Fantastic Five For Friday!

Finally, we had
days of school in a row!  Also, the arctic cold has let up to the point that the kids can go out for recess!  We actually had a busy and successful week in school.  More importantly, today is Chinese New Year! 

This is the year of the Horse.  Since it's the weekend, the above Horse can sit down.   Actually, I'm a Rat according to the Chinese Zodiac, but if I were a Horse, I would be sitting down just like the above horse.

 We have read A LOT of books about Chinese New Year.  I have to say that I especially loved The Runaway Wok byYing Chang Compestine:

In this story, a young boy finds a magical wok that is the "Robin Hood" of woks.  This wok takes food, gifts and money from the rich and greedy Li family to give to the poor families who work at Mr. Li's factory.  It's truly an adorable story that can be enjoyed at any time because it teaches an important lesson and tells about Chinese New Year.

We also enjoyed reading Sam and the Lucky Money and using the flipchart I made to go along with this story and Chinese New Year.  Here's the link for the flipchart if you want to check it out:

Also, here are some examples from the Chinese New Year/Sam and the Lucky Money flipchart.  This first one shows a vocabulary review page:

This slide is a comprehension review question:

This page is actually for other teachers who might want/need additional books that tell about Chinese New Year:

Every day I put a morning message on my Promethean Board.  Since I'm "late to the program" (according to my younger son), I've recently discovered the Hump Day commercial.  On Wednesday, I took a picture of my colleague, Bonnie, in front of my morning message:

Of course, all the kids are quite familiar with Hump Day.  Even our principal LOVES this commercial.  He shared a picture of himself holding his son at the zoo.  In the background, there was a CAMEL!

The kids have been making these Big Words books:

This project went so well with MLK Day and Chinese New Year.  Dr. King improved and changed the world while Chinese New Year represents a new beginning for everyone to make positive changes in their own lives.  The class made a list of important words like respect, appreciation, neatness,...  Then each student chose three words, looked up the definition of each word in the dictionary and wrote why that word was important to them.

This activity was part of a bigger package from TPT that you can check out here:

We are learning about weather.  This is a perfect time to study weather because the weather has been so changeable and unpredictable.  Here is an example of an anchor chart using two column notes:

I make these charts while we are reading the science book together.  There is a tremendous amount of vocabulary to learn in Science and Social Studies.  These charts keep the new vocabulary visible and accessible so the kids can become familiar with these words.

The new washing machine and dryer have arrived!

The plumber even hooked up the gas dryer.  Now I just have to figure out how to operate these new machines.

Happy Weekend and Happy Chinese New Year!


Terrific Thursday!


One of the Best Gifts Ever!/Sunday Storybook Link-Up

Thanks to the blogging world, I was introduced to this amazing book:

 I LOVED this book because it was based on a true story, and it really captured the idea of giving a gift from one's heart.  I thought the book was out of print so you couldn't get it. 

Well, this morning, Seamus' Mom brought me the BEST gift:  my very own brand new Silver Packages book autographed by the illustrator.  Wow!  That's all I can say. Wow!  (I love this quote from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.)  Here's the autographed page:

I'm so thankful that I'm writing a thank you note on my blog to Seamus and his Mom.  I am so touched by this gift - it's truly perfect!

One of my favorite bloggers, Paula from:

has moved her Storybook Link-Up to Sunday:

I read this book by Eileen Spinelli today, and it was quite entertaining and colorful:

Here's a picture of one of the pages:

My favorite hat was worn by an artist (I forget his name).  He put candles on his hat so that he could have light while he painted at night (not the safest hat but ...).  

In class, we're writing our own versions of Snowmen At Night so I told the kids that they would have to design a creative hat for their snowman to wear.  

There were plenty of ideas in Do You Wear A Hat?  Plus, with our arctic weather, you really do need a hat!



Peek of a Hopefully Five Day Week!

It's Sunday night, and that means that it's time to link-up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for A Peek at My Week!

This week we'll be focusing on Chinese New Year.  In Reading, we'll be using the book:

I love this book because it tells about Sam's Chinese New Year lucky money and how he finally spends it - to help a homeless man.  It's just an all-around heartwarming story.

In Science, we'll be starting to learn about weather.  If you need a Powerpoint about weather, I have posted mine to TPT, and you can get it here:

I decided to do weather now because our weather has been somewhat unpredictable.  Yesterday was supposed to be a warmer day, but the wind made it feel just as cold as it always seems to be lately - although it is above zero which is much better than some other places like Wisconsin (where Mrs. Laffin lives).  Any way, we'll be tracking the weather soon so I'm hoping the weather will be different as in it might be a little warmer.

Head on over to this blog to check out:



This blogger is only 24 years old, and she has some great products in her TPT store.  I am pretty impressed!

In exciting personal news, I bought a new extra capacity Whirlpool washer and dryer yesterday.  The gas dryer in my house is about 20 years old, and it started screeching last week while my 10+ year old front loader has a crack inside the door.  It was time to make my move.  I'm especially excited because I'm supposed to wash my comforter monthly due to my dust mite allergy.  However, I need to go to the laundromat to wash my comforter so it doesn't get washed nearly as much as needed.  My new washing machine can wash a king sized comforter.  Now I will have no excuses.  Plus, I love how the front doors are glass so you can see your laundry (not that I'll be watching, but it looks good).

Have a happy and healthy week!


Fashionable Guest Blogger = Mrs. Cefali

I found this very fun fashion link-up with Heather for Pinned It and Did It and Bri for Third Thursday Threads.  Of course, the first person I thought of was Mrs. Cefali, our Resource Room teacher and a fashionista.  She even agreed to guest blog!

Here's a picture of Mrs. Cefali in her classroom:

Now presenting Mrs. Cefali's fashion insights!

Hello Fashion World!
If I wasn't a teacher, my second choice would definitely be a fashion designer.  There is nothing I like more than putting together clothes into new and interesting outfits!  Also - I love hunting for great SALES!
Shopping may look easy - but it's not!  You actually have to use math and self-questioning skills along the way.  You must ask yourself many questions before buying something!  First, when I'm shopping in my favorite stores, I look around.  Does anything catch my eye?  I look for color combinations that remind me of things I love, like summertime or the ocean.  Second, I check the price tag.  Is it a reasonable price?  If it is too expensive, I might tell myself to wait a while and see if it goes on sale.  I might save a little bit of money each week until I have saved up enough.  Or maybe, I might decide it is something that I do not really need...Third, is it comfortable?  Wearing things that are scratchy or rough is not ideal.  You want to feel good in your clothes, don't you?
Where can you find me shopping?  Well, many of the outfits I wear to work at the Goodyear are from New York and Company in Burlington.  I love it because they give special sales to teachers!!!  How generous!  I also like TJ Maxx.  They also have great bargains!
In my photo, the polka dot shirt I am wearing is something that when I first saw it, I decided that I should save my money.  However, several weeks later, it went on sale.  I was so surprised and excited!  The pants I am wearing look like fancy dress pants, don't they?  They are not though...can you keep a secret?  They are actually "yoga dress pants"!  They are soft and stretchy and are made to look like fancy pants (but they are not)!  Like I said before, comfort is very important!
Over the long weekend, I found a great bargain on a comfortable and unique blouse!  What makes it so special is that it has silver bars across each shoulder.  I liked it so much that I got it in TWO colors...Here it is in green (my favorite color of all)!  Keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks and see if you can figure out what other color I chose.  See if you can figure out my color fashion mystery!
Fashionably yours, Mrs. Cefali

Thanks to Mrs. Cefali for her fashion advice and guest blogging!

Fantastic Five For Friday - On Saturday!

Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

This week I read an amazing book - The Little "Read" Hen - by Dianne de Las Casas.  This book is a tremendous review of the writing process, and it is full of clever language and pictures.  My students and I LOVED this book.

We all loved the page with Starbawks Coffee :

The "Read" Hen got a very fancy "flappucino" drink.

This page at the end lists all the steps in the writing process and includes covers from famous books whose titles now have "chick" titles:

Please excuse the sideways picture of this page.  Of course, I'm probably breaking copyright law by taking pictures of pages of the book, but I just love these pages and had to share them with you.

Also, the author has a web site that has plenty of follow-up activities and other interesting information:

We learned A LOT about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  First, I read Martin's Big Words.  We followed up by reading a TPT book about Dr. King that also reviewed non-fiction text features.  Here's the link for that excellent product:

We also made an MLK craftivity with a writing prompt about our dreams.  Here's a close-up of Tayla's dream and how the finished product looks in the hall:

If you are interested, here's the link to the above activity:

To finish out the week, I gave the kids a writing prompt similar to those on our MCAS test.  They used the informational text from the top to write why Dr. King was famous.  Here's our very own beautiful Mrs. Borselli showing the acitivity:


We're also working on a flapbook on non-fiction text features.  Here's a link and picture for this fun and educational activity:

NonFiction Text Features (Polar Bear Edition)
NonFiction Text Features (Polar Bear Edition)

Last night I gave blood after waiting an hour and a half.  I know I gave - and possibly many of the other donors - because of a news story last week.  A young girl needed surgery at Children's Hospital in Boston,  Upon arriving at the hospital, the family learned the surgery needed to be postponed because there wasn't enough O negative blood (that's my type of blood!). Plus, there was a shortage of all blood in general.  Any way, the story ends well:  the girl had her surgery, and now the shortage has passed. 

Last week the weather was frigid due to the Arctic vortex.  According to my husband, this type of cold is normally reserved for Siberia and areas in the Arctic Circle.  Part of the vortex broke off, and now we're getting to experience extended periods of freezing weather.  The good news:  today it's going to be a high of 35 degrees, and it feels so much warmer already.  I walked the dog this morning, and I was "in my comfort zone" (as they say in Spinning class before you start simulating a steep hill).  Of course, I was wearing 2 hats, gloves under my REI heavy-duty mittens, thermal underwear, my long Landsend coat, my Sorel boots,...  - even wearing this, I was cold during the week.  Needless to say, today I was roasting, but I'm not complaining, IT'S A HEAT WAVE AT 35 degrees!

Happy Weekend!


Meet the Teacher - A New Link-Up!

Today I'm linking up with Trina from The Ordinary To Extraordinary Classroom for Meet the Teacher Monday. This week’s theme is Three Things.

1. Three Words to Describe Me: 

caring; hard-working; persistent

2. Three Things on My Bucket List: 

1.  Go to the Grand Canyon.
2.  Get to my goal weight.
3.  Be present.

3. My favorite music genre and 3 favorite songs: 

I like easy to indie music.  My 3 favorite songs:
1.  Pompeii by Bastille.
2.   We'll Be Counting Stars by One Republic
3.  Anna Sun by Walk the Moon

 4. The first 3 things I would buy first if I won the lottery: 

1.  A new Honda CRV
2.  A vacation place in York Beach, Maine
3.  A trip to the Grand Canyon

5. My favorite movie genre and 3 favorite movies:

I really do love romantic comedies.  My 3 favorite movies:
1.  Moonstruck
2.  The Lion King
3.   Bridget Jones's Diary

6. Three Character Flaws: 

1, 2, 3.  I worry/daydream/eat too much.

  7. Three Friendship Personality Deal breakers: 

1, 2, 3.  Someone who lies; who talks down to me; who is indifferent.

8. Three Things I Want More of: 

1.  Eat more chocolate without gaining weight.
2.  Read more interesting books.
3.  Have more warm and sunny weather.

If you would like to join, please head on over to Trina's blog to link up.
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