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February 29, 2012

Spelling Freebie

Some of my kiddos are having a hard time remembering the spelling rules about changing the y to i and doubling the final consonant before adding a suffix to a word.

A few are still struggling with dropping the silent e.

We've practiced these skills all year, sang songs about them, and just about hammered them to death.

And still some of them don't get it.

So I whipped up these three little posters to hang on the literacy wall for kids to reference.

You can get them for free at my TN shop by clicking on any of the pictures below.

Really hard to get when you still don't know short vowel sounds, right?

Also, if you have a great way that you teach one or all of these skills I'd love to hear it.

I'm near desperate people!
Okay, not really desperate, but I'd love to hear what you've got.

February 26, 2012

Fun, Fun, Fun!

I've been absent from stalking blogs this weekend for the very best of reasons.

Cue the music . . .
I've got a new thrill.  I've got a new drug.  (Huey Lewis & The News song . . . I'm old what can I say!)
It's called blog design!!

I've just finished Jen R.'s new blog design for her incredible blog The Teacher's Cauldron.

Jen chose her favorite flowers--daisies--for her design.  I think it is all kinds of happy!

Working with Jen was so much fun.  If you are one of the few who don't follow her blog you should.

Please go check it out and let me know what you think.

February 23, 2012

It's a Mystery!

My classroom is knee-deep in mysteries!

A few days before Valentine's Day I started reading aloud Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.  It's an easy read-aloud, but by reading a book aloud I can usually get my kiddos hooked on a new genre or series.

Of course, the kids loved it!

While reading we started discussing the mystery genre.

I use and love these genre posters from Teacher's Clubhouse.

I print the posters full size for displaying in my gathering area and print smaller versions to put on my literacy focus wall.

To print smaller versions just select the multiple button and choose how many pages you want to fit onto the one page.

Immediately one of my students piped up, "Are you going to put a smaller version on the literacy wall for us to see forever?"

Foooooorrrrrrrr-evvvvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrr!  (imitating The Sandlot)

Well of course, my darlings.
At least until the end of the school year!  :)

When this short but captivating book ended, I introduced the Mapping Out a Mystery also from Teacher's Clubhouse.  We discussed how we would fill it in for this story.

Then I pretended like we were done and I was putting this little map away.

But wait!

Another little darling said, "Hey, could we fill one of those in?"

Really, you'd like to do that?
Well, then of course, but only because I'm such a nice, generous teacher!  (wink, wink)

Thus the mystery bug was let loose.

On Valentine's Day, we performed our own investigation using The Lesson Plan SOS Teachers "Who Stole My Heart?" activity.  This wonderful investigation gets kids learning about fingerprints to figure out who stole my heart.

My little detectives were pure giddy!  (As if Valentine's Day wasn't exciting enough?!)

Next I read aloud an A to Z Mystery.  A little harder read but not too much.
Together we each kept a detective's notebook to keep track of characters (suspects) and clues.  In addition we wrote a summary for each chapter of important events.  

Another little cherub asked if we might be able to use our summary sentences to make a mini-book when we finished the whole book.  (Golly, wouldn't that be fun!)  Illustrations would make it better someone else added!  (Picture me smiling and nodding.)

So, now all the Nate the Great and A to Z mysteries are flying off my bookshelves.  ("I never knew these books were here!" someone was overheard saying.  And a child who doesn't read by choice much said, "I saw them but didn't think they'd be this good!")  {This kiddo is much like me when it comes to reading a new book or author . . . I like a good recommendation first, hence The Best Endings blog!}

And the librarian is inundated with requests for these books too because mine have all been read or someone else has the one the child wants.  Once a week library just isn't enough!

In the midst of it all is one happy teacher who does her job for times like these!

February 20, 2012

New Designs

It's crazy and exciting.  Frustrating and fun.

Not teaching.  Well yeah, teaching is all that.

What I'm talking about is designing a blog.

I've definitely been bitten by the bug (not to steal from Kristen's blog design name).

I've redesigned my classroom blog for parents.  I think it turned out bright and inviting.

I also designed a classroom blog for my bestie and coworker.

I would love to design for others too.

Please let me know what you think.

February 18, 2012

How I Met My Hunny

Ms. B is hosting her first linky party and I had to join in the fun.

Rewind to the late 80's.

When I was home on a break from college, my parents tried to set me up with a guy they (and my brother) knew.

Uh, do I look like a loser?

February 12, 2012


First day back in a week.  Man, do I need some gum or patches.

I also started counting calories a week ago in order to lose a few pounds.

Combine the two and what do you get?

A very cranky, hungry lady!

Okay, in all honesty, I am not hungry.  But I would seriously like some empty calories of chocolate, chips, and the like.  Hunger has absolutely nothing to do with it people.

But I am a bit cranky.

I would probably be a lot more than a wee bit cranky if it weren't for the meditative CD my brother gave me.  It is called The Secret Universal Mind.  He swears it has changed his life, so I thought I'd give it a try.  It really is amazing!
 Click on the picture is you want to read more about it.

For fun, I'm linking up with Farley's February Currently.

On Superbowl Sunday, my two female dogs who have never liked one another got in a SERIOUS fight and I'm surprised one of them isn't dead!  We've kept them separated for the past week.  (That's been fun, let me tell ya.)  I'm worried one of them will have to go.  Either that or we seriously need Cesar (The Dog Whisperer) to come soon.  It breaks my heart.

So between cutting back on the computer and calories and the dogs wanting to rip each other's throats out it's a wonder I'm still smiling.  Gotta be the meditation.

Happy Valentine's Day all!

February 08, 2012

Wanna Win?

I made a game of Scoot to use this week to review two-digit addition with and without regrouping.  My kids LOVE this game every year without fail.  It cracks me up that they actually think it's a game!

It's available for $1 at my Teacher Notebook shop.


If you'd like to win a copy of this game leave me some love!

February 05, 2012

I've Been Tagged! (TMI)

I was off from blogland for about two weeks due to being incredibly busy, a never-ending headache, and . . . remember my OLW . . . moderation.

Yes, I've been trying to curb my addictive slightly obsessed personality and not feel the need to see read everything in blogland.

Let me tell you it's been tough!

February 03, 2012


This week we honored volunteers in our school by making them special treats.

You've probably seen these cute little s'mores on Pinterest for teachers.

Love this for Teachers!!!

I re-made this to use for our volunteers.  I think they turned out adorable.

We don't have a color printer at school so we ran them on colored paper.  Cheap, I know but when you need about 40 for preschool alone you gotta do what you gotta do.

Maybe you can use these for your volunteers.

I think if you click on the picture you can save a copy as a picture.  Let me know if that doesn't work in a comment.



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