Talk Turkey To Me!

How many of y'all are in scramble mode right now?! Scrambling to get things planned and prepped for your Thanksgiving festivities...and I don't mean your homebound celebrations.  I thought I'd throwback to some old things I've done in my classroom for Thanksgiving and share a couple of new things with you as well.  If you're still not done planning and prepping, maybe these ideas will help!

First up, here are my favorite Thanksgiving books!



Before I throwback, here's a little something new for this year.  I created this supplemental math & literacy resource full of printables and writing craftivities to get you through the week.  There's a fun little non-fiction reader all about the very first Thanksgiving, too.  I love any chance I can get to incorporate non-fiction elements into my instruction.  


Here's a peek at the writing craftivities...


Now let's throwback, shall we?!

These little whimsical turkeys are from last year and they turned out SO great!  This was one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda activities that I came up with as I was reading to my kids.  As they were completing their writing, I was cutting out all the parts.  I know I'm not the only one who's done this before ;)

If you wanna snatch this craftivity up and use it in your own classroom this week, just click on the pic below.


After reading The Great Turkey Race a couple of years ago, my kids extended their thinking by writing about the beginning/middle/end of the story and then we displayed their writing on these darling little turkeys.  And they made me laugh every time I looked at them.  I would LOVE to share a template with y'all, but I don't have one that I can find.  I mean, I know I have one, but heck if I know where it is!!  Shoved in a box at the bottom of a pile in storage, I'm sure.  SO sorry!!!!


Let's go back to 2011 for this one.  We created these little old lady's after reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.  Again, no template....SADSVILLE...but these would be pretty simple to recreate.  I just cut out a face...then some hair...and a big black mouth...we used googly eyes and then had the kids draw glasses around them.  The writing prompt was "If I were the little old lady, I would swallow....." and then they had to write about a Thanksgiving food they would eat.  Then they drew the picture of that food item, cut it out, and glued it in the old lady's mouth.  TOO funny!!!





Here's a little share from 2011.  We were working on character traits/details at the time and this little follow-up activity was the perfect way to reinforce that skill.  We read "The Littlest Pilgrim" (one of my favorites!!!) and then the kids made their own and wrote complete sentences describing the main character.  When I displayed their work, I included the anchor chart we created to keep as a learning visual/reminder.


These were always a favorite to hang up in the room during November.  My kids loved showing off their work when their families visited the room for VIP day the Friday before our long week off.  



This giant class graph was so much fun, too!!!  A perfect little activity from Deanna Jump's Thanksgiving packet.
This is usually how my room looked in November, too.  Excessive.  And fantastically exciting for the kids.  

And can you spot First Grade Blue Skies pilgrims in the back there?!?!?  LOVE THOSE!!!


We'll go back all the way to 2010 for this one.  These are the little Mayflowers you see sitting on the desks above.  We made these out of grocery sacks.  I'd share the template with you, but they're not my idea and I don't want to share someone else's creation :)  However, they were super simple to create!  We attached a pencil to the back of the sack to hold up the sail and then filled the inside with facts about the Mayflower.

Of course, before we could write about the Mayflower, we had to read as many non-fiction stories about it as we could.  And then we kept up an anchor chart to which we continually added facts.  


And if you're going on the Mayflower, you have to pack for it, too.  Here are our suitcases filled with all the things we would take if we were pilgrims.



Speaking of pilgrims, this was my most FAVORITE project EVER!!!  I absolutely LOVED the way each of these turned out.  First we created a Venn diagram comparing Pilgrim boys and girls to boys and girls today.  Then I had the kids write about something they would do if they were a pilgrim boy/girl.  They used their computer time to draw a picture of themselves as a pilgrim boy/girl on KidPix.  I absolutely ADORED the way they all looked!!!  SO cute!!!


We also made little pilgrims to hang up with a little writing that compared what the kids can do today (or have today) that the pilgrim boys and girls couldn't do (didn't have) back then.  


Now let's stay in 2010 and talk about another one of my favorite projects.  My little symmetrical turkeys.  I absolutely LOVED how different and unique each one turned out.  I cut out a simple peanut shape for the turkey body and then had the kids cut their own beak, wattle, and feet.  They had the option to cut out or draw on their eyes.  I cut out the pattern block shapes on our school die cut machine, but I'm pretty sure you can donwload pattern block templates online (free), too!  I had the kids start with their pattern first...building onto the yellow octagon...and then going out from there.  Then they glued the little turkey bodies to the top of that.  These were always a class favorite!


While we're talking about turkeys, let's talk about these little placemats we made.  The turkey body was created from tracing their feet and the feathers, of course, their handprints.  Then we read the poem together and used this as a handwriting activity...letting the kids print the poem onto a piece of writing paper then gluing it next to the turkey on a large piece of construction paper.  We laminated these and used them at our Thanksgiving feast then sent them home with the kids as a keepsake. So sweet.



If you're working on fact families, this might be a fun little something to squeeze in this week, too!  I don't have a template, but this can easily be recreated.  You can read more about this HERE.


Hope your week is as full of fun as possible!!!  You will definitely earn your break!!!  

Celebrating Veteran's Day (Freebies, Too!)

If you're anything like me, you are always looking for more ideas and resources to add to your ever growing collection.  I do this for EVERYTHING.  Constantly looking for new ideas...more resources...and more time.  If anybody can tell me where I can find more time, I'd really appreciate it ;)  


That to be said, I want to share with you a few ideas to help you get ready for Veterans Day {next week...ALREADY!!!! Gah!!!}  


I absolutely LOVE teaching my kids about veterans and the sacrifices they make for our freedom.  At my old school, veterans related to the students were invited to an assembly and honored with speeches and songs and we finished it all off with a parade around the school.  It was so cool.   The assembly was streamed in all the classrooms so that everyone could watch. At my current school, we celebrate by inviting veterans to lunch...tables are decorated and the walls in the cafeteria and the hallways are, too.  It's such a sweet day.

We read several books leading up to and on Veterans Day to help teach the kids about this holiday.
These are some of my personal favorites...

I keep these books in our library center through the month of November.  My kids read them during their read to self/someone block of time and they also use these books to write some pretty great stories.  "Hero Dad" is such a sweet book and "The Wall" always makes me cry.  Make sure your tissues are nearby if you read that one aloud.

After reading a few of  our nonfiction books, we create anchor charts to display.  These are a few examples of anchor charts I created with my class the last few years.

I like to display the kids' Veterans Day writing around the anchor charts to tie everything together. 


Last year we read the book, "My Hero", and I had the kids write a text to self connection with this little writing activity...
I mean, seriously.
"My hero is my mom because she takes care of me."  
Can my boys please write something like this for me?! I MELT!!!!

In addition to our text to self writing, we also wrote what we LEARNED about Veterans and Veterans Day.  I loved displaying this in the hallways!  
I included the writing & craftivity templates in my Veterans Day mini pack.

This year I'm adding something new to the mix with this writing craftivity.  It's a great way to incorporate our theme based vocabulary, too!  



I love adding poetry and music to every theme/unit.  I made up this one and my boys are already humming the tune to themselves.  I can't get it out of my head, either!  HA!!! 
We always add a printable version of our songs and poems to our poetry folders.  I like to write the words on sentence strips, too...then I add them to my pocket chart center and encourage the kids to assemble them in sequential order, practice one-to-one matching, etc.  We use the printable version for highlighting sight words, spelling patterns, etc.  The printable version of this song is in my Veterans Day mini pack.

My boys always get excited when I create new things for my teacher friends.  I was printing a few things out the other day and they insisted on trying it all out.  It sparked a really great discussion about Veterans Day, too.  I promised them I'd pull out my Veterans Day books for bedtime stories this week.  Their favorite activity was this little Roll and Color Word Family printable.  They, of course, turn everything into a race so they were determined to see who could color the soldier first and fastest!  When I told them the prize was a kiss from mommy, they seemed less than excited to finish the race first...hahahaha!  They begged for candy kisses instead.  Oh, BOYS!!!


They also loved these little math booklets.  I included two different versions in my Veterans Day mini pack to target differing ability levels.  Landon zipped through the Armed Forces Addition...very sloppily {little toot!!!}, my poor lefty...and Grant loved his "jutht-right-for-me-book, right-mom?!?!" version.  They boys are enamored with soldiers so these were right up their alley.




You can check out my "Patriotic Holidays" board on Pinterest for some more GREAT ideas and links to some really neat resources {videos, online stories, freebies, craft ideas, etc.}.




Here are a few FREE printables for you to add to your ever growing collection of "stuff".    Hopefully they'll help you out when you're planning for your Veterans Day festivities, too!



Now it's your turn.  What do you do to help your kids learn about Veterans Day?  Does your school do anything special to celebrate?!  I'd love to hear more!


Problem Solving in the Primary Grades

Are you sitting down?!  Good.  Because this may or may not be a lengthy post.  On the off chance that it is {& by off chance, I mean it is}, go ahead and grab yourself a little something to sip on...and don't forget your snacks, too!  

Let's go ahead and talk a little bit about....


I don't know what it is, but I love teaching math concepts and skills.  This always makes my mom laugh something fierce because I STILL...at 30 something...have to CALL HER when there's a sale so that she can tell me how much I'll be saving.  If it's 10%, I got it.  50% off is even better.  I mean, I can definitely tell you what half off is.  Anything MORE than that and I know I'm getting a good deal.  But if I want a specific dollar amount, I have to call her every.single.time.  I'm sure there's an app for that, but calling my mom has become a habit.

Anyway...I digress...

One of the most important skills we can teach our kids is how to solve problems.  While I definitely believe this is a skill that has to be modeled, I also feel like our kids can teach us a whole lot about problem solving, too.  We need to be the wind in their sails and guide them, but y'all, they can definitely show you some different ways to think when it comes to solving a problem.  

One of the most beneficial math trainings I ever received was on CGI (cognitively guided instruction).  You can read more about it HERE. I dug my heels in at first...the thought of being out of my classroom for 2 days at the time just seemed a bit much.  Would I really learn anything?!?!?!  (I know y'all feel the same way before attending a PD workshop!!)  But WOW.  Learn I did.  And A LOT.  I immediately came back into the classroom and implemented the strategies I learned.  And teaching using CGI taught me so much about what kind of a learner I am, too.

All that to be said, I strongly believe that incorporating word problems into your daily routine is SO important.  Yes, even in Kindergarten.  It can, and should, be done.  I received my CGI training my 2nd year teaching {I was in Kindergarten} and I've been using the same strategies and methods ever since.  And I LOVE watching my kids become such math minded thinkers using these strategies in the classroom!

Here are some simple and easy ideas for incorporating word problems & problem solving into your daily routine!


One way I like to incorporate problem solving in the classroom is with my little Mailbox Math.


I blogged about my Mailbox Math idea back in 2012 and you can read more about it HERE.  Not only is it a great way to incorporate literacy and math skills, but I used it as a way to get my kids TALKING about HOW they solved the problem. After giving the kids a few minutes to independently solve the problem {using manipulatives}, I'd call on several of my friends and ask them to  EXPLAIN their thinking.  What is the problem asking us?  What clues tell you that?  What did you do first?  Why?  Then what did you do?  Why?  Why did you use that strategy?  What did you come up with?  Etc., etc., etc.
This was SO powerful...getting kids to talk it out really gives you a perfect little glimpse into their thinking and it helps the other kids to see that the same answer can be achieved using different strategies.  POWERFUL!!!!  

Another whole group problem solving activity I loved to incorporate was my muffin tin math word problems.

For this activity, I took a mini muffin tin and labeled each section with a number {using an expo marker}.  You can use any numbers as long as the answers to your word problems are included.  I printed out addition and subtraction word problems on two different colored papers and then hung them on a ring.  I liked using two different colors to differentiate between addition and subtraction problems so that if I wanted to focus on either/or, I could find the problems quickly!!  

I divided my class into two teams and gave each team a number line and a set of little pom poms.  Each team was assigned one specific color pom pom {ex:  red for Team A, yellow for Team B}  Then I'd take my word problem ring and call out a prompt.  The first team to correctly solve the problem got to place their pom pom on the matching sum/difference in the muffin tin.  The first team to get 4 pom poms in a row {horizontal/diagonal/vertical} wins!

I also used this activity as an independent work station.  This worked best when there was at least 1 person at that station who was a strong reader.  If they were playing alone, they would read the word problem, solve, place the pom pom on the matching sum/differnce, and continue until they filled 5 spaces in the tin {they didn't have to be in a row}.  At that same independent muffin tin math station, I'd keep a number line and a problem solving pointer {craft stick with a googly eye adhered to the tip}.  I love using these particular pointers for the number line because they're easy to move and fun to look at!  HA!  Again, using two different colors to differentiate between addition and subtraction problems helped me to differentiate independent learning.  If I had friends struggling with addition, I'd say, "when you visit the muffin tin math tub, only use the pink cards" and vice versa.  

Another way I incorporate independent word problem practice is with my Print & Practice Problem Solving activities.

I like to laminate them and cut out the counters on the bottom of each sheet, place them in baggies, and then into a math tub.  The kids can pick out their problem solving baggie, use the counters to help them solve the problem, and then use an expo/vis-a-vis to write a matching number sentence.  This works great for the draw and solve problems, too.  

I also love that these print and practice activites can be copied and bound into a working math notebook, copied for homework/morning work, or used for small group intervention.  Any time I can get my kids to physically solve problems using their hands/objects/etc. I'll do it!  They're perfect for a quick "no prep print & go" type activity, too!

If you're interested, you can grab a few FREE SAMPLE PAGES from the packet HERE.  Just click on the "PREVIEW" button on the page.



Another way I incorporate independent problem solving into my day is with my Spin a Word Problem Spinners...

I found these spinners at the Dollar Tree a few years ago, but you could use ANY spinner...or even dice!  You could use any number amounts, too.  

For this activity, I have my kids take out their math journals and then spin two spinners.  They have to use the two numbers on which they land in a word problem.  They can create an addition or a subtraction problem.  I model for them how to circle/highlight/underline the clues in the problem and then answer their problem in a complete sentence.  They also have to include an illustration to show their work as well as a matching number sentence.  

I love how open-ended this activity is and it lends itself to engaging those higher order thinking skills as well.  My oldest, Landon, THRIVES on these types of activities.  I mean, he LOVES creating word problems.  The power of choice is so important for these little babies!!!!  They need that autonomy to take ownership of what they're learning!!!


Here's another take on the same activity using only ONE spinner...

Kids will spin only 1 spinner and then use the number on which they land as either the answer to a problem {sum/difference} or as a number that is part of the problem (addend).  They can choose to create an addition or subtraction problem, but they have to highlight/circle/underline the clues, answer in a complete sentence, and include an illustration and number sentence to support their thinking.  

I really do love teaching math to my little primary friends.  I love watching their thinking evolve and blossom.  For lack of more articulate phrasing, it's SO COOL to watch them grow into such math minded little thinkers.  There are so many simple ways to incorporate problem solving on a daily basis and I hope these activities help you in your classroom!  

Now tell me, how do you incorporate problem solving into your routine?!





Currently.

Hello friends!  

Happy Sunday!!!!  

AND...

I don't know if y'all feel the same way, but seriously....where'd October go?!  November??  ALREADY?!?!? That means it's time to start Christmas shopping.  And decorating.  And finding my elastic pants.  Lawd knows I'll need those these next few months {for the love of carbs!!!!!}

This weekend has been filled with craziness and lots of memory making.  We had a wonderful Halloween, but we had to spend it without Mr. Spouse.  This is the first Halloween he hasn't been with us for trick-or-treating.  Ahhhh....the joys of Friday night lights {not!!!!}  My boys decided to dress up as a ninja and Skylander {Spyro, to be exact}.  I took my love of leopard print to a whole new level and decided to dress up as one...kind of.  I found this great tutorial online and painted my face accordingly.  Then we headed out with the family and went trick-or-treating.  I just LOVE Halloween!!

This year I made the boys' teachers and their friends a few homemade Halloween treats.  You can read all about 'em HERE.  Let me just tell you that I have ZERO restraint when it comes to cookies.  Like, none at all.  And when candy is involved?!  Fuggedaboutit.



And do you see my precious nephew up there?!?!?!  ELLIOT?!  E.T. phone home!!!!  I DIE!!!!  That has to be the CUTEST costume ever!  And it doesn't hurt that he's about as precious as they come :)  

Now moving on...

I'm linking up with Farley for a little Currently fun this month....



LISTENING:  I'm listening to Hozier on Spotify.  Over.  And over.  And over again.  I absolutely ADORE this man. And his voice. And ALL of his music.  My current favorites are From Eden, Cherry Wine, and of course, Take Me To Church.

LOVING:  I'm absolutely LOVING this weather.  It's pretty cool here and while I'm absolultely NOT a fan of the cold, I do love that it's cool enough to wear jeans and a long sleeve tee without melting in a puddle of sweat.  Ewwwwwww.  #TMI

THINKING:  I do love to decorate although I'm not the trendiest decorator.  My tastes have changed tremendously in the last few years.  We have a "mystery" sitting room at the front of the house and lots of gifted furniture.  I want to regift that to my brother and his soon-to-be-wife and start from scratch.  And I'm DYING to repaint my kitchen cabinets.  Farmhouse white.  I **think** that's my style.  I'm so drawn to the farmhouse look and feel.  We'll see if it actually happens!!!

WANTING:  In my opinion, it's never to early to start decorating.  Unless you're Hobby Lobby...you guys really need to back off on stocking the shelves with holiday goodies in June. #depressing  I really need to take down all the Halloween decor and start going to town with Christmas.  But man...it's Sunday and I'm really enjoying the coziness of this couch at the moment :)

NEEDING:  To pray more and worry less. I pray a lot.  All the time.  But I need to pray more.  And worrying doesn't help, so I need to stop that.  I really do.  I try so hard not to, but when you're a mom, you come by it honest.  More prayer!!!!!  

READING:  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  SO good y'all.  So, so good.  This clearly isn't  a very educated literary critique, but if you're looking for something inspiring and uplifting, you need to check it out.  With that said, I'm only a chapter into the book :)  This has been on my list for about 4 years now and I'm so glad to finally dive in!!!  

Hope your November is off to a great start!  Can't wait to share with you what's on tap for November!!!  Have a great week!!!

Odd & Even Anchor Activity

Do y'all use anchor activities in your room?  I do!  I refer to them as anchor activities & desserts...a little something for the kids to do {independently} when they're stuck or when they're finished with their work.  I love anchor activities because they lend themselves to easy differentiation.  They give kids a sense of independence and autonomy, too.  

 The activities I include in mine are concept/skill specific and thematic.  I keep them out for a few weeks, until I feel the novelty is wearing off, or until the themtic unit of study comes to an end. The activities included are always independent activities or activities that can be played with a partner.  Nothing I put in my anchor activity/dessert tubs requires reteaching.  I mean, I introduce the activity{ies} to them, but they aren't coming up to me every 5 seconds asking, "how do I do this?!?!?!?"  Too much redirection defeats the purpose!!!

If you're anything like me, you're always looking for more activities to incorporate into your anchor activity/dessert tubs.   I thought I'd share this quick and easy activity I shared with my friends at the TN 1st grade conference.  This is a perfect activity for K & 1.  Even though this particular skill may not be in your standards, it's still a concept that has to be taught....and reinforced.  And when are you supposed to do that if it's not in your curriculum?!?  ANCHOR/DESSERT TUBS, of course!  




Materials needed: 120's chart, 2 different colored counters, a coin {the one pictured above is oversized and huge...I got it several years ago at the Dollar Tree in the party favor section}

 This game can be played independently or with a partner.  

Independent play:  Toss the coin.  If the coin lands on heads, the player will cover up an EVEN number with a red counter.  If the coin lands on tails, the player will cover up an ODD number with a blue counter.  Player will continue to toss & cover odd/even numbers on the 120's chart until X amount of numbers are covered {you can choose the amount or give the kids varying amounts from which to choose}.

Partner play:  Player 1 tosses the coin.  If the coin lands on heads, the player will cover up an EVEN number with a red counter.  If the coin lands on tails, then the play goes to player 2.  Players will continue to toss & identify until one player has 10 counters on the board {or you can determine a different amount players have to have on the board....or players choose the amount they have to have on the board}.  To switch up play, you can also have the kids toss and cover up ODD numbers instead.  


What I love about this very SIMPLE activity is that it reinforces a necessary concept/skill and provides choice for the kids.  They NEED that autonomy.  I also like that the kids aren't tied to playing the game just one way.  Offering them choices within the game helps to give them a sense of ownership and keep them engaged as well.

I'd love to hear more about what you do for your anchor/dessert activities!!!


Musical Matching - A Blending Game

Hey y'all!  

How's the week going so far?!  If it's anything for you like it is for me, then it's crazy...and jam packed full of Halloween insanity {I'm talking about the kids, of course;)}  I love, love, LOVE Halloween, but I know you feel me when I say that celebrating it at school with the kids is nothing short of....well...crazy.  Fun, absolutely.  But crazy nonetheless.  I feel ya, friends.  I really do!



But let's go ahead and keep it business as usual until all Hallow's Eve and remain thankful that Friday's festivities don't coincide with a full moon {can I get an amen?!!??!}

I wanted to share a fun game with y'all that I shared with my friends in TN last week.  I'm all about incorporating games into learning.  Hands-on, life sized, kinesthetic, get'cha-up-and-movin' kinda games.  I love that my kids make connections to these games days/weeks/months after playing when they're independently working on similiar concepts at different points during the year.  And let's be real...games are just plain FUN.  And that's just how learning {and teaching!!!} should be...FUN!!!!  



One of the most important...and oftentimes trickiest...skills to teach our early readers is how to blend onsets/rimes/phonemes.  Here's a game that garnered rave reviews from my kids over the years.  It's a little onset/rime blending game that'll get your kids up and moving, blending sounds, and identifying real and nonsense words.   Let's play, shall we?!

Label a small set of plates with various word endings/families {rimes}.  As you can see in the pic above, I have lots of different rimes on my plates.  You could play this game using as few as 1 or as many as you want!  Label a set of index cards with different phonemes/onsets.  Place the labeled plates in a circle on the floor and hand out one labeled index card to each of your kids.  While your kids are holding their cards, direct them to stand in a circle around the plates.  

Now start the music.  Crank it or yank it.  Pump up the jam {does that date me?!?!?}  I like to turn on KidzBop when we play this game because the kids love it and I actually know the words so I can sing along, too.  While the music is playing, the kids will move around the plates going clockwise/counterclockwise {just like musical chairs}.  When the music stops, the kids stop in front of a plate.  

The kids will take their index card {onset/phoneme} and blend it with the word ending/rime they're standing in front of.  If they blend a real word, they stay in the game.  If the word they blend is nonsense, they're out.  {You could potentially have several kids out at once depending on the number of different onsent/rimes you include in the game}.  Unlike musical chairs, you won't remove any of the plates.  Start the music again, sing for a bit, stop, and blend.  Wash. rinse. repeat.  The game is all over when only one person is standing :)  


To keep the other kids engaged in the activity when they get out, you could have them take out their dry erase boards/sleeves and write the real/nonsense words as they're called out during play.  Encourage those that are "out" to use 1-2 of the real words in a sentence while the music is playing.  There are lots of ways to keep non-participants engaged and learning!!  

I hope you can use this fun little game in your room.  Maybe on Friday perhaps?!  Because when trick-or-treating is on the mind, a game is absolutley necessary :)    

Five for Friday

It's been a while since my last post.  I just realized I can't do everything.  Actually, I came to that realization a long, long, LONG time ago, but it slapped me in the face yet again this past month.  Between getting 8 presentations ready for the TN 1st grade conference, being the grade level chair for our community Fall Fest, and *trying* to take care of my little family, everything else in my little world just got pushed to the side.  And I'm okay with that.

If you purchased my growing Work on Writing Year Long Bundle and are wondering why I didn't meet my October 15 deadline for adding the November edition, I promise it's coming this weekend.  I'm hunkering down these next two days to finish it all up.  I apologize for the delay.  I didn't take my conference schedule into account when I set those deadlines a few months ago.  Scatterbrained and behind pretty much sums up my life right now.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!!!

Since so much has been going on this last month, I thought it would be fun to recap it all and link up with Kacey for Five for Friday.




Our community Fall Fest was a week ago.  I spent every Friday up at school helping the committee prep for the big event.  It's actually a pretty impressive ordeal.  It's completely free for the community and the area businesses come out the night before and cook for the crowd.  Did I mention it's free?!  Tacos, gumbo, corn dogs, hot dogs, brisket...SO.MUCH.FOOD!!!  There are lots of games for the kids to play and I was in charge of coordinating the Kindergarten booths.  SO fun!!!  I didn't take any pics of the set up, but here are my boys enjoying Fall Fest.  They had the BEST time!!!!





The boys had the BEST time at Fall Fest, but as soon as I got home that afternoon, my sweet little Grant fell off the neighbor's monkey bars and hurt is arm something awful.  Praise the Lord it wasn't broken, but it was swollen pretty badly.  The x-rays didn't show a fracture, but they treated it like it was broken.  Sweet boy asked for dinner at Texas Roadhouse because "thothe rollth and thinnamon butter are the betht!!!!", so we took him out for being so brave and as soon as he got home he asked us to take off the splint.  He's doing 100x better now and has full range of motion in his arm!  Halleluia!




The boys were SO excited to take us up to school last week for Open House.  They couldn't wait to show us everything they've been working so hard on in their classrooms.  I love that they love school as much as they do and I owe it all to their amazing teachers.  We love them and the love and dedication they show our boys every single day.  We feel so blessed!  I mean, c'mon...are they not the cutest, proudest things you've ever seen!? {I'm totally biased, of course ;)}

          

They got to meet Clifford at the Book Fair that night, too!  SCORE!





It took many, many weeks and countless hours to prep and plan my presentations for the TN 1st grade conference.  Here's a little peek at what I shared when I was there.  I haven't shared it on the blog and it's not available on TpT because I got a little feedback from Vegas where some of the conference attendees said they would rather see more brand new ideas than many ideas from my blog....so I wanted to make sure this time around I had plenty of new things to share with the girls in TN!  Well shoo!!!  I love sharing on this little blog...this is hard!!!   The struggle is real!!!  ;)        

        




Speaking of TN, I had the BEST time.  The ladies who attended were some of the sweetest, most gracious people I've ever met.  I got to spend some time meeting and having dinner with one of the sweetest girls, my dear friend Elisabeth from The Adventures of Miss Elisabeth.  I adore her.  And her ideas.  We had dinner at J. Alexander and it was the perfect start to my two-day stay in Tennessee!



And I met these adorable ladies, too!!!  They were just as sweet as could be!



I got to see one of my favorite friends, Elizabeth from Kickin' it in Kindergarten, and she took me to one of her favorite downtown Franklin boutiques for a little retail therapy.  She's not good for my check card....dangit!  But boy that sure was a precious boutique!!!
                                                                                                                 


We walked around downtown Franklin for a little bit...the most CHARMING city in the world {I swear we're moving there one day!!!!}...and then headed out to dinner at Gray's with the ladies from GoNoodle.  I LOVE them!!!!



If you don't know about GoNoodle, you need to.  And not just because it's FREE, but because it's awesome.  And the people behind the scenes are even more amazing.  Truly.  And if you didn't already know, Koo Koo Kangaroo has added 6 more videos to their channel on GoNoodle and my boys and I have already watched and danced along to all of them!!!!!

Okay...so that was more like 5 for Friday and then some :)  Whoops!  I guess that's what happens when you're gone for a bit!

Hope y'all have had a great week and hope you have an even better weekend!!!