Friday, January 27, 2012

Crocodile Pie and Contractions ...OH MY!!!

Last year I bought Cara's wonderful and AWESOME packet Crazy for Contractions. This year I made the Contraction Crocodile. I also made some activities to go along with her packet because I LOVE to do lessons with songs and food! =)

To start off, we learned "The Contraction Crocodile Crunch".

 I had the kiddos make 2 circles. The outer circle each had a card that had the 2 words that make a contraction. The kiddos in the middle had the matching contraction card. I would call a kiddo in the outer circle to come hold the "real" Mr. CC (Mr. Contraction Crocodile). They would show their card and as we sang the song they would "pop" in and out of his tummy (the middle circle). Finally, when the verse says, "And he spits a contraction out", the kiddo with the matching contraction card hops out of the middle. We continued to do this so each child had a turn starting off in the middle and a turn in starting off in the outer circle. It is just like the "Hokey Pokey" but the kiddos with the words and contractions pop in and out.

Here is the "real" Contraction Crocodile!
The little green crocodile was on top of the Crocodile Pie

Here are the cards we used to sing "The Contraction Crocodile Crunch"

I know I am not doing a very good job explaining this but it is Friday and I am brain dead with a sore throat and headache. I also made a recording sheet so we can later play this in a literacy center.

After we returned from lunch, this is what my kiddos saw on my table.

On the outside of the balloon I had written a contraction and inside the balloon were two pieces of paper containing the words that make that contraction. For example, 1 balloon had "don't" written on it. Inside the balloon were 2 small pieces of paper containing the words "do" and "not". Since we had talked about contractions are made by letters popping out, we popped our balloons to see how each contraction had started.

I knew this would be a VERY DIFFICULT activity for me to endure. First, it would be loud and I HATE the sound of a balloon popping. Second, I knew this would excite my kiddos beyond control and I demand encourage my kiddos to have fun but still be calm.

HOLY MOLY!!!! They were laughing hysterically and I was too watching some of them try and body slam their tiny booty onto the chair and have the balloon bounce from under them. Some balloons finally had to be stabbed with scissors. While we were doing this, the kiddos had their marker boards and they were writing the 2 words that made the contraction written on the balloon. I found the wonderful idea here on You Can Make the Sunshine Anytime. Malarie has great pictures to show you how to do this.

After the bottom balloon pop boot scoot boogie, we made our own "Contraction Crocodiles". They may not be as cute as I know some of you could make them but being a person who cannot cut straight with the paper cutter, I was pretty proud of myself for making a template.

We wrote a contraction on his belly and put a noodle for the apostrophe...we called it a crocodile tooth. =)

As you can tell, I gave them no pattern for the feet. This caused LOTS of snot, tears, crawling away encouragement but I love how different they are!

Finally, we read and sang "Crocodile Pie". This is an adapted version (by me!) of the song "Alligator Pie". We sang it ...although towards the end the words don't really match the tune that well but my kiddos didn't care and either did I! We found and highlighted all of the contractions and then we ate Crocodile Pie...which was really Key Lime Pie with one of those crocodiles that grow when you put the in water on top. They LOVED it.

I hope you love these activities as much as my kiddos and I did! I am BIG {PUFFY} Heart loving how stinkin' cute their contraction crocodiles turned out!

As always, I would be blessed if you leave me a heart note!

Question of the Day:
What does technology look like at your school? Do you have a Smartboard? Would you be interested in me sharing files I have made (if I can figure out how to do that!!!)?

Blessings from my heart to yours!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Crabs, Blenders, and Smiles

Meet Cranky Crab and Flora Flamingo.

Part 1:

Aren't they cute??!!!??? Before Christmas, they came to visit us and brought us the Blend Friends Song. We learned how a blend is made of two consonant friends that are seen and heard together. After seeing this blender on Pinterest, I knew Flora and Cranky would need to bring us a real blender!

Click here to check it out!

One day when we returned from lunch we had a package at the door.....inside was a blender and we started talking about What is this thing? Remember, I teach children of poverty so only 4 had EVER seen a blender! One kiddo did say, "My mom makes margaritas with that, giggles a lot, and then falls asleep on the couch! Ha! Yeppers, I said "Thank you for sharing that." and we moved on. I asked them what else could we make in the blender and 1 friend guessed a smoothie...yes, only 1 of my sweet darlings had ever drank a smoothie. That is also why I love the kiddos I teach because EVERYTHING is new and wonderful to them! =)

We talked about what we could put in a smoothie that would taste yummy Cranky and Flora had left us some blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranates. We used frozen water (ice) and white stuff from cows (milk). They LOVED it!

Part 2:

On Friday, we made blenders to help us remember all we have learned and worked on the past few weeks. Nikki from Melonheadz Illustrating helped me out by making me an ADORABLE blender. I made a template based on her cute blender and the kiddos were all smiles as they made one of their own (This was a big deal because I have 2 that always cry when we do art!)

Here is a glimpse of what we did!

After this, we wrote all of the blend beginnings inside the close-up of that....sorry!

I made a blend sort using Nikki's super duper cute blender. We wrote some of those blend words on the recording sheet and colored the blends with a crayon.

Here they are! They make me smile too!

I am sorry the pictures are not real clear....I am using my phone. =(

Later in the day we got another package (and letter) from Flora and Cranky (Flora and Cranky are in our room too...watching for friends being helpful!). First, we read the letter and highlighted all of the blends we found. Next, we opened the package. Inside were the ingredients to make a Cranky Crab snack: pretzels, bread, strawberries, whipping cream, twizzlers, craisins, and blueberries...all blend foods of course! =)

Here is our Cranky Crab snack! He is too cute!

As always, I would LOVE a heart note! I truly treasure each of you and am blessed by each visit you make my heart smile!

Question of the day:
What is the funniest thing a child has ever told you their mom or dad does?

It is those stories that make some of the things we go through more bearable AND help us understand our kiddos so much more...the apple doesn't fall far from the tree does it?!!??? =)

Check back soon to learn about Our Heart Buddies. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vowel Munchers

I cannot believe it has almost been a week since my last post and I am not really sure where that week went! My kiddos really had a pretty good Potty Police incidents to report, no one eating anything like pencils, paper, crayons or their toenails. Yes, several years ago one of my Firsties pulled off his shoe and then his sock and then bit his toenails off and ate them! I think I was too horrified to throw up!

We did a really cute lesson on Friday to celebrate blends and I am really excited to share about it ....especially because we did a craft that I made a template for! That is like off the charts HUGE!!! I LOVE crafts but cannot draw a straight line with a ruler and rely on my teaching buddy to do it for me because SHE ROCKS! I hope to share it with you this week! =)

I had a brain pop today for something that we are going to do daily until Valentine's Day. We are going to start on Monday so be looking for that will be all about encouraging, helping and noticing the kind acts of others in Our School Family! If you are new to my blog, please go read the post about Building Your School Family. I share all about how we use helpful hearts to fill our bucket. This would be a great thing for your class to start this February if you are ready to take your first step to putting some Conscious Discipline into your classroom. Click here to go to that post. Here are some pictures from that post.

We have been working hard since before Christmas with magic e. I made this little *freebie* that you can use as a Read the Room or Pocket Chart sort or however it floats your boat! =) These Love Monsters are some of my favorite clip art because they are just so stinkin' cute. I hope your kiddos can use this short or long vowel sort!

graphics by DJ Inkers

I had a wonderful surprise on Thursday! I was pulling out some baby wipes for the Table Washers to use after we eat our Breakfast in the Classroom and under what I thought was a crate full of wipes were TONS of glue sticks!!! Wahoo! It was like Christmas all over again! I am not sure about your kiddos but we go through glue sticks very quickly because we use them daily. I buy them all summer long and buy lots of my kiddos' school supplies like folders because:  1. I am anal and all of my blue folders must be the exact same shade of blue and 2. I can put more glue sticks on my School Supply List for the beginning of the year.

So, my Question of the Day is this:

How much are you allowed to put on your School Supply List?

I also want to send a big Heart Hug to Holly at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade. She left me a comment to just check up on my since I had not been posting lately. Thank you sweet friend!

Thank you to each follower who comes by my little blog....I am still not sure why you do but my heart is blessed because of you! I love and treasure each one of your heart notes!

From My Heart to Yours,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

We Care Bag...and a *freebie*

One of the things I love about Conscious Discipline is the building of the School Family. Many, many of my kiddos do not have the most nurturing home lives...some of my kiddos are never hugged or praised. We have had parents before that came to pick up their child from school and not only did they not know the teacher's name but they did not THEIR child's name. I have had Firsties before that did NOT know their name...and how can you learn to write your name if you don't know it!!!???!!!  But I know God brought these babies to my room and I have the joy of loving them unconditionally. Yes, at times I want to give them a good "GRRRRRRRRR" or pop them but I DO let them know I care enough about them to not let them behave a certain way!

As I have talked about before, many of the Conscious Discipline School Family Jobs help build that family that so many kiddos are lacking at home. One of the jobs I love is the Encourager! WOW! I know that is something I can ALWAYS do better at but to start teaching a child to look beyond their egocentric selves to notice others is so powerful! And after watching me encourage them, they do an awesome job encouraging others especially when I might have reached the point of frustration and wanting to tell them to knock it off and stop crying!

In Our School Family, we have a We Care Bag. Inside the bag are items that the Encourager might use to help a friend that is feeling sad or angry. Here are some pictures:

Inside the We Care Bag is a stuffed animal if they are feeling sad and a foam phone that they can use to "call" someone they are missing. We have band-aids that the First-Aid Giver uses and cranky cream (the label is not on this bottle of it) the Encourager and I can use to soothe a sad friend.

There are different squeeze toys when someone is mad (we practice being caterpillar calm and do some hand motions as we practice taking deep breaths) and the bottle with the pom-pom balls is to help an angry friend calm down as they pull the pom-pom balls out of the bottle and focus on THAT instead  of whatever is making them mad. The STAR wand and bubbles are something the STAR Helper uses and I can share more about that in another post if you are interested.

The Encourager's job is very important. When a child is feeling sad, angry, or discouraged they are functioning at the brain stem. This is the worst place for a child to be for learning and success to happen. The brain stem is our fight or flight area of the brain. A child must breathe and calm down and move to the frontal lobe for the most successful learning to take place. Also, when a child is functioning at their brain stem they are NOT hearing what you are saying and there is NO point in trying to reason with them until they calm down!

This might mean the Encourager needs to go get the sad child a stuffed animal to hug so they can calm down. Or the Encourager might go sit by the frustrated child for a bit and encourage them as they get started on their work. The Encourager is like a cheerleader too celebrating the child as they calm themselves down or attempt to try and do the work that might be hard for them or that they don't want to do.

All of my kiddos become encouragers and cheerleaders to each other. They celebrate each other ALL of the time and "Way to Go" is one of the most used phrases in Our School Family. If you want to read more about the job of the Cheerleader click here.

Watching them encourage and celebrate each other is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Part of me has gotten so used to it that I forget to realize how special what is happening in our classroom really is. One of my toughies this year told me "Thank you for loving me like no one else does."

Another one of my kiddos (who was actually not the Encourager this past week) was talking to one of my kiddos who was under the table crying because he was feeling very frustrated making his torn paper snowman. He said, "Ms. Price and I believe in you and know you can do it. Come on out and I'll help you get started." After he got started, my other kiddos all started give him Way to Go's. The Cheerleader celebrated him with her horn and the Kindness Recorder added a kind flower for the child who helped the sad friend. Another friend added both of them a helpful heart to fill our bucket. ALL of this was done without me stepping in and saying anything! My heart was smiling!

I would love for you who might be new followers to go back and read the other posts I have shared about Conscious Discipline. It will truly touch your heart and the heart of each little one in your room!

Now, on to the *freebie*!

2 of my kiddos are still have trouble with short vowel sounds so I made a little penguin vowel sort for them! I hope you can use it with your kiddos! =)

graphics by DJ Inkers

As always, please leave me a heart note! Each one makes my heart smile! =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Currently and the Year of the Beaver

It seems each year or class can be summed up in a few words. 2 years ago was The Year of the Beaver. I did not just have kiddos who chewed on pencil ends or ate the eraser off. I had a kiddo who ATE entire pencils. At first, I thought someone was hiding pencils. Then, I thought someone was taking pencils home because many of my kiddos do not have pencils, pens or crayons at home. Well, pretty soon my OCD was kicking in and it was my MISSION to find the pencils that kept turning up missing. We did backpack searches, I asked the kiddos to be detectives, and finally one little friend came to me to tattle helpfully inform me that Beaver Boy had something in his mouth.

I ask Beaver Boy what he had in his mouth. Nuffing Beaver Boy told me. Are you chewing gum? No ma'am....and all of this is said with marble mouth talk. Open you mouth Beaver Boy. Nothing. I am asking you to do something because I am worried about you being safe. Please open your mouth. Nothing. Open your mouth or I will open it for you (yes, these words did come out of my mouth as I was praying no one was walking by to hear) He opens his mouth and half a pencil is a chewy wet mess. Disgusting does not even begin to describe this. This poor, sweet kiddo was also one I was going to have to learn how to brush....but that will be for another post! =)

Last year was The Year of Snot. NEVER, EVER in my life have I seen so much snot come from such tiny people. AND to make it even better, we are talking about projectile snot that shot across the room. We would go through a box of Kleenex in 2 days. This is AFTER a lesson on how to use Kleenex instead of just smearing it and the snot all over your face. I Lysoled everything and we bathed in Germ-X.

This year we are all about GAS! Burps and Toots are the music of our room. It got to the point we weren't even listening to our classical music as we worked because Mozart and burps and toots are just not something I want their brains to connect together. Maybe it is because I have double the amount of boys as I do girls but OH MY WORD! Is it rude for me to go spray the air around them after they have passed a toot that lasted for 12 seconds??!!!??? At least I can say we can now successfully withstand the orchestra of the original wind instrument without any giggles, smirks or comments. For a Firstie, that is HUGE...probably more of an achievement than mastering reading all of your sight words but I have yet to find that on any of our district assessments. I, however, am learning to breathe through my mouth and be well stocked in Bath & Body Works air fresheners! =)

I have linked up with Farley finally (after thinking about my OLW for a long, long time)!!!

When I come home from school, I let my bunny out for Hop Time. He and my cat Edison play and I cuddle with them. My bunny's name fits him because I have elaborately had to wire his cage shut because he kept escaping!

I love 3 day weekends and am ready for the break even though we just had a break but it has been a LONG 2 weeks. My nieces are my Chickadees and the weekends are a time I cherish with them.

Yes, I did tell my cat he was being a Bucket Dipper when he took Houdini's carrot away from him. Yes, my cat is weird too and eats carrots and cilantro.

I AM seriously considering buying someone toothpicks. This person picks her teeth while you are talking to her and then EATS whatever food she I the only one to find that gross??!!!??? I try really hard to not let it bother me but it does. In the WORST way.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my OLW (one little word). HEART is my word that I am going to try and embrace. I share on my profile the verse from Colossians 3:23 about "whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

We all have things we pour all of our HEART into because it is something near and dear to us BUT we often do not show our heart's priorities in our actions and everyday life.  Too many times, I put my love for God on the back burner. I let my quiet time be taken up by other things. My pastor shared about how time is like tithing. Where you spend your time is what is the most important in your life. I know my love for the Lord will grow even stronger when I put ALL of my HEART in His word and following Him.

I also need to put ALL of my HEART into the things I don't like teaching as much. I LOVE word study and therefore, know I do a pretty great job teaching it to my kiddos because of that. But Social Studies??? BLAH! It is hard for my kiddos to understand a subject so abstract therefore, I know I do not always do a very good job with those standards. I need to teach each thing with passion, creativity, and my HEART.

I also need to do everything with a joyful HEART. My negative attitude (which is not often) does not make an unpleasant task easier and whatever the situation is I am blessed to be going through it. Whether it is a time of praise or a time of storms, it is a time to turn and give my whole HEART  and praise to God.

When I look at all of my kiddos with Eyes of the Heart, I will touch the lives of each little one God put in my classroom. As I tell my kiddos: when you walk through the door, you walk into my heart and I will love you forever!

From My Heart to Yours,

Monday, January 9, 2012

No Clue, No Lights, No Worries

It started storming yesterday and God was still blessing us with LOTS of rain this morning. There are very few things I am scared of but driving in the rain is a BIGGIE! I HATE it (and hate is a word I rarely use). I have about a 25 minute commute that I love because it is my time to brainstorm, reflect, unwind, prepare, pray and just focus on whatever is on my heart. BUT there are also lots of 18 wheelers who fly by you at 80 mph and in the rain that terrifies me.

So, I left for work early and I already like to get there early...this means it was dark outside AND pouring. White knuckles, rapid heartbeat, cramped hands, and 35 minutes later I arrive at school. Someone is in MY parking space. No, it doesn't have my name on it but it has been MY spot for about 9 years after I inherited it when Grandma Moses retired. I mumbled something ugly decided to not worry about it since God got to me to work safely and headed out to swim inside.

As I am walking to my classroom, the lights go out! I go to my room which is pitch black because it is still early AND dark and stormy outside. I get the flashlight out of my Boogie Bag  and turn on a very DIM flashlight and it dies! I go to the classroom that opens up into mine and search for her flashlight by light of my cell phone and cannot find her bag. I venture out it the hallway and learn that MY part of the school doesn't have lights but everyone else does. So I am thinking I can go home right??? My breakfast cart gets delivered (Yes, we have the joy of eating breakfast in the classroom but that is an entirely DIFFERENT post!). Now, I am beginning to panic and plan on a breakfast picnic in the hall because 1st graders cannot get food where it needs to be in FULL DAYLIGHT....milk in the dark and some of my kiddos...picture Elaine from Seinfeld dancing and put a milk carton in her hands...yep, that would be a close enough picture of the disaster that would be.

4 minutes before the kiddos come our lights come I have to wait about 20 minutes for my computer to boot up and I have to install ALL 1, 222 fonts back onto my computer. Now, come kiddos with umbrellas and it is pouring and we are watching the playground become a lake.

The Monday is getting even brighter because I have decided to conquer the TPRI to get it out of the way. Child number 1 takes 50 minutes for me to give him the test. One of the stories he read (which was more difficult than what he usually reads) his words per minute were 12. O! M! Gosh!!!! And that was doing the you say it in 3 seconds or it is an error! HEADACHE! CALGON TAKE ME AWAY! But the icing on the cake was BEFORE listening to him read. He was reading words from a list and came to the word shelf. He noticed it had a H brother and even told me this. He sounded it out sh-e-l-f and then said monkey. Seriously, where have you been since August??!!!??? I did tell him I was about to bop him on the head!

Later, he was playing Animal Detectives and was looking at the camel card and was trying to figure out the last letter in camel. He goes to look for his guided reading book that had the word camel in it! Yes, he was being resourceful but really??!!!??? I looked at him like they look at me sometimes like Have you completely lost you sweet mind???? Right away he said "l" but I was like this friend needs a little bit more one-on-one time to build him up and his confidence because he obviously is so unsure of himself because he knows! He is just one of my little ones that needs so much love because no one makes time for them at home. =(

So, after beating myself up for being a crummy teacher and making an ENORMOUS list of all of the things I need to do better. I am going to try and not worry. The key word there is try!

I am planning a giveaway for all of you wonderful followers and really just want to take the time again to tell you not only thank you for following me but thank you for the heart notes. Each one means the world to me!

To show you some thanks, everything in my TpT store is on sale for $1! Click on the lovebugs to go to my store!

While you are there, I would love for you to follow me! This sale will end sometime tomorrow! Tell your bloggy friends! =)

Here is a *freebie*!

My kiddos love the first Animal Detectives I made so here is Animal Detectives 2!

graphics by DJ Inkers

Here is the first one if you didn't grab it!

graphics by DJ Inkers

Question of the Day:
Do you have a parking "spot"?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Penguin on a Shelf...A South Pole visitor =)

On Monday, we are receiving a "chilly" letter from the South Pole. This letter is from Santa's brother, Jack Frost. Jack knows we are learning about penguins and wants to send a "helper" who will report back to Jack and his uncle, Santa, how each kiddo is doing. Our penguin friend also knows the elves and has talked to different elves about the visits to the classrooms they made before Christmas. Much like an Elf on the Shelf, Mr. Penguin (name not yet determined) will move around, cause mischief, and sometimes leave if he gets scared by what he sees and hears! =)

Here is Mr. Penguin.

Here is a copy of the note we will receive (It will be placed in the freezer before arrival for a chilly effect).

graphics by DJ Inkers

On to some *freebies*!

Some of my kiddos are still needing help with digraphs, especially my ESL kiddos. Here is a penguin digraph sort. I *love* the penguin font! =)

graphics by DJ Inkers

The next *freebie* is Chilly Cover-Up. This is a digraph game where children spin and cover one of the snowflakes with a picture having that digraph. He or she must say the name of the picture and the sound that digraph makes. The first player to cover all of his or her snowflakes win

graphics by DJ Inkers

I hope you enjoy all of the *freebies*!

I want to give everyone who left me a heart note after my last post a HUGE heart hug. The person making the hurtful comment did not leave it on my blog...infer what you may....and infer again about why I asked the question about the bucket dipper. I try and not take things to heart but I am a worrier. I have faith that God brought each of you to my blog for a reason and for that I am forever blessed.  Each of you make my heart smile daily and your sweet heart notes encourage me and inspire me to be a better teacher. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Blast from the Past

I hope this is not bad blog etiquette (and if it is, someone kindly tell me!) but I want to bring back a few of my favorites that you might have missed if you are new to my blog. Over the break, I went back and followed a few of my favorite blogs from the very beginning. I loved it! But unless I am looking for a certain skill or activity, I really only go back a few posts and then I am off blog hopping again! So, today I want to bring some of my favorites to you in a quick, easy way! =)

The first is my Wish Well Circle. We do this everyday and it only takes about 2 minutes. Today, we welcomed back one of my kiddos who had been absent the past 2 days. As we were about to sing to her, she said she got better faster because she knew we were at school thinking about her and wishing for her to come back to Our School Family because we weren't the same without her! Awwww, I got tears in my eyes! Click on the link above to go to the post and grab the Wish Well Circle *freebies*! Here is a picture of it!

Next, we wander back to some Word Study *freebies*. The reason these came to my mind is next week I have the joy that every K, 1, and 2 teacher in the state of Texas gets to experience...the TPRI! It is a reading inventory that can take up to 45 minutes per child to administer and I always have a headache when I finish...this is when I head to Auntie's Pasta's for an adult beverage!

The 2 tasks on the test that are the most difficult for the majority of my kiddos are deleting the initial and final sounds in a word. O. M. Gosh!!! To share with you what I am so looking forward to, "What is the word cart without the /c/ sound?" Kiddo: "Monkey"!

Some little ears just have a hard time hearing sounds...OY!

I made 2 different bingo games to help teach and build this skill. We play these in a small group.

This one is for deleting the final sound. We talk about how turtles are so slow when they speak that they often forget to say the last sound of the word. Click on the picture to go to the post and grab the *freebie*!

This one is for deleting the initial sound in a word. The Sound Snatcher comes and he is trying to be so quick that he can only get away with stealing the first sound in the word. Click on the picture to go to the post and grab the *freebie*!

Finally, we hop back to one of my kiddos favorite ways to practice our Word Wall words. I bought a class set of small exercise balls at Target...they are about the size of a large lemon. The children bounce the ball for each letter in the word and then bounce it once more it say the word. We usually do it with one child bouncing at a time and everyone else just pretending to bounce while spelling the word (because if not you have balls rolling everywhere). This is great for those kinesthetic learners and helps with hand eye coordination too! I have done this in a center after a LONG talk about the right way to do it and what will happen IF......

I hope you enjoy these and a visit to the "past".

Now to the BIG topic! =)

I recently had a very hurtful comment made about my blog and myself (and let's just say it was NOT from any sweet follower or blog stalker). I, for a moment, had my feelings hurt and then wanted to make a comment back but finally just let it go because it wasn't worth it. I left High School a looonnnnggggg time ago and if I want to be around some catty females I will watch the Bachelor (and thank you sweet Kristin for your post that has made me want to go check it out!).

So, my question of the day is this:
Do you have any bucket dippers or bullies at your school (and I am not talking about the little people)? If you have a juicy story, feel free to vent and share! =)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

De-Nile ...more than a river in Egypt

After spending several days this past week worrying about the clipart police visiting me, I packed my bags and made a trip to the Land of Denial.

This is a place where there are no meetings, lesson plans, or children who don't listen. There are pajamas, chick flicks, lots of yummy food, endless time to blog stalk, sleeping whenever you want to and did I already mention pajamas??? Yes, tomorrow that dreaded invention will make a noise telling me to come back from the Land of Denial. It will continue to make annoying noises despite me snoozing and burrowing further down in my cozy bed. As much as I love my kiddos, I could really enjoy just one more day! I think *someone* forgot the memo stating that if the banks and post offices are closed so should schools!

I am thinking EVERYONE will be sleepy tomorrow and we will have to all adjust our bladders to using the bathroom at only certain times during the day.

Here is a little *freebie* I just made to help my kiddos celebrate all they have learned this year. This is really my favorite part of 1st grade. After Christmas has always been the time it seems to "click" for most of my kiddos. This is the time for many butterflies to emerge from their cocoons.

The kiddos are going to read books that are in their browsing boxes. They are going to record all of the words they know. You can give your kiddos a limit or have them hunt for certain words. I am probably going to make a craft to go with this but my brain is still in the Land of Denial! I am sure I will get a brain pop soon. It is probably just going to be their faces and a party hat. I'll post pictures tomorrow if they turn out cute.

We are also going to start our Question of the Day. I have done this off and on throughout the year but now we are going to *try* and do it on a daily basis. So, I thought I would have a Question of the Day on my blog too. =)

So, my question of the days is:
What is one thing you are excited about this new year and what is one thing you are ready to change?

I have loved discovering many, many new blogs this holiday and reading all of the sweet and encouraging heart notes you have left for me. Thank you for blessing my life in ways you may never know. Each one of you inspires me to be a better teacher.