Friday, January 3, 2020

Fly, Fly Again

Jenny has always wanted to fly.  Although her many attempts to do so were not successful, she never gave up.  She studied her pet red-tailed hawk to learn more about how flight works.  When her latest aeronautical creation crashed in her neighbor Jude’s back yard, she teamed up with him to rework her design. They learned about pitch, roll, drift, yaw, and how lift, control, and speed play a part in getting their tiny plane to fly.  One more attempt and - - - SUCCESS!!  Of course, this inspired their next project, a rocket to Mars!

Mother and daughter Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson collaborated on this entertaining story that introduces elementary-aged kids to some basic aeronautical engineering terms.  Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote the forward to this hot-off-the-press picture book.  Tammie Lyon’s delightfully creative illustrations add the perfect touch to Fly, Fly Again. A portion of the proceeds from this book  will be donated to UNICEF and Buzz Aldrin Ventures.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Gnome for the Holidays

I made this cute little guy after watching a Youtube video

I switched out the rice she used for a bag of beans and subbed a ping pong ball for Gnomey's nose.

Since Christmas Spirit is my favorite essential oil blend to use this time of the year, I applied a few drops to his beard and he became a passive diffuser. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Last Day

It's the last day of school before we break for the holidays.  Excitement is high (and noisy) among our littler learners today.  

May you have a peaceful and meaningful Christmas.  May you find new purpose and enthusiasm for the coming new year/decade.

Teachers, enjoy your time off from school.   Take time to relax, rejuvenate, and read a couple of really good books over the break. 


Parents enjoy your little ones.  Find time to read to them.  Take an excursion to your local library so they can pick out some books to enjoy during vacation.


Friday, November 1, 2019

Sweet Idea

Recognize these?  Of course, they're gelato spoons.

My teacher friend, Michele is like me.  She loves to repurpose anything and everything to use in the classroom.  She gave me a handful of these spoons to use for my students to track their words while reading.  Maybe it will help  your young students to spoon up some good focus.

Speaking of tracking, I'm a little late to remind you of a previous post on tracking words with creepy fingers.   Maybe you can catch some of them on Halloween clearance.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sight Word Activity

 Early emergent readers and children who struggle to learn to read sometimes have difficulty realizing a word that starts with a capital letter is the same word as the identical word that is all lower case or is in a different font.

I made this game for a couple of my second graders who are finding remembering sight words quite a challenge.  They'll get a little fine motor practice as well.  See the rubber-tipped tongs?  I found them at Walmart.  Adds a little fun element to the game as they search for matches.

I also found at Walmart some colored laminating sheets.  Didn't know they made such.  The top layer is clear, and the bottom layer is a translucent color.  I used light blue card stock for this game.  When I was laminating, I accidentally put the colored side on top of one of the sheets.  You can see the darker sheet in the top picture.  Fortunately, it's still readable.

Friday, September 6, 2019

News Flash--Light

I was in my teacher-friend, Sharon's, first grade classroom today.  She was busy at the teacher table while children were at centers-typical first grade routines.  What was not typical was the way she gained the attention of one little guy whose noise level was a little higher than what was needed.  Without missing a beat with what she was doing, she grabbed the flashlight on her table and waved it back and forth on the little one's face.  He responded instantly and dialed it down as he got back on task.  




No need to raise her voice above the children's work noise to grab his attention.  No negativity added to scold a child into doing the right thing.  Just a silent reminder.  It's obvious she has spent lots of time during our first three weeks of school to build in procedures in a positive way.  Time spent this way early on reaps benefits all the rest of the year. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Sea of Japan

This book was a departure from my usual reading fare, children’s books, books about teaching reading and helping children with reading disabilities, and books related to essential oils (love my Young Living).  The Sea of Japan was a 344-page vacation. 


This book was school related in the sense that the main character, Lindsey, was a teacher.  She left a horrible teaching assignment in Boston and wound up in Hime, Japan, a small fishing town, teaching English.  While trying to snap a picture by the local bay, Lindsay slipped, knocking herself out after hitting her head, and fell into sea.  Fortunately, Ichiro, the brother of one of her students, saw her fall and rescued her.  That began a friendship which became a business partnership.


Lindsay added fishing with Ichiro on his commercial boat to her teaching duties.  She used what she had learned about fishing from her grandfather, who was a commercial fisherman in Massachusetts. Over time she not only developed skill as a fisherwoman but became involved along with Ichiro in trying to save the fishing industry in Hime.  The detailed plan she, Ichiro, and her friend Judy, developed seemed to be the answer to the demise of Hime.  However, their plan was hijacked by Lindsay’s ex-boyfriend, who showed up in Japan and swept her off her feet again. 


Ichiro and Lindsay were looked to as leaders by the Hime fishermen. The friends frantically tried to save Hime.  things just continued to deteriorate in their town, but their relationship became closer.  Lindsay felt responsible for the bahid things happening, and she made a last-ditch, all-or-nothing gamble to rescue the town she had come to love.  The poignant ending left me in tears.


I found this book to be an interesting read.  Not only does it give insight into Japanese culture, but it explained how the fishing industry worked there.  I even learned a little about sushi making as Lindsay became apprenticed to a master sushi chef in Hime.

Japanese author, Keita Nagano, has won awards for his writing.  He lives in Nevada with his wife.  He is the ultimate American-experience junky, having visited all 50 states, all 30 major league ballparks, and the top 60 big cities in the U.S.  For my next read I want to track down his award-winning missing-child thriller, Kamikakushi.


 Next month most of us teachers will have fall break.  The Sea of Japan would make an entertaining stay-cation read for you.


#theseaofjapan  #keitanagano