Saturday, September 28, 2013

Clip Art Love

Do you love clip art as much as I? You've got to check out the awesome giveaway at Dots of Fun!

Some of my favorite clip artists are donating art to Tammy for reaching 700 followers. You can't win if you don't enter. Wait a minute, don't enter. It increases my chances of winning! Have a great weekend. I'm off to clean a couple very neglected flower beds before the first frost.

Keep Reading!

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's Here.... My September SLANT Box

Even though I mailed my SLANT Box yesterday, I wasn't looking for a package for me to arrive till at least next week. It's been one of THOSE weeks. Hubby worked late tonight, the boys went to the high school football game, so what else was this working mom to do but try to get caught up a little at school. Once again, I managed to be one of the last people to leave school. Needless to say, I was very excited to see a white box on my fence when I pulled into my driveway. My mail carrier knows I have a very curious border collie. Thus top of fence was much better than on the porch!

Erika from My Crazy Life pegged me perfectly!

I've been reading fall stories this past week and have a couple more to read for next week. I definitely see these leaves being used as part of an activity for next week. Hmmmm. The really funny thing - I almost purchased a pack last week but thought I had blown my supply budget for the month. Great minds think alike! The chocolate and  Cheez-Its I'll have to hide from my boys. Those are going to my desk drawer for days I stay late and forget to pack a snack. Sharpies - I always need extra sharpies. Such great colors. Then I finally opened the cute card. Super Sweet! I'm already enjoying my new mug with the hot chocolate. Perfect for these East Tennessee fall evenings. Thank you, Erika. You made my day!

Head over to Lessons With Coffee to sign up for October's SLANT Box and see what other wonderful things were shipped for September.

Keep Reading! I will....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LIteracy Night - September 24, 2013

Last year my little school held its first annual Literacy Night. Our PTA hosted a free supper and different teachers led sessions to help parents with their child's reading endeavors. This year our PTA once again provided supper while the teachers provided storytelling opportunities to our parents and students. Three of our teachers rode the hay wagons and told ghost stories. Other teachers dressed as scarecrows, cowgirls/cowboys or something appropriate for our country literacy night.

Meanwhile, my library was transformed into a pumpkin patch and I (Cowgirl Sara)  read fall stories to our students.

For our K- 2 students I read: Colors of Fall by Laura Purdie Salas. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Leaves by David Ezra Stein. I wanted to read Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd and Squirrel's Fall Search by Anita Loughrey and Daniel Howarth but I ran out of time. At least I can read them in my library classes next week.

For the 3 - 5 graders I read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown and I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake by Lauren Tarshia. I'll have to finish it during the next couple classes.

The 6 - 8 graders began listening to Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. This book was chosen because our PTA was providing these students a free copy of Hatchet. In fact all of our students who came to literacy night received a free book provided by our school's PTA. The K- 2 students went home with Pumpkin Town by Katie McKy and illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi, while the 3 - 5 students were given Friday the Thirteenth From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler.


Literacy Night is tons of fun, but it's exhausting! This cowgirl is heading home to hang up her borrowed cowgirl hat and is hitting the hay! Got to get some rest for the kids tomorrow. Oh yeah, I have bus duty!

Keep Reading. I will after a quick six hour nap....

Sunday, September 22, 2013

#IMWAYR for September 23

My reads for last week: It's Monday! What are You Reading? Hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

American Bison by Ruth Berman. I started of my reads this week with a little non-fiction about the American bison. I try to purchase animal books on a wide reading range and various animals. Why? One, the kids like reading about animals. Two, great topic for teaching research... Thus the purchase of this book. I found it last spring when I was looking for other animals to add to our collection. As a bonus it will work well with Westward Expansion for the history teacher. Great little nonfiction read for the students. (Accelerated Reading level  5.2      Lexile Level 1070)

How To Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish. I admit, I just love picture books. This one is terrific. Just adorable. (Accelerated Reading level  2.4)

I Need My Own Country! by Rick Walton, illustrated by Wes Hargis. This book was adorable. As an older sister to two younger brothers, I so related! (Accelerated Reading level  2.2 )

You Wouldn't Want to be a Ninja Warrior! by John Malam, illustrated by David Antram What can I say? I just love this series. I try to purchase every one of them for the library. The kids love them almost as much as I.   (Accelerated Reading level  4.7      Lexile Level 810)

I'm still reading the Colleen Houck's second book, Tiger's Quest.  Not sure that I like this one as well as Tiger's Curse. May have to wait and read book three and four this summer. I already have student holds on the books. Kids first!

Keep Reading!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tried It Tuesday - "Spot Warmers" and "Bathroom Characters"

I finally have a Tried It Tuesday and I'm so excited. Really I have two but as I started both of them on the same day, I'm going to tell you about both of them.

First up, Spot Warmers! Yes, I said spot holders. For some of you the following picture is just an ordinary pot holder. (I'm a cheap savvy shopper and purchased them at Dollar Tree 2 for $1.) What do I do with them? I'm so glad you asked. In my library I use them as Spot Warmers.

I have a really fidgety class of Kindergarteners this year. They can not sit still for story time. I even had a student try to sit inside one of my bookcases. So what to do? I had seen, on Pinterest of course, some people use vinyl place mats as spots on their rugs, but I'm picky and cheap. The only placemats I could find in my color scheme were $1.99 a piece. I needed 25! So as I was cruising Dollar Tree for extra supplies, I found these pot holders in red and black. They work perfect. Check out my "Spot Holders!"

The second thing I tried was my "Bathroom Characters". On one of the blogs I follow, the teacher used a special desk pass/marker to let her know who was in the restroom. I got to thinking how I could use that idea in the library. My library is decorated with lots of plush book characters. So, why not use book characters. I have a "Cleo" and a "Clifford" plush at sit in front of my desk. If one of my girls need to use the restroom, they pick up "Cleo" and place her on their spot at the table or on the floor. The boys use "Clifford" the same way. Then with one quick glance I can see who is in the restroom. Now no more "it's my turn to go to the restroom"! Now I can keep teaching and my wiggle worms can go to the bathroom without disturbing the rest of the class. LOVE IT.

Link up with Fourth Grade Flipper for more great "Tried It Tuesdays".


Have a great rest of the week, and KEEP READING!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

#IMWAYR for September 16

I'm back with my Monday reads! It's been a busy month, so I'm excited to link up with Teach Mentor Texts for IMWAYR!

I finished Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. LOVED IT. I have to admit I like a little romance and mystery. I can't wait to start the next book which is Tiger's Quest. My upper grade girls will enjoy this one. Had a lot of Indian history and mythology incorporated within the story. I'll give this one 5 stars.  Basically, Kelsey travels to India to try to break a 300 year old curse and save a handsome prince.  (AR reading level 5.4 , Lexile reading level 800)

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman  This one should appeal to the middle grade students. Coke and Pepsi (the main characters) are young genius who must uncover clues to see who is trying to kill them and why. Really enjoyed this one also. I've had this book for a few months and finally got to read it. 4 stars! (AR reading level 4.8, Lexile reading level 730)

Purchased four title to the Lunch Lady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
This series is a cute graphic novel series that will the younger students will enjoy. I loved how Lunch Lady saved the kids with gadgets like a spork phone, hot sauce laser, and s'more ninja star! The four I read had reading levels ranging from 2.2 - 2.6 on AR's reading scale, Lexile level around 250. I'm definitely going to try to find some more of these books. The kids are going to love them.

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt
Loved it! 5 stars just because it's Scaredy Squirrel. Another homerun by Ms. Watt. If you don't have any of her books, go get them.

Manners in the Lunchroom by Amanda Doering Tourville. My counselor will love this one. Very cute. Lovely illustrations by Chris Lensch. Will be a great read aloud for the beginning of the year.

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore. Adorable picture book. Howard McWilliam did a terrific job with the illustrations. Great little story about imagination and a day at the beach.

Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt, illustrated by Andrea Castellani.  This one gets 5 stars! STINK'IN CUTE. Frank learns about telling the truth and when to refrain from well, being frank! Loved all the play on words.

I also found two more You Wouldn't Want to be .... books. I thought I had them all. OOPs. My students love these books. I found You Wouldn't Want to Be Cursed by King Tut! by Jacqueline Morley and You Wouldn't Want to Be on the First Flying Machine by Ian Graham. So glad I found these.

Check out other great Monday Reads on Teach Mentor Texts with Jen and Kellee.

Keep Reading! I will....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monday Made It: September Edition

I am so excited to be linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

I got a couple projects finished. I've been painting in the library again. I had a beige book cart. It's not beige anymore. Did I remember to take a picture? Nope. It's just fire engine red. My students were commenting a couple weeks ago how I hadn't painted it. My red desk it hard to miss... Just trust me, it's bright red.

Back in the summer I made a wreath for my door out of an old book. Click here for that post. I didn't like the way it looked on the beige metal door. I moved it to the wooden conference room door. Looks much better. Then I needed a wreath for my door. Did a quick search on Pinterest. Found several colorful wreaths and thought I could make one.

Was inspired by a wreath from Heed Over Heels For Teaching and one from  Delyno's Crafts:

Thanks, Ladies for the great ideas!

I combined their ideas/projects and came up with the following. I hot glued it to the glass so I had to decorate both sides. From the front it looks like:

From the back:

I didn't get it totally straight, but it will do. Hopefully I won't get too OCD over it. It's made from red copy paper and cupcake holders. I only spent $2 for the cupcake holders. Not too bad on the wallet, hubby is thrilled! Don't forget to check out the rest of the Monday Made Its on Tara's Blog - 4th Grade Frolics.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

#IMWAYR for September 2

Now that September is here, hopefully things will slow down at school and I can get more reading done! I think I have everything fixed that I'm aware of being broken/not working... We'll see how long that lasts. Being the technology coach has it's ups and downs. On to my "It's Monday! What are You Reading?" hosted by Teach Mentor Text.

This past week I got 2 books finished. I know. Pathetic.

1)  The Eyes of Want (book three of the Leven Thumps series) by Obert Skye

If your middle school students enjoy fantasy, this is another one to add to the collection. It's not the best written of the fantasy books I've read this summer, but's it's engaging. The middle/upper school kids are already driving me nuts about it. They saw it on my desk.....

In this book Leven travels into the realm of Foo to protect a secret that could destroy an entire race of creatures and ultimately all of Reality. I'll give it 3 1/2 stars. I'll probably read the next one just to see what happens next.

2) Otis Dooda: Strange but True by Ellen Potter

This is an odd book. I'll give this one 3 stars. The 2 - 4 grader boys will enjoy this one. It's full of lame boy humor. Otis moves to New York City and strange things happen. For example, on the first day Otis is cursed by potted plant boy. This was the book I was teasing the third and fourth graders with earlier. I didn't read very much out loud. (Definitely not the part about "whizzing off the porch". Even though I have students who would totally relate. It's a living in the country kind of thing. Well, maybe a little boy thing!)

I'm currently reading Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Hopefully, I can get this one ready quickly. A couple of the upper grade girls read it last spring. This is the first book in the trilogy. Hmmmmm I'm so ready for a "not to be continued" book. Maybe I'll search the stacks for some picture books I've not read.

Keep Reading! I will...

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