Friday, August 30, 2013

Dragon into School!

I really wanted to have a dragon themed classroom this year. I just couldn't get past the idea that the kids would feel like they were being dragged into school every day. Read on and lost somewhere in this post is my actual theme for the year!

Finally I have a class to call my very own! I have waited, prayed and hoped for this for a loooong time! I get to spend the whole day with first and now second graders without having to say goodbye at noon. I think that they are happy about that, too! Yesterday I announced that I had good news and bad news. Which did they want first? After voting to hear the good news first they booed when I announced it was time to go home! "That's two bad newses!" Said one of my new owlets! Awww such sweet words. Now a nice long weekend to recover from loosing my voice....from too much singing and resting my face that hurts from too much smiling! Want to see some fun stuff? Read on!

Of course this lover of all things pink would have a "sparckale" dragon! 
 I never knew there was a name for this...Guided Drawing! My owlets get quite excited when we do this. I'm not sure if there are rules for it. I start with a shape or two and then we make a list of what we think it is going to be. I don't give any hints and no idea about what it is is a bad idea. I cannot draw without following directions, so I have all kinds of step-by-step books. When we have finished I have the class add details of color and or put the character in a setting. Finally we add a sentence or two telling about the picture. I could do this every day. I only do it once a week...I want the kids to get excited when we do it and not make it part of our daily routine.
My "theme" this year is "Showing S'more Kindness" so we have
chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows all over the
place. I love that this creative genius showed a kind dragon helping
a princess roast marshmallows!
On another neat note...My class had fun with cleaning wipes this week. You would think it was a free-time activity with the excitement you could feel in the room. It started with one owlet wanting to use a wipe to clean off some marker from their desk at free time. Pretty soon look what happened...

I'm off to enjoy some shopping, cooking and celebrating of my Cranky Bear's birthday. Need some resources for guided drawing? Check these out!

Mrs Miners Monkey Business
Mrs. Miner has some awesome resourses and many are FREE!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five for Friday/Thankful Thursday and a Hidden Freebie!

1) This is quiet possibly the worst Friday of the summer. I know Friday's can't possibly be combined with words like worst, but this one is! School starts on Monday. That means possibly the best summer of my life is coming to a close. On this Friday my son started the next chapter of his life. He travelled eight hours away from home today to start his college career. He is as far north as my daughter is south. Don't worry I still have one at home!

2) I get an e-mail from Mailbox magazine almost every day. I don't always open them. When I opened the most recent, I went straight to my classroom to complete this delightful way for students to let me know what they are having for lunch. Click on the picture if you'd like to have your own copy of the bear's head!

3) Did you see the full moon this week? WOW!! I actually got to snap this picture on the morning of it being full! Isn't it gorgeous?!

4) I made shirts from my class. They will be able to wear them on field-trips and special celebration days in our classroom. You can see my theme coming through loud and clear!

5) Now I have to say that I'm thrilled to link-up not only with Doodle Bugs but also Penguins and Peacocks to thank another blogger. I have someone to thank who I think is pretty awesome. I'm thanking Curious Firsties. I'm picking on Maria E especially! She gave me words of encouragement that meant the world to me this week. Curious Firsties is bursting with great ideas and if you aren't a follower you should be!
Can you think of someone to be thankful for? You don't have to wait until Thursday to say "Thanks"!

SHhhhhhh...If you made it to the end go ahead....scroll back up and click on the picture! There is a special freebie waiting just for you! If you like it leave a comment and give a clue about what it is!! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

S'more Jesus!

  I got to give the children's message in church this week. I love giving the children's soon as it's over! Like most things that I teach, I learn more than the students. Preparing for a five minute message takes me about five hours. I believe God's word is a living testimony of His love for me, so what a blessing it was to spend time  finding treasures of truth to share with three and four year olds!
graphics by ScrappinDoodles

I knew I wanted to do something with S'mores because what catches kids attention like food?! I couldn't find anything about Moses roasting marshmallows at the burning bush. or the israelites roasting them at the pillar of fire. I searched the new testament for stories about S'mores...No luck. I could find fish and bread. Paul and Silas never had S'mores in jail. I was sure when I typed Bible devotions S'mores something would come up that I could adapt to my message...Nope!

So this is what I said
"Good morning fellow worshippers of the Living God! (blank stares) Do you know what this is? (Hold up a S'more. Get lots of blank stares.) This is a S'more. Do you know why they are called S'mores? (Blank stares...This is going great!) I call them S'mores because as soon as I eat one, I want to eat s'more. They are really yummy and I could eat them every day. That is like God's word.  Did you know you can hear more about God when you leave church? Where do you think you can hear S'more about God when you leave church today? (blank stares...Whoa one cutie raises her hand and says, "The Bible.") We can hear S'more about God from the Bible and we can have S'more time with God every day. I'll show you how it works. The graham cracker (Put graham cracker on a plate) is how we start making a S'more and we can start our S'more time with God by saying a prayer. We can ask God to show us His love through each other and in the Bible. The next part of the S'more is the marshmallow. (Place mini-marshmallows on top of graham cracker) We can sing a song to praise God. He loves to hear our praises through song. The chocolate is God's word. (Place chocolate on top of marshmallows)I think chocolate is the sweetest best part of all...Just like God's word. Finally we have another graham cracker (You know what to do!) to go on the top. When we are done with our S'more time we can talk to God in prayer again. We will ask Him to help us follow His ways and to protect us through hard times. When you put it all together you have a sweet treat. It's hard for busy families to set aside time each day for God, but when we do...We have a sweet treat! (end of sermon...)

I passed out bags of everything the cuties needed to make a S'more at home along with a paper to guide their S'more time. They always get stickers so I threw a couple of those in, too! Then I forgot to give them the magnet I had made them! I found them all after worship and gave it to them then. One of them thought the bird had a sword and was ready to have a sword fight, so it was probably better that I forgot!

Click on the picture if you would like your own guide for S'more time at home. I'm off to enjoy one of the most beautiful days Michigan has to offer. No school work for me today...I'm taking a Sabbath rest!

After writing this post, I did S'more searching for S'more resources. I'm so excited to have found this gem! It is in my cart at Amazon and I can't wait to get it! It will be a great parent resource in my room! Sorry for saying there wasn't much out there. I just wasn't using the right search words. Perhaps God wanted me to search through his word S'more myself. I'm so glad I did! That's the funny thing about God's word...I never wish I hadn't spent S'more time with Him!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Made it Monday//Freebie!

I'm not usually a woman of few words! I think I used up my daily quota for the day. I'll show you what I made today. I'm a  little on the tired side. I had another playdate with my class today and it wore me out! I forgot my camera at home, so the only pictures I have came later in the day....
I made these blocks by taking a paper bag and
stuffing it  with crumpled newspaper. Then I placed another
paper bag over the open end. I taped them in place and voila...
large building blocks!

Markers are now being used to add keyholes, windows, curtains, flower boxes,
and wallpaper!

Here is one set of magnets I finished today. I love using magnets with
student's names on them to keep track of the work stations
they are going to spend time at! How about s'more learning?
I love my Cricut!!

To help me remember who has a birthday...
Can you find the Cricut birds? Each student will have one on their
birthday month. On their birthday they'll get to take their
Birthday Bird home!

Here is a book for my very first Grand-nephew! Sam is six months old and adorable! I haven't seen him in person, but I'm going to be fixing that very soon! Having 5 siblings, I'm bound to be a great aunt more than once! Sam, I hope you like this book!

I did it! I still have forty-five minutes left until Tuesday! The next Monday Made it comes in a month! I hope I make something by then!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Facebook Frenzy Freebies and More!

You can start at my facebook page...You do like me, right?
You know what tomorrow is, right? Facebook Frenzy! I've never participated in a frenzy before and I'm so excited to see how (if!) it works. It was not an easy task for me to install my tab, but I love learning new things and I did it with a little (lots of) help from my friends. If you just can't wait for the frenzy here are a couple of things I have in my store for back to school right now that are totally free...
First Grade ABCs First Grade ABCs! It prints out much larger!! Just click on the picture!

A To Zchool! A To Zchool! is an ABC printout for ALL grades! I'd be happy to customize it for you!
Owl Be Reading Log I love my reading log...I hope you do too!
A Teacher's Prayer A prayer for the teacher! I know I need a lot of this!!

Ever wonder why bloggers on Facebook say..."Link in first comment"? I think I figured it out... If I place a link directly in my post it doesn't get as many views. Facebook wants to keep people on Facebook. By placing your link in the comment box, your post gets more views.

I'd really love to see you be the winner of my Giveaway. As I'm writing, there are two more days. Have you entered? Just for funsies, I added another way to get an entry, so you might want to click HERE again!!

One more thing...I like Dodger's fans more than I like the Cardinal baseball team...Just sayin'!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Made it Monday GiveAway and Freebie!

My old library box finally bit the dust. I have used an old scholastic box that book orders came in for years. It really held up well, but I wanted to clean up my act a little bit and have a spiffier place for students to return their books to. I found this bright yellow crate and bought some cute ribbon to weave into the holes in the box to give it a put together look. I hope this helps my Owlets remember to bring their books in each week so that they can check out more.

 I've tried to convince them to put their library books away in their backpack instead of down, but...You know what happens! I'm hoping this little incentive will help them remember, too! If they return their books on time five weeks in a row, they can pick a pencil out of my special pencil box! I have some great Smencils that I keep picking up on clearance, so this might do the trick. Would you like a punch card, too? click HERE for your own set! Two punch card sets are included.

Here is a little something that was pretty easy to make! Carson Dellosa asked if I would preview these...
Thinking Mats
These thinking mats are making it easy for me to set up math centers to get the school year started. Everything I need to make the center isn in this box except the dry erase marker. They are all aligned to CCS standards. Fifteen thinking mats help students to develop critical thinking skills that will deepen their mathematical abilities. Colorful, durable, fun engaging are some of the adjectives I would use to describe these mats. The mats have a learning guide with reproducibles for each learning mat holding students accountable for their work. Did I say fun? I meant to because I played with a couple of them today. Here is a great video showing them in use...

 This is probably my favorite mat! It looks so yummy!
Be sure to wipe of the dry erase marker after each use...I had to scrub hard when I left it on
for two days...Whoops! It DID come off!

If I wasn't sold on these I wouldn't give one away! I think these are great resources for classrooms. Though they are designed for 2nd grade they would be an excellent tool for the advanced 1st grader or the 3rd grader who may need some extra practice. Would you like one for yourself or a friend? I'm offering this as well as a winner's choice from my store and a 10 giftcard to Starbucks...I love my coffee!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 I made one more thing today. I feel a little funny about it, but I also want to do what  is best for my students. If you think this is totally inappropriate, please unfollow me! I wanted to sign up for DonorsChoose. I can't participate . . . I teach in a parochial school. DonorsChoose is only for public schools. I've always taught in a faith based school and LOVE it! I have always had students that come from families that struggle to make ends meet. My church is always ready to help families in need who are seeking faith-based education for their kids...One of the reasons I love my church family. I put a donation button over on the right along with a picture of the chairs and desks I would LOVE to have. Thank you, Karen! I headed over and found a group that will sponsor ANY school!!  I'm saving my change and empty bottles to try to make my dream come true. I don't think I can do it by myself! If you would like to donate, I would deeply appreciate it! I've been chuckled at by my family, but I know that if I don't ask, I won't get anything! Thanks for listening and stopping by!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently August! + a Freebie!

I'm linking up with Farley for Currently August...On TIME!! Did you know that if you like Oh' Boy 4th Grade on Facebook you get a head start? It is so easy to get the download from her, too! Oh boy, thank you, Farley!!

Tomorrow is the day my daughter's life takes a new turn. May I take a proud Mama moment? After graduating with honors and two majors Mars (the girl not the planet!) was accepted into the doctoral program at Washington U in St. Louis. In five years she'll have her PhD. in Chemistry. She has always been a science nut and gave herself the nickname Mars at the tender age of three. Her dream would probably be able to travel into space or even back to Ireland. She loves to travel! I'm listening to the sewing machine because she is making a quilt based on the Periodic Table. Her is what it looks like so far...
Yes...She is a nerd!
I had a playdate this week so my class could check out our new space. It was so much fun to just play with my old/new students. I'm looping with my first grade class this year. We had a wormed themed hour and a half that went way too fast! After reading this (Freebie Alert) book three times one of my students said, "This is great! Who writes this stuff?" It MADE MY DAY!!
If you want the whole packet of wormy activities or you want to contribute to my desk buying fund you can go buy the whole packet at TPT! The graphics on this project were done especially for me by my new friend Poppydreamz. I LOVE what she did! We're working on another project together right now, too which I'm even more excited about!

I finally got to learn how to play Ga-Ga Ball!
I know this looks messy. We colored worms and then painted over them with "dirt" because worms need dirt!
The shells are really a game board designed by one of my students!
We used dice and Lego guys to move to the finish line.
Look at these desks! They wobble. They tip. They are old. They don't stay up. I'm trying to think of some creative ways to get new ones...Any ideas?
I'm off to help the packer! Have a great month!