Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful

I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving.  Above all, I am thankful for a Lord and Savior and Heavenly Father that always loves me, endures all for me, and has blessed me beyond measure.  I have a family that is perfect in spite of all of our imperfections, a son that is smart and funny with a heart of gold, a daughter that has a soul that is wise in spirit-who knows what really matters in life.  I have been blessed with a husband who supports me, respects me and loves me unconditionally.   I have parents and in-laws that are always there for me, brothers and sisters who make me laugh and are my best friends!  And, I'm blessed with the most beautiful baby niece.  I have loved every minute of being her aunt!  And, I am blessed with friends that make the world a brighter place each day, by just being them!

I've been a parent now for almost 14 years and I can't help but think how grateful I am for the parents I have.  They are not perfect, but what pressure it would be if they were!  I thank them for teaching me how to be responsible, to accept the word NO, and to know when not to accept the word NO, to speak proper English, to value education, that it's not all about me, to respect and care for others, to Love the Lord, how to handle disappointment, to go to bed at a reasonable time, to live with hope, to buckle up, to keep my room clean, to live within my means, that the truth is always the best way, and that people matter more than things.  I know, that not all people are lucky enough to have parents that teach them all of these things-I encounter them daily.  I am so thankful for these things!  I love you, Mom and Dad!

We all are blessed with so much!   And, most of the time, the things we feel we have to go "without" are truly blessings too.  Most times, we don't know what is good for us.  Thanks be to God for having the perfect plan, for giving me the perfect parents for me, for blessing me with the perfect family and friends for me and for blessing me with a spirit of hope and peace and joy!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Card Offer from Shutterfly

I have been loving Magic 96 this week and humming Christmas tunes, buying new decorations, thinking of great gifts to purchase....it IS the most wonderful time of the year.  I love every minute of this season!  Now, Shutterfly has made it even better!

Shutterfly is offering 50 free Christmas Cards to bloggers.  This is an awesome offer!  I have purchased my Christmas cards from Shutterfly for the last 6 years and love them!   It is so easy to use photos to create a personal, adorable card.  They have every style imaginable and I am always so pleased with the quality.  I LOVE Christmas cards and don't mind spending money on them, but how awesome is it to get them free!  I usually order 75, so this will save me a considerable amount.   Check it out and take advantage!

The only problem now is choosing from all of the great designs!  These are two of my many favorites.










































So many cute cards!!  And, while your at it, check out their awesome products you can create with your favorite photos.  I have created personalized photo mugs, mouse pads, photobooks, etc.  These make awesome gifts for grandparents.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kindergarten Poets

In yesterday's post I told about the magical moments that lead to a beautiful poem composed by my whole class.  I love this group so much.  They are brilliant, adorable, compassionate and truly are so excited about learning.  They love to learn and get so excited about life in our classroom.  I love them!

I promised to share their poem with you, so I got one of my sweethearts to read the poem for you.  I have known and loved this little one since before she was born!  Her mom also teaches kindergarten at my school and is a dear friend.

First a still pic.....


Now the reading......isn't she a doll??


video


I hope you loved it as much as I did!  Thank you to Cynthia Rylant for your brilliant words of inspiration that set these kindergarten writers on fire!  Here's to endless possibilities.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magical Moments in the Classroom

As a teacher, I cherish those magical moments when a class loves a book as much as I do and like wildfire, the class has developed its own incredible lesson.  This happened last week while I read In November by Cynthia Rylant.  It was amazing and an experience I couldn't wait to share with some of my colleagues that value these magical moments as much as I do!  If you don't know this book, you should!  It is amazing and full of mesmerizing verse and inspiring personification.  I always tell my students, I love it when I read a book and it leads me to think about something in a way I never have before.  This is one of those books.  It begins by describing the earth as covered by a blanket and the trees with the outstretched, boney arms of a dancer.  (forgive me for paraphrasing-I don't have the book at home with me.)  And, it ends with magical words depicting "mother earth" as kissing her children's heads and tucking them in until spring.  I am not doing it justice....you'll have to read it!

The real magic happened when my students were as awe struck as I was by Rylant's words.   They began to share their own ideas for personification and describing the change in seasons.   One student proclaimed that trees in fall are "going bald because it's like all of their hair is falling out."  There were so many ideas flowing I grabbed the chart paper and started to write them down.  Then, one student declared we needed to write our own poem about November.  (I love it!)  So, we looked at our word choice again and worked together to change 3-4 of the words to more interesting words.  Then, we organized the ideas that went together and wrote them all in order.  The poem is incredible!!  A group of students later worked on painting a large piece of paper to publish the poem.  The finished product is simply a treasure!!  I left my camera at school, but I will post pics this week.....maybe even a video of a student reading the poem.  Stay tuned!

Once again, I am humbled by the brilliance of young children.  I learn as much (if not more) than I teach. When we are open to learn, the possibilities are endless.