Thursday, November 29, 2012

Healthy Smoothies with SPINACH

We own a Vita- Mix. It's a super powerful blender that can chop up anything. It's an expensive blender, but we bit the bullet and bought it a couple of years ago because hubby and I were drinking healthy fruit smoothies every morning for breakfast and I knew we would use it daily. We still use it every day. Actually, we use it multiple times a day, so it was a good investment. In our fruit smoothies, we put Reliv nutritional powder, an apple, an orange, frozen fruit, flax seed oil, ground flax seed, ground chia seed and spinach (you can't even taste the spinach!). Many days we msised throwing in the spinach because we were out of it, or it wasn't washed and we were rushed, etc. Last summer I had a great idea and you can use this with whatever blender you own or with whatever smoothie recipe you use. We bought a large container of fresh organic spinach. We ground it up in our Vita-Mix unitl it was liquified. We poured it into ice cube trays and froze them. When the spinach cubes were frozen, we popped them out and put them in a freezer ziploc bag. Now in the morning, we just throw a couple in the Vita-Mix with our other ingredients. It's so convenient and we are now getting a serving of spinach daily. You could thow a couple of frozen spinach cubes into your kids' shakes and malts, too, and they wouldn't even know they were getting some good veggies!

Punctuation Packet

Last year my second graders LOVED this punctuation cootie catcher! So I decided to make it available for everyone to use. This packet will help your students learn about 8 punctuation marks- the period, question mark, ellipsis, comma, apostrophe, quotation marks, colon and exclamation point. The packet includes an 11" x 17" poster for your classroom (in color) and two cootie catchers (one in black and white and one in color) for your students to use to review the information on the poster. Your students will be punctuation experts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Free "Reindeer Noses" Snack Bag Header

Fill a snack size plastic bag with chocolate malt balls and 1 red cherry ball candy or red bubblegum. Then attach the cute "Reindeer Noses" header. Use them as gifts or stocking stuffers for your students, teacher friends or family members! Merry Christmas!

Reindeer Gift Tags- FREE!

Use these cute Reindeer gift tags for school or at home. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Let's Get Healthy!

Teachers, let’s get healthy!

These FREE health journals will help you with your New Year’s resolutions, or just to get healthy any time!  You can download them at either of my stores. The inside pages have spaces for you to record your daily exercise, food, weight, and water intake. There are also spots for added notes and goals. You can print them in two different sizes- 5½” x 7” or 8½” x 11”.

 I don’t give you specific health advice, for example, how much water you should drink in a day, because I’m not a doctor. Even doctors’ opinions differ on the subject.  I do know, however, that we should drink A LOT of water every day.  I also know that I drink more water when I get to write it down in my health journal and that I eat less goodies when I know I have to record what I eat!

This journal has been effective for me and for friends of mine who have used it regularly. I hope it will help you to get healthy and to stay healthy, too.

I suggest you print the cover on cardstock and laminate it, to make it last a long time. Print a month’s worth of pages at first, to see how it works for you. There are two sizes of each journal, so print the size you think will work best for you. It’s helpful if you can always have it with you, so printing a smaller size might make it more convenient. Remember, with any program, commitment is the key.

Good luck!
Barb Johnson

Friday, November 23, 2012

Leibster Award!

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award!! Thanks so much, Teach with Laughter,  for nominating me!  The Liebster Award is designed to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
First, I am supposed to say 11 random things about myself, so here goes...
1. I am married.
2. We have an 18 year old daughter who just started college this fall.
3. I love photography.
4. I love playing on the computer and creating things in Photoshop.
5. I enjoy gardening (flowers).
6. Walking through forests is my favorite thing to do.
7. I love to try new recipes.
8. I have two sisters.
9. I taught first and second grade for 26 years and subbed for 3 years before I was hired.
10. I LOVE animals.
11. I LOVE my mitten (Michigan).
 These are the 11 questions I must answer:
1. How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a teacher?
I was ten years old. My teacher would put me in charge of the class while he had safety meetings in another part of the school. I also helped other kids when I finished my work. I knew then that that was what I wanted to be.
2. When did you start blogging?
My blog has been in existence for a while, but I just really started blogging this past summer.
3. What is you favorite word word activity?
I'm not sure what that means! LOL Word wall maybe? I'll come back to this one later!
4. What is your favorite television show?
My fav show is Big Bang Theory! If you ahven't seen it, watch it- hilarious. I highly recommend you rent the episodes and watch them from the beginning though, so that the characters will  make more sense.
5. Who is your favorite author?
I love true crime books written by Ann Rule.
6. What is your favorite children's book?
I loved Pippi Longstocking and Little House on the Prarie books.
7. What is your favorite food?
My mom makes the best German potato pancakes. I eat them slathered with apple sauce- yum!
8. What's at the top of your Christmas list?
I want to spend time with family and friends.
9. Do you have any pets?
We share a house with a dog, a parakeet and two cockatiels.
10. What is your favorite childhood memory?
I had a very special parakeet that could do somersaults when he wanted to be let out of his cage. He was so smart and funny. 
11. What is your favorite part of your teaching day?
I just retired this summer. I would have to say when I was teaching and I'd see light bulbs going off in little heads- when things would suddenly make sense after a child struggled with something.
Here are 11 questions my moninees must answer:
1. How long have you been teaching?
2. Do you have a theme for your classroom, and if so, what is it?
3. Do you have any pets?
4. Do you have children of your won?
5. What state do you live in?
6. What is your favorite subject to teach?
7. What is your favorite movie?
8. What is your favorite book?
9. What is your favorite children's book?
10. What is your favorie season and why?
11. Why did you start blogging?
Here are the 11 blogs I am nominating:
I can't wait to learn more about all of them!
Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!
Barb :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gingerbread Magic

I always loved the Monday after Thanksgiving break because that's when I put my gingerbread doorway up. I loved watching the kids' faces when they came in to school that morning. It was so much fun! Some years we read different gingerbread stories and did compare & contrast activities about the different stories. One year we made felt gingerbread men and sewed on the decorations ourselves (with a lot of parent volunteers!). Other years we made paper gingerbread men.  Every year we made gingerbread houses from milk cartons covered with graham crackers, licorice, frosting and LOTS of candy. This is what we started with:
Parent volunteers used glue guns and assembled the houses onto styrofoam meat trays. Last year, I gave the kids felt elf hats as an early Christmas gift. They wore their hats and we listened to Christmas carols as they decorated their houses with lots of frosting and candy. This is what they looked like when they were finished:

I really loved this symmetrical one... isn't it nice?

Then we put them all around a tree on some tables that were covered with white chart paper and white cotton fiberfill. We added some lights and tah dahhhh! Isn't it pretty?

 Especially when we had the overhead lights turned out!
Yesterday I finished a set of gingerbread houses.  The pieces that included in this kit are:
• Gingerbread house with a “To/From” Tag on top to be used as a gift box.
• Gingerbread house (without tag)
• House in color with snow
• Sheet of decorations
• House in black and white (to be colored and decorated)
• Sheet of decorations in black and white (to be colored)
• Gingerbread house in black and white to be colored

I recommend you print the houses on cardstock, a thicker paper.

Young children can color their houses, but they will need adult help to assemble them. It would be helpful to have parent volunteers assemble the houses after your students make them. This is NOT a project for small fingers to complete independently.

The black and white sheets can be enlarged to 11” x 17” size and photocopied onto white construction paper to make it easier for children to make their houses.

I recommend the houses be colored with colored pencils or fine-tipped markers. Glue sticks can be used, but double sided tape will work better for assembling the houses. It should be placed on the four flaps labeled “adhesive”.

After the houses are finished, you can make a gingerbread village like we did! Put the houses on a large table coved with white chart paper, or a white table cloth. Add white fiber fill stuffing to look like snow. Christmas lights can also be added!
My good friend Vicky Moore also has a cool gingerbread unit for sale. Go look at TPT for it:

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!
Barb :-)

Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale

Monday, November 19, 2012

Clock Labels in Use

My friend sent me this picture of my rainbow star clock labels in her classroom. It's another way to label your clock, besides putting the stars right on the rim of your clock. Thanks, BarbH for sharing your picture with me! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roll 'em for the Reindeer Math Game

Your students will have so much fun playing this Reindeer game, they won't even realize they are practicing their addition and subtraction math facts! Older or advanced students can also use some multiplication and division facts for added practice and strategy. The game is for 2-4 players. All they need to play is the gameboard and a pair of dice. I suggest you print the gameboards on cardstock, a thicker paper, and laminate them for years of use. Gameboard and game directions are included.

Handwriting Assessment Freebie

Use this quick assessment tool to check your student's handwriting skills. It can be used as a quick check before each report card marking period, for a handwriting sample for parent-teacher conferences, to assess new students' handwriting skills, for portfolios, for a homework assignment, as a handwriting practice sheet or as a center acvtivity. I hope you find it useful! It's free in my stores! :-)

Digi-Scrapbooking Freebie

Happy Sunday!
I found a digital scrapbooking challenge this morning by Kim Broedelet and decided to do it. If you want to join the fun, go here:
Kim B's Color Challenge

This is what I made to contribute...

Hope you like it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rainbow Star Clock Labels

Attach these colorful stars to the edge of your classroom clock to help your students learn how to tell time.
Photocopy the two sheets of star labels on cardstock, a thicker paper. Laminate both sheets and then cut out the stars. Attach the star labels to the outside edge of your classroom clock with tape or sticky tack.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Beehive Addition & Subtraction Math Game

Your students will have so much fun playing Beehive, they won't even realize they are practicing their addition and subtraction math facts! Older or advanced students can use multiplication, addition and subtraction to play. The game is for 2-4 players. All they need to play is a deck of Beehive cards and a pair of dice. I suggest you print the cards on cardstock, a thicker paper, and laminate them for years of use.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free Christmas Cootie Catcher

The last couple of years I made my second graders cootie catchers for different holidays. Second graders LOVE cootie catchers! Today I finished this one to share with all of you. There are fun "fortune" type messages under the flaps. Folding instructions (with pictures) are included. It's free in my stores!