Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Love a Good Sale...

Two day sale

FYI my blogger friends...I'll be participating in the Teacher Appreciation Sale through Teachers Pay Teachers.  Here's the link: I'm gonna start just a bit early and have my sale on Monday...20% off.  Please stop by and check out my wares.  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week my friends. 
Love and Peace always,

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Sappiness of an "Old" Tree...

I know it's probably my age but the older I get the more attached I am to history.  I never listened in school myself, I think I was otherwise occupied with the boys in my classroom, haha, but I think it might have something to do with the lack of excitement there was in history class.  I didn't have anyone to "reel me in" and get me excited about what happened years ago; after all, that was a long, long time ago and who cares?  Well, now that I'm older I realize that I really do care.  One of the things I've done outside my classroom in the hall recently is make a timeline from the 1800's to the 1900's.  It surprises me how many interesting things happened in 100 years!  I'm prouder still of my third graders and their ability to remember those things that we have studied because I think they were truly interested.  So what does this have to do with the sappiness of a tree?  Well, recently I learned about a 150 year old tree that will be taken down in my area because of the expansion of the highway it's located by.  It's got me thinking about the history that old tree has seen...wondered if perhaps the tree saw things that I only wished to see.  This tree was planted back in 1863, during the time of the Civil War!  I could include this beauty in my timeline!  So...the third graders are going to be doing some creative writing about this tree.  I made a sheet that includes two pictures of this very great, stately oak.   Tomorrow I'll set the stage for the writing from the perspective of the tree; what it saw in it's 150 years, who made a home in it, how it felt in the winter or the summer.  If you would like a FREE copy just head to my store and snag it.  The link is below.  May your days be filled with miracles, love, happiness, and may you make a lil' history of your own!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Some Little "Snippets"...

Where have I been?  Wasn't blogging going to be my New Year's Resolution??!!  This third grade teacher is plum tuckered out.  There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.  I know we all have those problems and reading long blogs won't help so I'll be quick, haha.
First on my mind:  Mother's Day.  Here's a little idea and more if you'd like to see my store.  Each year I have my students come to my desk.  I ask them to just tell me about their mom...some funny stories, why they love their mamas.  As they are telling me this I am typing what they say.  They are fascinated with my typing skills and can't believe that at the end of about 5 minutes they have a super fabulous letter to their mamas for their special day.  If you'd like to get a bit fancier you can head to my store for a very cheap extra something I posted! kiddos just finished writing their own books.  The program I use is from Student Publishing.  Here they get their own password and work on their books in our computer class as well as at home.  It makes them feel pretty darn important to have their own password!  I love this program because I can bring each book up on my Smart board and we can edit those kiddos who volunteer, as a class.  "We learn best from each other!"  Here is the link:

Finally, we have been poetry writing.  It sure has been lots of fun.  Please, friends, find some time to go outside, if you can, with your friends and do some writing, even if it's not poetry.  It's absolutely amazing what they create, how focused they are, and what great product they produce.  I will be taking my kiddos to the river soon to do some nature writing and sketching.  I always find time to do this because of the power of THEIR written word.  It amazes me!

I hope everyone is well...loved...cared for...appreciated....welcomed...smiled at...adored!
Happy today!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath (With a Great Book!)...

Have you seen Nikki's adorable, cutie clipart called Splish Splash??  Awhile back I ALMOST talked my darling principal into getting a tub, yup, a real claw-foot tub for myclassroom.  I kept telling her how great it would be for reading.  I could see it in my mind:  tub filled with fun pillows, and the words "Soaking in a Good Book" written on the side with lots of bubbles drawn on the sides.  It ALMOST happened.  It didn't for two reasons:  one because I couldn't find a tub that was under $200 and in my neck of the woods, and two, the insurance man wouldn't have thought favorably about it.  So...I got myself a park bench, made a sign called Park and Read and created a mini-park area for reading.  It looks great and is comfy.  It has lots of pillows and is a great place to take your shoes off and grab a book.  I'm rambling aren't I??!!  Anyway...I haven't forgotten about the Soakin' Up a Great Book idea and when I saw Nikki's bundle just had to do something with it.  Taaadaaa...My latest creation is a book report entitled Soakin' up a Great Book.  It has 5 pages of fill in's for books reports and I'm gonna start using it next week.  I wrote it with the thought that not all 5 pages needed to be filled in.  I wanted a more comprehensive look at my kiddos favorite book.  I wanted them to dig a bit deeper and look at the words; the richness of the vocabulary choices and spy a few things:  similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia.  I wanted to know if they would change anything in the book.  I wanted them to look at the characters and sort them by flat and round characters so I created something that I think will truly work.  I'll give you a summary when they are complete.  If you are interested in taking a peek at it here's the link:  Thanks for taking a look....let me know what you think.  Here's to some great reading and writing!
Love and peace,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Ain't Nothing Gonna Break My Stride!"

For those of you who know me or have listened to me ramble about running, you know that I'm a runner.  I ran track in high school all those years ago and in college revisited the whole running sport but I must say half-heartedly.  When I turned 42 my then 4th grader, my son with autism, hit a huge bump in the road.  I ended up quitting my job at the school, I worked as a supervisor and in-school sub, and tried desperately to figure out how I could best help him.  I knew that I couldn't work both outside and inside the home and embraced being "on call" to help him get through those tough times.  Needless to say, those were some of the most difficult for me, too.  I started searching for a way to minimize the stress and sadness I felt.  I started walking but realized that as the miles increased so too did the hours.  Then I thought, "...hey wait a minute...I used to run."  But for someone of my age, gotta laugh at that, I was pretty unsure.  Long story short I've been running for 11 years and find so many, many benefits to it.  I've had some high points in the runs too, getting some trophy's and medals in races and a few years ago completing my first 1/2 marathon.  The hard part has always been the Wisconsin winters as I don't like to run indoors.  I'm spoiled that way.  I like to put on a pair of shoes and some winter gear and get movin'.  Some how or other I, shall we say, fell off the wagon with my runs.  I haven't run since December...don't know why really.  Yes, I could say that life is so fast and hectic, that things at school have increased this year, that I am STILL and always will be a mom first, that my precious grandbaby helps me realize I need to spend some special time with her, etc. etc.  The point is I forgot about me, and I forgot about what creates a fire inside my soul, and what connects me with my God, and how creative I can be when I run.  So...long story short, I got out and ran yesterday and today and I'm a new person.  Running makes me look at things differently, gives me more energy that I would ever have thought, and reminds me of the pure joy I feel when I run.  Yes, it was difficult but not as bad as I would have thought.  I'm still in the semi-conditioned mode I guess.  It was a great day for self discovery and for the realization that I truly need to spend time by myself in my own "zone".  Without quiet, private, alone time with my God and my daddy angel, I can't be the person that I know I'm suppose to be.  Please take good time, friends, to remind yourself that in spite of our fabulous job of teaching others, and being a special person to others, you MUST find time to take care of you.  It is essential.  I continue to re-learn that!
Peace and love,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reading Connections...So Important!

So here I am late much to do so little time, blah, blah.  I know I say it all the time.  Part of the reason for having little time is my CONSTANT need to create.  It makes me wonder what I'm gonna be when I grow up, haha.  I'm finding more and more that my "release", my "reward" for doing the work I need to get done is creating.  I'm wondering as I look back on my life whether or not I've always been that way.  I guess I have to say yes!  When my kiddos were littles I remember looking at dresses in the store for them and thinking...I could make that and if I did I'd do this..."  and change something to make it my own.  When I run sometimes I play the What Would I Do to That House Game.  Before running by each house  I have to make a change...what color would I paint the house, would I remove shrubs, would I put a bench outside...I guess you could say it's a way to think creatively and fast. 

So today after attending a 1/2 day teacher meeting instead of doing what I know I need to do I decided to create.  I wanted to make some fresh new posters for Reading Connections.  So here they are my friends.  Take a peek; be critical; tell me what I need to do to improve.  Just like the run by the house...quick...what would you change?  Thanks for taking a peek!  You're the best!
Love and Peace,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

So Much To Do (So Little Time)...

Where does the time go?  I remember those days when I was a little girl and had nothing to do all day.  I mean...nothing!  I could play with my brothers or my neighbor across the street but I remember being on my really super cool merry-go-round that my favorite grandpa made me and my brothers.  I'd go around and around on that thing for hours and hours, or so it seemed, dreaming, looking at the clouds, singing to myself.  It was indeed cherished times now that I look back.  I wish somehow I could have bottles those hours and put them in a bottle called Use When You're Old.  Then I could just grab a handful of hours and use them in todays crazy world.  Oh well...looking back, though, those are the moments I cherish most.  They were the simple times when I truly was a kid and truly sat and thought and dreamed.  Yes, I dreamed of being a teacher and being a wife and being a mommy.  My Lord was so good to me and gave me all three.

Speaking of children, a few years ago I came across a book called Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers.  It's the true story of a little girl named Grace Bedell who wrote to Mr. Lincoln about growing out whiskers to win the Presidential election.  Mr. Lincoln actually wrote her back, much to the laughter of her older brother who teased her and said that Mr. Lincoln was too busy to write her back.  He took her suggestion, growing whiskers, to heart and when his train came through Grace's town, after the election that won him the presidency, they met.  It was such a great story that I decided to write a friendly letter lesson using the Presidents of the United States.  My fabulous third graders drew president's names from my mystery hat and wrote letters to the president they chose.  Most of the presidents are no longer with us but I had them do research about their president and then write their friendly letter based on questions or comments they found out about each.  Check out my little old store for Dear Mr. President... and the book Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers for some great reading and writing. 
Love and Peace,

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Presidential Inauguration

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States..."

I couldn't help but think how important, how vital, how incredibly important it was for my third grade kiddos to know a little bit about the upcoming Presidential Inauguration.  I wrote some simple, easy to read mini-posters for my classroom.  Please take a peek at them at my TpT store.  The link is below.  I would also like to know what you are doing to help your children prepare for this very historic day.  Let's talk!!  Happy today my friends.
Love and peace, 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm a Snow-ologist!

"Oh the weather outside is frightful; The experiments so delightful.  Hypothesizing is such bliss!  I'm a Snow I'm a Snow-ologist!"

I'm truly proud of the fun, hands on snow experiment packet I put together for my kiddos.  Please check it out at my store and please, please, please, give me some feedback.  I love learning!  Thanks, my bloggy friends.
Peace and love,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Good Morning My Friends!

"Good Morning...Good Morning...Good Morning one and all Good Morning, Good Morning, to you!"

I remember singing this to my little children to get them up for school in the morning.  Oh how I wish I could rewind today and wake up to hear my 3 beauties; to see them with their little bodies snuggled up under a big ol' blanket reading with their mama...miss my babies but certainly celebrate all 3 of them and their achievements.  I guess that's one of the many reasons why I love teaching so much.  It makes me so happy to see my littles each day and listen to their words of wisdom and insight.  Most of the time I'm glad I'm the age I am (54 last week!) because it helps me realize what's important and what's not such a big deal.  Living through it with my own children has helped to realize much and I use that in my classroom each day.  Speaking of insight I decided to do a lil' ol' experiment with my third graders.  I was so inspired by the OLW idea:  One Little Word, that I put those three letters up on my whiteboard the other day in my classroom and explained what it meant.  I wanted to know what word they would choose, those insightful, thoughtful kiddos.  I left it up all day and told them that anytime they had a word they didn't need my permission; they could just go up and write it.  I took a picture of it because the words they chose were so impressive.  The one word that really amazed me was the word OPEN.  Open your heart to love, open your mouth to speak the truth, open your brain to learn, open your eyes to see all the wonders of our big world, open your ears to listen...WOW!!  Let me know your thoughts.  Happy, safe, joyful today my bloggies!
Love and Peace,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sweet Gift for Any Occasion

"The best gifts are free!  Love one another!"

I wanted to start out the new year with a great idea that I do every year for Christmas.  It doesn't have to be just for Christmas, though.  I've thought about doing this gift for Valentine's Day as well.  What says love more than a sentimental message from an unknown person.  Such a sweet treat!

I have my students put their names on the top of a piece of paper.  I do the same.  (I have come to realize that the sweetest gift my students give me are their thoughts!)  Then collect.  Tell your students that they will be writing a sentence or two about the person whose name they are given.  It must be a positive sentence or two telling about the kind of person he/she is or something that they do well.  Remind them that this is a secret; no one is to tell each other that they got their paper.  When the rules are understood redistribute the papers.  Each student should have a classmates name, ne3ver their own.  The students have a few minutes to write a sentence or two.  Do NOT have them write their name.  When they have all completed this task pick up the papers and redistribute.  I do this about 5 times.  Then I collect the papers.  I create a bookmark for them with just the quotes from their peers and I hang them on the Christmas tree.  I give each student a special book and their bookmark for their Christmas present.  It is a magical moment when they come into the room and see their bookmark with so many wonderful sentences about them.  It almost makes me cry...such pure thoughts.  I have attached some samples.  As for the bookmarks I just make a text box on word, print, add stickers and laminate...done!  Hope you like this project as much as I do.  Have a wonderful start to the new year everyone.
Love and peace,