Friday, May 8, 2015

Five For Friday

I'm linking up with the amazing Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I get the opportunity to share five random things about my week.
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The end is near! I always have such mixed feelings about these final weeks/days of the school year. I feel rejuvenated by spring in the air. I also itch to be outside watching and waiting for migrants of the bird kind to pass through on their way to their nesting sites here or further north. Luckily I manage to find ways to integrate the outdoor learning with reading and math. I teach at a school that has a delightful wooded lot attached. We've used this woods to learn about insects, birds, fairy house building, environment and oh so much more. My BBF posted a picture of Birdology on her Instagram and I'm pretty sure she knew before I did that I'd have to have it. What a treasure trove of great information about birds, color photographs and activities, 30 to be exact!
We learn about nests and what materials are best for putting out for birds to use in nest building.

I've been watching birds since I was 6 months old. Crazy? My mom tells me that I used to take out all the toys in my toy box, climb in and look through a birding guide. My sister and I were out birding last weekend and had the pleasure of seeing an American Woodcock taking a stroll with her three young. I was shaking so hard from pure excitement that I couldn't get a great picture.
Aren't you glad you don't have to carry a beak like that around?!
Check out this sweet video of young eating. They have this cute little wiggle when they walk.They are just darling.

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I think my little American Woodcock story counts as number 2.

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I run two book fairs a year. I just finished up number two today. This  was our BOGO fair where everything was buy one get one free. I'm stocked up on books for the rest of the year and next year too! Favorite book of the fair...


This story is told by the tree and starts at its roots and grows up to the leaves introducing the reader to the delightful creatures that find shelter in its branches. Jennifer Ward hasn't written a book I don't like! I'm going to read this to my class next week outside under an oak tree! Not only do Jennifer and I have the same first name we also both have four sisters. What are the chances of that?!

Divider-4_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumbI was starting to talk about the book fair when I got distracted by Jennifer Ward. Sorry about that! In December a former student of mine was hospitalized. She is still in the hospital. She's had one health crisis after another and is only 13 years old. She used to love the book fair visiting every day to pick out books and erasers! This year the book fair is going to visit her. We were able to raise enough money to send her more than a couple of books to read and to gift to other children in the hospital as she meets them. If you are a prayer warrior, please pray for my friend Sable to be returned to health. If you would like to help Sable you can read her story here and give her a helping hand. These books and assorted fun items will arrive at Sable's bedside soon!

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Oh, no! I'm back on birds again. Our chicks will be three weeks old on Monday. They love to sit on the edge of their box and roost. My Owlets know they are making too much noise if they wake up and start hopping around. We started with eleven chicks. Seven have already found a forever home and these four are left...

I had so many more random thoughts to share. I guess I'll have to wait until next week . . . or tomorrow!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

First StitchFix and a Winner!

I had to try it for myself. I saw so many other's cute and not so cute Fixes. I forced myself to look at every #stitchfixfail to convince myself I did not want to get sucked in. It did not work and this is what I got...I'll let you guess which ones I kept and which ones I sent back at the end!!


Most people post a nice neat shot of their box right after opening. I didn't have a camera when I opened this up. I tore right into it! I don't get new clothes often, so I was really excited!!


This sweater has 3/4 length sleeves. The shoulders are relaxed and the teal stripe has a little bit of sparkle. It covers up my booty...I like that!




I love the little keyhole on the back of the sweater. 


This tunic is so me. It might be too much white to wear to school, though. Hmmm. What do you think? Kitty seems to like it!

 This black and white maxi-skirt was just the right length for me in a high heel and I can easily roll the waistband down to shorten it when I need to put on something comfy at the end of the day. But will these stripes make me look to wide?
These black trousers fit like a dream. A little pricey for my taste, though! They looked great with a heel, but I could see myself wearing them with a variety of other shoe choices! They were the perfect length for my short self. What a dilemma! 


This long tunic blouse was pretty busy. I liked the details on the sleeves. You can roll up the long sleeves and button them with a cute tab that stays hidden until it is needed. The colors on this shirt are some of my favorites. They do go perfectly with the black trousers. 

So that's it. I tried everything on just like I was directed to do. Everything fit perfectly. I had shoes, scarves and jewelry to go with each item. This is what I decided...
The striped sweater...Kept it!
The bohemian tunic in orange and black...It has triangles so I had to keep it!!
The striped skirt matches my cat...It's a keeper!
The trousers...I'd buy another couple pair in different colors if I could. They are my favorite.
The long blouse? Yep! I kept that too. I kept it all and justified the expensive pants with having 25% off if you keep it all. 
I signed up to get my Fix quarterly. I'm thinking I may have to change that to monthly. I had so much fun being able to try everything on at home in natural light at 11:00 at night. The true test will be how well they wash up. If you are on the fence on whether to try it  or not...I say to take the leap and let me know what you think! 

I ran a giveaway a couple weeks ago. I used a random number generator and got 3! So, Betsy is the winner! I love comments!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop!

Hello, May! You snuck up on me so quietly. I was expecting more of a fanfare from you. I would have enjoyed some days in the upper 60s and low 70s. A thunderstorm or two would have been nice. Since you are here, I invite you to stay and bring your beauty with you and fill my yard with flowers and birds! You are my favorite month!!


I am linking up with some new friends! Instagram has made it so easy to micro-blog. I've noticed since I started, I've kind of ignored my  blog. I was pretty excited when one of a group of teachers wondered about a blog-hop! Now I'll be able to hop along and see all my "new friends" blogs too. Come along with me and grab some fun freebies on the way! Click the picture below to get this item FREE!  I hope it is something you and your owlets will enjoy!

Don't waste any time! Click below to hop along and meet some new friends and get some great freebies!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Five for Friday: Freebie and GiveAway!

Honestly it has been so long since I've visited with you that I couldn't remember my password to get into this place. I'm so happy you stopped by, I promise a little treat if you can stick through to the very bottom! With out any more babbling I'll get on to...
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I love you Doodle Bugs! You have so many awesome things to share and my favorite Linky ever. Keep up the good work. I've met so many wonderful teacher friends through you and have been able to find and implement great ideas to help kids learn because of you.
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I'm on spring break this week. Why does this week zip by so quickly? One more day to hang out with my gorgeous 16 year old. In Michigan kids have to drive 50 hours with their parents before they are able to take their driving test. This is a true test of a parent/child relationship. If you come home talking it is a bonus. We've tried to drive like crazy this week and neither of us is crazy. She has surprised me with her awesome driving skills and she looks good too! Cheers to you my lovely lovable Ella!
Look at the air rushing by. This girl has a lead foot.

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Are you touchy? Math was always a struggle for me as a kid. Where was the Common Core when I needed it?!  I spent hours with my dad at the dining room table crying in high school cause I just didn't get it. If only I had known about Touchmath then. It is a great multi-sensory approach to math. I have a child that wants me to dot all of her numbers for her every day. She'll be so happy to have this little cheat sheet at her desk on Monday. You can have it too and you can get free training, materials and information about Touchmath HERE!
These Boots are Made for Touching
Click on the picture for your own set!
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Do you Instagram? I find it to be like micro-blogging. I've made some great new contacts and friends. You can win a $150.00 gift card by coming over and following a loop of teachers. Make sure you read the directions...It involves answering a different question at each stop. You have a couple of days to enter, but don't wait too long!


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I was so excited to finally have a tournament of books this year. I used ideas that I found HERE. I ran into our school library one day and just grabbed random books until I had 16. I spread them out on the floor and they magically found another book to go head on head with. My large wall bracket got a little beat up, but it lasted the whole month of March! 


I had no clue what I was getting into when I started. I didn't know how to "score" the entries in the brackets. I could find plenty of people to help me and the winner was determined by how many of the books they chose won. For the first round students were awarded 1 point for each of the books they chose that won. Round 2 was worth 2 points. Round 3 was five points and the few that predicted Green Eggs and Ham won 10 points! 
Here is the winners bracket...
I have made this available on TPT. You may feel free to edit it and add your own clipart and changes to adapt it to your own situation. Whatever it takes to get kids reading we are willing to do! Click HERE to download your own copy.

Divider 5 And now for the special treat..I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you. I just finished making these coffee cup cozies... 


I'll give you one next time I see you! Until then, leave a comment below win a giftcard from Starbucks! Be sure to leave an e-mail so I know where to send it!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Five for Friday (Early or Late?!)

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday on Sunday. I'm feeling random, so I thought it would be appropriate! Now you can either claim I'm a couple days late or you can think like I do and figure I am five days early. I'm not going to explain my thinking because I don't know that anyone would understand my explanation. It is just the way I think!
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This week was short. Three days short. Monday was a scheduled day off. Friday was a snow day. That leaves only three days of teaching this week. I can't believe I'm about to say this but here it goes, "I've had enough snow days for the year." My house is so clean, I follow my kitty around and take pictures of her. I even use kitty treats to get her to pose for some of them.

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Does anyone else feel like February is way to short to fit all the awesomeness there is in the month? Ground Hog Day, Valentines Day, MLK Day, President's Day, Black History Month, Dental Health Month, and  Chinese New Year plus Hundreds Day always comes in February. Who decided to only give this great month 28 days? I'm starting a petition to add an extra week in February. We all want a longer winter anyway. Right? 
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And now for a joke...What goes clink, clank, clink, crash?   A robot laughing his head off! Get it? I told that joke to my Owlets and they thought it was pretty funny. When I was a kid I told a similar joke quite a bit...What goes ha-ha-ha plop? A man laughing his head off! Get it? 
I love you a-bot! Get it?!

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Here are some of my favorites!
This year was my Third Annual President's Parade and Luncheon. Each student researches a different president and makes a poster about him/her(someday there will be a her). This year I invited participants from the last two years to participate if they wanted to. Several of them decided to be first ladies instead! We marched through the halls to the sounds of John Philip Sousa's President Garfield's Inauguration March. Candy was thrown and streamers were waved!
Some how we ended up with two Tafts! Only one was stuck in the tub!




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Speaking of Taft....Have you seen this book? Hil.ar.i.ous! My students love Taft because he was the um the um largest president of anything including the United States of America. Chris Van Dusen's illustrations are always a win with me. For that matter, Mac Barnett hasn't written a book I didn't like either. I'll keep reading everything he writes to make sure he keeps up the good work! 

I should warn you that one of the reviewers said it wasn't appropriate for the classroom because of all of the pictures in the tub. Apparently Taft bathed without clothes on...gasp! That is why I think it is especially engaging! Kids love this kind of humor!!

It's never too late early to link up with Five for Friday!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Letters With Big Time Literacy

I'm linking up with Michelle at Big Time Literacy for Sunday Letters. You should too. It is fun!


Dear Chessie,
When we brought you home I was doing it to appease my daughter's desire to have a cat. Oh sure, I wanted a kitty too. It's just I wanted a cute little kitten of 8 weeks. You weren't that cute. You were rather big. I think you were older than six months. I felt sorry for you living in the back of Petco for months. 
Now when I look at you, I see the most beautiful cat in the world. The way you hold your tail straight up  like an exclamation point makes me smile. I adore the way you greet me when I come home. Throwing yourself at my feet begging for attention is just a blessing. Your silly antics with yarn and turkeys fills me with delight. 
Some day very soon I'm going to read you the book Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. For good reason, it is the oldest American picture book still in print. Perhaps it would have won the Caldecott in 1929. Since Caldecott awards didn't come into existence until 1938, it had to be happy with the Newberry! You'll love the repeated phrase, "...hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions, and trillions of cats." So, dear Chessie, I want you to know that I have seen a lot of cats...maybe a few less than a million...but you are the kitty for me. Your sweetness and unconditional acceptance of me makes me happy to be in your presence. Thank you for choosing me to be your person! Love, Momma

Dear Couch,
I love long naps and cold winter days. I love the way you hold me and support me after long and sometimes trying days at work. Thanks for always being there and catching my coins and crumbs for later. I promise a massage with the vacuum. Just not today. I'm busy napping today.
You got my backside, Me

Dear Kazumi Guy,
I am still amazed at the way you caught that egg in your hat. I wonder if you've ever forgotten it's up there. Has one ever broken? I wonder if a chicken sat on top if that egg would hatch. I know that's impossible, but it is fun to think about. My friends and I loved the way you could shoot saki into our mouths without getting any on our faces.  Do you spend long hours in front of a mirror practicing? Your talent amazes me and I now see why your place is such a popular eatery.
Growling,
A Hungry Tummy