Banished into the Artic Night (And a Giveaway!)

Funny story. As I sat down to compose this post, a stink bug came crawling up on my desk.  Stink bugs give me the heebie jeebies, and there was no way this stink bug was going to survive in my house on my computer desk a moment longer.  I had to use cunning and the dangerous tools of a pencil eraser and a plastic cup, but I’m proud to say I was victorous over the stink bug, and it has been banished into the arctic winter night, where — at the risk of sounding cruel — I hope it dies.

Now, before you judge me as cold and cruel-hearted, I just want you to know that I peacefully coexist with many little critters, like the occasional centipede or the Daddy Long Legs that I see in the corners of the garage.  I’m okay with that.  But not the stink bugs.  They must go.  Would you  want this crawling across, under, and in your desk while you were working on it.  Next thing you know, it will be up your pant leg.  No, thank you!


Now, on with the big news about Mrs. Payton’s 100 Follower Giveaway!

Mrs. Payton has reached 100 Followers on her blog!  Isn’t that great.  And after this giveaway she is hosting, I expect she’ll have even more!  She has 8 high-quality resources in her giveaway, plus $15 in free resources from her store.  $15 goes a  l–o–n–g way in TPT land!

Be sure to scoot on over to her blog, Payton’s Precious Kindergarteners, and sign up for her rafflecopter giveaway.  Just click the button below.

Good luck!


Great Give Away!

Lori, over at the Reinspired Teacher, is celebrating 100 followers with a huge giveaway! She’s starting with K-2, so head on over now to sign up! Also, check back to her site because she will follow up with two more giveaways after this one for older grades. Just click on the picture below to visit Lori’s blog. Good luck!

Waking Up

I woke up this morning to a few more inches of new snow and steadily falling snow. Right now, it’s the big, fluffy snowflakes that look like cotton balls falling from the sky. So pretty, especially when I don’t have to go anywhere! I also woke up to the sound of my husband shoveling the driveway! I’m glad he woke up before me! I woke up to my daughter’s newly developed hacking cough. I’ll have to keep an eye (or ear) on that. And finally, I woke up to my 18-year old son laying next to me for a morning catch-up session. How I will miss those morning chats when he leaves for the Marines in June. : (

It seems that teachers are starting to wake up from their winter break as well. More linky parties and follower celebrations are being posted, and there’s an increase of buyers in my store. In the spirit of waking up, I have two linkys to share with you. Here’s the first one:
Win My STORE!!!!

Cynthia, over at 2nd Grade Pad is celebrating her one-year blogiversary by giving away her store!  Can you believe it?  You don’t want to miss out on this giveaway, so hop on over and sign up now!  She will announce the winner January 1st.

The second one is from An Educator’s Life blog.  John has put together an awesome amount of freebie and paid items to share with you.  As you can see, his theme is all about waking up and trying new ideas in January.  I can’t wait to dig through all those great ideas myself.  So head on over and wake up to all the possibilities of a New Year with new teaching activities!

Happy New Year to all!

Preparing for January

I hope of you have had a peaceful and restful winter break so far.  We had an excellent Christmas and are now enjoying the lull between Christmas and New Year’s with lots of sleeping in, visiting family, and of course, shopping!  Those gift cards don’t spend themselves,  you know? 

In between all the fun, I’ve been thinking about teaching in January.  I’ve developed 4 new eSources (my newly coined name for my digital resources; how do you like it?)  Funny story about eSources — it started out as a typo when I left the “r” off  “resource.”  I looked at it and thought, esource, huh.  Let’s spell it eSource and it makes sense.

Anyways, back to my eSources.  Two are winter math games including adding, subtracting, and place value, January Roll and Cover with Mike the Moose


and Penguin Push


I also added a long and short O sorting activity to complement my other long and short vowel sorting packets, Short I and Short E.  The remaining vowels will be added — someday.


And finally, I added a Martin Luther King integrated Esource packet.


Feel free to click on any picture above to visit my TPT store and explore these products further.

Finally, I have a quick and easy MLK freebie for you.  It’s a dove of peace made out of paper plates.  I’ve been doing this activity along with MLK for years in my classroom.  It makes a nice wall dsiplay when I pair it with the children’s writings on what they think would make the world a better place today.


If you click on the picture, it will take you to a page with the PDF on it.  Open the PDF for directions and a step-by-step pictorial tutorial for you.

Enjoy and have a very Happy New Year!

Project Snowflake

Earlier this week, the National PTA sent out a memo about making snowflakes to decorate the new school that the students of Sandy Hook Elementary will be going back to when school reopens in January. They want to make it look like a winter wonderland.

Today, the students at my school spent all morning making and decorating snowflakes of all shapes and sizes. Our first graders teamed up with fifth graders, who helped them make their snowflakes.


Give kids scissors, paper, gluesticks, and gllitter and watch what happens!



It was a beautiful, beautiful morning of children eagerly performing service for children they have never met!

5th graders use precision glittering techniques, unlike 1st graders, who go for the overall shake and dump.

5th graders use precision glittering techniques, unlike 1st graders, who go for the overall shake and dump.

 After two periods, the whole school gathered in the gym, along with the priests and many parents.


At 9:30, as the church bells rang, we observed silence and prayer.


Then Father blessed the snowflakes.


After closing prayers, we packed up the snowflakes.  The local UPS store boxed and shipped the snowflakes off to Conneticut this afternoon at no charge to us!  All in all, it was a perfect start to our Christmas vacation.

I leave you with one of my students’ writing from this week about the true meaning of Christmas.


This is wath I thinck the True meaning of Christmas is. It is note abowt presis. It is abowt Jesus Brthday. We have to celebrate!

I hope your celebration of Jesus’ Birthday is filled with much joy and love and hope!

Reindeer Games!

I posted about craft day, and I posted about getting sick soon after. Now, I want to share a craft that we make every year. It’s so cute and easy to make! Many thanks to my first grade teaching partner of many years, Brooke Novak, who shared this craft with me my first year at St. Therese School. Glitter and this craft are two things that always make me smile and remember Brooke!


So here’s how you make this adorable reindeer.

1.  Gather up your supplies.  Here’s all that you need.184515_523541594331201_771397710_n

smallish red pom for the nose, smallish googly eyes, two clothespins, and geegaws to dress up the antlers, and craft glue.  I get all these at the dollar store  and can have enough supplies for a whole class for about 6 dollars. 

2.  Next, glue the two clothespins together as pictured.61845_523541870997840_825785596_n

3.  Then glue on the red nose and the googly eyes.


4  Glue on the antler geegaws to dress it up, and you have a super-cute reindeer ornament to send home.


You can glue an ornament hanger on the back to hang it in a tree or clip in the tree.  Either way, it makes a great addition to the tree or a great gift for a relative!  Enjoy!