Friday, February 28, 2014

First Disney: Last Day

That terrible horrible feeling of being on the best vacation ever but it's your last day so you have to pack up and get ready to go home.
Except yay, I didn't have to pack up.  My poor husband was so wore out from me dragging him all over the parks for almost eleven hours each day that he was begging to just let his legs rest.
So off to the parks again with my daughter and my mother! 

I was looking forward to a revisit to the Magic Kingdom because it's the best place ever.  My daughter wanted Hollywood Studios again because Star Wars.  
Onward to Hollywood Studios and make those Star Wars dreams come true!
The day turned out perfect.  We got to Hollywood Studios and it opened a little early (five minutes but I'm not complaining).  We got fast passes for the Toy Story Midway AND Star Tours.  Right after the sign-ups for Jedi training had just opened and we were able to get my daughter signed up for a time right around noon-ish.
From there we went straight to Star Tours, riding it back-to-back until we ran off to find Mike and Sully.  We arrived in the line just as the two stepped out and snagged our pictures.  We then spent some time at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids park which was much more enjoyable today as we were only three of maybe ten people in there.  Stress levels were much lower than when we did this same attraction on Saturday.

Once more people started coming in, we ducked off to the Toy Story Midway before running to lunch.  Right after lunch, another Star Tours ride followed by Jedi training!

It was a perfect day to perfectly end our fantastic Disney trip.  Daddy did express emotional regrets for not being there but wasn't sure how his legs would have favored.

My daughter and I miss Disney already.  Thanks grandma and grandpa for a wonderful trip!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

First Disney: Epcot

After Magic Kingdom, Epcot is definitely my next in line for favorite Disney park.
Why?  The World Pavillion!  I love exploring through the various cultures in a day.  
What was also exciting about this day?  This is the only park where you can see Anna and Elsa!  Yay!  
The downside is they are in Norway of the World Pavillion and the World Pavillion doesn't open until 11:00.  So that means kicking around Innoventions until 11 which wasn't too dull with a Disneyed five-year-old.

My husband had never road Spaceship Earth before so both he and my daughter got to experience it for the first time together!  We had a bit of a hiccup as a Spanish-speaking tourist thrust his map in my husband's face as we attempted to make our ascent to Spaceship Earth.  Being the only person in the group that has daily Spanish going on, I found it hilarious that my husband was chosen from the group as someone who could possibly assist.  He didn't share my amusement but it really tickled me.
After this, I assisted my husband in setting up our fast passes for the day while my mom took my daughter to meet the characters.  She finally got to meet Mickey.  It's not that we didn't see him elsewhere but the lines at MGM for that were passable for the wait time.
Still not 11?  Let's check out Finding Nemo's ride.

There's aquariums all through this experience!  So many fish!  So many sea creatures!  So much awesome!  We all really enjoyed ourselves that I think we actually missed 11:00!
Time to run to Norway and get our lunch reservations together for the princess character lunch.  While my mom worked on that, I went over to check out the line for Anna and Elsa.
3.5-4 hour wait?!  No thanks.  That nearly your entire Epcot day!  You're spending a whole day to wait to see them and I'm sure not making my five-year-old endure that.
On to the character lunch!  Five princesses here in just a fairy tale, castle-like setting.

The food here was SO delicious.  Smoked salmon, herring, shrimp.  Oh so good!  The princesses did an amazing job flitting around the room and being just great.  My daughter was captivated and even participated in a Princess Procession around the dining establishment with the princesses and many other girls.  She had another birthday card and cupcake here.  Her favorite part?  The gummy bears!
After this we tried to catch a few more characters but it wasn't meant to be.  So my daughter and grandmother prepared to leave before we stopped in Italy for a street performance.  My daughter sincerely enjoyed her time spent with grandma and her uncle at the playground and by the pools.

I spent the rest of the day finding the penny press machine for every cultural pavillion while just enjoying the rest of Disney because tomorrow would be our last day in the happiest place on Earth.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


CLL5 – The child will acquire meaning from a variety of materials read to him/her.
CLL5.4e Develops an alternate ending for a story. 
WSO: Recounts some key ideas and details from text.
Activities: Abracadabra!  Tell your students that they have the power to change one thing in the story.  What would they change?  How would the story change because of this?
What If...?  What if the story didn't end the way it did?  What are other ways the same story could have ended differently?
These are great large group literacy chart paper activities through discussion but are also manageable for small group scenarios in which students could also draw or act out the alternative story lines.
Books: Try some funny nonfiction titles with the what if they followed real world functionality?  Would Pete the Cat really be wearing shoes?  What would the story be like if he were a real cat?


CD-MA3 – The child will explore and communicate about distance, weight, length, height and time.
CD-MA3.4a Uses mathematical terms to describe experiences involving measurement.
WSO: Uses words and representations to describe mathematical ideas. 
Activities: Racing Cars.  Students can sit side-by-side as they launch their cars across the floor before comparing the difference in distance between the vehicles.

Heavier Than...  All students in the group are given different objects.  They compare what they have with one another trying to figure whose object is heavier than the other.

Sink the Boat.  Using a boat, plate, or bowl floating atop a large bowl of water, students take turns placing objects on the boat or plate attempting to sink the boat.  The object of making the boat heavier as you take turns adding objects to the "boat".

Books: Is it Larger?  Is It Smaller? by: Tana Hoban
Just a Little Bit by: Ann Tompert
Big! by: Tim Hopgood


CD-SS5 – The child will understand the passage of time and how events are related.
CD-SS5.4a Recognizes and describes sequence of events with accuracy.
WSO: Participates in measuring activities. (That's according to Bright from the Start)
Activities: Recall Charts.  After you go on a field trip, have the students help you to write out the sequence of events as they occurred on the trip.
I Have, Who Has.  This fun game can be used with pictures.  For example: a card with "I Have (picture of an egg)" would be followed by the student with "I Have (picture of cracked egg)."
Books: Nature's Miracle series by: Judith Anderson 

Black History Month can be discussed under this indicator.


CD-SC4 – The child will demonstrate knowledge related to physical science.
CD-SC4.4a Explores and describes position and movement of objects and toys.
WSO: Explores how objects and materials move in different circumstances.
 Activities: Marble Race.  This can be done with the plastic play set or simply pool noodles cut horizontally.
Catapult Launchers.  This can be something placed in the science area for a science project or a small group experience.  You can gather a number of items from spoons to craft sticks, marker tops to corks and pencils.  Students can assemble any variety of combinations to create a lever to launch cotton balls.
Books: Pull, Lift, Lower by: Michael Dahl

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Linky Party: Mulan

  • Mulan:Do you trust your gut feeling? What happened.

  • Um, I usually trust my gut feeling but if I have the opportunity to then I prefer to talk out my decisions with others.  There are many times throughout the day that I have to trust my gut and go with the first action but decisions that do not have to be made immediately then I prefer to discuss it with my spouse or my best friend or family.  
  • Not that the gut decisions that I make are bad.  Many times that I think about is re-solidified by my conversations with others.  Sometimes it is best to review and reflect on your decisions, even if the results are in the past.  This lets you to better analyze the decision/outcome and how you should address the situation if it should arise again.
  • NEXT WEEK!Jasmine:The story of when you had to really trust someone. Was it easy?

Monday, February 24, 2014

First Disney: Magic Kingdom

This was the day of days.  The big one.  The park of my heart.  The MAGIC KINGDOM!

This day featured a surprise guest appearance from my little brother.  First ride of the park?  The carousel.  The carousel frightened my daughter.  I think much of it was being fairly alone (I was riding directly behind her) in such a large and busy place.  After this we witnessed someone pulling the sword from the stone so we all tried again once they were finished.  SUCH MAGIC!
And onward to It's A Small World and Peter Pan before the lines get outrageous.  On that note, I understand why It's A Small World has continuous popularity but what about Peter Pan's ride has people willing to wait an hour and a half or more just to get on?  It's a cool ride and all but I wouldn't wait that long.
Then we went on to visit the new portion of Fantasyland.  We passed Belle's Cottage, Gaston's Tavern, and the fantastic castle dining of Be Our Guest moving on to Ariel's Grotto beneath Prince Eric's castle.
You move through the castle as it begins to shift from castle to beach to underwater AWESOME.  The last time that I had seen Ariel's Grotto it was a seashell the size of a bus stop and it was a character meet.  Surprise to us, it was a ride!  A really cool ride actually.

We then traveled on to Dumbo's ride, the Barnstormer which my daughter found funny for how silly Goofy was but not thrilled with the actual ride itself.
After this we moved on to the twirling teacups!

From the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, we moved on to The Crystal Palace for a character lunch with characters from Winnie the Pooh!  This character lunch was better organized than the Hollywood & Vine meal.  These characters followed a clear pattern of movement around the dining establishment with a more engaging interaction with all patrons.  The table that was before us in the pattern had an elderly couple sitting there.  While these patrons did not get autographs or pictures, the characters still involved them in pantomime gestures to acknowledge them.  This was definitely in my favorites of character dining experiences.
My mother arranged all of these excellent experiences and we made a slight alteration to the reservations earlier that morning to include my daughter's upcoming birthday.

This alteration provided my daughter a cupcake with a single candle and a birthday card signed by all characters present at the diner.  I recommend that if your child or anyone in your party has an upcoming birthday coming up to take advantage of this experience.  It's a real treat and an experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
After this we went on to ride Pirates of the Caribbean with our Fast Passes but.. OH NO!  Pirates of the Caribbean was closed for some reason.  We were reassured that once PotC was reopened that they would honor our Fast Passes so we moved on to Aladdin's Carpet Ride before maneuvering to my favorite experience of all of the Disney Parks; THE HAUNTED MANSION!

This was the first time that I've been on the ride since the additions to the outdoor waiting area.  I'm absolutely thrilled with every single one of them!  The interactive instruments, the poet, the captain's tomb (is this another tie connecting Haunted Mansion to PotC?), and Madame Leota's headstone!  There was a slight malfunction in the ride; the Hitchhiking Ghosts were missing!  We could see our reflections but they did not join us on our way out of the ride.
After much of this excitement we wandered towards the front of the park and grandma bought my daughter her first Disney hat!

Of course we had her named printed on it and everything!  Another one of those things that you just simply cannot get anywhere else.  I even picked out my own, my husband still has yet to get one.  He's patiently waiting to have his first be a return of the Donald sailor hats without Mickey's ears.

I continued to wander the Magic Kingdom with my husband while my mom, brother, and daughter went back to rest and prepare for the excitement that Epcot would have the following day.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Unintentionally Cruel

I haven't caught up on episode analysis, sorry.  I'll get there soon I promise.

I'll take my Utena Saturday to talk about the feeling of Unintentionally Cruel that Juri identifies Shiori as.  This term is easily represented by the bird crashing into a window.  The window is unintentionally cruel.  It had no intentions of injuring the bird, but the bird was hurt by the window.

This might not be the best description of Juri as we see that the most of her intentions are to cause pain to Juri.  But from Juri's perspective, this is Shiori.  
We all have seen relationships like this.  From the outside looking in, we can see how hurtful the actions of others are but inside the relationship they are blind to what they are doing.
I see that happening in a real life situation.  Not anyone being like Shiori but people being unintentionally cruel to someone as they start a new relationship.  Nothing negative to any one except one person who still refuses to listen and follow through on what we talked about but that's a whole nother thing right there.  But the main part is they've started this relationship when one person still hasn't ended the previous one.  By words, the relationship has been ended but by actions it is not and that is where the unintentionally cruel actions begin.  
The other party is given no time to mourn the relationship.  No seperation of the relationship as she still goes to the movies, lives with, cooks for, and asks him to run errands.  Obviously not ready to disconnect the relationship but not giving an end if that is truly what is wanted here.
But no one is being cruel intentionally.  Except Prince Hans.

Screenshots from the lovely ohtori,nu.

Friday, February 21, 2014

First Disney: Hollywood Studios

Continuation of previous post.
We woke up Saturday morning and packed up to go to Hollywood Studios, my daughter still unknowing of what the day had in store.  Over breakfast she asked if we could go to a playground, so after breakfast we all headed to the car.  I had snacks in my bag and my husband carried drinks in his while grandma had miscellaneous stuff.
We came to the large sign for Walt Disney World and TA-DA!  We're here!  First day tram towards the park, to our tickets, and my daughter's first visit button (buttons are the best, if you have an excuse for one then you should get it).

We rushed onward to the Fast Pass kiosk but OH NO!  Toy Story Midway was OUT for the whole day.  We still don't know how it filled up so quick, the park had only just opened up but oh well!  Oh to my daughter's first Disney ride, Star Tours!!!
It was not the Star Tours that I had grown up with and loved, but it was still great.  She LOVED IT!  She was screaming at R2 to quit being such a nut and to get us back, holding my hand tightly, and screaming with delight.  Oh how she enjoyed herself.
After Star Tours, on to the Muppets 3D experience!!  Right after that, we found our first character and that is when we realized that we hadn't bought an autograph book!  OOPS!  My husband ran in to the nearest gift shop while I waited with my daughter and my mom to see... PHINEAS!

Oh how she loved the autographs!  Taking a picture was cool but she very much enjoyed seeing how each character wrote their name.  We ran all over, fetching more autographs and riding more experiences.  The Great Movie Ride was PERFECT!  We got a seat right up front next to the driver so we had the wild west ruffian jump into the ride right NEXT to my daughter.  I loved it.  When we got to the Wizard of Oz sequence, she was lifting her feet and yelling to the Wicked Witch of the West that she had the ruby slippers!
For lunch we ate at Hollywood & Vine with Disney Junior characters.

Unfortunately, we did not know that Princess Sophia and Jake were going to be at lunch and had already waited for their pictures and autographs but no matter.  MORE PICTURES!  The only character that we did not get an autograph or picture from here was Doc McStuffins.  Oh well, we don't watch that anyway so no skin off our nose.
It was after this that we went to check on how bad of a wait Toy Story Midway was going to be and stopped at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground.  It was PACKED which made the experience for all adults involved terribly stressful.
Not too long after all of this, we all returned back to where we were staying.  My daughter stayed with my brother and my mom playing at the park and the pool while my husband and I ran to Downtown Disney.  Downtown Disney was PACKED for the evening, of course, but it also did not help that they had tarped off many areas to build up leaving less walking room in much of the trek.
Tomorrow had much more in store.  Tomorrow was the day for Magic Kingdom!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

First Disney: The Travel

Friday afternoon, I packed my daughter in to the car and impatiently waited for my husband to get home from work.  We played at a playground, we played at a fast food playplace.  He was working an extra hour which wasn't too terrible..  Either arrive at 10pm or arrive at 11pm, not missing any activity time but still ready to be there.
We had packed the car the night before.  Every outfit (even her swimsuit) I had chosen Disney-themed clothes.  Her stuffed toys for the trip, Disney related.  We still hadn't told her that she was going to Disney.
It was Valentine's Day and I told her that we had to take grandma her Valentine's gift but grandma wasn't home.  So we finally got daddy from the house when he arrived and off we went!

I had even put her in her red ruby slippers for when she would go on the Great Movie Ride!
We had spent hours in the car.  I drove the first part of the way until a little before Valdosta when my daughter had to use the restroom.  We did our potty fun and my husband took over driving from there.
Once in Valdosta, we topped off the gas tank and I used the restroom in the scariest bathroom that ever there was.
It was lit but not very.
It was smelly, but like dead smelly not potty smelly.
The stalls were mostly stone, but didn't reach all the way down.
It would not have surprised me to hear that numerous people had met their untimely ends in that place.
I ran out of that bathroom like a killer had just tried to reach out for me, you just don't know.

BUT ONWARD TO TRAVEL!  We're approaching the state border and it's really time that my daughter get rest if she's going to enjoy tomorrow at all.  I told her that she had to sleep so that we could get there.  So she did.

After more driving and driving and driving, we finally arrived to the tolls.  Since we're on the toll roads now my husband and I both have to use the restroom terribly bad but neither of us want to pay a toll just to tinkle.  We ventured on until we finally arrived!  Excitedly giving grandma her Valentine's gifts, using the bathroom, and going to bed.
Still not knowing the fun that awaits her.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Thursday, February 13, 2014

To My Valentine

Dear Valentine,

For years I have loved you.  This hasn't changed at all today.  You still fill my heart with joy.  

I would be lost without you.  You are my rock.  You keep me together when I fear things are falling apart.  I would be a mess without you.

You are my strength when I begin to feel weak.  I know that I can always reach out for you and regain my footing to carry forward.

You are my opposite and my same.  My yang to my yin.  My complimentary piece in my life.

You are my inspiration.  As each move forward that we make together is not simply for the desire of one, but the desire for each other.  Together we will reach our goals.

I love you and I don’t care who knows it.  I would shower you in kisses, in rose petals, in candy, in cards, and more. 

I love you my valentine.  I have loved you, I do love you, and I will continue to love you. 

With love from yesterday until forever,

Your Wife

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


CLL5 – The child will acquire meaning from a variety of materials read to him/her.
CLL5.4d Makes real-world connections between stories and real-life experiences.
WSO: Shows appreciation and understanding of books and reading.

Activities: Venn Diagram.  Create a Venn diagram for book and story.  After you've read your story, lead your students in a reflection to identify elements that occur only within the story, in the real world, and both.

Pre and post field trip stories.  Read a book about the police station after visiting one.  Relate elements in the story to the recent experience.  

Books:  Any non-fiction are even elements in some fiction titles can bring about these discussions.  
Many times students are eager to share their real world experiences during story time but are hushed until after the story.  Make plan for times when you read a title that opens for classroom discussion afterwards.


CD-MA2 – The child will manipulate, compare, describe relationships and solve problems using number and quantity.
CD-MA2.4e With adult guidance and when counting, understands and can respond with the last number counted to represent quantity (cardinality). 
WSO: Counts with understanding.

I'd like to take the time to point out the words "with adult guidance".  This is our first time seeing that in the GELDS so what does that mean?
Exactly what it says.
This code should NOT appear for an independent group activity for students but for teacher-directed instruction only.  


CD-SS4 – The child will demonstrate an awareness of economics in his/her community.
CD-SS4.4d Explores the uses of technology and understands its role in the environment. 
WSO: Begins to be aware of how technology affects their life.

Activities: Interactive Whiteboards.  Many public school classrooms are supplied with these. Smart Exchange is full of a variety of free downloads for children to work a variety of skills in teacher-directed and independent groups.

Books on CD, tape, YouTube.  This is a great independent activity to allow students to listen to a book from a technology source followed by an appropriate activity afterwards.  

B.Y.O.D.  Yes, the bring your own device can work in assessing this area.  While not every pre-k parent will feel comfortable sending in the devices with students, we still have plenty of other educational opportunities within our classroom setting.  Please communicate with your pre-k consultant about when during the instructional day would be best to implement your school's B.Y.O.D. practice.

Books: Tumble Books  Must create an account
Storyline Online Many titles also are available being read in sign language.
Just Books Read Aloud

Please keep in mind when utilizing technology sources to have your direct links or files ready for the instructional day.  This practice will reduce student wait times while you try to remember where a particular book is on the internet or where the file is that you wanted your students to engage in.


CD-SC3 – The child will demonstrate knowledge related to living things and their environments.
CD-SC3.4c Identifies and describes the functions of many body parts. 
WSO: Explores the characteristics of living things.

Activities: Movement Dice.  (Example here)  You can replace the images with various body parts.  "Close your eyes."  "Wiggle your fingers."  "Sniff with your nose."  Are just an example of other body functions that students could perform in this game.

Songs.  From Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes to even more.  While most of the songs cover identifying, this works well if students are used to calling body parts other names or are English Language Learners.  They might not being doing successfully well during positional word assessment because when you say "put the beanbag on your head" they are used to hearing "cabeza" or "stompers" for feet.  

I Can....   This game is a song game.  You play it to the tune of "I Can Work With One Hammer"  But replace key words with body parts and their functions.  Instead of  "I can work with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer all day long" you could say "I can bend with my knees, my knees, my knees all day long."  If you would like for students to offer suggestions, I would recommend having clip art of body parts for students to choose from so as to avoid from certain suggestions that might lose your class to a giggle fit.

Books: My Hands On My Head by Dr. Jean Feldman
Parts by Tedd Arnold

Song: Five Senses by Shawn Brown (discusses body parts relevant to five senses and their function)
My Hands On My Head by Dr. Jean Feldman (multi-lingual)

It is very important that you screen any and all books and songs that you consider for this indicator prior to introducing it in the classroom.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Linky Party: Dory

Dory:Something someone has told you that you can't forget (two good things and one bad)

  • Okay, so the phrasings of these might not be exact but the idea of what was said is there.
  • "If it's boring to you, it'll be boring to your students."
  • This is a great thing to keep in mind when writing lesson plans.  Do you look at a planned activity and feel bored simply looking at it?  Sit back and think of how bored your students are going to be doing it.  What can you do as an educator to spice the activity up so that they can learn the concepts that they need to gather from the activity without being bored out of their minds.
  • "Sometimes I think 'What would Megan do?'"
  • Okay, so some of my friends told me this last year and I was really complimented by this.  They were referring to how in many situations I just roll with things and don't seem to care much.  My friends are great and really know how to make me feel confident awesome amazing.
  • "Any guy who is friends with a girl wants to have sex with them." 
  • Okay, so this was told to me indirectly from a friend but the words came from a dude.  I guess he was trying to subtly put out that he had a crush on her or something because later when she became single he tried to start a relationship with her.  I don't know how much truth actually carries in those words but I haven't forgotten them.

Next Tuesday: Mulan - Do you trust your gut feeling? What happened.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Who Dun It?!

I don't think anyone quite saw this coming before beginning the party.
Everything was grand.  My friends looked great and did their best to play their roles while being their naturally awesome selves.
They mingled, some met each other.  And then.. Appetizer's were served!
And when I say appetizer, I mean round one scripts.
It didn't take long for everyone to realize after this point who was going to die.  The character nearly everyone had beef with.  This character was being played by, my husband.

I seriously didn't plan that!  I choose everyone's roles before moving on with preparing their scripts.
On to dinner (more envelopes with scripts in them) and a small skit presentation.  More nonsense and laughter until BOM BOM BOMMM! MuuuuuuUUrder!!

A crazy round of people guessing who dun it.  This was not very easy because so many of the "guests" had motive for murder.  
Was it the spurned wife?  The recently dumped other woman?  The boyfriend of the other woman?  The angry neighbor?  The actress who didn't want him to star in a movie with her?  The man whose twin brother went missing investigating said victim?  The high school grudge?  The hired hand?  The blackmail victim?  The secret sister who could inherit it all?

People submitted their guesses before having coffee and dessert (their final scripts).
One by one "guests" revealed their shocking hidden secrets while a couple of real guests revealed their inability to follow instruction.  

In a shocking revelation the murderer identified themself, it was me!  SHOCK GASP!
No, I seriously did not plan it like that!  Quit giving me that look!  I didn't know when I cast myself as the actress slowly fading from the limelight that it would be me!  I didn't know when I cast my husband as a drummer that he'd get knocked!
So I might have lied to my guests a bit when they would ask if the murderer knew who they were yet...  But I had known since I had read the script to print and pack everything two weeks ago.  Next time, someone else can plan and I can be surprised.

Afterwards we hung out and played Rock Band among other nonsense.

Correct Guess of Murderer - Chiitaa
Most Money - Elizabeth Flamingo (though I heard possible Chiitaa might have beat it by $50?)
Best Skit - Tamela Panderson-Pea, Cap'n Jack, and Tommy Pea
Most Names Collected - Fed-X
Best Performance - Cap'N Jack, Chiitaa, and Timmy McCaw
Best Costume - Chiitaa, Barzan, Fed-X, and Tamela Panderson-Pea
Addicting Accents - Hope Mountain, Timmy McCaw, and Bugsy Capone
Stealthiest Performer - Kirt Nobrane, Corrie Love, and Blue Befner
Shortest Time in Costume - Polly Darton
So Thankful That They Were Actually Able to Attend And Not Ditch Me - Jon Volta and Whitney Shears
Dynamic Duo - Chiitaa and Barzan
Señor Congeniality - Fed-X

Friday, February 7, 2014

Murder? Mystery? EXCITEMENT!

I'm having a murder mystery party to celebrate my 30th in a really fun way!  I found an awesome website where I picked out just the right one and tonight is the night!  One of the guests will fall victim.  One of the guests will be the murderer.  How dun it?!
I'm really excited to be doing this and I'm also really excited about how my friends have been working on their costumes to prepare.  That is my biggest gift right there, is having everyone dressing up.  I'm so excited!
I won't share any of the pictures or information that came in my kit, but here's the cast of our Movie Premiere Murder Mystery:
A picture of the movie's stars: Donnie Jepp (Cap'N Jack) and Keera Nightly (Elizabeth Flamingo). 

Things are definitely going to Be Cool with the stunning Uma Vermon and Jon Volta in attendance!

You'd be Crazy to think that this couple is Toxic. A pop star like Whitney Shears can totally build a family with her former back-up dancer Fed-X and make it work. 

Watch out for their Wild Side! Tomme Pea (the drummer from Rotting Brew) and Tamela Panderson-Pea (from the hit show "Seawatch") will be bringing Good Times with them to this event!

Well they don't sound like Madonna, but here they are now...  Kirt Nobrane from the band Rapture and his long-time girl, Corrie Love from the band Cavity! 

We're proud to announce the attendance of American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author and philanthropist; Polly Darton!

Truck Yeah! We've got the country music power couple Timmy McCaw and Hope Mountain rolling in for the celebration.

He might be off the Mean Streets, but I hear he really is a Goodfella (to get the job done). Bugsy Capone hopefully won't be bringing trouble to the premiere!

AaaaaaaaaAaaaAaaaa!  That's how you summon Barzan and Chiitaa to the party.

So out of this wild and crazy cast; who would it be?  Who will be the victim?  Who will be the murder?  

Share your theories below and there is a prize in store for anyone who can guess the correct answer.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Writing Prompt: You Know You're Old When

Since my birthday was yesterday.. Let's make this birthday focused!

You know that you're old when it's the day right after your birthday.  The whole birthday thing is fun but the day right after is kind of a bring down.

You know you're old when only your immediate family and coworkers gets you gifts.  Everyone else is good with a hug or a drink.  

You know you're old when you can't get away with it's your birth month or birth week to extend your celebrating.  Kids can get away with that but you're an adult now.

You know you're old when candles on cake don't happen anymore.  After so many digits, it's a fire hazard really.

You know you're old when you stop having birthday parties.  Lol, no.  Birthday parties are my favorite.  I'll have to be a lot older than this to stop that.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


CLL5 – The child will acquire meaning from a variety of materials read to him/her.
CLL5.4c Discusses books or stories read aloud and can identify characters and setting in a story.
WSO: Recounts some key ideas and details from text.
Again, this can be done with any book that is not non-fiction.  It's all about having a pointing these things out during the story or in having a post-story discussion.


CD-MA2 – The child will manipulate, compare, describe relationships and solve problems using number and quantity.
CD-MA2.4d Describes data from classroom graphs using numerical math language.
WSO: Uses words and representations to describe mathematical ideas. 

This can be done comparing lunch choices, making bar graphs for favorite color of apple, and so many more.  Try displaying your graphs in other ways; pie graph or line graph for students to learn new ways of looking at and interpreting information from graphs.


CD-SS4 – The child will demonstrate an awareness of economics in his/her community.
CD-SS4.4c Describes how people interact economically, the exchange of goods and services.
WSO: Identifies some people’s jobs and what is required to perform them.

Activities: Rotate your dramatic play area to reflect various economic encounters from a beauty salon to bakery, hot dog stand to movie theater and more.  Have the items for imaginative play but also a cash register with various payment forms for them to play the roles of trading to goods and services.  You can print and laminate checks, credit cards, and money for endured use.

Books:  Jelly Beans for Sale by Bruce McMillan
The Go Around Dollar by Barbara Adams 
A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams


CD-SC3 – The child will demonstrate knowledge related to living things and their environments.
CD-SC3.4b Discriminates between living and non-living things.
WSO: Explores the characteristics of living things.
 Activities: Compare the pair.  Using the living creature in your classroom, have students compare your real plant (for example) with a plastic plant.  A real fish with a plush fish.  Make a chart to list student responses of the qualities of the living item and the non living.  A Venn diagram would also be appropriate to store any overlapping qualities. 

Books: Alexendar and the Wind-Up Mouse by: Leo Lionni
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss  (this can be done as a Large Group Literacy Activity or small group literacy as you sort the shapes into living and nonliving categories)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Linky Party: Pocahontas

  • Pocahontas:Something new you taught someone.
  • As a teacher and a mother, there are many opportunities for me to teach something new to someone.  
  • One of my favorites is teaching people about the GELDS and other successful classroom tools that I have utilized.  This is because not only can I reach the students within my classroom, but I can also positively impact the lives of many other students by giving their teachers positive ideas to use.  

What is something new you taught someone?
Next Tuesday - Dory: Something someone has told you that you can't forget (two good things and one bad).

Monday, February 3, 2014

What I Look Forward to Being 30

I turn 30 this week!  Whooo!!
Here are some things that I'm looking forward to being 30:
1. Thirty and Flirty!  
2. 30 is the new 20.  
3. I'm no longer young and dumb.
4. My friends that have stuck with me through the 20's are people worth spending time with.
5. Drama doesn't bother you anymore.
6. But it still is amusing to watch or listen to.
7. Very little can actually still embarrass me.
8. I finally have glasses!
9. I still have the same phone number that I did when I first got my cell phone at 16 with Cingular.
10. I know what I want, and I'm going to get it!
11. My life is not over, not even halfway done.
12. I'm not an old fart but I can act like one if the mood strikes.
13. I know what my hobbies are.
14. I know a lot but can keep learning new things.
15. I have done so much but have time to do so much more.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ep. 4: The Sunlit Garden - Prelude

This episode analysis(musing) contains spoilers.  This episode analysis skims over topics and doesn't go into huge detail because each detail is really worth it's own post.  This analysis does not cover every detail to analyze but ones that I have chosen to discuss.  Also, these are my opinions and nothing official.  You do not have to accept or agree with any of this.

"Hikari sasu niwa - Pureryūdo"
April 23, 1997
No duel.

We start this time finally without the fairy tale introduction.  You guys haven't forgot it yet, have you?  No worries, it'll be back.  We begin in the dueling arena as Utena and Miki are about to begin their match while Juri watches from the balcony seating (how do you people get there?).
Wait wha?!  Didn't I just say no duel up there?  Yes I did.  And fuzzy fade out to the music room.

Miki's playing the piano quite well as everyone's favorite queen bee, Nanami approaches the piano bench.  Apparently Miki dropped out of some piano competition and everyone is curious as to why.  He comments about the piano (or maybe himself) is out of tune ignoring the question and returns to playing The Sunlit Garden talking about what it means to him causing Nanami to blush.  Not because she'd actually return his affection or date him or anything; Touga is still her number one, but simply because she would love to be complimented in such a way.  Her whole mood changes when she spots Anthy's picture in his music book.

Wakaba is in class going on about how bad she did on the math test.  Utena is surprisingly unsupportive and distant during this.  Why?  Because her grade is even WORSE than Wakaba's.  This comes as a shock to Wakaba because Utena is normally very good in math.  Good thing Wakaba said so because this is the only test score we've seen so far.  

SLAP!  Our henchgirls are at it again, shaming Anthy because Nanami assumes Anthy is the reason Miki dropped out of that competition.  Stopwatch!  Miki speaks up and the henchgirls leave as Miki bashfully crushes on Anthy.  
Utena catches the two of them walking and Wakaba schools her on who Miki is.  Dang Utena, you wouldn't know jack if you didn't have Wakaba telling you who everyone is.  These are your student council members. How do you not know them?  

Stopwatch!  Miki is correcting the quiz paper for Anthy while Juri talks with him.  I love how open and kind Juri is towards Miki.  I imagine that's how she would be (and a little bit more) if she could be honest with Shiori.
Miki asks Juri if happiness can sometimes be surprisingly close by.  This takes her back a bit and she moves on, never really answering it.  I don't think she ignored it to be rude, but simply because that hit too close to home for her comfort.  I think that's also why she is able to be so sweet around Miki because he doesn't push it.  She moved on from it and he left it at that.  Her face even looks like she's aching as she tries to move on after that comment.

Miki brings the paper over while Utena keeps struggling to fix her own math test.  Miki introduces himself then flashes the ring.  Utena reacts defensively which is fair since her only interactions so far have been with the abusive Saionji and Touga the playboy.  She even brings it to point that he must be after the Rose Bride.
Miki denies that saying that duels are not the way he wishes to make Anthy his bride.  Utena's excited to hear that he doesn't want to duel because it's been eating her study time and now her test scores suck.  

Back to Miki playing piano in the music room.  Enter Touga noting that Miki's playing sounds more vibrant today (really, because it sounds like the same track that's been on repeat all episode).  Could it be that Miki has found his "shining thing", the thing that he lost so long ago.  
Flashback to him and his sister playing a piano outside in a garden.  Touga again mentions Miki's shining thing and Nanami overhears this from the hall.  Yeah, it wouldn't make any sense to me either Nanami.  

The Shadow Girls share with us a story of first love and how when he found out what she was really like, she was dumped.  They warn about the truth behind the girl.  This could be seen as foreshadow to what Nanami's about to do OR what would Miki do if he knew the REAL truth about Anthy?

Study group time!  Miki brought Nanami along!  Okay, seriously this is one of my favorite Nanami bits here on out.  Nanami spends the rest of the episode imaging what will happen if she puts animals in various locations to blame on Anthy only to have Anthy stuff her EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.  My favorite is when the mongoose gets out of the drawer that Nanami is trying to place a garter snake in and it eats the garter snake.  Nanami's laugh in this episode is great too.  Even her English voice captures these events perfectly.  This is only the start of so many great Nanami episodes.

Anthy is messing around making a flip picture book in the corner.  Miki and Utena get on to her for not taking it seriously but come on, she's been going to high school for years.  She could pass if she wanted to I'm sure.  She only failed to get the pieces in motion.  And I honestly don't think that Anthy intended for Chu-Chu to eat Nanami's snack that she had prepared.  The look on her face and her reaction seems to say that she didn't want Nanami pushed that far, but just to where she was.  What a nice way to get back at Nanami for her underhanded attacks.
Yes she says that maybe she should have made takoyaki (and octopus dish) instead of shaved ice.  She only meant that in she had done something with every other animal that Nanami brought pretty much. 

The air fills with the sound of The Sunlit Garden once again as everyone finds Anthy playing it at the piano.  Miki says it's in the same ton as his sister used to play (whatever dude, it sounds the exact same as every track you played this episode).

I've found it.  My "shining thing."

Images courtesy of