Sunday, March 29, 2015

sharing a few cute books....

A Pet for Fly Guy
by Tedd Arnold

"A boy had a pet fly.  He named him Fly Guy."

Buzz loves his pet fly.  He loves spending time with him.  
He loves him so much that he thinks
it's time for his friend to have a pet of his very own.
And so begins the search for the perfect pet for Fly Guy.

They visit the pet store and come out with a cute puppy.
The little puppy was so happy that he licked Fly Guy.

So they tried a kitten, a frog and a worm.
The kitten swatted at Fly Guy.
The frog chased Fly Guy
and the worm was just too slimy for Fly Guy.

So they tried a spider, but it was too tangly.
Next they tried a cricket, but it was too jumpy.

Just as they were about to give up....Fly Guy decided the perfect pet for him
was his very best friend - Buzz.

This was a cute little tale about friendship for little readers.

Scary Mary
by Paula Bowles

Scary Mary rules the barnyard.
She chases away all the other animals, keeps the food all to herself,
builds forts to keep the others away and makes scary faces.

She thinks the best thing is to just be all alone.
But, she soon realizes just how lonely it can be, without any friends.
Being scary, isn't such a great idea after all.

Scary Mary is a perfect book to teach little ones about bullying
and that it's much more pleasant to be a friend than to be
all alone and scary.

Blame it on the Big Blue Panda!
by Claire Freedman

Little Pandy is one naughty little bear.
He loves mischief, but never wants to accept the blame.

In fact, he claims that all the bad things that happen aren't his fault at all.
It's actually Big Blue Panda that is causing such a ruckus.

Mama Bear is not fooled and comes up with a clever plan
that keeps Pandy on his best behavior.

Will his good behavior last? Or will the Big Blue Panda make another appearance?

Blame in on the Big Blue Panda is a great book to help explain to children
that it is best just to admit their wrongdoings, than to blame it on others.

by Catherine Rayner

Abigail loves to count.  She wants to count everything, it's her favorite thing to do.
She tries to count the spots on the ladybug, the stripes on zebra, the leaves on the tree
and the spots on cheetah.  The animals won't stay still long enough for her to count them
and someone keeps eating all the leaves.

The animals decide to help Abigail by taking her to a field of flowers.
but by then it's too dark to count them.

Abigail finds the perfect thing to count at night - the stars! 

This is a count book for little ones to read.  I think the moral could be summed up by saying
never give up on something that you love doing, no matter how many things get in the way.

*Disclosure ~ The books Scary Mary and Abigail were given to me by Tiger Tales for review purposes only.  The opinions herein are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Storm Fest - Carnegie Science Center

A few weeks ago, we went to the
Storm Fest
at Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The Storm Fest was presented in partnership with California University of PA.

Not only did we get to enjoy the everyday exhibits of the Science Center,
but we also got to participate in lots of fun weather related activities.

Nathan made several weather related crafts

a lava bottle

a rain stick


a wind sock

He learned what type of tent would best protect him in different elements

He learned how to make a homemade thermometer

a cloud

and did a cupcake core sampling

a weather map

paper snowflake

He made a rock

and many more fun weather activities.

We also watched a show by the "Weather Dude" Nick Walker of The Weather Channel.

Nathan's name was pulled from the hat and he won a song book and CD by Nick Walker.

He also got his autograph and picture taken with him.

Then, we checked out an old retired submarine....


We topped off the trip with a stop at the Sports Work Center, where Nathan tried out a bunch of fun games and we took a ride through the human body.

It was a super fun day.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

there was an old lady who swallowed a rose

on friday, i subbed at a preschool.

during story time i read the little ones the book

there was an old lady who swallowed a rose

they were having a little valentines day celebration. 

after i read the story we did a little retelling of the book.

i gathered a fake rose, some lace, a small container of glitter,
some hearts, a little "jewel" ring that nathan had given to me, some glitter hearts,
a handful of sweet heart candy, and a few valentines.

the kids seemed to enjoy this little activity, as did i. 

i also used a bottle with an old lady attached to it with a hole cut out
in the middle, so the kids could see what her tummy looked like after she
swallowed everything.

i found these cards to use for sequencing activities
(can't remember where I found them)

another fun activity to do with this book,
which I did not do, yesterday, is a cut out wheel

just another way to make retelling fun.

during center time, some of the children made tissue paper hearts
in the art station.

they were so cute i couldn't resist and had to make one too.

hope you have a great valentines day!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Fat Quarter Shop $40 Gift Card Giveaway - CLOSED!!

*This note that this giveaway is now closed!

Do you love fabric as much as I do?
Here's your chance to win a 

$40 Gift Card


Fat Quarter Shop is an online fabric store with a huge selection of fabrics from top manufactorers  including; Michael Miller, Moda Fabric, Riley Blake, Robert Kaufman, Timeless Treasures, Red Rooster, RJR Fabrics, Dear Stella, and many, many more.

You can choose from jelly rolls, patterns, fat quarter bundles, fabric by the yard, etc.

Who doesn't want the chance to win such fabulous quilting quality fabric?!

I would enter, if it wasn't my blog haha.

Just look at all these beautiful choices for Valentine's Day

and how about this absolutely gorgeous quilt kit by Holly Hill Designs and A Year of Love fabric.

simply gorgeous, right?

If you are a quilter or are interested in quilting, please check out 
for lots of 'how to' videos.

This giveaway contest will run until January 24, 2015 (midnight est).

To enter just follow the instructions according to Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 05, 2015

DIY Flannel Board

I made myself a flannel board.

Flannel boards are a handy teacher tool.
They can be used for a multitude of things.

Retelling Stories
Math Concepts
much, much more.

I wanted to purchase one to use for awhile now, but they can be pretty pricey.

I thought the next best thing to buying one was to make one of my own.

I went to a few local thrift stores to look for old funky picture frames that I could either use just the frame itself with a particle board attached or something similar.

I ended up finding an old cork board instead.

I bought some flannel and some colorful buttons to decorate the frame to make it more appealing.

cork board = $2
flannel = $2.47/yard
buttons = 3 packs/$1.50 each
paint and extra buttons (already had)
glue gun

for a total of less than $10 I made my very own flannel board
(which is actually two sided, so it's even more versatile) 

I spray painted both sides of the cork board frame

I cut the flannel just slightly larger than the cork board
I sprayed a thin line of glue along the edges using my glue gun
Next, I used a screw driver to push the fabric underneath the frame

I used my glue gun to attach some bright colorful buttons all around the frame.
I actually did this on both sides of the cork board - so my flannel board is actually double sided.


I made some fish out of felt.

I also found some printables on line from various sources.

I printed them out and then laminated them.
I glued a small piece of velcro to the back of the printables so that they would stick to the flannel

Do you like my handy dandy laminator?
It was a Christmas gift from the kids.
I know I will get a ton of use out of it.

The Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear printables can be used for 
sequencing events 
or for retelling the story.

Dogs, Numbers, Colors and Bones
can be used for a multitude of lessons
colors, patterns, math, etc.


Just like my new fancy little laminator, I'm sure I will get plenty of use out of this 
little flannel board for many years to come.

It is such a fun way for children to incorporate with learning. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

what's on my reading list....

In my spare time, before my life gets overrun by textbooks again, I've been
trying to catch up on some new books.

I'm almost finished reading Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnn Johnson.
I am really enjoying this book.  It's geared more towards teaching older students, but she does provide some tips for teaching younger students as well.  She shares her classroom management plan and other ideas to make teaching and learning an enjoyable experience for both teachers and students.

Overwhelmed by Perry Noble is a book that I'm really looking forward to reading.  It deals with anxiety, stress, and feeling overwhelmed and how we can manage life and see our way through the overwhelming feelings of just trying to get by.

How Full is Your Bucket?
Since I started subbing at the pre-k's and head starts I noticed that a lot of schools have been using this bucket filling/dumping program and I wanted to read and learn more about it.  I also bought a child's version of this book to read with my children.  This is probably a program that I will utilize in the future as a teacher, so I thought it would be nice to have the children's version on hand (for my future classroom).

The First Days of School is another book about classroom management.  I read reviews that this is a really excellent source for teachers, so I thought I would read it for myself.

The Power of a Praying Wife since I am continuing on my spiritual journey, I'm embracing my role as a wife and helpmate to my husband.  Hey, I didn't get this far in my marriage without a little (ok, a lot) of help from above....and even after 22 years of marriage, there is still a lot of things that I should know and do.

In my quest to exude happiness and positivity I also plan of reading The Power of a Positive Mom and also The Power of a Positive Woman.  I really do believe that there is power in words and in emotions.  I think if you walk around feeling down in the dumps and hopeless, then you will project those feelings to those around you.  I'd much rather be known as a super, happy, almost "too happy" person, than a depressed Debbie downer....know what I mean?

I'm sure I will add other books to this list....but for now I think I'm off to a great start.

What are you reading this year? Do you have any recommendations that you think I would like?