Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine Treats YUM!

The winners of my Valentine activities are Lori, Mrs. Lavoie, and Sarah. Check your mail for some surprises! Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Now for the yummy stuff!
I can not claim these as my own. . . and I don't even know who made them originally. . . but since I saw them on Pinterest, I thought it was fair game to share them with you. I'm not selling them or making any profit what so ever. . . well, I guess I could increase my weight with these, but not my wallet!

Here's the simple, and quick directions:
Ingredients: One bag of Hanover square pretzels, but any pretzel that is circular or square will work.
One bag of Hersheys Hugs (but you could use Kisses or any flavor of Hugs or Kisses.
One bag of  Valentine M&M's.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
Put a layer of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. 

Lay out the pretzels and begin unwrapping the Hugs. 
(This will take you the longest time!)

Place one Hug on each pretzel. 

Put the cookie sheet in the oven for only 5 minutes. 

Pull them out and place on hot pads on the counter. 

Put one colorful M&M on each melted Hug. 
They will sink in enough to stay. 
You don't really need to press them down very far.

Let them cool and put them in the fridge over night. 

Place on a nice plate and 
share with your colleagues. 

I just heard the other day that if you don't feed the teachers, they will eat the students. . . . so I want to be sure to feed my teachers! 
(Thanks Mackenzie!)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

V-V-V-Very Valentine's & You Can Win One!

Have you looked at the calendar? At the end of this week comes February.

Have you noticed a lot of pink, red, and white on other people's blogs? I have and well, I like it. I love the froo froo girly girly stuff. Even if I myself am not froo froo and girly girly!

I have also been creating some Valentine activities and I would love for you to have them. I'm willing to give one of each away.

All you have to do is:
  • be a follower of this blog.
  • leave me a comment of which one you like.
  • leave me your email address
  • tell me the blog that you LOVE to follow (besides mine of course!)
I will pick 3 winners on Thursday after school.

The first one I made is to help with fact and opinion. These cute little cards have a statement on them. Your child must read them and decide if they are a fact or an opinion. Pretty easy to do. But oh so good practice for your students. It's called Love Bugs Facts and Opinions. You can get it by clicking on the link.

The second thing I made is a practice in verb tenses. It's called Valentine Verb Tenses.  Each verb is underlined. The students must match up the other verbs with the main one, then decide which one is spelled wrong. That's the one they write on the answer key. 

And the last one I'm highlighting today is my Love In Alphabetical Order. It's a basic practice in ABC order, but there is some sorting of the matching cards first, then they put them in ABC order. There is a recording sheet included in case you'd like this to be a writing activity. 

And here's a freebie if you're still hanging around to read all of this.
I call it a Back to Back.
Students sit back to back with a lapboard for a hard surface. One student will say, "color the word stirrup pink." So they both color that pink. They DO NOT turn around to be sure that they have the right  word. Then the other player tells them what word and what color to use. This continues until the whole figure is colored in. THEN they share their pictures to see how well they read, listen and have chosen the right colors to use. (They can only use the colors that are listed at the top of the page.) In the end the picture will look crazy colored this way, but it will be a good oral language and listening activity for them. 

Don't forget to leave me a message!


Friday, January 25, 2013

It's the little things to be thankful for.

Today. .. TODAY. . . . TODAY, we got to go outside!

Let me assure you, it's been a long week with kids who have way too much energy.

And that energy wasn't for doing their best work or paying close attention or even for getting everything answered correctly.

No Siree! The kind of energy they had was the same kind that all of your dogs have when they are caged for too long kids have when they need some fresh air.

So today did go much better. But then again, Fridays usually do.

I did end up treating our aides to some delicious Cadbury Mini Easter Eggs. . .. I know, I should have bought them some Valentine's candy, but those Cadbury mini eggs are the best. And if the store is going to put them out even before Valentine's is over, then I'm going to buy them!

Our aides have been real troopers this week, putting up with our kids and inside recess, so they definitely deserved this treat.

What do you do to reward your staff? Do  you stop and thank them in some big or small way once in a while? I'm so glad to have this support staff to do some of the work that I can't possibly get completed by myself.

Have you ever sent the bus drivers a kind note? We like to send a bowl of candy to the bus garage at Christmas time to thank them for taking the kids home every night. Well, we do thank them for bringing them TO school also! It's just that sometimes it's more meaningful that they have a ride home.

Do you thank your custodians? Have you left them a note or a treat once in a while? I know that some of them may not seem to deserve a special treat, but maybe if you kill them with kindness, they'll turn around and do something for you too. I've often heard of custodians who complain about all the mess in a classroom. . . .. hmmmm. . . let me think about this. . . . if there were NO messes, would they have a job? Isn't that what they applied for? Don't they get paid to clean up after us? Imagine that all of us kept our rooms spotless, why would we need them?

Oops, I digress. .. this was supposed to be about good stuff.

Today my principal brought all of us a large drink from MacDonalds and one of their chocolate chip cookies. She hand delivered them to us. . . .Yes, she is a peach and yes, I love her on every other day too, But wasn't that wonderful that she did all that for us?  She said it was National Appreciate You day. . . or something like that. . . I was so amazed at the treat, that I don't think I heard what came from her lips. . .

Moral to the story. Stop and look around you. Who helps you? Who is always there for you? And who do you need to give warm fuzzies to? That's your homework for the weekend.

I would love to hear what things you do to appreciate your staff. Leave me a note. I'm anxious to read your thoughts.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AARRGGHH! Inside Recess! AGAIN?

Don't get me wrong! I love winter.
I love Michigan!
I don't mind it cold.
But 3 days of inside recess is getting on my last nerve.

What does your school do for inside recess?

First of all the rule is: If the wind chill or the temperature is at Zero or below they must stay inside. If it is at 1 or 2 or higher they go outside. I've been reading that some of you have a rule of 32 degrees and colder they stay in. . . . or that your school may not have a set temperature. Well we do, and by golly we stick to it! For the last 3 days, it has been a well below Zero Wind Chill.

Secondly, our contract says I have a "duty free lunch!" So I don't have to be in my classroom during recess. We are fortunate in our little building to have an adult aide who watches each classroom. Let me tell you they earn their wings for doing this. . .especially for 3 days in a row.

Our aides are top notch! They keep the kids under control or the kids have to sit out in the hallway and believe me that is NO fun at all especially when you can hear all the fun going on inside the room.
There are inside recess games, puzzles, Legos, Lincoln Logs, K-Nex, dominoes, Checkers, etc to play with. There is no running, throwing things, yelling, or getting out of control when it is inside recess. Our aides do a wonderful job keeping them under control.

Thirdly, EVERYTHING is put back in the right place NEATLY when I walk back in the room and everyone is in their seats waiting patiently for me!

Isn't that the best? I love our aides. In fact as I write this, I'm realizing just how lucky I am to have such good care given to my students. Maybe I need to stop and pick up some extra chocolate in the morning for them.

But even with all of that good lovin' going on during recess, the kids are bonkers right now.  During the rest of the day they are much more chatty, physical, impulsive, and sometimes, down right naughty!

They really do need that fresh air and some break away from these 4 walls. I sure hope the temperature rises tomorrow so we can all get some reprieve!

I'd love to hear what your inside recess looks like. . . even if it's not for cold, but maybe rain, heat, or whatever!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Here's Your Lucky Chance to WIN Big!

BRRRR! Is it cold where you are?

In Michigan it is 3 degrees right now. . . and the wind chill is -8 degrees. I'm so thankful that I have a warm home and some cozy blankets to keep warm in.

But the inside recess is going to get old REAL fast! Thankfully the kids are handling it pretty well so far. Today was day 2. . . We'll see how long they can stand it.

Have you stopped over at Second Grade Math Maniac's blog lately? Casey is celebrating her 600 follower and one year Blogiversary.

There are a ton of prizes and here's the good deal. . . .
You can go back and enter EVERY SINGLE DAY until this Saturday. . .

Yup that's right! EVERYDAY! That's a lot of chances for winning. . . and if you check out the prizes, you'll find that there's a lot that you can win! 

Go on!

Get on over there! 

I hope you win!

Now, I'm going to snuggle up in my blanket and get warm!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Valentine Fact & Opinion and a chance to win it FREE!

What to do. . .

Hmmmm. . . lay on the couch and watch monotonous tv. . . ?

Go to school and work on this week's plans. . . ?

Go to the store and get some sorely needed groceries for this house. . . ?

Go scrapbooking with my friends to get caught up. . .  ?

Stay home and blog  . . . ?

Create something that's fun and colorful. . .  ?

Oh to have so many choices!

Well, I think I'll know out 2 of those first. . .

Must have groceries and then go scrapbooking.  . . That will suffice my need to create. . . thus killing two birds!

But later, I may still have to stop in at school to get things around.

For those of you who have stuck around and still reading this, I do have something to share. And it's just in time for Valentine's Day. I've named it Love Bugs - Valentine Facts and Opinions

(Click on the links that are in red to see more about them.)

If you work quickly, you can get it copied, laminated, cut up, and packaged so your kids can practice it before Valentine's Day even arrives. Think of it as a little teaser for the holiday.

This fact and opinion activity uses DJ Inkers clip art from their Valentine set and the fonts are by my own blogging buddy, Christina Bainbridge. You can pick up either the clip art of the fonts by clicking on the links.

And if you are still looking for more Valentine ideas, you can also pick up my Valentine Jokes to put on kids' lockers or a bulletin board.

Ok, Ok, Now I need to step away from the computer and get at those groceries. What kind of fun are dreaming up for today? I'd love to hear about it. Tell me about it and I'll pick a winner to receive both of these free tomorrow. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nonsense words Revisited

A few days ago I posted about some nonsense word cards that I made up. I wanted to talk about them again because I have really seen the value of them recently.

I meet with 15 first graders 4 days a week during our RTI time or MTSS time. We have found out recently that our students are lacking the skill to work with nonsense words. So each day I split this group in half and work with these cards. They each get about 9 or 10 cards. I ask them to mix and match the words to make as many different words as they can. Then they take all their cards and slide them to the right and start all over again with 9 or 10 new cards and many new nonsense words. I know this sound simple. . . but it really has been fun for them and helps them zoom in on those beginning sounds and be more sure of themselves with the vowel sounds.

Our testing now asks the students to be able to say the whole nonsense word instead of segmenting it first then saying it. . . A weird thing to me, because isn't that the way we began teaching them in Kindergarten? And now they want to take the segmenting away! 

I know, I know, I get it. . . they want them to be fluent. . . . and with these cards, they ARE making good progress. Seriously!

So today to help with that fluency, I asked them to use their left hand and wave it in the air over the word like a SWOOSH to show the blending of the word parts. . . . ya. . . ya. . . I know. . . it's corny. . . 

BUT it worked!  SWOOSH! nid. . . . SWOOSH! dep . . . . .SWOOSH! bul and on and on!

So if you're needing some extra practice with these nonsense words come and see me! I'm happy to show you how to get them. Just click right here and you'll magically be at my store. They're only $2.00 and there are about 66 cards to mix and match to make up words. 

P.S. I also had a couple kids play around with making two syllable words like  t-as-ip    or 
w-in-id. It was rather comical!

And don't forget. . . 



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Contest

This is my granddaughter and of course I think she is a. dor. able! I would love it if you would vote for her! You can vote 10 times each day.

Thank you so much!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow or no Snow. . . here goes!

My town is now without snow. . . In JANUARY?

Can you believe it?

In fact it is so without snow, my husband went golfing yesterday!

 IN MICHIGAN! That is just so not Michigan in January!

It was and will be today over 50 degrees! Who does that?
However, being over 50 degrees does motivate me to take down the outside Christmas lights instead of waiting for freezing cold day to do it in.

So without snow, how can we think about making snow things for the kids. . . well it's called our imaginations and that is what we'll do today!

I know of friends like Corinna Gandara in Hawaii that has snow falling on her blog, and I'm fairly certain that there isn't any snow in Hawaii. They also make things about snow. . . that's what the imagination is for. Dream on!

People in Florida do it all the time. They use things with mittens, snow, sledding, and skating. . . when was the last time they did any of that there?

In light of all this talk of snow, I want to highlight my Snownouns

They are very cutsie to look at and talk about all kinds of things to do with snowmen and women! They help your kids practice switching the pronoun for the noun that it is representing. It does it back and forth so the child can see how to interchange them. I have seen this on the NWEA test that we take and my kids were baffled on how to answer that question. That's my motivation for making this activity. What motivates you for making things? Leave me a comment and I'll happily give 3 away.

You can pick them up at my store.

P.S. Here's the update on my mom: She's been staying at my sisters nearby all this week. They are taking her back home today. She's doing so much better, but is now worried about being there with just she and my dad. My sister's been cooking for her all week and making sure she is eating the right things and taking the meds at the right time. . . now it will all be on my mom's shoulders. She is strong and I know she'll make do. It's a new phase of our lives . . . we have to do the best we can do. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. You are wonderful people.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nonsense Word Practice and Valentine Jokes plus a giveaway!

Hello Everyone,

 I've been busy digging up old files and trying to update some things I made last year before I had a store.

Since Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and you just may want to get some things around well before it gets here so you can work on them, I decided to post some to my store today.

First I like to put jokes up through out the year on the kid's lockers.

They love to read, and who doesn't like to read a good joke. I consider it a good thing if a child reads a joke and can laugh at it too! That tells me they have good comprehension skills.

These jokes are perfect for 2nd graders. But your better readers in first grade or even 3rd and up would like them.  You can see more about them here.

Just copy them, laminate them, then cut them up. Tape the color heart on top of the black and white one at the top of the heart. Tape them to the lockers or anywhere they can be seen by the kids.

 Students read the joke, and lift it up to read the answer.

Then sit back and wait for them to come and tell you the funny ones!

Another activity that I'm posting is to practice with contractions. I know that this is nothing new. But with the Valentine theme, it fits this time of year and is cutsy to look at as they practice matching the boy with two words with the girl holding the contraction that matches.  You can pick these up here

Both of the these two are made using the clip art and fonts from DJ Inkers.

And finally I am teaching some first graders to practice making nonsense words. So I made up this set of cards to do just that! The students will mix these all up then try to make as many different nonsense words as they can. You can see these here.

If you're still here, I'd like to give 5 of these away. Leave me a comment, and tell me which one would be best for you. Leave me your email address. I will pick 5 winners tomorrow night. Good luck! I hope  you win!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Oh yea, We're Going Back! New Security

Just last week we had the count down to the New Year. . . how many of you are going to do a count down to that dreaded alarm clock going off "OH TOO EARLY" tomorrow?

I set my alarm this morning for 7:00 . . .

Just a practice, but I did want to get up early and go to school for a couple hours.

 It went off at 7:00 but I didn't move only to hit the snooze. . . and again. . . and then finally got up at 7:18.

That won't be such a good idea tomorrow. I guess I should go to bed right now, so I can get up with out a problem.

Have you added the TPT app to your phone yet? If you haven't you MUST. The best part is hearing that little "Cha-Ching!" It's so cute and it makes me see $$$$ every time it happens.

Has your school changed their security? We have a new doorbell outside our front door now.

Get this.. . . it's not just a doorbell. . . NOPE, it's also a camera! Uh huh! "I see you!"

And it's not just a doorbell and a camera. . .
You got it. . . It's also an intercom.

So not only can we see you, we can talk to you too! I'm anxious to see how well this works. Our secretary will have access to these things and will be buzzing people in when they come up.

I know what you're thinking. . . because I'm thinking it too.

How will parents feel about this when they just want to drop off some cupcakes for a birthday, a forgotten backpack or lunch, a child arriving late, or wanting to just wait inside 20 minutes before we dismiss?  Time will tell how we deal with each of these possibilities. I hope we can help parents feel secure about their children as well as be accessible to parents who want to visit.

Another security measure is that we must keep our doors to our classrooms locked at all times, and SHUT too. Before the break, I practiced this, and I allowed students to open the doors. I realized that having students open a door to a possible stranger (my window is too high for them to see out) was a big problem. So I moved my work table closer to the door so that I am the only one who opens the door. During the summer, I will move my desk closer to the door so that it's easier for me to always be the one to open the door.

Leave me a message about the changes you are doing to your school to be safer. I'd love to hear about them.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

pronouns + cold = Snownouns

Great news! Mom is being released from the hospital today!

She is all fixed and now we can work on getting ready to 
celebrate her 90th birthday in 2 weeks!
Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers.
 They were obviously very powerful because they worked!

I thought I would be able to make a lot of activities during this two weeks
 but there was just too many other distractions. . . . you know how life is!

However, I did make a cool as in "frosty" activity about pronouns. . . 
and during the night the "COOLEST" title came to me. . . 
don't cha love that when things wake you up!

It is called SNOWNOUNS

Isn't that perfect? 

Get it? 

Frosty pronouns. . . . SNOWNOUNS!

I would love for you to have a set of these.  You can get them at my TPT store.

But I am feeling pretty excited that my mom is coming home, so I'll happily give one away to the first 5 people who will follow my store, my blog, and leave me an email address. 

I sure hope you get one!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vacation is Almost Over. . . waaaaa!!!

Tomorrow is Friday. . . . Friday. . . The Last FRIDAY of my vacation. . . The . . . . Last. . . Day. . . Of. . . . My. . . Va-----Ca-------tion!

How did that happen? What did I get done? What did I do? Where did the time go? Who can answer these questions for me? I know. . . No one can! Because you are probably feeling the same way I do. . . .

reality is setting back in. . .

Alarms will ring around the nation on Monday morning.

People will drag their butts bottoms out of bed and shuffle to the shower. . .

the hot water will feel wonderful. . but so did that nice warm cozy bed too. WAAAAAA!!!

Another bad thing  about knowing that Friday is coming is that the day after that is Saturday and that's the day I have to take my daughter to Chicago to the airport so she can go back home. I dread this like the plague. . . . The only saving grace is that in 6 weeks we will be going down there for a long weekend.  I miss her so much when she's not here. We've had a lot of fun this past two weeks while she was here.

I missed doing more with her because I was focused on my mom's health. My daughter understands.  She knows that's a pretty important thing for me to do right now. My mom is doing SO much better. She will probably go home in a couple days. She's a strong woman. . . and not an old woman by any means!

Another thing that I missed this week was my Blogversary! I have been doing this since January 2nd of 2012! I know I should probably have a give away or raffle or something, but there just isn't time right now. . . maybe in the near future.

I have been able to squeak in lots of time to read your blogs and facebook posts while sitting at the hospital. Thank Goodness for my Ipad. There are so many cool things being made in our own little blogging world. I wonder if the "ditto book" (that's what we used to call them!) or idea book companies are seeing a drop in their business since so many of us are making our own things or buying from others? Hmmmmm?

I'm making a new pronoun activity that should be ready soon. Here's a sneak peak,
Check back tomorrow and see if I've finished it. . . 

Happy Friday to all of you whether you are in school now or go back on Monday.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mom's Update and Chance for a Give Away

Happy New Year!

Just popping in (no pun intended!) to give a quick update on my mom. She had a round of dialysis yesterday and they removed 2 liters of water from her that weighed about 5 pounds. . . (I want to be hooked up to that!) She was able to breathe better during the night and most of her vitals are improving.

All of your prayers are being heard and appreciated!
But don't stop. . . She's not completely healed yet!

Also wanted to remind you to stop in on my post yesterday and leave a comment. By the end of today, I'll pick 3 winners to receive my Early Years Sequencing activity.

Time to get back to taking the tree down!