ReBook (Recycling for Books!)

Saturday, November 24, 2012 1 comment
Inspired by my friend Jenn Barth and my Mom Congress crew, I held a book drive at my school last year. We asked for gently used books to "ReBook." ReBook is recycling your books-giving them a new home, a new child to love! We donated almost 700 books to homeless shelters in the metro Atlanta area last year. Read more here! Success! 

Well, that was so 2011! This year, we set the goal higher and we exceeded that goal! With the help of our media specialist Dawn and our PTA, we collected more than 1,200 books! With the help of my friend Susanne, we donated such treasures as Magic Tree House books, Eat Pray Love, Amelia Bedelia, spiritual reads, art books, and even some comic books! We know the new readers will be thrilled with their new books!  
Want to help readers but don't want to host a drive? Donate to Reading is Fundamental! Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to help make a difference in the life of a reader! 

Want to host a book drive at your school? Do it! The holidays are the perfect time! 
Here's how:
1. Contact your local homeless shelters or an organization that supports them. Ask what they need. Ask if they need books to replenish their libraries. Ask if they have a library! 
2. Ask your principal (if you are a teacher OR parent) if you could host the event at school. 
3. Hang signs, make announcements, etc. Set the timeline (1 week is good!) 
4. Count the books! Put them in totes or reusable boxes (shelters can reuse these hard to come by goodies) and deliver!
5. Share the results with your donators! Celebrate sharing the love of reading!

How do you make a difference this time of year?

Gobble, Gobble!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 No comments
T and I are sooo ready for Thanksgiving! I have been cutting, stirring, baking, and mixing for hours...oh wait, that's my little sister-not me! (Have I mentioned how much I love her?) Back to T and I! We are sooo ready for Thanksgiving! How do T and I get ready for turkey action? We read! 

Here are our Top 5. These Top 5 are also perfect for my 
first graders! Click on the books to visit them on Amazon!
Product Details 
Love, love, love! Compares two families Thanksgiving holidays. One mom wears pearls and makes homemade pies. The other wears jeans with slippers and has store bought pies. One is loud, the other is quiet. They come to realize that though they are different, they both are holidays filled with love. Every child (and grownup) can relate to some part of this story!
No hidden agenda here-the book is a countdown to Thanksgiving. Family traditions are covered, it rhymes, it is is simple and fun!
With a familiar tune, this one has a surprise. Without ruining it for you, there is an ax! No worries-there is not a turkey massacre-just a fun filled adventure where the kids save the day!
Celebrate family and taking time to be thankful!

One more fave! 10 Fat Turkeys is a silly counting book. Take time to read the pictures in this one! They tell a great story! 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from our family to yours! 

Oooh!! Cute, Free Stationery!

Monday, November 19, 2012 No comments
WOW! Have you heard of

Let's just say, it will make your holiday checklist a little shorter! You can create and send personalized greeting cards and they will even let you do one for FREE! That IS a TREAT

Treat is Shutterfly’s exciting new greeting card brand that makes it easy to create and send one-of-a-kind greeting cards. Treat cards are perfect for holidays, birthdays, congrats, thank yous and every occasion in between. It’s crazy fun. It’s super easy. And it’s totally personal. And it is a real TREAT

T and I just made one for Daddy's birthday! Shhhh! It's a secret...well kind of! 
free! free card, free shipping, FREE! 

Offer is only good today and tomorrow! (11/19 and 11/20) with code TREATBLOGR

Go make your free card! I think the only issue will be narrowing down which one! 

Floppets Flash Giveaway!!

"Mommy, mommy, my doggy Floppet went down the slide with me and he liked it!"
What is a Floppet you ask? They are these totally cool, totally attachable little creatures from the land of Floptopia! 
**They are attached to a velcro piece that easily hooks on backpacks, flip flops, shoes, fingers, and T's favorite-his lunchbox!            

**T also loves that they twist and turn and "hang on" no matter what!
**They are a big hit around this house and the playground at school! 

They even have an interactive Floppet website!
Want to check these out for yourself? My friends at Floppets want to send you a few! Woo hoo! Stocking stuffer!

It's EASY! Leave a comment here or on FB telling me which Floppets you want for your little someone! Want two entries? Like Floppets on FB and tell them I sent you! 

Flash giveaway ends tomorrow night! 

Brainpop Freebies

I love BrainpopJr. I love it for my first graders because the videos are short, to the point, and fun. They teach important standards and have a quiz at the end. I love it for T because the videos are short, it teaches stuff he is super curious about, and they are fun. 

Our school subscribes (yay) but you can enjoy some BrainpopJr videos for free! Click on the pic to go straight there! 
T and I watched the FREE video of the week last night. It is all about Thanksgiving! He loved it and as much as we love Charlie Brown-this video is slightly better because it doesn't say the s word (stupid.) <gasp!>
Check it out! The video of the week changes, well, every week and it is usually something seasonally related. Bookmark the free page and make the most of it! 

Older kids? No worries! Brainpop has freebies, too! Click the pic to go there!
Please share your favorite freebies!

Grant Writing

Sunday, November 18, 2012 6 comments
Writing a grant is tough. Honestly, it takes time, effort, and perseverance! It also takes thick skin because you get turned down....a lot! However, sometimes you get a yes and it is AMAZING! 

Picture this...I'm on a field trip to the Nature Center, devouring my veggie plate lunch so I can be sure to have enough time to show my little monkeys the beavers and eagles when SUDDENLY one of my kids says, "There's Ms. Principal." I didn't even look up because A. I thought it was someone who probably looked like Ms. Principal because why on Earth would she be on our field trip and B. We had like 12 minutes to eat and I was determined to eat my broccoli after opening 13 packs of ketchup, 4 milk cartons, 2 Capri Suns, cleaning up one spill, and wiping a nose. 

Then I hear, "Oh Mrs. Teacher....." I look over and there are very official looking folks and Ms. Principal. There are cameras, a giant check, and lots of screaming!
When I say this was an amazing experience, I mean A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! My class was cheering, I was tearing up, and well, I think you get the idea! The giant check was, to say the least, totally cool. I mean, I seriously felt like I won Publisher's Clearing House! 
We received $2500.00 from the Cobb County Schools Foundation to create STEM To Go bags for the entire first grade team! Our 180+ students will have the opportunity to take home bags with really cool activities that will strengthen their science, math, engineering, and tech skills. Most importantly, it will improve problem solving-which we know helps students across the board! Better yet, they will share these experiences with their families! The take home bags will include Legos, pvc pipes, paper airplane materials, garden supplies, lincoln logs, and more! They will build, create, graph, record, and share, share, share! We are sooo appreciative and can't wait to get started! Thanks Susan for helping and my team and admin for their encouragement!

Do you want a copy of the grant? I'd be happy to share! Leave your email in a comment and I will send it your way! 


Sunday, November 11, 2012 No comments
Did you know Smilebox is free for educators? It is and I love it! They didn't ask me to write this or pay me (darn it,) I just wanted to share! I use it in my classroom to post pictures and videos for parents. Parents can then download the pictures, print them, or just save the show. 

If you've never used Smilebox, it is sooooo easy and the background choices are endless! Click the picture to see an example.
Head over to Smilebox and learn more about the teacher subscription. You'll be glad you did! 


Thursday, November 8, 2012 1 comment
We have these snazzy little calendar cards that have a prompt on the back of the date. I like them. They are great for morning meeting and getting are brains a little fired up. Today's said, "One thing I can't live without is...." Of course, since we are learning about Thomas Jefferson, they all wanted to say books. :) <I was overjoyed.>

I had them stop and think though-what is one thing (not person, etc) that you really love, that is really special, that you really wish you could have with you ALL the time. The answers were very sweet-teddy bears, blankies, mom's old shirt, soccer ball, and whoopie cushion (there's always one.)

I started thinking about the one thing I can't live without. First thought-my phone. I love it. I need it. I have to have it! Next thought-pen and paper. I LOVE to write. Next-computer. I like to be connected. Next thought-books, not just any books-children's books. I can read them to my T! No, no, no. None of those worked. I can live without all of those things.

Then it came to me. Pictures. I love pictures. I love seeing my little guys' face, my beautiful niece's toothless smile, my gorgeous little sister, my sweet mom and dad, my funny granny, my cousins and their children and their children, my students old and new, and so on.

Photos. Memories. Treasures. I've lost both my sister and brother and I cherish their pictures now more than ever. Sharing them with makes me feel like they are still here, laughing and fighting and goofing off and growing old together.

The one thing I can't live without is pictures. How about you?

See ya later Instagram!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 No comments
Wordless loving! Snapshots for a cause!


Being a Mommy Teacher

Sunday, November 4, 2012 No comments
I have been teaching for, let's say 10 years. I love it. I love being a teacher. I love helping them solve math problems, exploring science ideas and discovering heroes that changed our world. Most of all though, I love reading to my little learners. I love it. I mean, I LOVE IT! Sharing books I know by heart and new ones I find along the way is the very BEST part of my job. Hands down. 

So when I became a mom, I filled the house with books. I read to T as much as I can. I still don't feel like it is enough though. (Please tell me that is normal!!!)

The thing is, my love of sharing books with my class has not been replaced, but sharing a favorite book with my son is amazing. Watching him laugh at the funny parts and be sad at the sad parts and ask questions and "read" it himself, and add his own details, and make guesses about what will happen next is well, priceless.

I think of reading him Goodnight Moon and him pointing to the cat. I think of reading him Have You Seen My Cat? and him laughing mocking me, "this is not my cat." I think of reading the David board books and him laughing at the "baby stuff." I think of reading Don't Let Pigeon Drive The Bus and him getting it-really getting it.

I was asked one time if I thought becoming a mommy would make me a better teacher. Maybe.
People often say being a teacher makes you a good mommy. Maybe.
I say reading with my son makes me a better mommy and will make him a better reader one day. Absolutely.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 2 comments
Today is the first day of November. I love November-the cool days, chilly nights, the beautiful, warm colors, and who could forget the foods and drinks of fall. Ahhh, I really do love it!

November also houses Thanksgiving, another favorite! So I would like to share a few reasons I am super thankful this year. I could go on and on, but I'd like to save some for later in the month!

After all.........
*My family-the whole lot of them!
*Our home-it is warm and cozy on chilly nights. 
*My friends-near or far, they are all close to my heart.
*My job-I love what being a teacher, even when Halloween falls on a Wednesday! 

Share your thankfuls here!


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