Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Much Fun

Lots of my Texas friends have seen a white Christmas this year. I love snow but I am more of a beach kind of gal. Cold weather makes me want to hibernate inside with my mug of spiced tea, a book, and my boys...the furry ones. =)

My mom and I went to see Les Miserables this afternoon. The theater was **FREEZING***!!!! Even though I was turning into a human popsicle, I LOVED the movie.

Awesome movie...bring the Kleenex.

To help you welcome winter, here are some *freebies* to warm you up. =)

Click on the picture above to grab the snowy contractions *freebie*.

Click here to grab all of these activities and more!

Here are some of the skills included in this *freebie*:
short vowels
adding and subtracting
tally marks
problem solving

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy these activities. If you grab these *freebies*, please leave me a heart note (comment).

I am working on some Conscious Discipline posts. Let me know what questions you might have so I can try and answer them the CD way. What classroom management areas/concerns do you have?

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. I'll be back before the New saying that is cray cray!!! Where did the year of  2012 go??!!???

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Precious Presents

Merry Christmas sweet friends! Each one of you is such a gift to me. Words cannot even describe how much I treasure you and all of your encouraging words. You are a Christmas blessing to me each and every day.

As I celebrate the birth of our Savior today, my heart rejoices at the gift of our King. My heart and mind also turn to my kiddos and the families and friends of those in Connecticut. Words cannot even capture what they are going through. But I do have a sense of peace knowing they are with Jesus in Heaven today...what a celebration that must be.

My heart thinks of my 17 little precious presents. What a gift teachers have each day to have so many blessings bestowed upon them. Presents do not have to be material things. I think we often think that presents should have fancy wrappings but some of our presents come to us wrapped in paper of brown. We must see past that paper to the beauty that is inside. We are given those presents to keep safe from harm.

Our children need to be reminded how much we love them. We sometimes get so caught up in curriculum, standards, or paper work - we forget to see the child behind that sweet, toothless grin. These precious presents are our little angels God sent for Earth to borrow....they are the future and heroes of tomorrow.

Remember those precious presents in your prayers-
Always take the time to show them how much you care.
They are a precious present from God above-
Wanting nothing more than the gift of your time and love.
These precious presents have endless worth-
They are God's tiny blessings here on Earth.

Merry Christmas!

From My Heart to Yours,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Rainbow's Promise

When you find your heart breaking, the world just seems to stop. Words like "tragedy" and "horrific" do not even begin to encompass what we are feeling and going through. There are things we will never understand.

Over the past few days my eyes have started filling with tears at EVERYTHING: a child who lost his first tooth, my kiddos singing in the Christmas program, hearing a child tell another friend how much he loves his School Family, seeing a child caught up in the wonder of Christmas, and hearing children share about one of our greatest and most precious gifts: the birth of our Savior.

I have thought and worried about how I could sacrifice myself to be able to save and protect all 17 of my children. I would move Heaven and Earth to save each one.

I have thought and prayed about the children I see everyday who already seem to be losing some of their innocence. My heart breaks over things that some of our children know, have seen and gone through. Every person behind a horrific tragedy was once a child in someone's Kinder or 1st grade classroom.

I wonder what leads them to the point where they turn down the path of darkness. I know there will always be evil in this world...yet, I am humbled daily by God's grace and the gift of His son who would come and save me from my sins and darkness. I am also blessed each day to see His love and goodness shining through others.

God has called each one of us to be a teacher. Each child in our classroom was placed there for a reason. I don't think we may ever realize the heartprints we are leaving behind. God is using us to shape the future. The lessons we are really teaching are about being helpful, patient, kind, encouraging, and an Everyday Hero.

There will be days, weeks, months, or even years when we ask ourselves Why am I teaching???? Have I lost my mind???!!!??? I think we need to turn to each other in those tough times for encouragement. We are all going to have those kiddos that are Hoovers. Our love, patience, and understanding our gifts that are priceless. I know that children are either extending love or crying out for love...I pray that God helps us to hear that call.

As I was finishing my shopping for my kiddos' Christmas gifts, I thought about how my kiddos might not always remember the little gifts I bought them but I pray that they WILL remember how much I love them. The best gift I can give them is for me to be the Heart of Patience God called me to be. A teacher can be one of a child's greatest gifts.

My heart just breaks when I think of all of the hurting hearts of family and friends in Connecticut. I think of those 20 little faces celebrating Christmas with the King and my heart has hope. 20 guardian angels now watch over the kiddos in all of our classrooms and for that I am humbled and honored. One of my favorite song's has the lyrics about how God sometimes calms the storm but other times He calms His child. He is with us in this storm. Those precious little hearts are the upside down smiles we will see in each rainbow. They are our Rainbow's Promise after this storm. 

I pray God shines His love through us...may we be God's rainbows here on Earth.

From My Heart to Yours,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Love Them Like Jesus

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name,
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring.
Those children all flew into the arms of their King,
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of Mom and Dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools."
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

From My Breaking Heart to Yours,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Groovy Christmas

I haven't been this excited in a looooonnnnnngggggg time!

I finally had to tell myself to STOP because I kept adding to this packet!!!

I didn't think you would still want to be doing Christmas in January even though I know you love Pete the Cat as much as I do!

In the packet are 8 literacy centers and 6 math centers....and let me tell you that they are beyond precious once you print them.

Here is a little preview of all of the Groovy Greatness in this 120 page collection of cuteness!

Hop over to my TpT store to grab it.

Leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas song and I'll send 2 winners this packet or any item from my TpT store. Be sure and leave your email. I'll pick the winner tonight or tomorrow. =)

Karyn and Olwyn - check your email!

Thank you everyone else for your sweet comments. I am going to listen to some Christmas music and add some more activities to this packet. It seems to be growing and growing! =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Poetry Fun *Freebies*


Passed out and sleepy about describes me right now.

Is it seriously only Tuesday???!!!???

Mother Nature here in Texas is in need of some SERIOUS hormone pills. It was 80+ degrees last Monday. Tuesday night it was in the 30's. This weekend it was back in the upper 70's.

There was a full moon.

I had my formal observation.

I have talked about the proper way to wear our clothing a gazillion times.

I have goats....and a beaver.

I am VERY scared to talk about how sweet my class is....I am terrified of getting a new child who will send my class to the Land of Bonkers and Beyond!!!!

This post will be short and sweet. =)

Here are some of the favorite poems my kiddos like this time of year. These are the ones they will still be singing and reading until May.

Click here to grab your copy.

I hope to be back very, very soon with my Grovvy Christmas Fun. =)

I would love for you to take a minute and leave me some love in a heart note. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Early Shopping

This post makes me feel sick to my stomach a little...okay- A LOT!!! When it comes to my store on TpT, I just have a hard time putting activities in there. I have about 15 packets I am working on...and I am not sure whether to share them as *freebies* or put them in my store. I LOVE making activities and using clip art and deciding which of my 2,500+ fonts to use...but I am still scared to share my stuff!!!!!!

Just in case you ***might*** want to spend some moolah, I want to share with you a few items in my store. You might want to grab these during the BIG sale!

Click on the button above to go to my store. =)

Leave a heart note and let me know your favorite Christmas movie.
I'll be back later tonight to pick a winner who can go pick 2 items from my store. =)

Sorry it took so long to share the winners.
Maria, Katie K. and Carrie G: I will be sending you an email shortly. =)

I am off to finish working on something with a Groovy Cat who saves Christmas. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank You to My Heroes

I never thought I would have a blog. I still think at least once a week that I shouldn't be doing this! or What in the world have I gotten myself into???!!!??? I am just speechless over here in my little East Texas town wondering why you hop by. I wish I could find the words to let each one of you know how you have blessed me in countless ways.

I love the ideas I have found that make teaching fun and engaging. I love finding *freebies* that save me the time from making an activity that teaches the same concept/skill. I love the stories that remind me to laugh and find humor in the things our little ones do and say

You are the understanding head that nods while you read about my teaching pressures and stress. You are in the trenches with me as we battle things from The Potty Police and boogers to RtI. But most of all, you are the encouraging words that remind me that God calls special people like each one of you to teach. Although I will never meet most of you face to face, you are my sisters in Christ. You are my daily blessings.

I am honored to not only call you my bloggy friends and blessings but I can call each of you a hero as well. Each day you are a hero to the little ones God has placed in your classroom. You are the love and patience they need. At times, you might be the one to show them there are other paths in life to take. And you may not always love the things they do, you love them with all of your heart...or you try to and pray you have that Heart of Patience.

So, take a few minutes and remember that you are a blessing and a hero in the lives and hearts of your little ones and in mine. =)

Here is one of my favorite songs. =)

And as it says in the song, "Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed."

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

From My Heart to Yours,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I WILL Survive....Turkey Style

I am jealous and unfollowing happy for all of you bloggy friends who are already enjoying their week long Thanksgiving Holiday. I have 2 days or 14 hours or 420 minutes or 50,400 seconds. In the words of my favorite Thanksgiving song, I WILL SURVIVE!

This is Gloria Gobbler's Sequel: You Can't Gobble Me

And you just have to love Can't Stuff This...

Here is a fun time filler engaging sight word activity.

Click here to download. =)

Here is a fun song to add to your poetry journals.

This month will have also been working to earn feathers for good behavior...and reviewing shapes. 

I am sorry for not blogging about this sooner but I've been running around like 
a chicken...or turkey with its head cut off! Lol!

This adventure started with a letter from Mr. Gobbles. 

He was on the run from the farmer. He wanted us to look for shapes that he had hidden around the school. As he was running around, his feathers were also falling out! Poor Mr. Gobbles.

After finding TONS of feathers and 6 different shapes, 
we headed back to our classroom.

When we returned there, we had a package waiting for us.
Inside the package were shape riddles.

After we solved the riddles, we read another letter from Mr. Gobbles. He told us that he had been by our room but the farmer was still after him. He was so scared that when he was trying to talk that not all of the sounds in the word were coming out. We needed to help him find those missing letters and sounds.

To complete our adventure, we made Indian headbands. On the headbands, we made patterns with the shapes we solved riddles about. The kiddos had been working to earn feathers from Mr. Gobbles for making helpful and kind choices.

If you want to check this fun and engaging adventure out, hop over to my TPT store. :)

For those of you already celebrating and relaxing, think of us as
WE SURVIVE the next 2 days. =)

I hope everyone has a relaxing and fun filled time with family and friends. As I count my blessings, I remember each of you. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Gift Worth 25,200

I would LOVE to give you a gift worth $25,200....or just give it to you in cold, hard cash. Can I hear a CHA CHING! =)

There are movie stars that probably spend that much on a dress. Who knows what some athletes drop that kind of money for...?????

A warm, fuzzy teacher response would be how teaching is so much more rewarding than any gift of that value.

I am sure we all hit the Dollar Tree when we buy little gift for our kiddos' Christmas presents. But did you realize you give your kiddos a gift worth that value EVERYDAY????

Each day we have 25,200 seconds with our kiddos.

I know we all think and know that there is not enough time in the day to do everything that is expected of us. I know it is a daily...heck, a hourly keep up in the curriculum.

I often feel like I am Cinderella before the Fairy Godmother comes when I visit other blogs. Everything always seems so magical. I know I do lots of fun and creative lessons with my kiddos but my days are still filled with booger picking, booty scratchin', Lucy Goosey, tootin' and giggling little kiddos.

Kiddos who ask you 10 minutes after lunch Have we been to lunch yet?

Kiddos who tell you they have a question but then tell you a story about their daddy when he drinks too much beer.

Kiddos who start rolling around on the rug when you are reading your favorite story in your best character voices.

Kiddos who go to work on the wonderful craftivity you worked so hard to create and pre-cut the templates for and.....they turn it into an Edward Scissorhands disaster.

I visit these wonderful and inspiring teaching blog written by amazing women who must be like Snow White because when they open their mouths they must enchant their children and have forest animals flocking to hear their magical voice.

I realize though that my kiddos will always love the lessons when we have visitors like Stretchy Snake, Pete the Cat, Chester Raccoon, Lips the Fish, the Letter Snatcher, and very soon Mr. Gobbles the rescued turkey who lives with Santa at the North Pole.

But am I creating and sharing with them the moments that let them know how much I care???

Am I giving them a few minutes to let them be the 6 and 7 year olds that we seem to forget that they are when we try and meet benchmark after benchmark and master standard after standard???

I realize that it will be in those 25,200 seconds that I teach a child about being patient, helpful, kind, and forgiving because how I react to what they do and say will be a lesson on how they can respond to others when they are faced with a similar situation.

I always try and remember the Conscious Discipline thought about being the person I want others to become.

It is in just a few of those 25,200 seconds that the reaction I make can cause a ripple effect that leads to a tsunami or a tiny pebble that barely skims the water. My words can and do make a huge difference.

When there is arguing, fussing, lying, shoving and defiance, what good does it do anyone if I immediately react by snapping at a child or fussing at them because of all the fussing?

It is in those few seconds before we open our mouths that have the greatest impact on whatever the situation is.

One of my favorite parts of Conscious Discipline is that it teaches children the tools they need to become problem solvers but the most valuable part is without a doubt the lesson it teaches me about how to help my children.

I want for the 25,200 seconds I have with my kiddos to be as productive as possible. I want them to be full of fun and engaging lessons. I want them to help my kiddos be the best 1st graders they can be.

I want them to help build a school family of helpful, kind, and patient individuals.

I want them to be little moments where I laugh with my kiddos and act silly.

I want them to be full of hugs and smiles

I want them to be little gifts to each child that let them know I care about them....even when they forget and are booger picking, fussy, Lucy Goosey Firsties.

It is in our gift of 25,200 seconds that a difference can be made Because of YOU.

This song always helps me to remember that what I want in my classroom I have to well as to stop and think of others and the struggles they might be facing.

On to some turkey fun....
I love *freebies*. =)

Here is a fun activity I recently added to my TpT store.

Mr. Turkey is so scared. He is afraid he will soon be someone’s Thanksgiving dinner. As he tries to talk, he gets so nervous that he is never able to finish saying the words. All of the words he says are missing the final sound. Help him find the missing sounds on the feathers he has lost.

This is a fun activity that your kiddos will love. It is perfect for Word Study and as part of your Thanksgiving unit. A fun song and story help engage your children as they listen for the missing final sound in a word.

It is on sale right now.
Click here to go check it out! =)

I would love for you to leave me a heart note.

What gift can you give in those 25,200 seconds?

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A President and a Difference

Tonight is an important night. Many people are putting their faith in the outcome of this election. Every election has a HUGE impact on each one of us. Whether the results of the election make you happy or sad, the world will still go on. There will be celebrations and tears. A bad attitude won't change things. My faith is in God and I must lean on Him and not my own understanding.

Tomorrow you will wake up with a new president or we will welcome the other one into another term. You will go to school and face the same obstacles, challenges, and children. Fussing and complaining about it won't really make a difference...although it does help us feel better at times.

In the past month, you experienced the freedom to vote, make a difference, and let your voice be heard.

Tomorrow you will meet numerous people who need YOU to be their difference....the children in your classroom.

About 2 weeks ago, I had a Wal-Mart Greeter kind of day....except I no longer feel as if I could do that job and see all of those wild children out of control...Have I told you the story about the child that was licking the floor in Wal-Mart???!!!???? Kind of makes you want to throw up doesn't it.

I was feeling frustrated. I realized that I have a choice to be reactive....holler, punish, reward the "good" kiddos, threaten with Sad Notes, blame them for my feelings, or let my negative emotions take control.
I could be proactive and tackle the frustrating issues with a plan and remember Conscious Discipline and that nobody can make me angry or upset without my permission. Instead of thinking How can I get this child to stop ______________________ I need to start thinking How can I help this child more likely choose to _________________?

Thinking about how I could handle these problems in our classroom made me think of the election. A president wants to come in and "fix" things We often have to face new challenges that someone tried to fix but are now beyond our control.

I think teachers are often taught quick fixes to solve problems (I know I learned some in college). These quick fixes often don't carry over outside of the classroom. I want to teach my children ways to be problem solvers but more importantly how to be kind and helpful because they want to...not to get a reward or to have their clip moved. When is the last time you got a reward for doing the right thing?

What happens in Washington today, in January, or 4 years from now is not what will make me a better teacher. I have to be the one to decide what attitude I face each day with and more importantly what attitude I use to help each child God has placed in my classroom. Obama or Romney will not make as much difference in a child's life as YOU will. 

I want you to take a few minutes to think about these quotes:

And because I love and treasure each one of you, here are some *freebies*. =)

Click here to grab this quick and easy dice game.

This is a fun spin and graph game.

Hop over here to grab this one. =)

Here is a fun digraph sort.
Grab this *freebie* here.

I hope you enjoy these *freebies*.

I would love for you to tell me about a kind of problem you might be having in your classroom.I know I don't hold the golden ticket answer but I have found many things through Conscious Discipline and my own beliefs that have made a difference. I would love to share them with you too. =)

If you can, please take a few minutes and leave me a heart note...I treasure each one.

Remember, you are more than a are the daily difference who leaves your heart prints on a child.

From My Heart to Yours,