Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday...Giveaway!

What a fun week it has been. I can say that even though I spent an "extra" day at school this week. The Snow Days finally caught up with me and I had to put in some time. I should have been able to sleep in and spend the day with my Cranky Bear and chickens. I was happy to spend Good Friday making it meaningful and full of meaning! 

My students loved making "Resurrection Gardens" I hope the grass grows for them before Sunday. One of my Lego maniacs snuck some pieces in to decorate their garden. It cracked me up when I checked and watered the gardens after school and found the Lego angel, soldier and bones scattered around the garden. 

I went to THIS web-site for help on making this project!

Number 2 is my new found love for chickens! I had to bring two chicks home until they are big enough to live without a light. They are just about ready to go  to their permanent home. Until they do I will enjoy every possible moment with them. My cat is totally fascinated with them. Can you think of a caption for this picture?

Click HERE to see them as babies!
Number 3...Did I mention I love chick(en)s? Here are the ones I made to use in the classroom. We toss them back and forth to each other and skip count. They are great tools to use for brain breaks and I'm sure glad I saw Red Ted's tutorial to make these cute chicks!

Want one? Comment below! Someone will win a set of  12!
Number 4! Did you know it was Palindrome week? Each day this week the date was the same forward as backwards. Yikes...How fun is that? Not quite as much fun as this book! It is full of palindromes and just a  lot of fun!

Number 5....This is my favorite! We made these beautiful stain glass windows to celebrate Good Friday. I had a hard time sending these home. They are beautiful. 
Contact paper and a silouette make for a beautiful project!
Happy or hoppy Easter! This year I have only one third of my children to celebrate with. For the first time ever we are going out for brunch instead of cooking our own fancy dinner. I can't wait to link up with Doodle Bugs for the first time in a  loooong time to share my five for Friday! Don't forget to leave a comment to win a set of 12 of your own juggling chooks! I'll use a random method to pick a winner on Monday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Testing, Testing, Testing...(Mini-Freebie!)

Ah the joys of testing! Achievement testing is actually one of my favorite times of the year. I love walking around the room noticing how smart my Owlets are. I get so excited when they get to answer questions that cover something that we recently worked on in class and see that light bulb of "I know this one" light up. I do have a couple of students who don't like testing at all and get pretty stressed out about it, so I try to make the moments in between testing as fun and stress-free as possible.

Because I teach a first/second split I have to vary who is being tested and who is being absolutely quiet. As you may know I'm in my second week of raising chicks. Four have found their permanent home. I made up a quick coloring page for my students to use when they weren't testing. I gave them no directions. I casually laid them on the table for students to use if they wanted. Every second grader picked one up and came up with some pretty amazing ideas. A couple wrote a narrative on how to hatch and take care of chickens. The rest wrote stories about their chicks. I must admit this is my favorite...
Guess what book this second grader just finished?! 
I could have told students to turn the chicken into their favorite book character, but what makes this chicken even better is that the kid came up with this idea on his own. "I wanted to make the robe scarlett," reports class famous reader, "but you said I couldn't get out of my seat during testing. I just used the tools I had available." I think this chicken is bound to catch the Golden Snitch and win the tournament for Chickendor!

Wanna see something really cute? I must first make this disclaimer...No animals were hurt during this photo shoot. My daughter wanted to introduce her cat to my chicks. On Sunday when I was in my classroom working, my daughter shows up at the door with the cat...

What caption would you add to these pictures?

Click HERE to get a copy of your own chicken to disguise!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Can it really have been a month since I last posted? Yikes! Stomach flu, visiting children, and winter doldrums have left me with little motivation to do anything but get through each day. I refuse to complain about the long winter...It will only make spring that more wonderful when it finally gets here. Maybe summer will get here first. She's welcome too!

We set our alarm clock for 12:57 on March 20th. That is when spring arrived on the calendar. Our school had a mob flash dance as soon as the alarm went off. We sang and danced to this Happy song...

Then it was back to work. The work of watching chicks!

Whenever I have had the chance to go to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, I spend most of my time looking at the chicks hatching. It is my favorite part of the whole museum. I'm always disappointed that I have to move out of the way for people who are shorter than I am.

After years of dreaming about hatching my own chicks I finally did it. Since we studied life cycles in science, it fit into the curriculum perfectly! It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Hearing a chick make peeping noises before it even shows signs of hatching is just the most delightful thing in the world.

There are some important things to keep in mind before trying this yourself! Find someone who is willing to take the chicks once they are too big to stay in your classroom. Make sure that people are will to take roosters and hens! I was lucky to have three people tell me they are willing to take any or all of our chicks.

Once you place the eggs in the incubator DO NOT open the incubator. Whoops! I didn't know that. Luckily, my eggs made it anyway. The temperature and humidity needs to be fairly consistent and opening and closing the incubator can kill young chicks. Imagine the excitement in our classroom when students were actually able to see four eggs hatch.

Chicks poop. They poop a lot! Changing the bedding material frequently is important as is proper hand washing after handling the chicks. We handle our chicks a lot! We read to them and I had one little guy telling them how to regroup before subtracting! It will be a sad day when they fly the coop!

Finally, you will become attached. You will hear chicks peeping even when they aren't anywhere near. You will find yourself having to go back to school to check on them every night after supper and staying for several hours holding and talking to them about your day. You will marvel at their growth and worry about their development.

I have been putting Sparty, Clover, Martin, Cutie, Boxer, Wilbur, and their siblings out in the hall for the rest of the school to enjoy. If I see anyone near the box, I watch carefully. I make sure that no one harms MY babies. I couldn't help but think of how much more God loves and watches over me. He bought me with His Son Jesus Christ and now He cares for and protects me. " often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings..." Luke 13:34
 Of course you can check out these books about chicks on Amazon...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reading is Cool!

Igloo building is hard work! We've been building one inside and outside. I'll share pictures of our outdoor igloo if there is anything left of it after our too brief thaw! Our indoor igloo is complete and ready for use. Of course it is a magic igloo. As soon as anyone crawls inside they feel an overwhelming urge to read. Because we think reading is cool, we read ALL day on Friday. As soon as one person read a book and crawled out there was someone ready to crawl right in. By alphabetical order they were crawling in and out all day long without ever causing a disturbance to the rest of the class. Only one child needed me to haul him out after he had been in there over half an hour. Of course it was my owlet who is most likely to get lost in a book!

I can't tell you how many milk jugs we used. My counters have not completed that part of the project yet. They WILL read a book for each jug and then we'll make little igloos to take home out of marshmallows. I had some help from a youtube video...HERE! There igloo is much "neater" than mine. I had students help in the construction as much as possible and towards the end I just somehow got it finished! Looking at this picture makes me really excited to get back to school and see my owlets falling in love with reading! Stay warm!

Head HERE for a free set of "cool" bookmarks!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Presidents Day! {Freebie!}

HELP!! Is it President's Day, Presidents Day or Presidents' Day? Yikes! I'm just not sure. This I am sure of...I have the day off, I enjoyed cinnamon roll waffles for breakfast, and it is snowing again!




Here is a FREEBIE for you. If you don't have an account with TPT leave your e-mail and I will send it to you. My Owlets will be making and reading this book tomorrow, unless it is another snow day or is it Snow Day or is it Snowday? Anyway click the picture for the FREEBIE! Happy President's/Presidents'/Presidents Day!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

So This is Love!

I do love this song...
And I do love that the lyrics are right there when I show this to my class! It is so important when building fluency to add song and poetry. Sometimes we even sing our fluency passages!

I do love this valentine that I got from a student...

this is a grat hornd owl. you are a grat teachr
This kid knows what I love! He only thought of himself a little itty bit when he added "go Green" for his favorite team in the corner! He and 11 others show me love every single day! I try to show love to them, too. What they don't know is that I feel pretty inadequate some days to  respond to the love they pour out on me. Their love is so unconditional and sweet. The hugs, pictures, and smiles warm my heart and keep it warm through each weekend and vacation. It is pretty hard to call what we do as teachers that four letter word..."work"!

I have tried to figure out the love language of each of my children. Most of them are pretty easy to decipher. The kid who is always plastered to my side...Physical Touch is his language. The kid who always wonders if he can keep a fun new manipulative...Receiving Gifts. The kid who wants to eat lunch with me every day...Quality Time. The little girl who wants to clean my desk...Acts of Service. "Do you like my picture?"...Words of Affirmation. I've got all five languages going on in my room! If you have never heard of these languages and want to know more start HERE! I'm just waiting for them to come out with Five Love Languages for the Classroom! Until they do I reference this book for classroom and home...

I know your celebration of Valentine's Day is over for 2014. I'm just putting this out there for people who believe in celebrating love everyday or for your future celebrations of love!
Click on picture to go to freebie!

So what is love? "10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:10-16

Would you like to get an awesome song stuck in your head? This one has been dancing through my mind and coming out of my mouth for almost a week now. I've caught my students singing to it too...

Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Currently Wow!

Wow...It is Wednesday and February is going to be full of WOW!

Do you love February as much as I do?
It holds so many edventures for me and for you!
There's a groundhog named Phil who predicts the weather
On the fourteenth we'll share hearts and love together.
Washington and Lincoln we'll celebrate them too
Do you love February as much as I do?

It is such a short month but there are so many great things we get to bring into our daily routine. The poem doesn't even mention that it's Dental Health Month, Black History Month and National Wild Bird Feeding Month! February is good.
I love linking up with Farley and her monthly Currently. I love linking up with Curious Firsties and the weekly WOW report.  So I'm trying to do a mash-up and use this post to link up with both!

Most of my currentlies (only one lie!) don't need much explanation. I'm going to give you some clues to the truths and fib. You decide which is my fib! The pictures below are this weeks WOW!

My students and I love acting. We love reading plays and putting on performances. This is one of our favorites!

Drum-roll please....

I really am building an igloo!

I'll keep you updated on the highs and lows of igloo building!