Monday, June 30, 2014 to my ears!

I was curious where the word clearance (as in something being extremely on sale) originated but haven't uncovered its origin.  But this magical word is something teachers love to find because it saves them money out of their own pockets.  For me, it's like hitting the jackpot when I find something on clearance that I really do need or can quickly think of a use for in my classroom.

Clearance was on my side today... I'm currently on vacation in Minnesota and take every opportunity to visit stores we don't have up in Alaska.  One such wonderful store is Hobby Lobby!  I play this game where I go find the clearance items and pick the most interesting one and then try to think of a use for it in my classroom and then convince myself that I really need it.  I pretty much always win this game.  Today my find was a game that I will probably turn into a CVC game.

I think Scrabble and Bananagrams got married and this is their love child.

Found with other clearance graduation items.
The last store I visited was Kohl's, which we have in Anchorage, but I needed a new tank top to go with a new skirt I recently bought.  Never did I think I'd find something for my classroom in this store.  But then I found this little guy...and bought 2 of them.
It's really an empty, lidless, rectangular box.
I love to call my students "Smarty Pants" when they contribute something really smart and it kind of catches me off guard.  Now I can give my Smart Pantses these little wooden plaques to put on their desks for a warm fuzzy.  I plan to have them frequently desk hop during a day!

Do you love to see the word 'clearance' as much as me?  
Do you play my game too?

Sunday, June 29, 2014


This Friday is the big auntie Lynn's birthday!  And of course it's the Fourth of July!

I have so many great memories of this summer holiday.  We would spend all day at the cabin, swimming and eating grilled goodies.  Then we'd rush home to change into our jammies and hurry downtown to get a good spot to watch the fireworks.

Have you ever wondered how fireworks work?  I thought boys especially would enjoy a Readers' Theater partner play about fireworks so voila...and it's FREE!

Since it's Monday, I'm linking up with
So go check out the other FREEBIES and have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reading Quote

My favorite thing about reading (and listening to music) is visualizing.  I love to make a movie to match what I'm reading or hearing.  

This quote from Natalie Babbitt is one of my favorites and is hanging up in our classroom library and really highlights my love of visualizing and just getting lost in a book!
Grab this FREEBIE!

It's Monday, so go check out all the other great freebies over at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fairies in a Jar

Now that school is out, it's time to look over my Pinterest pins and try out the fun stuff!  Today my daughter and I tried making Fairies in a Jar.  
needed items: a clear jar,  glowsticks, glitter
#1: Cut a glowstick and empty the contents into a jar.
#2:  Add glitter to the jar.
#3: Put the lid back on and close.  SHAKE IT UP!
#4: Go in a dark room to watch it glow!

It turned out so-so, compared to the picture on Pinterest, so we decided to add liquid to the jar to see what would happen.  We poured in a cup of vegetable oil and 2 things happened:  all the glow disappeared -and- the glitter ran down the sides of the jar like rain, which was very relaxing to watch.

So how can this project relate to your classroom?  Making a shakeable jar, full of glitter and liquid can be used by students who show anger, frustration and/or needing a break.  I had a jar like this in my classroom for such a student this year and it worked very well.  I kept it, along with other sensory items that seemed to calm or distract, in a rubbermaid drawer behind my desk so it was accessible but not super visible to the rest of the class.

Click here to see the original 'Fairies in a Jar' Pinterest link.

I can't wait to try more artsy projects that I've pinned!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mad Libs

Do you remember Mad Libs?  Those fill-in-the-blank stories that were so fun to complete and hilarious to read!  

I just discovered that Mad Libs are scaffolded so kids as young as preschool can start doing them and then progress as they get older.  There's an easy, medium and hard version.  The easy version has stickers and my soon-to-be first grade daughter and I just happened to buy one from a local book store the other day and had lots of fun with them this weekend.
There is also a Christmas and Easter sticker book.
Reading this over and over is also great fluency practice!
Kids can make a serious or silly Mad Lib with the stickers provided.
And voila
The medium level has symbols underneath each missing word.  There is a word bank to choose from, by matching up the symbols.  I make these available at our Writing Station.

I took my love of Mad Libs one step further and created two for Mother's and Father's Day and they are the inside of the cards we make for our moms and dads.  They are FREE too!
Click to get them!
I hope you get just as ___________ about Mad Libs as I did!