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.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Rockin' It Again!

Photo courtesy of G. Toney

My church, Forest Ridge Baptist Church, is partners with 3 nearby schools.  Each month through the school year we do something for our schools, like provide lunch or school supplies they need, or bring them cookies.  


After seeing how much the students at Central enjoy finding the rocks our faculty painted and have been hiding, I thought painted rocks would fun for our church to give our partner schools.


Today we had a Rock It! event at church and had lots of fun painting rocks to give our schools.  Have you ever done this for your school? 



Monday, August 21, 2017

Central Rocks !

Has the rock painting craze hit your area?  I first started noticing cute painted rocks on a Facebook page called 918 Rocks! a while back.  (918 is the area code in my part of Oklahoma.) People post rocks they've painted or those they've found.  They can choose to keep them or rehide them for someone else to enjoy finding.  


If you're not familiar with this activity, there are many groups around our state and other states as well.  There are even national groups, like America Rocks and USA Rocks. 


Our district teachers reported the 14th.  One of the team-building activities we did was paint rocks for our kids to find around our building.  We had a good time painting them, and our students are having a fun time finding them.  They get to keep the rocks they find.

  In this age of hate-filled speech and actions all around our nation, it's nice that so many people delightfully engage in this simple activity that brings joy to others.  I'd love to hear about your experiences painting or finding rocks.









Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Wagoneer!!

Look, Wagoneers!  We have a new face in our wagon train!


Welcome, Josepha.  Hope you find some good ideas while you're here.  Glad you joined us.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Shaving Cream, Oh My

Have you had your students clean their grubby desks with shaving cream?  I have many times.  The kids love the gooey experience, the room smells great, and their desks come clean.  Sounds great, right?  Well, maybe not.

As I've delved more into healthy living, healthy products, and healthy environments in the last couple of years, my eyes have certainly been opened.  I've learned that many of the products I never worried about actually contain harmful chemicals that the FDA has approved.  That includes shaving cream.

When the kids are inhaling the wonderful aroma, realize they are inhaling the chemicals used to create that smell.  Their little noses are much closer to it than ours. 

The foam covering their hands, arms, and probably some of their faces contains phthalates.  These are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity.  They're found in flexible plastic and vinyl (PVC) toys, food packaging and cling wraps, medical devices, backpacks, shower curtains, building materials such as pipes, vinyl flooring and wallpaper, and other products, as well as adhesives, dyes, inks, mosquito repellents, and personal care products such as nail polish, skin moisturizers, perfumes, and shaving cream.  A number of studies are pointing to negative effects of exposure to various types of phthalates: premature breast development in girls, adverse development of the reproductive tract of male embryos, allergies, and possible endocrine disruption.


I know my decision to not have my students participate in this particular activity any more is only a blip on the radar of the phthalate exposure in their lives.  However, I'll feel much better about not having contributed to it.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

StarPassage: Heroes and Martyrs

If you met the Carsons in Clarke Rich Burbidge's first StarPassage book, you'll be happy to know they're back with more adventures.   (See my post.)  Tim and Marti guide new friend, Bobby, through trips back in time as he deals with the guilt of his family's tragedy.


StarPassage: Heroes and Martyrs would make the subject of a good preteen/teen book study.  Strong themes of good vs. evil and courage to face adversity are evident in the book.  Author Burbidge excels at creating nail-biting suspense throughout the book. Readers can examine the text for many good examples of rising action in the plot and roadblocks aplenty.  He caps off the story with a cliff-hanger ending, leaving the reader anxious to devour the next volume that hasn’t yet been written! 

Author Clark Rich Burbidge

Burbidge so skillfully weaves time travel through the story that it almost seems plausible.  Readers get authentic tastes of history as the characters witness some of the Airborne invasion of France of D-Day 1944, the horrors of the attack on the twin towers on 9/11, and the fiery cataclysmic eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883. 


You'll definitely want to read StarPassage:Heroes and Martyrs yourself and have it on hand for middle school and older students to read.