Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Fall in near...

I can feel it in me bones. Arrrggh. I am a Fall Pirate.


Saturday, September 4, 2021

I have too many chairs.

So I am a little "extra." I try really hard not to be but I can be. You should have seen my son's birthday parties when he was little! I decided I wanted a nice sitting chair for the living room. I really do not like our couch (looking for a new one) because it is made with this brocade-like fabric and just not the most comfy. I am all about comfort. So I ended up with three chairs. I bought one, then saw another later that looked better...and so on. Now my living room is filled with too many chairs. I have 3 now. Sigh.

Definitely, not the worst problem in the world at all especially during a pandemic.

I feel like I am ready to just renovate the whole house. Maybe you notice things more when you have to be home more I guess.

I saw a good idea for classroom management when there is a sub. I always had a sub basket made up with extra activities and worksheets and books in it. I also included the very important class list, class schedule, a typed up summary of our day with our song lyrics, names of helpful students, etc.
I called it the "sub tub." The best sub teacher I ever had was when I was teaching Kindergarten in Texas. 

This idea is a great way to reward students for behaving and to get feedback on how the day went. Some subs usually leave you a note, but they don't always do that. So here is this cool idea!!


Friday, August 27, 2021

C'mon Fall!!!

I am soooo sooo ready for Fall. I am ready for the heat wave to break here! I am planning on getting some plain foam pumpkins and transforming them into these...

What makes you excited about Fall?!?


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Reading matters.

Even when teaching the upper grades, it is good to read chapter books aloud to the class. I know from personal experience that it was relaxing when my teachers would read to us. Also, this takes the pressure and anxiety off the students who have difficulty reading aloud in front of the class.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

I'm tired.

Does back-to-school time wear anyone else out? I feel like I need to drink coffee and I am not even a coffee drinker. My son is starting his Junior year and this past week I have gotten all lesson plans and learning materials (he is homeschooled) ready through October. The older he gets, the more complicated some of the stuff he is learning gets. And I realize that some things I learned in school they never bother with anymore. Like in 5th grade I remember being very bored of diagramming sentences. Our teacher kept emphasizing this was something that we ABSOLUTELY had to know in order to get a job and get by in life. Y'all...I have never once diagrammed a sentence as an adult or solved an equation (I am not mathematical) or figured out a problem with a speeding train. So I feel old when I am seeing what high schoolers work on today. Time for some iced coffee!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Book Rainbow

It's a book (cover) rainbow!
I saw this bulletin board idea on Facebook and love it.
I am not sure who the photo is from since it had been shared several times.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

The end of Summer.

Beautiful, wonderful Summer is coming to an end. We went on many adventures this Summer and made many amazing memories. I always get a little sad when Summer starts fading but then I remember how much I really do love Fall! And of course, books. So here are some good Fall books I recommend for your little readers!
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert 
I love the illustrations. A fun activity is to go on a leaf walk after reading the story, and make your own leaf people or objects!

Apples by Gail Gibbons
The text is a little long, but it is very informative and great for learning about apples. The recording above is a YouTube video I made reading this story.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
I made a YouTube video (above) reading this book.

In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes
This one won a Caldecott Medal. I love the painted illustrations and the text is simple.

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
This is another favorite of mine because it really works for ages toddlers-2nd graders. And since I love it, I also made a storytelling video with craft about it (above).

Hocus Pocus, It's Fall! by Anne Sibley O'Brien
I first noticed this book as a Children's Librarian.
The cover grabbed my attention. I know they say don't judge a book by its cover, but you can with this one.
It teaches kids about the seasonal change, and how the animals prepare for Winter.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Jane E. Gerver 
and Steven Kroll
I am a sucker for books that are adorable because sometimes we should just read for fun! This story is about what happens when two mice want the same pumpkin. 

Wonderfall by Michael Hall
This takes children through the changes a tree undergoes through each season. It has blended words and is an informative picture book. 

Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde
Bella's grandma makes her a special coat so she can enjoy the sights of Fall like running through crinkling leaves and enjoying the company of geese.


Everyday Learning Activities!

Learning can be fun and does not need to be planned all the time. 


Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Guide for Parents with Disabilities

 Image via Pexels.

Prepare to Be the Perfect Parent: A Guide 

for Parents with Disabilities

Guest Post by Jenna Sherman

You’re going to be so proud and so thrilled watching your little baby grow up. It’s much more than just hearing their first words or capturing their first steps on video. There’s bonding, teaching and healing from their joy at the wonders of the world.

Of course, parenthood also comes with sleepless nights, round-the-clock diaper changes, and spit-up stains on your clothes. Parenting is hard, and you may be worried about how your disability could make it even more challenging.

The truth is, your physical limitations don’t have to be a huge problem. Twinkle Teaches outlines some ways you can prepare to become the perfect parent despite any impairment.


Master the Basics

Learn how to take care of a baby in a very practical sense. Tasks like bottle-feeding, burping and changing diapers can be more difficult than they seem. Moreover, your disability may affect how you go about them. Some mothers and fathers even recommend practicing with a doll before the big day arrives.


Make a Financial Plan

The experts at Charles Schwab recommend looking into life and disability insurance to secure your baby’s future. That goes along with enlarging your emergency fund while taking advantage of tax breaks. Those are particularly important for you, as there may be additional cash outlays due to your disability (see below).


Adapt Your Home

When you’re a parent, increased mobility becomes even more important, as you’ll often have a baby in your arms. Building a ramp at your entrance will improve matters greatly, along with widening doorways by installing expandable hinges. Don’t forget the safety benefits of skid-resistant flooring, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.

Also do what you can to remove negative energy -- which can lead to poor health -- from the home, which takes many forms. Clutter and windows or window coverings that are rarely opened can contribute to overall bad vibes in any space, and when you’re home with a new baby, it’s easier than ever for family members to tense up with one another. So declutter, open those windows, use essential oils and aromatherapy, and look into alternative, centuries-old solutions to welcome in positive energy.


Prepare for Long Nights

You may want to keep the baby in your own bedroom, especially if you have mobility issues. Doing so eliminates the need to navigate in the dark when the tyke wakes up and demands a midnight feeding. Redecorate, if necessary, to create a safe space for your new roommate and their crib.


Set Up a Bathing Space

Make sure your baby’s bathing area is easily accessible. Many mothers and fathers use the sink, but that may be too high if you’re in a wheelchair. A specially-designed baby bathtub could be a better option for you, notes The Bump, with other supplies arranged within arm’s reach nearby. That should help you keep the little one squeaky clean without too much stress and strain.


Fix the Transport Problem

There’s no reason being disabled should stop you from taking your little love for a walk on a sunny day. Romper recommends an attachment that connects their stroller to your wheelchair, if you use one. This will allow you to cruise around in comfort and style.


Build a Support Network

Every parent needs support. You’ll find family and friends who are willing to help out with some of the chores around the house. All you need to do is ask. If you’re looking for advice from someone in the same position as you, the Disabled Parenting Project has that covered.


Mind Your Own Health

You’ll find your new role as a parent to be very physically taxing, requiring immense stores of energy. Make time to eat nutritiously, and find ways to relax as often as you can. It’s possible, though you may have to get creative, such as with a warm bubble bath from time to time. Comfortable clothes are also a way to relax; your body’s going through enough without having to deal with scratchy or unforgiving (tight) materials, so invest in fabrics that stretch with you and designs that allow for easy nursing and serve multiple functions, like a nursing lounge dress from Kindred Bravely that can also be worn as a nightgown.

Our tips will help put you on the path to being a successful parent. And what does that mean? Raising a healthy child and having a wonderful time doing it.



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Back-to-school prepping

Another back-to-school year is coming soon! I am here to help you out! These ideas can always be utilized in a library setting, too. So tweak whatever you need to.

Cool craft! Back to school buses!
This would be a cute keepsake, too.

Country Hill Cottage has a school supply checklist for middle and high schoolers. Link is HERE.

And Mrs. Winter's Bliss has a procedure checklist for teachers HERE.

The most important thing for me to do the first few weeks of school is to create a bond with my new group of students. One tool I rely on is books and story telling. This even works for the upper grades. I fondly remember my teachers reading aloud from chapter books to us in grades 2nd-5th.

Here are a few books I highly recommend for back-to-school.

First Day Jitters
by Julie Danneberg

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
by Joseph Slate

The Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn

If You Take a Mouse to School
by Laura Numeroff

Our Class is a Family
by Shannon Olsen

We Don't Eat Our Classmates
by Ryan T. Higgins

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
by Mo Willems

You're Finally Here!
by Melanie Watt
I made a video reading this one HERE!


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Time in the sun.

I love many of these activities! Which are your favorite?


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Anchors aweigh!

Hey all! We have one month before our local schools start classes. I believe they will be in-person but they may end up going back to virtual at some point depending on pandemic numbers. Let's hope they stay low and everyone stays safe!

I love, love anchor charts. I have always used them for teaching, no matter which grade you work with. I did not really use them for children's library programming, but you absolutely could do a story re-tell or something interactive using chart paper!
So I wanted to share some anchor charts I have seen recently. You can also see more on this blog by going to this web page: Anchor Charts!

This one helps kids to understand the difference between letters, words and sentences. From Kindergarten Chaos. 

This is a great math one for early learners. It is a way to reinforce different ways of finding solutions to addition/subtraction math problems.
From Smore.

I really love this one for cause/effect. From Kids Konnect.

This is a good one to introduce parts of a book and beginning reading. From Mrs. Jones Class. 

From Create Abilities. This would be good to make with kids after reading The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. It is a great way to talk about feelings, tattling and bullying. 

Here is one for punctuation from We Are Teachers.

From The Kinder Hearted Classroom, is a chart about transportation.

Remember, anchor charts are best used when you actively make them with the class involved. I did this and we would hang the chart up, so they could refer to it during other activities like literacy centers. 
Have a great day! I hope you are enjoying summer!