Reading & Math


Who knew to improve as a reader that you need to do math?!?! Today we will calculate our reading rate. This will help us figure out how much reading we complete every ten minutes! Once we know how much we can read in a certain amount of time, we will be able to make reading plans and goals for the year! 

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra

What amazing book are you reading right now?!?! What’s the best book you’ve read recently?!?!Tell us about it!


Reflection & Reading

The first B day was awesome! We spent some time learning names and some things about each other. We made connections with others in our class. When I asked about the favorite part of class, so many of you mentioned the sharing and learning about others. It was a highlight for me too! I have to say, my favorite part of today happened in Block 6. Time moves quickly and I want to get everything done, so sometimes I stress out over that. Thank you to Megan for calmly reminding me that, “We can do it tomorrow, Ms. Haseltine.” Your voice and smile calmed me down immediately. Thank you!

Next we made Big Plans! Thank you to everyone for finding a comfy seat and listening to the story. I am having lots of fun reading through your big plans for this year.

Jack and his books

Tomorrow we will be reading. Talking about reading…testing out books from the classroom library…practicing procedures for independent reading…and finally reading. I can’t wait!!! Get ready to read!

One Little Word for 2014


I don’t make resolutions. Resolutions make me feel less than and I don’t want to start the year feeling like a failure. In 2009, I discovered One Little Word as an alternative. I’ve been picking a word of the year since 2009. 


My word guides my year. I have an ongoing list…on my phone, in my notebook…and I’m always looking for potential words. I believe it’s important to find a word that will lead me to a new and wonderful place in my life. Words are important and meaningful to me and having one to guide me has proven very helpful. 

When I pick my word, I have a vision…a goal. In my head, I know what I’m hoping my word will accomplish for me. The best thing about the word of the year…it never goes where I think it will, but it always goes somewhere better. I trust this process and it works for me. 

Here’s a little history…

2009…  mettle
2010…  engage
2011…  build
2012…  embrace
2013…  author

Usually, it takes awhile for me to pick my word. This year was different. I was sure of my word. I’d picked it early. I felt comfortable that I’d made a good choice…until I started reading a book by Dani Shapiro.

The book is Still Writing. Ironically, my original word of the year was going to be still. I was looking for peace and reflection during the craziness and busy-ness of life…but as I read these words by Dani Shapiro, I knew I was wrong. Another word was waiting for me:

“…the willingness to fall flat on our face again and again…” (p.179)

“When we set our  hopes for this life, we are staking our future on the contents of our own minds.” (p.179)

“There are no half measures when it comes to risk. Risk means that gut-wrenching feeling, having your heart in your throat, not knowing…not having a plan.” (p.179-180)

photo 2 (3)

That’s my word. It scares me. It scares me SO MUCH! And that’s why I need this word. I know that I’ll carve out time to reflect and be still, but I often avoid taking risks. I’m a home body. I like routine. I like to know what’s expected…but life isn’t like that! I need to get out into the world and BE me!

Wow! I just looked up the definition of risk…it’s a downer.
from Merriam-Webster’s site:

risk:  possibility of loss or injury :  peril

2:  someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard

a :  the chance of loss or the perils to the subject matter of an insurance contract; also :  the degree of probability of such loss

b :  a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer c :  an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source<war risk>

4:  the chance that an investment (as a stock or commodity) will lose value

It’s all about perspective. Possibility of loss…on the flip side is possibility of gain! Someone that’s a hazard…I’m looking at that as someone who is doing what needs to be done…for the good. Here’s a visual representation of  risk:

This year, I will risk! I will take chances and lay it on the line. Can’t wait to see where my word will take me this year…


What will your word be? Please share in comments!

Un-boring List

WOW! Three snow days! Can you believe it? I had lots of fun and got lots of stuff done, but I must admit that there were times when I felt like I was bored. Did you have that experience? I decided to work on an Un-Boring List. That’s a list of things I’d like to accomplish this year. Here’s the beginning of my list…

Un-Boring List
1. Say YES (especially when you feel like it’s out of your comfort zone)
2. Try something new as often as possible
3. Travel to a new place
4. Spend a day without electronics
5. Find independent bookstores and make a purchase 
6. Surprise someone…just because
7. Mail cards, letters (real life paper ones) once a week to my niece & nephew
8. Attend a writing workshop/retreat
9. Find new, creative, fun ways to MOVE
10. Volunteer
11. Practice random acts of kindness
12. Creating something (cooking, art, crafting, etc,) 

What would you put on your list? You can comment here or if you’re inspired…write a longer blog post about it. 

An author reads our “Big Plans”!

Big Plans by Bob Shea is our first read aloud of the year. We love reading it because we get to read part of it together. “I’ve got BIG PLANS! BIG PLANS, I say!”  As you walk up and down the hallways of sixth grade the first week, you can hear students repeating this in Language Arts class. After reading the book, we discussed and shared our “Big Plans”. You can see some in the video and in the pictures. These sixth graders certainly have “Big Plans”!  If the story ended here, that would be enough because I’m already so proud of each and every student in my classes…but it doesn’t end there. I posted the first Vine video on twitter and guess who commented on it? Oh, it was Bob Shea. Yes, that’s correct!


He commented on our work. His comment, “Stealing these”, sent us reeling. It’s the sixth day of school and we have already made contact with an author. Woo Hoo!






Reading over Winter Break

Hi Guys,

What’s everyone reading over break? I finished an audio book on my trip from Massachusetts and today I finished Divergent. Now I can’t decide if I want to read the sequel right away or read Remarkable like I had planned.

Oh and I almost forgot to tell you about Goodreads. It’s a website (and also an app for smart phones) that helps you log your reading. It counts books and pages for you. I have read 29 books so far this year (that I have logged). My goal for 2013 is going to be 113 books (maybe more). Have you tried goodreads? If not, here’s a link to my “page”:   We can be friends and see what we are reading.

What are you reading? I hope you are having a wonderful vacation! See you next week! 🙂

WOW!!!! We are READING!

Today we tallied our reading for the past six weeks. Toiling day in and day out…reading, recording books: it can be tough work. Today I heard lots of, “I read THAT much?!?!?” and “Wow, look how many books I’ve read!” One student told me that last year she read two books and this year she’s already up to TWENTY! That’s TEN times what she read last year.

As a teacher, recording reading has always been a weakness of mine. I never took the time. After today, I will never NOT do it again (I apologize for the double negative, but it was necessary)!

Ready for the grand total?!?! From the sixty students that were present today over the last six weeks, they have read…

590 BOOKS!

112,857 PAGES!


I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of my students. The best part is that the majority showed growth and the ones that slipped already talked to me about what happened and they have a plan to get back on track. Readers! I have readers! Yippppeeeeee!!!!

Disappeared…AKA…Blogging is hard!

Where have my posts gone? I had such high hopes this year to blog everyday. Then it changed to a few days a week. And finally to once a week. Now, I’ve been MIA for too long. I’m sad that I haven’t been able to keep up this blog like I wanted to. The beginning of the year started off so STRONG and then just… nothing. How do I change this and keep up? After attending NCTE and learning about so many teachers who are successfully integrating technology with their students, I thought I’d come back stronger than ever, but alas, nope.

So…to my students….here’s my lesson. I’ve chosen a goal that’s really hard for me to achieve. I don’t always do a great job, but I’m sticking with it. My hope is that you do the same with your goals.

Speaking of goals, the past few days we’ve been meeting in reading conferences and you have inspired me with your hard work and your reflection. Getting an opportunity to chat with each student is a treasured time in a teacher’s busy day.

FInally, book trailers…we’ve watched a few. I’m going to post some of the trailers we’ve watched here. Please let me know if you have created your own! I’d love to post those too!

Second Quarter begins today

With a new beginning comes reflection. I’ve thought about this blog and I’m sad that I’ve not posted much in days…even weeks. Life gets busy. School gets busy. Starting something new is hard. I need to make sure that this becomes part of my daily routine. Goal setting for second quarter includes recommitting to this blog, every day! Here goes…

Second quarter begins today…

Big Plans

Sixth grade began with a bang! My classes are filled with enthusiastic, smart, and kind students. I can’t wait to get to know them this year. We will be reading and writing like crazy. Yesterday we read Big Plans together.

Big Plans

Big Plans by Bob Shea

Here are some of our BIG PLANS for sixth grade…(A compilation of all Ms. Haseltine’s Language Arts classes)  My “Big Plans” for sixth grade include:


not getting lost in school, finding my way to all my classrooms, getting to all my classes on time, getting straight As, opening my locker the very first try every time, being awesome, improving my handwriting, making cookies for all of the teachers (one of my personal favorites), making lots of new friends, having fun, doing all of my homework, getting along with my sister, becoming a pro at saxophone, having the BEST school year EVER, figuring out what my big plans are, and finally, surviving!