Saturday, January 25, 2014

My shadow! My very own shadow! ...and it's all mine. - Peter Pan

I looked for a worthy quote about shadows/winter/Groundhog Day and got sidetracked by this voice inside my head: Mary Martin singing about finding her (his) shadow after meeting Wendy at the Darling Residence.  And wondering why I know every word of every song in that show....

Back to shadows and winter and Groundhog Day!  If you live in the Midwest, you don't anticipate an early end to this particular winter - one of our harshest in recent years - but the legend still brings a smile, or more likely a roll of the eyes when we hear its pronouncement.

If you're a second grade teacher, click here for a freebie for days leading up to Groundhog Day  It includes groundhog clipart from Morgan Ramsay at  She has great stuff!

Here are some other products that might help you get through the winter grind - whether you use them for yourself or for the sub:                                         


 Stay warm wherever you are and remember to do whatever it is that brings you peace of mind.
Be well today and always,


Monday, January 13, 2014

Still working on that dream! -us

It's Black History Month and we all look to our great African American leaders in this ongoing battle for civil rights. Much as I revere MLK, Rosa, and others  - including President Obama -  I always taught my kids first about Abraham Lincoln, the man who got us started towards equality.  I know many others contributed and should be given credit for change, but for me, it's Abe.

It's because of the Emancipation Proclamation, of course.  Parts of it are included in these free comprehension passages on Civil Rights.  Click here to download:

These passages challenge 4th-6th grade readers to imagine an America today without the contributions of MLK, Rosa Parks, and Lincoln.  Readers also decide which of these Civil Rights leaders was the most important and give reasons why they think so.  Everyone's opinion counts!  Might be worthwhile for teachers to set up informal debates in the classroom.  Students learn pretty quickly that without solid reasoning their opinions won't get much play.

This is a month when we as teachers and adults are reflective about how far we've come and how far we need to go.  When we allow students to see a bigger picture; form opinions about civil rights issues and then learn how to support them -  we allow students to become reflective as well.

WOW Teaching!

For a full literacy center on Civil Rights, check out my Black History Month Activity Center (

 OR for a full day of Civil Rights activities for your sub teacher (or for you), click here

There are TONS more civil rights activities at www.
For younger readers check out this teacher's offering:  And for secondary students, look at this comprehensive power point 

P.S. Maybe you can tell I'm from Illinois.  Once while visiting Salem, Ill. when I was about 8 or 9, we adopted a stray border collie and named him - can you guess?  Abe.  Our family has an antique mahogany bed that is similar to one in his Springfield house.  We call it our Lincoln Bed!  I figure he's one of the cousins.... in my dreams!