Monday, August 25, 2014


There is no tired like first day teacher tired. You have planned. You have dreamed, or nightmared. You have done this a million times or maybe only ten times or maybe this is your first year. In a few short hours it is over. What was so scary about a classroom full of children who are like sponges; ready to soak up information, love and words.  Good night, dear readers! Tonight my dreams are filled with bright eyes, sticky hugs and hope that tomorrow goes as well as today.
I would like to thank the person who came up with the idea of putting
playdough on students desks before they arrive. 
Anchor chart on how to use the bathroom. What is that thing on the top of the toilet? I don't know go ask your dad!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Daisy and Louise - A Final Farewell

Friday morning as I sipped coffee and looked through e-mails my beloved chickens were killed. A dog I had never seen before tore open their hutch and chased and killed my chickens. I was able to meet the dog and make peace with him. He was a sweet dog who was doing what animals do. It was a tragic accident. I feel no anger towards the dog or his owner. I am just deeply saddened to lose my girls. Many of you watched my girls hatch and grow and saw the bond that developed between us. I never thought that I could grow to love a chicken. I am happy to say that I grew to love two!

Daisy and Louise beloved chickens passed away Friday August 15, 2014.

They were hatched together with 8 other hatchlings in a first and second grade classroom in Michigan. There they were lovingly nurtured by many sweet children. At the right time they were brought to their home by Jennifer Reck. There they met and were adopted by Tim, Billy, Ella and Chessie the cat.

Daisy and Louise were inseparable. They enjoyed doing everything together. They were both expert gardeners. They could hunt for and rid a garden of numerous pests including mites, grubs, hornworms and slugs. They enjoyed following Jennifer around the yard and sitting on her lap for daily cuddles. Chasing and pecking at the cat was a daily joy as well. They were faithful egg layers and provided over a dozen eggs for their family before their tragic death.

Daisy and Louise are survived by eight other hatch mates scattered around the area.

A memorial service will be held for the girls later this week. Though their family will find scrambling and eating their final eggs difficult they also hate to see the girls hard work be for naught.

In lieu of flowers Jennifer asks that you donate a book with chickens as a character to a local classroom.

From their first day at home, Daisy and Louise loved romping through the yard.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five for Friday: GIVEAWAY!


I'm performing a little bit of an experiment. My experiment involves how the post title determines the number of people that visit. Now don't worry I really am having a GIVEAWAY. It started two days ago. The title of that post was so long and boring I refuse to repeat it. Last time I checked about four people had entered the giveaway that involves $20.00 to spend at Amazon. Now, if you are just here for the giveaway click HERE.
WARNING:  You'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom of that loooong post!
And now for the rest of you who want to see my five for Friday...
I'm sewing up a storm herd! These will be all ready for the first day of school. The
flannel ones are my favorite. The white eyed one is pretty wonky isn't it? Find out more about these
guys HERE! WARNING: They are so easy to make, you'll keep going and going until there is no room
for anything else in your house!

Let's see....I'm counting the giveaway as one and the elephants as two, even though there are five in the picture and I'm not admitting how many are on my couch! That brings us to THREE...

While cleaning my room this week I found Scrabble tiles and little bitty
adhesive magnets...Thank you to the teacher who was last in my room. I have
put these guys together and voila!

This is my favorite picture of my favorite kitty in the whole wide world.
Isn't she sweet? My daughter put an American Girl Doll hat on her and
fixed up a little pillow on her bed. You wouldn't believe what this cat
puts up with! AND she hunts and eats hero!
Whoopsie I forgot to announce four. That's it right above these words. And finally number five needs no introduction. Dubbed Jenny Chicken by my friends and family, this dish is my family's absolute favorite. It takes a lot of prep, so I don't do it too often. Since I was really struggling to come up with number five I just decided to show you this delicious meal!

Now quit drooling and go enter my giveaway. If you had entered before, you may want to check back because I added a way to win. My elephants are being featured today on Camelot Fabric's Fan Friday blog feature. I want you to be sure to check that out!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Together Teacher: Chapter 4 Never Forget! Capture Your Thoughts

Today I am hosting the Together Teacher book study. If you have missed the first four chapters you can easily catch up and join the party! Chapter one Rules Over Tools  was all about creating our ideal week and showing us how the right tools can help us reach those ideals. Chapter two: No More Missed Deadlines gave reasons and tips for how to make a comprehensive calendar. (I've now done that and I can't tell you how freeing it is!!) Chapter three: Coral the To-Dos gave me tools to actually write my to-dos down and keep them organized according to when I plan on doing them. I like having everything in one place. I just have to get in the habit of carrying my system with me!

Now it is my turn! Chapter four: Capture Your Thoughts
I get some wild and crazy thoughts some times. Some of them are actually pretty good, but get lost in the lint cluttering my brain. You know what I'm talking about...ideas for a blog post, ideas to bounce off another teacher, ideas for a new craft project, ideas, ideas ideas...There are many ways to catch your thoughts, but I'll show you what I'm going to try.
I can quickly write who the thought is directed towards and even go back and add more!

Now I can easily write down my musings on the run. Later I can sit down and look over my ideas and decide which ones need to be scratched and which ones need to be added to my To-Dos or put into an e-mail to a colleague for discussion. There are many ways that you may want to organize your own thought catchers. These are the tricks Maia has for making your Thought Catchers work:
1. They must not be time sensitive.
2. They must have a trigger.
3. You should choose Thought Catchers over e-mail.
4. Take advantage of extra minutes in each day. 
You can take as much time as you need later to develop your thoughts. Thought Catchers are for catching thoughts in the midst of our busy days. It captures the thought for later reflection and careful attention.
So often during the day I have these great or crazy thoughts. I either forget them or send out an e-mail to share my latest inspiration. Sometimes I jump into things without having given my idea some thoughtful consideration. Sometimes that gets me in trouble. Thought Catchers are helping me to slow down and think about my ideas carefully before jumping into an empty swimming pool head first!

It wasn't until after I started making these elephants that I realized that the chapter I signed up to host was called "Never Forget"! I'm making these elephants for each of my students to help them remember to read. I've penned an acrostic poem to go along with each of the elephants that will be part of our first day of school. Would you like your own never forget to read elephant? Maybe you'd rather have an Amazon giftcard? Be sure to enter for a chance for one of these awesome prizes below! Everyone gets a set of the binder cover/mini-posters I designed by clicking on the picture below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Show and Tell Tuesday

I am so excited to show you what I've been making for my students for their first day. Don't tell them because I really want it to be a surprise! We'll use them to act out the song "One Elephant Went Out to Play..." They'll be amazed as I keep pulling elephants out of my picnic basket. At the end we'll have a whole herd. Of course these elephants won't sound like a herd of elephants because they are soft and cuddly. They are perfect to sit on a child's bed and remind them to read. Come back tomorrow for your chance to win a mamma and baby! You can get your own instructions and free pattern HERE...I love this website!

Thanks for such a fun linky, Barbara! Your sunflower and quote make me smile. (If you'd like to see Barbara's sunflower and quote click HERE. You really do want to see it!!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How I Became a Writer

I have never used an iPad to write a post before. I just want you to know it can be done. I never intended to write a blog post. I mean NEVER. I never intended to write more than a check and maybe a thank you note or two. I blame it all on my sister in-law. She knows who she is 'cause I only have one...
She told me I had to read a book by Anne Lamott. She didn't care which one. So off I went to my local bookstore and I picked up Bird by Bird because I am a birder. I should have gotten a clue that this was not the book for me when the clerk asked me if I was a writer. No, I replied, I like birds. I am a birder. He explained that this had been required reading for a writing class he took. I still didn't get it! I just thought poor guy he wanted to write and he had to read a book about birds. Guess what! If you want to read a book about birds, this is not the book for you.

By the time I was done reading the book I had gone through a box of Kleenex alternating between laughing and sobbing.  Anne made me want to be a writer. Anne helped me believe I could be. That was important to me because I'd always believed I couldn't write. This is all leading up to something. The something is that I am a guest blogger today over at Books First in Maine. Go over there and find out kinda sorta why I blog...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently August

How'd that happen? Five for Friday AND Currently falling on the same day?! Whoa! I have never broken the rule about posting once a day...Until today!

I've been thinking a lot about how our classrooms are a family of learners. Like family, we care for one another. We are nurtured. We listen to each other's ideas. We say yes when we are asked to help.  Here is a mini-poster for you to use if you like the idea of FAMILY! 

Click on either picture to go to tpt for your freebie!

Five (plus one) For Friday!


What a week! I actually lost a WHOLE day because I was a good girl and had my colonoscopy. My mama had colon cancer, soooo I have to have one done every five years. You really lose two days. One day of "preparation" followed by a day of sleep. Today I still feel a little achy and I'm talking it up to be worse than it is...Like I can't possibly cook supper, do dishes or have anything to do with laundry. I can garden, tend my chickens and read. Watching movies is good and working on my blog doesn't seem to bother me too much. I can also link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for 5 for Friday!
My family made fun of me for buying this feeder for $15.00. I'd say this girl thinks it was a good investment! The Pileated is one of my favorite birds.

FINALLY! I have an egg. They ate the first one that was laid, but today I went outside and this gem was just sitting there.

Play dates are the best. This weeks theme was fairys and it was magical!

Easy to make fairy doors! I set out paint, markers, moss and little pebbles and let them go to work!

I was inspired to make fairy houses after visiting Maine's Coastal Botanical Gardens this summer. That place is full of magic and flowers!
Whoops here is number six. If you are a real stickler for rules close your eyes and step away. Besides, this picture of fairy bread will just make you drool if you are even slightly hungry. Oh go ahead and look!

Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote a poem about Fairy Bread. I found it HERE. After we had eaten well there were fairy stories to hear and tell!
Thanks for making it all the way to the end!