Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Fool's Weekend Sale! :-)

Hi!  Spring Break has finally arrived  here in our county!  Whew...I am so thankful for a little R&R with the fam before gearing up for the final push to summer.  We kicked our weekend off with a bit of a soggy egg hunt at our church this morning, but it was a ton of fun!!!!  We watched an Easter movie, hunted eggs indoors, and wrapped it up with a yummy hot dog lunch--so fun!
Just wanted to let you know that for today and tomorrow, EVERYTHING in my TpT store will be on sale!  Thought this would be a fun way to celebrate the April Fool's weekend, but there is no fooling here--10% discount on absolutely everything you buy! 
Hope you have a great weekend, and an especially joyous Palm Sunday tomorrow.  I always love hearing my children's church kiddoes proclaim, "Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"  Blessings!  Shannon :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner-Fun at GAGC!

Last week my colleague and I were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to present at the GAGC conference held at Callaway Gardens.  Not only were we able to present, but we also got to hear outstanding presentations from educators all around the state of GA! 
It was exhausting and energizing all at the same time!

The title of our presentation was "Let's Go:  Creatively Transforming Your Students into Global Thinkers!"  We invited educators to come aboard for a travel transformation!  Tina and I shared how we have begun to weave geography throughout our units of study and how we now make a conscious effort to implement a geography strand for all of our students in grades K-5th.  It is unbelievable to think about just how connected the world now is...our students will contend with global political issues, global economic issues, and global communications!  In the last 2 years, Tina and I really began to recognize our tremendous responsibility to educate our students about geography and global issues! 

We had an absolutely wonderful time at the conference and were thrilled to meet so many talented and energetic teachers.  Below are a few pictures taken before our presentation, as well as photos of the Exploration Stations that we shared...
Some of you have asked about the materials we presented.  Below are just a few examples of how we have heightened global awareness in our own classrooms--both by teaching geography in isolation and by adding a geography thread to existing units.  Feel free to view any of these related resources by clicking the links below.  I would also love to hear how you are incorporating global studies into your own classrooms. 

Just one more note...we have also loved using the text pictured below, Around the World in 80 Tales, with our students as an additional literacy connection.   
Around the World in 80 Tales
Hope you are inspired to think globally in your own classroom!  Shannon :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Olympic Time in Ancient Greece!

Time for our 3rd Wonder of the Ancient World--the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.  One of my favorite classroom extensions was participating in Mrs. Bryant's Classroom Olympics.  We began the morning by creating our own paper plate/olive leaf crowns.  The centers of these plates we saved and used later for our discus event.  Students wore their crowns along with their medals for a great photo op later in the day.

Other favorite events of the day included the pipe cleaner javelin, tongue twister time trials, our math fact marathon, and a classroom running of the torch. 
I kept up with results all day using a sheet like the one shown below--Gold, Silver, and Bronze.  At the end of the day, medals were awarded in our classroom medal ceremony. 
On the back of each medal I wrote the student's name and event, so that they would be able to share the day's fun with their families.
Last but not least, students recorded all of the information they had learned from our study and illustrated this wonder on the journal page provided.  I am compiling these student pages in a 7 Wonders of the Ancient World Learning Log.  These will be a great keepsake for students at the culmination of our study.
If you are interested in seeing even more of my activities for Ancient Greece or are considering teaching your students about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, this is link to my unit at my TpT store.  Enjoy!  Shannon :-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Alphabet Bible Verse P

I was so excited to introduce my children's church kids to a new puppet friend on Sunday--Willie the Watchdog!  Willie wears a watch for his collar, which absolutely thrilled my kiddoes! :-)  Willie also works in law enforcement--like traffic control and road safety...
Willie the Watchdog brought along a game for the children to play.  Everytime he held up his stop sign, they were to stop whatever they were doing.  For example, Willie would say, "Clap!" and all the kids would clap until he held up his stop sign.  Willie did outsmart us a couple of times, as you can see here by Sadie's funny expression...
  After our fun game, Willie taught the kids another word for stop...the word cease.  He went on to talk about our Bible verse for the letter P--Pray without ceasing!  1 Thessalonians 5:17.  Willie reminded the children that we never have to stop praying.  God is always available when we need Him, and He wants us to talk to Him without stopping.
  This lesson was a great reminder to me too--God is never too busy to hear from us and never too far away that we cannot reach Him...stopping right now to pray and thank Him for each of you and for His faithfulness to us all!  Blessings!  Shannon :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--More FREEBIES for You!

Hi, everyone!  I will be away from the blogging world for the next couple of days--I am a presenter at the Ga Gifted Conference, so I am super excited!  Thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated--both for me and for my husband who will be a single dad for the next 48 hours. ;-)

I do have a few March freebies for you!  Just a reminder that I am a contributor for an awesome FREEBIES blog resource site.  Check it out by clicking the link on the right side of my blog page.  You can find my free learning experiences there on the 5th and 15th of each month.

Hope you enjoy!  And Happy St. Patrick's Day on the 17th!!!  Shannon :-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--The Hanging Gardens of Babylon!

My little ones are knee-deep into their study of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and we are having a blast!  Today was wonder #2--The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

After learning about the gardens built by Nebuchadnezzar II, viewing some awesome pictures of what historians and artists believe the gardens looked like, and talking about the method of irrigating the gardens with an Archimedes screw, we were ready for today's 2 extension activities.

First, my students used recycled boxes and paint to create their own models of the Hanging Gardens in small groups!  They had a blast, however here is a tip for you...We painted the base coat before we went to recess.  That way the boxes had time to dry while we were outside. 

When we came back in, I helped by hot gluing the boxes together and students worked collaboratively to add details like trees, ivy, waterfalls, steps, etc.
Then, we began work on our own classroom Hanging Gardens!  We suspended plastic sandwich bags with ribbon.  Then students added a wet paper towel and 2 dried butterbeans.  These are thumbtacked to our classroom bulletin board, and I am hoping we will have sprouts when I see this group again next week.
If you are interested in learning more or using this resource in your own classroom, the link below is for you!  Have a great night, everyone!!!  Shannon :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Alphabet Lesson O

Today our letter for our God's Word--Bible Verse ABC's lesson was the letter O.  Our Scripture was from Psalm 8:1, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth." 
  We were visited by 2 of our puppet friends from the Bible Barnyard--Penelope the Pig and Pete the Puppy!  The 2 puppets talked to us about the beauty of their farm in the springtime.  Using today's Scripture as the focus, we discussed how God's name is to be glorified not just on the farm and not just at church, but in ALL the EARTH!
Before heading to our tables to color our O coloring page, we sang a little song I adapted from Old McDonald.  We sang, "Our Lord God made all the earth, EIEIO, and on the earth he made a ________________, EIEIO...." in case you would like to try singing it with your own little ones!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a super Sunday!  Shannon :-)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award Winner! :-)

Great news!  Holly over at has given my blog the One Lovely Blog Award!!!!  I am so thankful!   Thanks so much, Holly! :-)

I would like to honor these great blogs by passing this award onto them.  This is how it works...
1) I link back to the person who gave it to me.
2) I pass the award to 15 other "Lovely" bloggers.
3) Then I follow the person who sent it to me.

I nominate the following blogs for this award:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Freebies and Exciting News!

Best Practices 4 Teaching

Hi, everyone!  I am excited to let you know that I am now a contributor on another site.  At you can find FREEBIES from me in Math and Writing on the 5th and 15th of each month!  I invite you to come over and visit this blog full of absolutely wonderful FREE resources for you and your students!

Today I uploaded 2 FREEBIES for you and your little ones to my TpT store.  The addition of these 2 brings me to 103 total resources and counting...I can hardly believe it!  Once the writing bug bit me, I have not been able to stop. :-)

Click these links to take you to both the critical thinking and creative writing St. Patrick's Day free downloads.  Enjoy and please take a moment to view some of my many other teaching resources at

Critical Thinking:
Simply click the link below to download your copy of my math FREEBIE from TpT: 

Creative Writing:
And click this link below to download your copy of this writing FREEBIE by me from TpT:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Alphabet Letter N

This week's letter was N and our corresponding Scripture came from Hebrews 11:1--"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Today our puppet friend Clunky brought me a gift, because I have had a yucky cold.  The children and I talked about what it means to "hope" for things.  We also talked about how Clunky told me there was a gift in the bag, and I believed him because I had faith that he was telling me the truth. 
In the same way we can have faith in God, even when we cannot see Him, even when things are tough, even when we do not feel like He is near...God is real, and we can place our trust in Him!  I had the children recite the N verse with me after singing our version of the ABC song.  We also colored our corresponding N coloring sheet for take home verse practice.
And of course Clunky did have a gift for me--a brand new puppet friend for our SPARK Children's Church room!  Sadie poses here with our puppet friends--Clunky Monkey and Cletus the Camel!  Be blessed and have a great week!  Shannon :-)