Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Important Announcement

I haven't abandoned you, blogworld!!!

All-consuming computer dilemmas caused me to have a blogging blackout.  During that time I missed my birthday freebie AND my first blogiversary.  Oh well, I'll catch up soon on that.   I have some very IMPORTANT news to tell you.

The destruction this past May of the two Moore, Oklahoma, elementary schools caused me to think about what I would do if my entire archives of 42 years of teaching were suddenly gone.  What a huge professional loss those teachers felt on top of the personal tragedies of their own homes, families, friends, etc.  I began to hatch an idea to help.


On Tuesday, August 6, I am hosting a make-it, send-it workshop called Helping Hands for Moore Teachers.  It is open to adults in the general public and teachers in the Broken Arrow/Tulsa area.  Following are the details.


When: Tuesday, August 6; 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Come and go.

Where:  Forest Ridge Baptist Church; 8300 S. Oneta Road, east of Broken Arrow OK 74014; 918-357-1498.

Bring: Your own scissors; snacks or sandwiches to share; a friend or two.

Teachers:  Bring materials already run off from freebie sites on the Internet, such as TPT, Teacher's Notebook, and many others.  Bring things you like for your grade level or subject area.  You can even bring a whole carload of buddy teachers!!


We will color, cut, assemble, and laminate the materials, label them with the grade level and, hopefully, fill many boxes with finished products.  Materials are needed for grades PreK - 6th, music, art, PE, and special education.  We will have on hand to work with crayons, colored pencils, markers, card stock, index cards,  file folders, and clear Contac paper.


I hope those of you in this area of the state will come join us, loaded with goodies to make and send.  I'd love to meet you and have you help us help Moore teachers.


 If you live out of the area and want to participate, please email your items to my blog email.  Should you prefer to snail mail finished items as your way of helping, please send them to the church address above c/o Helping Hands for Moore Teachers.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday Teacher $ Days Linky

I'm linking again with Teacher Without a Class for her fun Teacher $ Days.  I scored again at the Doller Tree--love that store!   The pieces are wooden, so they'll last a long time.  PLUS they are magnetic! One thing you can do with them is to match the pieces to cards labels with the various shapes.  Another thing is to get a second set for partner work.  Player 1 builds a design or pattern w/o Player 2 watching.  Then Player 2 uses his/her pieces to duplicate it.  Store each set in its own container.  Label the back of each piece with a white paint pen, 1 for set one, 2 for set 2.  This will be a fun addition to a math center.

Now, here's what you do.  Leave me a comment here.  Go post a $1 Teacher deal on your blog and link it to A Teacher Without a Class.  Then follow everyone's links to get some great bargain ideas.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday TA-DAH!!! and Welcome Wagon

I've finally accomplished something this summer and just had to share.  My church had lots of western-themed decorations left over after VBS.  Of course, I volunteered to find classroom use for it.  I contacted our computer lab teacher and got permission to decorate the lab.  

And now . . . 

Welcome to Tech-sus

Thanks to the simplicity of SkyDrive, I was able to embed this slideshow.  Hadn't done this before.  Yea, me!!

Now for more good news.  My wagon train is 2 wagons longer. Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers, meet Karen of All Smiles in Second Grade.  She'd love to have you follow her cute new blog.  Another new Wagoneer (and new blogger) you'll want to check out is Christina of Cowan's Pre-K Caterpillars.  It's so nice to have you ladies join us!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Welcome Wagon and Let's Get Acquainted Linky

Welcome to the blogworld, Miss Hardeman!  I'm sending all my Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers straight over to your blog, Life as a Math Geek.  As a new blogger, you will, no doubt, be exponentially (See? A math term!) excited to pick up some new followers.

A hearty howdy, as well, to 2nd-grade-teachers, Jamie of Teaching Tidbits and More. She also has a fairly new blog everyone will want to explore.

I'm linking with Latoya again for her Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party.


The temptation for a new teacher is to buy, buy, buy.  That's fine if you have unlimited funds.  (I did say NEW teacher--read limited income.) You'll be surprised at what you can make/recycle for yourself, even if you've never tried something like that before.  If God has called you to teach, He has given you the creativity to do the job.  It's up to you to draw it out of yourself.  You. Can. Do. It!


No matter how much of a stinker a child was yesterday, begin each day with his/her slate completely clean.  Otherwise, children have no incentive to strive for better behavior. 


Steer clear of rooms (like the teacher's lounge) that can be stages of negativity.  Avoid as well teachers and staff who are Negative Nellies.  Remaining in a fetid environment any longer than you have to begins to work on your own attitude, which carries over onto your views and interactions with your students.  They deserve better than that, and so do you.


Being a teacher (especially a new teacher) can be all-consuming.  Your work is never completely done.  Even when you're away from school, your teacher-brain continues to whir.  You must carve out some time to be completely school-free to avoid burnout.  Easier said than done.  I have not, in my 42 years of teaching, mastered this bit of advice.


Your school secretary and custodian are not merely staff persons.  They can make your life at school smooth or bumpy. Frequently, let them know you appreciate things they do for you.  Occasionally, bring them a treat or surprise they will enjoy.  As teachers, we don't see all the effort they put into their jobs or the frustrations they have.  Everyone deserves to be appreciated.


Whether it's your students, colleagues, parents, or administration, focus on what they are saying and their body language.  Actively listen--with eye contact.  You may have to disagree with what they say to you, but you will have given them your full attention and heard them out.  This action alone goes a long way in building strong relationships.

New teachers:  best wishes for a very successful first year!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday and Welcome Wagon

I'm linking up with Cara at The First Grade Parade for her oh-so-fun Favorite Pins Friday.

1.  I found a new recipe for homemade bubble juice I want to try.  Use a dispenser-type laundry soap jug to store it in.  Makes for easy refills when kids run out in their individual container they're using.

12 cups water 1 cup Dawn  dish soap  1 cup cornstarch 2 TBSP baking powder An important note: the mix ends up looking really watery, not the syrupy-type of texture that store-bought bubbles are like...but we have always been amazed at the bubbles produced.

2.  Jivey of Ideas by Jivey came back from a Summer Literacy Institute just bubbling over with great ideas.  She presented 3 sessions herself and got to hear The keynote speaker's inspiring presentation.  Below is what Jivey said.

"The first day, our keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Tate, author of the books, Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. She is all about using engaging instructional strategies to teach, and so am I! None of her strategies are "new ideas" to me really, but she was so positive and uplifting as she went through her presentation, it really pumped me up to ENSURE I use these strategies even MORE in my classroom."

I'll want to put a copy of this in my planning area.  

3.  This clever storage idea came from Miss Brown at Teaching Takes Heart.  Once I find those on-sale 10-cent folders, I'll be making these!  Velcro dots hold them closed.


4.  While Jamie made this as a card, I can see it working splendidly for a matching game in my classroom. Her website is Cute Cards and Crafts by Jamie.

5.  Finally, I'm including this pin just because I love God's beautiful creations.  You'll find this pic and more at


Saving the best for last, here comes the Welcome Wagon.

A big old HELLO to Leslie of  Fifth Grade Way of Life and to Delighted of First Grade Delight. Both of these ladies are Okie bloggers like I am!!  As they say, birds of a feather . . . .  Make sure, Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers, you head right over and check out their blogs.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Welcome Wagon

I want to thank Susan and Dana for rolling their wagons over here and giving me some Bloglovin'.  Welcome, ladies!!  If you two have blogs, please let me know and I'll include your links here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Welcome Wagon and More Bees

So glad to discover Sue of Science for Kids has joined my wagon train. Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers, roll right over there.   It is a GOLD MINE of science ideas!   

Mechele of The Vintage Cinderella has joined as well.  She would greatly appreciate our wagons rolling over to her still-new blog and giving her some Bloglovin'. 

I've just place another bee item on my TPT store, Little Red Wagon.  Buzz over and check out my worker bee helper cards.

Welcome Wagon

Greetings and salutations to my newest Wagoneers.  First, let me introduce the lady behind the blog, Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.  She's a "civilian" (not a teacher), but has a teacher's heart.  Once you look at the vast assortment of ideas on her blog, you'll see what I mean.  Sadly, I don't know her name.

My next new Wagoneer is Shelly.  If you have a blog, Shelly, please let me know and I'll post the link here.

Welcome, ladies, and thanks for falling in line with my wagon train!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Flat Stanley

Since I have friends and kin traveling this summer, I'm living vicariously through them.  They were kind enough to allow Flat Stanley to tag along.  I'll be posting them here and will start a new page on my blog just for Stanley.

My former ORU student, friend, and Wagoneer, Kimberly is in Ireland for a month.  Can you see Stanley nestled against the white blossoms?

My sister, Julie, and her hubs, Scott, took a vaca around the NE part of our nation.  Here's Stanley bonding with the tiger, mascot of Princeton University.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome Wagon

Heads up gang!  We have another Wagoneers in the train.  Welcome Michelle, a newbie special ed teacher whose blog has the cutest name, Miss, Hey Miss.  Wagoneers, head right over there and give her some Bloglovin' Wagoneer luv.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Welcome Wagon

A warm Wednesday welcome to my newest Bloglovin' Wagoneers.  And I do mean warm--it's supposed to hit 102*  Angela of Teacher Desk 6 teaches big kids in Ohio.   You'll want to check out her blog.  Also, Jenn has rolled her wagon in line.  Jenn, if you have a blog, please let me know so I can add your link.

Hope you ladies will come back and click on the "Join this Site" button as well.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday Free-bee

Look at me go!!  I have another product on my TPT store, and it's a free-bee!!

This is the basis for the behavior plan I use in my class.  There is a page with this poster which explains it.  Go to my store, Little Red Wagon, and download your free-bee.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Motivation

Now that I've F.I.N.A.L.L.Y got a new product posted in my TPT store (Little Red Wagon), I'm motivated to get rolling on some more ideas I have.  Check it out. (Sorry it turned sideways on me.  The original photo wasn't in this position.) 

School Supplies Number Match can be played as a number-numeral game or with addition facts to 10.  Please let me know what you think as I'm very new to the TPT seller world.

What are you motivated to do today?  Leave me a comment, please.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Welcome Wagon

I have two new wagons in my train!  First is Linda of Around the Kampfire, whose blog is jam packed with ideas.  Second is Selina of Classroom Magic.  What a beautiful, idea-full blog!  Ladies, would you be so kind as to come back and click on the Bloglovin' button too?

OK now all you Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers,  head straight over and check out our newbies' blogs!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Friday on Saturday

Late--but didn't want to lose out on this fun Friday linky.  Join the fun with The First Grade Parade, where you'll get all the directions.

1. Math

First Week Back - How I use math.
from Linda @ Around the

What a fun way to begin the year with math.  

2. Reading

a whole youtube channel where classic childrens stories are read outloud.
A Mercer Meyer channel on YouTube

Lotsa Little Kritter Videos and more!

3. Class Management

You 2ndie teachers know how well our cherubs can point out the flaws in their fellow classmates so you'll see how wonderful they are.  This is a great chart to kick off that discussion first thing in the year. 

From Amanda @ Mrs. Terhune.blogspot

4. Games

lady bug tic-tac-toe
Made by Alecia @ Chicken Scratch NY

Ladybugs and bumble bees!  Wouldn't your students have fun helping to make these?

Now if your playground only had a stump.  Oh, wait!  Here's another idea.

Fun Family
Made by Linda @ It All Started With Paint

5. Crafts

I love old canning jars.

Now it's your turn to have some fun sharing Pinterest favs.   

   1.  Leave me a comment if you saw something here you liked.  

2.  Go to Cara's The First Grade Parade and follow her directions. 

Can wait to see everyone's pins!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Fun

Today is my mother-in-law's 88th birthday.  She loves and raises chickens and over the years has acquired lots of cute "chickeny" decor for her home.  Below is the card I made for this sweet lady.  We got to spend the evening with her and have birthday cake and homemade ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Oleta!!

On the left side is a pocket for a money gift.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Welcome Wagon, Independence Day, and Blogaversary

Well, look who just rolled in line!  My cousin, Denise.  Welcome to my wagon train, Cuz!

Another new Wagoneer is Kristen.  Everyone will want to cruise over and check out her blog, Aspire to Inspire in Teaching and Learning.  She's always up to something interesting!

Happy 237th birthday, America!

Let us not forget, in the midst of fireworks, food, and fellowship, what it took and what it takes to secure and maintain our freedoms.

Here's a blogaversary shout-out to Crystal @ Ms. Jones' Junction.  She has a wonderful blog and has been a great help to me on my blog.  Roll on over to her junction to get hooked up with her grand give-away!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Picture Book Linky Party

Today's linky party is brought to you by Deanne at First Grade and Fabulous.  She's calling for those great picture books that reinforce math concepts.  

The two I am sharing have been around a long time (like I have ). 

Grandfather Tang's Story by Ann Tompert

Grandfather shares a story about two fox fairies and uses a tangram (a square cut into 7 pieces) to illustrate it.  After I've shared the story I put the book and a tangram into a center, where students love to use the tangram to reproduce the pictures and make their own designs.  The book has lovely water color illustrations and clear patterns for the kids to replicate.

The second book I love to use is The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, a fun predictable story.  My students first cut out a dozen "cookies" to manipulate as I read the story.  With each double-page spread a new visitor shows up, and the cookies have to be redistributed.  It's fun to use with older students as you begin multiplication or division.

Now here's what you do.

1.  Leave a comment for me (and join me on Bloglovin' while you're here).

2.  Then go to your blog and post your favorite mathy picture books.

3.  Link up with Deanne @ First Grade and Fabulous.

I'm anxious to see everyone's suggestions.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Welcome Wagon and Tuesday Trick

Here's the Welcome Wagon once again to lead Beth into my wagon train.  Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers, you've never seen a blog so stuffed with ideas anywhere!!  You must roll right on over there right now:  Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.

And now for the trick - I tricked myself.  The other day I wrote about my duster find at the Target Dollar aisle.  I used these to make puppets.  Wanting to find more of them in different colors, I searched at another Target.  I was so excited to find similar-looking "towels," they called them in four different colors.  

Not until the young man was checking me out did I discover they came from the $3 bin instead of a $1 bin.  As you can see, they followed me home and weren't returned to their bin.