Friday, September 26, 2014

"Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' on the river!"

The tune has been playing over and over in my head all day!  Several reasons why, actually, since the Mighty Mississippi is very close by and I drove across it twice today.  Also because it's a sleepy kind of September day and I'd love to be "rollin" on the river instead of driving across it.  And mainly because I just finished writing about the Mississippi River - its history, steamboats and stories.       
 (rollin', rollin....)


I think there are some fun activities in here to go along with solid learning for your 5th or 6th graders.  And just for kicks, click on this link for an animated activity on locks and dams from the National Park System.  It's addictive!

p.s. The tune now inside your head is brought to you by Creedance Clearwater Revival.

Be well today and always,

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me." - Fred Rogers

Although this is my favorite perspective (anything Mr. Rogers said is my favorite perspective), there are many other ways to think about our heroes.  I think it's important for kids to think about heroes, too, and not just the ones with capes.  Helping kids find the right kinds of heroes when they're young may help them grow into being heroes themselves.

This full day of activities for you or for your sub helps kids explore their own, individual ideas about heroes.  Can one kid's ideas be different from another kid's on this topic?  And what really are the attributes of a hero?   People in their families, their neighborhoods, books, movies, and, yes, even cartoons - no limit to the places in our world where we find people we look up to, people we want to be like.

Check out these activities for yourself and get the conversation going in your classroom at the very beginning of the school year.  Helping kids learn about heroes helps them know the kinds of people they want to be.
This full day is aligned with 4th grade common core standards and includes extra forms for your sub.
This one has all the same activities without the extra paperwork.  
 PLEASE, though, check the previews so you'll know for certain if the reading level is appropriate for your kids!

Back to Mr. Rogers, heroes are always the people who help kids.  And that's you.

Be well and always,

Monday, September 1, 2014

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” -A.A. Milne

Here we are - back at the beginning of a school year and there's just way too much on every teacher's plate, let alone on their desks, shelves, and kitchen counters.

Getting organized (in A.A. Milne's words) is trying to keep our worlds from being all mixed up.  Ha!  Like we have that kind of control over our lives or anyone else's, right?

But we can at least try to control the stresses in our lives by always, always having a "Plan B."  Use one of these full days of theme-based activities on a day when you're in the classroom and need some extra help, or on a day when you need to call in a sub teacher. 

One of these products may be just what you're looking for:


One of my buyers recently said, "Just like sub plans in a can!"  
...exactly what I'd intended.

Be well today and always,