February Five For Friday

This past week was the first week back after February vacation so I'm delighted to link up for Doodle Bugs':


We have been learning about landforms in Science:

The Map Lady visited, and the kids created maps of Woburn:

Change is Simple (click here to learn more about them) came to visit on Friday:

While I've been on my Family Medical Leave, I've had the BEST substitute.  She even makes her own Morning Messages:

Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, you are AMAZING!

Me, I'm spending most of my time sitting by my father's bed at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House (click here to learn more about this amazing place).  I'm so lucky to have this peaceful and caring place for my father; and it's only two miles from my house so I come here A LOT.  These days he sleeps A LOT and can't talk, but it's important for me to be here.

Right next to the Hospice House is a school where my friend, Kathy, works.  I went to have lunch with her on Thursday and visited several third grade classes:



Show and Tell Tuesday + Sharing at Morning Meeting = Two for Tuesday!

Hello there and thanks for stopping by!  Today I'm linking up with Forever in Fifth Grade for:


 and A Word on Third to share some Morning Meeting actvities:


I Have, Who Has Games.

This is one example of the game we play every day at Morning Meeting.  I have made a set for each Science and Social Studies unit as well as general review sets.  I get most of the shapes of the Dollar Store; although this set of hot air balloons was made from a template.  I always laminate the cards so that they will last.  Here's a link if you want to download a Microsoft Word document to make your own game (click here.)

Zoom:  the Game

The student who begins the activity says “Zoom!” and quickly turns his head quickly to face a classmate on either her right or left. That student passes the Zoom to the next person, and so on around the circle. You can challenge the group to go faster and use a stopwatch to time them.  Source:  Responsive Classroom.

          = Zoom!

Although these are over a year old, they show examples of the two types Morning Messages I post in my classroom:

I'll be showing and discussing more about Morning Messages next week, but I often go back and review the ones I've written and use them again.

I'm still on my Family Medical Leave.  I heard back from the social worker from Hospice about availability in the Sawtelle Hospice House which is close to my house.  My father has been living with me for almost 5 weeks.  Last night he was trying to "sneak" onto the chair next to his bed (I guess he does this every night), and he fell.  My husband and I managed to get him back into the bed, but...I need to keep him and me safe.  Life is full of difficult decisions, and he claims he'll be "homesick" at the Hospice House.  Of course, I'll just be sitting at the Hospice House instead of my own house, but at least I know my father will be safe and have around the clock care.


Five For Friday Valentine Style!

Hello there!  Thanks for visiting today!  I continue to be home with my father who is in hospice and living with me.  However, I do go to work on Friday, and since we celebrated Valentines Day, I have plenty to report for this link-up!


Six days of the week I care for my father.  I have an incredible respect and admiration for all health care workers - it is A LOT OF WORK!  Every morning it takes 30 minutes to get my father out of bed; dressed; shaved;...Last week, my wonderful hairdresser came to the house to give him a haircut:

Gabi the Dog follows my father from room to room all day.  She even woke me up one morning when I didn't hear my father calling.  Dogs are amazing!
Last week we received plenty of creative valentines from the Valentines Exchange:

 They're all displayed in the hallway across from our classroom - if you'd like to check them out in person.
 We had a great Valentines Day party.  We used the idea from Owl You Need is Love for the adorable owl valentine bags!

How cute is that "Bon appetit" from my colleague, Ms. Aufiero!  She found this at CVS - how lucky is that!

For the games portion of the party, we played ping pong games!  I got these ideas here.

 We had four stations to visit!  One involved building a tower out of candy hearts (no hearts were eaten during this activity!); tossing a ping pong in a cup; and two bouncing ping pong ball off of paddles or utensils.  Even Mr. Kessaris joined in the fun!

At the end of the day, we  had a Character Assembly for respect:

Make sure to check out over great blogs over at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Happy Valentines Day!


Top Ten Candy List/Morning Meeting Greetings = Two Link-Ups!

Candy is one of my favorite things!  That's why I'm linking up with The Third Grade Nest for a Top Ten Candy List!

My all-time favorite candy is the Sky Bar!  Check it out:

When my children were young, we lived near a store called "The Candy Castle" ( it was in Melrose and closed a few years back).  In addition to candy, The Candy Castle sold slush.  We were daily year-round customers.  It helped that I could pile the kids in the stroller and walk down.  Added bonus:  there was a commuter rail station across the street with a bench so we could eat our slush and watch the trains go by.  Every time I went to the Candy Castle, I bought 2 Sky Bars - one for me and one for my husband.  Those Sky Bars were our special treat and reward.  I always gave the caramel section to my husband as I am not a big fan of caramel.  I thoroughly enjoyed the other sections.

Any time I have an opportunity to eat Peanut M & M's, I take advantage.  Of course, I LOVE most candy - except caramel and white chocolate - which I don't consider real candy.  If you do ever come across a Sky Bar, I highly recommend it!

  In addition, I'm linking up with A Word on Third for:


 The first few weeks of school, I always start the greeting with "Good Morning ____________" or "Hello _____________" and a hand shake.  Then I change the greeting to include:

* Hola _______________.

* Happy Hump Day ______________.

* TGIF ______________________.

* Bonjour/ Oi / Buenos dias.

Other alternates to a hand shake include:

* High five

* Fist pump

* Pinky shake

After about four weeks, I ask the Line Leader if he/she would like to start the greeting.  Usually, the Line Leader is delighted to take on this responsibility.  Now I only need to start the greeting if the Line Leader is absent.

I'm excited about this link-up because I'm always looking for ways to improve/diversify my Morning Meeting!  Please try to link up with  A Word on Third! 


Wow - February is here!

Now that I'm on Family Medical Leave, I've lost track of time.  It's a good thing that I follow Oh' Boy It's Farley! or I might have missed out on Currently:

This morning I took my father to the hospital to get a drain inserted to prevent his lung from filling up with fluid.  I'm happy to report that the procedure was a success!

January was an all-around tough month.  During the first two weeks, my father kept calling 911; ending up in the hospital; going home; calling 911....until I told him that "I'm taking over."  He was NOT happy that I was making him go on hospice and move to my house.  Now he's been here for a little over two weeks, and I'm adjusting to the constant call of  "Susan!"  I also brought him home a bell from school - that may have been a mistake.  Of course, he wants to go to bed early and then he wakes up early; as soon as I hear the walker, I know it's time to get out of bed.  It's like having a toddler.  Caretaking is HARD work!

This warm weather and sun feels amazing!  I'm sure Floridians would consider the 50's and 60's cold, but it feels so great to feel the sun shining on your face at this time of year in Massachusetts.  I have spring fever in a bad way!

Happy Groundhog Day!


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