Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's Time to Say Thank You!

I've been thinking about thank you's and how I need to let people know how much I appreciate them. It's so easy to slide into the end of the school year and just "make do" with our thank you's. But this year, I really want to say Thank You! I was thinking about all the people I work with, and then suddenly without realizing it, my "list" grew longer by the second. I realized I could not stop thinking about ALL the people who are in my family (whose unconditional love keeps me going), my fellow teaching colleagues (whose support keeps me strong, assuring me that I'm doing my job well), the custodian (whose long hours of hard work make my room sparkle, giving me a fresh start to the day), the school administrators (whose faith in my professionalism strengthens me), and of course, the cooks (whose preparation of hundreds of meals a week keeps us well-fed), and still more... a big thank you to the parent volunteers and PTA (whose help and resources enable me to teach my best), and finally--yes, I'm so thankful to the children I teach, because they do the biggest part of making my job purposeful and rewarding. Without them, there's no teaching...and I wouldn't be learning from them, either. Aww, the list goes on and on..... But I'll stop for now.

Then, I remembered to remember... it's almost Memorial Day! A time to remember all those who made my job and everything (all of the above and more) possible. I thank the veterans and the people who have served our country, and those who are serving still. I thank our veterans for enabling me to teach in a public school with freedom of speech and all the perks that go with being an American.

Thank you All!  And to those I have not are on my mind, too.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kids Make Their Own Customized Reading Mats

A serendipitous discovery! My students got tired of sitting on the hard tile linoleum-concrete flooring. We've stayed away from carpets due to budgeting and the fact that they're hard to keep clean. (Ask our custodian!) So ... I may have solved the problem! I went out and bought a few of those cheap blue foam sleeping bag mats you see in the store all rolled up. With a pair of scissors, I cut them into quarters, and voila! I got kid-sized mats that are light and easy to stack! We call them our reading mats. We'll have to think up some other fun name for them! Second graders had fun personalizing their mats with magic marker. They seem to be sturdy and flatten out pretty well. They'll take them home to read on during the summer! What a way to get them excited about reading! A HUGE BONUS! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day is such a fun time to bring spring, love, and flowers altogether through poetry and crafts.  Check the You Tube video below to make tissue paper flowers.

For that Special Mom or Anyone Special!

So easy and simple for kids to make! With just three shapes: 8 oblongs for petals, 1 circle for the center, 2 pointed oblongs for leaves, and an 8 1/2 X 11 green paper, kids can make a giant flower card. This is about 16 inches high, and has a rolled up note inside the stem! The kids had fun making this, even though it is SO simple--They loved the idea of sticking a note up inside the stem.