I made it through 21 fairly stressful days of school and I am still standing!  How are you holding up?  

I attribute my survival to lots of coffee, great support from my co-teachers and aides, and the attitude that finding the humor in all situations will see you through!

So.....after a lengthy absence from the blogging world and in order to celebrate all of the above, I thought I'd link up with DoodleBugs for ...


I must admit that I haven't taking many pictures of our learning space or projects over that past three weeks, but I did finally get my classroom blog up and running!  Courtney at Blogs Fit for a Queen was my designer, and I am just tickled about how it turned out!  Take a peek {HERE}!

I also finished and uploaded some new creations in time for fall, which is my favorite season, and I hope these FREEBIES will help you work "smarter not harder" in the coming weeks!

Some of my best blogger buddies have organized 
Fall Fun & Free Hop 
that begins today and runs through Sunday!  
You won't want to miss it!

My new Math sampler pack
 is making it's debut in the hop!  It features a booklet of
bar graph activities that will help your young learners practice comparing, contrasting, and interpreting data!

Thanks in advance for leaving constructive feedback on all of the freebies you download!  It is greatly appreciated!

Just click on the Fall Fun and Free tab to the left of my Facebook page at 
Stories and Songs in Second!

Barn Dance is a fabulous book to share when the air turns cool, the leaves start to change color, and it is time for field trips to the orchard, 
pumpkin patch, 
or farm!

The rhymed and rhythmic text is just so much fun, and will inspire your students to write some wonderful sensory poems of their own!

Grab this FREE creative writing and book companion activity {HERE}!

You might also like this Word Work Literacy Pack as well!  
Check it out {HERE}!

Whenever my class earns a dozen "Gold Stars" for good behavior in their Special Area classes, we vote on a group privilege to enjoy.  Last Friday, each child brought in a stuffed friend for our theme day, and I created this fun
writing activity for them to complete and share!  

My students loved filling in the sentence frames and making descriptive lists about their animals, 
and were proud to publish their booklets from our Share Chair!

I am not sure how or why it took me so long to discover Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen's magical Mercy Watson book series, but I must say that they make every after-lunch read aloud the most hilarious part of our school day!

  Who wouldn't love a pink pig dressed in a tutu and a tiara?  This toast-loving "porcine wonder" has captured the hearts and minds of my second graders, and we can't wait to finish reading the entire series and move onto the Tales of Deckawoo Drive!  Our plush version of Mercy takes turns sitting on the lap of one lucky student when we enjoy her adventures, and can be found on Amazon!

Check out her delightful website at

I couldn't help but smile when a friend and fellow Basset Hound fan sent me this picture!  It has been three weeks since my dear Brutus passed away, and it made me chuckle to see this guy's ears flapping in the fan breeze!  

Rosie and I are finding our way through each day without him.  She actually hopped up on the bed the other night instead of seeking solace and refuge under it.  She still starts to whine when I leave for school in the morning, and my heart hurts sometimes because I know how long and lonely the days can be without her sidekick. 

Even though I know that The Beast is in a better place now-- where his back is 
pain-free, his eyes can see, his ears can hear, and his tummy can tolerate all kinds of treats--I often still wish his big old head was resting on my knee while I type my blog posts, grade papers, and create products.  He was good company for this "school marm," and his paw print will forever remain on my heart.

As always, thanks for  indulging in my "puppy love!"  

Continue to hold a song in your heart, teach your children well,
share your story, hold onto your dreams, and 
let peace guide your planet.....

 photo jennifergiff-3.gif


  1. That paw print is such a sweet reminder of your Brutus! Love it!

    Learning at the Teacher Table

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Donna! Brutus was such a goofy old guy! He is missed!

  2. Your new blog design looks great! Stuffed animal day sounds like a lot of fun and the writing prompt sounds like an awesome way to make it educational. Great idea!! Have a great week!

    1. Thanks for your kinds comments, Sara! Now if I could only have a few extra hours of every day to post more often on all of my blogs!