Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday

This was our first FULL week of school (K and 1 that is) and my class this year is proving to be more of a challenge and requires more time and strictness than normal.  So I'm THRILLED it's Friday and time to link up at

My week was that much better because of these five things:

I FINALLY finished a video tour of my classroom, so come follow me inside!
Click on the pic to view the video

You can find resources you saw in the video right here.
Click on the pic to see the other project I'm hoping to get funded.
I posted a project a week ago and it has already been funded!  So we're going to be gardening in our classroom during our long, snowy winter!

 I've been off and on sick this week with the flu? and 2 of these babies really helped me feel a bit better!

 Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup/Mash
Yummy!!  Thank you Taste of Home magazine!  Click on the pic for the recipe.
Cross Country Running
I'm co-leading our K-6 team this year and the awesome trails we have next to our school make this such a FUN after school event.  100 kids (one fourth of our school) is involved in this!

Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Trick or Treat in the Heat & An Opportunity for You

Halloween comes early up in Anchorage thanks to something called 

What's even better is that it's a charity event to support children with cancer.  Get out your Kleenex....a little boy named Ian Robbins had cancer several years ago and his last wish was to go Trick or Treating before he died.  So his entire neighborhood (which now we're a part of) banded together and pretended it was Halloween in August.  He donned a Buzz Lightyear costume and his wish came true.  Sadly he died shortly thereafter.
But that sadness has now been turned into joy, excitement and awareness.  Four neighborhoods in the Anchorage area now participate.  And it's especially poignant this year because a fellow teacher's son is battling cancer right now down in Seattle and proceeds are going to him and his family.  

We moved into this neighborhood a year ago, after having participated the prior year and I was THRILLED to be part of everything!  So this year, with my daughter being obsessed with FROZEN, I decided to "Go big or go home!" -my motto.  Saturday night I created Elsa's ice palace in my garage while rocking out to 80's music...and I didn't even get any paint on my husband's car :-)

The next day I set up the palace and a beautiful snowflake laden runner in the air above our porch sidewalk.  My daughter dressed up as, of course, Elsa and I was Anna.  I had a BLAST handing out candy to many kids....many of whom were Elsa as well!  My husband (The Man in the Yellow Hat) took the kids (Curious George and Elsa) out Trick-or-Treating while I held down the palace.

I can't wait to do this again in October...but there'll more likely be real snow and ice by then. Elsa will be thrilled!

Now, onto an opportunity for YOU!
If any of you teachers out there create teaching resources and post them to sites like TPT or TN and are interested in another outlet, I have the good fortune to be part of a new teacher resource website (not my creation, the owners contacted me). Please e-mail me at for the details but the incentive is that you: will be paid $50 just for posting some of your teaching products and if you are one of the first five to participate, you will be paid $75. The owner took the time to call me and walk me through the process personally, which I was very impressed by. He's also been great with any feedback and suggestions I have for the site.  It's been a fun opportunity!
 Let me know if you're interested 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Five for Friday

Here comes another Friday!  This one came quicker due to having Monday off, which makes it even sweeter.  Speaking of sweet, here are 5 sweet things in my world right now:

We finally made time to use our fire pit.  My daughter is a mini-me but when it comes to roasting marshmallows we're total opposites!  I love to BURN mine and she likes to roast hers for about 5 seconds.

My Leopard Print School Slippers

I've had a pair of COMFY slippers under my desk for years....not the same pair mind you :-)  My favorites that I buy over and over again are these leopard print ones from Walmart and feel like you're walking on pillows. I even wear them as shoes at from time to time because you can't really tell the difference unless you stop and look closely at them.  At the International School of Geneva (La Chataignerai) where I did one of my student teachings, all students bring a pair of slippers to wear inside and also outdoor shoes.  I think that's a GENIUS idea!

Peas From My Garden
Pea plants/vines are SO interesting to watch.  They have all these little tendrils that are really like tentacles because they attach and wrap around pretty much anything!  And there is nothing better than munching on fresh, raw peas!

My Backyard Wind Chime
This is one of the most peaceful sounds in the evening when I'm out doing something in the garden or yard and my children are asleep ;-)

The LuvaLamp in my Classroom
I bought this at the Mall of America this summer.  You basically buy the pieces and put it together....and it's not even from IKEA.  I had some trouble getting it together at first but ended up with this now hanging above my classroom library:

You can the pieces apart and remake your lamp into many different shapes and sizes!

I LOVE linking up to this linky party because 1) It forces me to reflect on my week and what the positives were and 2) It's fun to read about what's making others happy...and could make me happy too (new ideas)!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Make a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree!

We are doing a 2-week alphabet review unit and I usually end it with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom...but this time I'm kicking it off with the iconic book!
We use the Houghton-Mifflin reading curriculum, so this unit precedes the first unit.  I created a SmartBoard file that has all the reading activities from A-Z and incorporates the fun videos as well.  
So each day we review 3 letters and then add them to our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree.
Brown butcher paper and long green balloons make an AWESOME tree!
On the last day of the unit we'll do a big art project and watch the video.  I'm still deciding what art project to do because I've seen lots of cute things on Pinterest.  I would love to do more 'edible art' this year!

Click on the tree to explore an awesome board on Pinterest!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Lifecycle of the Apple

It's that time of year again. . . Apple Season!  We are fortunate to have an orchard on our school grounds.  This project was spearheaded by a parent and got the entire school community involved!
Although they still have a few more weeks to grow, ripen and sweeten, I know many of you are already thinking about the teaching you will do around this delicious theme.

I found this awesome animated video to show your students, as part of their study of how apples go from seed to fruit.

And I've got a new Readers' Theater play about the lifecycle of the apple to help students improve their fluency and incorporate science at the same time!
There is a 6 person script, a comprehension check, extension questions, art projects and more!

Next week each class will get to plant another apple tree in the orchard and I would love to try making homemade applesauce, so if you have a recipe I would love to have it!  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Let It Grow, A Video and a Freebie Yo!

I spent this gorgeously sunny weekend outside in my backyard doing my new favorite things: gardening and yard work.  
My peas are awesomely out of control!
It's Labor Day and Monday and so I'm linking up with

and posting a cute and helpful "How To Choose a Book" poster

And finally I added a new YouTube video!  
If you like it, follow my channel on YouTube.

I hope your September gets off to a great start!