Budding Bloggers Showcase: Fifth in the Middle

Whew!  Can I say how happy I am to now be on Christmas vacay?!?  We had an awesome last day and a super fun party...I'll post about that tomorrow!  I'm too exhausted today!!!!  I did wanted to mention that I turned my 26 Random Acts of Kindness post into a linky.  If you are interested in doing your own 26 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of the victims of Sandy Hook, I would love for you to link up and share your list!  I was super surprised to log onto my computer yesterday and see that the 26 RAK wasn't an original idea (little did I know!), but that Ann Curry also had this idea and it went viral!  There's even a Facebook page of everyone sharing their ideas!  How GREAT is that? Can you imagine all of the kindness being spread!? 

Speaking of great, I have a GREAT blog to showcase today!  Diane has been linking up with many of my "Friday Flashback" linky parties and let me just say that she has some FABULOUS ideas!  She may teach 5th grade, but I've been inspired by many of her posts....she even makes teaching 5th grade look appealing to me - that means she MUST be amazing! ;P  Keep reading to find out a little about Diane and then be sure to drop by her blog, click the follow button, and spend a little time snooping around!

I am so excited that Amanda agreed to feature me on her blog! My name is Diane Roethler, and my blog is Fifth in the Middle.
I live in Iowa with my husband of ten years and our two young daughters. My interests include the Iowa Hawkeyes (woo!), all things technology (especially Apple products), and crafting (if I ever get the time). And organizing. I should probably mention that I have some OCD tendencies. Like I've used the same mechanical pencil since my first year teaching, which is why I can't understand students who lose their pencils after one day. And everything must have a proper tab or label. And that I only use my three-hole punch when putting things in binders. All of the papers have to be even, right?! I have an electric three-hole punch on my Christmas list. *fingers crossed*

Anyway, this is my fourteenth year of teaching fifth grade. But this is my first year of teaching fifth grade in the middle school (hence the name of my blog). My district moved my entire grade to the brand-new middle school to address our crowding issues at the two elementaries. Although what I'm teaching isn't much different (I dropped math and picked up another social studies section), the whole transition has been somewhat stressful. The dynamics of the middle school are totally different than at the intermediate school, and that has taken some adjusting.

So now I'm teaching one section of literacy and three sections of social studies, so I guess that makes it my favorite class to teach. And I actually do enjoy the fifth grade social studies curriculum quite a bit. I had my choice of teaching three section of social studies or three sections of math. Although I do enjoy teaching math, it is much harder to address the difference in abilities. Social studies just lends itself to so many stories, and that is what I really enjoy about it. And the fact that the history of the United States from Native Americans to the American Revolution doesn't change from year to year, it really allows me to become somewhat of an expert!

If you popped into my room unannounced, you would probably see lots of hands-on activities and group work. At least in social studies. I'm not sure what you would see in literacy, since this year I have the task of condensing my eighty-minute block of time from last year into a fifty-minute block. I STILL have not had time to meet with small groups, and my brand-new kidney table is sad from its lack of use :( Also, my class will need a LOT of direct instruction on how to work independently while I'm with a small group. That is definitely not one of their strengths.

Caffeine is my friend. Especially Diet Mountain Dew. And chocolate. I love this sign and I have it posted in my classroom.
 It is what gets me through the day. I cheer when I see the Pepsi truck pull up in the bus loading zone. And if the machine is out, we have a Walgreen's a half-block from the school!

There are a few teaching resources that I cannot live without. I know that Amanda asked for one, but I can't really limit it to one. Pinterest is an obvious choice. You can follow me {here}. It plays nicely with my organizing obsession and has been a source for some really great teaching ideas! The other thing that I cannot live without is my document camera. Last year I had an overhead, and my document camera is my new best friend. Oh, and my laminator. Every OCD girl must have her own laminator! In fact, I blogged about it and a few other things {here}.

This year, the other social studies teacher and I bought a candy bar election unit from TpT and ran with it! We developed a wonderful experience for the kids, including the Oompa and Loompa parties, caucuses (which is famous in Iowa), conventions, and the intricacies of the electoral college. We were really quite proud of it, and we received many compliments from other teachers and administration. Although it wasn't as structured as I normally like to have my lessons, the kids had a blast! You can read the details {here}. And just so you don't die of suspense, Kit Kat won by a landslide!

My blogging goals for the year are to continue to talk about the good things going on in my class. Since I take so many great ideas from the blogging community, I really want to give some of those good ideas back. I would also like to reach 100 followers and host my own giveaway! And maybe down the road, I could even host my own linky! I have had a blast during my first five months, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

1 comment

Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing ideas! I love to read your comments. I like to reply back by email, so make sure you have that option enabled so we can chat! :)

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