Saturday, September 28, 2013

"It's always too late for sorries! ....." from Neil Gaiman

Great line!  In other words, it shouldn't have happened in the first place - whatever it was you're saying "sorry" about.  I cringe when teachers or parents insist on kids saying "sorry" for bullying or calling names or whatever wrong they'd done, and afterward presume all is forgiven and forgotten.  It hardly wipes the slate clean in my book!    Better to work at undoing the damage in a constructive way rather than covering up with "sorries." 

And it's not okay to be sorry for things that may have gone wrong in your classroom last week!  Forget it and move on.   Focus on what you do best and build on it.  
Do you have 3rd graders working on adjectives?  Click here for free 8 pages of adjective practice. Might provide some good "fillers" in coming weeks, or use as a literacy center.

I finished a Zombies ABC Book this week for grades K-1 and then decided to put together a full day of activities (to use as subplans, student teacher plans, or fillers anywhere during your day) on Halloween.  The Zombies ABC Book is hilarious, thanks to clipart by Wrangler Mike and fonts by Jen Jones.  My grandson, Gunnar, loves zombies.  Me, too.
Links to both products: 

(Zombie ABC Book)

(Full day Sub Plan for Halloween)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

“The helpful thought for which you look is written somewhere in a book" - Edward Gorey

I love this quote and its writer/artist: always a slight twinkle in his eye!  Like -  it's reassuring to know there's an answer to all our problems out there somewhere; or stop searching and think for yourself.

Hopefully on this Saturday morning there's enough time and energy in your world to think through some things on your own (or with a good friend which can be even better).  I mean things like how your kids actually liked or responded to an activity rather than how the test scores added up. Or if you're in special ed, how a kid gestured appropriately, or signed a word for the first time, or followed a two part direction.  Celebrations!

If one of your thoughts today is about how to more effectively check for comprehension without waiting for the test, try "quick draw."  Have the kids find a piece of scrap paper and draw the meaning.  (The only pre-teaching for this one is getting kids to doodle-draw rather than draw perfectly.  A few practice sessions may be needed.) Provide 1 minute only!  As you walk around the room you'll see immediately if they got it or not, and move on or reteach.

Check out Subplanners if you need a day off in coming weeks.  In fact, check out for anything and everything you need in coming days!  It's all there.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long difficult words but rather short, easy words like "what about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

Wouldn't life be great if all of us lived happily together in Pooh's "100 Aker Wood?!"  Well, maybe not, but Today is Saturday - best day of a school week - and I wish for you an hour or two of life without long difficult words.  Enjoy this day.

I finished a 4th grade plan, "Everyone's a Winner!" this week.  The overlying theme is for kids to work more on having "winning smiles" or "winning new friends" than trying to beat each other in competitive events.   Find this full day of activities at 

And go out for lunch with a good friend!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Let whatever you do today be enough.

I spent a good amount of time this week dreaming up and writing activities for a 5th/6th grade subplan on Cultural Diversity.  One thing I came across and couldn't get out of my head:  Michael Jackson's "We Are The World" song and video on youtube.  Remember?  It was a powerful message and so promising. 

Makes me think of "Where the Hell is Matt" on youtube ( (if that doesn't work, go to youtube and search the title)  I play this movie whenever I get depressed about human nature.  Makes you want to dance!

Here's hoping your school week was a good one and that you managed to stay cool somehow.  Enjoy the day and "Let whatever you do today be enough."