Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays

I hope you had a great holiday with your family. Here's my favourite gift.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hands of Kindness for Newtown

I really wanted to take a moment and discuss the sad news from Friday with my class this morning but also wanted to do it in an age appropriate way for my Grade 3's. Here's what I came up with...

My students had some questions about the tragic events of Newtown, CN this morning when school started but some of them had not even heard of it happening. We discussed it very briefly. 

I first asked them what they already knew as I didn't want to go into any kind of unnecessary details. Naturally some of them very upset by the events and seemed a little shaken. 

To transition them into a more positive mode I read the book "Whoever You Are" by Mem Fox (love that book!). We talked about the author's message (gotta get a little curriculum in where you can) and they were bang on. I felt very proud.

I talked a little about how the events from Friday made the world feel a little less kind to some people and that many people felt very sad by the events. I explained that I thought we could help by putting more kindness back into the world and paying very close attention to our words and actions. Then we brainstormed as many words that had to do with kindness as possible. 

Look at this impressive list!

And then we made a craft I decided to call Hand of Kindness. I first saw this idea on Pinterest (of course) and adapted it for this important activity.

Here's a look at how some of them turned out...pretty powerful, I think.

I am so proud of my students today and the touching memorial they created for the students, teachers and families of Newton. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


As I sit here on the couch listening to my small baby girl soothe herself to sleep with the lullabies on her glow worm, I am at a loss for what to do.

How do we begin to process this tragedy? How can I help now?
Who needs a hug?

I didn't want to leave my baby's room tonight. I wanted to stay there and hold her all night long. I couldn't bear to not be touching her all evening long, or to have her out of my sight.

I am sending my warmest thoughts to the families affected by this horrific event. I am so sorry for your loss and your pain.

Please, dear God. Let us learn from this. P

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 in 12

I am thinking about taking some time for me and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. For the first time my parents will be coming to MY house for the holidays (yeah!! no car trips with a baby and a dog), plus my husband and I will be travelling to Mexico for a colleague's wedding over New Years. Double fun.

As we lead up to the holidays, however, things have turned ugly here in Ontario, Canada. We have been fighting legislation by our government since the summer that removes teacher's (and many unions) right to strike, we have had a contract forced upon us by the provincial government with no opportunities to negotiate. The legislation itself has 2 clauses written in that put it above the law and make it illegal to appeal using any of our Human Rights or Labour Relations laws. Scary stuff.

So here we are, in December. My union is on work to rule which means that we are not participating in any voluntary activities at school outside of our contractual obligations to teach. No sports. No clubs. No meetings. No lots of stuff. There are also rotating strikes throughout the provinces for all of the different school boards.

And yes, it's still the holiday season.

So this may be my last post until 2013. Maybe.

I want to be positive. I want to create cute stuff. I want to share my ideas.

But it's hard to look forward with any sort of positive feelings right now. I know this will pass. I know it will get better. Or not. But it will end.

For right now though, looking back on 2012 seems like a lot more fun.

12. Favourite movie you watched:

So hard to say...I used to watch so many and now I watch so few.
I definitely loved The Hunger Games.

11. Favourite TV series:

Modern Family! Laugh out loud. Every time.

10. Favourite restaurant:

Hmmmmm...again that's a hard one. There's a great italian place here in my town that I've only been to once but it was great.

9. Favourite new thing you tried:

Running. I've lost a lot of inches, had to buy new clothes and feel great.

8. Favourite gift you got:

I will be getting an amazing purple leather purse for Christmas. It's that soft, buttery leather that smells soooo good.
I can't wait!

7. Favourite thing you pinned:

Anything to do with my knitting! I have more projects than I will ever be able to finish. 
That and crockpot oatmeal. It changed my life. 

6. Favourite blog post:

Interactive Reading Portfolio...the numbers on the post astound me. 

5. Best accomplishment:

Being a working mom. Running a 5k. Changing grades. Again.

4. Favourite picture:

3. Favourite memory:

Any moment I spent with my daughter.

2. Goal for 2013:

Baby #2?

1. One Little Word:
choose joy
(it's 2 words, but hey, it's my blog!)

Here's to a happy new year for all. 

More information on the situation in Ontario, for those who are interested:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 12

Wow...Day 12 already! Thanks so much for visiting and blog hopping with us during the last 12 days. I hope you were able to find something useful, helpful or just fun for your class!

SOS Supply is back again for our last blog hop and what a fabulous post it is! 


I have some great stuff I have been working on as well. It's not winter-y or Christmas-y but I hope you like it anyway. 

My class and I have been working on learning about the different genres of books and are just about ready to start our 40 Book Challenge...actually, I will be introducing it to them tomorrow! I can't wait.

Click on each of the images below to pick up your own copy of this freebie.

This is a brief introduction and title page for my students. It's geared towards what I hope to do with my class so it may not work exactly for you, but it might be useful as an informational resource. 

This is tracking chart that my students will be using to track the books that they are reading throughout the challenge. I have made a certain number of the genres required reading but have also left a lot of room for their own choice. 

I am hoping to spend some time with my students talking about the books they are reading and teach them how to give and get recommendations for reading. The librarian and I are working on an integrated media/drama project where my students will be using iPads to create a short movie about choosing books based on genres and how to know what genre a book is. We started today by teaching them how to use Novelist to search for books based on their genre. 

Thanks again for dropping by through out the 12 days of goodies. Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 10 and 11

I apologize for the delay in yesterday's post for the Sleigh Full of Goodies...blogger and I were having a disagreement it appears. But we are okay today and I have 2 posts in 1!

Yesterdya's blog hop destination was Toad-ally Exceptional Learners. Alison has a great blog and we have collaborated on quite a few projects. I'd love for you to pop over and pick up her goodie today.

Toad-ally Exceptional Learners

The blog hop destination for today is with Ms. T over at Journey of a Substitute Teacher. 

I can't believe that we are only one day away from the end of our amazing sleigh ride...and what a great ride it's been!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 9

My post is late today, I apologize. After my first 5k race yesterday and then a fabulous bachelorette party for a fellow teacher last night, today was a day of recuperation!

Here's some pics from my first ever 5K run.

Waiting in the car before the race...trying to stay warm! It was raining like crazy and we didn't want to get too wet.

At the start line in all our Santa gear!

The view around me...over 3000 Santas all running together.

Crossing the finish line...soaked, cold AND hot, tired,...but I did it. For those of you who are also runners, my time was 37.52 minutes. Not great but not too bad for my first time!

Today's goodies are available over at teaching, life and everything in between
teaching, life, and everything in between
Jen has such a cute blog and a wonderful offering of reading activities for you today! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Freebies- Day 7 and 8

I will be combining today and tomorrow's posts because at 9 am tomorrow morning I will be running in my very first 5K race! I am very excited...and nervous. I hope I can do it.

Anyway, here are the fabulous blogs joining me for the sleigh ride of freebies-

Ashley from Me & Marie (and the creator of our wonderful button!)

Me and Marie Learning

And Sue from SOS Supply!


These ladies have some fabulous freebies up and are just waiting for you to visit!!

Happy Friday, y'all. I'll check in tomorrow after the race, if I made it through.... :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 6

Happy Thursday!! The holidays are getting closer and closer. Not only that but we are halfway through our 12 days of freebies. Thanks to everyone who has visited so far and linked up with their own freebies.

Today's blog hop will take you to Teaching My Three who has also been hosting a fantastic freebie blog hop! I am so excited to have her along for all the fun.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 4

Can you believe it's already the 4th of December? Christmas will be here before we know daughter is almost 2 so this will be the first Christmas that she understands and it's getting pretty exciting around our house! 

Today's goodie(s.....definitely PLURAL on this one! Wait till you see the jammed packed post of goodies and crafts waiting for you.) is coming from The Lower Elementary Cottage.

Head on over to check our today's fabulous goodie. Don't forget to link up below if you have any fun goodies or freebies to share as part of our blog hop!

Also, head on over the Teaching My 3 who is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Freebies for the holidays!! What a feast. 

get the InLinkz code

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 3

Well, I don't know about you but the tree is up at our house, the decorations are out, the stockings are hung and most of the shopping is done! That's means Christmas is just around the corner. I can't wait.

Thanks for coming back for Day 3 of our Christmas blog hop.  I have a cute little freebie for you!

It's a short creative writing task that could be used a time filler leading up to the holidays, or with a little imagination I bet you could make a pretty cute bulletin board out of the student's ideas!

get the InLinkz code

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 2

Did you visit the blog hope yesterday to pick up your first goodie? I sure hope so.

Today's blog hop destinations...(yes, that's right we have 2 today!!) are Allison at Toad-ally Exceptional Learners 

Toad-ally Exceptional Learners


Mrs. McKown at Little Literacy Learners

Little Literacy Learners
Don't forget to link up with your own freebies and crafts. 
get the InLinkz code

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Sleigh Full of Goodies- Day 1

We are off and away on our sleigh ride of freebies and crafts. I hope you find something, many things, to enjoy and can link up for  all the fun as well. 

Head on over to Extra Special Teaching for today's goodie. 

I am also offering up a freebie today! My class has been working hard for a few weeks now on sorting and data management. I thought a great treat for all their hard work would be some time to sort through yummy holiday candy, elves and of course...presents!!

Click on the image below to get your own copy.

Grab the code and post the linky on your blog too! The more the merrier. get the InLinkz code

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Is Coming....and So Are the Freebies!

That's right! This is your chance to get 12 days worth of fabulous freebies in time to celebrate the holidays with your kiddos. 

Thanks to Ashley from MeAndMarie for the fabulous blog hop button!

Each day there will be a different freebie or craft highlighted on a blog for you to visit and enjoy. I will also be hosting a linky party for the entire 12 days so you can link up with your own Christmas freebies and crafts.

The fun starts on December 1st so make sure you check back in...and be on the look out for more fun holiday blog hops I will be promoting!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Blog Hop Bloggers Wanted

I am working on putting together a Christmas blog hop of freebies/ideas/crafts etc and am looking for bloggers who want to join in the fun.

Please email me at if you want in on this collaborative project!

Friday, November 23, 2012

If you were listening at my classroom door today... would have heard this lovely exchange.

The conversation in my class today-
Me: "Anyone know which holidays are coming up soon?"
Student: "Christmas?"
Me: "Yep"
Student: "Christmas Eve?" (Thought Christmas kinda covered that one?)
Me: "Okay, what else?"
Student: "April Fool's Day?"
Me: ".....umm, no. That's in April."
Student: "St Patrick's Day?"
Me: "How about I just tell you?"

How many weeks till the holidays?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jelly Bean Data Management (Freebie)

My students and I are still working our way through our Number Sense and Numeration concepts...and it's not taking forever, but I thought it would be good to spice things up a little with another math strand (also, because I need to get the other 4 strands done too!!). Data Management is always a fun and interesting unit, no matter what grade you teach. 

On a separate note, I decided my shelves were looking a little messy so last week after a full evening and morning of parent-teacher interviews I decided to fix them up.

Then I decided I wanted more "wall space" to hang anchor charts in my class, so I put up some sticky hooks on my shelves and ...presto!! More space to hang chart paper. 

Keep reading below to see the charts I hung here. 

I've decided that graphing and sorting will become the main focus of our math stretches, math tubs and hands on activities but that I will continue to teach the needed number sense concepts during my guided math lessons. 

We have been doing a variety of different data collection math stretches since the school year started and have created a few graphs together. We discussed the parts of a bar graph, and created an anchor chart for a frequency table, pictograph and bar graph using the same data. We also wrote some statements about our graphs to analyze the data.

Ta da!!! Data management charts hung on my shelving. 

And finally....the freebie!! Enjoy.

I plan to create a second activity to go along with this one so check back soon. 

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