Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Sum Up

Welcome to a photo-heavy peek at the last couple of weeks. It's been busy around here, so there's lots to share.

School started the last week of August. My friend--the one with whom we camp--is also a teacher. We decided to get together at her house on Labor Day weekend for a last summer HURRAH. There were water balloons, bubble gloves and homemade bubble solution, and marshmallows to toast. Gabrielle enthusiastically volunteered to have a bag of icy cold water dumped over her head. The three other girls worked together to rip it open above her. 
Summer rocks, but going back to school is also fun. I'm blessed to work in a district where the faculty is warm and welcoming. My friend dropped this off on my desk one day. My colleagues are UDDERLY amazing. Get it? 

As I said already, I love going back to school. I also love coming home after work! The 3 preceding photos could be summed up as everyday small things that make me smile.  Pulling into the driveway one night, I was greeted by cheerful chalk drawings. As I walked by Gabrielle's room, I noted that she had her before-bed reading set out on her pillow. My husband made homemade pizza, which we ate for 2 nights. Even the dough was homemade. He added olive oil and honey to it. 

My commute to and from school is fairly long, and audibooks are my favorite. I've subscribed to Audible for the first time. So far, I've listened to Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (part of a fabulous FOURTEEN book series). I'm in the middle of Before Green Gables. While camping, I finished rereading the Anne series so I thought this would be a good follow-up. So far I've not been disappointed. 

Peach and apple picking...

As always, I read aloud Mr. Peabody's Apples on the first day of school. Written by MADONNA! Surprised? In this book, a student assumes that his teacher is a thief and tells his friends. It doesn't take long for the gossip to spread around town. It's a story that teaches the harm that is caused when we spread false information about others. It also teaches that once words leave your mouth and cause damage, undoing that damage is nearly impossible. 

Then, we get into small groups and do the "toothpaste activity". Students squeeze an entire travel-sized tube of toothpaste out onto a plate. Then, they are told to put ALL of the toothpaste back into the tube using toothpicks. Of course, it's impossible. 

We connect the activity to the text. Once unkind or untrue words are spoken (squeezed out like toothpaste), taking them back is really not possible. You can apologize and try to make it right, but damage has been done.
We started our weather unit (using Mystery Science). I supplemented with this "cloud in a jar" activity.

How to:

  • Have a mason jar for each group.
  • Heat up water in a coffee pot.
  • Add hot water to jars and top with upside down lid.
  • Add 2-3 ice cubes to each lid. 
  • Students will see water evaporating.
Now for the REALLY riveting part! In nature, clouds are formed when water vapor condenses on tiny particles in the atmosphere. So in order to form an impressive cloud, you need some particles! You can do this in two ways.
  • Option 1:  Light a match or 2, blow it out quickly, and drop it into the jar. Replace the lid/cubes immediately. OR...
  • Option 2: Spray some aerosol hairspray into the jar and replace the lid immediately. 
I always use the hairspray. Without fail, a chorus of oohs and aahs follows the cloud formation. It is especially dramatic when I ask a student from each group to RELEASE THE CLOUD!

I taught a mini-lesson about readers' purpose. In small groups, students sorted a bin of books by thinking about the purposes readers might have for reading them. They got pretty creative!

And, of course, cats!
Sparrow is ridiculous. She's the only cat I've ever owned that craves cuddles and hugs.
I spent at least an hour on the loveseat last week making equal group bracelets for a multiplication activity. Herbie watched intently then tried to eat the pipecleaners. 

Thanks for your patience with this LONG blog post. Hopefully I didn't wear you out! Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Back from Camping & a ONE DAY SALE

First of all, before I forget, TODAY only there is a sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!  If you aren't interested in sale news, just skip ahead to see our camping pics! 
My entire store is 20% off (including already discounted bundles). TPT will give you an additional 5% off when you enter code BTSBONUS19.  The sale is JUST FOR TODAY and will give you a chance to get some last minute items. 

On Friday, we returned from our 5th annual camping trip. Of course, it rained one day. It had to. It always rains at least one day when we camp. It's tradition. My kids and I joke that we must cause the rain at the campground. My friend has pointed out that when she camps with her family, it rains a little. When she and her girls camp with us, it POURS. I failed to take rain-drenched photos this year, but I've shared some oldies but goodies from past trips.

This year, we spent most of Tuesday at my friend's house to stay dry. We were able to go back to the campground to sleep though! Fortunately, it was really nice the rest of the week.
We had time to make smores over the campfire (made with Reeses PB Thins instead of Hershey's...yum). We also spent lots of time hanging out, talking, playing games, and reading. 

We usually go into our tent shortly after it gets dark to avoid mosquitoes. We play games and/or read. This year, our game of choice was Scattergories.

One of my favorite things about camping is hearing the night sounds as I fall asleep. There are always insects and tree frogs. This year, we also heard an owl and something that I SUSPECT was a coyote. I also like waking up to birds, rolling over on my cot, and seeing my kids all curled up in their sleeping bags. It will be sad when they outgrow camping trips with their mom!

One night sound I could have done without was the SKUNK sound I woke to one evening! I was awakened to scratching and sniffing ABOUT 2 FEET FROM MY HEAD! The critter was right outside our tent.  I just kept still, and it soon moved off. Care to read a more dramatic skunk story?  Click here to read about our 2017 trip. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Temporary Itch-Free Bandaids

Got bug bites? It's summer after all. Mosquitoes abound. My daughter has the solution if you are on the go and can't get at that tube of hydrocortisone.

The answer? Temporary itch-free bandaids! (Her term...I can't take credit.) Gabrielle invented these (ahem) while we were in my classroom yesterday. She had to do something. There was no calamine or hydrocortisone cream in site!

Needed Supplies: 

  • Brown paper towels from Mom's classroom
  • Hand sanitizer
What to do: 
  • Soak paper towel pieces with sanitizer.
  • Slap 'em on the bug bites.
  • Walk slowly so they won't fall off!
My classroom is mostly ready. I'm sure I could find things to do if I went back, but I should be able to wait until our first teacher day (August 26th).  
I've prepped and laminated almost all the things.

Students have places to sit and supplies to use!

Tomorrow is Seth's 16th birthday. And next week we're going for our annual camping trip. I'll be sure to share highlights when we return!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 5, 2019

25% Off, Sub Plans Prep, & a FREEBIES

Great news!
I'm happy to be the bearer of great news today.Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale on August 6th & 7th, and so am I! The sale starts TOMORROW and lasts for 2 days.
My entire store--including already discounted bundles--will be 20% off. When you use code BTS19, TPT will give you an additional 5% off.

Need Emergency Sub Plans?
My principal wants teachers to have emergency sub plans prepped and ready to go before school starts. Whether your district requires it or not, emergency plans are a good idea. If you need them, I might be able to help! 

I have bundles of emergency sub plans for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4

Each set includes 3 days of plans and related materials. Please take a close look at the oh-so-thorough previews in my store before purchasing to be sure these plans will meet your needs. 

On the first day of school, I always have a few things waiting on students' desks: a pencil box with pencils & new crayons, Play Doh, and a non-threatening 1st day packet. When students arrive, they may use the Play Doh and/or work on the packet with their sharp brand new school supplies. 

You can grab the 1st day packet for free by clicking here or on the image below. 

I've also created some 1st Day Play Dough task cards. Grab them by clicking here or on the image below.
Thanks so much for visiting! Happy saving (at the sale). I hope you have an AMAZING school year.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Saturday Sum Up

It's August! I go back to school in 23 days. Students start in 25 days. We've been summering it up the last couple of weeks. We want to get in as many fun family days as we can before we get busy again. 

I managed to get into my classroom for a couple of hours. A wonderful parent has planted flowers and a mini-garden at school. There were strawberries in June. Now there are peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes! Everyone is allowed to pick them, so we did! Dinner that night included a very fresh salad.  As usual, Gabrielle borrowed some books from my classroom library. I'll be just a little sad when she's too old to be interested in any of the books. 

For the 2nd year in a row, we went out to a Christian camp in Massachusetts. We have friends that camp out there for the entire 10 days. We just go and visit periodically. Each evening there's worship and a message in the tabernacle. Then we hang out & visit. There are snacks. And fellowship. And sometimes a bonfire. A group of us spent one day at a privately owned recreation area. The kids had fun with friends and did a lot of swimming. Seth jumped off the diving board repeatedly. Back at camp that evening we spent time visiting. 

My friend's dog was VERY pleased by Gabrielle's attention. 
During the week there were two free concerts. An extremely talented young lady came and did a worship concert one night. On the final night of camp, The Sky Family came from their home on Prince Edward Island. They perform traditional Irish music, and sometimes they blend it with a bit of jazz. There was also step dancing! My pictures didn't come out very well, so I'm sharing a You Tube video. 

We fit in another beach trip with my sister and nieces.

And, of course, we spent a lot of time hanging out with the cats.

Thanks for visiting!