Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made it...Got bug?

I have a bazillion things I SHOULD be doing today. They might will get done. This girl just wanted to have a little fun. As I was sorting through my stash of stuff I found this poster. There was a naked bulletin board in the hall outside my room. I knew the children who come each day for childcare would love this guy. Then I saw my glue gun, some push pins and a collection of bugs. This is what I ended up with! Isn't it glorious? I had to turn it into an interactive board. Now that these bugs are easy to put up and take down, I'll be able to change it daily to keep the kiddos roaming the halls here thinking! Now off to do those bazillion things...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kindness Matters! Freebie

I've been in a bit of a quandary over my classroom theme this year. Can a teacher do owls two years in a row? What about four? Is it boring to do it six years? NO!! I realize the students coming into my care look forward to being one of my owlets. I briefly considered dragons as a theme. I really love dragons. I just couldn't get past "I'm dragon into first and second grade!" It just doesn't have the feel I'm after. Dragonettes may fear that their teacher would breathe fire on them. I've had teachers like that and I had to be dragged into school those long years.

Then I read two blog posts that really changed my thinking. Barbara and Kimberly both write such thought provoking meaningful posts. I know that I can always have a cup of coffee with them and get something nutritious to go along with my morning joe. Their blog posts, which you can read HERE and HERE rocked my mind...literally!! I've decided my theme this year is "Kindness Matters". It does. Kindness matters and if every school in my town, state, country, world took on a theme like "Kindness Matters" we might be able to change the world.

I'll have one rule this year. Can you guess what it is? Be kind! Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your teacher.  Be kind to your classmates.  Be kind to your schoolmates. Be kind to the world! You could use cute little bees to decorate it. I'm not going to. I still have enough cute owls flying through my classroom to make the room inviting. My "Be"s are just going to be. I'm going to strive to show you how I bring kindness into my classroom during the year to stress to my students that kindness matters.

Look how the kindness of an Oreo cookie changed some of these bad guys...

I've written my own Poetry to go along with this video and my first classroom book will be each child's response to the prompt "Wonder if I gave an Oreo cookie to..."
Who would YOU like to give an Oreo to?
Click HERE if you want more classroom ideas to go with the theme of kindness. The best way to teach it is to be it!!
I hope this qualifies as poetry because I'm linking up with... 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Can You Relate?


Can you relate?! Every time anything is missing in our house the first question asked is, "Did you take that to school?" No kidding! I've been asked if I've taken the potato masher to school before...Which I have, but not on that day! Today I brought this from home. Think anyone will notice? The Beanie Baby is part of my very large collection also brought from home! My students love reading to Beanie Babies during Daily 5. Please tell me, about the most outrageous thing you've had to sneak out of the house for school!
Someone is going to tell on me!

It looks better here than at school, anyway!

I'm dragon back to school!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Great Give Aways!

I'll make this quick because I've got to go play with my kids I wasn't even going to open my laptop today, but I wanted to check the weather. Then I had to check my e-mail and then I had to learn how to add a tab on Facebook and then....You've got the picture!

What is so urgent you want to know? Two sweet GiveAways. The first is one of my must read blogs and sweet commenters Curious Firsties. I love Em and M! You can click HERE and win lots of great stuff
including a cup of coffee from me.


The second GiveAway I'm a little hesitant to tell you about because I really want to win this one. If I blog about it I can win more entries. I LoVe clipart.  I probably have enough, but I consider myself a collector. I have fallen in LovE with this artist's work and I think you will too!

There. Done. Here I come kids...Let's go ride bikes or take a walk along the beach!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Time for Lunch!

Yesterday I had a celebration with some of my reading buddies. It of course involved reading, eating and a little horse play! First the reading...It all started with an Accelerated Reader challenge at the beginning of each year. (More on my feelings about AR at the end of this post!) I let my monsters owlets know that if they are able to earn 100 points in AR they will be invited to my house for lunch during the summer. They get to choose a friend from the class to bring along and yesterday was the day for two wild and crazy boys.
I have several different foods that I specialize in. The winning student chooses between hot dogs, chocolate chip pancakes, or grilled cheese! What a choice, eh? Because the thermometer was reading close to 90 degrees in the house, I offered a fourth choice...Lunch at an air conditioned McDonalds! What would you choose? Me, too, but of course they chose chocolate chip pancakes! Last year my ladies were so dainty, but I wasn't going to put knives on the table with these guys! They didn't need knives...They have sharp teeth. I did set the table with my mother's finest china! Did they notice the fancy plates and tea cups? YES!! I heard the two whispering about how fancy the plates were while I was bringing in the first of many stacks of pancakes. My mother would be tickled...I hope!

These boys ate a total of 23 pancakes! I had to tell my own kids FHB...They know that means family hold back for
the company!

 So after lunch we headed down to the basement which is the coolest room in the house. I had gotten some of the new Perler Biggie beads. We played a game to put together two dragons. The boys would take turns rolling the dice and putting the number of beads rolled onto the grid. There were two winners...The highest sum of all dice rolled and the last roller were both winners. We made two dragons, had four winners and had too much fun!

Of course my son tried to steal the show. Kids love too! He is a lot of fun. He enjoyed showing the boys some things he was working on on his computer.
I have to have my husband show me how to run his trains. The boys really wanted to see them go...Next time!
We ended our time together with jumping on the mattress that my girls had dragged down the stairs to sleep on during these hot nights. They probably enjoyed this more than any thing else I had planned. They'd name each move before landing on the mattress with a thud!

Now back to the subject of AR! Do you use it? I encourage its use but don't require or push it. Some kids LOVE it. I find my students who are very goal driven love it. They set goals for themselves and make it! I have others who just love to read...which is what I'd much rather have. They don't use it much, but they don't need to either. 

My son said he doesn't read any more because he doesn't get points for it. My first thought was that AR may have taken away his love for reading. Then I think about how during high school he was so busy reading required literature and was really left no time for choice reading that he got out of the habit. Now his days are filled with working, friends and in his choice time he chooses computer time. I really don't think it was AR that took his love for reading away. He stopped carving out time for reading and for this season in his life he hasn't made it important. I believe that one day he will once again take great joy in books. I too go through seasons when I just can't spend enough time reading. This summer I've had a hard time carving out reading time. I know this is just a season and as my family falls into new routines in new places I too will find myself drawn to find new friends inside the cover of a book.

  Thank you Barbara for introducing me to this new friend! I love Scaredy Squirrel and so did my lunch guests! They can't wait to go on more adventures with him in the fall!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Showing Off My Piles!

I was quite thrilled to see this linky because do I have piles! If there is any horizontal surface in my house or classroom, I can make a pile on it! I have pictures to prove it. Your piles will make my piles look like mountains. Get ready because I'm about ready to show you the alps! Thank you Christine for hosting this party...I fit right in!

I had to move from one classroom to another. It was almost magical. I went on vacation and when I came back my stuff was magically placed in my new room. (Did I mention I have windows now?!!) I've gone into school several times waiting for the same fairy that placed my stuff there to magically put it away! I'm about to give up on that fairy and turn instead to this book...
Wait a second...How'd you get here, Pete? I didn't even know you had a new book out. How come I'm always the last to know about good books?!
There you are, Debbie! You were who I was looking for. Thank you for helping me create a great learning environment every time I have moved into a new space. You are almost like a magical moving fairy, but not quite!

Enough talk...Here come my piles...

I spy some coffee covered in mold, a book, a desk and a paper that's old!

My bedside table always has a stack pile of books.
Are you brave enough to show your piles?

Don't forget to enter!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fairy Awesome GiveAway!

I"m exhausted...I've got blog hangover! I have had the honor of looking at and following some amazing talented people. These 46 TPT authors have donated items to help me celebrate 400 followers. Last I looked I wasn't quite there yet, but I think with these goodies it won't take long! Thank you all for following me. It has been an adventure and a great way to make some fairy good friends. Thank you for daily renewing my excitement for the best adventure ever...Teaching! Now....grab a cup of coffee and start entering to win. There are 10 prizes and one of them could be yours. I hope you'll enjoy making some new friends and be amazed at the talent out there! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to all 46 of you who are helping me celebrate...You are all winners in my book!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Good News Bad News

Which do you want first...Good news or bad news? I knew you'd pick the bad news, so we could end on a happy note! I was going to announce tonight that I was having a Fairy Awesome GiveAway! I'm not announcing it tonight because it is so big it is going to take me a couple more days to get if off the ground. The good news? I'm having a Fairy Awesome GiveAway starting sometime very soon!

Winners and Winners! I was a winner and I made someone else a winner this week, too! My coffee winner from last week was
That was good news for her. I hope it isn't too bad for you! Be sure to come back later this week for another chance to be a winner. If I'm hosting, you know coffee will be involved!
This week I won this cute guy...
If I don't get to attached to this cutie, he is going to school for adventure in the fall. Each student will have a chance to take him home and show him what home is like for them. Then they'll write down their tale and share it with the class the next day. Christy has GiveAways regularly. All you have to do is like her on facebook to find out when the next GiveAway is. Isn't that good news?

  The bad news is...I miss my friend Laurie from Chickadee Jubilee. I thought about her yesterday. My family and I look forward to a yearly art fair in our city. This year the fair had more things than ever that I wanted. I usually limit myself to one thing. When I saw this fairy door I knew I had found my item. The first time I had heard of fairy doors was from my friend Laurie. Go see the ones that made me want a door of my own HERE. (Plus you'll get some amazing ideas for your calendar wall!)
Isn't this the cutest thing ever?! I found the seller on Etsy.
Go say "Hi!" to Fairy Hill Woodworks

If I don't get to attached, I'm thinking about putting it in my classroom! Maybe I'll just have to get another one.. The door comes complete with the poem you need to read aloud, so that a fairy will use it. Only true magic can open the door!

Shopping on Friday, I got some bad news. As I shopped for decorations for my son's high school open house, I couldn't find the little picture holders I was looking for. I didn't know what to do. Necessity is the mother of invention!  My daughters and I brainstormed some different things we could do and voila...Picture holders that are cheap and easy to make! That is good news!

 Bad news...I'm tired! This has been a very busy day. Good news...I have a warm shower and a bed waiting for me! Don't forget to come back later this week for more good news!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Currently July

"Awake my soul and with the sun
Thy daily course of duty run
Shake off dull sloth and joyful rise
To pay they morning sacrifice."
That is the hymn I can hear my grammy singing. When I was younger she would sing this to me when I would visit her to wake me up in the morning. It  was always a joy to rise at her house where there was homemade bread, and games to be played. My grammy was pretty amazing and lived to be 109. She moved into a nursing home at 106 because she didn't want her family to worry about her living on her own. She lived a life of service to God and others and that made her a joy to be around. 

I couldn't really think of a tip, trick or hint when I started, but as I visit with you I'm thinking that my hint might be: "For a happy life... serve others." I'm participating in a book study of  Awakened by Angela Watson. It is a wonderful book and the devotional guide that goes with it is a wonderful guide to have too. Anyway, I'm learning that by changing my mindset I can transform my teaching to become more joyful and productive. Check out Angela's blog HERE.

Last night I had to wait my turn to get into the bathroom. Only one of our toilets is working currently! As I waited for what seemed to be ten people I checked my facebook one more time. I was so excited to find out that I'd won one of Christy Chen's Fuzzy Wuzzy designs, that I almost didn't make it ... You can check out her creations to by clicking HERE. Please tell her Jenny sent you if you like her page!!

I'm on such a coffee kick right now. I love it hot in the morning and iced in the afternoon. I just found this at Meijer on special this week. I'm stocking up on some of this before the week is over. Go to Facebook and like their page and you can get a coupon for your own carton. Caramel Macchiato is my very favorite.

I did start a new project for school, but I really want to start a new sewing project for home. I finished a quilting project this weekend that I'd put on hold for far too long. Now that it is done I need to start another one. I wish I could share this quilted wall hanging with you, but I can share this FREEBIE that I'm making for students who could benefit from a little extra sight word practice. Three pages done, only 27 more to go! 

Have you done your Currently for the month of July, yet? It is lots of fun I'd love to know what you are doing currently...