Friday, December 27, 2013

It Stuck With Me #5: A Letter From a Heartbroken Parent

When scanning Twitter, I came across a link to this amazing letter - written by Nelba Marquez-Greene, a heartbroken Mom who lost her beautiful daughter in the Sandy Hook tragedy one year ago. The letter was originally written to teachers as they began this school year, but I feel the message is so touchingly powerful that it will help all of us recharge our batteries as we head into 2014!

Be prepared - this letter brought tears...
A Sandy Hook Parent's Letter to Teachers

While I remember that horrific day so vividly, this mother has to endure the pain of losing her child so suddenly and so tragically, each and every day. Today, as the police report was released, I couldn't help but think about how these families are being forced to relive that day's pain over and over again with each new "press release" - from the 911 calls, to the police report. It struck me how, in the midst of her pain, that she could so eloquently write to those of us who head to work to educate young people each and every day. She reminds us that we have a very important and meaningful job to do - teach and educate, heal, support, keep safe, encourage, comfort, connect with, bring the fun, embrace, and find the strength each day to do it all over again tomorrow. 

Thank you, Mrs. Marquez-Greene, for sharing a piece of Ana Grace with us. Thank you, Mrs. Marquez-Greene, for acknowledging what we do and for encouraging us to carry on with compassion and fun!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

3rd Grade Career Awareness Lessons #1 and #2

Some of my favorite lessons to teach are the career lessons in my 3rd Grade Career Awareness Core Curriculum. I think I enjoy them so much because they have nothing to do with solving conflicts, friendship troubles, or bullying - but instead, the lessons are about the excitement of the future! It is so much fun to see the sparkle in my student's eyes when we talk about opportunity and options. I feel that these lessons help them to begin to learn about all that is possible and sparks some dreaming. Here you will find two of my favorite career lessons. You can download the lessons themselves for free and then head on over to my Blog Shop to purchase the printables that go along with the lessons!

Lesson #1 is about introducing the students to the concept of careers, gender stereotypes and careers, and tools and uniforms needed for careers. I love this lesson because it wets their appetite for all types of careers that are available in the community. Also, this lesson lends itself to exploring gender equity and access.

Click below to get the lesson plan for the Career Awareness Lesson #1.

Lesson #2 is about types of education and training needed for careers and being able to to gather helpful information about careers from adult family members and family friends. This is one of my all-time most favorite lessons. I am so, so thankful that I saved all of my graduation mortar boards and robes! They are coming in handy all these years later!

Click below to get the lesson plan for the Career Awareness Lesson #2.

Click below to purchase/download the Career Lesson Printables!

Have fun using these first few Career Awareness Lessons with your 3rd graders!



Monday, December 02, 2013

Spread Kindness and Grow a Heart! The Grinch!

Instead of doing all of the work I needed to do before returning to school tomorrow, following the Thanksgiving Break, I made this guy!

I have always wanted to do some sort of kindness - grow a heart - activity during the month of December. So, I put-off all the other stuff to work on this little project! You too can put this together in no time!

  • Get some green poster board and use a pencil to free-hand the Grinch. Outline everything with a Chisel Tip Sharpie marker. I love Sharpies!! Also, the best eraser of all time is the Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser. I am NOT an artist and I do a lot of erasing. This eraser erases like magic!!! See the links below for these products on
  • Use fade-less construction paper to make his hat and crazy eyeballs!
  • In Target's dollar section, I purchased these place-mats sometime ago. They had green polka-dots and blue/white snowflake patterns as well. At the time, I had it in my mind that I would eventually use them for some sort of signage at school. 

  • This is what I made using this place-mat!

  • Create the Title using your word-processing program. Print on patterned cardstock and tape on the place-mat.

  • Using your word-processing program, make a heart shape and add text. Print on white cardstock and tape on place-mat.

  • Using your word-processing program, make directions for the kids to follow in order to take part in the "Spread Some Kindness and Grow A Heart" campaign!

  • Using your word-processing program, make a sheet of hearts. Print out a bunch and cut out.

  • Take to school and laminate the Grinch and the place-mat sign. Hang in the hallway. Put the paper hearts in an envelope and and hang near the Grinch.
  • As the hearts start to come in, hang them up near the Grinch. Enjoy reading all the kind words!

Now go - Spread Kindness and Grow a Heart!!