First of all, Happy Easter to all of you!! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend with your loved ones.

Second, I am loving the new fonts I purchased from Brittney Murphy Fonts and Designs (see samples in the pic above!!). I almost have too many fonts, almost, I can probably handle 25 more :)  I wish I could delete some of the fonts that come with Windows to make more room for the beautiful ones.

Lastly, this spring is wonky, yes wonky. We had our one and only "snow day" this spring, okay, it was an ice rain day but it is spring and we had a day off after a full winter of not even a bus cancellation - wonky. Next, Easter is in March this year. I know this happens but it has made for a wonky schedule of holiday themed centres, mentor texts, crafts etc. Plus it messed up my calendar card rotation. Usually I use my Crazy Rabbits for April but this year they do not work for April. Sooooo I made a new set with more of an Earth Day vibe since learning about Global Communities and Conserving Energy will be our units of study this month. If you need a new set of calendar cards for April (due to the wonky spring) click here.

I don't know if you know this but I am a huge blog stalker, have been for years and still love reading blogs. I am always inspired by what I see happening in other classes and blog in the hopes of giving back a little bit. BUT I must admit sometimes I get a little bit down on myself and my classroom when I look at all of the other wonderful that is going on....sometimes I need to hear about the struggles that others are having, so here it is, one of my supply bins.

In my class students have their own tool box (red basket in their desk, see them here) that hold a pencil, eraser, highlighter, whiteboard marker, whiteboard eraser and any math tool we are using). We also have group tool bins.....that are not working out that great : (

I just can not seem to get my students to actually put the tools back in the right spot, in the right way and am forever going over this or just fixing them myself!!

 Okay, look at the crayons....where did they all go?? Sometimes a group will only have two colours of crayons, how does that happen??

There are always tools left at the bottom that just sit there for weeks on end...not being sad.

 But our biggest problem this year has been glue!!! We go through so much glue and a lot of the time it is from glue drying out because it has no lid!!! I have a stash of extra lids in my toolbox on my desk. Whenever I see one I keep it, or I take some off of the sticks going in the garbage for emergencies. But there are times when I see this a lonely lid in the tool box, or its evil twin a glue stick with no lid in the toolbox!!! Did I mention that I have extra lids, all the students need to do is come and get one!!

...and lastly, I have clearly not done my job this year because this is how my students put the lids on the glue sticks! As in, NOT really on at all. We have reviewed turning the glue down and pushing the lid all the way down (instead of leaving the glue up and pushing the lid down so that glue overflows on to the sides and all over the lid).

So there you have at, a real snapshot of some of the not so wonderful that is going on in my class this year.

Hope you have a great weekend....I am off to blog stalk and looking at some wonderful : )

Welcome to another Terrific Text Tuesday!! This week I want to share a book from one of my favourite authors....Linda Bailey.

 I love Linda Bailey's books. I LOVE the Stanley series and often use them as mentor texts in MATH!! If Kids Ruled the World is another great mentor text that is part of the Blue Spruce books this year. I have not read Toads on Toast yet....but my brain is turning after seeing the cover and reading the description. Last summer I bought "If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur" knowing that the text would be totally engaging for my students and it would make a great writing prompt.
If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur mentor text
 There are so many things that a dinosaur could do but to me the best part of the book is the just opens up conversation and you can actually see your students thinking!!
Mentor Text writing prompt
 Well we could not just leave that question unanswered. So as a class we brainstormed some ideas of what we could do with a kangaroo (luckily we have studied Australia in Social Studies so we have many kangaroo experts!). After that it was time to set my students free to do their own writing. I had them choose any animal that they wanted but we did re-read the animals in the book just in case. Then they wrote at least 3 ideas for what they could do with that animal. Some students wanted to know if they could write real things....and of course they could. But I did encourage them to use their imagination and think of some creative uses too. Here are some samples for a giraffe, a horse and a sabretooth.
mentor text writing

If you see a copy of this book at your library or in a bookstore I think you should grab it. If you do get a hold of it and would like our writing page click here to download a copy.

writing freebie If You Happen to have a dinosaur

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I know what you are thinking. You are wondering if I am back to blogging or if I have a serious alliteration problem....Terrific Text Tuesday, What's Working Wednesday. Well, I really, really want to be back to blogging and I think using alliteration is the key!!! 

So, welcome to Terrific Text Tuesday!! The first terrific text I would like to share with you is Windblown by Edouard Manceau.

Mentor Text- Windblown

This is a fantastic story about 7 pieces of paper that get windblown (shocking I know, based on the title and cover pic you would never have gotten that!!). The pieces of paper keep taking the shape of different animals who claim the paper belongs to them. Here are some examples from the book.

The text is simple yet engaging but the true beauty of this book is its inspiration for student art. My students were amazed by the different creations that came from the same pieces of paper and were very eager to try their hand out making something out of just 7 pieces of paper.

Here are some of their samples (a fish, an insect, a snail and an owl - just in case!). We also had a dog, a monster and a platypus to name a few.

Using Windblown for creative art lesson

You can find a template for the 7 pieces from the story here. I did not want to print a colour copy for each of my students so I made simple templates using Powerpoint and copied them on to the correct colour of paper. You can grab my super simple templates here. I cut the orange circle myself so that I did not have 4 students trying to work out who is cutting and how.

You can check out more mentor text ideas on my Pinterest board.

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Here we are with our second installment of What's Working Wednesday and you might already be thinking really, she is sharing about Class Dojo and using videos to engage students, REALLY!!!

I know these ideas are not ground breaking or original ideas BUT I do want to share with you some great videos that my students LOVE that maybe you have not stumbled across all on your own yet! So bear with me and hopefully someone finds a new video or two to add to their playlist : )

First up at the beginning of the year we are all about Storybots. We use these videos before brainstorming words for each letter of the alphabet.

But they also have great videos for healthy habits...

and community helpers...

and seasons and months and days

This year we found a new LOVE when looking for skip pattern counting songs, its Scratch Garden.

We use their counting videos...

We also LOVE their number spelling song (super love!)...

other favourites include the vowel song....

the sentence song....

and the colour song (great for an art intro)....

So those are some of the videos that are working in my classroom to help students learn and to get them hooked into a lesson. I would love to hear about any videos that are working in your classroom. For more classroom video ideas check out my Pinterest board.

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