Book Blessings and chalkboard labels

Ok...I was commenting on a post, when my next teaching idea came to me.

I like to do something in my class each week...all week long.

Book Blessings.

They're not quite a book report, but it kind of gets them in the groove of it for later in their life...

What I have the kids do is sign up for a day of the week - I do Tuesday through Friday, because well...some of my kids have weird living arrangements and their weekends aren't all that consistent. So I like to remind them on Monday. They sign up on Friday, of the week before. I usually try to have the same amount of kids for each day.

Now, inevitably, you are going to have kids that are NOT ready on their day. Which, of course, ruins my whole "same number of kids each day to take the same amount of time each day" thought process....Sigh.... Oh well, just move them to another day.

You can have them focus on whatever you want. But for a long while, just to get them used to it, I just have them focus on why they liked the book: their favorite part, or illustration, or favorite line, or character. Whatever. Just so it's an advertisement to the rest of the class to get them to read more too! It's really just a 30 second blurb about the book.

Below is my sign up sheet - I use a "number" system, where every child has a number, and they just write their number in the day they want to sign up for. I'm not supposed to have more than 18 kids, but I broke it down to where we could have 5 kids each day.

Click the pic to grab a copy :)

Now, it might take some pulling teeth in the beginning, but eventually, I have kids that start asking if they can share their book even if they've already shared for the week, just because they want to tell everyone to go read the book! :)

Now, here's my craft I did the other day - 

Chalkboard Labels!!

This literally took me 2 minutes to do!!

All I used was the mailing label stickers, chalkboard paint (that I already had on hand), and the foam sponge paint brushes.

I painted the labels, let them dry, then I cut them all cutsie, and put them on my flour and sugar containers!

Now, the trick to chalkboard paint is that before you start writing with it, to scribble all over the surface with chalk, then wipe it off, and THEN you can write on it easily. :)

My Book Blessing
And go check out my book blessing (hehe) over at The Best Ending - click the picture of the book!

Add caption

Tag that sneaky chicken!!

First off, you all know how hubby earned himself some brownie points yesterday with saving my sanity, right? Well, today he's earned even more! I got to sleep in until 7:30 y'all!! woop woop!!! 

Now granted, I was up at 3:30 feeding B, and then oops! She spit up everywhere, so I had to change her, clean myself up, and change her I was back in bed at 4:30. So, I guess it was only fair I got to sleep in, right?


So here are the rules:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 Interesting things about me

1. I graduated from college when I was 20 years old, from the beautiful Flagler College. And was hired as a teacher when I was 20 too….pros and cons, really.

2. My husband and I “eloped” to Jamaica to get married...everyone knew, so it wasn’t a real case of eloping.

3. I am an only child, but I have 2 half-siblings and 3 step-siblings.

4. I am a couponer (not an extreme one though). In fact, I got my husband into it now….he even has his own coupon page you can “clip” from. So if you are a clipper, clip from his site! He gets paid for each coupon you clip (it’s pennies, but still—all those pennies add up!) Insert shameless plug ha!

5. I have an addiction to the Food Network. Haha!
6. My dream house is a little abode with the beach as my backyard. But with all the hurricanes we had, insurance prices will NEVER let us buy my dream home, sadly.
7. I LOVE to travel! I have been to London, Paris, Germany, Rome, Venice, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and all over the U.S. And until my husband met me, he had NEVER been on an airplane! It’s still like watching a kid every time we take off! Lol
Autumn's first plane ride

8. I’ve wanted to be a teacher ever since 3rd grade...and ironically, I taught 3rd grade for 7 years of my teaching career (so far).
9. I forced my husband to marry me—hahaha! Not really, but that’s a long story.
10. I played all kinds of sports growing up—softball was my favorite.
11. I swear I have ADD….I can never sit still, hence, I am ALWAYS cleaning and moving furniture around in my house and classroom.
12. I am excited to start working out again—only a week and a half until I get the go ahead from my doctor!!
yep - that's me! boo-ya!!

Now, for my "tagged" questions....I'm going to use Holly's since she was the first to tag me!

Crisscross Applesauce

1. What is your favorite kind of candy? Would you believe that I don't really like candy?? True fact. I'm more of a baked-goods kind of person. But I do like me some Dark Chocolate covered pretzel M&M's....ooh - hey! There's a coupon on my hubby's site for that!!
2.  What is something you are really uptight about? Hmmm...I would go with clutter!! I can't STAND it - and my husband is REALLY good about making it!! AHHHH!!!! lol
3.  Is your car clean right this very minute? To me?? Probably not - but to other people's standards? possibly.
4.  What's your "favorite" household chore? To DE-CLUTTER! lol!!  Seriously. Just picking up around the house and doing the dishes makes me feel so much better! Is cooking considered a chore?? Because that's a favorite of mine too!
5.  Do you miss Oprah? Nah - never really watched her - and doesn't she already have another show??
6.  Do you play an instrument? Do I still??? I don't know - but at one point I could play the Tenor Sax (yes, I am a band geek and proud of it!!), the piano, and the guitar!

This is my brother playing the guitar with Autumn a while ago..

7. What's your favorite piece of technology? Oh bother...I HATE technology...I actually really love it, except when it breaks or stops working...which is randomly of course. But I would have to go with my new SMART washer and dryer! yee-haw! lol
8.  Do you have a social life? ha!! Yes...and no. Not like I used to - it's hard when you don't have any family around to watch your kids (FREE of charge).
9.  Are you a phone talker? UGH!! I ABHOR talking on the phone - I hate it with a passion.
10. Do you text? yes please :) it's in lieu of talking - gotta communicate
11. What's your favorite piece of furniture in your house? The kitchen nook table. My hubby found it at a garage sale for $20 and it's where everything happens...remember this pic??

12.  Does anything make you squeamish? Not a lot anymore, but I will scream when I see a cucaracha running out of his hiding spot...then I SPLAT him!! lol

Ok, I'm not going to tag anyone because well, TONS of you have already done this post....sorry!!

But to make it up to you, here's a 

Sneaky Recipe

Sneaky Chicken Nuggets

(raw meat picture below!!!)

Ok, so I  have learned to like a LOT of food. And coming from a girl that used to only like mac& cheese (Kraft, of course!), spaghetti, hot dogs, and hamburgers, this is a HUGE milestone!

But one food remains that I can't make myself to like - SPINACH! And I KNOW how wonderfully good it is for you - TONS of vitamins and antioxidants. SO, I have started sneaking it into my recipes - A LOT!

What I do is I buy a box of frozen chopped spinach, thaw it and then puree it in my food processor until it's all fine (you'll have to add in some water to help it thin out a little). Then I divide it into 1/4 cup bags and then freeze them. 

So, for this recipe, here's what you need:

-pureed spinach
-crushed bran flakes (another sneaky thing I do a lot is when things call for breadcrumbs, I use 1/2bread crumbs and 1/2 bran flakes.  I just buy a box of Bran Flakes cereal and put it in the food processor and then voila! Fiber-filled bread crumbs :)
-salt and pepper
-and canola oil

Then your breading station setup:

The spinach is in with the egg and water...
and the bran flakes are in with the bread crumbs

Dip the chicken into the flour mix, then the egg mix, and then the bread mix. I put them all on a plate and then put them all in the pan at the same time.

Ok, so I was going to take more "cooking shots" but then B started crying to get hubby took over - nothing hotter than a man cooking, right?? lol. 
(p.s. the vacuum and broom are out because A took the flour and started "dusting" the floors with it! ahhh!!! lol The joys of cooking with a 2 year old.)

And here you have the final product!

A LOVES them...she even asked for 2nds

...and that whole plate is gone between the 3 of us.  I usually freeze a stash so hubby has a quick fix for lunch for A while I'm working, but today, none of them made it into the freezer! lol

Ok, it's beautiful outside!! I must go out and play now :)
Hope y'all had a great Monday!!
I promise to have a school-related post tomorrow - I have an idea for it :) But hubby is back to work tomorrow (24 hours), so we'll see how my day goes!

And here's another thought...I'm going to be bummed when I go back to work and won't have time to blog as much as I do! What will I do?? ah! lol


World Record of a day - and a craft!

Why this picture??? school is trying to get into this book!! Yeppers!!! We made our newspaper today!! The Sunday edition!!

Two of our teachers, one is the Autistic Unit teacher and the other is a 1st grade teacher, they are doing a duck drive to collect 10,000 rubber duckies!!

They are using them as teaching aids, but also...why not go for the gold?! Right!?! 

Click the picture to read the article!

Welcome to my day...

This is how my day has been since lunch joke...I'm not sure why...constantly hungry...and needing to be held, and swaddled, and rocked, and Just one of those times that is so frustrating because you just want to make them feel better!!
And hubsters worked for 36 LONG hours!! I would make a HORRIBLE single mom - I don't know how my mom did it for 9 years...or how any other single mom does it...granted, I have a newborn and a 2-year of the worst combinations

But bless my hubby's heart. He came home, from working 36 hours mind you, and kept my rowdy little 2 year old busy, playing with her in all kinds of ways that I just couldn't handle anymore. I love him. He definitely earned brownie points....who needs flowers, or chocolate, or a diamond tennis bracelet?? Just saving my sanity will do, please and thank you!!!


I'd rather have this "Cry Baby"

Johnny Depp in Cry Baby

Haha!! You guys know this movie, right?? Probably one of the BEST- Worst movies. Ever. Hands down! I love this movie! lol 


Wowwy! Finally got a chance to sit down and check my email...

Buzzing with Ms. B Button

Twins Teaching and Tacos



Crisscross Applesauce

have all tagged me!! wowwy!! That's a lot of questions. When I figure out who's questions to answer (sorry, I don't think I can do them all - or that anyone wants to sit through 12 x 6!)

You're all on display!
My craft for the day (well, last night)

Hubsters has been saying (many times) to me, "You know, you are such a neat freak and clutter-free person, so WHY do you let our fridge get all cluttered with pictures and stuff??"

Simple. I LOVE fact, I have a hard time taking pictures down, especially some that are my favorites - so I just keep adding more! lol.

Could this be why??

Anyway...I had bought this GIANT cork board at Ross a long time ago, and I was waiting to get motivated to figure out what to do with it.
Well, I just added some fabric to it - I couldn't take of the back, it was weird. So, I just shoved the fabric under the frame on the front. I stapled down the fabric around the edges and voila!

I added thumbtacks to the back of our magnet calendar, and then took our pix off of our fridge and put them on there.

(sorry the pictures are kind of "brown." I think the camera was on wrong setting)

Then, there's this gem that goes under my calendar :)
(no, it's not in the top pic, because I forgot to put it on before I took the picture and hubsters was NOT willing to pose again - ha!)

This is my bill holder I made....out of an empty raisin box and some wrapping paper!!!

I got the idea from one of my fave sites

....she did it for something different, and she did hers so that they were skinny and long...I wanted to see my bills, so I made mine wide and thin.

Her post doesn't exist anymore, but I do have some of her tutorial pics saved...

 Hers are skinny and long, so I just turned the box around when I was cutting and made it wide and thin. 

(p.s....please don't go out and forage your post office for boxes....she had a disclaimer on there saying that! She had a large order shipped to her house since she owns a business, and she had some extras. Like I said, I just used a raisin

I leave you with a question...

How did you spend your Sunday on this January day??

We played in our sprinklers :)


Rhymes and Times

Before I get to the math portion of this post, I have to share.... baby is ONE MONTH OLD!!

Where, oh where, has time gone????

So, of course, I took some I do it any other way??? lol!!

She always does this face....makes me giggle :)

Autumn still loves her!!

To celebrate, we ate cupcakes!!

Actually, we went to my friend's daughter's 1st birthday, and she made these SUPER cute cupcakes!!
She used royal icing with meringue powder mixed in....otherwise the icing runs....we know this from experience - ha!

She found a pic online she liked, printed it up, and put it underneath parchment paper so she could trace it to do her royal icing transfer. THIS  link to Joy of Baking has a video to sow you, but also gives some details to think about.

Ok, now onto MATH!

So there is a Multiplication Linky party going on over at Wiggin's World. Granted, I'm in 2nd grade...I don't get around to multiplication until the end of the year...although, I will say that 1/2 my class is already on their facts tests on their multiplications!! I had like 4 of them on their multiplication quizzes by the time we left for Christmas - booyah!!

Anyway, being a 3rd grade teacher, I know how imperative it is that they know these I teach my 2nd graders as soon as they are ready..BUT in 3rd grade, we our school's math coach introduced us to this AWESOME program called Rhymes and Times. (And they aren't just for multiplication - they have addition, subtraction, and division too!!).
This is a picture of the brochure - sorry, I'm on the "old timer"'s not up to par like my hubby's laptop (and he's at work with it, soo....)

Click HERE for a sample lesson using times 7s.

I'm tellin' ya - my kids love this!! And each lesson, you have kinesthetics AND the rhyming to help the students to remember the problems.  They do EVERY SINGLE one, but they do A LOT! Almost the whole multiplication chart...I like to color in the boxes that they've learned as we do the program (and the reciprocal problem as well, so if we learned 4x6, then we've also learned 6x4, so I would color both boxes).

Seriously...go check them out! And they do it for addition, subtraction, and division too!!

I also want to thank Christina

Mrs. Bainbridge's Class

for giving me the favorite follower award....She is one of my favorite blogs!! Do you follower her yet?? No?? Get over there!! She's awesome!! And she even has her school teacher website with LOTS of great ideas on there!! I have been following her LONG before I became a blogger!

100th Day, a Linky, and an Inspirational Video

All right y'all....

How do you like the new blog design???? I decided to keep the name....a few of you said what part of me was already thinking (Thanks zputty, Hadar, Barbara and Amy!).....Cauldron already means a concoction of things, so there ya have it - it's a concoction of my life: cooking, crafting, and teaching! But I did decide I needed a makeover of some sort :)

Now, onto 100th day!

Miss P, my maternity sub, sent me some pictures of what they did for the 100th day! I love how she's still carrying on my non-textbook teaching :) Well, I'm sure she's doing some textbook, I mean it IS her first time teaching ALL ON HER OWN!!  (again, if you know where these activities came from, let me know!)

Now, I usually do a lot of 100 Day activities too, that are different.

I take a LONG piece of paper for each kid and fold it into like 6ths or 8ths....then, in each box, they do something different for 100 things. I can never remember what I do each year...or I feel like changing it up, so here are SOME examples....

How many times can you ___________ in 100 seconds???
- make tally marks (then count them up)
- solve addition problems CORRECTLY (this is on a seperate piece of paper, then they write thier score on the folded sheet)
- read sight words/phrases (same method as math problems)
- draw stars (do you know how hard it is for them to do this???)

Then, we'll go outside and get PHYSICAL!! We'll do 100...

jumping jacks,
knee lifts,
run 100 yards,

I've also done the 100 fruit loop necklace with patterns

and given them 100 shape pieces (using die cut or the tangram-type pieces that come with math curriculum??) to make a picture

Some of the books I use...

The One Hundred Hungry Ants is one of my faves to use!

After I read the book through once, I break the kids up into groups...then I give them their "ants" (whatever you have will work - counters, tabs, I like to use black beans so they look like black ants...ha!). We then go back through the book and "reinact" the math problems with our "ants."

Ok, now onto the linky giveaway!

I saw that Farley had linked up to a favorite picture book linky...ummm...yes please!!

It's actually a giveaway, so double yes please! lol

Now, it is TERRIBLY difficult for me to narrow it down to just one...I mean COME ON!!! So I narrowed it down to 3, but really, that was almost impossible too!

click here to take you right there!!!

A few years ago, at our back-school-preplanning week, our admin showed us this video. And I don't care how many times I see it, I STILL LOVE it!!

And now for the Inspirational Video

SO, PLEASE, if there is only one video you watch that I post, make it THIS video!!!

Tomorrow my NEW washer and dryer are being delivered!!! I'm so excited!!!
AND...we decided to take this time to redo our laundry room!! You can expect to see some before and after shots.....of course :)

Also...THANK YOU to Jessica over at 
for the Award!!

and thank you to

My Photo

for the shout out!!!

I would LOVE to give this award out to some of you, but so many of my "favorite followers" have already received the award. So I'm just going to do some shout outs of my faves that always leave me some love!

Buggy for 2nd Grade
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Crisscross Applesauce"/>

I'm sure I missed a few of my "favorites" - but to ALL of you out there that leave me some lovin' - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I LOVE getting your comments!!

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