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Happy Thanksgiving! Where did Summer Go? and a Flash Black Friday Sale!

Hello Friends!
First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I am doing an EARLY post and then plan to turn off the computer and try to keep away from it for most of the day. All my kids are home and the morning is lovely. Here are a couple of early morning pictures that my brother in law took yesterday.

Yes, the pictures are lovely, but. . . . . .  this shows how I REALLY feel! Give me Florida! LOL!

My friends and I from Blog Hoppin' are having a special sale on Black Friday! Woo Hoo! If you click the link at the right of my page, you will be taken to our Blog Hoppin blog and you can click on our logos to  find our stores. Everything in my store will be 15% off on Friday! Enjoy!

Until next time!

Peace and blessings,

Please Pray For Illlinois and Five For Friday

Hello Friends!

 1.  I begin this post with a request for prayers for my fellow Illinoisians.

My first teaching job was in a little school called Gifford Elementary School in Gifford, Illinois. I taught second grade there for 7 years. Last week, this small town was hit by a devastating tornado. The people of this town are strong, but they have many, many months of clean up. I am asking for prayers for the people of Gifford as well as the town of Washington, Illinois near Peoria. 

Because this devastation has hit so close to home, Amanda, from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten, Kyp from Mrs. McLaren's Little Super Heroes, and I are working with TPT to raise funds for the families that are in so much need right now. As we get the details worked out, I will share with you how you can help!

2.  We have been busily working in our literacy and math centers and trying to finish up our Native American unit.

I am so proud of what a great job my little ones did on illustrating their Native American book! I am also proud of what they came away with after doing this unit. It was my intent that they understand that we were learning about people of the past and that not all Native Americans lived the same way. Woo hoo! They rocked today when I we were doing our end of unit discussion!

Here are a few photos of their cute illustrations!

3.  We also do a mini unit on horses. We begin with reading "The Mud Pony" by Caron Lee Cohen. In this book, a young Native American boy forms a pony from mud who turns into a real horse which guides the boy into a strong adult.

Our students use white Crayola Modeling Compound to create their own horse. We use acrylic paint (yes, acrylic!) to paint the horses and then when they are dry, they add details with yarn, felt, google eyes, and upholstery trim. LOVE this project!!

4.  Look at these cute turkeys we made today!

5. I made this quick "Gobble, Gobble Bump" game this week for math tubs! My kinders loved it! They had so much bumping and building that they didn't even realize they were practicing addition facts!

  It's free in my TPT store! Click to image to download it!

Take care, my Friends and have a wonderful, Thanksgiving holiday! Hug your family close!

Make sure the you hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time!


Decodable Phonics Readers AND Don't Forget to Enter the Thankful Giveaway on Blog Hoppin!
Hello Friends!
Gosh! I started a project this morning that I thought would take a couple of hours and it has been FIVE hours since I began! Yikes! The day is already starting to get dim and I STILL have all my cleaning to do! Geesh.......

Anyway, I thought I would share what I have been working on....... A few weeks ago, I became frustrated because I wanted decodable phonics readers for my littles to use during guided reading groups. We use Fountas and Pinnell books as well as Rigby readers and I really, really like them! BUT, I wanted books that had decodable words in them as well as high frequency words. I know that Reading A-Z has a subscription service and that their books are very good, but I wasn't interested in subscribing to a service. I also wanted books that were colorful and easy to put together. Well, after much searching, I just could not find what I wanted, so I made a set of six books and tried them out with my littles!

Wow! They love them! I laminated 6 copies of the colored books that we use in our guided reading groups.  I also put a set in our library center and they choose them all the time during Read to a Partner. They feel such success when reading them! The grayscale versions can be sent home for added practice with family and friends.

Of course, these little books are a SUPPLEMENT and not meant to be used in place of a research based reading system! There are 6 titles in this set; each with 6 pages of both colored and grayscale versions. They will be discounted at 50% for the next 24 hours. Included in the preview is the grayscale version of "Kip" that can immediately be downloaded and used! Woo hoo!!

Also, don't forget to hop on over to Blog Hoppin and enter the HUGE giveaway we are offering! It's not too late to enter!

Now, I have GOT to get something accomplished in my house!

Until next time!


Thankful Teachers Linky on Blog Hoppin!

Hello Friends!

Blog Hoppin is hosting some really awesome "We are thankful" posts this week! Today is HELPFUL HINTS and there are some fantastic ideas over there! Make sure you take some time to hop on over! I especially love the great idea for documenting writing conferences! I definitely will be trying this out!

I am not joining in the linky party, though..... life at home and at school is just crazy for me right now, so I am putting those first and hopefully will get some free time soon!

Until next time!


Native Americans, Scarecrows, Turkeys, Veterans Day, and Five For Friday!

Hello Friends!
It has been a long time since I have linked up for Five for Friday! Life has a way of keeping us busy!

So.....let's see.....

1.  We started our Native American unit this week. I LOVE this unit! It is such a nice way to discuss the past and we have such interesting conversations. This week, we talked about how Native Americans have lived in the United States for HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of years. We discussed how many Native Americans of the present live like we do today. I think it is important that children understand that Native Americans are NOT extinct and learning about their history is a critical part of being an American. This is not a unit about Pilgrims; just Native Americans.
     As you know, I love to make books with my kiddos for our units and this one is no different! We discussed clothing of the past and how some (not all) Native Americans used the canoe to travel. I am always saying "Not all Native Americans lived this way. Native Americans used what they found from the Earth to live, so if there was no water to cross, they did not need a canoe!" After our discussion, my students followed step by step directions to draw a Native American as well as a canoe. Then they made a 3D canoe from a one half of a paper towel roll. Here is how we made the canoe........

Hot glue a craft stick to the bottom of the paper towel tube. Paint the sides with brown paint. Paint designs on the sides. Paint a paper plate blue. When canoe is dry, glue the bottom to the paper plate. Color and glue back to back a Native American boy and girl. Insert inside the canoe. You can find the Native American boy and girl HERE.

Click the image below to take you to my Native American resource. The canoe craft is included in the packet.

2.  I am liking my Thanksgiving door; even though I don't think you can really tell that my kiddos are "holding up" the word THANKS! :)

3.  We made another set of scarecrows this week! This time, my kiddos sketched a scarecrow with his arm sticking straight out to side. Then they used watercolors to paint him. When dry, they used black marker to trace the outside edges. Some used oil crayons to add details. Then each child counted out enough paper crows for each letter in his/her name. They took white oil crayon to write one letter of their name on one crow. They could glue their crows anywhere they wanted on their paper. I think they turned out pretty cute! The "foundation" for this activity came from HERE!

4.  We did another decomposition of numbers project this week.  The focus number this week was SIX. This was a bit harder for my kinders than I anticipated.  I told them that they could only make 6 feathers and some had to be yellow and some had to be orange.  A few of my littles thought that meant that they could have 6 yellow and 6 orange feathers! Luckily these were done in a small group, so I could help them figure out this BIG math concept; although I really don't think they get it yet!! (smile)

We used my FREE step by step make a turkey pack to create the body. Click HERE for the words and the picture for the packet.

5. Last...... if you are teaching Veterans Day next week, here is an easy booklet to do with your kiddos. It is simple and easy, but hopefully teaches our kiddos a little bit about Veterans Day.

 Also we are hosting a Thankful Linky Party next week on Blog Hoppin! Don't forget to hop over and join the fun!

 Don't forget to hop on over to Doodle Bugs teaching for more Five for Friday ideas!

Until next time!