Saturday, April 26, 2014


It is that time of year...the kids are crazy with Spring Fever and an incredible about of learning still needs to take place.  I firmly believe that students need to focus and apply themselves, but there must also be time to take a break and let learning sink in.  Throughout the years, I have used Brain Gym, breathing techniques, stretching, etc. to provide students with breaks throughout their day.  I have seen success with these tools, but nothing compared to my newest find...

GoNoodle Brain Breaks

Oh my goodness!  GoNoodle is incredible!  This site/tool has a wonderful variety of songs, dances, games, and so much more.  It is also FREE!  Best of all, my kids LOVE it!  They constantly ask, "If we focus and finish can we GoNoOdle?"  There is no way I can say "no" to a question like that.  Who would want to say "no" when the activities support students with their ability to focus, release excess energy, as well as support their physical and mental health?
GoNoOdle in action!
Be sure to check it out.  I would love to know how you and your students react to this tool.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Inspired By Yoga

I have bogged about my love of yoga before, but my love is on fire again.  For some reason, I let the stress of life take over and I stopped doing things for me.  We all know what that does to us...I unfortunately let things get bad before I remembered what A) makes me happy and B) what my mind and body needs.  Thankfully, it dawned on me...I needed to get back to yoga.
I have been practicing for the last month and finally feeling better.  I love going to the yoga studio by my house because it is a great change of scenery and the yoga community there is AMAZING (like this community)!
There are definitely days when practicing from my home sounds perfect and YouTube makes that possible.  Erin Motz has this incredible channel packed with video tutorials and challenges.  Her 30 day challenge is wonderful.

I highly recommend giving yoga a try.  Whether you need to rest your mind, build some strength, or just do something for you YOGA is the perfect choice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Recipe and a Read Aloud - Summer is on my Mind

I can't believe how this year has flown by!  We may not be done until mid-June, but it feels so close.
In light of the warmer weather and SUNSHINE (oh how I miss sunshine during Oregon winters) I whipped up an easy treat and dusted off my favorite end-of-the-year read aloud.

The Recipe:
Fruity Coconut Pops
All you need is fruit, coconut water, and a Popsicle mold.

Cut up your fruit choice(s) and place it in the mold.  Be sure to fill each slot about 3/4 full.

Once the mold is filled with your fruit pour coconut water over the fruit, filling each compartment.

Don't forget to place a Popsicle stick in each slot before placing them in the freezer.


The Read Aloud:

For the last nine years, I have read Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney to my students.  I have used this book with kinders all the way through fifth graders.  I love that it can reach such a variety of students! I always wait to read it during a plant unit or at the end of the year.  The author's message is one that I want my students to carry with them forever...which is why I send them home with flower seeds.

What is your go-to end of the year read aloud?  What is your favorite quick warm weather treat?

****I am looking for someone to design A Recipe and a Read Aloud banner/sign.  If you are interested please send me an email.****

Monday, April 21, 2014

Coin you help?

**I would love to have first and second grade teachers weigh in on this topic.**

So there has been a lot of talk throughout my school and district about 1st grade CCSS in math.  Specifically, the conversations have been around money targets or lack there of.  Oregon standards always had 1-3 math standards that focused around coin values, as well as operations with coins; the CCSS do not.   Now that Oregon, and the district I work for, have completely adopted the CCSS, second grade teachers are concerned that students will be coming to them with drastic math holes.

So I ask you...what do you do as a kinder or first grade teacher to introduce or teach coins? Second grade teachers, what do you want students to know about coins before they enter your classrooms?

I have been adding coin activities to my centers throughout the year, but I have done very little direct and guided instruction around the concept.  I decided that needs to change.  I want to start incorporating more money concepts into my math messages.  The amazing Janaye, from Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes found some great videos and songs that review coins and their values.  (Be sure to check out the link).  I also purchased this amazing mini unit from Second Grade Stories:
I can't wait for my students to use these puzzles and games to continue to solidify such an important concept.
What do you do as a primary teacher to introduce such an important concept, while making time to teach EVERYTHING else?

Be sure to check out other magical mathematical conversations over at I Heart Recess.

Don't forget to swing over to my TPT store for my birthday sale.  My entire store is 20% off.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday - Little Things

It's the little things in life that keep me going.  Here are my 5 little things, brought to you by Doodle Bugs, that are keeping me smiling...

1.  My moose pouch from my mother-in-law.

2. Scentos gel pens and notepad.

I can't find Scentos at any local stores recently and it it making me so sad.

3. The poster my students made for the volunteer breakfast next week.

It is amazing how Melonheadz make everything better.

4. My SLANT box.

The amazing Sarah Beth sent me the greatest package!

The SLANT Box Exchange
5. My classroom moose...

Can you tell I love moose?

What is a little thing that makes you smile?

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The topic of conversation has been time lately...time to assess, time to plan, time to prep, time to relax, time to reflect, time to sleep, time to...well...time to live.
I don't know what it is with this time of year.  There is energy in the air, yet I am lacking so much of it; hence my lack of blogging.
We are at that point in the year where students are making incredible growth and absorbing learning as we wish they could have been doing all year.  It is also testing season filling the air with stress and hope.
On that random note, the time has come for my to go to bed.

Until next time,