Wednesday, April 15, 2015

600 Follower Celebration SALE!

Hi!  Long time, no blog!  The last 5-6 weeks have definitely been some of the more challenging ones that I have had lately!  Unfortunately, I have been out of commission with a terrible case of SHINGLES!  Who knew?  I certainly didn't!  If you have ever had them before, you certainly have my sympathies!  

I feel so blessed to finally be on the mend!  The doctor said 3-5 weeks to heal, and he wasn't kidding.  My students, coworkers, and family have been so great to help and encourage me throughout this ordeal, and it spite of it all, we did have a great spring break and Easter!  For that, I am super-grateful!
I am just praying now for healing with minimal scarring, so I would certainly appreciate your prayers as well!
But on to more happy news...I have reached the 600 follower mark in my TPT store, and am so excited about throwing a sale in honor of so many new followers!!!  Visit my store to save throughout the weekend...20% off of everything!  Thanks so much for helping me reach this milestone!!!
Be sure to also check out my newly revised Cinco de Mayo unit while you are there!  
All the best, Shannon 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Math and More...Graphing, Surveying, and Charting

Hi, and welcome back for another Monday Math installment!  Today I wanted to share some ideas that I love for how to add Graphing, Surveying, and Charting across the curriculum and some resources that I have found super helpful!

For Science and Social Studies, these math skills can be linked quite easily.  They are the perfect way to link real life math skills to real world content areas of study.  Whether interviewing parents about their favorite landforms or surveying classmates about which planet they would most like to visit, surveying allows students to connect with the curriculum in a personal way.  
Data collection and graph-making can also be used for projects (like the one above that we completed during our recent study of weather-- or even when gathering data for persuasive writing arguments in Language Arts.  The possibilities are numerous!  

For example, here is an example of how we made line graphs this week when measuring and calculating magnetic force
Once survey results are gathered, interpreted, and tabulated, students may use stickers, graph paper, hand-drawn graphs, or even classroom technology to share their data and results.  

Excel is always a great tool to use for older students, however Mr. Nussbum shares other kid friendly versions using programs and games to practice graphing skills as well.  Simply follow this link to see his fantastic suggestions:

Here's a graph for charting class birthdays. Have the kids complete it as a class discovery activity.
I also found some basic/beginner ideas on Pinterest I really love...For example, Jennifer Roys shares this adorable idea for a birthday graph from Snippets by Sarah (
fun ways for kids to make a graph
The Measured Mom also shares some awesome ideas (like this lego graph) in her blog post at

Even Sid the Science Kid loves charts.  I love this adorable song!
Or how about a more complete video on data collection from Math Monsters?
Hope your week is wonderful!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  See all of the posts in this math linky by visiting  Shannon :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Devotion FREEBIE

Happy Wednesday!  The downhill slide to the weekend has begun!  Lacrosse season is in full gear here at my house, so the weeks literally seem to be flying by!  3 games for big brother this week, 2 practices and a game for little brother, and baby sister is just along for the ride!  LOL
In the busyness of the month, I wanted to make sure you knew about a fun St. Patrick's Day devotion freebie available in my store on TpT.
Family St. Patrick's Day Devotions and Resources
Download for some fun and easy ideas for celebrating the gift of Christ throughout the month of March.  

There are even more of these seasonal devotion freebies also available.  Simply click the "Free Downloads" tab at the top of my blog to see more.  And thanks so much for your sweet feedback!  I always LOVE reading it!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy Hump Day!  Shannon :-)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Skimboards and Resilience

I will never forget the summer we bought skimboards!  Have you seen them?  Little ovals of wood that seem like they should be so easy to master.  You just toss them across the shallow surf, get a running start, and slide across the sand as easy as can be!  Right????  LOL NOT SO!  At least not for my apparently uncoordinated family.

Those skimboards got the best of us time and time again that summer!  So much so, that what began as an afternoon of fun at the beach ended with stomping, growling, and lots of family angst!  Just how many times can you land face down on the sand in front of a beach full of strangers?

Getting up again and again and again in the face of failure takes a special skill--RESILIENCE!  As a parent and teacher, I realize often just how important the art of resilience is--both in the classroom and in life.  I love this quote by Winston Churchill...
So how do we help our students and our children develop a resilient attitude?  How do we help them see the value in perseverance, diligence, and determination?  Here are just a few tips from me:

1) Remind children that failure is just a normal part of life.  It is not the end of the story; it is just part of the story! 
2) Remind children that repetitive trying is a key aspect of learning.  (Think learning to read, riding a bike, learning to walk...)
3) Provide an environment that allows for safe failures, encouraging hugs, and lots of constructive coaching!
4) Model a "don't quit, won't quit" attitude in your own life!
5) Seize teachable moments!  Some of these opportunities will will come at the bottom of a valley, and some will come at the top of a mountain...Learn to recognize these opportunities when they arise.
6) Expect excellence, not perfection!  One encourages children to do their best, while the other emphasizes shortcomings and leads to frustration.
7) Love them...unconditionally!  Teach them...continuously!  

  Thanks so much for the resilience you model to your little ones everyday!  "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"  Blessings, Shannon

PS--And on a positive note...we discovered the following winter, skimboards make excellent sleds for the snow!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

When Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies Collide!

When Language Arts and Science collide with Social Studies, wonderful things can happen!

Today we conducted a little experiment to accompany our lesson about the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Here are the details in case you'd like to do the same...
These are the supplies we needed: 2 cups of water, vegetable oil, 2 feathers, 2 cotton balls, a permanent marker, and paper plate.  
After reading a comprehension passage about the Exxon Valdez disaster (found in my Polar Regions unit) and visiting National Geographic online to see and discuss photos of the spill and clean up (, it was time for our own classroom oil spill.

The students generated ideas about how an oil spill could impact animals living in an Arctic habitat.  Then we added an Arctic animal (cotton ball) and an Arctic bird (feather) to Prince William Sound (cups of water).  Time for the spill...we added several tablespoons of vegetable oil to 1 cup and not to the other.  We labeled these cups accordingly.

While students answered questions about the Exxon Valdez reading passage that we had read earlier in the lesson, we watched and waited.  Just look at what we discovered!  
The students were shocked by the impact of the oil on the "fur" and "feathers" in just a matter of minutes.    We removed the feathers and cotton balls and placed them in 2 labeled sections of a paper plate.  Students were then given the opportunity to touch and feel the difference...this made such an impression on them!

I love when hands-on learning leads to real understanding and learning connections!  Want more ideas like these?  My polar unit is available at

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

TPT Super Sale for Super Teachers...Extended for a Bonus Day!

Just an update on the extended sitewide TPT sale...YAY!!!  Teachers...definitely some of the best superheroes that I know!!!  Hope you're having a great week!  Shannon :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Math Linky and Fraction Fun!

Time for another Math Link Up!  Today's math moment from me is all about fractions!

Thought I would share a couple of the ideas that I have found to be super-beneficial to my students and my personal children throughout their learning of fractions...
Have you seen this adorable fraction pizza on Pinterest--  LOVE IT!  What a terrific idea for building creativity and critical thinking at the same time!

Oh my!  And what about this fraction song--Here I Go!  Precious!

There are also several great online games that we love. Click on the links below, just to see a few... 

My favorite fraction memory of all time, though, has to be the board game my mom bought for my sister and me when we were little girls.  Did you have one like this?
Thanks for stopping by!  And may all of your fraction instruction be completely fabulous!  Shannon

PS--For more of the posts in this math linky, visit