Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Praises of God

Welcome to another week of:

Last weekend, I was invited by a friend of mine to go listen to Priscilla Shirer.  She is an excellent speaker if you have never heard her.....I would recommend going to see her if she is ever close to your town.  Anyways, I ended up purchasing one of her books called Can We Talk?   I have started to do the book study and Oh  boy has it opened my eyes and makes me see that I have a lot of work to do.  :-)

This was one of the quotes that she had in the book and it is so true.  Every word that we speak should make God happy and pleased.  Unfortunately, I know that if I look at every word that comes from me, it wouldn't always please God.  For example:  Complaining........I have to admit I do this whether it be I'm tired, don't feel good today etc......if my mouth is full of all of that there is no room left for God's praises.  There are always those little things (speaking for myself) that can easily fill our mouths that will take away from God's praises.  I want God to be pleased with what he hears from me.  My question to myself this week after every day is: What did my mouth contain most frequently:  God's praises or criticism/judgement and complaining?  I'm working on it leaning towards God's praises on a daily basis.

James 3:8-11 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Duck or Rabbit? Great Opinion Writing Piece

On our grade card in first grade we are to have the kids write an opinion piece and give them a grade for it.  I was so excited when I came across this Duck or Rabbit opinion writing idea at First Grade Fairytales.  The kids listened to the book Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal which I was glad to find on youtube since I didn't have the actual book yet.  

In the story, there are 2 characters and one believes it is a duck while the other believe it is a rabbit.  They discuss reasons why they think it is a duck or rabbit throughout the book.   It is a very cute book.  When we finished the book, the kids had to decide what they first thought it was and then they got to color their duck/rabbit to look like a duck or rabbit.  Then they had to write their opinions as to why they thought it was a duck or a rabbit.  They had a lot of fun with this and they turned out really cute.  Check them out:

I had the majority of them say it was a rabbit.  Only a few thought it was a duck.  

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The MOST Honest, Random Five for Friday

Good morning!

I apologize ahead of time for this very random, yet very honest post. This week as I was thinking ahead to my blog post, I really struggled with coming up with any sort of useful teaching tips or information for you. 

So in all honesty, I am surviving people. 
Just surviving

We have three weeks left of school and everything is crazy with resignations, hirings, activities, and students who have already "turned their thinkers off." Add to that my attempt to prepare the K-2 students for their Spring program, Hats!, and I have been sick for two weeks and taking Mucinex around the clock. 

Survival, ok?

These first two pictures go together...

This is the second bird in two days I have found in my driveway. The first one was not this pretty, but when I saw this bluejay I was bummed.

Please forgive me. I am not a cat lover. We are just not cat people (sorry, Kristi!). However, we have a constant supply of cats around our home because they live in our barn. See below:

I don't mind a couple of cats in the barn. Really, I don't. Because it helps with some other pesky problems, you know? 

But please, cats, stop killing my birds. That I do mind! Especially a pretty bluejay. Blue is my favorite color.

Normally, by now we have a mama fox move in to have her babies. That kind of clears out the cats for awhile. But no mama fox this year…which means the cats are multiplying…

P.S. My daughter's new truck…even trade for an old Blazer we had. Benefit of hubby being an auto-tech at a dealership. It is not crooked, the ground is… She is excited. And she can even see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals.

Harley's the short one. :-)

Speaking of Harley, she won an award for writing an essay "What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me." We knew she got 2nd at the local ELKS lodge, but it was a surprise that her essay went on to win 2nd in the division and 1st in state! Pretty cool. 

She got $125 gift card to Wal-Mart--which I confiscated to go toward the cost of repairs to a borrowed, broken saxophone. 

Long story. 
Yes, I felt bad taking her winnings. 
However, she has no other $$$ and needed a lesson in following the rules of caring for an instrument.

 Harley is in track, so I've been spending some time at track meets. We have two this next week to add to our busy schedule.

Chaz is obviously not in track. But he got that brace opened up this week and can now put some weight on his knee. I can't believe it has been six weeks since surgery. Four more to go with the brace… He has actually lost 15 pounds (of muscle). :-( I guess that is not uncommon, but I'm not used to him being so scrawny.

He really was excited--just not about Mom taking his picture.

Finally, just so you know I am still trying to teach my class. 

We started our plants unit with some beans in wet paper towels. The kids don't think they are going to grow. I can't wait to see their faces when these babies sprout!

Thanks for sticking with me for Five for Friday!

Wishing you a dead-bird-free week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Praying for Others

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by!

A little background...this quote refers to when we're praying for others, often when they are going through a trial. Take a peek.

Let me start by saying I don't think any of us can know why someone is going through a difficult time and we should not assume it is the result of sin or some type of punishment from God (we're going through Job on Wednesday nights at church, his 'friends' were quite good at example of how we should not be). 

Anyway, I do think the things we go through in life can *all* be used by God for our good. This quote stood out to me specifically as I was thinking about my own children. Even as teenagers, they go through difficult son's injury, for example. 

As a mom, I want to fix things and often my prayers go along those same lines when I pray for them. This is a great reminder for me to instead be praying that they will draw closer to the Lord through the trials they face--not necessarily that they will be rescued from whatever it is.

I guess it is a good reminder of how to pray for others--and even ourselves!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prefixes and Classroom Dojo

Today we worked on the prefixes re- and un-.  I always like introducing it by having the students act it out for me. This morning I told the kids that I would be needing a helper and of course they all love to help so all hands went up!  :-)  I picked a helper and had him bring up his backpack.  I then told him to unpack his bag and when he was done, I told him to repack it and I did this several times (he was a great sport about it but I think he was getting a little tired toward the end LOL!).  The kids then had to tell me what they thought the re- and un- prefix meant and they were able to tell me right away what the meanings of them were.  Here is my great sport! 

We have a little over a month left of school and the weather has been nice.  Therefore, it is that time of year when sometimes the kids may need a little more motivation to keep up their hard work.  I decided to incorporate Classroom Dojo.

If you aren't familiar with it, it is a great classroom management tool that is free and it encourages good behaviors.  I used it today along with my behavior clip chart.  The kids earn points for following the rules (that simple).  Then they can lose points for not following the rules.  The cool part about it is that when you give a point to a student the computer makes a ding that they know is for something good.  When a point is taken away it makes a different ding and they know that someone needs to make a better choice (that little ding was was so quick and every kid made sure they were doing the right thing when they heard it).   The kids were so excited about it and were excited to see how many points they earned.  After showing their points to them, I saw them doing the silent cheer and happy dance!  Check them out!

At the end of the day, I pulled up a graph that Classroom Dojo shows that shows the percentage of how they did in class.  It breaks it down by each rule.  We talked about what rules got a lot of positive points and what rules lost the most points.  Many students told me as they left that they were going to try to be the top point earner tomorrow.  :-)

If you haven't seen Classroom Dojo, make sure you check it out.  It is very easy to use and has very clear directions as well. 

Have a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Reading Stories and Writing Biographies

Hey there! 

It feels like it has been forever since I posted...that could be because I missed my Friday post last week. We had a ladies conference at church that kept me busy. 

I'm back today to catch you up on a few things going on around here before I race off to my children's band concert. It is definitely that time of year when the days and evenings are just crammed with activities! Yikes! 

We were supposed to have "Farm Day" this afternoon, but we were rained out. :-( 

So...I thought it was the perfect day to visit the computer lab. 

You see, earlier this week we had interviewed classmates and wrote a biography in our journals. It was time for the final draft.

Here we are practicing our interview skills.
They were so excited to type their biographies! Before we headed to the lab, I explained that they would need to really listen and follow my directions exactly. If they failed to do so, I would become annoyed and I would want to quit. Ha!

This class is absolutely amazing! I just can't say enough good things about them. They did a great job, and we only had one student move another student's folder to an unknown location by mistake. Hee hee. I call it a success! We'll have to finish typing next week.

We have also reading our basal stories differently the last few weeks. I like to do this at the end of the year to keep things exciting and secretly work on learning to cooperate with one another. 

I take each story and type up the questions from the teacher's manual. The groups then read the story and take turns being the teacher by asking the comprehension questions. We discuss the importance of getting along with each other and make sure there are no "hogs or bumps on the log." They are getting pretty good at working together. It is fun to watch!

That's all I have for today! I'm off to the band concert. Both my kids son is playing piano in the jazz band for the first time. He's talked non-stop about it for weeks (and if you knew my son that in itself would tell you how excited he is--he is not a talker)!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Enjoy the Little Things

Welcome to this week's:

I recently lost my babysitter that I had since I was a baby.  She was 90 years old and I had stayed in touch with her throughout all these years.  She had a very special place in my heart.  After her funeral, I was visiting with her daughters and another friend of mine that had her as a babysitter as well and we were talking about various memories that we had of her and what we were going to miss.  It is amazing how the littlest things we take for granted are things that we remember and tend to miss the most.  The smallest things seemed to be the most memorable things!  For example, we all remembered how she taught each of us to play various card games and we loved sitting down and playing those games with her.  Something so little, but meant so much to all of us.  So, remember to enjoy those daily things that may seem to have little meaning today.....because someday you may look back on them and realize they had a greater importance in your life!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 13, 2015

OO Glasses and Building Our Muscles

We have been working on the oo sound as in book and look.  We started out by building our muscles.  I found this cute idea over at The Teacher Wife. In her blog, she related the sound of oo to the sound you would make when you flexed your muscles.  So I had the kids flex their muscles and tell me the oo sound.  The kids thought this was hilarious!  Every so often, I would say, tell me what the oo sound is and they would all flex their muscles and in a deep voice they would make the sound.  It was cute!  I'm so sorry because I forgot to take pictures of it (which I was mad at myself about because they looked so cute flexing those muscles!).  

We then used the oo glasses from The Teacher Wife.  The kids had to come up with words with the oo sound and write it on their glasses and then they got to put their glasses together and wear them for a little while.  They thought they were pretty cool with their glasses on!  LOL!  

I was very excited because by the end of the week every student could remember how to spell the oo sound!  YAY!  

Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Running Ahead

Good morning! I'm glad you're joining us for another wisdom post. I pulled out an old devotional I have and am going back through it, so you'll probably be seeing a lot from Oswald Chambers in the coming weeks or months. If you don't have his My Utmost for His Highest, I highly recommend it.

Here's one I read recently that really caused me to stop and think:

I'm so guilty of "running ahead" sometimes! If only I would slow down and allow the Lord to guide each and every step, how much more would my life glorify Him?

The quote continues, "...with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede." The burdens distract us and keep us from being in the right heart attitude to encounter others and difficulties in our lives. 

Chambers goes on to say, "God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is to treat them heartlessly..." 


But oh, so true!

I'm so comfortable and busy with my friends and my family. Are there times when God puts someone else in my path and I'm just too busy or distracted to really take notice of them and their needs? 

Sadly, I would have to answer yes. 

After reading this, I've been challenged to slow down, to allow the Lord to guide my steps, and to take notice of others outside "my circle." What about you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Winner, Winner!

Good evening! I just got home from my daughter's track meet and thought I'd pop in to let you know the winner of our mini-giveaway. :-)

Thanks to everyone who commented and explained how they got to the blog post. It was good to hear that we do still have readers out there! Hee hee. 

I will say I still read blogs, but during the school year I definitely don't comment on as many as I would like. I use Bloglovin' and felt a twinge of guilt the one time I used "Mark All as Read" because I just got too far behind. Ha!

So…the winner is Jayme! I'm e-mailing you the fraction pack now. 

Sleep well!

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Currently

I have linked up with Oh Boy 4th Grade April Currently.

Listening to my dishwasher running.....seems like I needed to run it a long time ago, but haven't gotten around to it. 

Loving that I actually took some extra time to get my house clean this weekend.....boy did it need it!

Thinking-where did this year go?   I can't believe that there is only 6 1/2 more weeks left this year!

Wanting-I'm wanting to get started on a few house projects!

Needing-to organize my thoughts and decide on what I want to do for colors etc. in my house projects.

EGGS-plain your name-When we started our blog, we decided on the name Teaching Little Miracles because we believe that we are teaching students that our little miracles!

Don't forget to link up for your April Currently!

I hope you have a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Five for Friday - Fractions, ABC Order, and Persuasive Writing

Good morning - and it is good! I'm off today for Good Friday, and for the first time all year, I needed this break! My kids have come back from Spring Break reluctant to use their thinkamabobs (as we say in our spring musical practice...Hats! by John Jacobson and John Higgins which we will perform on May 4th - eek)!

First things first...I saw this on Instagram and I wanted to do an experiment here on the blog.

The consensus on the comments of this IG post seemed to be that some still read blogs, but most only click over when it is advertised on IG or FB. So, please, tell me how you got here today! Leave your thoughts in a comment below. I will use the random number generator thingy and choose a winner for my next Five for Friday picture.


This has been Kristi's labor of love for quite some time and it is finally posted on TPT. Here's a little information about the pack:

Includes 7 games designed to give your students a fun and engaging way to practice fractions and 3 fun fraction worksheets!

2 Connect Four games
Identifying fractions

2 I Have…, Who Has…? Games
Identifying fractions
Game 1 has 22 cards
Game 2 has 22 cards

Memory Game (comes with 42 cards)
Go Fish Game
Scoot Game

Click on over to TPT to check it out. She has it listed at a sale price of only $3 for this weekend!

Check out these persuasive letters. We pretended that our principal was going to take away some of our favorite things about school, and the kids had to convince him to change his mind. They did AMAZING!

This little cutie was definitely the winner. Take a look at that last line!


This class is sometimes a bit of a mystery to me. They are overall a very bright class, so I am completely confused when they struggle with something like alphabetizing and using guide words. These are skills we work on every week using Mountain Language. After spring break--when it seemed our struggle was getting worse instead of better--I went on the hunt for some resources to get some concentrated practice. I'm all ready for a little drill and kill next week...but these look like they will be fun for the kids at least!

The mini-alphabet strips are free from here. Check out ABC War!  for free on TPT, and then the guide words and word cards are from here (also free).


Last, but not least.

My son is doing great! He is rocking out his therapy exercises and working hard to recover. He is still not weight-bearing (three more weeks to go) so the crutches and the Wal-Mart "buggy" are still a big part of our life, but we're celebrating small victories!

Thanks for stopping in for Five for Friday. Don't forget to comment below what brought you here and your thoughts on reading blogs. If you have a blog, link up with Doodlebugs! :-)

P.S. I still read blogs. :-)
P.S.S. If you do want to follow me on Instagram, click here.

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