STEM at Home!

Friday, August 30, 2013 No comments
STEM is the buzz word right now in education (and that makes me happy.) STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is all about problem solving, perseverance, and teamwork. You know the skills that mean SO MUCH in the real world. I mean really, it should be a priority at all grade levels with ALL students.

Off soapbox.

T and I were goofing off this week when he asked me to "be the skeleton who is going to get hit by bally." I said yes, of course! So we did and I would like to share the outcome with you! Please watch this 58 second video and listen for his sweet voice over my pathetic skeleton voice! <embarrassing> I didn't realize at the time that I would be sharing it with the masses!
Did you hear how many times he said, "Let me try that again." THREE! He said it 3 times and after he said it, he changed something. To me, this is STEM in its simplest, most appropriate form for a 4 year old.....and first grader. Getting an idea, making a plan, trying something and if it doesn't work, changing a little something and doing it again. I think moments like these, opportunities like these at home and school, are the foundation for STEM ideas and character.  

I mean, we don't give up around here, we (quoting my engineer here) "try it again!"                  At least half the time anyway! :)

Gotta Keep Your Head Up

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 No comments
I've been side swiped this week with a few negatives (and it is only Tuesday) so I'm reminding myself to keep my head up

Love this song and hope it reminds you to keep your head up, too! 

Do you have a favorite pick me up song?

Back to School with Kmart!

Monday, August 26, 2013 No comments

Thank you KMart for sponsoring this post!

We are so lucky to have a Kmart within walking distance of our school. I mean, I've never walked there, but I'm sure it is possible! 
I visited Kmart 3 times before school even started. I picked up all sorts of stuff including an extra set of clothes for T's "emergency outfit," super cute binders for me, and socks for NI also bought snacks for me, T, and extras for my classroom. I couldn't resist a few super cute hair accessories and even an aDoRaBle bracelet. Now that I'm thinking about it, I also grabbed 2 birthday cards, a Lego set as a gift, and the bag for it. I grabbed a cold one (water) at the checkout, too. 

I should also mentioned that when I checked out with the Legos, the price did not match the hanging ticket I saw. The cashier was beyond nice, checked it (I was right~shocking!) apologized, and fixed the price. I love good customer service!

Check out Kmart's back to school deals HERE or follow along on Twitter with #KmartBacktoSchool. 

This is a sponsored post. I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.

Taking a Look at Classroom Libraries

Friday, August 23, 2013 No comments
VISUAL LEARNER~That's me! I can read something 100 times, hear it 300 more, but I to really get it, I need to see it! When it comes to classroom ideas, same rule applies. So when I started creating my classroom library and as it has evolved, I always visit other classrooms and check the web. 

I recently wrote a short article for Hameray Publishing about classroom libraries. They are the publisher for one of my all time favorite characters, Mrs. Wishy Washy. I smile just thinking about all the children who learned to read with Mrs. Wishy Washy by their side. I LOVE Joy Cowley. STOP is another one of my favorites by her. Ah! 
Thanks to my fab colleagues, A and E, I took pics of libraries in grades K, 1, and 2 for the post. Click the pic above to check it out. Share with friends, too. It is short, sweet, and oh so visual!

Do you have a pic of your home or school library? We'd love to see!!

12th Day and Tired.....but It's All Good!

Thursday, August 22, 2013 No comments
Came home a little lot tired today. 

Rainy weather. Kind of crazy day. 

Checked the mail and saw this:
I thought, "I'm going to plop down on the couch and veg out with a little Instructor Magazine." I mean, I do need to learn "how to do it all." 

Flipping pages, looking at ads, I found myself thinking about what dessert would surely take my 12th day exhaustion away.

Then I saw this:

So my skies cleared a bit, I skipped the ice cream, and reminded myself that, in the words of Pete the Cat, "it's all good."

Happy weekend friends! 

Disney's BEARS!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 No comments
Apparently I'm the last person on the planet to learn about Disney's Bears! Check out this press release and save the date~April 2014!

New Trailer Premiered on iTunes Yesterday;
“Bears” Journeys into Theaters April 18, 2014, to Celebrate Earth Day

BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2013) – Disneynature shared plans this week surrounding its newest big-screen adventure “Bears,” which hits theaters April 18, 2014. The program SEE “BEARS,” PROTECT OUR NATIONAL PARKS invites moviegoers to see the film during opening week (April 18-24, 2014) and Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s national park system. The new trailer for “Bears” is running in theaters and premiered on iTunes yesterday. Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons against an incredible Alaskan backdrop.

“We can’t wait to share these bears’ fascinating behaviors and innate curiosity as they navigate a beautiful but challenging world,” said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios. “We are committed to protecting the environment and inspiring Disneynature fans to take part in conservation by joining forces with organizations like the National Park Foundation to preserve the natural world.” 

From habitat protection and research to utilizing technology to protect park wildlife, the program contains a number of initiatives, all aimed to support the mission of the National Park Service, which turns 97 this month.

“America’s national parks are home to a vast and stunning array of wildlife, including approximately 400 endangered species,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We are proud to team with Disney, a dedicated supporter of our national parks, to invite moviegoers everywhere to join us as we work to ensure that our nation’s most treasured places, and all that they protect, thrive for generations to come.” 

Advance tickets for groups of 20 or more will be available later this fall at 1-888-DISNEY6. 

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s upcoming True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska!  

Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), “Bears” arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.

Back To School Giveaway!

Monday, August 19, 2013 3 comments
It's a My Son Is Starting Pre-K Giveaway! Ah! 

Want to win this set of 6 National Geographic Kids books for your children or your classroom? I love these books and my first graders and 4 year old do, too!
That's it! It is back to school time and I say the easier the better! 

We LOVED Planes!

Sunday, August 18, 2013 No comments
Check out these fun activities for before you go or after the show!

Download Soar Into Theatres! Activities
Might be fun for a PLANES inspired birthday party, too!

Has your family seen it, yet? Post your favorite plane on Twitter! (#disneyplanes) We picked Dusty!

Teacher Tips and Tricks

Friday, August 16, 2013 No comments
Today's Teacher Week Blog Hop is all about teacher tips and tricks. 

Hmm....I think I'll go Top 3 for this one! 

Tip #1
Let it go. I like this concept so much that I had a couple of bracelets made that say just that. LET IT GO. Kids driving you crazy? Paperwork overwhelming you? Grownups got you down? LET IT GO. Give yourself a break and don't be too hard on yourself! 
@Stamped by Stephanie
Random guy at a stand who let me engrave it myself. empowering! 
Tip #2
I'm speaking mainly to myself here, ORGANIZE SOMETHING! Last year, I organized my book baskets. This year, I organized my binders and teacher books. I even set a goal of filing things away after I use them (a little lofty I know!) While this tip may seem vague, I think it is a good one. Pick one thing/space/area/corner/drawer and organize it!

Tip #3
Play Wheel of Fortune with your class! You will cover so many Foundational Standards, fit in lots of review, AND the kids love it! Here's a one minute how to! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Classroom Management

Thursday, August 15, 2013 No comments
I'm a whole brain teaching, responsive classroom kind of girl. I think the key to classroom management though is finding what works best for your class. 

Today's Blog Hoppin' topic is classroom management. Here are a few of my favorite tidbits for building a classroom community:

1. Check out Whole Brain teaching! We love class/yes, mirror teaching, and teacher vs kids. 
2. Visit Responsive Classroom on the web and learn about keeping your cool and valuing everyone. It's not just about hopes and dreams, it is about working together-a life skill!
3. Move! Kids need to move! I believe 110% that incorporating more movement throughout the day lessens behavior issues. A few favorites~
          Squats for skip counting to 10, knee lifts for counting by 5's, punching the air for skip counting by 2. 
          Koo Koo Kangaroo and the other 1,000 brain breaks/energizers on Pinterest. We love the Koo!
          Dr. Jean cds! First graders can still boogie! I love "Ride the Pony" and "Verb Dance" the most!
          In math, make a chart with 5 answers. Next to the answers write an action. For example, If the answer is 3, jump 3 times. 
          Transitioning? Been on the carpet too long? "Everybody up! Picture a triangle in your head. How many sides? Do that many pushups!" Repeat with other shapes. It's mental movement math!
          Four Corners for sight word practice!

Looking forward to reading everyone's management tips. I'm always looking for a little help! Happy Thursday!

My Favorite Teacher Shoes!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 8 comments
There is nothing better than a pair of cute shoes. 

Oh wait, yes there it is. Cute shoes that are also comfortable!

School started just days ago and my absolute go to shoes are Dansko. My husband picks on my because he says they are the only shoes I call by name. "Where are my rainy Danskos?" "Dude, watch your step around my Danskos." I never even noticed I did that!

Dansko are my favorites for lots of reasons-styles, comfort, colors, price, size, and FIT! I am almost six feet tall and wear a size 11 (42 in Danskos!) It is not easy to find cute, comfy shoes in an 11. For years (dramatic voice) I suffered in not cute shoes OR uncomfy shoes. Well, this teacher suffers no more! 

I leave a pair kind of like these Sedonas at school. They come in handy!
I wear these on rainy days or when I'm feeling frisky. I call them my rainies. :)
My latest addition, thanks to my friends at Dansko, are these beauties. I opened the box and slid my foot inside......ahhh! They feel wonderful and look fabulous! There's no breaking these in. They just fit.
Look at this pattern!!!! 
LOVE this heel! Low and lovely!
I'm in shoe love! Check out Dansko's new fall styles! Fall in love all over again. They are (hands down!) worth every penny. They last forever and feel great! Your teacher feet will thank you! 

Meet the Teacher

Monday, August 12, 2013 No comments
Hi Blog Hop Friends! My Mommy Reads is all about my family and my classroom! Click on the Teacher Action page at the top to see all the well, teacher action! 
I am a first grade teacher in Marietta, GA and I started year 12 last week! Ah! I taught kindergarten five of those years in Mobile, AL! (loved it!)

I love all things literacy and am learning math even more thanks to Common Core! I'm all about some integration, Daily 5, readers and writers workshop, number talks, and Daily 5 math. I'm a Fundations believer and HUGE proponent of independent reading time.

I have one son and he is too cute for words (and he's quite the writer!) I love his fourness! I'm married to the best teacher husband ever. We love to travel! Favorite family destination so far? Disney World! 

My favorite food is pizza.
My favorite book is No David.
My least favorite book is The Giver.
My favorite movie is Good Will Hunting.
My favorite sport to watch is football
(Go Falcons and Roll Tide!)
My favorite school supply is super sticky post it notes.
My favorite time of the school day is read aloud.
My favorite time of day at home is snuggle time.
When I grow up, I want to write a children's book. 

Here I am on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on BlogLovin, on TPT, and on Google+

 I love what I do. I have a great family that supports me way more than I deserve. I teach in a wonderful school with fabulous kids and helpful parents. I work with great teachers and am lucky to call so many of them friends. I've been blogging for two years and still consider myself a newbie. :)

Thanks for hopping by! Can't wait to "meet" everyone else! See you tomorrow for a classroom tour! Have a great week!

Magic School Bus Giveaway!

Friday, August 9, 2013 No comments
My friend is hosting this giveaway and I wanted to share! We LOVE The Magic School Bus!!

Do you remember The Magic School Bus? 
How would you like to have a chance to win a set of movies in this giveaway sponsored by:
You can read The Deals and More review on the movies being giveaway HERE
This giveaway will run from Wednesday, August 7th at 9 pm EST and end Saturday, August 10th at 11:59 pm EST.
2 winners will be selected to win a copy of these movies:
MSB-RevvingUp3pk-NS MSB-InAPickleDVD-NS
Thank you for stopping by to enter and good luck. Enter in the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this giveaway, nor am I responsible for shipment of prize. The Sponsor, NewKideo, will ship prize to winner. This giveaway is not associated, sponsored by, or endorsed by Facebook or any other social media network. Social media networks are not responsible for prize shipment.

Blogust 2013!

Thursday, August 8, 2013 3 comments
Happening right now all across the web is Blogust 2013!! Blogust is a month long blog campaign during August. I love it! Blog+August=Blogust! So clever!
Even better than the catchy name is the cause! Our friends at Walgreens are donating a vaccine to a child for every comment made on every single blog post. That's amazing. Amanda Peet has a beautiful post about her child, Frankie, and her love for helping children. Her passion is inspiring!
Shot@Life has inspired these beautiful posts on Babble and would love for everyone to take a couple of minutes (literally) to leave a comment. I wish I could make a cool infographic about it! Since I don't know how to do that, I'll go with math again. Math, I can do!

YOU+2 minutes to read/comment=life saving vaccine

Ta da! So go leave a comment. 
Do it for me. 
Do it for Amanda Peeet. 
Do it to help a child in a developing country.

Making Monkey Bread With a Monkey

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 No comments
T likes to cook. I do not.
It is a chore for me-like laundry or dishes. Yucksville.

Of course, when he asked if we could make some Popcakes (pecan spins--not going to happen) I decided we could try to make monkey bread.

I have never made monkey bread. There are a zillion recipes online and several Pinterest boards dedicated to it as well. Wow. 

After hours (or 32 seconds) we went the recipe from Turnips to Tangerines. 

I am SHOCKED with the results. It is really good. T liked it (not as much as Popcakes) and so did N. Some of the top pieces are a little crunchy, but who eats those anyway? I so appreciate this shared recipe with easy to follow directions. 

Making monkey bread with my own little monkey makes my heart (and stomach!) smile. Looking forward to doing it again, but next time, we are going to do the healthier version......

Preparing for Pre K!

Thursday, August 1, 2013 2 comments
T will be starting Pre-K in just a few days. Well, actually, he starts school two weeks after mommy. :/

I'm a little sad that he is going to be in preschool. I actually don't like it one bit. I don't like it AT ALL! That means kindergarten is next year and then < GASP > first grade will be next! Who thought of this crazy system?!? 
I'm currently going through all the stages of "my kid is going to pre-k-itis." There was the denial, the thought of homeschooling, and the current stage-crying. So I may be exaggerating a bit, but time has gone by way too fast. 

Way too fast. 

Are you kids heading into a big change this year? starting school for the first time? middle school? high school? OMG I'm getting itchy just thinking about it!


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