Sunday, February 25, 2018

Welcome Wagon

Heads up, Wagoneers!  We're adding  another wagon to our train!

Welcome, Josephine!!  So glad to have you join us.  Look around and see if you find some useful ideas on my blog.

Friday, February 16, 2018




Here's a silly/fun activity to help your students learn about onomatopoeia.  Have each child write down four examples of onomatopoeia.  


Sing the song to the tune of London Bridge.  Take turns using the children's examples to sing the last line.


on - o - mat - o - poeia,  poeia,  poeia

on - o - mat - o - poeia

drip, drop, splish, splash  (example)




Monday, February 12, 2018

Welcome Wagon


Gather 'round, Wagoneers.  We have a new face in our wagon train!


Welcome, Amanda!!  We're glad to have you in our ranks   Let us know from where you've journeyed to join us.  Look through my posts and find some ideas that are useful to you.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

My favorite graphic artist, Ashley McCulloch, has a couple of freebies up on her site, Thistlegirl Designs right now that you might love to have in your classroom.  Scroll through her site and you'll find several more of these quotes and proverbs, along with all kinds of other cute graphics-some free, some for purchase.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Happy Birthday, Katharine Holabird

Born on this date in 1948 in Chicago, Katharine Holabird has been delighting readers with her Angelina books since 1983.  She loved to dress up with her three sisters and pretend to be ballerinas.  Her grandmother took her to see ballets each years.

After graduating from college, she took a job as a literary editor.  A vacation to Italy sparked a desire to learn the language, so she lived in Rome for a while.  After she married in 1974, she and her husband moved to London where she worked as a school teacher.  


Katharine and her husband had two little girls, who began taking ballet when they were old enough.  Her girls' excitement about dancing gave Katharine the idea for a book about children who loved to dance.  She grabbed bits of writing time while the girls were in school and after they had gone to bed at night.  In the original story she wrote, Angelina was a little girl.  However, when the illustrator, Helen Craig, read the manuscript, she transformed the little girl into the ballerina mouse we read in the Angelina series.

Katherine now writes about Twinkle, a fairy whose wings change colors with her moods.  She still lives in London with her husband.

Here's is Katharine's informative website: .

Check out these videos by the author:  and

How many of her Angelina books have you read?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bully or Bestie, A Follow-Up



On this National Day of Acceptance I wanted to share a cool link.  You may remember my blog post about the book, Colorblind, by author and lawyer, Leah Harper Bowron.  This coming-of-age story gives a snapshot of life in the south in the late 60s.  It's a good starting point for a discussion of the topics of friendship and bullying.


The author has developed a quick online quiz to see what kind of friend or bully you are.  Upon submission of the completed quiz, the results are sent to the taker.  If you are doing this as a pre-reading activity for your class, you could have the students put their first name, last initial and your (teacher) school email address for privacy. (You may have to check on your school's online policy first.)  


Each participant will receive a response based on their answers to the questions.  It will tell the characteristics of, for instance, the "loner" or "everyone's buddy" and relate that to the particular character in Colorblind who displays them.  The information received can be the basis for some deeper conversations about, not only the book, but about the issue of bullying. Here's the link:


Please let us know if you use this quiz with your class of middle schoolers or your own child following the reading of  Colorblind.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

#Bully/BestieQuiz #teensfortolerance #Colorblind 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Welcome Wagon

Hope you're wearing your woolies, Wagoneers!!  The wind's howling, and it's bitterly cold here in Oklahoma.  Silvia didn't let that stop her from joining our wagon train, though.  We welcome you, Silvia!  Peruse my posts and find some good ideas to use.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Brrr Welcome

Wagoneers, we have a new member in our wagon train! Welcome, Margaret!!  Hope you're staying warm as you peruse the pages of this blog. 


Throw another log on the fire.  It's only 15 degrees with a wind chill of -1! That's rrrrreally cold for northeast Oklahoma! Nothing like temps in the states in NE U.S., but plenty cold for here.  Let me know what temps are like in your neck of the woods this New Year's Eve day.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Gingerbread BME

 After reading Paul Galdone's The Gingerbread Boy, I discussed with my first graders the events that happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story. Next I made about 18 word strips of  words from the story I had made using a candy cane font. 


Then each child drew a strip, read the word, and told me if it was first found in the beginning, middle, or end of the story.  S/he could also describe to me other places it might have been used in the story.

 Finally, the word strips and the book go in a center. Students read each strip and spell it using alphabet tiles. If they get stuck on a word, they find it in the book and use context to figure it out. They loved this center.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Spectacular Solar Systems

The 3rd grade classes at my school just completed a science unit on the solar system.  To ice the cake they created their own solar systems.  Aren't they fabulous?

To make them they went out on the playground with a poster board and glossy spray paint.  With teacher supervision, of course, they spray painted bands of color on the poster board.

Next they laid lids of various sizes on the stripes and sprayed everything with glossy black.  













Glitter was optional, but a girl's gotta glitter. Right!!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Gingerbread Fun

I love the Gingerbread Man!  This week I'll begin doing G Man activities with my first graders.  There are so many cute ideas on blogs, TPT, and Pinterest for this theme.  Graciously, many creators offer some or all of their activites for free.  


Here are the gingerbread girls and boys I've painted for my first graders.  Such fun!  Can't wait to see their reactions.


I don't know why it's sideways as it was saved vertical.