Monday, August 29, 2011

Where I'm From...

Lately, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on where I'm from and figuring out exactly how to put that place into words.  A fellow educator and amazing friend gave me this idea during my student teaching.  I decided to embark on this idea with my students.  Modeled after the book Mama, Where Are You From? by, Marie Bradby and George Ella Lyon's poem Where I'm From, students reflect on where they are from to create their own poems.  Tonight, I have finally created my poem.  And Mom and Dad, please don't turn this into this years Christmas card. 

Where I’m From:

By Micaela Kazanowski

I’m from a family who couldn’t take ourselves too seriously,
A mom, dad, and two older brothers.

I’m from Downy sheets and fresh laundry
And reading aloud to my stuffed animals.
From The Mouse and the Motorcycle to Pat the Bunny.

I’m from hockey games and skating rinks,
From the rubber-band gun waiting on top of the fridge.
And screaming my brother’s name, while staring at my mom.

I’m from the feel of warm water on my toes,  
Clasping your hands together hoping to find a tadpole inside.
I’m from the waves of Lake Huron and s’mores around the fire.

I’m from long road trips to see family,
Squished in the middle of two forces of protection.
The sound of “He hit me,” and “I have to go to the bathroom,” ringing in my parents ears.

I’m from the Indy 500 around our pool,
And “You can only stay here if you bring me my water.”
I’m from WWF wrestling matches, and winning the tag-team champion paper belt.

I’m from late night dance rehearsals
Where feet blistered, and hair was pulled back.
From, “Mom, I still see a bump.”

I’m from a move filled with tears, loneliness and “Can we go back?”
And my dad making it happen.
I’m from a growing town that turned from small to big overnight.

I’m from a family who couldn’t take ourselves too seriously,
A mom, dad, and two older brothers.
And “I love you” all along the way.

Friday, August 26, 2011

We the People...

It has been a long week in Room 209.  A five day week after summer break, a firedrill, and a lockdown sure took a toll on all of us today.  But this afternoon I got to experience one of those moments that make the long days, the nights of worrying, the revision of lesson plans, and the piles of paper all worth it. 

We started at the beginning of the week thinking about how we wanted our classroom to run over the next nine months.  We started by reading a few books that gave us the opportunitiy to talk about how people treat each other. We charted what we wanted, and didn't want for our room and they got to decide what was most important to them, bringing in their stories and personalities into the conversations.  Today, they had a chance to work with partners to draft this "promise" and together, they created this: 

I am so proud!  :) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tricked ya!

So for those of you who don't know, I teach science two times each day.. and I love it.  Now, I never pinned myself as much of a science person... manly because I had no clue what was going on in my college science classes.  Sadly, I cannot classify rocks nor do I know the biology of a cockroach.  (Bleh).  But on the fifth grade level, it is pretty stellar.  First of all, I love hearing all their questions (and there are many). But the true reason I love teaching science is that I get to hear all of the "Ohhh!"s  "Woah!"s  "Holy moly!"s and "Did you see that?"s Today.. I heard plenty. 

We've been talking in science about writing observations, and how scientists take something ordinary and describe it in a different way.  So I presented the ten year olds with something ordinary.  Cue, Substance X

Substance X
Now you are probably thinking, well duh Micaela.. that's salt, or sugar, or maybe even baking soda.  And that's what the fifth graders thought.  They also thought: baby powder, yeast, sand, laundry detergent, and one clever soul thought it was powdered cheese.  Well, after we smelled it and felt it, we decided we needed to pour water in it to see if we could make it react. 

So that's what we did: 

And then we watched THIS happen!

Holy moly!  It grew!

 And then.... look at THAT reaction: 


It was an exciting day in room 209.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Raspy voice + tired eyes + sore feet = a successful first day of school. 

Fifth Grade Ms. K

We had a great day! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crayons or Crowns?

A couple of weeks ago I decided to make this craft.  It turned out great, but I overestimated the amount of crayons I needed and had a bunch of left over broken crayon amputees.  So in the midst of my tryingtoaccomplisheverythingonmyto-dolistsbeforeschoolstarts week, I decided to make new crayons, which is oh so exciting, and smells oh so good.  (Yummmmy melted wax smell).  Now, I'm not a very good cook.. and the fire alarm typically goes of when I try to make something edible.. but I had Kate here to supervise and help peel. 

You can find the recipe here.

 Now the unwrapping is pretty tricky.  I'd suggest using an xacto to help. 

Melty melty! 

The finished product.  Can you spot the Mizzou one? 

Now back to those to-do lists. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Christmas in August!

Today has been a fantastic day.  Let me tell you why: 

1. My classroom finally feels finished. It has taken awhile to get the final touches complete, and it's not quite perfect yet. But it's a place that makes me feel happy to walk into. Just ready and waiting for the ten year olds to come, and I hope they are just as happy walking into our room each day. 

I also got to cut out all the book tub labels out of lamination.. fantastic.   

2.  I got to find out my kiddos for next year today.  As a kid I was always excited to see who my teacher was... like, couldn't sleep excited.  Makes me wonder if my teachers were just as excited to get their lists.   

3A.  Melanie (my favorite) won So You Think You Can Dance.  She has been my favorite since her first audition.. I don't wanna say that I typically ALWAYS choose the winner right away.. but, I do.   Look how great she is: 
3B.  I won the SYTYCD bet with Mason.  YES! 

4.  My great friend Kate sent me this picture today:

Yes.. someone loading a RedBox

I was seriously starting to think there was a secret lair of minions under each RedBox who were retrieving my movies.  I have my dad to thank for these misconceptions.  

5.  I get to see this kid tomorrow:

What a great day!  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Beginnings

The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time.  Fresh pencils, a new lunchbox, pointy crayons, and brand new notebooks.  I have always loved this time of the year.  As a teacher, I love it more.  Here is some kindergarten advice for all those embarking on something new. 

Friday, August 5, 2011


I love books.  My Amazon wishlist is about 4 pages long of books that I need to own.  (If you'd like to donate to my collection, let me know.)   I recently got this book, A Place for Wonder by one of my favorite authors:  Georgia Heard. 
A Place for Wonder: Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades

It's a refreshing book that tells about the importance of letting children wonder about their world and ask questions, rather than limit their questions with the answers.  With children being natural questioners, it is crucial to not put out that flame, and for those who have lost it, ignite it again by showing them the power of their wonders. 

This poem from the book has become one of my favorites.

Straight Lines
By: Georgia Heard

All the kindergartners
walk to recess and back
in a perfectly straight line
no words between them.
They must stifle their small voices,
their laughter, they must
stop the little skip in their walk,
they must not dance or hop
or run or exclaim.
They must line up
at the water fountain
straight, and in perfect form,
like the brick wall behind them.
One of their own give the job
of informer--guard of the quiet,
soldier of stillness.
If they talk
or make a sound
they will lose their stars.
Little soldier marching to and from
their hair sweaty
from escaping dinosaurs
their hearts full of loving the world
and all they want to do
is shout it out
at the top of their lungs.
When they walk back to class
they must quietly
fold their pretends into pockets,
must dam the river of words,
ones they're just learning
new words that hold the power
to light the skies, and if they don't
a star is taken away.
One star
by one star
until night grows dark and heavy
while they learn to think carefully
before skipping,
before making a wish.

"We must educate about awe--awe of our universe, awe of our planet and its eighteen-billion-year story, awes of the creatures with whom we share this planet." 

Now.. I personally wonder how new movies get into the Redbox machines.  Seriously, it boggles my mind.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank you Matt Damon.

I stole this from a friend this morning, but a good outlook he has... and he's not bad to look at, either. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Show her how you roll.

Me and the ten year olds share a similar taste in movies.. anything animated is my cup of tea.  I have not seen Rio yet.  But this preview makes me laugh every time I see it.    Who wants to see it with me? 

Drop it, drop it, drop it low. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Shark Week

When I was a little girl, my brother would force me to watch his favorite movie, Jaws (which should NOT be rated PG). It was terrifying!  He would also chase me around the pool making his hand into a fin singing the Jaws theme song which would make me scream bloody murder.  But even amongst the scarring, I do love me some Shark Week....  so in honor of this occasion:

If only I was this savvy with a knife....

AND... check out this shark cam...  live whale feedings at 10am and 3:30pm!  Sure would hate to be one of those little fishies.  Blub Blub Blub...
AND.. here is me as a shark!  Make your own!

Happy sharking! 

Monday, August 1, 2011


I decided to change classrooms this year.  Now this seemed like a much better decision before I embarked on the actual task of moving my things.  And it seemed like a MUCH better decision before all of my stuff ended up on the ground of room 209. 

Yikes, Huh?  Now I don't want to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm really proud of myself (and Erica) today.  Usually when it comes to moving heavy objects, or hanging things I have my dad or Mason help me do it for me while I direct.  BUT.. Erica and I hauled all of the desks, tables and bookshelves to their new homes, AND hung everything.  My biceps are twitching, and I probably won't be able to raise my arms tomorrow, but oh well.  Check it out! 
Not quite ready for the ten year olds, but getting closer!