Happy Thanksgiving! Where did Summer Go? and a Flash Black Friday Sale!

Hello Friends!
First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I am doing an EARLY post and then plan to turn off the computer and try to keep away from it for most of the day. All my kids are home and the morning is lovely. Here are a couple of early morning pictures that my brother in law took yesterday.

Yes, the pictures are lovely, but. . . . . .  this shows how I REALLY feel! Give me Florida! LOL!

My friends and I from Blog Hoppin' are having a special sale on Black Friday! Woo Hoo! If you click the link at the right of my page, you will be taken to our Blog Hoppin blog and you can click on our logos to  find our stores. Everything in my store will be 15% off on Friday! Enjoy!


Until next time!

Peace and blessings,

Please Pray For Illlinois and Five For Friday

Hello Friends!

 1.  I begin this post with a request for prayers for my fellow Illinoisians.

My first teaching job was in a little school called Gifford Elementary School in Gifford, Illinois. I taught second grade there for 7 years. Last week, this small town was hit by a devastating tornado. The people of this town are strong, but they have many, many months of clean up. I am asking for prayers for the people of Gifford as well as the town of Washington, Illinois near Peoria. 

Because this devastation has hit so close to home, Amanda, from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten, Kyp from Mrs. McLaren's Little Super Heroes, and I are working with TPT to raise funds for the families that are in so much need right now. As we get the details worked out, I will share with you how you can help!

2.  We have been busily working in our literacy and math centers and trying to finish up our Native American unit.

I am so proud of what a great job my little ones did on illustrating their Native American book! I am also proud of what they came away with after doing this unit. It was my intent that they understand that we were learning about people of the past and that not all Native Americans lived the same way. Woo hoo! They rocked today when I we were doing our end of unit discussion!

Here are a few photos of their cute illustrations!


3.  We also do a mini unit on horses. We begin with reading "The Mud Pony" by Caron Lee Cohen. In this book, a young Native American boy forms a pony from mud who turns into a real horse which guides the boy into a strong adult.

Our students use white Crayola Modeling Compound to create their own horse. We use acrylic paint (yes, acrylic!) to paint the horses and then when they are dry, they add details with yarn, felt, google eyes, and upholstery trim. LOVE this project!!

4.  Look at these cute turkeys we made today!

5. I made this quick "Gobble, Gobble Bump" game this week for math tubs! My kinders loved it! They had so much bumping and building that they didn't even realize they were practicing addition facts!

  It's free in my TPT store! Click to image to download it!


Take care, my Friends and have a wonderful, Thanksgiving holiday! Hug your family close!

Make sure the you hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching!


Until next time!


Decodable Phonics Readers AND Don't Forget to Enter the Thankful Giveaway on Blog Hoppin!

Hello Friends!
Gosh! I started a project this morning that I thought would take a couple of hours and it has been FIVE hours since I began! Yikes! The day is already starting to get dim and I STILL have all my cleaning to do! Geesh.......

Anyway, I thought I would share what I have been working on....... A few weeks ago, I became frustrated because I wanted decodable phonics readers for my littles to use during guided reading groups. We use Fountas and Pinnell books as well as Rigby readers and I really, really like them! BUT, I wanted books that had decodable words in them as well as high frequency words. I know that Reading A-Z has a subscription service and that their books are very good, but I wasn't interested in subscribing to a service. I also wanted books that were colorful and easy to put together. Well, after much searching, I just could not find what I wanted, so I made a set of six books and tried them out with my littles!




Wow! They love them! I laminated 6 copies of the colored books that we use in our guided reading groups.  I also put a set in our library center and they choose them all the time during Read to a Partner. They feel such success when reading them! The grayscale versions can be sent home for added practice with family and friends.

Of course, these little books are a SUPPLEMENT and not meant to be used in place of a research based reading system! There are 6 titles in this set; each with 6 pages of both colored and grayscale versions. They will be discounted at 50% for the next 24 hours. Included in the preview is the grayscale version of "Kip" that can immediately be downloaded and used! Woo hoo!!

Also, don't forget to hop on over to Blog Hoppin and enter the HUGE giveaway we are offering! It's not too late to enter!


Now, I have GOT to get something accomplished in my house!

Until next time!


Thankful Teachers Linky on Blog Hoppin!

Hello Friends!

Blog Hoppin is hosting some really awesome "We are thankful" posts this week! Today is HELPFUL HINTS and there are some fantastic ideas over there! Make sure you take some time to hop on over! I especially love the great idea for documenting writing conferences! I definitely will be trying this out!

I am not joining in the linky party, though..... life at home and at school is just crazy for me right now, so I am putting those first and hopefully will get some free time soon!

Until next time!


More Scarecrows and a Few Pumpkin Activities

Hello Friends!

It is 4:30 a.m. and here I am, sitting at the computer! "Why?", you ask. Well, as we all know Halloween week is an EXHAUSTING week for teachers and when I returned home yesterday after school, I was a complete SLUG! :)  I even had my pj's on at 7:30 p.m. Yes, I admit to being totally OLD last night! It definitely was NOT a Friday night LIVE for me last night! (smile) So, because I was in bed so EARLY last night, I am paying for it today; up REALLY early because I could not sleep any longer! I am sure my body will pay me back for the early rise and shine later today!

So, here are a few pictures of what we did this week......

I LOVE teaching the Pumpkin life cycle! We use the pumpkin as a part of our plant unit. We compare and contrast the life cycle of the pumpkin versus the apple. We do scientific investigations with the pumpkin.

 Here is the Pumpkin observation sheet we used. Click the image if you would like a copy of it!


 We create a pumpkin life cycle book using cut and glue techniques - you know I love cut and glue over coloring pages! Here are a few examples of our pages..... You can find this activity in my Five Fabulous Pumpkin Literacy centers packet found HERE.

We did a cute scarecrow activity this week. First, I read "The Little Scarecrow Boy" by Margaret Wise Brown. In this book, the little scarecrow boy wants to grow up to be like his Daddy - a scarecrow who creates fierce faces to scare away the crows. Big Daddy Scarecrow tells his little son that he must grow up before being able to scare away crows, but Little Scarecrow Boy is impatient and sneaks out one one morning to scare the crows. He uses all his fierce faces, but finds out that his faces are not fierce enough yet to scare the crows. This story is a story that all children can relate to - the desire to grow up and be like their parents. I also love the "fierce" faces that the scarecrow boy uses! They are not too scary and silly enough to delight kids!

When we finished this book, my kiddos created their own little scarecrow boy. We folded a 6 inch by 18 inch piece of construction paper in half to create the upper body. The lower body is a 6 inch by 9 inch piece of construction paper that we turned into pants by drawing a triangle at the bottom of the paper and cutting out.  We added a circle head, a rectangle hat, and straw arms. Then the kids drew a "fierce " face onto their scarecrow. We added scrapbook paper patches on his clothes.

When this was complete, I gave my kiddos a writing sheet that said "My scarecrow's fierce face can scare a ................ " They drew a picture and wrote some words about their picture.


When completed, they glued their words to inside of their scarecrow! Fun! Click on the image above to download a copy of the words!

Well, that's it for now! I think I might try going back to bed and grab a few more winks of sleep before the sun wakes up!

Until next time!