A Big Bunny of a Sale

The Easter Bunny came by today
and left surprises along his way.
Colorful eggs are all around.
With baskets in hand we search the ground.
Hiding in places here and there
Easter eggs are everywhere.

Author Unknown

I have joined with many, many other teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers who are having an Easter Sale. You can find many of those with sales here.


So quick as a bunny, hop on over for some great savings! I hope you find some wonderful “eggs” for your basket of teaching strategies.

Happy Easter!



Happy Easter!

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time.  ~Martin Luther

Easter Word of the Day

Happy Easter

Easter Sunday

Easter Eggs

Compare and Contrast Matrix

Morpheus: There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. The Matrix 1999

Wow, I just found a new graphic organizer. Or maybe I knew about it before, but I didn’t understand it well enough to realize its potential. This matrix should be great for vocabulary development. It will help students make connections, organize their thinking, and use their new vocabulary appropriately.

Here is an example from a new product I am currently creating. Students will grow in understanding about the similarities and differences among these various grasslands as they research information to complete the matrix. The new words prairie, savanna,  steppes, and pampas will become more familiar and better understood. (My newest product “Grassland Animals Scavenger Hunt” could be used with this matrix.)

Compare and Contrast matrix

Another matrix that could be used with many grade levels compares the seasons. From kindergarten upwards students could add information at their own level of understanding.

Comparison Matrix Seasons

Comparison Matrix Seasons

I am excited to explore further uses of this matrix, especially anything that could be vocabulary specific. Does anyone have any ideas?


Making a Connection

How you do it

  • Make sure your handshake is firm, not a dead fish grip. However, you don’t want to crush the other person’s hand.
  • Make sure you don’t have food or grease on your hands. You want the person to rememberyou, not what you ate.
  • If your hands are sweaty, give them a quick nonchalant wipe on your pants.
  • When you offer your hand, look the person in the eye and smile.

from The Art of Manliness blog


Our principal and counselor went to a training this summer which was to help us provide children a more powerful connection to their classroom and school. One of the simplest ideas they came away with was greeting the children at the doorway each morning with a handshake. We were asked to give it a try. Most teachers did not, they were concerned about yucky unclean hands and germs.

I, however, embraced this idea. Since the first day, I have met my children, welcomed them by name, looked them in the eye, and shook their hands. They have learned, some quickly and many with much modeling, to respond with a firm handshake, a return greeting (by name) and a look in the eye. They are now really quite expert at offering their hand and politely shaking.

Each morning I have, literally,  a personal connection and a chance to be positive, inspiring, funny, sympathetic  or whatever is needed. The children each have a chance to confide, share, laugh, etc. They look forward to this and if I cannot be at the door for some reason, they walk up to me ready to shake hands.

Today I am at home sick. I have the same running nose crud that has been going around my classroom. I realized that this is my third sick day this year, when typically I do not need to take any. I realized this connection yesterday morning when I said to my colleague across the hall that, perhaps, I shouldn’t shake hands this morning as I wouldn’t want to give them my germs. A light bulb went off in my head, as I realized where those germs had originated.

Do I want to stop shaking their hands? I don’t think so. We have indeed established a wonderful routine and a deeper connection. Will I want to continue this routine next year? I am not sure. But I do know this, I will be buying more hand sanitizer and walking down the hall to wash my hands more often!

Hand washingHand washing free poster


You may enjoy these:




Stay healthy, but stay connected to those kids!


Saint Patrick’s Day Word of the Day Card

If you’re enough lucky to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!  ~Irish Saying

Here’s a another word of the day card for March. I just checked through my blog and discovered this is the 66th free card I have posted! This has me thinking of all sorts of ideas for goals and possible giveaways. Should I do it at 100? or 75? or both?

Saint Patrick Word of the Day Card

Saint Patrick word of the day card freebie

Please consider checking out my other word of the day cards at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Thanks!


These are free:




Rock VocabularyEnjoy!


Leprechaun Word of the Day

My two favorite colors of the rainbow are gold and leprechaun.”
― Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me

As promised, I will be posting several more new Word of the Day cards throughout this week (month). If you like my cards, please check out the many available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.


Leprechaun Free Word of the Day card

The first links are to my free trial packs.







Is This Too Tricky? Example/Non-Example

I am making some problems with example/non-example for my class. I want them to include critical thinking skills. I have created the following pages. Is this too tricky? What grade level or age do you think could do it? Or is it just wrong and I should scrap it?

Critical Thinking with Example Non-example

Critical Thinking with Example Non-Example Answers

I have various other pages in math, language arts, science, and social studies. Should I pursue this idea? Thanks for your input.