Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten Frame Freebie in my PJs!

Laurie says she's at her aunt's, but I think she came to hang out with me!
 It is almost 11:00, I am still in my pajamas, and lovin it! Tomorrow is August, and for me that means That Which Must Not Be Named! I'm going to spend the day doing some of the things I love...Blog hopping, game playing, bike riding and bird watching! My new house has a wonderful location for my feeders. The birds come right up to the window to talk to me! I think of Laurie from Chickadee Jubilee often because of all the chickadees gracing my yard!

Speaking of birds and games, look what I found at Mejier on clearance. I had to get it. I am Mo Willems number one fan! I made My 13 and 17 year old played with me last night. We had so much fun I think I'll make them play again.  they'll beg me for more tonight.
The cards are zipped inside the pigeon!

Even though I lost, I love matching games!

I spent the morning playing with my clip art. I love clip art and got started making fun ten frames and couldn't stop! I made five sets of ten frames each with a different graphic. I'm so excited to use them and plan on displaying this one in my classroom. I think this will really help students visualize each number and its relationship to ten. I would like you to grab these owls here or at TPT. The preview at TPT includes the whole owl set that I made using a familiar looking owl! If you click on the owl it will take you to Google Docs. If you click on the advertisement, which I paid myself for,  you can buy the whole package and help me send my kids to college!

Monday, July 30, 2012

No Quick Fix! Clip Chart Freebie!

My oldest daughter is home for the summer before finishing her final year in  college. She is studying chemistry and biology. She has an amazing brain and she has the ability to think things through in a way I have not been gifted with. She does tend to lose things like cell phones, keys, and wallets, but as long as she doesn't lose her mind, she's going places. Her goal is to go to planet Mars someday. Her name happens to be, Mars! Many people don't know this, but I'm letting you in on a family secret. Her real name is Margaret. She was named after my mom and sister. Since she discovered the planet Mars at the age of three, everyone has called her Mars.

Kpm Doodles!
Mars is working in childcare for the summer. The last two years she had been working at a place she lovingly nicknamed "Stinkins Adventure". She is really good at coming up with nicknames! At this job she threw food to people who complained loudly about its cost for the amount of food they were given. She really didn't have any control over this. She followed the rules and people got mad at her. She couldn't do it another year, so she stepped out in faith and quit before her first day of work. When a job came up for her in childcare she jumped at it.

I had never imagined her in childcare. I've seen how caring she is towards her brother and sister. I watched her frustration with me and her father when she's had to lovingly explain or teach us something. Sarcasm is dripping here! She'll be the first to admit that she doesn't have a lot of patience. Guess what! You guessed it! She is doing a wonderful job working with toddlers. She thinks they're funny. She is a case study in God giving us what we need at the right time. I've seen her in action. She is loving, kind, caring and warm with these wonderful little people.

So she came home from work one day this week and asked if she could read my Conscious Discipline book. She wants to help a couple of her charges learn to behave in a more appropriate way. She is trying to get inside their minds and figure out how they work. Uh-oh, she's invested in these little cuties. She has only a month before she heads back to school. I love Conscious Discipline and I would  have gladly handed her the book, BUT it isn't a quick fix guide. I would love for her to read it. I think it is a wonderful guide not only for teachers, but also for parents, bosses, mentors, anyone in leadership! The draw back for her right now is that  CD isn't quick. It is a life changing retrain of our brains. We have to "see" situations differently. Chapter 1 on composure is opening my eyes to see how I can create an environment in my home and classroom for my family and owlets. The first four principles are easy to remember:
1. Self control is necessary when disciplining children.
2. No one makes us angry unless we give them permission.
3. We must have a plan to reduce stress for ourselves and those around us.
4. Everyone in the classroom has the job of keeping the classroom safe.

These are wonderful principals for us all. I am so excited to start using CD language in my classroom in the fall. I haven't thought a whole lot about my physical classroom structure, but I have been praying for my students everyday and I have been thinking about how I can use Composure to make my classroom environment best for student learning.

Back to Mars. I wanted to give her a quick fix. I've never used a clip chart, but I thought it might help her little ones learn some composure! We talked about it and she got pretty excited. So, I've made her a clip chart for her little monsters little cuties. Even though owls are my theme in the fall, I'm thinking about trying this in my room. I would hate for my owlets to get tired of owls. I want them to remember O(only) W(with) the L(Lord's) S(strength) we can do all things.
Click on picture to go to Google Docs! Also available for sale at TPT!

 Let me know what you think!

Don't forget I'm looking for a home for this owl!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Owl Time (and a little give away!)

What a beautiful day we were blessed with today! Now it has turned into a beautiful summer evening. I had to go put a sweater on because I was so chilly! A chill in the air can only mean one thing...School is right around the corner!

My daughter and I got up early to work on crafts together. We decided to make owls for my classroom today. We used the awesome table in her room. Isn't this table awesome? Someone was ready to put it out for the garbage man before I rescued it!
We believe in making big messes before we are done! Just wait until you see
the finished product!
Using my Cricut, I cut out several different sized owls to make name tags out of. Then I had the idea to turn some into clocks to use for my daily schedule. I'll be able to post the scedule with the owls sitting next to each activity to help my students become more aware of time and so that they know what's coming next. 

I'll use this pocket chart, but with my owls for clocks...Hopefully they will fit!
I got a little carried away with my little owlets! It was so much fun spending time with my daughter. She is such a fun person to spend time with. She is helpful, kind and encouraging...She'd make a good teacher!!

I felt kind of sorry for this owl. He didn't fit in with the others. Look how beautiful he is. Would you be able to provide a safe home for him? He's made of paper and a little on the delicate side. You may want to laminate him to protect him. If you would like him, follow me, and leave me a comment with your e-mail.I'll have a random draw to pick a winner this owl will fly home to! You have until August 1st...Good luck!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

(Atti)Tone, In Pictures and In Words

In Chapter 10 of In Pictures and In Words we are asked to consider tone. How an author and illustrator say something can be just as important as what they are saying. Though I have never said, "Don't use that tone of voice with me!" I have, on more than one occasion said, "Don't take that attitude with me!" So it is easier for me to think of an author/illustrator taking on a certain attitude.

How does an author illustrator give an attitude about their work and how can we help our students take on those writing "tudes"?

Technique 32 helps us help children understand tone/tude by using color. I will use the book The Lengend of Sleeping Bear by Kathy-jo Wargin illustrated by Gijsbert van Fankenhuyzen to show what color does. In the beginning of the book the bear family is happy and content wandering through birch-lined forests. Later in the book we feel sadness not only from the text, but also from the purple and blue hues the illustrator chooses. There is a golden hue through much of the book giving a hopefulness to the story. This is a very bittersweet story based on the legend of how the Sleeping Bear Dunes and their islands were formed. 

When thinking about Technique 33 I thought of the same book as I used with 32. The beginning of the book is light, airy, happy. The middle of the story is void of light. There is great darkness and despair. The ending brings both feelings together in a conclusion that brings a certain hope.

I can't share any pictures, but Mo Willems is a master of using Technique 34. In his pigeon books you know what kind of attitude pigeon has by looking at the color of the background. When pigeon is angry the background is RED! 

The Little House...Yes, AGAIN!  The changing attitude of the house reveals itself in how the illustrator changes the size of the house as the house's attitude becomes more and more undervalued. What a relief it is when at the end the house has a new attitude and is restored to its proper size! I will love using this book to show Technique 35:  Crafting Tone with Size.

I adore this book by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. Mother to Tigers is a picture book about Helen Martini who was the Bronz Zoo's first woman zookeeper. She said, "Every day is just like Christmas. Anything can happen." It sounds a little like our jobs, doesn't it? The illustrator uses whimsy and color to lighten the mood in the beginning when we learn that Helen and her husband, Fred lost their first baby and were unable to have more. That's heavy stuff for kids, but the illustrator lightens their load with this picture...

The dog and cat in conversation are just the right whimsy to lighten the readers load!

It is hard to believe we have one week left of this study. It has been such a pleasure studying with you all. I look forward to following your every day adventures. Thank you, Mrs. Jump for hosting this week! You can find out more about this subject by clicking on her button!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pete the Cat Linky and Freebie!

Pete Linky

When I saw this Linky I knew I had to follow along. I wasn't planning on linking up, but like a bad mosquito bite I couldn't leave it alone! I thought I'd have trouble sleeping last night as ideas ran rampant  through my brain. I was out like a light and overslept by a couple of hours! Maybe it was the song that I used with my music classes to bring music and literacy together that acted as a lullaby and rocked me to sleep. Have you seen this ? It is a wonderful Pete the Cat resource!
Even my eighth grade music students beg to sing "I love my White Shoes". It fills my heart with joy when I hear them walking through the halls singing this song.

I have a confession to make. I don't have any other Pete books. If I don't receive one free in the mail in the next two weeks I'm going to break down and buy them ALL. While I'm waiting I'm going to play this dice game I came up with. I can't wait to find out what color shoes Pete will wear today!
Click on the picture to go to Google Docs. I'll put
it on TPT when they are back up!

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Bloggers Blog Hop

Are you new to blogging or thinking about getting started? This is a great opportunity for you!
 is hosted by Grade Three is the Place for Me.  It is a great opportunity to hop along, meet new friends and find out some great information!
Link up and share a little about yourself!

 1. what state you are in
 2. your current teaching position
 3. your teaching experience
 4. when you started blogging
 5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource

I live in the beautiful mitten state of Michigan. My city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. My dad told me before I moved here, that it was the armpit of the state because of the paper mills that once provided jobs for the community I'm in. I got used to the smell and my dad even grew to love the place. The paper mill is gone now leaving an economic hole in the community, but the lake is still here and the water is warm!

Currently, I'm teaching first grade in the mornings and computer and music in the afternoons at a small Christian school. Mornings are my favorite, but  it is nice to spend time with good friends in the afternoon. I have taught first, second and first second splits and 3rd and 4th grade splits over the past 27 years! 

I became a blogger on January 13, 2012. I have enjoyed many aspects of blogging, but my favorite part is the friendships I've made.

I have found that leaving an html code on each comment allows people to easily link back to your blog. Leaving comments is the best way to build your list of followers. Here is the html code for you. Replace the [ and ] with < and > to enable you code to work!

[a href="http://PUTYOURWEBADDRESSHERE"]Name of Blog [/a]
mine looks like this:
<a href="http://owlthingsfirst.blogspot.com">Owl Things First</a>
Leave lots of comments...bloggers LOVE comments!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

If You Give a Teacher a Blog...

If a teacher sits down to write a quick blog post,  she’ll probably want a facebook page to go with her blog. While she creates her facebook, she’ll see a notification someone pinned something on pintrest. When she gets to Pintrest, she’ll find fifty different ideas to pin. She’ll follow one of the pins to a blog she has to follow. She’ll notice the awards the teacher got and she’ll probably want one, too. While she hops from blog to blog, she’ll find a great linky to join. After she joins the great linky she’ll notice a blog about a give away. She’ll enter the give away all twenty ways possible. When she gets back to her own blog she’ll notice she got the Liebster Award and she’ll have to sit down and write a blog post!
I feel so honored every time I get one of these awards. They’re better than a pat on the back.  It takes time and thought to thank the person who gave it to you and it can be pretty hard to find the right people to pass it on to. Will they like it?  Will they think I’m being too forward? Will they do a huffy because they got another award? Well, here goes my thanks and passing on!
 The      award is presented to new bloggers, which I very much am! Liebster is German for beloved or favorite. I feel so honored that
 presented me with this award.

The rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

Here are some up and coming bloggers that I love:

Kinder Cuties
Lovin' Kindergarten
Miss Elementary

Thank you for staying with this post all the way to the end. I have a question for you. Does your family roll their eyes when you request prayers at church for people you blog with?! Thanks for following me...I might be praying for you!!
Don't forget to link up with my first Linky!

Friday, July 20, 2012

For Reading Out Loud Linky!

As I begin thinking about fall my thoughts go to one of my very favorite things about teaching...Reading out loud! I just realized tonight that this is the first summer I have not read a book aloud to my own children. Though my children are 13, 17, and a few days shy of 21 they still enjoy gathering together at the end of the day to read great literature together. We've enjoyed so many books over the years and share inside jokes about many of them...Do you know what  whizzpopping is? My children loved the BFG and we still remember and laugh about it.

 My own childhood was spent in a house where books were treasures that there was always mysteriously enough money or time at the library for. Owls in the Family, The Little House series were books I remember my mother reading to me.

So what is it going to be for you and your class this year? What is your first read aloud going to be? I am dying to know because I'm not sure what mine will be yet, so I need some ideas. Right now I'm leaning towards Ribsy. I love that dog!! Link up and tell me what some of the books are musts for the books you read aloud in your classroom!
Product Details

Wholeness of Text and a Morning Song!

I don't know why, but chapter 9, Wholeness of Text, was harder for me to get through than any other. I'm not sure if it was the subject matter or if it was beautiful weather beckoning me to come outside or the distractions of these cute guys running around in my front yard...
We hired them to mow and fertilize our lawn! They
do great work!  
I caught this one laying down on the job! No more
hostas for him.
Anyway, I did force myself to stay focused and finally found some things that show wholeness of text.  I love Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Have you ever noticed that Jesse Bear has the same red shirt on for the whole story. He wears all kinds of other things such as rice, dirt and even a chair, but he keeps that red shirt on once he puts it on in the morning and it comes off when he hops in the tub. That's not the last time we see that shirt.  I love that we see that red shirt on the very last page peeking out of the clothes hamper...Do you think he put it there himself?  What a responsible little bear! Bruce Degen keeps static details consistent. "As you point out how illustrators have to be so careful to render a character or object the same way each time they're pictured, help children imagine the work it takes to accomplish this...This process of looking back to make sure new content fits with old is directly parallel to the process a writer uses to keep wholeness of text." page 171 Katie Wood Ray.

I'm going back to a book I've shared before. The Little House stays the same but the city keeps getting closer and closer. The illustrations are connected ins such a way that meaning builds across the details as picture after picture suggests that the city will eventually envelope the house.

In The Napping House the Woods crafts an ending that returns to the lead. Look at the first page of the book.

Now take a look at the last page. It's the the same yard, but what a change has occurred.  The changes could only happen by the way the meaning was crafted in the book.
 The Woods also craft artful repetition on each page as the characters continue to dog-pile onto the bed one at a time. This is a wonderful book to show the passage of time using details of weather.

A favorite book of mine, not just because it's a Lois Ehlert book and not just because it's loaded with wonderful backyard birds, but also because Lois crafts an ending that pulls multiple text elements together. Each of the birds in the book shows up at the end in feather form!

When I started this post I had the end in mind. I knew I would somehow bring those deer back into focus. I'm going to use a suble tecnique when I do it. I have one flower left in my yard. Yes, one! I used to be able to grow thousands, but those cute little deer are hungry. When they are done keeping the bushes trimmed and the lawn tidy, they enjoy the sweetness of flowers for their dessert. So I'm showing you the remaining flower left in my yard for...The End!

Are you just joining the study?  In case you missed it last week, here is a freebie you can use during the year to help you organize the books you use to illustrate each technique.
I was amazed at how many people viewed my post on titled The ABCs of first grade. Many people asked about the tune to the Morning Song that my class sings each most mornings! Thank you. I felt so loved. As promised here is a video featuring my daughter doing the dance moves and my son supplying the tune and me singing! I hope you enjoy, and that it helps you learn the song!!

Thank you, 

for hosting! I'm loving this study.