My students love Splat the Cat stories. I find them easy to read aloud and think the illustrations are cute. Each story typically has enough content and pages to keep my young listeners engaged.
How I Use When Reading Aloud
- Stop and ask questions
- Text to self connections
- Text to text connections
Depending on the student I probably use 2-3 of these ideas when reading the story. I find that reading a fun and simple story can pepper in and layer in many goals or needs a student might have. Story books are one of my favorite tools when working on goals.
I decided with this story I wanted to develop a resource that could be used with various levels of learners. I created different options to sequence the growing process Splat goes through. Creating worksheets that go with the story, but can also be used with other stories is also a goal of mine. I have a student that does not enjoy Splat as much as others, so I know I can use this resource with a few other Spring/planting books I have in my collection.
This resource can be printed and copied in color or black line. I typically love color, but if you have a student who loves to color or needs fine motor practice, then printing the black line version would be awesome. Anytime I can support another therapist or teachers goals is a total win!
The language used in the various options supports different learners. Some of my students are using transition words, while others need just a simple number to support sequencing the pictures.
The prep for this is very easy. Decide what page option suits your students best and print.
How To Use
- Small group
- Morning work
- Whole group
- One to one
These can be printed on card stock or laminated for durability. Students can sequence and retell after the story. Another option is to have them listen and sequence at the same time. I would do this with a second read through. When my students used the cards the love to self check, so after the sequenced I find the first page, where Splat starts the growing process, and the listen and correct the card order.
Last, I love to connect their expressive writing skills. My students love to share their favorite aspects of most everything, so I take advantage of this joy of sharing and have them write. The illustrations are typically the easiest part of this sheet. Again finding ways to connect to the whole child. Working on fine motor and creativity. Writing and remembering the text is a fantastic auditory memory skill. If they need prompts or gentle reminders I definitely help them out. The “tell me why” piece is typically the hardest component. Wh questions are always a goal and those why questions typically challenge my students. This is a fun, simple and basic way to attack that skill with a personal connection.
- Fine motor
- Expressive language
- Wh questions
- Auditory recall
- Personal expression
Spring has definitely sprung in my planbook. I am looking forward to reading all of my favorite Spring storybooks. I am sure I will share texts and activities in the upcoming weeks, but for now I hope you found this inspirational and useful. You can find the resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Happy Spring planning!
When I thought about blogging this week I couldn’t bring myself to write about school. I’m on Spring Break and in total chill mode. Baking is something I love to do when I am stressed or when I am not hustling, doing all of my typical routines.
I woke up feeling like I needed something healthy(ish) and baked. Sometimes I wonder if it is a bit weird that I crave and find comfort in muffins, bread and pastries, but I clearly get over negative thoughts of eating carbs. If you follow my blog, you know that this love of eating what I want is a challenge at times because I need to eat gluten free.
Scrolling Pinterest for GF recipes is fine, but often they overwhelm me, so I often still look at regular recipes and modify. This is something I also do when teaching. Always looking to see how I can modify resources for unique lessons…so I guess it is the perfect carryover to cooking and baking.
Here comes a delicious modification. I very much enjoy Fruity Pebbles. They are fruity, colorful and natural gluten free. Check, check, check! I put my fingers to the screen and started to search Pinterest for a recipe that called for Fruity Pebbles.
I found one that was simple and fast, for a quick morning treat. My coffee was calling, so I worked quickly and was very pleased with the results.
I modified this recipe to suit my needs. I decided to take the butter out because I just wanted to take out the fat. Also, I didn’t want to wait for room temperature butter, so I used applesauce. My mini me is lactose intolerant, so I used her lactose free milk. You could probably use what ever milk you prefer. Also, if you want the butter…do it! Add it in.
The last modification was the flour. I choose a GF friendly flour I like. I am sure you can use regular flour or a GF flour that works for you. I think one of the things I love about baking is the freedom to tweak things for personal taste, so if you make this recipe for yourself….tweak away!
Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Muffins
- 2 cups flour of your choice
- 1 cup milk of your choice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup Fruity Pebbles
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
Preheat oven to 400°
Mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda.
Add the applesauce and milk.
Mix the wet and dry completely. Make sure the batter is lump free.
Fold in the Fruity Pebbles.
Spoon into muffin pans. You can use paper liners or just spray your pans with a your favorite nonstick spray.
This recipe makes 12 muffins.
Bake for 10-13 minutes. Times may vary based on the size of you muffins.
***I use these 1/2 muffin pans (Rachel Ray), so I yielded about 18 muffins.
Cool muffins on a wire rack. Place a pan under if you intend to glaze.
Now, the recipe I found stopped here. And if you stop here as well, I am sure you will find these muffins a colorful and happy edition to your morning coffee, tea or juice, but if you wanna live large add some GLAZE!
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
I am not known to be Mrs. Perfect, so this is a glaze that you just sort of play with.
Add the lemon juice to the powdered sugar…slowly. Mix to a consistency that makes you happy. Then drizzle over cooled muffins.
Let the glaze set up.
Eat and Enjoy! I like to plate up on one of my favorite trays. Pretty food tastes better….at least I think so.
These can be stored for a couple of days. If your house is anything like mine they won’t last a couple of days.
I’d love to know if you tried these for yourself. You can always comment and follow my gluten free journey.
If you read my blog on a regular basis you already know that yoga has been a very good addition to my life. It is my jam. I am still growing and learning, which is one thing that keeps me coming back.
I love taking a class that kicks my ass. That amazing yoga high…where you feel tired but accomplished all at the same time…that is what I love the most. I think with my personality and my level of experience I am not in the zone where it is this awesome spiritual experience. It is a workout.
This being said, I know that so many of us are not practicing in person. Classes maybe be offered, but they are not like they once were. Life has changed and I have tried to adjust. I miss my classes so much.
I decided to make a space in my house where I can practice and not pick up. Zoom classes in the family room and kitchen were not my jam. I tried. I really did. Even though I really love the physical work component of a class…I did not get mental bonuses from this set up. Being out in the open, in my house, was not relaxing. So, I made space.
I love the space I’ve created and I find it very easy to try on my own and do my own flow or take a class. I am happily surprised by how much this small personal change has helped with the changes that were forced upon us last year. I have added and edited my space over the past couple of months, loving the items I can look at before, during and after I flow.
My yoga instructor started a Sunday night yin class via Zoom. It is a slow and low impact class. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but it happens to be a perfect way to chase away the smonday vibes. She suggested we keep the lights low or practice by candlelight. I added some battery operated candles to my space and it is Sunday night perfection.
The longer holds stretch my body but they also stretch my mind. This year, this school year has had my mind racing. Taking time once a week to slow down takes effort. It seems like it should be an easy thing to do but it isn’t for me.
A faster flow doesn’t allow my mind to wander. I just listen and do. Yin classes encourage me to focus and try to practice being present. I love to think I am present in my daily life, but if I’m honest, I’m not. Atleast not everyday, all day. Deliberate and dedicated time is helping me see that I need to make and take time for my mental health.
I think I am not unlike many people, many women who think about physical health and appearance. These two things help support eachother, but what goes on inside my head is obviously masked and can be something I don’t acknowledge. Acknowledging the positive thoughts and moments is just as important as taking time to deal and cope with stressors or negative thoughts.
I’m very glad I made time and space to invite in another new layer to my yoga practice. I am overjoyed with how doing something out of my comfort zone has stretched me inside and out.
I am looking forward to the day when I can get back to in person classes, but until then I am going to continue to try my best and keep an open mind about different options for practice.
I have created a handful of these Sayrades and some of my students love them. They ask for them. This of course makes my heart happy, because I love doing new activities and especially these days we need to spice it up.
These are perfect for vocabulary, syllables and descriptions. The goal is to say the least about of descriptions to your partner to guess. Better description is the key. We clip the number on the side. Dry earse markers also work.
These are easy print and do task cards. I laminate, but you don’t have too. I also printed them on a black and white printer…in a pinch and still effective. I use the clue boards for a guide, but these work just as well with a student. We selected 1 of 12 pictures and then played the same way. When the picture was used, my student covered with a tiny post it note.
I have a sentence worksheet attached to this resource. These words can be used to generate sentences or be story starters. This is the part two of why I made this resource. My kiddos always need practice writing longer and more detailed sentences and stories.
The Clue Boards are perfect to use for a listening activity. Once the student has reviewed all of the images they can be used for listening. I like that I can scale the listening. Students can listen for 1, 2 or 3 pictures. These can be tied into sequencing. I like to have the students listen to a sentence with a picture clue…then have the student pull the word out and cover the picture with a mini eraser or tiny piece of paper.
I’m excited to use this for the next two weeks. Keeping things fun, easy and multi purpose this year has been a top priority and these future right in. I will also use these for a vocabulary tie in to the St. Patrick’s Day books we will be reading. I will share books in a future post.
If you like this resource definitely check out my store. I have other themes just like this.
This is my new haul of books. I have a solid collection of Valentine’s Day books, but of course I needed new titles.
The title alone brings the kids in. We had fun reading.
I have other stories with Desmond and Clayton. The kids seem to like these two little mice, so of course I needed the Valentine’s Day version.
This one is beyond adorable. We loved the pictures and the familiarity of the story. We read The Littlest Reindeer and The Littlest Elf over the Christmas holiday. Emma Valentine’s story delivered just as much….if not more smiles. The puppy storyline was a huge hit!
The Littlest and Biggest….fun to explore the language.
This is one of my favorite stories. I think it is the illustrations, no matter, I read it every year to atleast one student. This year I decided to make some worksheets and activities to go with it. I found the clip art on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I am having a great time with my students this week. I also read last week Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine. I forgot to snap a pic before I shared it with one of my teams. Love my teacher tribe….not sure how they are using it, but we used the detective story for opportunities to practice predicting.
I am taking advantage of anything cute and fun this year. We are all teaching in a new situation and making the most of it has been my daily mantra. I have a post from last year if you want to see some more Valentine’s Day lesson ideas.
Being itinerant can be a dream situation or sometimes you can find yourself questioning the busy, on the go, hectic daily grind. I happen to love my job, but winter can put a crimp in my peppy step. Cold weather, less sunshine and snowy parking lots make my daily hustle more challenging. I wanted to share a few things that are helping me stay warm and on schedule the winter season.
This is my second winter…or maybe third with these boots. They feel and fit better than other brands that look like these. I will not say that look amazing with a dress, but everything else works. I stay warm, dry and don’t slip as I am running in and out of schools all day. They wipe off beautifully and the interior is still supportive. I also like that they are a bootie. Taller boots sometimes make me feel claustrophobic. Especially, when I put winter wear on and off many times a day. I feel like when you are itinerant, you need to be light and stress free with coats, bags and footwear.
This little, hot pink cone is genius. I have had the same big, black snow brush since I was in college, so that means it is pretty old. It works, but it is big, whereas I am small and it is an awkward experience. This little, hot pink job fits right in my hand perfectly. It scrapes the snow and ice with complete ease. I always struggled with traditional tools, but this little guy gets the job done fast and seeing that I move on a tight schedule, I don’t have time to struggle in the parking lot. I just zip this over the windows in under a minute and go! The spikes in the top help break up thicker ice. I honestly think if you are on the go, a busy mom, or hate winter car care-you need this. I definitely think it is goof proof and easy to control.
The car seat hooks are really helpful. I had been looking into getting some and low and behold…my mom gave me some for Christmas. I can hang them from the headrest forward or behind any seat. I love that I can hang my bag in the backseat and with winter weather it is staying off the salty, wet floor. I highly recommend these for anyone who wants to keep things off the floor or flying off the seat.
You could hang:
- Tote bag
- Trash bag
- Grocery bags
Winter is my most challenging season as an itinerant teacher and looking for ways to make the day run smoother is always a good thing. Sometimes the schedules can leave me feeling like the Gingerbread Girl, but with better tools of the trade, it make the day more enjoyable. These 3 items are winter winners.
This winter is far from over, if I discover any other little gems, I will be sure to update you on what is making the day easier.
Check my other posts from last winter for inspiration, lesson ideas or just because.
I am so incredibly happy to see art happening this school year. I recently stopped to snap a few pics of some really great pieces students have created at two of my schools. Walking the halls this year has been difficult at times, but seeing color and creativity has been good for my soul.
I don’t have alot to say for this post. I’m going to let the art speak for itself.
I will try to remember to stop and admire the next round of art. I think the small things are what will pull us through and hold us together this year. I am sure art on a cart has been a challenge for Art Teachers. Maybe we can all try to stop, look and compliment!
I am back in person with my students and I really wanted to make our first week back fun. I purchased new snow themed books for the month off January. I looked them all over and decided I needed to make resources to pair up to the stories and also have fun tackling goals.
Every student seemed to love How to Catch a Snowman. I loved seeing and hearing what sort of trap they would build. I used this page and book with students K-2. I varied my expectations per student. My kindergartner was only expected to listen, recall and draw a trap. Where as, my 2nd graders were expected to listen, recall/sequence, pick out new vocabulary, design a trap and write/explain the trap.
Sequencing is something that I have been working on since September. We started with peanut butter and jelly activities, A s’mores game and activities, and now snowmen. This little matchbook activity hits alot of goals at one time.
- Oral language
- Writing extension
- Descriptive language
Playing games has been difficult this year. Keeping everything clean and safe is a top priority. We played this successfully because we each had a spinner. I took the spinner on the directions sheet and the student used the large spinner. Having printed and laminated resources has been essential. I can print many copies or if laminated I can wipe down between students.
I varied the game play based on each students goal. I enjoy materials that I can manipulate to meet multiple needs or goals. This makes planning and traveling so much easier.
Rhyming seems to be a difficult skill force few of my students. We will be using thematic rhyming for the rest of the school year. Snowball Moon is a new title for me. Hoping the kids like it too.
Froggy books are not my personal favorite, but my students like them, sonwhen I saw this one I knew I had to grab it. I also knew it would fit into my snow theme for January. My students will assemble a snowman after we read and discuss the story. I intend to have them cut and sort the pieces, then listen for what pieces they can select for gluing. I always try to squeeze in listening somewhere!
These sheets can be cut up into cards or leave as is. I made these to be in color, laminated and cut apart. A printer selection mistake at school…totally my fault, left me with a set in black and white. Instead of recycling, I decided to toss them in my bag for atleast one student to use. So happy. It worked out and was totally fun playing this Winter “Say”rades game. I made a “Say”rades game for each season. I wasn’t sure how the kids would react to playing, but so far this one is a hit!
We seem to need alot of opportunities to use descriptive language skills. Writing can be a challenge, so playing a game and just using verbal skills to describe was fun and time effective.
Winter can feel very long when you live in a cold climate, so making the most out of it is essential for me. I am going to continue to look for fun titles and make activities that engage my students. If you liked this post check back. I have other winter themed lesson ideas coming.
This year I did a lot more reading with my ears, than I did with my eyes. When I opened our Audibles account I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like hearing a story. I am typically a fast reader and a control freak, so I enjoy reading and skimming at my pace, but with listening I get every word the author intended.
Every book listed here I would recommend and enjoyed. I feel like I sort of had a few categories.
Mystery, stories with strong women and guilty pleasures.
This cover and title caught my eye. Sometimes I judge a book by it’s cover…truth. I adore that chair. Granny chic at it’s best. This was a sweet listen.
This book was along timencoming. I remember reading the leaked chapters from a decade ago. I always had hoped Stephanie Meyers would revisit the idea of telling Twilight from Edwards perspective. I read the series when it came out and wasn’t a die hard fan, but I love a series whether it be pages or on the screen, so reading this was inevitable.
This is one guest list to not be on! I loved the flow and narration of this book. I highly recommend.
I am glad I gave this book a chance. I thought it was going to be a rip off of The Giver of Stars. NOT. It is about a pack horse librarian, but the details are a very different story. If you enjoy a tale based in some historical context-give this a try.
This book was a deal and I very much enjoyed it.
I enjoyed this story….very curious tonsee hownit will translate to film.
Can’t go wrong with a classic title with British narration.
This was GOOD. Read it! Listen to it…gasp!!! I recommend to my book club and we selected it for our next meeting….that was almost a year ago. My huge hope is once we are living normally again we will get together and discuss this book, among any others we read in the time apart.
This selection was because I let my mini read the Twilight series and she discovered this book. I guess I was to busy reading other types of books to even realize she wrote this flipped Twilight. I actually enjoyed the story. We listened in the car during our rides to and from school. I love that my little reader and I can listen, discuss and share books!
I pray I never get amnesia….even to forget some aspects of this unreal year! This thriller was good and I enjoyed the narration.
These two books (above and below) were Hallmark like and perfect when I needed some sweet, happy endings.
So, I have to say that I picked up a book much less than I thought this year. Maybe it was the stress of what this year brought or that I was loving Audible books. Whatever the reason it looks like I need to step out up in 2021 and read the titles that long to be read.
This was a juicy read. Might try another by this author.
I needed some small, chill but of information to digest. This book was perfect with coffee in the morning before I hit the distance learning/teaching.
This book was recommended by my yoga instructor. I love it. I love that it can be picked up, turn to any page and take in the message. There are short passages and passages that take about a minute to read, so essentially it is a noncommittal book. This was perfect for me this year. I didn’t have the mental focus to digest a full novel, so being able to really think or just not was a blessing on the page.
This is my current read. My plan was to finish it, but like everything this year….eghh. I want to keep reading it for fun and I wasn’t going to push myself. I think that has been a huge take away this year. I don’t have to. I don’t have put pressure on myself, especially when it comes to things I should be doing for enjoyment. I will get to this and when I do I’ll let you know how it was.
Until then, I will keep listening and reading what and when it suits me. 2021 is going to be what it will be. Hopefully it will be another healthy, safe and productive year. Read on friends!!!
This mix was a need for me. It just seemed like a cozy idea. I love all of the ingredients and was super excited to try my concoction.
This is not going to be a long post. Just a quick share! Staying in ny lane-I am not a recipe blogger, just a gluten free gal who likes to share her road to living gluten free.
This is made just like the Merry Mix I made last week. Check that story (Spreading Holiday Cheer) out if you need deeper instructions.
All gluten free ingredients. I did not measure….I just eyeball what looks good to me, so add as much of each that suits your taste.
I added more toffee once I started mixing the batch together. So really this is a very flexible and personal mix of ingredients.
Then, I felt like I wanted some rice Chex, so I added that too. I was making a traditional Chex mix for my hubs, so they were already out….and why not.
White chocolate wafers are what brings the mix together. I have probably 1.5-2 cups here. I double boil and melt.
Once this is ready I add in spoonfuls to the dry mix and gently fold, coating everything evenly.
When everything is coated it gets poured out into a pan or tray that is lined with parchment paper.
I spread it out and added super cute gingerbread man sprinkles on top. This mixture needs to cool and harden, takes about a couple of hours.
I will gently break it up and store in air tight containers or zip bags.
Nothing left to do but wait to eat!
Cinnamon Toffee Merry Mix
- Heath toffee bits
- White chocolate chips
- Rice Chex
- Cinnamon Chex
- Cinnamon Cheerios
- White chocolate wafers
As we all know 2020 has been a very interesting year. I say interesting because so many things have happened in my bubble and in the global bubble. There have been positive and not so positive things that have occurred and I feel like I want to make sure I try to tip the scale at the end of this rollercoaster year in a positive direction.
My mini me and I made a fun and festive holiday treat for our neighbors. Being at home alot more these days has its ups and downs. We have seen and done more driveway chats with our neighbors than we have done in years! With this being said we have plenty of time on our hands, on the weekends, to be creative and productive, so we thought making treats for our neighbors would be a nice way to spend our Sunday afternoon.
We didn’t want to bake, because we assumed people will do that for themselves. Instagram and Facebook have surely displayed all of the banana bread, cookies and soups people have been whipping up over the last several months, so we decided on something sweet, salty and crunchy.
I think this has many names if you look up recipes on Pinterest.
- Grinch mix
- White trash
- White Christmas Mix
- White Out Mix
We did not follow a specific recipe. We used what we saw for a gluten free inspiration. Everything but the pretzels were normally gluten free. I personally like the gluten free pretzle sticks, but and shape will work.
We loaded our ingredients in the bowl. No real measuring. We sort of eyeballed the dry ingredients. This is very simple and fun for kids.
I melted the white chocolate. My mini me still isn’t ready for the stove, so while she scooped I melted the white chocolate wafers down to creamy deliciousness. I use a glass bowl that fits perfectly over a sauce pan, creating a double boiler.
I didn’t take a picture of the mixing process, but once the chocolate was ready I poured it onto the crunchy mixture and gently folded everything together. My goal was to evenly coat the dry ingredients. This is was an easy step and where our treat making story has two results.
With the first batch we added the candy and sprinkles on top…after we spread it out onto a pan lined with parchment paper.
This version looked prettier, but when packaging it up….the candy didn’t stick completely. I had to collect the mm’s and add them to the containers.
With this batch we added the candies into the mix and coated them at the same time. We added the sprinkles on after we spread it out . This way the sprinkles didn’t melt and turn the chocolate pink.
Next, we allowed the batches to cool and harden. This took about an hour. While this was happening we gathered what we needed to get things ready to package and send to the neighbors.
We put our tasty treat into disposable tin pans. I already had them and they are something that can be recycled when the treat is gone. No need to return a dish or container. In the past I have used cute, printed metal tins. I don’t know about you, but I can only store so many of my own, so I don’t want to burned someone else with storing a seasonal tin.
We added tags and bows. Nothing crazy or fancy. I wrote a holiday message on the back side and a quick note of ingredients. I have no idea about allergies, but I know that if we received this I probably wouldn’t eat it because I would be scared of gluten.
My mini popped on her elf hat and hit the sidewalk delivering our delectable delight with a dash of holiday cheer. Mission accomplished!
Gluten Free Merry Munch Mix
- Gluten Free Pretzles
- Kix cereal
- Crispix cereal
- Mini MM’s
- White chocolate melting wafers or white chocolate chips
This is what we used, but you can honestly add whatever you want…coat it in chocolate and it will be delicious! I am hoping to create a another medley next week. I will post and share.
Wishing you a fun and festive holiday season-whatever you celebrate. I hope you can take time to enjoy, rest, and spread some holiday cheer!