Get back, Jack!
Do a little dance, Chance! 
Run in place, Grace!
Okay......I will stop being Dr. Seuss-like in celebration now!  It's just that we spent a LOT of time rhyming in Room #2 this week and I am on a roll!  I am also SO happy to be back in the writing groove--and getting over my 
sinus cold--so that I can devote some time to this beloved blog of mine!
  Does anyone else feel like data collection, upcoming evaluation anxiety, and a new curriculum demands have all been draining all of your energy time lately?  
I feel like 
I've been caught in a 
giant, swirling vacuum of paperwork that I 
(Please note the above use of large and bold print!)
This week I had an epiphany of sorts though...
and vowed to once again 
make time in 
my teaching and personal life for 
To make each and every Friday 
(and maybe even Thursday--GASP!)
a thematic extravaganza for my students
where art, music, books, and manipulatives collide to
make learning fun and age-appropriate for everyone! 
To carve out precious and much-needed time for my little learners to get out their crayons, glue sticks, and scissors to make colorful masterpieces we
proudly display in the hallway!

To dedicate this link-up with the ever-gracious
to sharing the ways in which I am determined to carry out the above plan!

  Do not teach soley from my manuals, but instead 
"build my lessons from books"
and the life-lesson learning characters inside them.  
We recently read Wodney Wat and Wodney Wat's Wobot, written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, and talked long and seriously as a classroom family about 
their anti-bullying messages. 
May there always be heroes like the humble and brave Wodney Wat in your classroom, and may 
the menacing Camilla Capybara "GO WEST!" 
and never return! 

2.  Hope that my principal does NOT decide to do a walk-through during a 
"brain break" when my class is doing Go Noodle's Dino Stomp   If it does happen though, I hope that he will be impressed with my impersonation of a Pteranadon and a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and consider them "evidence" of 
age-appropriate instruction!?!?  HA!

3.  To not stress about the mess that is currently on my desk and focus on the little people that are sitting at theirs!  This article 
serves as an important reminder of what my priorities should be....
that I need to "see" my students and honor what makes them "whole," not just what my test reports tell me they are good and not good at.

4.  Remember to sing directions happily and to the tune of
different songs to get the attention of my students
instead of saying things like,
"I'm waiting!" in a grumby, growly voice.

EXAMPLE:  Sung to the tune of 
"I've Been Working on the Railroad"

I am looking for some listeners,
all the live-long day!
I am looking for some listeners,
just to pass the time away!
Can't you hear your teacher calling?
It's time to go to lunch!
Can't you hear your teacher calling?
Let's get ready to munch, munch, munch!
If this musical and entertaining method is not successful, 
then I must remember to direct my group's attention to this fun list of
"call-and-response" signals that I bought from 
Really Good Stuff!

To remember to BE NICE--two words of advice that my father instilled in me long ago-- and to pay it forward to those who have treated me with 
respect and kindness.
This weekend's good deed involves thanking a local non-profit organization that gave my second graders a hands-on learning experience they will never forget.
Lansbury, an assistance/therapy dog, came to visit our school on Thursday and taught us important life lessons about "animals that work" and the 
people they help.

And yes, my second graders watched with empathy and nodded silently when I put my forehead on top of this 
furry one and quietly spoke
in my "dog whisperer" voice about how
much I miss my Brutus every day.  They knew how "The Beast" would never have passed muster as a helping dog, but that he had been my good (albeit stubborn) buddy
for a long time....

In memory of The Beast (aka Brutus) and in honor of Rosie, who is currently snuggled up on top of my feet, proceeds from this weekend's sales of these two literacy packs that are featured in my 
TpT store

will benefit
Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence!


If you or your students love canine companions as much as I do,
be sure to check them out  

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Know that I love when you leave comments below and try my best to respond in a timely manner!
Be sure to hop over to
to enjoy
the "top five" lists from many of my favorite 
blogger buddies! 
Enjoy your weekend!   As always, continue to share your story, hold a song in your heart, wish upon stars, keep a smile on your face, and teach your children well!

Peace out,
 photo jennifergiff-3.gif


  1. Thanks for this timely & positive post.

  2. My kids LOVE Dino Stomp on Go Noodle!! Another one they love is that walking up the stairs ones. One of my boys has crazy eyebrows and loves wiggling them during the song. Your fur boys are precious:)