Ho,ho, ho ~ Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to you!  

Thank you so much for checking in as I link up with Andrea, Erika,and Narci for Friday Favorites;and Anna Nuttall's Bloggers Link-Up.

A Must Read Holiday Book!

Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant is based on the real life event of the Santa Train that travels and delivers presents to children in the Appalachian Mountains.

Click on the book to read more at Amazon!

Every year Frankie hopes for a doctor's kit in a silver package.  Instead he gets mittens, socks, a police car.  Frankie leaves his home in West Virginia and returns as an adult.  Your students will LOVE this book!

After reading, I have my students write a letter from their heart which is then wrapped in an aluminum foil folder.  This "silver package" becomes the holiday gift for their parents.  Check out these two examples:

I think it's so important for the kids to thank their parents ~ at least once and a while!  Plus, a gift from the heart is the best gift of all!

Winter Has Arrived!

In addition to the Winter Solstice and the week before Christmas, we had a full moon ~ which is a rare occurrence.  Luckily, it was also "Look on the Bright Side" Day!

Are you a Fruit Loop or a Cheerio?  I am definitely a Fruit Loop for many reasons!

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today, and I wish you the BEST of holidays!


Happy December Weekend!

Hello there, and welcome to another edition of Friday Features from the Blended Blog
and Bloggers' Link-Up from Anna Nuttall:


Gallery Walk of Writing = A Great Experience!

My students and I are extremely lucky to have our Reading Specialist, Mrs. Seminara, visit us twice a week to work on writing using Lucy Calkins' Up the Ladder Program!  One of the activities involved doing a writing gallery walk in which students had to opportunity to read and comment upon their classmates' writing:

Still in School Next Week ~ ?

If you're lucky like me, you'll be in school until next Friday looking for educational and fun activities.  I just wrote a blog post at my Conversation From The Classroom with some FREE activites:


Storybird = Writing on the Computer = FUN FOR ALL!

I recently discovered Storybird which is a FREE web site that offers kids the opportunity to write picture books or poems on the computer.  

Now that we have Chromebook carts, it's so much easier to use the computers.  First the kids work on Lexia or Freckle which gives the kids reading and math practice.

After 20 minutes, the kids can make Powerpoints on Google slides or head over to Storybird.  The kids LOVE to write and create on the computer!


Ivory Ella = Excellent Shirts for an Excellent Cause!

If you're tired of spending a LOT of MONEY for famous named shirts, head over to Ella Ivory where you can purchase elephant-themed clothing and jewelry at a more reasonable price point.  In addition, the company donates part of the profits to Save the Elephants and other charitable organizations:


Do you have any fun suggestions for holiday activities or gifts?  Please let me know in the comments!


Currently ~ It's A Delightful December!

Happy December everyone!  Time is flying by which means that it's time to link up with Anne of Anne in Residence for:



I found this great mini-Cornhole game in Marshall's, but you can get it on Amazon for less:


My younger son, Andrew (age 25), liked it so much that it ordered it on the spot on Amazon Prime from his phone.  Unfortunately for me, it was out of stock last weekend, and I needed it for a party last night for a Yankee swap gift so I had to use the one I purchased in Marshall's. 


I only bake cookies if they're break and bake:


Next time I make s'mores, I'm going to make them in the oven.  Click here to check out that recipe.  Now that's my type of baking when it's too cold to go outside to make them at the fire pit!


In sixth grade, I was the only girl who didn't make the chorus ~ due to being totally tone deaf.  Consequently, I do not sing ~ except with my third graders in the morning when we do morning exercises!

My favorite holiday song is the piano version Schroeder plays!


My students completed all their gingerbread men with their letters about Massachusetts for our gingerbread exchange.  They came out really cute!

These are last year's gingerbread, but we used the same "accessory packs" for this year's version!


I'm still trying to put away my autumn decorations!  It seems like December came so fast, and it's still technically the fall.  I do decorate with snowmen though so that I can keep my decorations up all winter!

Thanks for visiting the blog today!  I'd love to hear how you're doing!  Happy Weekend!


Thankful for Traditions!

Thanksgiving has come and gone!  We still had school on Monday and Tuesday as well as a half day on Wednesday.  Last Friday, it snowed and then rained on top of about 5 inches of the white stuff so we had a two hour delay, and winter is still a month away!  In the meantime, I'm delighted to link up with The Blended Blog for Friday Features and 

Anna Nuttall's Bloggers Link-Up.

Thankful Turkey Feathers ~ One Tradition

Every year I love adding my students' thankful feathers to the turkey in the hall.  It's a quick and easy activity that gives the kids a chance to think about all the good things in their lives:


Click here or on the picture to check out this fun project!

Turkey Trot ~ A New Tradition

Our PTO started a new fund-raising tradition this year by having the kids walk laps around the track while raising money.  One of my student's parents lent her turkey to the cause:

We are thankful for the Wampanoags!

In Social Studies, we are learning about the First People ~ the Wampanoags.  As a project, we make this very fun Wampanoag home site:

Click here to get the pattern for the wetu (wigwam) and here for the mishoon (canoe) or here for another canoe template.

Rescuing Sea Turtles

Check out my younger son, Andrew, as he rescues an endangered sea turtle on Cape Cod:

If you want to read more about sea turtle rescue, you can click right here.

That is all my exciting news and updates for now.  Thank you for checking in.  I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving!


Celebrating Veterans Day, Multiplication Capes & A New Way to Write!

Hello!  I'm so happy that you chose to visit the blog today as I link up with Jan From Laughter and Consistency for Saturday Sum-Up

The Blended Blog for Friday Loves

and Anna Nuttall's Bloggers Link-Up!

Celebrating Veterans!

Last week the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers at my school organized a Veterans Day assembly.  We did the dress rehearsal at the beginning of the week, and the actual assembly was on Friday.  All the kids did an amazing job!  My students all dressed patriotically for the occasion:

The other third grade teachers and I also dressed for the occasion:

From left:  me; Ms. Lindstrom; Ms. Aufiero

Multiplication Superhero Capes

Last year my genius colleague, Ms. Linstrom, thought of implementing these multiplication superhero capes.  Each time students master a set of facts, they get that number to stick on their cape.  This year all three 3rd grade classes have multiplication capes.  So far, we've mastered our zero and one times facts.  The kids LOVE their new capes:

Up the Ladder Writing Program

Last week, our Reading Specialist, Mrs. Seminara, visited to introduce the kids to this new verions of Lucy Calkins' writing program called Up the Ladder:

This is Mrs. Seminara's anchor chart.

In this program, the kids start by sketching their stories.  After sketching, the kids begin writing:

We'll be continuing this writing project next week!

Tomorrow (Monday, November 12th), we have the day off for the observance of Veterans Day.  I'm hoping to finish rearranging the changeover from summer to winter clothes in my closet.

Have a wonderful week, and thank you for checking in!


In November!

Hello there, and thanks for visiting today as I link up with Anne in Residence for:


Now that it's getting dark so early, I'm really appreciating my cozy candles that are on a timer.  These candles just add that touch of light that I'm missing:

Researching & Posting

If you're in the market for new Thanksgiving books, I've just written a new blog post about this for a collaborative blog, Conversations from the Classroom.  Click here or on the picture to check out these new titles!



Tomorrow is my delivery date for my next Hello Fresh meals which include these exciting meals:

Chicken Bibimbap for Dinner

Chicken Bibimbap for Dinner

with a Korean Burrito for Lunch
Beef Taco Flatbreads

Beef Taco Flatbreads

with Poblano and Jalapeño Peppers plus Two Kinds of Cheese

Buttered-Up Steak

Buttered-Up Steak
with Roasted Potatoes and Garlicky Green Beans

I usually get a Hello Fresh box once a month so that I can make something out of the ordinary because I make the same meals all the time...


Tonight I cooked these delicious turkey burgers in my new grill pan which I use all the time.  It's so much easier than standing out in the cold!

Happy Veterans Day!  Thank you for visiting the blog today!


Happy Daylight Savings Time!

Happy November!  I survived last week with all its excitement, namely Halloween ~ the day of and the day after!  Now I'm honored to link up with Jan from Laughter and Consistency for Saturday Sum-Up;
The Blended Blog for Feature Friday;
Anna Nuttall for Bloggers Links-Up for:


Who Loves Candy Corn?

On the way to work last Tuesday, I heard that it was National Candy Corn Day on the radio so I knew that I had to include Candy Corn in my Morning Message:

Click here or on the Morning Message to see the original Pin.

Happy Halloween ~ Dress Up Like A Book Character

Check out our class on Halloween:

Check out my colleague, Ms. Lindstrom and me, all decked out as book characters:

Listening = Important Life Skill

Life is full of distractions.  Learning to listen is becoming a lost art.  That's why I like to emphasize the importance of actively listening to my students:

Do you have at least one person who you can count on to listen to you?  If so, you are quite lucky!

Gabi the Dog Claims My New Couch

Last spring my husband and I purchased a beautiful navy blue velour couch.  We claimed that Gabi would never be on the couch.  However, when we're at work ~ or even home ~ she'll quietly and discretely climb onto the new couch.  So much for our resolution...

It's rough being a spoiled dog!

Alas, I'm off to finish my weekend work ~ namely laundry and cleaning!  Have a wonderful week ahead!

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