Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year to my Wagoneers and my Wagon Watchers!!

Welcome, Amy, my newest Wagoneer!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Song

Here's a song I wrote to use while we're learning about maps.

        Cardinal Directions
                     (Tune:  Sound Off)

North’s always at the top of the map.
That is true.  Just see me snap.

The bottom of the map is always south.
You just heard that straight from my mouth.

Sound off:  north, south
Sound off:  east, west

Bring it on down:    north, south,
                                east, west

East is found by going right.
I know that because I’m bright.

Travel left.  You’re going west.
That’s the truth.  I would not jest.

Sound off:  north, south
Sound off:  east, west

Bring it on down:    north, south, 
                                east, west

Happy last Sunday of the year!!
      See you in church.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Fun

When we go back to school on the 3rd, we'll study the geography of America.  I'll teach them the following song to help them learn.  Then they'll make playdough topical maps.


U.S. Geography Song
(To the tune of “Davy Crockett”)

The mighty Mississippi runs north to south.
At the Gulf of Mexico is its big mouth.
Appalachians in the east and the Rockies in the west,
These are the mountains that I know the best.

Across the south of America is Mexico.
Just ask me and I’ll tell you so.
Atlantic Ocean’s on the east coast, Pacific’s on the west.
This isn’t all, so I’ll tell you the rest.

On the border of Canada are the Great Lakes.
‘Cross the middle of America the plain are great.
I’m learning the geography of the U.S.
When I sing this song, I’m learning it the best.

U.S., U.S. geography!
Let’s all sing again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gingerbread Fun

On the 18th my Learning Garden was transformed into a Gingerbread Village as construction workers went from station to station creating their architectural masterpieces.  Many thanks to Geri, who came in ahead of time to hot glue the graham cracker houses together.

Here's a "before" house, front and center.  Go to the Gallery to see some finished architectural wonders.  My little builders had so much fun!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

In Memoriam


Remembering the Sandy Hook 26, who are spending their first Christmas in Heaven.
May God provide comfort and peace to their loved ones.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Pause for a time in the midst of the frantic preparations for Christmas to remember the real significance of this season.  May God grant you peace, comfort, and provision today and through the coming year.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Salute

Welcome aboard my little red wagon, Patty! I'm excited to have another Wagoneer.

 I've been perusing your blogs (2nd in Line and Second Grade Freebies--both are gold mines of great activities.  I want to follow your blogs but don't see where to do so.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Fanfare

A wintry welcome to my 25th Wagoneer, my second Crystal, and my newest follower, Crystal.  I'm so pleased you joined my crew on this beautiful, sunny, not-the-end-of-the-world, first winter day!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday WooHoo!

Who would have thought this little red wagon blog would be of interest to so many folks?  Today marks 2000 visitors to my blog, and twenty different nations have taken a peek.  I would love it if you visitors would leave me a comment.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Footnote

My heart breaks for the community in Connecticut where the elementary school massacre took place today.  I can't begin to fathom the horror that transpired.  The loss of those innocent lives at the hands of a madman is infuriating.  The survivors are changed forever.

Join me in prayer for all those touched by this tragedy.  They will need to be lifted up long after the media frenzy dies down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Words

In the picture below is a holiday poem I like to use in my class.  I don't know who wrote it, so if anyone does, please leave me a comment so I can give due credit. 

The children made their candy stick to glue on their penmanship task.  We had a penmanship contest for this work.  To make these occasional contests fair, I choose a girl and a boy winner.  The winner is not always the same perfect-penmanship-people who have a natural ability for excellent fine motor control.  I count improvement so that a child who might have poor penmanship compared to others could possibly win because s/he had improved enough over their previous attempts.  That way really weak writers don't give up.

Teachers, please share a Christmas poem you like to use with your class.

A shout-out goes to my first blog visitor from Mexico today.  Glad you came by for a test drive.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Total

It's fun for me to keep track of where my blog-watchers live.  Today two more countries were added to my growing list of visitors, 17 as of today.  Hello, Singapore and hello, the Netherlands!

The Netherlands reminded me of my penpal I had when I was junior high age.  Wilma Pigmans was from Heemskirk, Holland.  I wonder what became of her.

 Have any of you had a penpal? Post a note to let me know about it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Night Snippet

I just downloaded the cutest fact family game FREE on Teachers Notebook. Check out these cute little reindeer at Down Under Teacher's store.

I'm so thankful for the talented and generous teachers who offer their creations for free.

Scrumptious Saturday

I love, love, love eggnog.  The holiday season brings Braum's wonderful eggnog shakes.  And it's also time to make Eggnog French Toast!  Warning:  I don't measure anything when I make it, so the following is a close estimate.

For a single serving beat one large egg until frothy.  Stir in 1/4 cup eggnog, 1 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a sprinkle of nutmeg and salt.  Soak a slice of your bread of choice on each side.  Brown each side in a skillet over medium-low heat.  You should have enough batter to make at least one more slice.  If you're generous, you can share. 

Spread a pat of real butter around the hot bread until melted.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  If you prefer, you can serve it with maple syrup instead.  Mmmmmmmmm

Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli

Let me Know how Yours turn Out.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Today I've had my dad, Jack Edwards, on my mind.  He would have been 97 years old today.  A voracious reader and student of history, he was our family's own Google when I was growing up.  I thought he knew the answer to everything.  That reading influence rubbed off on all three of us kids, who all enjoy a good book.  

He was a staff sergeant in the 8th Air Force during World War II.  During one run, his plane was shot up and the pilot killed.  He refused a Purple Heart because he felt his injuries were nothing compared to the pilot's sacrifice. I remember him telling about the delicious black bread he ate in Russia and how frustrated he was in France when he wanted to talk with some French men, but he didn't speak French.

Daddy was a terrific vegetable gardener.  Each year he put in a huge vegetable garden from which Mom produced row upon row of canned goods.  My sibs and I spent many an hour helping tend his gardens and helping prep the veggies Mom canned.  All three of us enjoy gardening, but my brother is the only one of us to put out a really big vegetable garden.

He was a printer by trade, working in the composing room for the Tulsa Tribune.  When I traveled out of state, I always brought back to him a copy of the local paper from where I had been.  He loved to see how different newspapers were laid out.  To this day I have the urge to buy a paper for him when I travel.

We lost Dad suddenly in 1985. He never got to meet his grandkids' spouses or see his two great-grandsons It took me a long time to get over his passing, but I still have a big hole in my heart.  Miss you Daddy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fun and Games

Amble over to Chalk One Up for the Teacher.  Cyndie has some nice K-2 activities she's offering for free on her Monday and Tuesday post.  I'm going to use the Christmas patterns as a writing extension in which they write a sentence to describe the pieces they selected to finish each pattern.

Tuesday Tune

To my Oklahoma 2nd grade teacher friends:

One of our state standards is for students to learn the border states to Oklahoma.  Here's the silly song I made up to help them.  It's to the tune of "Yankee Doodle."

Six states encircle Oklahoma.
Let's all learn to name them.
First go north to the state of Kansas
And start the naming game then.

At the northeast corner of
The state of Oklahoma
Lies Missouri where you'll be
If that is where you roam-a.

Next around is Arkansas.
It lies directly east of us.
Then travel south and west across
The biggest state of Texas.

New Mexico is at the very
End of the panhandle.
Colorado at the corner
Now completes the circle.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Merry Monday

This adorable graphic is by one of my favorite graphic artists, Ashley at Thistlegirl Designs. Check out her wares.

Monday Mention

Another Wagoneer!!  Welcome, Carrie.  Happy to have you as one of the team!  I cruised over to enjoy your blog, Floating Through First Grade and hope all my Wagoneers will too.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Salute

Hello, Mrs. Null!  How nice that you climbed aboard.  There's always room for one more in my little red wagon! Your blog, Read Aloud Literacy, is a great resource.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Tune

Those in early childhood know young children make sense of new things based on what they have previously heard and experienced.  In Language Arts we've been working on present and past tense verbs.  It's a rather abstract concept, so made up a song to help them remember.  It's to the tune of "Ten Little Indians."

     A present tense verb is happening right now.
     A present tense verb is happening right now.
     A present tense verb is happening right now.
     I am.  He is.  They are.

     A past tense verb has already happened.
     A past tense verb has already happened.
     A past tense verb has already happened.
     She was.  It did.  We were.

It was a bit too abstract for some, apparently.
They sang, "A president's verb is happening right now."

Don't you just love their logic following all the recent Presidential election sound bites they heard?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Award

Some time back my friend, Becky, gave me a blog award and an interesting history about it.  I'll just quote her description.

"Liebster is a German word meaning "Beloved," "Favorite," or "Dearest."  This award is a peer to peer award in which fellow bloggers present the award to their favorite bloggers with less than 200 followers.  The origin  of this award is unclear, but is believed to have originated by a German blogger.  This award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion to share your dearest and most beloved blogs thaqt have less than 200 followers.

Rules for Acceptance:  Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog.  Post the award onto your blog.  Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have less than 200 followers.  Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!"

Becky, here's your public thank-you since I just now was able to actually get the award posted on my blog.  Must have had blog-block!! I'm hoping all my Wagoneers and lurkers will stop by your wonderful blog, Scrapping Becky B.

My awardees are

Cyndie @ Chalk One Up for the Teacher

Sarah @ Using My Teacher Voice

Heidi @ In That Room With Heidi Harrell

Pam My Second Home

And Teacher Gone Digital

Cruise on over to see what these creative ladies are up to.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hello, Crystal

I'm happy you joined my wagoneers.  My little red wagon rattled by your  Jones' Junction.  It's such a cute site, I just had to join!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Welcome Aboard, Heather

I'm so glad you have joined my crew of wagoneers.  Hope you enjoy the ride.  Listen up, Wagoneers. Check out Heather's adorable blog.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I'm so blessed and thankful for my family and friends.
Whether you have a house full of company this year, are traveling to be with loved ones, or dining alone, take time to count your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving to my cyber-friends!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Sneak Preview

It's time again for Book Camp!  
Our four second grade classes become campsites for the 2-day Thanksgiving week.  

Picnic Table where Camping Buddies will read together.
Word Center - Campers will thread wooden lettered beads on
chenille sticks to spell out camp words.
Tomorrow morning my little Learning Gardeners will enter Camp Read-a-Lot.  Each camper will have a buddy, with whom they'll read camp-themed books and take AR tests.  They'll record all the books they read on a special reading log.  All across the curriculum they will experience camp.  We'll gather around our campfire (above right) tomorrow for a lunch of hot dogs and chili.  Later in the afternoon they'll heat Jiffy Pop skillets over a hot plate "campfire."

The fun will continue the next day with more reading and more camp-themed tasks in all subject areas.  Of course we'll have to make some s'mores! A pine cone bird feeder is the activity for our "Camp Craft Cabin." They're culminating activity will be to write about their favorite activity and illustrate it.

I'm hoping for lots of parents and grandparents to show up as Trail Guides both days.  They will listen to campers read and help with various activities.  It's always hard to determine who has more fun, the campers or the adults.

Watch for more pics.

Sad Saturday

The announcement came yesterday:  The demise of the DingDong, termination of the Twinkie, and the wind down of Wonder Bread.  Hostess Brands has ceased operation and declared bankruptcy.

I remember having toured the Tulsa plant with my class when I was in grade school.  The yeasty smell of the rising room was so strong, and the ovens were huge.  We received a miniature loaf of Wonder Bread as a souvenir.

What is truly sad is the loss of 180 jobs here in Tulsa and 18,500 nationwide.  I hope they are able to sell the company quickly so all those people can get back to work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Wobble

It's getting close to time again for gobble, gobble, wobble, wobble.  My kids used a turkey to help them practice their spelling words.  After writing each word on a feather, they cut the feathers out and arranged them in alpabetical order.  The body was made by rounding the corners on a circle. Then they  traced around and cut a folded head part to make a 3D head.  They thought it was a fun way to practice spelling and alpha order.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Meeting

It's always nice when the meeting you attend is worth all the extra effort of preparing sub plans.  Here in Oklahoma we're easing into the Common Core Standards. Kindergarten and first have begun using them.  Next year second will take them on.

The workshop today was on the topic of complementing science instruction with the CC literacy standards.  Tiffany Neill, our Oklahoma Department of Education's Director of Science and Health Education, gave a very informative and fun presentation.  I loved her common sense approach to CCS, as well as the classroom-ready teaching strategies and resource information she shared.

Welcome, Lisa

So glad you decided to catch a ride with me in my little red wagon. 

Glad you did your patriotic duty and voted, too.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Mmmm

When I dropped by to visit my sister, Julie, yesterday evening, she had supper all ready for us to eat.  Tuna Jackstraw!  This tasty dish from our childhood is so easy and quick to fix.  Here's the recipe.

1 can Tuna, drained
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup, undiluted
1 small can LeSeur peas, with liquid
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 4-ounce can shoestring potatoes

In a small skillet stir together all ingredients but shoestrings until heated through.  Place each serving on a bed of shoestring potatoes.

How easy is that?!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Just imagine you have lost your entire teaching "archives" lovingly amassed over your career.  How discouraging that would be!  

Laurah at The ESOL Odyssey has organized a wonderful way for us to help out our colleagues impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Check out the link below to see how you can lend a hand. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Terrific Tuesday!!

Just while ago I received an email announcing Sonic Drive-In of Oklahoma City had donated $600 to my Donors Choose grant.  WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!   Thank you,  Sonic!! 

My grant request is for a Literacy First comprehension kit.  There are assessments, which pinpoint specific comprehension skill strengths and weaknesses.  Also included are leveled books, activities, worksheets, etc., etc.  What's great is all the teachers in our school can use the assessment kit.  Only $3532 to go.

Check out the details at

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Mention

My prayers go out to all the people affected by hurricane Sandy, including my nephew, Nathan, and his wife, Becca, in New Jersey.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Snack

My cousins, sister and I got together this weekend to crop ("scrapbook" for you civilians).  My cousin, Lori, brought a deliciously sweet spin on Party Mix.  WARNING:  It's highly addictive if you have a sweet tooth like I do!
Graham  Trail Mix

In a large bowl mix:     
6 cups honey graham cereal     
1 cup honey  roasted peanuts
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup butter in a 3-quart pan
Stir in:
1 cup firmly  packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Bring to boil and boil about 2 minutes.

Pour butter mixture over cereal mix and stir to coat. Spread mix in a single layer onto a lightly-greased aluminum foil-lined jelly roll pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer to waxed paper and let cool completely. Break into pieces and mix in 2 cups pretzel sticks and 1 cup M & Ms

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Salutations

Hello, Ann.  I just noticed you slipped in.  Welcome aboard my little red wagon!  Don't forget to sign up for my posts by email.

Friday Fun

Friday my students and I enjoyed listening to my friend, Sandy, tell us all about butterflies.  She has been       raising them for 30 years and has so much knowledge about these beautiful creatures.  She has a wonderful website where she posts hundreds of her beautiful photographs. Here's an example from her website,  Thanks so much for coming, Sandy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Things

We just finished our read-aloud, Charlotte's Web, today.  The following sack scenes were carefully created by my 2nd graders.  Boy, were they engaged!  We just used large paper grocery sacks.  I cut a window in each, and they used those scraps to create fence, hay bales, etc.

Here's a close-up of the interior.  You can see Charlotte, made of skinny strips of black paper, dangling in front of the hay.  She's probably talking to Wilbur below her.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Warble

Today the students at my school enjoyed a performance by three members of the Tulsa Opera.  They presented a cute story, "Mooch the Messy," by children's author, Marjorie Sharmat.  I played the part of the mail rat, singing my lines.  Do you suppose I should include this on my resume? 

This was a wonderful experience for the children at my school.  Very few have heard an opera before.  From my vantage point at the front it was fun to observe their faces as they watched with rapt attention.  Even our little PreKs were totally entranced.  I'm thankful Tulsa Opera makes these school visits.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Wagoneers!

Welcome aboard, Michele and Heidi.  Glad to have you riding with me on my little red wagon!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Snack

Just saw this snack recipe while enjoying watching a favorite Saturday TV show, Oklahoma Gardening.   Besides being healthy, it could be served in many cute ways. Bon appetit!

Fresh Fruit with Cinnamon Yogurt

6 ounces. vanilla low-fat yogurt     
1/2 teaspoon.ground cinnamon
Mix together and set aside.

2 c. prepared fruit, like peeled, cored, sliced apples; peeled, sectioned oranges; stemmed strawberries; peeled, sliced kiwi; pitted, sliced peaches; peeled, chunked bananas; peeled, chunked pears, etc.
1/4 cup 100% orange juice

Put prepared fruit in a bowl Sprinkle with orange juice and toss.  This add flavor and prevents browning of the fruit.  Arrange fruit on 4 pretty saucers.  Scoop dip into a small custard cup for each.  Serves 4.

For a fun treat for kids, skewer the fruit pieces on cute, colorful cocktail stirrers or chopsticks.  Serve each person's dip in small paper party cups.  Turn it into a breakfast treat by adding in strips of French toast.  This is a tasty way to get more fruit into your child's diet. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday WooHoo

Here's a shout-out to my friend, Michele, who recently entered the blogging world.  Stop by her blog  and leave an encouraging comment.