September 30, 2010

May There Always Be Sunshine

This is one of my favorite pictures of Kate.  She was about 9 months old.  She seems to be truly basking in the sunshine.
It reminds me of an old newpaper cartoon called Hi and Lois.
One of the characters is a freckled, blonde baby called Trixie who loves talking to Sunbeam, a ray of sunshine.  Kate looks like she might have something to say to Sunbeam.

May There Always Be Sunshine!

May there always be sunshine.
May there always be blue skies.
May there always be children.
May there always be you.

May there always be stories.
May there always be music.
May there always be teachers
to care for you!

May there always be sunshine.
May there always be blue skies.
May there always be children
as special as you.

by Dr. Jean  

This is a class book made by a Mrs. Bailey's kindergarten in California.   Here are their favorite things. 

May there always be....

(Notice the pictures. The kids are signing the words.)

May there always be a person princess by the sea.

We always need Star Wars spaceships.

Don't forget friend Kate!

And of course we need Superman!

Kids loves all of the Dr. Jean songs and books.  CTP publishes 12 book titles in the traditional little reader size as well as in lap book size for sharing with the whole class. The CD  has all the songs just in case you need some help with the tunes.  Kids can really Sing Along and Read Along. 
Go to and search for Dr. Jean to find all of her Sing Along and Read Along products.

Sing Along and Read Along Resource Guide has sign language for
 May There Always Be Sunshine.

The new Make and Take Books contains reproducibles of all 12 of the books that students can make and share at school or at home.

May there be lots of sunshine today
in your corner of the world!

September 22, 2010

Shine on Harvest Moon

Yesterday I picked up Trevor from school. I asked the standard question,  “What did you learn in school today?" Instead of “Not much”, (the standard fourth grade answer) we actually had a conversation about the autumnal equinox which happens to be today.

In class they were supposed to write a couple of sentences about things they knew about an equinox. Well, he had definitely learned my lesson about anything worth doing is worth over-doing. He said he actually wrote 2 ½ pages. I think he got in there somewhere about the days and nights being  equal lengths; and that it marks the beginning of autumn and the end of summer.

But then, he got into the good parts about magicians who have the power to set things right perhaps at the time of the equinox. He told about Mt. Olympia and Poseidon and Zeus and about magic bows, swords, and lightning bolts. He somehow included these words, “the equinox drew near and the sun shined warmer than before.” (I think that was the vernal equinox, but oh, well!  It was an equinox!) I think he has been reading way too much Percy Jackson.

Want to know more about  the characters in the Percy Jackson books?.....Go to the link below.  You would have to ask Trevor to identify the characters. Obviously, something exciting has happened!!!

 He has just finished the last book, The Last Olympian. I love to see a kid with his nose stuck in a book with his mind off to another world and lost in his own imagination. The author, Rick Riordan, has a great website. He started telling the stories to his son who is dyslectic and has ADHD. The stories became books and the rest is history. They really appeal to kids who are interested in adventure, myths, and legends. 

Back to the equinox and
the beginning of fall…

It is really hard to imagine that it is the beginning of fall in Texas when it is 98 degrees outside. So, I turned the air conditioner down to 68 and tossed some of the CTP cut out leaves around my desk. I dreamed of  what it would be like to live in a cooler climate.

Then, I remembered the winters that I spent in upper Michigan and I didn’t miss fall so much. We do get a little cool weather it just comes a little later.
I try to take lots of pictures to remember it.

I made a seasonal scrapbook using all  three sizes of the leaf cut-outs.  Check out 6", 10" Jumbo,  and 1" mini cut-outs.  Together they make  really cute fall scrapbook pages.

CTP printed this on their Facebook pages the other day. One of the comments was…

”Now, that is just adorable!”
 I agree!

So, the autumnal equinox actually occurs at 11:09 (central) tonight. There is supposed to be a big harvest moon, too. Let’s all go out and take a look.

"I'll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you!”

Happy Autumn!

September 14, 2010

Floral Embellishments


I am in California at CTP this week. It is always fun to visit with everyone and to check out the new stuff that’s in the works.

One thing is certain....
Things are always blooming at CTP. 


Last fall CTP introduced a new bulletin board set with flowers in pots called SPRING GARDEN! The flowers were so cute that we couldn't resist making more. In this most recent fall release, we added to the flower garden theme with a Poppin' Pattern border and the flowers.  The flowers come in six styles in all three sizes…6-inch, 10-inch jumbos, and 1-inch mini cut outs.  Put them all together and you have a great bulletin board.

But you can use the flowers for more than decoration.  Here is center idea for a magnet board. I cut the 6-in. flowers apart and put pictures on each half. In the center the kids match up the flowers. The pictures are from one of the Games Galore books.  This game works on blends.

Or how about using the jumbo cut outs to make a class book?
Each child has a flower with his/her name on it.  Everyone can practice reading the names of the kids in the class. 

Notice how the new borders coordinate so well with the flowers.

These magnet boards are designed for sorting.  Once again, the Games Galore books provide pictures for lots of skills.

This is a T-Graph for sorting
Long a and Short a.

This is a TRIO board for sorting words of one, two, or three syllables.

This is a 4-Square for sorting beginning consonants.

Check out all the Language Games Galore for practice in various language skills. They are great for game pieces.

Another idea is to make greeting cards
from the flowers.

Fold a 9" x 24" piece of construction paper in half (hamburger style).  Then fold back the top part in half again.  You then have      9 " x 12"  card.  Place the pot and the flowers on the card then fold back down.  The words say....My love for you grows and grows as you unfold the card.

May inspiration bloom!

September 1, 2010

Embellishments of the Heart

In 1893, Sears and Roebuck printed their first catalog. Way back in my Grandma’s day there was great excitement about the arrival of the catalog. Everyone took turns making wishes and marking pages. Today, it seems I get a dozen catalogs every day. There are so many! 
I get excited, however, when I see one from CTP because I know samples of the actual products are soon to follow.

                                          Go to to view the catalog.

Two weeks ago, I received a box marked PRODUCT SAMPLES
The new stuff had arrived!!  
As I opened the big box I actually heard an audible voice that said,


So much really cute stuff....I could hardy wait! 
In the box there were three new styles of designer
cut-outs...snowflakes, flowers, and hearts. 
I was immediately drawn to the hearts.

The cut-outs were in all three sizes….6”,
as well as the jumbo 10”, and the mini 1”.
Then I noticed that the new borders coordinated
with the cut-outs.
How convenient!

I remembered a part of a little poem,
“I made a hundred valentines, a hundred did I say!
I made a thousand valentines, one cold an wintery day.”
It was something about the valentines being seeds for birds. I couldn’t remember the whole poem.

So, I Googled it. (Isn’t that the greatest invention!)
The only thing that came up was a three year old kid singing it as a song.
It was the poem and the kid was cute.
You can Google, too, and check out the YouTube performance.
So, I had the words and I had my inspiration for my first HEART project.

I copied the poem on a clear packing label and put it on one of the 6" hearts. Then I made a bird feeder to hold my Valentines (seeds) for February birds.

I cut down a milk carton and edged it with the new border. I used a pipe-cleaner attached to each side to hang the birdfeeder. Then, I added a few hearts and of course a bow because "everything looks better with a bow"!

More Embellishments of the Heart

Use heart cut-outs and minis to decorate a small mail box to receive all your Valentine mail.

Make your own Valentine cards.....

Combine hearts to make fish,

love Bugs,

butterflies or
whatever you can imagine.

The hearts match the mini bulletin board which was introduced last year. 
This makes a great Friendship bulletin board.

Make a matching game by cutting the hearts apart. 
Add a picture to each piece of the hearts. 
In this game the kids are practicing rhyming words.
 When you have a complete heart your match is correct.  

Hearts are not just for Valentine's Day
They also make great Mother's Day gifts. 

Use mini hearts to decorate a memory box to go with
the holiday reader called Celebrating Mother's Day. 

Or make a cluster of mini hearts to create
 a flower for a cork board for Mom.

How about you?

I love the new designer hearts, too!