Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wild about Reading!

TA DA!  My bulletin board is finally done. Every year I embarrass showcase my teachers on the library's bulletin board. Students love to see their favorite teachers promote reading by flying, cooking, or, as is the case this year, squeezing into child-sized animal masks! (I have to add that my teachers are such good sports! There was hardly any grumbling at all about taking a picture while wearing a silly mask. I think they secretly liked it...)

Can you "spot" my pigeon-loving bloggy buddy Reagan Tunstall?

This year our whole school has adopted the popular "wild about learning" theme, and I already have some fun surprises up my sleeve for the students and their teachers! Classes will experience a wild library orientation lesson beginning the first week of September, where my goal is for kids to totally go BANANAS for BOOKS! Be sure to stay tuned--I have a feeling that some "wild" pictures from that orientation will be posted here soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bow Wow! It's a Puppy Palooza and a Huge TpT Sale!

What do you get when you mix puppies, learning to read, and learning to write stories?
These two great books!
Click here to learn more about Tad Hills and his awesome books!
Some of you will remember that I've recommended Tad Hills' "Rocket" stories before, but with the start of school right around the corner for many of us, I wanted to remind everyone about these fabulous books. They are perfect for the beginning of the year! And what kid doesn't like puppies?

Even before the first "Rocket" story was published, we were mixing puppies and reading here at my house.
That's my daughter (in 2008) reading to Butterball and Samson, our brand new Labrador puppies!
Samson and Butterball were birthday gifts for my kids, and were featured on my daughter's 8th birthday invitation in this picture from four years ago:
Two high-energy puppies, a hammock and one 8-year old girl made for a fun photo shoot!

When Samson and Butterball were about 6 months old, we took them to our church for Animal Blessing Day. And believe me, they needed all the blessings they could get because, let's just say they were not always on their best behavior!

2 dogs + holidays = FUN!
Halloween 2008

Christmas 2008
But out of all the "kids with dogs" pictures, these two are my favorites:

Now that's some serious Puppy Love!

It's obvious that kids and puppies are a good mix. Look what happens when you share "How Rocket Learned to Read" and then introduce your class to a basket of puppies (the stuffed animal kind):
 Adopt us!

Choosing a name collar for puppy

 We're gonna be best buds!

 Reading to puppy

"Teaching" puppy to read important words

All ready for a Puppy Reading Parade!

See all the cool stuff that can happen when you add puppies to your classroom? Go out and buy "How Rocket Learned to Read" and "Rocket Writes a Story" by Tad Hills and then head over to my TpT store and pick up both "Puppy Palooza" units for a whole lot of fun, educational activities to go along with the books. The units are only $4.00 each, but TpT is having a gigantic sale August 12-13, so you can get them (and everything else in my store) for nearly 30% off!

While you're there, take a look at a few other "puppy" items in my store you might be interested in as well:
Puppy Palooza Transportation Bracelets $2.50

Puppy Palooza Student Desk Tags (5 different designs) FREE!

Here's hoping that you find enough goodies in TpT's Back to School Sale to say "Bow WOW"!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Help! I've (bloggy) fallen and I can't get up!

Yikes! Is it August already? Seriously? Where has the summer gone? I have less than 2 weeks left before district meetings, work days, inservice, etc. start up again and I am NOT ready, people! I didn't get all the things checked off my summer "to do" list yet, and I have been an absentee blogger to boot. 

What happened to June and July? You didn't ask for it, but here it is--my summer in pictures: 

JUNE ~ We kicked off summer with a marshmallow roast in the backyard!
I listened to the sounds of summer in June. A LOT. This noisy bug evidently loves Texas and was out in force. Multiply him by like a gazillion and you have so much noise you can't hear yourself think! 

I met (and melted) with a Squirrel at the Central Texas Blogger Meet-Up!

Went to Mexico with the family, but left early due to a family situation back home. Definitely the low-point of my summer.

More melting! Fun in the sun at Six Flags Fiesta Texas with Reagan.

I played a lot of Words With Friends and even got a word worth 143 points! Can you say "word nerd"? How sad is it that this was a highlight of my summer?!

Umm, speaking of words, I learned some new ones. I found time to do a little summer reading (and blushed 50 shades of RED)!!!  I'm pretty sure if I had an "inner goddess", she'd be blushing, too.

I finally got a new car! Well, new to me, anyway--it's a 2010 Acura MDX. Here I am trying to be patient while filling out all the paperwork. 
And here it is in my driveway--ain't she purty?!!

Did you notice that there was no mention of school? That's crazy because I have a ton of stuff to prepare for this year and I haven't really worried about it, at least not until I got this text from an over-achieving friend yesterday:

I love her last response! "Forever" isn't much of an exaggeration--that girl has been working hard and her room is looking so good! In fact, while I've been writing this post I got another text from her about going up to school to work! I'm sure many of you, like Reagan, are  spending your time off working on school projects--I just haven't fully gotten into "school mode" yet.

The only school-related project I have worked on is another Puppy Palooza unit for my TpT store. Puppy Palooza 2 is based on the book "Rocket Writes a Story", which is a sequel to "How Rocket Learned to Read" by Tad Hills.

This is a great book and perfect for primary-aged kids just beginning to write! Even if you don't get the unit, consider buying this newly-released book--you won't regret it! 

If you are interested in fun activities to go with the book, click here to go to my TpT store. For some reason, there are glitches with downloading the preview file from TpT that haven't been resolved yet, so I've included the preview here:
Are you wondering about all the owl stuff in a unit called Puppy Palooza 2? Rocket's new friend in the book is a shy owl, so there you go...

And here I go--off to soak up the summer sun and NOT think about school!