Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Word Resolution Linky

I am linking up with Primary Powers for the One Word Resolution Linky.   I should have NOT read the other great links before I started writing, because I found some fabulous words that I loved.  I love Sarah's from A Sunny Day in First Grade... BE.  And I love Angela's from The Daily Alphabet- TRY.  So many times I have been so glad that I tried something.

I am a little scared of the word PATIENCE, because I will never forget the teacher who used to teach next to me having a HORRIBLE day, and she said to me, "Well, I prayed for patience today, and God gives you tests to strengthen your patience if you ask for it."  I remember thinking: note to self... Do NOT pray for patience.

Anyway- my word resolution for the year is ...
Hope, for me, goes right along with faith.  I believe God gives us the gift of hope so many times and the faith to believe He will be with us every step of the way while we trust in Him.

My hope isn't even just for the biggies- but just finding little things to hope  for and look forward to- like a snow day, or finding the coffee cream that I love that's always out of stock, or something turning out better than I thought.  You never know!  That's the joy of hope.    And even when that snow day doesn't come, there's hope for another.  It doesn't end.  That's why I love hope.

Thank you, Casey Jane for this fun Linky! Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Amy Krouse Rosenthal- and FREEBIES!

In the New Year, I start to do more author studies with my class.  The children feel so smart when they can look at our next book and say, "I know that's Eric Carle because of the pictures!" or "That looks like a book by Donald Crews!"

One of my all time favorite authors is Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  I just love all of her books.  She is such a clever writer, and makes books fun to read for children, but for the adults too.   That doesn't always happen.  

Here are some of my favorites by Amy (I'm just calling her Amy because I feel like she's my friend by now...)
The OK Book is by  Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld.

It's perfect, perfect, perfect for your perfectionists who are afraid to try something and not be just perfect at it.  It's OK to be OK! Not perfect.  (Note to self- remember that...)
Here are some of the sweet pages so you can see what I mean, if you haven't seen the book yet:

She has a book trailer on Youtube that's just great!


Together, we  do a little guided drawing activity to make our "OK" person like in the story, so they can each add their special twist on what they are ok at to the picture.  Then, we make an OK Class Book.  I love making class books.  They are always favorites for independent reading time.

The OK Book reminds me a little of Ish and The Dot by Peter Reynolds. These books are just so important for children to hear so they are brave enough to try new things and know they will make mistakes, but WHO CARES! That's how you grow.   Hey, NEW YEAR- get ready for some good mistakes!  It means we are learning!  

My new favorite quote comes from the legendary lover, adventurer, writer and librarian named Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt better known simply as Casanova: “One who makes no mistakes makes nothing at all.” 
A big chunk of success in this world comes down to resiliency. Let them laugh and nay say from the sidelines. Get back up and try a different approach. Just never stop trying. Start. Stumble. Facepalm. Learn. Grow. Experiment. Fail. Continue. Adapt. Fail. Retry. Innovate. Succeed. Win. Repeat.
Casanova’s quote inspired the latest #makeithappen poster. Download a copy for your wall and get to work. We have important things to accomplish.
Bonus: A good tune to listen to whenever you have ass to kick. Ali in the Jungle
Another favorite is Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg, because this one shows that even those mistakes can be masterpieces!

Back to  Amy Krouse Rosenthal- Her books are better than OK- they're perfect for children.

This book is my favorite book to use for Writer's Workshop to focus on punctuation marks. It uses the punctuation marks so the kids GET it. I posted about this book HERE.

Cookies is the sweetest life lessons/character education book- just precious.  What a great gift this would be for someone with a plate of cookies. I posted about this book HERE.
Everybody can relate to One of Those Days. It's a great conversation starter, and great for Writer's Workshop ideas. 
I posted about Yes Day HERE. This is another PERFECT one for discussions, dreams, and writing ideas.
Fortunately/Unfortunately, I also found some other books that I actually DON'T have - but may NEED to have- because I can just tell they're what I will love. 
Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink are all so much fun! They are online at Tumblebooks if you have that.  Our school has a subscription to it and I use it all the time. It's great for the iPad for a center.  We watched these books on Tumblebooks on the Smart board, and then compared and contrasted the books, as well as compared and contrasted  one book to our lives.  The kids get a big kick out of these books because the characters in the book are the opposite of what the children are like, for example, Little Pea only likes vegetables and has to be made to eat candy; Little Hoot never wants to stay up late; Little Oink is way too neat, and doesn't like to make a mess.)

 This is going to be a class gift before Valentine's Day.
I made a packet of writing prompts to go with each of my favorite authors.  This week my Writing Prompts Featuring Books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is FREE!  It  includes two cover pages (one color/one black and white), a list of books included in the packet, an author biography page, and 14 writing prompts that you can use with any book. This packet includes 23 more writing prompts, specifically written for 17 books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  We don't use all the prompts for our author study, but I choose several to use for our author study, and then I use others throughout the year.   Happy New Year!  I hope you enjoy it.

I put together prompts for eight of my favorite authors in my  Author Study Writing Prompts PacketThis packet includes 160 writing prompts to go with 100 different books, featuring works by Eric Carle, Donald Crews, Kevin Henkes, Laura Numeroff, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, David Shannon, Mo Willems, and Karma Wilson. 

Each Author Study Packet includes two cover pages (one color/one black and white), a list of books which are included in the packet, an author biography page, and 14 writing prompts that you can use with any book, as well as the prompts specifically written for the books by the featured author. 

These authors are also featured on my Author Prezi which is available at my TPT store. I use both resources together for my Author Studies Units.  My Author Prezi has all of my online resources together in one place for our studies for 13 authors: Jan Brett, Norman Bridwell, Eric Carle, Donald Crews, Theodor Geisel, Robert Munsch, Laura Numeroff, Kevin Henkes, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, David Shannon, Shel Silverstein, Mo Willems, Karma Wilson.

Here is a free sample of the Author Prezi which features Amy Krouse Rosenthal that you can use with your author study! Have fun!

Sorry if you found some new books to buy.  I hope you found some fun new books and ideas!

Thank you for stopping by!   

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

QR Codes for Sight Words

I made a QR Code Sight Word Video Read the Room Packet that I have loved. My students have had so much fun with it, so I hope yours do, too.

Here is how I am using it.  I  made 36 sight word cards, each with a QR code that links to a video to go with that word.  I put each of the YouTube videos on ViewPure, so that there are no ads, comments, or distractions.  The words I included are:  a, all, am, an and, are, at, be, can, come, do, for, get, go, he, I, in, is, it, like, look, me, my, no, of, off, on, see, she, the, to, up, we, what, who, with.

I also made 12 cards with QR codes that link to sight word songs which have lots of sight words. This picture shows some of the words with the codes and some of the songs with the codes:

I printed the cards on card stock.  You could also laminate them, but I was too impatient to wait wanted to use them right away. I cut the cards apart, because I put 4 words on a sheet.  Then, I chose 12 cards to put up around the room- eight sight words and 4 sight word song video cards.  I am using this as an independent center for one of my groups.  I have 4 students in a group, and one with five.  Each student has an iPad (I have 5 in my room.) and a clipboard with the recording sheet.  The students find a sight word, scan the code, and watch the video.  Then, they record the word they watched, and go onto another word.  They also watch one or two of the sight word song videos. On the recording sheet, they fill in the star beside the video they watch.  They LOVE this!  It is  independent, quiet, and FUN!  WIN WIN WIN!!!  After a few days, I change the words that I have up. The children can keep the same recording sheet, or get a new one.  I printed the recording sheet front/back to make it easier to manage for the children.

Another way you could use this packet is to put the pages together in a binder so the children can scan and watch throughout the day, any time they finish early or have extra time.

You  could also print these sight word cards out and send them home for extra practice at home.
Parents can download the free QR app and watch the videos at home!

My favorite QR Code app is called QR Reader for iPad by TapMedia Ltd.  It is free, and the thing I like best about it is that to scan the code, I the children only have to hold the camera over the code- not click anything. It is really sensitive and picks up the code quickly so it isn't frustrating at all.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Fourteen in '14 Linky!

Thank you so much Kristin, Traci, and Hadar for hosting this fun linky!  I love to see what everyone's been up to all year and get to know all of you out there better!  Here are my favorites from the year.

These are some of my very favorites.  They are up in my house to remind me all the time...

My favorite clothes are these ridiculously comfortable fleece pajamas lounge clothes that I basically put on the moment I walk though the door.  Every day.  It's a beautiful gray pair of big, oh-so-soft fleece pants, and an equally soft zip up jacket.  And that is exactly one of the reasons I do not have a blog like Sheaffer's Pinterest Told Me To.. it's probably more like Walmart Told Me To.  #sorrynotsorry.  How's that?!  OK- I love my Loft jeans, too. That's a little better.

We aren't good about going to movies.  My kids just go.  Why don't we just do that?  But I have seen so many previews that I say, "OH that looks good." And then...  we don't see them.  I do like the Hunger Games movies.  And I do want another Nicholas Spark's movie.  

I am going to try to get past my all time favorites of Will and Grace and Seinfeld, which I can watch at any given moment, and move into the "now."   Jeff and I love watching Biggest Loser and Gold Rush.  We love any sort of home remodeling show.  AND our newest love this year was House of Cards.  Can't wait til February.  I am afraid I may need to take a day off and watch the entire series in one sitting to find out what Claire and Frank are up to...

This is a tough one.  I am going to say that one of my favorites this year was a discovery on our vacation in Florida.  We went to Castaways for a quick dinner, and ended up staying forever because they had a wonderful band there and wonderful people.  Loved it.  

I had my first facial ever.  LOVED it.  My sweet, sweet friends Amy and Holly got me a facial and a trip to Albany for my birthday.  We had such a perfect time.  If I were ever rich and could have facials and massages every week- and a cook to make healthy food for me, I MAY be the nicest person in the world.  I can't imagine!    

OH and I ran (walked/ran) my first 5Ks this year with my daughter Emily.  They were so much fun. And she was so sweet to baby me along.  I did do better the second time, so I'm looking forward to more.  She runs them all year.  I need the sunshine and some warmth.  
(This was the Glow Run- no sunshine, but it was beautiful!)

My favorite gift is my family.  Honestly.  I am not a flower, candy or "thing" person at all.  I am so thankful for my parents, who always listen and really, truly care- and are there for us all the time, helping us and just being there, for my sister and her family, and for my sweet husband and children who are just my best gift ever.
The favorite things I have pinned at the moment are my Crockpot Food Ideas.  I have big plans over break of actually going through these pins and finding some great winter dinners.

  My favorite (that I can't even find and don't know where I got it...) is putting a stick of butter in the bottom of the crock pot and putting four  chicken breasts on top of it. Then, sprinkle one packet of dry Italian dressing over the chicken and squeeze the juice of two lemons over that.  Ta-da!  After it's in the crockpot all day on low, you can pull it apart with two forks and it is fabulous!  It's great on rolls or over rice- or just to eat.  SO EASY!

Back to my clothes, you should SEE my pretend closet on Pinterest.  It's really something. Of course I'm pinning them while I am sitting there in my comfy fleece so-  whatever.
One of my favorite blog posts this year was Bond, Number Bond,  posting about the Secret Agent Number Bond song that Rocking Dan Teaching Man wrote about my idea.  That just made me so happy.  Those are the really fun moments about blogging that I just love.

I am so happy that I started this blog.  I have met the nicest friends here.  Real friends who I just love.  Thank you all for being there.  I can't tell you how much you all make me smile.  

These make me happy whenever I look at them because we had a heck of a time with selfies...and such a wonderful time in Florida! We hadn't been in such a long time, and it was great.  
I don't have only one.  I have to say just so many times I have really laughed.  I love those moments.  I have  had so many blessings this year.   

My 2015 goal looks suspiciously like my 2014 goal- and probably like my goals since 1982...  eat better and exercise.  Hmmm.  But really.  That's my goal.  And drink more water.  How are those for original?!

Hope.  It's all over my house.  I just love hope.  

And that goes along with faith.  I just love faith, too.  I feel so blessed that I have hope and faith. 

And then, of course...

Love.   And I just love all of you for making blogging so much fun and so rewarding for me.
Have a beautiful, happy, healthy 2015!

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