Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Happiness Advantage

Have you heard of or watched TED videos? If not, I recommend checking out their website. It features (short) videos of guest speakers on a variety of topics. Last week, a friend forwarded a link of Shawn Achor talking about his book/theory "The Happiness Advantage." He posits that instead of researching the reasons behind depression, anxiety and sadness, we should study what makes people HAPPY. At first I was skeptical...but I had a snow day so I figured I had nothing to lose and watched the twelve minute video. WOW! It was so inspiring that I then went on and downloaded the first chapter of his book "The Happiness Advantage" for free. I am hooked.

(click picture to go to Amazon)

Today, I am heading to town (45 km away) to purchase a copy of this book from Chapters. I will be reading and reviewing it. Honestly though, it looks refreshing and inspiring.

Here is the TED clip that I 100% recommend watching. Yes, it is just that good:

Is anyone familiar with "The Happiness Advantage" or Shawn Achor?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Free Poetry Makes a HUGE Difference~THANK YOU

I tried and tried to think of a witty title, but none came to me. Oh well.
I spent the day (it was really cold outside) binding poetry books for my class. During our IR conferences this last little while, we discovered that the poetry genre is an area that our class needs to read more. A LOT more. My dilemma-where to get resources... What to do??
My solution:
Teachers Pay Teachers. A BIG, BIG hug goes out to the teachers who made these awesome resources available as freebies through their stores. I appreciate it sooooo much and my kiddos will, too. Please click on the picture to go straight to the site.

1. I downloaded these excellent freebies:

(I left feedback for each and am now following the stores)

2. I photocopied each poetry booklet on different coloured paper:

3. I created covers for the books using Lettering Delights and MS Word clipart:

and laminated them for durability...

3. I bound the books using:

4. I have EIGHT (I photocopied each poetry book twice) poetry books for my class!!
**I included the store/teacher information page at the end of each book**

I will also use my Smart Board to display the poems and do shared reading activities. I am trying not to dissect every poem after reading Awakening the Heart by Georgia Heard. FANTASTIC resource, by the way. It's an easy read and Ms. Heard has practical, insightful ideas about instilling a love of poetry in your kids. 
Whew!! That's all for now. What do you do in your class to incorporate poetry?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blog Shout Out/Giveaway Reminder

I am wrapping up my unit on Dr Whosit. Hopefully, I will have some classroom photos etc to post  by this weekend. In the meantime...
I am giving a HUGE shout out to Kim at Grade One Doodle Bugs. Kim has recently opened her tpt store and it is overflowing with resources. I have the honour of working beside Kim, and she is truly a wonderful teacher. In fact, my son had her as his second grade teacher last year and STILL talks about activities that his class did. She has posted many free resources, including her latest:

In her own words these FREE RESOURCES contain:

Two weeks of Smart Notebook lessons 
-All printables/blackline masters to go with the lessons
-Lesson outline and steps
-Rubric for assessment
-Success Criteria
-List of resources

A week long reading workshop lesson too! Just search my items and look for "Justify Thinking in reading"  It includes:
-Five-day reading workshop lessons
-All printables/blackline masters to go with the lessons
-Oral language success criteria
-List of resources
-Lesson outline and steps

Just click either picture to go directly to her tpt store. Take a look around while you're there...I have snagged her Word Pocket Dictionaries and plan on buying Wild About Word Play: a 74 page Word Work resource that she is selling for a buck! I can't even get a coffee for $1. Kim is giving away one copy of this resource in a giveaway that ends this Friday.
Kim is updating her freebies a few times a week so I suggest that you become a blog follower and start to bask in the loveliness of her wonderful ideas!!

**Reminder...the Grade One Doodle Bugs giveaway ends Friday... 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Twenty Degrees (Celsius) Looks Like THIS...

Totally rambly and off the topic of teaching BUT it hit over TWENTY DEGREES (68 F) here today! Sooooooooo unseasonal for NW Ontario.
I did a little blogging today. Found out I won TWO fabulous giveaways. Had a visit with my gramps. Went grocery shopping. Did my taxes (ick) and then went for a walk. Yes, that is right, I.went.for.a.walk!
In case you haven't heard of it, I stumbled upon a website called My Fitness Pal. This site is free and it helps you count your calories (super incredible easy peasy) and keep track of your exercising. It's uber cool. I recommend it because 1) it's free and 2) it is a fantastic tool. Also, I am in a wedding party this summer and could stand to shed a few pounds.
Since it's so lovely here, I am going to share a little picture that I just took of my nine year old son vrooming around our still-somewhat-snowy yard on his little 50cc motorcycle. Just cuz it's cute!
Not to brag or anything but I am now going back to reading "Feast of Crows" on my comfy chair on my warm, warm deck!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wild About Words Giveaway Party

Kim at Grade One Doodle Bugs is hosting her first giveaway. Kim is a great friend and an amazing teacher. She uses resources that she has created and they are the bomb diggedy. Recently, Kim has opened a TPT store, and has posted kick-butt freebies (I especially love the pocket word walls). I've been begging her to post pictures of her first grade classroom-yes, it's that beautiful and fun and welcoming. SHE EVEN HAS A TENT!!!!

click to go directly to Kim's blog

This giveaway is for a 74 page  Word Play Super Pack. It is full of different activities that you can do with your class and looks absolutely a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

Here's the great news...Kim is giving away three copies of her resource. Yes, that's right THREE copies. All you have to do is click the above picture to go straight to her giveaway instructions. But hurry...this giveaway closes on March 23rd!!

ps While you're falling in love with Kim's blog and resources, I totally recommend joining her TPT store!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Currently...March & K-2 Link Up

I love these linky parties. As in everything-about-them love. I love reading them and I love reflecting/writing my own. Thanks, Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for hosting another fantabulous Currently linky!

1) Knowledgeable...probably. My kiddos think I am pretty smart with my random pieces of information...thank you Discovery channel, National Geographic channel, Science channel etc...

2) Kooky...almost definitely. Although one friend (to my chagrin) once described me as "quirky." Took me a long time to get over that. I like to describe myself as funny or humourous {audible sigh}

3) Kind...and sometimes kranky, if I am being totally honest. Oh well...


I am linking up with Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle for her K-2 Linky party. After all is said and done, she will be making a Pinterest board that showcases all the blogs who have joined up. Click the picture to go directly to this linky party...and then link up!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to Meeeeee...Award! & a Quick Question

Exhausted. Yuppers, that was me until today. Dr Seuss week was fantastic. Honestly, I didn't know that my kids would react to it so strongly. I even had parents call and write to let me know how excited their children were! However, by the end of the week I was d.o.n.e. Thank goodness it is the March Break this week.

 My sincerest apologies for not checking my blog until today, but what a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY SURPRISE (no's my bday) to read the comments that have been left after my last posting. I won an amazing award not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. Wowza, wowza, wowza.

Rebecca and Katie at First Grade ABC's , Amber at Sparkles, Smiles and Student Teaching and Erika from The Honey Bunch have awarded me the "One Lovely Blog" award. Thank you so much! This is such a pretty award and very appreciated. If you haven't checked out their blogs yet, you should. They're full of information and ideas and are extremely stalk follower worthy. Here are the guidelines of this award:

1. Link back to the blog that gave you this cute award.
2. Pass the award onto 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you! :)

15 are some of the blogs that I absolutely adore...not quite 15...but I am the birthday girl so I give myself permission to alter the rules a little :)

1. Kim from Grade One Doodlebugs
2. Kerri and Lindsay from  Teacher Bits and Bobs
3. Jamie from 2nd Grade Stuff
4. Jessica from Dandelions and Dragonflies
5. Erin from E is for Explore!
6. Lisa at First Grade Bloomabilities
7. Molly at Lessons with Laughter
8. Ms Harris from Ms Harris's MON-STAR 2nd Grade Class

Okay-eight fabulous bloggers...I follow and love many more but here is my little list for now!

Me pondering...

I buy many resources from tpt. I also download free resources and leave feedback. My quick question is this: is it okay to blog about the resources that I have downloaded whether bought or for free? I link back to where I got them from (therefore giving a chance for more feedback) and don't offer them on my own blog...just information and pictures of what I've done. Perhaps a link to the post on the creator's blog? Is this cheeky? I don't create my own resources as a rule, so have nothing to share but am so excited to use the resources that others sell or give away. Help!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Seusstastic, Seuss-alicious Study of Stories

Heh, heh, heh...pretty Seuss-tacular alliteration in the ol' title...
I have never celebrated Dr Seuss~Read Across America...probably because I am Canadian. That would make sense...
However, this year I have caught the Seuss bug! I am going to have seusstastic week celebrating everything Seuss. How did this happen? you might ask.
Well, I have to admit that, at first, I noticed little things being pinned. Seuss cookies, cakes, chocolate bars, lollipops (all of which I have given up for Lent) and the sugar infused list goes on...The baking looked delish but not something I was super interested in. Then, my blogging buds started to post about Dr Seuss...awesomely amazing tpt resources were being put together and sold. Ideas were shared. Excitement has grown.
In my monthly newsletter/calendar/oral sharing activity I sent home a week-at-a-glance. Here is a snapshot of it:

I plan on reading a different book each day and then completing activities related to the book. I've bought Hope King's Seussational Math resource package and Mandy Gregory's Dr Seuss Biography resource from tpt (so excited). I've found loads of  ideas through Pinterest (ie Purple Popcorn Muffins recipe and Oobleck) and blog stalking reading.Our class will also discuss the main idea (learning goal), point-of-view (lg), and summarizing (lg). The kids are so excited! 

For our monthly Oral Sharing, kids will:

This excerpt is taken straight from my newsletter...gotta love the little camera option. We use Marzano's Method for vocab development and this is what our nonsense word task is modeled after. I sent home the sheet with the kids and they bring it back and present it to the class on their Special Day. We will make these definitions into a class book at the end of the month.

Any suggestions for our Seuss study? I am a little nervous and hope (fingers crossed) that everything goes Seusstastic next week!