Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quote for the Day

"Good teaching is more of giving the right questions than a giving of right answers." Josef Albers

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Build Student -Teacher Relationships

I like to frequently take moments out of academics to teach my students LIFE lessons, to share my life with them, to check on them, and just to giggle together. It definitely pays off (they KNOW you really care about them).

What do you do to build a special relationship with your students?

photo credit:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sensational Sequencing Activity

This week's objective is to be able to sequence events. To begin, we created an anchor chart full of great sequencing words.

Then I handed out strips of paper with the steps to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This came from a Kamico book.

In groups, children put their steps to making a fabulous sandwich in order. Of course another important objective to mention is TEAMWORK. All groups did an incredible job of working together.  To me, that's just as important.

See below:

After the groups finished, they raised their hands for me to come over and check. When they were done, they had to be prepared to give a sequencing word to the class. Some that were given include:
first, second, then, next, after that, before, after, finally, lastly, meanwhile, and during.

Soon to be posted.....comic strips which include sequencing words (written at our Whimsical Writing Station). Until then.....

Happy teaching!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fun Poetry Activity with Scranimals

My students are deep into a poetry unit. Last week, we read a cute book (one that a team member found) called Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky. The author scrambles animals with other objects such as a porcupineapple (a porcupine and a pineapple) and describes the scrambled creature with poetry. My children laughed to no end.

The objective for my students was then to create an animal with any other object and describe their newly designed creature with a form of poetry (could be free verse, couplets, quatrains, etc.)

I loved the finished products. See a few of them below.


Have you ever seen a plum bird?
Wouldn't you think that's absurd?

The plum bird is purple and blue,
I know it's half plum, but it's not a food.

The plum bird is awesome; the plum bird is cool,
If it was your pet, you would bring it to school.

Here's the cover of the book:
photo credit:

Hope you will choose to fit this into your writing/poetry unit. You'll be glad you did.

Happy teaching,

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quote for the Day

AMEN!!! With as many different learning styles and abilities as we have in our classroom, I truly believe in this statement.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stride Toward Freedom

Last week, we talked a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King and his dream toward a united nation. We also discussed many of the courageous actions he took to stride toward freedom. Afterwards, I had my students write about how they would follow in Dr. King's footsteps in their classroom and at home. I read some incredible responses, such as "I'll help more around the house," and "I'll treat others the way I want to be treated."

We're "striding" toward a better world!  Check out our display in the hallway.

How can you create more peace at your work place, within your family, with friends? It's definitely a great question we all need to ponder.


Quote for Today...

Happy Thursday to everyone.

“The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” -- Joseph Campbell 

Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Please show "I Have a Dream Speech"

Please don't miss the opportunity to show the BEST (in my opinion) persuasive speech of all time.  It's a perfect time to remind students to treat EVERYONE with respect and dignity.  Dr. King was definitely a man of "big words," so it's also a wonderful opportunity to bring in new vocabulary.

For younger children, there's a shorter version on youtube.

"NOW is the time" to make justice a reality for ALL men."

A great book that explains the words, and meaning, behind Dr. King's words is Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech in Translation from Scholastic. See photo of book below.

photo credit:


"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!"

As a nation, "WE SHALL OVERCOME!"


Sunday, January 19, 2014

You MUST share this poem with your students!

This is one of my absolute favorite poems! I share this each year with my students in honor of my hero, Dr. King. I hope your students enjoy it as well.
We love you, Dr. King!
photo credit:

Standing Tall
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some kings rule their kingdoms sitting down
Surrounded by luxury, soft cushions and fans
But this King stood strong
stood proud
stood tall
When the driver told Rosa
“Move to the back of the bus!”
When the waiter told students
“We don’t serve your kind!”
When the Mayor told voters
“Your vote don’t count!”
And when the sheriff told marchers
“Get off our streets!”
using fire hoses, police dogs and cattle prods
to move them along
This King stood strong
stood proud
stood tall
Speaking of peace
of love
and children
hand in hand
free at last
free at last
When some yelled for violence
For angry revenge
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
He stood his ground
Preaching peace
And when some spit out hate
He stood there smiling
Spreading love
Until it rolled like the sea across the land
Sweeping away Jim Crow
Breaking down the walls
Ringing the bell
For Freedom
Standing on the mountain top
They shot him
Hoping to see him fall
Hoping to put him away
To bring him low
But this King
even in death
even today
stands strong
stands proud
stands tall
And we remember
© Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.
"So wherever we may be today, let’s take some time to honor and remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and the legacy he has left us that inspires us toward freedom, peace and goodwill for all beings."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Illuminate Your Life!

Illuminate your life by loving and giving to others. During this long weekend, let's remember the actions and words of this inspiring orator. His words remain as encouraging and relevant as the day he courageously uttered them.

photo credit:

Have a wonderful weekend,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Are You Doing For Others?

On this terrific Thursday, my hero inquires a thought-provoking question to ponder...

photo credit:

Life is about giving! What random, unexpected acts of kindness are you doing for others? It's definitely worth considering.

Now let's go and make others smile and feel encouraged!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today's Quote from MLK

Here's today's quote from my hero who so eloquently speaks....

photo from

Taking the first steps in faith,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quotes from my Hero

As we approach Dr. Kings' birthday, I LOVE sharing books about him and quotes from him with my students (of course I don't just wait for his birthday; I share throughout the year).  :)  His words were so powerful, meaningful, and encouraging. My students are well aware that Dr. King is my hero. He stood for what I think the human race should be: accepting, forgiving, loving, giving, and believing that ALL men are created equal. He hangs above my door as a daily reminder of great qualities we can possess and share with others. Over the next week or so, I'll be posting quotes from my hero. Hope you enjoy! Here's today's...

Monday, January 13, 2014

What does the Fox Say?

Ever heard of "What does the Fox Say?" I'm sure you have (as millions have by now). Yes, I know this is a VERY annoying song. However, if you have indoor recess or need to fill time, your students will go berserk and LOVE this song. With constant rain last week, we fully enjoyed this video.

I've even pointed out the onomatopoeias and similes in the song (as we are deep into our poetry unit right now).

Your students will appreciate you for playing this "CRAZY" song. Have fun!

Happy teaching!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Poetry Slam

Poetry is everywhere...we're reading it and analyzing, but most fun of all, we're writing our own poetry. At this week's writing station, students were to write a poem (or two).  It was there choice as to what format they chose (free verse, acrostic, haiku, rhyming, diamantes, couplets, etc.)

I had many students who wanted to share. You could see them beaming with pride from their creative masterpieces. I'm looking forward to all the poetry that will be written (and shared) next week.

Happy writing and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Analyzing Poetry

Time for our Poetry Unit- one of my favorites. Today, I had my students find similes, metaphors, personification, imagery, rhyming words, and label the rhyme scheme. Fun watching them work hard to accomplish this.

What are your favorite units to teach?

Happy Teaching,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who is a Teacher?

I'm sure you've seen this before, but it's always worth another glance to remind us of why we do what we do. Many believe, and depend, on us. We can help our students achieve the impossible!

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued,
“What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”
To stress his point he said to another guest.
“You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?”
Teacher Bonnie replied,
“You want to know what I make?
She paused for a second, then began…
“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t
make them sit for 5 min. without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
You want to know what I make?
She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.
I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them how to write and then I make them write.
Keyboarding isn’t everything.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math. They use their brain, not the man-made calculator.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life
Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.
Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.
You want to know what I make?
I make a difference in all your lives, educating kids and preparing them to become CEO’s ,and doctors and engineers.
What do you make Mr. CEO?
His jaw dropped, and he went silent.

Have  a great rest of the week,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Great Acronym: SMART

Love this acronym and can't wait to show my students.  Hope you had a wonderful Monday!


Sunday, January 5, 2014


Well, most of us are returning to school tomorrow after a long, relaxing, and much-needed break.  As we return, we may be thinking of ALL that it takes to manage, and run, a successful classroom.  At times, it can be daunting and extremely overwhelming.  As a New Year's resolution (goal), I encourage you to maintain a positive attitude at school. It truly DOES affect the environment of your classroom.  I truly enjoyed reading the informational article below and hope you do too.

Happy New Year! Wishing you all a wonderful and happy New Year!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cute Simile and Metaphor Video

Teaching poetic devices? My students LOVE (and giggle) at this video. It's cute, keeps their attention, and is a MUST SEE video for my classroom. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a year full of joy, peace, health, and prosperity.