Monday, January 26, 2015

100th Day Fun and Festivities!

Happy 100th day today to my sweet students!  They were so thrilled this morning when they arrived to find a huge banner blocking my door wishing them a HAPPY 100TH DAY!  LOL One said through squeals of glee, "I thought 4th grade meant that we wouldn't get to celebrate the 100th day anymore."  
And as if the banner and morning games weren't enough excitement, there were lollipops waiting on every desk...a sugary treat to get this fun day started in the right direction!  I just taped a morning message to each Blowpop and placed them on student desks as a SURPRISE!
In truth this day is always a little bittersweet for me!  I cannot believe that in 80 more days I will turn my kiddoes over the 5th grade teachers ... and then what about my own babies!  I am 100 days closer to having a sophomore, 7th grader, and 3rd grader!  Tears, smiles, then a few more tears...

Just wanted to take a sec and share a couple of our pics from the day!   Would you just look at these adorable drawings the children made of themselves...these were a hoot and are now hanging up in our classroom to give us all a chuckle throughout the school day...PRECIOUS!

We also enjoyed some 100th day problem solving, 100th day word play, creative writing, and more!  My sweet teacher neighbor also shared this book with me this morning, and I think this read aloud will now be one of my new 100th day favorites...

I also wanted to let you know that I recently revamped my 100th day unit--currently available on TpT for just $3.50.  There are TONS of writing prompts, 100th day science experiments, critical thinking activities, and more.  Check it out here if you are still working your way towards the 100th day...  And if you've already purchased it, be sure to redownload to get all the latest!

Hope you have a great week!!!  Wishing at least 100 blessings for you all!!!  S :-)

Winter Math Task Cards

Found these cute goodies from Carol's Garden today...just wanted to share in case you were looking for some  additional winter math fun for your students.  
Fun With Math Center Task Cards Fractions Part Two Common
These look like a great addition to math instruction.  Check them out...  Shannon :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Excellence v/s Perfection

A dear friend shared with me this weekend about a book she had been reading.  The more she talked, the more intrigued I became...and then the more convicted I felt...

The truth of the ideas she shared pricked at this mama/teacher heart, because they reflected something that I often lose sight of.  

The idea is pretty revolutionary, so buckle your seatbelt...
We should be looking for excellence from our children, NOT perfection!

WOW!  In an instant I realized that WAY too many times I expect perfection...perfection that is impossible to attain, that leaves them and me feeling frustrated, and this frustration creates an environment of criticism and negativity.

Here are just a few takeaways from our conversation that I hope encourage you as much as they did me...
1) Love is patient--Am I patient with my child who is so different from me?
2) Love does not envy--Do I ever wish my child was more like someone else's son or daughter?
3) Love is not proud--Am I hesitant to share how I'm really doing or how my child is really doing out of a fear of what people will think?
4) Love perseveres--Do I keep my mind on future possibilities rather than focusing on the difficulties and challenges I'm dealing with today?
In case you are also interested in reading more, the name of the book she shared with me is No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage.  You can find it here on Amazon...  Hope you find this book to be a blessing!  

Here's to a week filled with more grace and less over-reacting!  Shannon 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Winter Goodies to Share...

Hi!  We are knee-deep in our polar regions unit.  I wanted to share some ideas that we have used in class this week...

Students are working on nonfiction book reports, and this is an example of the paper they are using to record their AMAZING ARCTIC FACTS!
They are also enjoying keeping a record of their learning in their Polar Learning Logs.  These make a great keepsake at the end of our unit and are so fun to use to launch our studies each day!
I found this adorable polar bear cub video online to share as well...polar bear cubs...THE CUTEST!  I love that it shows them climbing, swimming, and breaking the ice for fishing.   There is also a great Magic School Bus in the Arctic your children will enjoy!!!

Logic puzzles like these are also a great way to incorporate critical thinking into any unit of study!

Hope the rest of your week is warm and wonderful!  Shannon :-)

Monday, January 19, 2015

We're Happy to Say, It's MLK Day!

Last night I helped my 2nd grader with her homework...writing about how she is inspired by MLK, Susan B. Anthony, and Rosa Parks to be a world changer.  
I loved the sincerity of her responses and the innocent hope that a 7 year old has that the world can indeed become a better place!!!  Precious!  

I pray that your Monday reminds you of this same principle...Go out and change the world--YOU were created to be a world changer!  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Blessings, Shannon :-)
PS--In honor of MLK Day, everything in my teacher stores will be on sale today!  Enjoy!  Also, check out this FREE Valentine clip art as a bonus from my TpT friend Erin...  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

He has compassion...

Our pastor challenged us a few Sundays ago to be disciplined about getting into the Word in 2015. I have been doing my best to dig into my Bible, but in humility, let me fully admit I have certainly not been perfect.  I HAVE enjoyed each day when I have stopped long enough to take a deep breath and soak in a few moments with God's truth!!!

The boys went to a basketball game last night so I had a few moments to myself in between laundry, dishes, and bathroom duty.  I have been reading in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, and last night I found myself in chapter 9.
I had to smile to myself when I stumbled upon this verse in my reading in Matthew. It made my heart smile...Even if we're weary and worn out, He has compassion!!!♥  "Matthew 9:36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd."
Isn't that such a beautiful word picture?  Us with our stumbling and bumbling weariness, and Jesus looking at us with compassion!  So thankful for this gentle and sweet reminder!  Hope it blesses you as well!  Shannon :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

We have only been out to recess 1 day in 2015...ONE DAY IN 2015!!!!  That must be a record somewhere!  Tomorrow--rain or shine--my sweet 4th graders need a reprieve!  Sun, please cooperate! 
In the spirit of cold and windy weather, though, I did want to share the drawings my students did to illustrate the various levels of Beaufort's wind scale.  
I think they are adorable and--when hung in sequential order--do a GREAT job of making the wind scale come to life!   

Looking for more weather ideas to chase away the clouds?  Now just $7 for this 204 page unit that I hope will brighten up your day!

Blessings, Shannon :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekends come and weekends go...LOL

Wow, some weekends I feel like I blink and miss it!  Monday is here, but so is a BRAND NEW resource for you.  We are just a week away from MLK day, and in honor of that, I have created a learning resource full of creative thinking, critical thinking, creative writing, and MLK-themed learning fun.  This 48 page packet is available for just $4.00 in both my TpT and TN stores.  

Enjoy!  Hope you have a marvelous Monday!  Shannon :-)  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It's Time for a Polar Expedition!


How was your first week back after the break?  Ours was pretty banquet, report cards, report card comments, hair cuts, buying a new know, all the things that make life what it is!  My word for this year is GRATITUDE, so even in spite of the busyness, I am grateful for my sweet family and wonderful students that keep my calendar full to the very brim.

I did want to also let you know that my brand new polar unit is now available!  Hope you love it as much as we do!  We had fun this first week back learning about elephant seals, human survival in the Arctic, and more!!!  Next week...the Iditarod!  145 pages for just $7.  Hope you enjoy!

Want to see more?  Find it here:

Warmest Winter Wishes, Shannon :-)

Winter Fun for Littles....

Just wanted to take a quick sec and share a resource with you that I found from Mickey's's a Winter Word Sort your kiddoes will enjoy!  Take a moment and check it out!  Enjoy!  Shannon :-)
Winter Word  and Picture Match

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Link Up and a January FREEBIE from me! :-)

Hi!  Just a quick note to let you know that I am a part of a January link up over on "Kathryn Loves Teaching."  (  Head on over for a HUGE list of January goodies to browse by a few of my favorite TpT sellers!  I've shared 4 of my own favorites there as well! :-) 
Blank Penguin Palooza Labels, Pages, Stationery, and Center Signs
Also, my latest FREEBIE is available and is perfect for your January writing!  Find this FREEBIE here at  Thanks so much for your positive feedback as well!!!  

Enjoy!  Shannon :-)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Starting off solidly....

Tuesday marks my first day back at school with students, and of course, we will be writing about our goals for 2015.  These will be proudly displayed on our January bulletin board.  Back in August, students wrote about their goals for this school year. They shared these before the break, and many were amazed at how much they had accomplished so far.  

I like midyear reflections like's good to take stock of where we are and make sure we are on track to get where we are going!  Their goals then included...make friends in my new class, get to know my new teachers, improve my cursive writing, play more games on the playground, do my homework every night, be a better friend...LOVE!  

We begin each school day with a "Morning Meeting."  Part of our meeting on Tuesday is going to center on this idea shared by MOB society:

What if we applied this to our classroom setting..."If we could be the best class we could be, what kinds of things would we be doing and saying?" or even personally..."If I could be the best ME that I could be, what kinds of things would I be doing and saying?"  These are the types of questions I want to ask my students, but also myself as well!!!

In the spirit of getting organized my mom, daughter, and I went shopping for 2015 planners.  Mine=basic black, my daughter's color of choice=sparkly purple LOL!  This weekend I have been busy recording important dates, setting goals, and of course, being thankful for another year!  Trusting you are on track for a tremendous 2015!!!!

Hope your first days back to school are a blessing!!!  Shannon :-)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Sudoku Solving Fun on a Friday!

Just updated, improved, and reduced the price of one of my favorite critical thinking resources!  Wanted to share with you as well for a little Friday fun.  We love puzzles like these in my classroom!  Would love for you to check it out and hope that your Friday is FANTASTIC! :-)  Shannon

The Stuff of Fairy Tales...

Just wanted to share a brand new bundle with you...a great value and since it is on SALE, now is the perfect time to save and save BIG!  This 349 page bundle centers on 7 of our most treasured folk/fairy tales:

1) Cinderella
2) Sleeping Beauty
3) Jack and the Beanstalk
4) Princess and the Pea
5) Tortoise and the Hare
6) Snow White
7) The Emperor's New Clothes

Find it here:
or here

Enjoy!!!  Hope your 2015 is filled with the stuff of fairy tales..daydreams, wishes, love, and hope!!! Shannon :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year and New News!!!

Happy New Year!!!  I am so excited about the coming year!  There is always something so refreshing about a new year with its new opportunities, the promise of a coming spring, and a continued chance to finish any unfinished business from 2014!
I also wanted to share a bit of new news with you!  First of all, I am participating in a New Year's sale in both my TpT and TN stores until January 4th.  I hope you will stop by for great chances to save and stock up for the 2nd half of this school year!  EVERYTHING will be discounted!  Remember to follow me on my store page if you haven't already in order to stay updated on the latest Bryant's Brain Train store news.

Also, I will be sharing in the coming weeks about some great products you will LOVE by other sellers on TpT.   Let's get started this week from a goodie by "Learning to Be Awesome!"  I love using classroom resources that improve the critical thinking of my students, so I think you will really enjoy this construction-based STEM challenge!  Be sure to stop by and check it out for yourself!
STEM Super Stretchers - Construction based STEM challenge

Blessings, all!  Happy 2015!!!  Shannon :-)