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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Caldecott Books + Critical Thinking

Because I love Caldecott books and critical thinking skills, I combined them into a set of fun products -- Story Sleuths.

Here's how it works:
  • Read a specific set of Caldecott books to your students.

  • Post a set of clues that describe 1 of the books.

  • Students have 1 week to submit a guess as to which book is described.
  • On Friday, winners are announced and given a certificate.

  • A new set of clues is given on the following Monday.
  • Play continues in this way for 4 weeks/unit.

Story Sleuths are designed for K - 4 classes.  They are CCSS aligned.  Originally created for use by an enrichment teacher, librarian, or art teacher, they are readily usable by individual classroom teachers.

Students involved in Story Sleuths exercise many levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.  At the same time, they enjoy great literature, learn about artistic media, and participate in collaborative problem solving.  Better yet, they love these units!

Best yet . . . all Story Sleuth products are now on sale for 30% off the regular price.  Hurry!  They won't be marked down for long.

Even the bundle is on sale!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

To celebrate, I'm offering some resources for 30% off!  The sale items will change frequently, so please check back often.  

Currently, these are the sale items:


It's about time that I tried offering some collaborative boards on Pinterest!  Followers are hovering near 900 on each board after just 1 week.  I'd love to have you join.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

An Apology for the Apologies

Apparently I need to apologize for my apologies; the ones I never got written.  

The rest of my spring has been filled with more grandchildren -- literally.  Our newest granddaughter came a bit early. So, we had no sooner left for NC for granddaughter #2's birthday, than we received word that Aria Melinda was here.  Our son and daughter-in-law wanted us to come for 2 weeks.  So, 1.5 days after driving home from NC, we flew to sunny CA.  [Just as an aside: why in the world do I live in central IL when there is such a paradise on the west coast?  Maybe the hubs and I can retire there.]  

2 days after returning from CA, our daughter's family, the N. Carolinians, came for a 2 week stay.  The kids were tracked out and they had to come back to the midwest to look for housing as her husband has been transferred to the Quad Cities.  Great news for us since the grandkids will now be 3 hours away rather than 12.  But, it was a very busy 2 weeks with 3 little ones running around the house.

It has taken me a little while to recover from all of this grandparenting.  And now, it's summer. Whew.  I'll really try to do better with my blog, just in case anyone is still following.

I have finally taken the plunge and created some collaborative Pinterest boards.  If you are interested in joining any/all of them, please email me with your request:  You have to follow the boards before I can invite you to collaborate.  

Between grandchildren, I did manage to create a few new products.  Check these out:


Sunday, April 27, 2014

An Apology, Pt. 2

If you are still hanging in there, despite my dismal record of blogging in 2014, I'd like to offer explanation #2...

A few short days after the baby shower, my husband and I took off for NC to celebrate our oldest granddaughter's birthday.  She is the proud, new owner of an American Girl doll.  As a doting grandma, I became quite focused on providing a wardrobe for her doll.  Do you know how expensive American Girl doll clothes are?!?!?!

Enter Etsy!  I found lots of really cute doll clothes that were very well made. Of course, I whiled away many, many hours perusing the more than 29,000 offerings.

When we returned from NC, it was time to start planning for the next granddaughter's birthday.  As she, too, has an American Girl doll, I found myself on an instant replay, until...

I had an epiphany!  I used to sew a lot, still have a sewing machine, even have quite a few remnants still in the sewing basket.  And just like that, a new passion was born.  It's really fun making doll clothes!  Here are a few of my creations:

The red and blue outfit is completely reversible with each piece flipping to the other fabric.


These are mix and match outfits.  The white crop top is reversible, as you can see.  Notice the necklace on the tunic?  What kind of grandma would I be if I didn't include jewelry for the dolls?  And thus, yet another passion was born...

The sewing machine is still out and my husband wants to know when I will stop.  Hmmmm. Good question.

There are still more explanations to come.  All in good time.

Friday, April 25, 2014

An Apology

A lot of TIME has passed with very few new posts.  I apologize, but I can also explain...

In late January, my son and daughter-in-law surprised us by planning a somewhat spontaneous trip from their home in CA to ours in IL.  As she was expecting their 1st child, and my sister, sister-in-law, and daughter had been asking how we could throw a baby shower for her from a distance, I sprang into action planning a shower for her here, in just 3 weeks.  Invitations were the top priority and with the wonders of desktop publishing, this is what I created:  

Cupcakes were the theme, so the next order of business was trying out cupcake recipes and learning to decorate them. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!  The greatest compliment came from my cousin who asked what bakery supplied the cupcakes.

Again, thanks to YouTube, I learned how to make a diaper cake, although my version had only 1 layer of diapers.  The majority of the cake was onesies and hooded towels.  The cupcakes sur-rounding it were made from socks and baby washcloths.

And, of course, there were shower games.  I love making these things on my computer!  The bingo game was made up of things on the baby registries.

Each grandchild receives a crocheted baby blanket from me.  This is the one I made for the baby shower:

The shower was wonderful!  It did, however, consume a great deal of my time.  

By the way, I do know that it is against the rules of etiquette for the prospective grandmother to throw the shower.  Hence, my name did not appear on the invitation.  But, as a matter of practicality, the shower had to be at my home and all of the listed hostesses live out of state.  So, I had tons of fun spoiling my daughter-in-law and soon to be granddaughter.

That's my 1st excuse explanation.  There are more to come!