November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday, Week 3

Happy Thursday! I honestly feel like this week flew by in the blink of an eye. I happened to check my blog stats last night at 10:00 and realized it was almost Thursday, and I didn't have this post scheduled yet. Oops!

For those that don't know, this is my annual November linky where we come together each week to share the things for which we're giving thanks. For the readers who are not bloggers, you can share your Thankful Thursday submissions on my Facebook page.

Things I'm thankful for this week include:

1. I got to spend a much-needed night out with some of my old neighbors at a local painting class at an adorable art studio called The Chilled Palette. If you're in the Chicago area, there are dozens of these places around, but you MUST check out this location. The owner was so hospitable and made the night so much fun! Here are a couple pictures of our night. As you can see, I chose to paint a glittery deer instead of the Let it Snow image that was scheduled. I just fell in love with it when I walked in and knew it would go better with my decorating style.

2. Remember how I told you guys I had to get a new credit card last week? Yeah... I already put that to good use when I stayed home from work one day and received an email about a mega sale at JC Penney that I couldn't resist. I donated a bunch of my winter clothes when I moved to Baton Rouge, and was really needing some more warm clothes to get me through what's shaping up to be an epically cold winter. So, I treated myself to some retail therapy and LOVED everything when it arrived on Tuesday. Online shopping is dangerous but oh so satisfying!

3. I'm thankful for unconditional love. We all mess up, sometimes in pretty big ways. I'm grateful for the people who are understanding about that and willing to give second (or more) chances. I think we all need that forgiveness and acceptance from time to time.

4. Wide-calf boots. Seriously. I cannot express to you how thankful I am for these! It's so great that designers are realizing more and more that women (and men) come in many different shapes and sizes. I can't tell you how happy I was to walk into DSW this season and try on several pairs of boots that all fit. Not only am I thankful for this because they're trendy and cute, but I love that I won't spend another winter freezing in ballet flats. Unfortunately, a photo is not included because I suck and didn't plan ahead this week. But my favorite new pair is by Unisa. If you need pics, let me know, and I will post some later! :) 

5. I started reading Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please, this week, and I'm loving it. I've talked before about how I really enjoy reading memoirs of funny people (women, in particular) and this book is totally my style. If you haven't read this yet, you need to get your hands on it. 

I'm also linking up with Jennifer again for Positive Thinking Thursdays.

November 17, 2014

IMWAYR: Before I Fall

I stayed home sick today with an epic migraine that just wouldn't quit, even with prescription medication. If any of you are sufferers, I'm sure you understand the grogginess that comes with this pain, which pretty much means I'm useless when it comes to teaching when I get them. Anyway, I share this because it's also why I'm SUPER late linking up today, so I'll keep things brief.

The latest book I finished was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. To an outsider, protagonist Samantha Kingston seems to have everything any high school girl could ever want. Through this story, though, she realizes that her superficial world is lacking and strives to give her life some meaning.

What drives her to this point? Her death. Yes, I realize that sounds weird, but Sam mysteriously gets the opportunity to relive the last day of her life a la Groundhog's Day seven different times. In a very Butterfly Effect way, she learns exactly how much power she has by making tiny changes in this one day.

This is another book I listened to and wish I hadn't. I don't mind the concept of the book at all, but I HATED the narrator. In particular, I hated the way she made all of Sam's friends sound insanely whiney and annoying, no matter what they were saying.

If you enjoy books that make you question our role in this world and how your actions can impact others, this would definitely be a good read for you!

November 16, 2014

Bears Victory Flash Freebie

This has not been a great season for my Chicago Bears, but thankfully, we did earn a W against the Vikings today, which means I owe you guys a freebie!

Miss Lifesaver

What I have for you today is a great powerpoint that reviews some elements of characterization. It's divided into three sections, so you can use it for multiple mini-lessons. 

In section one, we learn the difference between a protagonist, antagonist, and foil characters. There's a built in review activity, which includes references to popular movies your students will recognize and love!

Section two focuses on the difference between static and dynamic characters as well as round and flat characters. We then review the types of words that are used to describe character traits. 

Finally, in section three, we discuss the difference between direct and indirect characterization. I introduce my buddy WALTeR, who helps us remember the different ways we can learn about a character indirectly.

After reviewing this PowerPoint with your students, they will be so much more confident in their ability to discuss the characters in their stories!

What are you waiting for? Grab this freebie Characterization PowerPoint while it lasts!

If you're looking for a great addition to this freebie, I have a fun protagonist/antagonist/foil sorting activity that's a great extension. You can use it in a center or as a formative assessment piece. Read all about it here.

Bear down!
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