Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Reading Series: Sunshine and Lollipops

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to my new Summer Feature!

Every Friday I will be republishing a post by a fellow teacher-blogger featuring a book or books. I will also be sharing the bloggers answers to some questions for an interview section. If you would be interested in being a featured blogger this summer, please click THIS LINK and follow the directions on that page. I hope to hear from you soon!

Two Teacher Friends
My Book Blast

Now onto the fourth feature.

Today's Post come courtesy Kathy from Sunshine and Lollipops.

What was your favourite teaching moment and why?
Through my 30+ years of teaching, I have many memories and stories, but I think one of the most touching moments of my teaching career was when I taught with a special education teacher.  I was one of the first teachers…way back when…to have an inclusionary classroom so to speak!  I had a little girl who was considered to be a “selective mute”…we never really heard her say a word…ever…ever. One day she was sitting in the sharing chair as she did many times, but never shared and the children were sitting ready to listen to her…or actually some were ready to listen and others…well others were chatting quietly or maybe not so quietly.  Then out of the blue this little girl began to talk about a bunny she had as a pet. All of a sudden on of the spectators said in a fairly loud voice…She’s talking and then it happened; all the children turned to face her and they were as quiet as can be…seriously you could have heard a pin drop…they listened, were respectful, asked questions and clapped when her sharing was complete…that was one of the best days of my teaching career!!!

Who was your favourite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was my first grade teacher…why?...because she cared and took the time to make sure every child learned at their own pace. In fact, my parents took me out of school for a vacation and guess what?  She stayed with me after school and made sure I learned what I missed and then…believe it or not…she drove me home. Now I know that this could not be done in the same capacity today especially driving a student home, but she cared about her students every last one and I will never forget that…by the way, her name was Norma Piccone.

What would your Superhero name be and Why?
There was a superhero a very long time ago named Mighty Mouse.  His slogan was
“ Here I come to save the day…that means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!” I chose him because I would love to save the day for every child or person who needs saving and needs to be safe in today’s world.

What animal do you think would make a great teacher and why?
I think a dog  like a Golden Retriever or a Irish Doodle who is my grand dog would make a great teacher because dogs are friendly, loyal, caring, love the people around them, keep their owners save, love to give hugs, play games and are there when you need them…I think that sounds pretty much like a teacher to me!!

If you could have any other job, what would it be and why?
Teaching is something I always wanted to do, but there was a point in my life that I wanted to be a psychologist. So, perhaps I would choose that profession.  I think the human mind is soooo interesting and actually is you are a teacher, one of the hats you wear is probably that of a psychologist!!!


20+ Ways to Have a Little Fun with Your Inner Child or Make Some Time for You!

Originally Published Tuesday, May 31st 2016

“Everything seemed possible, when I looked through the eyes of a child. 
And every once in awhile; I remember, I still have the chance to be that wild.” 
― Nikki Rowe
It is time to bring your inner child on an outing. Have some fun now or later, but now is better: 20+ Ways to Have a Little Fun with Your Inner Child or Make some Time for YOU and YOUR Family...the Time is NOW...I bet You Already are Doing Some of These!

Summer is almost here and I began to think that when I taught full time (I have been retired for 2 years) how I sooooooo looked forward to the summer only to find that it was gone before it started. Have you ever felt that is gone and it hasn't even started it yet?? I mean it is cra- cra-crazy to feel that way, but it happens.  So...this summer I want YOU to enjoy your summer and try not to think about August or the next school year. I know what you are thinking...Yeah...right not think about next year... the school year is not even over yet and you can bet I HAVE already though about next year! So...for the month of June or July, store those thoughts in a box labeled "to think about later" and try some of these ideas that you KNOW and have LEARNED and are TRIED and TRUE and yadda yadda yadda!  This is a post I wrote a while back, but I think it is well worth repeating right about NOW as summer begins and relaxation is a MUST especially if you are a TEACHER!   SO here are some ideas for YOU!!! YES I know you may have your own kiddos tugging on your apron strings, calling your name at least 100 times and kicking screaming and telling you what THEY want to do...BUT...YOU Do need to make some TIME for YOU!  Close yourself in your room after everyone is asleep or get a babysitter or Mother's Helper for a day and try just one of these ideas...actually you CAN do many of these with your kids in tow and as suggested they can be used during the school year with your class, too!  Most of the ideas speak to this:

Why not take your inner child on an outing for a day?
  • Go solo to a park, sit with a good book for awhile and savor the quietness of the world...make sure to pick a bench that is far away from a baseball field and such.
  • Schedule a facial or massage to unwind and just savor the moment...Hand and Stone has introductory offers for about $50/hour....just don't let yourself get talked into the package or do and have one every a massage/facial membership.
  • Take an early morning walk at a slow pace focusing on your breathing so there will not be any intruding thoughts of school or life...enjoy the presence of this moment, this second and calm your mind.
  • There are so many wonderful inspirational ideas that make so much sense that can be learned from reading children's literature! Bring out your inner child for a day and sit down to reread your favorite children's book! I bet you will look at the world from a different perspective!  
  • Go to a park and swing or slide for awhile (Recess is a great time to show your students you are really just like them...I used to LOVE to jump rope (of course as I got older, each jump was a little bit harder on my bladder and more difficult! LOL) play hand games (they LOVED the old fashioned ones I remembered from my day).  When I ran around the playground with my kiddos not only did I squeeze in a little exercise, but also this activity made my class giggle and smile! During the summer these ideas above can be done with your own kiddos. Put the cell phone away...leave it in the car or turn it off and have some fun at the park with your own little ones...believe this time will pass quickly...make memories...they DO remember!!! Oh...and don't forget to bring the wax paper so the slide is FAAAAASSSSSTTTT!
  • Read aloud your favorite children's book to your class, child or grandchild and have them pick a quote from it and expand and say what meaning it has for them.
  • Post a Quote a Day in your classroom or on the refrigerator that came from a children's book you loved and maybe still love and suggest your class or child read this book! You will have the benefit of seeing that quote everyday to encourage your spirit.
  • Draw on the sidewalk with chalk...YES YOU by yourself or with your class or children! A quote on the sidewalk for passersby might just make their day!!!
  • Watch some of you favorite TV shows from years gone by at home with your kiddos and chat about how things are the same and different from what is on TV today!
  • Run outside on a rainy day and jump in puddles or just walk in the rain without an umbrella...make sure it is just thunder or lightning just sayin'.
  • Build a sandcastle if you are near a beach or play with kinetic sand and build whatever suits your mood!
  • Walk barefoot through the grass or on the beach and feel summer...remember how free you felt as a child...bring back that feeling!
  • Swim in the ocean...jump in the pool, swim and feel the ocean breeze or glistening sunlight on your face.
  • Take a walk in the woods and stop for a few seconds to listen to the sounds of nature.
  •  Go to a trampoline park and jump solo or with your kids.
  • Walk the beach or pretend your walking the beach and visualize what you see, hear and smell.
  • Take the time to finish something you started a while back and never completed it...that children's book you are writing or the craft you never seemed to have time to finish!
  • Go by yourself to a movie that you have wanted to see!
  • Go out to lunch alone without your phone a bring that book you haven't had a chance to read!
  • Do anything that allows your playful childlike side to emerge from the deep, dark crevices of age!
  • Do whatever it takes to have some childlike won't be sorry!

PS.  Here are 2 of my favorite books from when I was a child.   
1. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams...I read this story to all my children as they grew up!  We often had great discussions about the topic of being real. As one quote from the book says, " Real isn't how you were made," said the Skin Horse.  It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become REAL."Does it hurt?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit.  "Sometimes said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

A Great Guide to putting the Velveteen Rabbit's hidden message to use in every day life is: 
The Velveteen Principles (Limited Holiday Edition): A Guide to Becoming Real, Hidden Wisdom from a Children's Classic

2. Trixie Belden Mystery Series by Julie Campbell Tatham I mention this series because one summer the summer of 1961, I spent the entire summer reading every book in this series!  These books are what hooked me onto reading. Before that I was in the "crows" reading group and of course I knew that the "Cardinals" were top notch in the class! However I was obsessed with these books and couldn't wait to read more and more. i remember being so disappointed when I read my last and final book in the series! These books were out of print from 1986-2003...I had no idea the early books were reprinted by Random House!  Think I will go on Amazon and get one to bring out my inner child ( 5th grade inner child!). 



  1. I am so excited to be a guest blogger on your fabulous blog! Thank you for the opportunity and the collaboration!!!


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