Friday, March 25, 2016

Blogging from McDonald's... with a freebie and a GIVEAWAY!

Oooh, I have a Freebie, a book review, and a GIVEAWAY today!! Thanks to Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky. Gotta love Five for Friday!

1.  What a glorious morning!

Well, THAT gorgeous morning was not THIS morning, but one last week. I love to see the dawn and that breathtaking sky, and feel like anything is possible. Usually I'm rushing around to get out the door with the oh-so-necessary three dozen bags a kindergarten teacher must always have on her person when she leaves the house. I share this so you can feel anything is possible on this Good Friday, too.

Because we don't have school today, I treated yesterday, Thursday, like IT was Friday. I mean it was the last day of the school week after all. On the way home I picked up a bunch of movie rentals– yes, we are among the rare citizens we don't have a million cable stations and movie subscriptions. We love Redbox where we simply grab a movie or two... or three for the night. I threw together a dinner and Jonathan and I settled in for mindless entertainment: Specter. Jonathan's choice, not mine... I've seen every James Bond movie that ever was because of the men in my life... brothers, boyfriends, husband... only one husband, thank goodness. We were halfway through when flicker, flicker, click. No power.

WHAT???? A whole glorious night of movie escapism ahead and now. no. power!!!! I even took a fifteen minute nap when I got home so I could stay up late! How were we to watch those red boxed discs now? Hmmpf.

I reported the problem to the electric company and signed up to get a text when the power came back on. We packed up the laptop, cord, earbuds, and movies- NOT Specter because it was stuck in the player which doesn't open without power– and headed to our favorite coffee shop. Coffee and chocolate cake only made the evening better. It was an adventure!!

Here we are camped out in the comfy chairs with the laptop between us. Gotta love selfies and how very attractive they make you look... my nose is really not that big...

We got back home about midnight, stumbling through the dark house and flipping every lightswitch as we went. We knew the power wasn't on yet because the porch light was still off, but for some reason we found we couldn't remember that fact from one room to the next. Stumble, grope, click. Hmmph. Stumble, grope, click. Sigh. Stumble, grope, click. Dang it why do I keep doing that! Both of us. Through the house. At every switch. I bet you didn't know there are magnets in lightswitches that make your hands automatically grope for them in the dark. What an interesting phenomenon.

This morning the power was still not on. No power, no heat, low overnight temps of 26 degrees. The adventure was over. I briskly hustled out of pajamas and headed off to breakfast with a teacher friend so I didn't have to open the fridge, and then camped out later at McDonald's to blog. McDonald's, on a Friday, when there is no school, and apparently not much else to do in town. Again, not so much an adventure. But what's a blogger to do.

Aren't these adorable! And so easy to make!

One of my students brought this in to me yesterday. Well, one of my former students. Don't you just love when they come back to see you. A real advantage of teaching kindergarten is that you know the kids for their entire six years at school.

I thought this was so cute I took a shot. And it's pretty easy to make. A rice crispie treat "nest" formed by pressing the mixture into a muffin tin, then some frosting to hold the jelly bean eggs and a Peep bird to the nest. These are probably all the go on Pinterest but I had never seen them before. If I'm ever again in a phase of life when I need to make such treats, I'll try these. And I'm going to pin my own photo up  there so I don't forget about it. Pinterest: the memory I don't have.

3.  I blogged about this game idea which I found on Pinterest a couple posts ago. I report on it again because it is a HUGE HIT!!

That is a foam die in my kiddo's hand. You simply drop the die into the center dish and it bounces into one of the dishes around the edge. It works amazingly well. It bounces right into one of those depressions 99.4% of the time like pure magic. It takes work to make it bounce out... which means if yours bounces out you worked at it... and you lose your turn. Funny how it only took one or two off bounces for off bounces never to happen again. They love it that much.

The game edition in the picture has two word wall words per bounce. Every student chooses one of the words to graph with every student's turn, which keeps everybody engaged and the words being read aloud all the time... and it seems like there is strategy because you get to CHOOSE the word... I don't need to tell you I've been teaching kindergarten a long time to come up with this exciting game version.

With the one below, the die has letters on it, and the kids write the word that is made with the letter that is up and the word chunk landed on.

They write the word on the "earthling" side or the "alien" side of the recording paper- surely on Mars they must say words like tig and bap.

The kids love writing nonsense words on our Alien sheet. You can download mine by clicking on it above. So nice Jonathan can draw Martians. Let the kids use it for recording real and nonsense words with any word chunk/word family manipulatives you put out in your classroom.

You can use the bounce tray to practice lots of concepts in reading, math or, well, anything. You'll find the dip tray at dollar stores. Post-it notes easy to use because you can switch out the same tray for many uses, though I do have several of these trays now. I shared it at our staff meeting with K-5 teachers. It really is fun to bounce and I caught several teachers giving it a go after I shared it. hee. I strongly recommend it to any teacher, no matter who or what you teach.

4.  My friends at Flashlight Press sent me a brand new book that is just hitting bookstores. It is called Hammer and Nails, written by Josh Bledsoe and illustrated by Jessica Warrick. If you are a regular reader you know I love the books Flashlight chooses to publish, and this one does not fail my high expectations.

This is the story of Darcy, whose plans for a playdate are foiled when her best friend gets sick. It's Daddy to the rescue as he orchestrates the day with activities from both Darcy's and his to-do list... except that they do them Daddy-style. Dressing up, mowing the lawn, Hair Salon and doing the laundry take on whole new meanings on this special day.

For the teacher or parent who keeps an eye out for learning opportunities, this delightful book is full of them. Dealing with disappointment, being flexible, trying new things, and making the mundane events of life FUN are all underlying themes in the book. I can think of lots of times in the classroom and in family life when this book would have extra appeal: Father's Day; as a baby gift inscribed with "Think of the good times ahead;" or as a gift for a daughter from a Papa who shares this approach to life.

When I read this one to my class, before they ever saw it, I asked what a book called Hammer and Nails might be about. Construction, of course. Then I asked them again when I showed them the cover. Hmmm. Then I asked a third time after we read it. That lead to a discussion of the meanings of nail and what a homonym was. Common Core standard on word meanings- nailed! snort.

Here are some shots of the book.

OF COURSE it has great endpapers and About-the-Author blurbs... a requirement for every good kids' book.

I told you it was good. You want this book and you can find it here...

5.  .... OR I might just send it to you!!!! Whoot Whoot! Yep, this is the giveaway I've been talking about. Well, writing about, but in my head I'm talking to you... babbling actually... excitedly babbling, as this is my FIRST ever giveaway. Flashlight has been oh so gracious enough to send me an extra copy. And all you have to do is sign up below. Yes, you have to follow via Bloglovin or email when you sign up because Flashlight Press wants more readers of the reviews I post, and I want more readers, period. All these wonderfully insightful, exciting, funny ideas I write about should be read by more people, right? So just fill in your name, how you are following, and your email address (so I can tell you when you win) into the Rafflecopter entry form below. Names and addresses do not become public on the blog. Rafflecoper will "pull the name out of the hat" on Saturday, April 2nd, at midnight eastern time, so you can enter until then!!  If you are already a follower, enter the contest and tell me how you follow. Come on, what do you have to lose?? I know you'll love the book!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ping!!! Hey, I just got the DTE message that the power at home is back on!!  Goodbye MickeyD's. I'm outta here!

Except, whoa, I almost forgot... the giveaway for Hammer and Nails is only my FIRST giveaway. A Hue document camera and another book are on the way- this one from Usborne! Be SURE to follow so you don't miss 'em!

See more, more, more good stuff by checking out Five for Friday!

And one. more. thing. Do you know about Oh-My-Heartsie Girl's link-up? We're talking lots of posts on tons of topics. If you're a teacher, mom, wife, daughter, grandma... you'll find something!  Click.

Well two. more. things. These bloggers are fired up and provide a great way to peruse blog topics on their Sunday Link-up, too. Click to see.

See you next time!!!


  1. The Hammer and Nails book looks so cute! I love your word chunk exercise with the dish.

    1. Hi Casey, I love your blog name! I hope you signed up to win! Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

  2. Oh gosh... no power... and you still managed to smile! I absolutely love the dice game. I love the "bounce" rule! ;)

    Take care,

    1. Well, sort of smiling :) Hope your kids love the dice game, too. See you next time, Cindy. Kathleen

  3. The book looks adorable! I love it. And I love your sightword game. The kids will love it, too. Thank you so much for sharing it. Sorry about the power and no movie escape. That's so disappointing. :( Happy Easter, Kathleen!

    1. Hi Carolyn! Have fun with the game. And Happy Easter to you to. Kathleen

  4. I love the word game and that book looks adorable!

  5. That book looks so cute! Even if I don't win I'm going to have to buy it! Love, love the dice game. I can even see using this in a math setting too. You always have such fun, great ideas. Glad your power is back on, what a good sport you are having movie night "out". Have a fabulous Easter!

    Luv My Kinders

    1. Hi Laura! I wish you luck in the giveaway- it is cute. And movies at a coffee shop are a pretty good concept to stumble upon :) Thanks for stopping by! Kathleen

  6. You and your hubbie handled the power outage so well by turning it into an adventure! The book looks really cute!

    1. Thanks. I was glad to find your post, too. I'm finding all sorts of people through the link-ups. Thanks for stopping by! Kathleen

  7. What a beautiful morning and great way to start your day! Love the craft snack idea with the little peep! Thanks for sharing! #SmallVictories

    1. Thanks Danita. Love your linky with so many diverse ideas to stumble upon. Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen


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