still nervous about posting it, but here I go....  Lets just say I'm not Jennifer Aniston, but hey it's my first video. I need to get some lessons! I will be sharing my favorite picture books and chapter books for back to school. There were a few books that did not make it into the video, but I will have pictures and links below.

{Building a Classroom Community}  
{Building a Classroom Community/READING}
{Building a Classroom Community}
{Building a Classroom Community}
{Building a Classroom Community}
Did you read my post about the author?
 {Language Arts}

 {Social Studies}
{Social Studies}

{Building Community}
 {Joke Books}
 {Realistic Fiction}
 {Realistic Fiction-Fables}


 {Science Fiction} 

Did you know this is Ramona Recommends' Book Club August choice? Want to learn more about our book club?
Would you like a list of all the wonderful books I just recommended? Click here and your wish is my command! I have provided a color and bw copy.

I wish you a wonderful school year and don't forget to "Open the Magic!".

What is your favorite book to read during the school year?

These links are through my Amazon Affiliate program

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