Sunday, March 3, 2013

Seuss stuff and rhyming

Lots of Spring cleaning has been going on in my life lately! I make room for new stuff!!! Lately, I have been hanging out a lot at my local antique stores and thrift stores, and cruising for deals online. So you know how you start one small project and it just snowballs into a home re-decorating or renovations? Yeah, I am so there right now. Re-decorating our living room and now I want to tear a wall out and expand it into my office/scrapbook room.
And of course, you can find a million and one ideas on


I like , too for ideas.
These loverlies are mine now!
So this week was Seuss week and our school celebrated in a HUGE way.

Dr Seuss quotes
Free download from CK

I found a really cool download of Dr. Seuss quotes from Creating Keepsakes scrapbook magazine. Every Friday they also have a new free font to download! You can download the Seuss quotes HERE. And the Free Friday Fonts can be found HERE.

Since Seuss and rhyming go hand-in-hand, let's talk about ways to encourage your child to learn how to rhyme. The easiest way is to start with classic nursery rhymes like those from Mother Goose books. You can also play a game where you say a word and your child has to say one that rhymes. You can print clip art out and glue the pieces onto index cards and help you child sort and match the rhyming pictures.  You and your child can keep a file folder of rhyming pictures cut out from magazines. You can label these for your child, too. Ask a librarian or do a web search for children's books that have rhyming in them--like:
Shop for <b>children's books rhyming</b> at nearby stores
Peanut Butter and Jelly by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Jake Bakes Cakes: A Silly Rhyming Children's Picture Book by Gerald Hawksley

Product Image

Elmo's Rockin' Rhyme Time by Naomi Kleinberg

Now don't get me wrong I totally adore my job but around this time I think many teachers will agree with me we get Spring Break Fever, too. It is highly contagious and the only known cure is Spring Break...
My current motto!!!

Because once we come back we get into testing!!!!
Until Spring Break I can take solace in my pretty rockin' nails!
St. Patrick's Day is coming up! So that means I see green craft projects in my future and oh look at this!!!

Laurie at Tip Junkie has tons of great St. Patrick's Day decorating ideas! 26 to be exact!
You can find out about it here:

I still remember when Harrison and I made a leprechaun trap!!!
Harrison made a handprint rainbow! We gathered the leprechaun's stuff
like his hat, boots and cup he had left behind. He left our house in a rush!

We even gave him back his (plastic) gold coins.

We knew he liked green and gold! We decorated a shoe box to trap him!
The next morning our trap was empty and he took his stuff
he did leave us yummy chocolate gold coins to eat!!!
 I wonder if he will visit us this year???

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Speak for the Trees!!!

One of Kindergarten teachers, and two of our ELL teachers made this!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beatboxin' with Kindergarten

Mr. Argot, our Kindergarten para, brought a special visitor to the Early Childhood Center for music time!
Awesome, right??
Reading Horizons

I am so proud that I was able to be a guest writer on the Reading Horizons blog. I wrote about the Nurturing Brilliance webinar. They offer free webinars and everyone I have attended has been a true learning experience for me. I really think webinars are the professional development of the future! My blog post is here:

One of the webinars that is my favorite is the one on The Power of Explicit Instruction. But they have so many more!!

Today one of the teachers from my school sent us an inspiring YouTube clip:

Can I just say I want this boy to be my life coach?!?!

This morning I saw the dentist and got three wisdom teeth pulled out. The experience was not bad but right about now the pain is! So I am calling it a day and going to bed early. Talk to you soon!

Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM!

This is my wonderful hand model aka my mom holding a Chicka Boom activity we did in my Kindergarten class. There were pre-cut rectangles of green paper, a brown rectangle and the kids cut and glued it. Then they hand to count the letters they had added--the ones on the tree and the ones on the ground. This was a beginning of the year activity.

I want to share my online Chicka files with you! Maybe you can find something you like!
The link is here:

Featured Friday!!!!~Jen from Studio Petite

Here is a post I found in my DRAFT box and I am putting it here just in case it was never artist Jennifer Lambein!!!!

This week's featured artist is Jennifer Lambein from Studio Petite!!! Read more about her and see her wonderful creations below. :)

1. Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Jennifer Lambein. I'm a self taught commercial freelance artist living and working in New York City. I moved from Westlake Ohio to NYC about a month and a half ago. I've downsized from a rather spacious apt. to a small studio. That's what inspired the name "Studio Petite"!

2. What inspires you? What speaks to you??

It can honestly be a person, place, OR thing. I'm an eclectic girl all around, so it really varies. For example, maybe it's something someone is wearing or using in a wonderful old movie such as "All About Eve". It could simply be a bed of flowers I pass by, a chapter in a Jane Austin or Dickens novel, an awesomely pretty shirt I put on, a conversation that puts me in a whimsical mood, or even a piece by another artist. My guy Ethan inspires me all the time;)!! He's an architect who has a very strong work ethic. That can be very motivating as well as inspiring. Also, having someone who believes in you as he does me can make amazingly magical things take place from with in. Three things that never fail: An amazing cup of coffee, people watching, and being around those I love..

3. What advice would you give to a beginner?

Research, research, research. Patience, patience, patience. Really pay attention to what trends, etc. are hot and selling in your market. Look at other artists work for guidance and inspiration. I'm obviously not telling you to steal their look, but simply learn from what they're doing right. Regardless of what area of art you're pursuing, trends come and go. This is a tough yet rewarding field. Success doesn't happen over night. Cliche? Yes. Yet remember, something is categorized as cliche because rings true. That's where patience is a crucial asset. Remain persistent and prolific. However, produce quality over quantity. Also, I really can't stress this next bit of advice enough. Artists must not only have a creative mind, but should also have a business mind.. The problem is that most of us just simply don't! Don't have the "Field Of Dreams" mentality..."If I create it, they will come". Uh, most likely they won't. First and foremost love what you're doing, but have an idea of how to make money at it in the process. The harsh reality is that if you don't, then you'll most likely never be able to do it full time. So, if you just can't fit business in to that dreamy artsy brain of yours, find a business brainiac who has! Lastly, go to the bookstore and look for the Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market book. They come out with a new one every year.. There are different versions depending on what area of the art world you're involved in. It's a helpful tool, and it's how I found my first agent. Believe in what you're doing. Know it's a subjective field. There will always be lovers AND not so lovers of your work. Stay strong. Stay crafty. Stay you.

4. What is your favorite medium or tool to work with?

Right now I love to work with watercolors, acrylics, markers, colored pencils, pen and ink, and pretty paper(collage). My favorite watercolor paper is Jack Richeson 140 lb Acid Free Cold Press. I love Holbein Artists' Water Color and Gouache paints. I'm also a fan of Liquitex Acrylics. Penny Lane/My Mind's Eye has some beautifully whimsical scrapbook paper.

5. How do you find time to create?

I'm fortunate enough to be able to pretty much focus in full time on my craft. I'm also a night owl, so I'm very prolific late at night...or maybe it's all the coffee I drink that's keeping me up;)

6. Where do you spend most of your time creating?

I really spend all of my time in my little studio area in my apt. At times I do sketch while on the couch. I try and keep all of my materials confined to my work space. However, that never really lasts lol. I'm hoping with greater success to afford a larger area.

7. What got you started?

My mom and other artists. My mom Deborah Lambein has been a cross-stitch designer for Leisure Arts for years. I was fortunate enough to grow up with someone who not only had supplies and an art room, but was very supportive of the inconsistent life of pursuing an art career. I originally did a couple of cross-stitch leaflets myself. While I enjoyed it, I still wanted to pursue other artistic paths. Artists such as Mary Engelbreit, Holly Hobbie, Deb Hron, Sue Dreamer, and Eric Disney(Hallmark designer) all began to inspire me. I loved the whimsical aspect of their designs. I guess I've never really lost the child with in. I also loved that they had the opportunity to place their work on products, greeting cards, calendars, and in books for the world to enjoy! Such a universe of open ended inspirational opportunities!

8. How would you describe your style?

As I said earlier...eclectic. I always tell people it's difficult to explain what my work looks like. They simply need to see it. It mixes freshly modern with retro whimsy. I like creating things that bring cheer, warmth, comfort, fun, and the feeling of home. I want to give my customers a reason to smile sweetly, connect deeply, and laugh loudly;)!

9. What do you enjoy most about creating?

I enjoy the ability to express myself. Another fun way of expressing myself?'s so great lol! I also adore the idea that this will hopefully bring joy to another;) I love that when I'm gone, my creations will live on as a part of who I was. Plus, it's just so fun!

10. List your site or sites we can see your gallery on:

Linda McDonald:

The American Craft Guide Community:

My personal website is currently under construction, so check back!
Thank you Jen!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I am a few hours late so happy belated v-day! Today was such a pretty day outside. When I came home I found some sweetness waiting for me...

A card, a Dr. Pepper (yes!) and a little monster from my son and husband.

Plus, some very beautiful pink roses.

It really was a surprise because my husband had bought me a netbook about a week ago and told me to consider it an early Valentine's gift. 

My son Harrison is 8 years old and in second grade. He is really getting into pranks. He loves to watch this YouTube family prank each other:

Earlier today he tried to prank my husband by writing this and hiding!

What a silly boy I have!

So for my grad class I was setting up our wiki web site (you can see it HERE), and doing a search for pictures of kids taking a test.
Google images of course has the most *random* stuff come up instead. Like this...
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What??!? No...Just no!
 photo images3_zpsfbde82bd.jpg
That poor twinkie!!!
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Shaking my head so hard right now!
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This reminds me of my middle school doodles.
Saving the best for last!!

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The moral? Be careful what you Google for, you may end up with more than you wished for! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Buddy Reading Works

We use a strategy known as A/B Reading. During guided reading, I had them read with an assigned partner. They sit EEKK! style--elbow to elbow, and knee to knee. Both children have the same text. One child reads while the other follows along. The reader asks the follower a question related to the story to make sure the follower was listening. I have an anchor chart with prompts on it for A/B Reading like:

Who are the main characters?

What is the problem?
What is the setting?
What do you predict will happen?

Would you read this book again? Why or why not?

What was the solution to the problem?
What can you infer from the title?
What was your favorite/least favorite part?

Then the students switch roles and partner B reads while partner A listens and answers questions. Sometimes they choose a prompt from the chart and sometimes they make up their own questions. They really enjoy trying to trick the listener to make sure he/she was following along.

I do use the A/B strategy about twice a week. The technique can be used with first through fifth graders. They really enjoy it when they are able to spread out around the room to read with their partner. I like to use paired reading because some struggling readers are not confident to read independently or in front of a whole or small group. This also gives them the opportunity to learn from their reading partner and to pick up good skills. I like the fact that the two students are learning together to clarify and decode words.

So you've had a bad day

Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around...

Remember that overplayed song?!?!? This was my day. Just one of those Charlie Brown, Lucy keeps moving the football kinda days. We all have them. Then on the drive home something happened. I was thinking about my bad day when I drove by a fatality accident. Seeing the person slumped over the wheel, wiped my bad day away and made me think about how important my family is. Sadly, a few minutes after witnessing the aftermath the radio DJ announced it was a fatality. So I am sharing this with you to remind you to take time for yourself, take time for your family, when someone gives you hate give them love three-fold back, when you have had a bad day realize someone else has had a worse day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reaching the limit

I think successful teachers use non-verbal management without even realizing it. This would include "wait time," the teacher stare, moving around the room, hand on the shoulder, a quiet sign, ringing a bell, or a type of movement. I use it daily in my teaching. I even made signs that have clip art with the word of the behavior I want and hold them up. 

My "I've reached the limit" signal would be turning off the classroom lights. All my students know this means a class time out with voices off, heads down. Then we talk about the expected behaviors. Non-verbal signals can also be positive like a pat on the back, nod of the head, thumbs up.

I think it would interesting to film yourself teach and see if there are any unintentional non-verbal signals you make like hands on the hips, arms crossed or snapping fingers. I know I do snap my fingers sometimes when I am in the middle of reading aloud. I think I use wait time the most. How about you?

Teaching Beginning, Middle and End with a Snowman!!

I want to share a lesson I modeled today in second grade.
I shared about this with my grad class, but this post has pics!

It was about beginning, middle and end using "The Mitten". I started by stating the objectives "According to Common Core today I will learn..." I started out with anticipation by getting out three different sized boxes I covered with white butcher paper. I taped them together, not speaking. Then I added details, a nose, a scarf, etc. I said, "raise you hand if you have ever built a snowman before." All hands went up. "Building a snowman is like building a good story." I pointed to the three snowman sections--head (beginning) midsection (middle) and bottom (end). I wrote those on there and said the details added to the snowman were like details in a story.

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I saw the chart above on Pinterest and created my version.

Then I showed several Jan Brett books and stated, 

"Give me a thumbs up if you've read this one..." at the very end I showed The Mitten and said this is the book we are studying today. "It takes place in the Ukraine." I showed them on the map how if I got in an airplane how I would fly from Oklahoma to the Ukraine and I taught them to say hi in Ukrainian (pri-vit).I incorporated technology by showing the book on the Smart Board and using the read aloud video from YouTube. 
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Then we reviewed the sequence of the animals. I handed out story character cards. I had ordinal numbers on my chart paper and they had to hold up the card if they thought it was their animal's turn in the sequence, if the class agreed they made that number with their fingers raised.There was an interesting dilemma that came up with the charting--we had 11 characters but one student had a mitten card. This was how we were able to quickly discuss living and non-living things and characters vs. objects.

We also exercised by touching our heads for beginning, hands on hips for middle and squatting for end.

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I had three giant circles on butcher paper and we did an interactive writing on B,M, and E. 

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Then the kids made their own circle B,M,E snowmen! It turned out so cool!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How can I make this intimidating aspect of language and grammar into something exciting? I think teachers still struggle with that. My opinion is that if you are teaching and the students are not only actively engaged, but also discussing, teaching each other, and moving around the room, there will be learning taking place.

Teaching students about base words, morphemes, graphemes, prefixes and suffixes cannot be done correctly by just handing them a worksheet. Give students tiny mirrors from the craft store or the dollar store. Have them hold them while saying words slowly or making the sounds. Do "duck lips" where they purse their lips shut while saying the word and feeling the syllables or have them touch their throats to measure the syllables. Give them index cards cut up and have them write the word out the way they hear the divisions ex. mis-con-duct on 3 cards. Give them counters and have them move one up each time they hear a division. These are the skills that will help them decode words, not a worksheet or a textbook. I feel strongly about getting students doing and not just listening to the "sage on the stage." I think I feel so passionate about it because I struggled with reading as a child and had teachers give up on me. It just took one to believe me and then reading and writing came easily.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

5 Major Components of Reading

The five major components of reading are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. According to the Reading Rockets web site (2013), "When using any teaching strategy, teachers should (1) help students to understand why a strategy is useful, and (2) describe explicitly how the strategy should be used. Teacher demonstration, modeling, and follow-up independent practice are critical factors for success. Student discussion following strategy instruction is also helpful." These components are interrelated because you just cannot have one without the other. When a student become proficient in these areas they become successful readers.
Phonemic awareness is when students identify sounds and are able to utilize those sounds to make words. Today during my PLC meeting with PreK I showed them how to use elkonin or sound boxes. These are simple boxes on a piece of paper usually accompanying an illustration.There is a box for each phoneme--not for ea. letter. The students push a counter up into the boxes as they say the sound. Here is an illustration of one I found on Google Images:

This is a quick and easy activity that would be good to introduce during small group and then put at a literacy center.
Phonics is when students identify letter sounds and the letter itself. Making words with magnetic letters or using poetry or alphabet chants are easy ways to practice phonics.
Fluency starts with letter sounds, moving to sight words and then onto reading text. You are considered fluent if you can automatically do it. A great fluency activity isthe A/B partner reading. I am such a fan of this technique! During guided reading, I have them read with a partner. They sit EEKK! style--elbow to elbow, and knee to knee. Both children have the same text. One child reads while the other follows along. The reader asks the follower a question related to the story to make sure the follower was listening.
Vocabulary is fundamental to reading. Vocabulary words help us to build background knowledge and associations of words in order to communicate effectively. While reading an article by Ruddell and Shearer (2002), a students says, "I used to only think about vocabulary in school. The whole world is vocabulary." That statement resonates with me because we must have the foundation of vocabulary in order to be successful readers and writers. A wonderful way to tie vocabulary into a lesson is to keep index cards or sentence strips with a Sharpie nearby and as the class learns vocabulary in a whole group setting, add the word to the word wall, and question them about its definition.
Comprehension is when students make meaning and connections from the text. To help with comprehension graphic organizers, especially that compare and contrast two different texts, are easy to implement to help with this area.

Works Cited
Reading Rockets.Org. (2013)Classroom strategies. Accessed on January 30, 2013 from: . Ruddell, M.& Brenda A. (2002). Extraordinary," "tremendous," "exhilarating," "magnificent": middle school at-risk students become avid word learners with the Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS): asking students to choose their own vocabulary words maintains interest and builds connections with content areas. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 45(5).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Money vacuum

If you have not been to the web site Very Jane
, go. Go now! Well, after reading this post. This site is my money vacuum. I am addicted to this site. I think it would be worse if I had a little girl, but thankfully, I keep myself in check when I say, "What am I going to do with a tutu?" and delete it from my cart. 

but I do have this coming my way in orange. And I am thinking of adding this:

but not sure on a color yet. And look at this!!!

Only 5.99!!
I like that most of their stuff is under $20...mainly under $10. And no, I am not getting paid or freebies for talking about this site. I actually found out about it on Mrs. Lemon's 2nd Grade Blog!
Last week, I got a confirmation from Reading Horizons to be a guest blogger on February 5th. Exciting!! We utilize their program at our school especially with our ELL students. They always have really great free webinars and free online training. Check it out!!
So we are painting over our son's old murals in his bedroom. His nursery was Classic Pooh...I have always had a thing for Winnie the Pooh even as a child. Then when he was about two we made his room Eric Carle theme. Don't get me started on my Eric Carle obsession!!! Let's just say this lady has several autographed books (even big books) of his! They are all made out to my old Kindergarten teacher lol but who cares that I bought them at her retirement garage sale.

Eric Carle rocks!!

So bye bye Grouchy Ladybug and Brown Bear and Hungry Caterpillar...the room is now a classic blue. And guess what theme the murals will be??? Super Mario! Itsa gonna be spaghetti-o! Yes, it is fun to type in a Mario accent.
I will post pics as soon as we are done. He has the biggest room in the house so the painting it blue is still going on. Ben has been hard at work! My husband Ben is an artist and a former art teacher (he is taking a life break from that but works part-time at Target). Sooooo he does all the awesome mural work. We also painted my old Kindergarten room at my school with murals from book characters...but I think they are all covered up except one.
Anyway, my little boy is now 8 and growing so fast. He needs to stop! He tells me all the time he will care for me and feed me applesauce when I am old. :) Love being a mom!
I am in my last grad class!! Eeek. Then I have my practicum, graduate, take my test and am an official "Reading Specialist." Is it weird that I have a feeling of "what next?" I tease with the notion of getting my doctorate but my mother-in-law says I am a glutton for punishment and Ben says I would be paying $50,000 to a university to write a book over three years. :) He knows I will do what I want anyway because he married a hard head. Last night we had the debate about how long we had been married! He shaved a year off. I was like, "How could you not know our 11th anniversary is coming up?" He was like--

P.S. Update-he ended up being right!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Even my blog is OLD

Even my blog is OLD!!! My first post on here was 1-11-2007. Six years baby!!! Oh my gosh. Harrison was two years old when I started blogging. I was a stay-at-home mom who really just wanted to keep a journal of life at its best. I am still an insomnia queen. Oh, and a drama queen!! For the record, princess Granny looks totally fierce and yes I will be rockin' a tiara in my old age!!!!

My passion is for teaching

Thinking about the key to good teaching when it comes to breaking down words...

How can I make this intimidating aspect of language and grammar into something exciting? I think teachers still struggle with that. My opinion is that if you are teaching and the students are not only actively engaged, but also discussing, teaching each other, and moving around the room, there will be learning taking place.

Teaching students about base words, morphemes, graphemes, prefixes and suffixes cannot be done correctly by just handing them a worksheet. Give students tiny mirrors from the craft store or the dollar store. Have them hold them while saying words slowly or making the sounds. Do "duck lips" where they purse their lips shut while saying the word and feeling the syllables or have them touch their throats to measure the syllables. Give them index cards cut up and have them write the word out the way they hear the divisions ex. mis-con-duct on 3 cards. Give them counters and have them move one up each time they hear a division. These are the skills that will help them decode words, not a worksheet or a textbook. I feel strongly about getting students doing and not just listening to the "sage on the stage." I think I feel so passionate about it because I struggled with reading as a child and had teachers give up on me. It just took one to believe me and then reading and writing came easily.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Parental Involvement

I was thinking about parental involvement and the effect on literacy skills. I read an article that had this interesting nugget on research related to this topic : "A study conducted last spring in over 27 countries and over 20 years confirmed that having over 500 books in ones’ home is more important to a child’s projected academic success than a parent’s education" (Stewart, 2011). So exposing a child to literature is more of an indicator than whether the parents had higher education or multiple degrees. On a personal note, my mom had her GED and my father had a sixth grade education because of the poverty in his country. Every night they read to me. They indulged my love of books. They took me to the library once a week. I think this greatly influenced the path I went down. Books are a wonderful bonding tool but also a good way for parents to give us wings.


Stewart, D. J. (November 2011). Parent involvement in early literacy is the key to academic success. From the Teach Preschool web site accessed on October 27,
                2012 from: .

Let's get rich and buy everyone nice sweaters

Don't you worry there my honey
We might not have any money
But we've got our love to pay the bills...

*LOVE* this song by Ingrid Michaelson, "You and I".

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What is comprehension??

Good link to share!

Working with ELLs

My experience with ELL students is that you definitely need to
activate prior knowledge. We cannot assume they know certain vocabulary words, and so it always helps to have a visual with a word. Also, it is helpful for the teacher to check for understanding throughout the lesson. Modeling is a big factor in teaching ELL students literacy strategies. Also, if you have them do independent work it may be best for them to practice the skill(s) with a partner first. Today in my reading groups I had them do A/B reading where they sit elbow to elbow and knee to knee (known as EEKK!). Both children have the same text. One child reads while the other follows along. The reader asks the follower a question related to the story to make sure the follower was listening. Then they switch. 

I have also found picture dictionaries to be good resources so my ELL students can look up a word.

One way to assist ELL students with writing is the use of visuals as writing prompts. I found some good ones here:

It is very easy as an educator to get photos from magazines or online and use those, too. Sometimes just using the photo and not even giving a certain writing prompt but using the visual alone is thought-provoking. You also have to take into consideration are they ready to learn this particular concept? You have to remember that Zone of Proximal Development. The more a teacher knows about a student's background and interests, the easier it is to provide appropriate instruction for that student. What is of interest to the student? If the topic is something that interests the student, they will be more likely to produce a higher quality writing product. You also have to consider all of the different learning styles and have a way to tweak the lesson based on those. I think also providing multiple ways to assess the writing helps to ensure students are able to show you what they know.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elmer's Holiday Pin and Win!

So I just checked my email and heard about this contest!! As a teacher, scrapbooker/crafter, and mommy I would be so excited if I won! I see painter's pens and x-acto knives and adhesive runners! JOY!
I pinned some wonderful ideas I found on the web site.

Like this Best Buddy Ball!

In the classroom this would be great to put sight words or spelling words for students to take home and review or make at a center!

And here's some things I made myself using Elmer's products!

Halloween garland using Elmer's clear glue to stick the felt pieces together!
And a snazzy clear card using the clear glue again!!!
My students made monsters using Elmer's glue sticks.
Get sticky! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Old Blog, New Blog

~originally posted 1/29/11~ 

Welcome to my first official Kindergarten blog post. My name is Mrs.Winkle. I have been teaching for seven years now although everyday is a new experience! 
I feel like I am always evolving and learning with my students. 

I think this will be useful for communication with parents and also it will be a good place for us to share ideas and plans with my peers. So let's get caught up on the year so far!

 I moved into my classroom in July. Sometimes it felt like the paintbrush was glued to our hands. My mom and I painted the giant room and my mom and husband made murals to cover the mirrors. 

It was an effort to get things ready for our students but so worth creating a positive learning atmosphere. I wanted our classroom to feel like a safe, comfortable place.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lock 'em up!!!

I am so ready for back to school time! As a teacher and mother I am pumped! Yesterday we had a teaching conference and they asked us to pick which cat picture described us--I picked Party Cat! I am ready to make learning fun.
I am in need of a lock for my storage area--you know so the kids don't play with my teacher stuff when they are supposed to be on a bathroom break or something. I saw these cute new locks from Master Lock.

Totally cute, so I think it will work! 
The Master Lock facebook page is here...
in case you wanna check out other colors/models.
Do you remember using a lock in middle school (back in my day it was junior high school) on your locker? The worst was when it would stick and the bell had already rung!!!!
The best advice I can give parents and students for surviving the school year is to make sure to make time for relaxation. Take time as a family to spend time playing board games, seeing a movie,etc...Since I am a teacher, I make sure to leave my school aka work at the building and put on my mommy hat at home. :)
So I am sending everyone happy back to school wishes!!! :)
P.S. I am entering a contest  for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Living Outside the Box!

We were recently sent a fun toy by Ebeanstalk!

It's called Connect-a-Straws.

My five year old son Harrison had a blast with them.
You can make cool things like...

glasses to wear!

flowers! :)


And so much headbands, belts, buildings,etc. I like the toy because it encourages creativity and outside the box thinking!
With so many toys to choose from, it's hard to pick out the perfect ones for your children. Ebeanstalk wants to make sure they have the best toys around and they could really use your help. Head on over to ebeanstalk and tell them what your favorite baby toys and kids toys are! It's important to them to provide great toys by age and the only way they can make sure they have the right ones is to get feedback from moms like you and me!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Much needed update time!

What time is it? Adventure time! (Love that show...)
This summer is flying by too fast for me! We celebrated the 4th in our tiny town--hopefully I'll post some pictures soon.

I have been working in my classroom and on professional development with co-workers.
Our garden is growing like crazy.
Ben and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. :)

Our cat Angry ran away when a window was left open and the screen fell out of it. :( It has been 3 days now.

(Here she is with her baby Glitz-he was born on Mother's Day 2008!)
I keep dreaming at night that I find her. I am keeping the hope alive in my ♥.

My goal today is to sort things in my office. My teacher files are a mess! Oh, and to go swimming today.

Okay so I started thinking about my Christmas shopping list (yes, I start in July!) I have lots of nieces and nephews and of course, my little Harrison to buy for. Ebeanstalk to the rescue! lol I love, love to peruse their site.
We would get toys from them when Harrison was a baby and they were always good quality, and developmentally appropriate.

So now I am off to clean!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spammers are gone!

thank you debbie :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


So much has come to pass since my last post!!
I neglected my online diary aka this blog for a year almost because I started teaching Prek in two different locations. Getting back into the swing of things after being a stay-at-home mom for four years was tough! I had sold/donated some of my teaching stuff--never really sure if I would return. Then I did and I had to collect/make new stuff! So it was like having my first year all over again!!
And I got re-exposed to cooties so I was sick A LOT. :)
But I realized that A)I was born to teach. This is what God instilled in me. and B)I am flexible and strong for being able to manage two different locations (inside daycares--my public school does PreK now inside daycares) plus two different elementary schools (where I filled out paperwork, copied, laminated,etc).
I really think every teacher has a grade or two that is close to their heart ♥. For me it has always been Kindergarten. Always. And for some reason it seems to always be the most competitive grade to get hired in--I guess Kindergarten is in the hearts of many. :) Plus, here in Oklahoma there are so many budget cuts and so many teachers without jobs.
I am blessed to have been hired so very early in a different school, different district and having my sweet, sweet Kindergarten again. I am excited!!!!
I kept hearing, "When God closes one door he opens another." And honestly, I kind of was not sure if the door was locked or going to open lol. I am so blessed and I want to give readers/friends hugs. ~***~
So I am in the process of organizing my home office...going through my teaching stuff and also sorting scrapbook stuff. Honestly, scrapbooking and art have not been a huge priority in my life. But I have that yearning inside to still create! I am sure once I settle into this school year I will start again.
Speaking of creativity!! My online friend Debbie Chavers is having an art challenge!!! Woohoo!!!!

If you want to do it, you can have until the end of the month, June 30th. The deadline is going to be the 25th (starting after this month).That's all for now...gotta go work in my office some more. :) P.S. Anyone know how to get rid of my spammers in my comments sections?!?!?