Really??

Over the Christmas break, someone asked me about my book (which I was happy to talk about). They asked me how many copies were sold, since it was released in May of 2014. I recently checked the publisher’s website, and found out it has sold 2,069 copies. REALLY? Over 2,000 copies. I’m thrilled that teachers and parents are using A BUG AND A WISH! Thanks!

“Sweet” Teacher Halloween Costumes

We had our Halloween party and parade today, and I must admit – the kids weren’t as crazy as other years. Some Halloween party days, teachers almost crawl out of the building, but I was pretty upright today. 🙂

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Here is our grade level Halloween costume. The shirts were bought at Michael’s crafts for $3.00 (you can’t beat that), and with the help of Siri, I was able to make the shirts. I kept asking Siri to show me candy bar wrappers, then I drew the logo on the shirts, and painted them with acrylic paints.

Usually we would keep the teachers’ costumes a secret, but I had the shirts strewn all over the classroom, because I would paint while the kids were at specials. The kids were so excited to see the painting process and completed shirts.

It was a “sweet” day!

Fun First Day of School Activity ~ Magic Playdough!

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This is a great activity to do on the first day of school! It takes a little prep at home, but it’s worth it!

I just finished making this, because tomorrow is the first day of school for me!

Ingredients:

~2 cups all-purpose flour (*maybe a bit more)

~2 tablespoons vegetable oil

~1/2 cup salt

~2 tablespoons cream of tartar

~1 ½ cups boiling water

~food coloring (different colors)

~zippered sandwich plastic bags

Directions:

~Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl

~Add the water a little at a time to the dry ingredients in the bowl, while stirring.

~Continue to still it until it becomes a sticky, combined dough

~Let it to cool, then take it out of the bowl and knead it with your hands vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. *If it is still sticky, continue to add a bit of flour until it is not sticky anymore. I made this using the amounts listed, and the consistency was perfect.

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Put the small balls in individual ziplock bags. Copy the FREEBIE poem to attach to each bag. Depending on how many kids are in your class, you may need to make two batches (I have 23 kids, and this was just enough). I made this the night before the first day of school. On the morning of the first day of school, take each dough ball out of its bag, and using the tip of a large nail, make a hole in the middle of the dough. Drop in two drops of food coloring. Then move some dough over the hole to seal it. Return it to the baggie.

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Click here for the poem to copy, cut, sign, and attach to the play dough bags     Magic Playdough poem

On the first day of school, pass out the baggies to each student, and allow them to read the poem, but tell them to not touch the dough in the bag yet (You’ll quickly learn which kids can follow directions on the first day of school, right?) Do another quick activity as the anticipation rises. Then let the kids open the baggies and “make magic.” The kids OOO and AHHH, and look around the room to see all the different colors. It’s so fun to watch them.

After the activity, have the kids put the dough back in the bag, to take home. I did this last year, and parents have told me that THIS is the first thing their child told them about, when sharing what happened on the first day of school!

Those Last two weeks of school!

IMG_1626The last two weeks of school can be crazy, to say the least. I saw this idea where a teacher had a balloon pop at the end of each day. The teacher didn’t mention WHAT was in each balloon, so I decided to post this to tell what I did.

I had the balloons up when they kids came in on Monday morning (10 days left of school). Of course every hour they kept asking what they were for, but I told them they would find out at the end of the day. When 3:25 PM came, I explained that this would be a behavior incentive (a bribe to us teachers 🙂 ), and the students who could be in control would be participating in a special activity the following day.

They wanted to know WHO would actually get to decide which balloon to pop. (Hmmm, hadn’t thought of that) Then someone said, “I think the kids that have always behaved all year should decide,” and we all shook our heads in agreement. So I called on someone to choose the first color, and you could have heard a pin drop as the student was deciding!

The balloon they choose had “free choice for Morning work,” and they all cheered. So instead of doing a morning work paper for the following school day, the kids were allowed to basically have indoor recess for 20 minutes.

The next day, there were two students who couldn’t keep it under control and they were not allowed to participate for the following day. Guess what? After that, everyone was pretty good!

Inside the balloons were:

~Free choice for Morning Work

~No homework

~Mrs. Scheuer brings in Freeze Pops for you

~Extra recess

~Use a pen all day

~Game Day (bring in a game from home, and instead of Morning work, they played)

~No shoes in the classroom

~Sit with a friend all day

~Movie (I brought in 3 G-rated movies, and we voted)

~Wear Sunglasses all day

This was definitely a hit, and a no-brainer! My only cost was the $2.50 for the Freeze Pops.

What do think the favorite activity was with second graders?  Using a pen all day! I love it!