Friday, December 15, 2017


Here's more "magic" from Carolyn to engage children in writing letters, numbers, sight words, etc.

This activity is everyone's favorite this time of year! It's included in our December Happies Packet. Before I give each student their paper, I write secret (aka white crayon) words on each bulb on each paper. Then, out come the watercolors and the ooohs and aaahs! I do this activity in a small group. I also printed the bulbs on 11"X 17" paper so the words were bigger.


I made some papers with numbers to work with my group who needs some extra number recognition work.


We followed this activity up by closing the shades and reading this sweet book that lights up.


We have so many ideas like this in our monthly Happies packets. Feel free to check out the previews for our packets each month. Our packets are FULL of ideas to bring happiness to your classroom. You can find these at Dr. Jean’s website or at my TpT Store!
Thanks for stopping by!
                                                         Image result for christmas lights gif

Thursday, December 14, 2017


This post from Carolyn Kisloski is a reminder that there's nothing that can beat a GOOD book!  Talk about engaging children!!!

I wanted to share this wonderful book with you. I love discovering a book that I can use so many different ways for teaching.

Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?, by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by David Biedrzycki, is one of those books. We used it for predicting, inferring, using important details that add to the story, and, of course, for having fun!


The illustrations in the book lend itself to so many great teaching points. We have been working on adding specific details to the books we write during Writer's Workshop.

Sometimes students spend as much time as they can get away with coloring a sky or grass- or other random parts of their picture. Many times this illustrating is to avoid the writing part, and these random additions to their illustrations don't add to or help with their story.

Our goal is to have the children think about their illustrations and add important, purposeful details that add to the story.

This illustration from the book was a perfect example of an important detail. We talked about how we could tell by using the picture that Santa's job was too big for just him. If the illustrator had drawn only one or two houses, it wouldn't have looked like such a big job- but LOOK at all those houses he has to visit!

We also had fun predicting who Santa may try to use next to guide his sleigh. I let a different child try to predict each time.

Once we saw who Santa tried, I had a student explain if she thought the idea was a good or bad choice and why. The child also could point out to the class other things she noticed in the illustration- for example in this one: How could we tell Santa was running away? How can we see the tiger is close up and Santa is farther away? Why do you think the mouse's hat flew off his head? ...

The children loved this illustration. The child who described this one did a great job explaining how the hoppy kangaroos made Santa's toys go all over the place. The children loved how the words were hopping on the page, too.

This page had so many great details to point out, including the ellipsis (which I teach the kids means SOME. THING'S. COMING.) and the cheetahs, who were so fast they were blurry!

We used lots of the pictures to infer what the illustrator wanted us to know:

(The mice are sweating and struggling so we can tell the sleigh is too heavy for them.)

(The giraffes' necks got them in trouble because they are too long!)

(The clothespin on Santa's nose tells us that those skunks are smelly!)

The monkeys... well, this is self-explanatory. You can probably tell this was the favorite page. The book is also just plain fun!

We all quickly predicted who we thought Santa may try next year.

I'm excited to see the children use some of these ideas in their writing and illustrations. And even when I don't see it in their writing and illustrations YET, I do know they are taking all of this in, as I keep reinforcing important details in illustrations. When they are ready, I'll see it!

Meanwhile, they absolutely loved this story. You know it's a good one when you hear, "AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN!!!"

Here is a Youtube video of the book if you want to take a look at it.


We have so many ideas like this in our monthly Happies packets. Feel free to check out the previews for our packets each month. Our packets are FULL of ideas to bring happiness to your classroom. You can find these at Dr. Jean’s website or at my TpT Store!

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Carolyn Kisloski is going to be my guest blogger the next few days.  Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but she is a breath of fresh air.  You're going to LOVE her ideas!

I love this idea that I found last year, shared by The Bubbly Blonde Teacher . We have lots of deliveries, several times a day sometimes, thanks to Amazon Prime. And boy, do we appreciate our delivery drivers!

My lettering isn't as fancy as hers, but the idea is all hers.


I bought several different kinds of treats in bags, and added some water bottles and Gatorade bottles. It's a simple, fun family activity to help your children learn that giving is just as much fun as receiving. All of my children are grown, and I still had just as much fun doing this! I got several sweet notes last year thanking me for the treats, too. It's a nice way to let people know they're appreciated.

We have so many ideas like this in our monthly Happies packets. Feel free to check out the previews for our packets each month. Our packets are FULL of ideas to bring happiness to your classroom. You can find these at Dr. Jean’s website or at my TpT Store!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I just had to share!!!

Last week Katy Gill from the Carter News Agency in England contacted me about doing a story on my "Guacamole Christmas." Fortunately, the article told my message of making the world a happier place with a silly song and a dance. Most of the people who live around me don't have a clue about what I do and don't care. I wanted to share this with YOU because even if I don't know you personally, I consider you as my friends and I thought you'd be interested in this link. So, thank you!!!



I'm sure you're in holiday mode just like me. Bah humbug to standards! Let's get this party started by celebrating "Bake Cookies Day."  (It's actually December 18th, but who will know the difference?)  No matter where you live or how you celebrate, cookies are an international treat. Even if you can't have food at your school, you'll find a few activities to add a little "sweetness" for your children.

Play Dough 

Put cookie cutters and play dough on a cookie sheet. Add a rolling pin (cylinder block), scissors, and plastic utensils.
(Thank you, blog for reminding me about my mother's cookie cutters. They were in the back of a cupboard and I never would have found them if it weren't for you. Now, Kalina and K.J. can make some new memories with them!!)


Paper Ornaments
Put some cookie cutters, scissors, glue, and the scrap box out on a table. Let children trace around the cookie cutters, cut out their paper cookies, and then decorate with stickers or glitter pens. Punch a hole, tie on a string, and decorate the tree.


What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Do a bar graph and tally the results.


Let children write their own “how to make cookies” recipes.

Give each child a cookie and ask them to draw what it looks like. Next, ask them to write 2-5 sentences describing their cookie. Finally, they get to eat the cookie!

What else? Read books or sing songs about cookies…or, just wait until a boring January day to do these things!!

Monday, December 11, 2017


Are you going crazy right now? At school you have presents to make, a music program, decorations - don't forget all those standards and assessments!  And then you go home and there's shopping to do, cards to send, gifts to wrap, goodies to make, etcetera, etcetera! 

Well, here's a video that might help you destress and laugh with your students. When I was about to lose it I would sit down in a chair and slowly start singing this song. The first time I did it my students looked shocked and were speechless! They quickly realized Mrs. Feldman was just being silly and we ended up laughing together. After that when things got a little tense in the classroom I would sing this song and they would join in, relax, and smile!


I Am Slowly Going Crazy
(Tune: "Reuben, Reuben, I’ve Been Thinking")
I am slowly going crazy, (Cross right ankle on left knee. Place right
elbow on right knee and place chin on palm.)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, switch. (Cross left ankle on right knee and place
chin on left palm.)
Crazy going slowly am I, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, switch.
Continue singing faster and faster.

*Brainstorm other things you can do when you feel like you’re going crazy!

*Make a class book of “Things That Drive Us Crazy!”

Sunday, December 10, 2017


How can you tell if children are engaged? All you have to do is watch them as they cut and glue and string beads. Their little tongue will be moving and they will be totally engrossed in the activity. Look around your house today and grab some of these materials to recycle in your classroom this week. You'll be developing small motor skills, and you'll also keep those little hands busy!

Wrapping Paper Tear - Take in scraps of wrapping paper and put them in a tub. Invite children to tear them and then glue them to a paper plate to make a collage.

Cardboard Tubes - Cut cardboard tubes from wrapping paper into 6" sections. Children can decorate them and then use them to hum along to favorite holiday tunes.

Greeting Cards - Cut the front off cards and give children a hole punch. After punching holes they can sew yarn or ribbon through the holes.

Stringing - Put out beads and pipe cleaners and let children design "jewelry."

Scrap Box - Want to keep children focused in a positive direction. Put out a scrap box with construction paper and other art media and challenge them to create gifts for family members.

Stencils - Do you have some old cookie cutters in a cupboard?  Bring them to school and let children trace around them with colored pencils.

Play Dough Mats - Place copies of Christmas trees, gingerbread boys/girls, and other seasonal objects in a clear sheet protector.  Children can decorate the trees and gingerbread boys/girls with play dough.