Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Night!

I love Sunday night when I know I don't have to go to work the next morning! Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I am loving being home and being on vacation. I'm staying up extra late on a Sunday night...Yippeeee!
Christmas has just begun for me. I'm amazed how quickly some people take down their trees and put away the stockings. I like to keep those stockings up just in case someone wants to slip in a little more chocolate.I have exactly three ornaments to take off the tree this year. I put up five. Five minus two...Yep that's three. What happened to two of the five? This...
She wants to be the star! If she keeps trying to eat the bulbs she just
may light up....ugh!

The day school starts anew in 2014, I'll be having a class Christmas party since ours was planned on a day that ended up as a Snow Day. There are still plenty of reminders of Christmas in my room. This was my very favorite Christmas craftivity.

 My friend Kimberly shared THIS link to make these. I cut out the silhouettes and the kids carefully laid them down on clear contact paper. Then we carefully placed scraps of different colored tissue paper onto the exposed sections of contact paper. Finally, we covered the back with another piece of contact paper and cut the paper close to the outside of the silhouette. I love the way they catch the sun and I'm thinking we'll make penguins for January using only cool colors of tissue paper.

All but  of my parent Christmas gifts made it home. I sent them home a day before our Snow Day, so they wouldn't get mixed up with all the other trimmings! These little snowmen lit up our classroom for several days before being wrapped and taken home with pride. I saw this activity somewhere on Facebook... I wish I could remember where it was to give credit.

 I cut a hole in the back of the milk jug big enough to fit a strand of 100 Christmas light bulbs through. I had the students count each bulb as they stuck it through the hole to make sure there were actually 100 lights! We used sanitizing wipes to rub off any marks on the sides of the container. To keep the cardstock paper eyes and nose on, I used scrapbook sticker adhesive.
It worked great! We were able to light them all up at the same time. I was thrilled when one of my owlets observed that we had 1,200 lights on at the same time. I miss those little owlets, but I'm looking forward to a few more days of long morning coffees and being in my PJs until noon!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How to Say Goodbye

Saying goodbye has never been easy for me. I'd rather just slink out the back door and leave things the way they are. I have learned that this is not the best way to leave. Sometimes people get mad at you when you don't take the time to formally say "goodbye." When my kids leave the house I expect them to say goodbye. When my students leave for they day they must leave with a hug, handshake or high-five...Their choice. Saying goodbye to a troubling student might be easy, but what about a student who has endeared herself to each person in your classroom? How do you say goodbye to a student who has become a finder, an assistant, and a friend? How do you say goodbye to a student who gets up and helps others without making a big production out of it? How do you say goodbye to a student who knows when your looking for something and brings it to you before you even ask..."Has anyone seen the...." All I can say is there is a 2nd grade class somewhere in Michigan who is getting a terrific addition to their classroom and leaving a big hole in ours!

Even the boys loved our friend and three of them left class crying this week after we took time to talk about how to say goodbye and how it is okay to cry when we say it. We knew for weeks that our friend's dad had taken a job across state. We tried not to think about it. Every once and awhile our friend would giggle or make this cute little sound she makes when she drops something or makes a mistake. I started saying, "I'm going to miss that sound!" Soon my owlets picked up on it and said it too. We wanted to let her know that she would be missed and that she had become a vital part in our classroom. So what to do to make the final days really special...
Make a Blanket
Have a Tea - Party
Sign a Bible (or other book!)
Help Children say goodbye in a way that helps them feel comfortable.
I've been really bad at taking pictures lately, so I don't have very many, but here are a few of our last week...
All of the girls came to my house for a tea party!

I put out my mom's Wedgwood for them. We didn't use this very often growing up!

We actually had hot chocolate instead of tea!

Now it is time for me to say goodbye. Goodbye for a month, friends. I'll be by to visit your blogs, but I'm taking a break to spend more time with my family and last year I failed big time in the cookie department. I always feel sad when I visit a favorite blog and they haven't posted in weeks. I wonder what happened to them. Don't worry about me...I'm setting priorities for myself during this busy time!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Highs and Lows Linky

Unfortunately I feel like I have more lows than highs this week! However, as the week comes to an end I can say it all turned out good...Phew! I list my lows:
1. My computer projector didn't have a bad bulb...It has died.
2. My camera's battery ran out of power right before our Thanksgiving performance.
3. Our Thanksgiving performance was two days earlier than I had written on my calendar.
4. My new little kitty is still not completely healthy and I worry about my sweet little girl. We were back at the vet this week for an antibiotic shot and no vaccines until she is healthy. It is like bringing a baby home!
Kat Kong sits on my Cranky Bear's model railroad!

My Native's ready to perform!

I can live without my projector, but I miss my brain-break song visuals. I had quit using Class DoJo because I felt like it caused more problems than solved. I still like the timer feature and the randomizer, but I get so tired of giving or taking away points from students. I just decided to love them and teach them as much as I can each day reminding them to follow the rules and Owl-Ways be a friend. I must say since I have done away with the whole Class DoJo the kids behavior has improved significantly and I'm not afraid to take them out in public. Forming relationships with each student on the basis of believing they can and loving them even went they don't seems to work much better for me. Maybe the dead projector is a high...Along with....
1. MY SON IS ON HIS WAY HOME FOR A WEEK! I love that kid! My students can't wait for him to show up and teach them to draw something....I wonder what it will be....Stay tuned!
2. A kitty waits each day for me when I walk in the door and is super happy to see me.
3. I finished a project that I can hardly wait to share with my Owlets. Since reading In Pictures and In Words two summers ago, I see a whole new value in children's illustrating. The details and ideas they can express in their pictures is pretty incredible. Someday one of my students will say, "She let us draw!" If kids finish their work early they get to "Read, Write or Sketch". They were wasting a lot of blank paper. I'd find half done drawings laying all over the floor with no owner. Now at the beginning of each week they can take a new "sketch" book to their desk for the week. It provides an avenue for expression and creativity. I love having them tell me about their sketches and sometimes I have been known to say, "Take out your sketchbook and draw...a character from a book you're reading, or the setting of the class read aloud, or..."You get the idea!
Back to my sketchbooks...I just got Granny Goes Back to School's delightful winter clip art package. It is so sweet. Most of the illustrations in the book are from her packet. I can't wait to use it to make games and activities for my owlet's work stations.

4. The play my Owlets put on for a Senior group turned out great and we even finished the costumes and props in time! Come back next week for pictures...We are doing it again for our parents next week.
5. I have awesome visitors to my blog like you. I would love to send you my sketchbook packet. If you think you can use it, leave your e-mail below and I'll send it to the first 5 responders! If you really want to help support my book habit click on the image to go to my store and buy it!!
Ready to link up? The world and I are waiting to hear your Highs and Lows!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Wow!

I have a new "neighbor" this year and I just love her! She has the most soothing voice. I think I could listen to her talk all day long. She is kind, sweet and a perfect fit for kindergarten. One day, as I was being soothed into relaxation, I heard her say...
I ran next door and literally said, "WOW!" I loved that saying. She wouldn't take credit for it. Maybe you have already heard it! I just love it and my students say it unison now. I'm not sure it has helped with the no name problem, but it sure is fun to say. 
I wanted to share something with my new friend...neighbors make the best of friends!
I shared this saying with her...

What has made you say "Wow!" this week? Go link up with Curious Firsties and share!
Want to print out the rhymes to display in your room? Click HERE!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Highs and Lows Linky and a Foxy Freebie!

Here it is this weeks highs and lows! I'm starting with lows and I'm glad to say I've really had to stretch to find one! Finishing the BFG was a high in our classroom this week. We miss Sophie. We miss the BFG. What a wonderful, funny story of friendship and kindness. My students wanted to finish the book with some Frobscottle and whizzpopping, but I wouldn't go for that. Instead we reminisced over our favorite parts of the story and drew pictures to help us remember our favorite parts of the story. This was my favorite, even though it isn't finished yet!

I had forgotten all about this part! Have you read the BFG to your class?
My low this week is What Does the Fox Say?  Have you heard this song?  I liked it the first time I heard it and even the tenth. Now it has gotten out of hand in my classroom and I even wake up singing it! I'm trying to get it out of my head. I'm hoping these bookmarks will help! If you need help getting the song out of your head click HERE to get your own set of bookmarks.
 If you want to drive yourself crazy or anyone else in your life go check out the video...

I'd love for you to link up your highs and lows for the week. They can be classroom highs and lows or more personal! Grab the picture above and add it to your post if you like and come back and link below. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Wow! Freebie!

I'm linking up with Curious Firsties again this week to share the WOWs of my week. It has been a very pleasant week that ushered in the first snow for the kids to play in. It was probably less than an inch, but even that gave the feeling of magic.
The first of many snowmen!

A personal wow happened for me this weekend. My husband and I found ourselves all alone in the house for the first time in twenty-two years. We spent the day Saturday hiking and driving up the west coast of Lake Michigan. It was so much fun to be together and enjoy each others company. We found all kinds of beautiful works of art carved by the Creators hand! This was my favorite...

 I thought this root sticking out of the ground was WOW!
Can you see the beak and eye? Pretty cool.

My students are so excited about reading. I daily recommend books to different students and has it ever caught fre. I "catch" them recommending books to each other all the time. This week we all laughed when these two students started to recommend the same book to each other. They begged me to take a picture with one person holding a word bubble of what one boy sad to the other. I have a spot in my room where students can display books they recommend and it doesn't take long for the whole class to get excited about Scaredy Squirrel's latest adventure or Fly Guys newest mishap to occur! I smiled today when I heard a boy say, "Don't tell me any more about it, I want to find out for myself!" It doesn't get wower than that!

My students would probably say a wow for their week has been this poem and following directions worksheet I created for them. They love these following directions pages and I hope your kids will enjoy them too. Monster Wrangler Mike's graphics were the inspiration for this poem. I love these little turkeys and I'm guessing your kiddos will, too! Click the picture below to get it free or if you can't bring yourself to take a freebie from me you can buy it HERE!!

I'm thinking about Highs and Lows for the week. I'd love for you to link up this Saturday as I share my highs and lows for the week. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Highs and Lows Linky!

At dinner every evening we play a little game called "Highs and Lows" Each person at the table whether family or guest must share a high and low from that day. Sometimes it is hard to pick just one so we allow more than one low if there is a high to counteract it! I'm inviting you over to play the game. Grab the picture above and link up below and check out some other highs and lows from our friend's week. You can have as many highs as you'd like, but for every low you must have a high! I'll go first!

My new little kitty! She is the reason it has been a long time since I last blogged. My daughter has wanted a cat for oh so long. My son is allergic. Guess who went to college leaving a huge void in my daughter's life? The allergic one! Meet the replacement to the brother...
Chessie loves watching birds out the window. 

Don't you love the pirate eyepatch?!

Low:  Chessie was stuck in a cat cage for two months. She has a respiratory infection, infected eyes and worms. Poor little girl. I'm so glad we rescued her. She is making a rapid recovery and is starting to play.
Thanks to some amazing donors, I was able to get four yoga balls for my class full of bouncy boys. What a blessing these balls are. They have really helped my kiddos with bouncy bottoms. These balls have "legs" on the bottom to prevent them from rolling around. I did catch some kids trying to "milk" them and one baby during conferences thought they'd make a good chew toy. Thank you! 

I have forgotten to bring my camera to school because I'm so busy taking pictures of Chessie. I can't show you pictures from our 50 Day celebration. I can show you what one of my students wrote... 

This represents a major victory. This child does not like to write. I LOVE that he wrote that he would live in a sub-
urban community. He is one cool kid...I'd like to chill out with him on the beach and watch him surf!

I hope you can link up! May your highs always be greater than your lows!!

Yikes! I almost forgot....Come on over to my Facebook page and join the Frenzy! I'm one of 25 2nd grade stops to get some amazing freebies. Look for this tab and hop on board!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday WOW!! FREEBIE!

I hope you will say wow to what I'm about to offer you! I was going to give this to ten lucky followers, but I just couldn't wait that long. Plus you can't either!! You must use this code before October 26th! When you do you'll get this download FREE. I can't tell you how much I use and love MyMemories software. There may be other scrapbooking packages out there, but this is the only one I've used and I can't imagine using another. Every time I use it I think I learn something else WOW about it. Normally this is a $39.97 software package. Today it is FREE! Even if you don't have time to play with it tonight download NOW and play all weekend. Be sure to tell your friends and their friends and their friends to come over here and get this code. Here is all you need to know:
Go to and click on the software link. Add the software to the cart and use the code in the promo code field.

Just copy and paste it since it has to look exactly like that.  Also, make sure you enter that code in the promo code field before checking out. Voila! You can now say, "WOW"

It becomes active on October 20th and will expire on October 26th.

Then you can start doing this...

If you haven't entered my GiveAway for some other great products get moving it ends soon!!
Click HERE!
Then go check out some other Wednesday Wowness over at Curious Firsties!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! Give Away for YOU!!

Happy Birthday to me! My birthday is coming. I'll be a year older on Saturday. I've already gotten some great gifts. Check these out...
These boots are made for walkin' and teachin' and sittin' and just about everything! 

Carson Dellosa sent me a birthday gift, too! The best thing about this gift is you can have one too. I love these two 2nd grade Common Core Connections workbooks. I love them because of the I can...statements on the bottom of each page. I love them because they provide meaningful practice for my students. I love them because they are great for sending home with students as homework. I don't pass out a lot of worksheets, but these have shown themselves to be very useful tools for making sure the Common Core State Standards are covered. The matrix in the opening pages of each books shows all the standards covered and what page they are found on. Want one? Be sure to try you luck below!!

Do you like scrapbooking? I love everything about it except the clean up. Since I've started electronic scrapbooking I no longer have the little scraps and pieces of paper laying all over the basement. I use it for home and school. I can save creations as a png, pdf, and jpeg. I love MyMemory software and I'd love to share it with you. I've got 10 downloads to give away and I hope you get one!!

This is a great week for me. I'm the schools Book Fair Chair! Look at the awesome books coming from Scholastic. I've read The Book Whisperer and loved it. Have you read any of these other titles? I can't decide which will be the next gift I give myself!! What do you think?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bring a Leaf to School Day

Friday was Bring a Leaf to School Day. Though most of my class forgot to bring a leaf, it was a great success. Now don't leaf me alone. I did maple sure that each student got a leaf. We ran to our school woods and grabbed ten which we sorted, classified and arranged into different leaf creatures.

Then each child chose one leaf to spend the weekend at school. Little did they know, the leaves would not stay just sitting on their desks. They got up and...

I have a whole book that I made about what the leaves did when we all left Friday. I like writing. I haven't always. The more I do it the more I enjoy it. I know that I need to do it, so my students will do it. They will come into school Monday knowing I have a book to share with them. The wonderful, amazing, awesome thing that happens is that many of them have been at home this weekend writing books, too! Making writing fun for you students means they will want to write more and more each day. The more they write, the better they write. The better they write, the more they'll write! Write-on!

If you would like a springboard for your own story or if you would like  a funny story to read with your kids about leaves in school, this book is reasonably priced and you can print it out or just keep it on your computer! Check it out HERE!