Friday, January 30, 2015

A Great Way to Celebrate Groundhog's Day - And a GIVEAWAY!

I was working on updating my February writing prompts packet to include student word banks and graphic organizers when I realized I had no idea how to actually spell Puxatawny Paxatoune Pawksatawney Punxsutawney Phil's name. So, I googled it and discovered that he has a whole website which includes activities for classrooms, and a way to send Punxsutawney Phil a letter in the mail. How cute is that?  There is even a link for a groundhog day webcast, but since the ceremony is scheduled to occur between 3am and 8am Feb2, I doubt anyone will have students at that time to see it.... maybe they will re-run the video I don't know. If you want to check it out, the website is:

I did finish updating my February prompts pack today. If you previously purchased the file, please re-download the update free of charge. If not, please go check it out. The file is 30 pages long. It contains 2 narrative, 2 expository, and 3 opinion writing prompts. Each seasonal prompt has a picture space, and handwriting lines for students to write on. The update adds a graphic organizer and word bank sheet for every prompt. I hope that this will make writing lessons easier for you t plan this month, and I am working on updating my March packet as well.

To kick off the month of February I am having a giveaway! If you would like to grab my February writing packet for free just enter the giveaway below (It starts at midnight tonight and runs for 1 week) and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snowed In - and a GREAT video

Our "Historic" snowstorm is proving itself outside my window right now. We woke up this morning with this much snow on my back porch and there are predictions of 6-12inches more today:

Needless to say I won't be going to the gym today. My hubby decided that instead of using our perfectly good snowblower to clear the driveway, we will shovel for our workout instead..... but there is like 3+ feet of snow out there, and how do you calculate how many calories you burned? LOL oh well. It does make me feel like a kid again, I think I'll go build a snow fort, but before I do I thought I would share a bit of snowy humor with you. Check out the video below, it is of a local principal announcing today's snow day in the most creative fun way ever. (I want to be a kid in his school!!!)


Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Blizzard is Coming - Oh My

A blizzard is fast approaching my home today. I have lived here all my life, and while blizzards are no fun unless you are a kid they don't freak me out. However, I was at the market to pick up some dinner stuff, and this was the bread aisle...
which I must admit... kinda made me nervous. Then I saw the produce aisle...

which made me start to think.... ZOMBIES are coming.

But when I got home after my hour at the market to get 2 cans of soup and some salad stuff, the weatherman was insisting that it is just a HISTORIC blizzard headed my way. Phew..... no zombies.

All this brought to mind the years I spent teaching kindergarten in North Carolina.

One year we actually had a really good snowman-making snow. The next day I thought it would be fun to have my kindergarteners who, obviously, now knew how to make a snowman, write a step by step story on how to make a snowman. I was met with bewildered gazes and pin-drop silence. (Okay so, this might have been my first year of teaching.) Finally, one brave should spoke up and said that they didn't have the right kind of pail, so their snowman looked funny. Shortly after that I discovered that no-one in my classroom, not even my Teacher's Assistant knew how to make a snowman. My "fun"writing lesson for the day was an absolute flop. A short while later, while my kiddos were at lunch I emptied my biggest tupperware container I had and took it outside and filled it with snow. I left the bucket outside of the classroom while I went to get my class. Then when they returned I brought in the bucket of snow and we learned how to make a snowman. My students has a blast!

After we made the snowman we drew pictures of it melting. We had a great day, the lesson was saved, and y students now knew how to make a snowman.

For those of you who don't know. You don't use sand buckets and shovels. To make a snowman you:
1) pack down as much snow in your hands as you can into a ball.
2) put the ball you made in the snow and less down gently
3) roll the ball around in the snow pressing down gently - the snowball should be growing slowly bigger at this point. It may break apart so that you have to start again.
4)Roll the ball around until it is as big as you would like the base of your snowman to be (in the bucket it was about 3 inches in diameter.
5) repeat steps 1-4 to make the body of the snowman (in the bucket was about 2 inches in diameter)
6)repeat steps 1-4 to make the head of the snowman (in the bucket was about 1 inch in diameter)
7) decorate your snowman (In the classroom it was a unifix cube hat, pipe cleaner arms, and broken crayon tip eyes.

If you would like to try either of these lessons in you classroom I have some freebie writing sheets for you. Just click the pic and grab some fun!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Must Admit..... I am a BHG Junkie

Okay, so I've been home for a while. Out of the classroom, and not allowed to do much classroom-related for a while, Dr.'s orders. In other words, I've had way too much time on my hands. As a result I have become a BHG junkie. I think I have signed up for every crafting, home decor, and cooking newsletter imaginable. Most often I admire their ideas, and dream of a day when my little ones allow me to have nice things, and I will really re-decorate. Occasionally, they include an idea (especially recipes) that I can use now. 

Yesterday, this beauty was in my inbox:Valentine's Day Mystery Message.I thought, "How completely adorable!"  Basically, you write notes to your kiddos on white paper hearts with a white crayon, and then they paint over the heart with watercolors to reveal the secret message. 

Today I tested out the project for us all. 

In the picture below, the green heart was drawn and cut from an index card, the purple heart was printed on card stock, and the pink heart was drawn on printer paper. I wrote different prize notes on each heart with a white crayon, making sure to press down hard.
Next, I painted over each of the hearts with watercolors, and this is what I got:
All of the different types of paper worked well for disguising the white crayon message, and displaying it later on. The card stock did not curl, the index card did a bit for some reason, and the printer paper curled a lot. If you want to display the hearts with prizes they earned I would go with the thicker paper, but if you are just going to throw it out when earned I would use the cheeper printer paper.

I was also thinking, that if you like the project and want to continue it past February 14th you could use mitten cutouts instead of hearts.

Have fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Carrberry Creations Celebrating 100 TPT Followers

I am so excited to be celebrating 100 TpT followers!!! 

To celebrate I am throwing a sale this weekend. Everything in my store will be 20% off this Thursday-Sunday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Field Trip Fun

On Friday I had the opportunity to accompany my daughter's class on a field trip to a local textile museum. It was really fun, and the kiddos had a great time. The re-enacted the experience of immigrating to American a hundred years ago, going through Ellis Island, and working in a thread mill. The children got to try to spin cotton in their hands, and manufacture their own boxes to "ship" their spools of thread in.
Spinning cotton into thread

Manufacturing boxes
It was an amazing experience for them.

Want your students to manufacture their own boxes for a project? Grab a freebie pattern here. You can either have students trace the pattern onto stiff paper such as old manilla file folders, or print the pattern directly onto yardstick (as they did at the museum).

Have fun!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Getting Through The Winter

    Brrrr... Today it was 2 degrees out when my kiddos got on the bus. We had the air conditioner on in the house on Christmas day for the first time ever, and only just over 2 weeks later we awoke to a pipe in our bathroom being frozen. Thank goodness it did not burst! The weather this year has been crazy!
    Around here the way I get through the winter is to stay focused on the next holiday we have coming. So away with all the Christmas decor and out with the Valentines day decorations! Not just in my classroom, but in my house too. It just seems to make things cheerier for me.
    Today's freebie is to help you brighten up something in your classroom and help you get through the winter. Feel free to use the I love school mug clip art below in any personal or commercial products you choose. I only as that if you do use it in a commercial product  that you please include a link back to my blog or store.


Click on the mug to download your own copy of this fun clip art! :)

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