Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Resolutions Linky Party

Mrs. D over at The Third Wheel has invited everyone to link up to her resolutions party. She provided a template and everything.
I can clean my kitchen counter every day and my work desk once a week.
I can do this!!!
I can get work accomplished and have family time.
I can do this!!!
(I actually just finished my Nutrition Math and Literacy Packet on my to-do list)
I can walk/exercise fifteen minutes each day.
I can do this!!!
I can blog once a week and post to Facebook daily.
I can do this!!!

Linking up was the easy part. Now I just have to stick to these resolutions!!!

Head on over and check out others' resolutions.

Wacky Week Wednesday – Braille Literacy Week 1/1-7

Louis Braille was born near Paris, France in 1809. At the age of three, while in his father's shop, Louis's right eye was blinded when it was accidentally gouged by a sharp tool. After a disease ravaged his left eye, Louis was left in total blindness.
Louis was a very smart child and earned a scholarship to attend the National Institute for Blind Youth. At this school, Louis was taught to read using a system of raised letters made from copper wire pressed onto a page. Fortunately for Louis, Charles Barbier visited the school and demonstrated the coded system he had devised to enable soldiers to silently send coded messages. Louis worked on this system and by the age of fifteen, had developed his version of the code using six dots to represent the alphabet.
Louis stayed to teach at the institute, but resigned before the age of thirty after contracting tuberculosis. Louis Braille lost his battle with the incurable disease at the age of forty-three.

So much one can do this week:

Check out
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, low cost braille books for children.

“Write” name by gluing pipe cleaners down on paper.

Write a message to a friend using the Braille alphabet.

Invite a guest to read a Braille book.

Play website games:
(type your name to see it in Braille)
(write a secret message in Braille)

January is National Braille Literacy Month. If you cannot celebrate Braille this week, you can celebrate another week this month. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 Resolution Linky

I am linking up with Jessica at Second Grade Nest to share my resolutions and my goals for the upcoming year - 2015.
I think these resolutions are pretty easy to grasp:
#1   Even Martha Stewart isn't really Martha Stewart. I am sure her house has been messy on numerous occasions. I am usually okay as long as my kitchen counter is cleared and clean; so, keeping my counter uncluttered is what I will focus on this upcoming year.
#2   I need to remember that work is not everything. If I get certain things completed - Yay!. If certain tasks do not get completed until the following day - the world will not break apart.
#3   I really have a problem with doing "me" things and feeling guilty. My kids are all teenagers now. I need to get over feeling guilty if I want to go for a walk by myself or if I want to go visit a friend. This is a reccuring resolution. I really need to defeat this attitude.
#4   I am already working on this resolution. I have a blog and a Facebook page. I need to improve my postings and such though.
#5   This last resolution is by far the most important. Life can be gone in a blink of an eye. We have to make the most of here and now. We have to have a positive attitude and be happy!

The older I get, the more impatient I get. Not necessarily with students but with the junk we have to put up in order to help our students. Education is truly cyclical. I need to remember whatever the legislature is right now - this, too, shall pass.

What else? Lose weight! I REALLY need to at least walk every day. I feel better when I do walk, so why do I not do it!?!?

Like I said earlier, I mostly do for my kids. I will travel one day, but I still have a couple of kids living at home. My youngest daughter is waiting to hear if she has been chosen to travel to Japan this summer. She will be there for two months. This first month she will attend a language school; the second month will be like an exchange program. We are totally excited about this opportunity. I am not sure how I will exist with her halfway across the world from me for two months though!!!

Having our Japanese exchange student this summer allowed me to try lots of new foods. My thing is to stop eating certain foods!

This goes along with what I just said. I do not need to give up certain foods - I just need to not eat as much of certain foods as I do. Nothing is wrong with a slice of pie but when you are eating your third slice. . . !!!

This past year I tried to learn Gaelic then Japanese. I did not succeed at either. But I have learned new techno things since beginning TpT. I will focus on that positive aspect.

Growing up, either someone was at our house or we were over at someone's house. People really do not visit like they use to. I would like to visit more in this new year, especially with my aging aunts and uncles.

I could list a million things right here (TpT, family, etc), but the one thing I will list is laughing more. I want to laugh more in 2015 than I did in 2014. Laughter is good medicine!!

What are some of your resolutions for the upcoming year? Any new, exciting things coming up? I know from the forum, some of you are getting married or expecting babies or grandbabies. What a fun year 21015 will be!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wacky Week Wednesday – It's About Time Week 12/25-31

Hourglasses, water clocks, and sundials were the first measurements of time. It wasn't until the 1300's that mechanical clocks were introduced. But these early mechanical clocks were nothing like our mechanical clocks today. They used weights, only chimed on the hour, did not have hour or minute hands, and were not very accurate. In the 1400's, smaller coiled springs were introduced to allow smaller clocks to be produced; and in the mid-1600's, the accuracy of clocks keeping time grew more accurate. But it was in the early 1800's that clock making really took off. Eli Terry's techniques and interchangeable parts allowed clocks to be mass produced; therefore, driving down the cost of making a clock; thus, making them affordable to common people.
Clocks are cool; from the early sundials and water clocks to the cesium fountain atomic clock which is off by only one second every twenty million years. Now, that's pretty accurate.

Everyone knows The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle but two more good time books are:

And speaking of The Grouchy Ladybug. . . Make a ladybug clock.

Materials: 2 paper plates, pre-made clock face & 2 arrows (1 large, 1 small), red paint, paint brush, glue, 2 brads, hole puncher, scissors, black construction paper, and a black marker

Directions: Paint paper plates - 1 front and 1 back side.

Glue clock face onto center of the red front plate. Attach the 2 arrows to the middle of the clock on the paper plate with brad. Fold in half and cut the plate with its outside painted. Punch hole near top. This will be the wings and will open and close to show the clock on the inner plate. Attach a black construction paper head. Add eyes and black spots with marker.

A couple of neat websites to visit are:

(match o'clock words to time on analog clock)

(match digital to analog; hour & half hour)

Here's a fun group activity.

Play Big Bad Wolf time (similar to Red Light, Green Light). Select one child to be the wolf. He faces away from the other children who are lined up. The wolf says, “It is now one o'clock.” The children freeze as the wolf swirls around to try and catch someone moving. Those children are sent back to the start line. Repeat with the time moving from one to twelve o'clock. Whoever reaches the wolf before twelve o'clock will become the new wolf.

I have many Telling Time products in my store. Here is a link:

And here is my best telling time seller:

Have a marvelous time this week!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The 12 Days of Nerd Libs - A Saturday Nerd Lib Link-up

It's Saturday and once again I am joining in the Saturday Nerd Lib Link-up.
Here is my Nerd Lib:
I guess I had Angelina on my mind. Yahoo headline said she had chicken pox. I remember my neighbor calling me after her kids came over for my daughter's third birthday party. “By the way, my boys have the chicken pox.” What?! You call me after the fact? That was a hard afternoon of calling parents and telling them their child was exposed to chicken pox. This was before the pox shot was around; ugh!

My kids and I made Almond Joy candy last week. Coconut, cocoa, oats, crushed almonds... mmm! It was so good! We were going to bake Grinch Cookies, but I could not find crème de menthe chips anywhere.

And have you tried the chocolate Craisins? Wow, they are so yummy! I just bought 6 bags to go in everyone's stocking this year. They had better share with me!!

Okay, I need to run. Our town parade is starting in a bit. We live in a small town, so everyone pretty much knows everyone else. And everybody shows up for the parade. It is a fun day of grabbing candy when the paraders throw it, yelling at people marching down the street, and listening to the oldtimers guess the date of the old cars passing by. The parade is always so much fun. Christmas time's a comin'!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wacky Week Wednesday – Christmas Bird Count Week 12/15-22

“Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a....”, why, yes, it is a bird. North Americans used to participate in traditional Christmas bird hunts to see who could kill the most birds and small mammals. In 1900, the National Audubon Society proposed that instead of killing birds during the holiday season, people count birds; thus, beginning the Christmas Bird Count. Each team attempts to count, identify, and record all the birds seen in a 15-mile radius on one day. These citizens/scientists teams are making a contribution to conservation. Their information is entered into a database for scientists to monitor bird populations. The census runs every year from December 14 to January 5. Whether you are an experienced bird watcher or a novice volunteer, it doesn't matter; grab your binoculars and go outside. Participation in the bird count is free and open to the public.

And here are two excellent books to get those bird-watching eyes ready:

I love to use different painting implements in my art center, and this is the perfect week to paint with feathers!!

Please check out my Birds Thematic Centers and Worksheets:

and my Birds Count & Clip Cards:

Grab your binoculars and journals, and I will meet you outside!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Saturday Nerd Libs - on Friday

I ran across this post in the TpT foum for a new weekly link-up: Mel and Gerdy's Saturday Nerd Libs. Easy, fun, and quirky. Quirky is definitely an adjective synonymous with Mel and Gerdy. What fun those two seem to have!
So, here goes mine:

Do I want to get up at 5:30 in the morning? No! Especially not after having pulled a late nighter working on TpT stuff, but our floors creak so loudly in the winter if one person gets up early, we all get up early - we really need to get that flooring fixed.
So, up and at 'em. I get up and immediately make the bed (old habits die hard [now, that was a good movie]). Anyway, I cut on all of my electronic devices and listen to the various dings and chimes and, hopefully, cha-chings while I am getting dressed. I then head into my workroom with my tall glass of Dr. Pepper (mmm!).
Now, I do not have an autonomous car, but I think driverless cars are fascinating and am putting my faith in Google to get me in one before I get too old.
I also do not work at Hogwarts but how awesome would it be if I did teach there? Definitely my ideal teaching position!!
Unfortunately, the next part is true, I am always greeted by my trusty, old computer. It sits there taunting me to hurry and get to work. And what is the first thing I do? Check my TpT dashboard, of course!!
Okay, I need to get back to work; I am revamping my phonics clip cards to include recording sheets and answer keys. I have finished my Final Blends Clip Cards:

But I have always loved ad libs, so I had to take a minute to fill this out. I cannot wait to read everyone else's ad libs. Too much fun!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wacky Week Wednesday – National Hand Washing Awareness Week 12/7-13

Hand washing 101: wet, soap, scrub, rinse, dry. Easy, right? Then why don't more people wash?!? In America, two thirds of adults wash their hands after a bathroom trip, one in four adults do not wash their hands after changing diapers, less than one in three wash their hands after sneezing/coughing, and less than one in five wash their hands after touching money. Eighty percent of all infectious diseases are spread by touch. The power is in your hands to prevent the flu - literally. The most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands.

Here are the main rules of hand washing:

Wash hands when they are dirty and before eating.

Always wash hands after bathroom trips, changing diapers, cleaning up after pets, or handling money.

Do not cough or sneeze into hands.

Refrain from putting fingers into eyes, nose, or mouth.

Here's an activity that will have other students wishing they were in your class:

Talk about all the different ways that germs can be spread. Have children sit in a large circle. Pretend to sneeze in your hand and spray some cooking spray on your hand. Sprinkle some glitter on your hand. Ask children to pretend that the specks of glitter are germs. Then, shake a child's hand and have the child look at their hand. Say "Look, she got my germs." Then have that child shake someone else's hand, and so on. Choose one child to wash but not dry his/her hands, Then have that child show the other children his/her hands (not all glitter should be gone yet). Next, have the child dry his/her hands with a paper towel and show the other children again. Explain that correct handwashing is important to get rid of germs that can make us sick.

Two really good books about handwashing are:

Wash Your Hands! by Tony Ross

Wash Your Hands! by Margaret McNamara

And here are a couple of neat website activities:

(listen to story then answer questions about cleanliness)

(E. coli memory game)

And check out my Hand Washing Thematic Centers and Worksheets

and my

Hand Washing Count & Clip Cards

It's that time of year again - start washing!!!