old wood shabby background

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back To Back Freebies

One of the things we do for oral language development is called "Back to Backs."

This is how it works. Two students sit back to back with the same piece of paper and the same colors of crayons or markers. Limit the colors to about 5. They can use something for a hard surface to write on. Child #1 tells child #2 what word shape to color and what color to color it. So at that time they BOTH color that same word the same color. They do NOT show each other the word or their finished coloring. They don't peak either!

Then child #2 tells child #1 a word and a different color to color in that shape. They repeat the same as above. This activity continues until they are done with all the words and colored everything in.  The picture won't look good because they may have chosen colors to use that won't compliment the picture!

Only now do they compare pictures. If they listened well, and IF they can read well, and IF they know their colors, then their pictures should be an exact match. This is a fun activity and well . . .  a bit noisy because everyone is talking at the same time!

But when they are done, it's fun to see who truly was listening and who wasn't. I have more of these and will post more, if you think they are worth while for your students.

Click here for the link.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Locker Fairies Freebie

If anyone ever says that kids don't like to come to school, have you watched them come in from recess? I noticed today that many were running moving as fast as they could to get into the classrooms! So if they're scooting in so fast, they must love us and love school. . .  .

I'm  sticking with that thought . . ..

But then watch the teachers as they are returning from lunch. . . . we are all just strolling along and we'll get there when we get there! Yup! We are just as excited as they are to get back into the classroom. We just show it differently!

At our school we have something called Locker Fairies. Locker Fairies leave things in lockers everyonce in a while to only a few children. It's always a surprise and it's usually something that child really needs. We (yes, the teachers or other adults at our school are the Locker Fairies, but shhhhhhh! don't tell anyone!) put things like books (if they say they don't have many books in their homes), school supplies, fun things, socks, coats, and even P.J's. We listen to what the students are saying and if we notice a child who is in need of something, one of us will take care of it. We also stick one of these attached signs on the items, so they know where the stuff comes from.

There are times when those who don't get a surprise say they want something from the Locker Fairy and we just say, that WE want the Locker Fairy to visit us too!

It has been such a heart warming thing to share with our students that I thought you too might want to do this with your students. Please grab the Locker Fairy sign here. You don't need to log in, it's just a pdf file.

If you grab it, let me know please.

And now on to the Bachelor! My favorite reason for Mondays!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Award? For ME? and a Freebie too!

OMG! (that means Holy Moly Some one Thinks My Blog is Good!)

I've been given this award by Vicky from Traditions and Happily Ever After
Thank You SO much Miss Vicky! You really made my day!

What a great feeling to think that someone else has stalked looked at my blog and likes what they see PLUS they noticed that I had under 200 followers so that's one of the requirements to get this award. WHATEVER! I now have an award! Whooo oooooh! One question. . .  who is Liebster?

The rules say that I have to highlight 5 other new bloggers and pass this award on to them. Do you know how hard that is to do? OMG (that means I've searched blogs for a long time now to find some newbies!) But I did find you! And here are the new blogs that I think you'll agree are worth giving a look at and following.

We teachers are all so cooperative and easy to get along with. So share that love and visit them too.


And now those new bloggers must follow these directions and keep the warm fuzzies going. Good Luck and Have Fun!
The goal of the award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are:
  1. copy and paste the award on your blog
  2. thank the giver and link back to them
  3. reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
  4. hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers

And Now for the Freebie. I was so inspired by Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron when she made some scramble sentences for with the "Medical Cat's Daddy" theme (Apparently we are not supposed to be using  _octor _ uess unless we have a copyright permission) My first and second graders loved them and it was good practice for them. So Miss Jen gave me permission (because it's always polite to ask first!) to make more and give them away! Now wasn't that just so sweet of her! Yea I love sharing!

So here are my creations of scrambled sentences. One word per card, print, laminate, cut apart (isn't that ALL I've been doing lately at night!) then mix them all up. Let the kids sort by picture then try to fit them into a sentence that makes some sense. . . I sure hope they do, and if they don't, would someone please let me know!! I also didn't include any capital letters or punctuation because I wanted them to have to think harder to see which goes at the beginning and end.

Click here for the cards
That's all for today! Thanks again for the award and making me feel so loved! Have a good week everyone!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blog Manners and a Valentine Freebie

I had some concerns about what was allowable and acceptable on blogs and I put the question out there. Teri from Mrs. Cupcake shared a link with me that I found very helpful. You can click on this link: blogging manners to see if you learn something new. This is from Lindsey at The Teacher's Wife. Inside this link Lindsey also sends you to another tip on blogging.  "Jen at Finally in First did a great post about Linky Party Etiquette  "  If you're new then I suggest you read these.  I had no idea and I'm glad that I found this resource. I don't want to be booted off here for doing something that is frowned upon. Thanks Teri for helping me out!

Now if you're like me, you may have spent the last couple days putting away Valentine's decorations and setting up St. Patrick's Day stuff (named after me of course. . . . St. Patty's day!!  bahahahahaha!) Well I have a freebie to share with you for Valentines. I'm sorry it's late, but my week has been busy, filled, extremely fun, but left me with no extra time to blog much.

These are Knock Knock jokes that I put on student's lockers. (I even think the older kids would get a giggle out of them too!) Copy off all the hearts, laminate them, then tape them together at the top so they see the Knock Knock colored part on the outside, but when they lift it up, the black and white part has the answer. Kids love jokes and what a great way to practice reading. It also shows you who your brighter kids are, since they are the ones who "GET" the joke part of it!

Click here for Valentine jokes

If you're LUVIN this freebie, let me know. I enjoy seeing my neighbors and meeting new friends.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Student Treasures after a Vaca!

Is it over already? Dang that went by just way too fast! I was so lucky to have a wonderful weekend, that I'm very sad to see it come to an end. My husband and I flew to Houston to see our daughter and her husband. They are both teachers there and both took Friday off to spend with us. That was so good of them and we had so much fun getting pedicures while the guys golfed. We shopped and laughed and got back into being together again. We ate way too much, took naps each day, and played some good games of Euchre, which Mackenzie and I lost most of!

But now that I'm back, I feel so rushed. Our class is submitting a book to Student Treasures and it has to be in the mail by Wednesday. . . yes, this Wednesday. .  yes, two more days!!! Yikers! So today when I got back, I went to school from 4:00 till 8:30 just getting my pictures put together to go in this book. I have all (except 3) of the stories done, so that's a relief. But you have to copy these on special papers and they have to be on front and back. And what's even worse . . . there is a specific page that is for the color and a specific page for the black and white and if you mess it up. . . .well, you just have to find another one of those special papers to use.

Don't get me wrong. . . I like Student Treasures, but. . .

They cost $19.95 for each student to buy. . . that's too much for most of my families.. . .

I'm doing all the work. . . . . typing, printing, sorting, organizing, making the cover page, the title page, and the dedication page. . . 

All Student Treasures does is print them and bind them. . . for $20.00.. . . .

I don't think I'll do this again. It's more of a headache for me. . . and at this time of my life, I don't need another headache.

Plus, here I sit blogging, when I should be doing the lesson plans that haven't gotten finished yet. I'd rather check out what everyone else is doing.

And I'd rather be sharing some of my creations with you. . . .  I promised I would. . . I do remember that. . 

but that will just have to wait. . . I'm so sorry. . . I have a deadline for this book. . . and blogging doesn't have a deadline.

Just believe me. . . I will return with a freebie!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Michigan hook up

Today many bloggers from around Michigan are getting together in Lansing. I wanted to be there, but I'm in Houston, visiting my daughter and her husband. We are having a great time, and so enjoying some nicer weather....even going barefoot outside! For all of you who made it today, I hope you made plans for another meeting. I will be at that one! Post pictures please! When I return tomorrow, I have some fun things to post, so y'all come back....here?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Do I have to say Hunny?

Several of us are sharing how we met our husbands, so I thought I'd try it. This is my first link up. .. is that what you call it? or is this a linky. . . it's not kinky . . . is it?
First of all I don't call him Hunny, . . . Hubby. . . Hubs. .. . or Mr. I call him my husband. . . I know. . .weird huh!

You really want to know how I met him?

Not that interesting but here goes.

I had a summer job for several years teaching kids how to bowl. Every year I got a different assistant. Then in the summer of 1979, July to be exact, in walked Mr. Right. At the time I had a list a mile long of what I was looking for in a husband and he did NOT fit it at all.

However each day we spent more and more time talking and then he called me one night and I swear we must have talked for an hour. . . on a party line!!! (if you are too young to know what that means, ask your grandma!) My mom kept giving me "the eye" to get off the phone so others could use it. But I kept giving her "the eye" to leave me alone!

He was also a teacher and had spent the last year teaching in Dallas, Texas. hmmmm. . imagine that. . . I had gone down the previous summer to Dallas to look for teaching jobs. .. but decided I didn't want to stay that far away. I was visiting a high school friend.  The more we discussed Dallas we found out that if I had gotten a job there and lived with my friend, we would have only been about a mile apart from each other. . .nice coincidence, huh?

Then we realized that his birthday was One day, One month and One year before mine. .  that's cool, huh?

Then we found out that we both were big Michigan State Fans. . . Ok, this guy is looking better and better right!

A job. . . he needs to find a job.

I was teaching in Quincy at the time. . . a little town in south west Michigan.
He put out 30 resumes and letters. Got one interview in Three Rivers, about 30 minutes from Quincy. . . and Voila! another coincidence! This just keeps getting better and better.

Well he got his own place in Three Rivers, I was living in Coldwater. We saw each other on weekends. And the engagement came in January. . .  did you count on your fingers yet?

Met in July, engaged in January. . . and married in August of 1980. We'd only known each other for 13 months by the time we got married. That was 31 years ago people! Short engagement. Lots of love. and a whole lot of compromises have kept our life together.

I have to ask myself. . . if my own kids met someone and wanted to be married 13 months later, I think I'd freak and put a stop to it. . . but somehow my parents went along with it.

Speaking of my parents. They are still both alive and just celebrated 67 years together in October. Dad is 90 and mom is 89 and both still drive well and keep very active. So proud of them and super glad to have them around.

Ok. That's it.
Hope you liked it and if you want to join this linky party go to Buzzing with Mrs. B at http://buzzingwithmsb.blogspot.com/2012/02/howd-you-meet-your-hunny-linky-party.html and join the fun!

A Freebie and a plane ride

I have too many things to do. .  but what do I choose to do? Write in my blog! I am going to be up so late and be so far behind. BUT I really wanted to do this tonight.

You see tomorrow night my husband and I will drive to Chicago and take a flight to Houston to see our daughter and her husband. We are so excited to do this quick trip and we've been counting the days for a long time. Our school has Friday and Monday off for Mid Winter Break. So it's a perfect time to get in a little R&R and some golf for my husband. So that's what's been on my mind lately. Besides blogging.. . .

I want to share with you an activity that the teacher who shares everything with me created. Her name is Cathie and she has a great mind to create mathmatical things that help the children understand better the skills we are trying to teach them.

This one is called Mountain Math or Target Math. Run off enough copies for each child. Hand write a different number for each paper. It's best to use a number in the hundreds. This paper helps them solve expanded notations, writing the numbers, looking for the value of each digit, drawing the place value blocks and converting that number to a dollars and cents notation. I hope that you like it and are able to grab a copy of it. I was not able to create a picture of it to show you here, but when you click on the link, you'll see it.

If you take it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on if you like it or not. I think it works well for 2nd and 3rd grade, but maybe you have some fourth graders who could use the practice too.

Have a great weekend. I won't be back on here till Monday. I promised my daughter that I wouldn't work on this while I was with her. . . I know. . . . How silly would that be. . . . to be working on a blog on vacation! No one would EVER think of doing that . . . . right?


Click here for Mountain Math

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Parteee's OOOOOveeerrrr!...See My SMILE?

I already posted this once, but in my haste to publish it, I forgot the title. . .so when I went to add the title, I somehow wiped it away! So let's try this again. . .  .

Our parties are breakfast parties so that they are over and done with and the kids aren't asking when they're going to start all day long. We vote on what the food will be so that we are using the democratic values and teaching them how majority rules. The winner was sausage gravy pizza which is made by our food service. . . wait. . . not made. . .heated up. .. I'm pretty sure they are made in a factory somewhere and deep frozen till they arrive at our district.  . . never the less, they were tasty enough for everyone to enjoy them.

Thanks to all of you, I was able to do a lot of other "Academic" things that were created by the wonderful caring and sharing teachers here at BlogLand. Thank you all so much for giving me the scoot game and the I Have, Who Has game to play today. We don't have curriculum cops like Kristen at www.ateenytinyteacher.blogspot.com has but we still try to keep it somewhat "academic."

We are now getting ready to celebrate our 100th day of school on Thursday. If you remember our building has only 6 classrooms. 2 kinders, 2 firsts, and 2 seconds. We will rotate from room to room in the afternoon for about 30 minutes each. Each room will do an activity that has something to do with 100. It's a great way to showcase that huge number and also makes the day go by quicker.

My mind will be elsewhere all afternoon. . . . but you'll have to come back tomorrow to find out where my mind will be. . . and why. . . .  Hope to see you.

Happy Valentine's Day my friends.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Can You Relate?

I am pretty sure that most of you have gone through what I'm going through right now. . . come on now. . .. admit it. .. . You know who you are. . . .

I have looked at and changed my blog . . . oh. . . maybe a few gazillion times in the last week. . . . please PLEASE tell me that I'm not alone!

Am I the only one who keeps checking everyone else's out and seeing what they have, visiting their designers, trying out some freebies, messing up what I had, trying to put it back together againg. . . . the right way. . ..

Only to forget how to do it all!!! SHEEESH!

I'm trying not to be too "Scotch" and am willing to put some money into this, but I don't want to do that if there are free things out there. Is anyone willing to share with me?

And then there's the other part that makes my heart sparkle.. . . when I see that someone comments on something I wrote! Wow! Why does that have so much affect on me? Is my psychie that low that I need all kinds of boosts? I didn't think so. . .but everytime someone comments, or adds themselves to my followers I get all goosebumpy inside!

AND THEN it gets even better when the famous bloggers who I have been following since the fall, start commenting or following me. . . .then I feel over the top!

I guess that's why all of this is happening right now at Valentine's week.

Everyone is making everyone else feel really good right now. So thanks for including me in this. I do feel so loved and love being part of a group who is so dedicated to children. .. . yes even those who moved in last week and who make our lives just a tad miserable until they learn to follow along like the others.

I would love to hear how you felt when you first started blogging and how you found help to get your blog the way you have it now. I have watched a video that Hadar (thank you so much!) made about attaching my activities. Are there others out there that are just as helpful?

Happy Saturday night to you!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Freebie! Long Vowel Spelling Cards

Yea! It's Friday! All day long! I love Fridays. My kids start out in Art first thing, then go to the library, then our Title Teacher comes in and does a lesson with them to get them ready for the MEAP test they will take next fall. And after that it is 10:30 and I get to actually teach them something! Some days I wish everyday was Friday!

Today I am sharing another card game with you. . . . I call them cards, just because I can't think of a better word. . . .so cards they are and cards they will be!

These are so similar to other things I've posted, except these ONLY deal with the long vowel sounds of many vowels. Each card has two choices of spellings. Each spelling will make the long vowel sound that matches the pictures, BUT only one is the correct spelling.

Christina shared with me that she likes to use Hot Dots (which I had to admit I didn't know what they were!)  to make it easier for the kids to find the correct answers.  If you have such capability, then go ahead and use that too.

I am now wondering if I should be including an answer key card with these so the kids can self check them. . . . I usually use them in a small group situation, so I can help them see if they are right instantly.

Also I use D.J Inkers clipart and Peggy font for making these. I think if I won the lottery, I would buy all the D.J. Inkers clip art there was! Why does that fascinate me so? I just think they are so dang cute!

Ok here they are! Enjoy them and if you do take them, please let me know. I am loving that I keep making new friends from all over the United States!
long vowel spellings


Thursday, February 9, 2012


Slime. . . It's oohie, gooey, and oh so much fun! Our kids are learning about mixtures in science. The other day we made the corn starch and water mixture that some call OOBLECK. The kids went crazy with it. But today we mixed 1/4 cup water with a 1/4 cup of Elmers glue. They stirred it up and then I added 1/4 cup of a borax and water mixture. You should have heard their squeals of joy! It's a good thing we have an extra room with tables and a linoleum floor that can handle messes like this! I meant to bring my camera home to post pictures, but I forgot. I know that sounds just the excuses the kids give us about things they are supposed to do, but seriously I forgot. Maybe tomorrow I will remember! On a good note, did you see the sun today? We did in Michigan, and it felt so good to see it so bright outside again. Patty Oh and one more thing. . . Yea! Tomorrow is Friday! Yippee skippee!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Reading Shuffle

At our school we have named our R.T.I. time "Reading Shuffle." During the reading shuffle kids move (hence the word shuffle) to another classroom to be grouped according to their needs and abilities. We combine our first and second graders for this thirty minute time period. Some groups use this time for M.O.P (miles on the page) and read books and take AR tests. Some kids work on P.A.L.S (I forgot what this one is!) and the rest work in small groups on phonics and ESL help. My group is the phonics group with about 6-7 kids each day

When I discovered these blogs that you all are so good at creating, I found the answers to what materials I was going to use to work with my phonics kids. Using the cutesyfied cards and games made it much more fun than using a worksheet.

So my thoughts went into high gear and I wanted to be one of you!

Really! I did!

I was very impressed and I wanted to be a blogger!

 So here I am. . . very proudly making my own and even learning how to add things. . . I'm not an expert by any means, but each day I figure something more out.

Now here are a couple things I haven't figured out:

  • How do you add a signature at the bottom of your posts when you write on your own blog?

  • How do you make your own blog link show up when you write on someone else's posts?
I'd love it if someone could answer those questions for me!


Sunday, February 5, 2012


I am so happy happy happy! I did it! I was able to attach a picture AND it really opens to share with you! Now I know how all of you feel when you figure something out! Thanks to the video that Hadar from Miss Kindergarten shared. I think I watched it about 15 times before I got it down to a science! Now we'll see if I can EVER do this again! I hope someone reads this and takes a look at my contractions. If you like it, let me know. .  if it needs something let me know that too. Muah! Thanks for all the support I received to make this work!
Contraction practice

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm working on it!

Can you tell that I've been playing around and trying new things? Yea! I am teaching myself new things. . . I'm not getting much else done right now, but I'm feeling so much better that my blog doesn't look so bare and boring. I love looking at everyone's cutsy pictures, clipart and attractive blogs. . . let's face it. . . I'm a glitzy girl at heart. . . . no I did not say "Ditzy!" I love sparkle and pizazz! So give me more time, and you just may see this page look better and better.

I've been creating more activities and want to share them, but that part of this blog, I still haven't figured out. Some one please tell me what I'm looking for! What is the word or the title that tells me that this is what I click on to add a document or a picture of what I've made. The winner who shares that info with me, will be able to use my creation! That is IF you like what I've made!!! 

Oh, and by the way. . . . (do you notice that I'm an elipse or is it elypse? person?) I want to thank my new friends. . . yes, that's you 4 who have braved the unknown world to watch me from birth! I so appreciate your encouragement and support. I don't know you, (although Holly and I seem to have mutual friends. . . I guess I better watch what I say. .. who knows who you know that I know!) but you make me feel like I know you.

Thanks. . . 

Stay tuned. . .

It will get better. . ..

I hope!