Teacher Stuff: Cute Character Secrets


I got a comment today that really made my day, made me feel guilty, and motivated me, all at the same time. I have been absent. No bones about it. But I haven’t forgotten you.

My past year has been an upheaval to say the least. Not to get into the nitty-gritty, but a divorce with kids is a time-consuming and GIANT ordeal. However, we are on the greener side of the hill, folks, and I am starting to have more time.

That being said, I have SO MANY ideas for posts. So I ask you to be patient and keep checking back, I am motivated (Thanks, LaserTest) and ready to go!

Today, though, I want to share a secret.


I LOVE book characters! I love that they cover my wall and remind my students of the amazing stories we’ve read and the journeys we’ve been on. I get compliments on my characters all the time but you should know something…I have a secret helper.

It’s a projector.

I am BLESSED to have a station in my classroom with a doc cam, computer and projector. I use them to find a picture with either the doc cam or computer, project it on the wall and trace it onto chart paper! Yes, I do a LOT of coloring at home, and yes, it might seem trivial to some. But when my kids walk in every day and see their favorite characters on the wall, they make great connections, they share memories of favorite stories and they remember how FUN reading is!

So, pull out a book, trace and color a little, it will be worth it, I promise!  Here are a few from the first weeks of school. Sorry, my camera was not cooperating with the lighting in my room. More soon!




BamaBoy Blogs Bachelor: Hobbits and Hammer Pants



Nuthin’ says Bachelor Night quite like chili dogs and Miller Lite….I know, you’re jealous!  *wink, wink….Seriously though, we are BACK!!  And once again, it’s freezing here.  My poor little toesies are COLD!!  We might have another “It’s too cold for Austinites to leave their caves” day tomorrow!  This weather is CRAZY like Tierra, people.  Yesterday, the kids were swimming in the springs and now it’s 30° and might ice over.


Well, if we can’t keep things warm outside, let’s get things HEATED with One Pollo in Turpo, New Zealand – which One Pollo can’t say. You’d think they’d practice that before they take him there, but whatever!

Mommer: “What do you call the Bachelor without ABC?…Cops!!  Come on, all those girl fights!!  It’s the same, just in exotic locations!!

Mommer: “Oh where are we going?!” “New Zealand” Flash forward a year.  “Where are we going?!” “McDonald’s.”

They’re going to the Huka Lodge…don’t they have those in seedy bars?…Not the same. Oh.  Yeah, that’s WAY prettier.

Mommer: “She’s a former NBA dancer?”  “Does that mean unemployed, too?

BamaBoy: “Yeah, it’s like entrepreneur  but it means she’s past her prime.” OUCH!!

Clare is sad she doesn’t get the first one-on-one date, God forbid someone else interrupts your trip around the world with One Pollo, Sweetie.

Andi keeps reminding us how all this is getting so “real” – Mommer: “Yeah, REALLY real…”  After their RiverJet trip, the driver tells them they’re getting out and swimming.  After just being bundled up. Good idea.

Mommer: “It’s this really romantic place where only ridiculously skinny people can go.”

Mommer: “Well, the camera crew made it through there, so I’m pretty sure you’re going to make it.

BamaBoy: “Good thing he didn’t bring Tits McGee (Kat) on a date like this…she’d have NEVER made it.

BamaBoy: In his best Pet Semetary voice, “Things…that go up theah, they don’t come back the same…It’s not much furtheh now.”  Great. Creeper.

Andi, “I realize the water’s actually really hot!” BamaBoy: “Oh, that’d be the sewage plant up the road…ABC didn’t tell you ’bout that. It was in the fine print.”

Clare gets the second one-on-one date and fakes surprise so….not well.

Andi and One Pollo talk and snuggle on the bridge after their dinner atmosphere exploded…literally.

Meanwhile, Mommer’s dog, Hollis, tries repeatedly to mount our dog, Sadie…well, SOMEONE’S in the Bachelor spirit….

It’s time for the über-romantic GROUP DATE!!  And it’s Cassandra’s 22nd birthday.  Yes, a date with 4 other women…WHAT A BIRTHDAY!  Ok, nevermind, rolling down a giant hill in those OGO balls sounds like an AMAZING birthday!!  I STAND corrected!

Sidenote: I looked for somewhere in Central texas to do this, but, alas, the hill country doesn’t seem to be “hilly” enough for OGO…darn.

AND they get to go to Hobbiton?!?!  NO FAIR!!  Alright, coolest date ever.
One-on-one time:
–  Renee and One Pollo get some time away (I really like her!!) to talk and catch up. and kiss…a lot.
–  Nikki’s there…she likes him… something, something, something…awkward kissing. (Sorry, I kinda zoned out.)
–  Sharleen sits down, they say, “Hi” and he attacks her face….obviously, they have a deep, meaningful connection…she basically has to remove him from her face (twice) to attempt conversation.  She’s having to LEAN AWAY from him to keep talking!! BamaBoy: “I know where he’s ‘at’. He’s on your FACE!”
–  Cassandra’s mouth doesn’t move. It makes her seem fake.   And she’s had one relationship…2 years ago.
And the rose goes to…Sharleen. Even she looks confused.

Uh oh! Cassandra’s back out the door.
I love that he asks her “How you doing?” Didn’t you just talk to her, like, 5 MINUTES ago?! And probably NOT GREAT now!
Birthday sucker punch…You’re going home.
BamaBoy: “He’s doing the right thing, but that 28 hours of flying is going to be a bitch!”

I just realized, we didn’t see Kat at all on this date.  Hmmm, sign?!

It’s Clare’s second one-on-one/redemption date.  BamaBoy: “Clare reminds me of Jake.  She just wants to win.”
Red flag: “He’s more than welcome to say, Clare, I’m sorry.” Wait, wait, wait…you went to HIS room.  Now you want an apology?!  For what? Being honest about his regrets and morals?  That’s a great way to build a relationship.

Clare: “Where are our boundaries?”
BamaBoy: “Right near your cervix.” BAHAHAHAHA!!  Well played.

Mommer realizes the Bachelor is 2-hours long.  Just now. “This is like chicks’ Die Hard!”
I think he gets it now.

One Pollo asks Clare if her heart is melting.  Mommer: “That’s cheesy.” Amen, sister!
Clare says she likes casual and comfy, not formal.  One Pollo says, “I’ll be back.”
Mommer: “He’s going to bring back Renee.” Hahahaha!!
They change into sweats (well, Hammer pants, but close) and relax.  This is good, but I still think she’s just out to win.
BamaBoy: “Look at One Pollo, using new words after Clare taught him what ‘bolt’ meant!”
Cue romantic montage as Mike puts his freezing cold hands on my arm and makes me scream…always the romantic, that one. Swoon!!

One Pollo and Chris Harrison have a heart to heart about the “ladies” with lots of eyebrow raising and grunting. Men.  One Pollo still doesn’t know who he’s going to propose to.
BamaBoy: “It’s Clare, which is a bad decision.
We are all still hoping he’ll detach himself from Sharleen’s face or Clare’s butt and pick Renee.

Cocktail Time (isn’t that all the time on The Bachelor?):
Andi, Sharleen, and Clare already have roses.
Everyone thinks Renee and Nikki are shoe-ins.
That leaves Chelsie and Kat to hypothetically duke it out for who’s getting a rose.  Surprise, surprise, they both are sure it’s them.
Well, we can’t all have roses or this is going to turn into Sister Wives.

Rose Time:
As expected, Nikki gets a rose.
So does Renee.
Chris Harrison. Final rose. Duh.
Chelsie wins the Chelsie/Kat showdown.
Adios, Kat.

Red Flag: Sharleen is emotional and feels guilty for still being here. She “feels more doubtful each week.”  I just hope she sucks it up and bows out before he sends other girls home that actually want to be there. (I mean Renee.)

Next week, One Pollo and the “ladies” head to Miami – Sharleen wants to leave, Nikki and Clare have it out, and One Pollo ends up crying…things are never dull in BachelorNation!!

And the FINAL CONGRATULATIONS goes to MOMMER who finally made it through an entire episode without falling asleep!!  WOOHOO!!  Thanks for joining us for another week of Chicks’ Die Hard, Mommer.  It’s been fun every week, even though you snore a little! ; )

Goodnight everybody!!
– T

Disclaimer: Mommer, BamaBoy and I are in no way affiliated with ABC, The Bachelor, BachelorNation, Miller Lite or Sister Wives.  We are not being compensated in any way for our observations and banter.  (Obviously, since we’re having chili dogs and we gave up on wine.)  We just hope you’ve had fun with us and will come back next week or this is going to start to feel like a sad diary.  Stay warm, or cool (depending on the day) and we’ll see you next Monday!

First Grade Fabulousness: Back to School File Share!


Well, most of us have gone back to school!!  Are you ready? I’m NOT!!!  There is a TON to do still, BUT you know I’m good at sharing : ) so I am here for YOU!!  Today is a big day, because YOU are about to get lots you might need for FREE!!  Look how nice I am!!!

Ready, OK!!

You need a Student Info Sheet – because even logging into the student portal takes WAY too long in an emergency. AND even better, it’s in English and Spanish!!


You will need a dismissal sheet because, let’s face it, there are a lot of them and 1 of you!


Need a Clip Chart for your Busy Bees?  My kids loved this one!! Come back soon for more info on how I use the clip chart and how to implement this in a meaningful, consistent way and minimize stigma related to many clip/color chart systems.


If you have the clip chart, you’ll need a reference for parents, so here ya go!


Need an example of a weekly folder chart?  Here’s one!  If you want the editable (word?) file, let me know, but you will need the fonts CK Handprint and MTF Jumpin’ Jack, both are fun and I use them ALL the time!


We are also using a Today’s Number chart each day as a warmup.  Later, we will make them smaller and put them in a folder for kids to do, but for now we are blowing it up, laminating it to use with dry erase markers and doing Today’s Number whole group as a warm up!

* Side Note: The fonts used are Wish I Were Taller and Smiley Monster.


So there you have it!  A few basic files to get you started!  I hope you enjoy them and let me know if I can help in any way!  I know as teachers, we spend WAY too much time creating things specific to what we want!  My philosophy is that I wouldn’t be the teacher I am without the help and ideas from other amazing teachers.  When I create things I use all the time, I love being able to share them with you – in hopes that I can help someone else work a little smarter!  So enjoy and share!!  Send your teacher friends on over!  The more the merrier!!

Here’s to a FABULOUS new school year!!  And remember to sign up for updates to get all the latest First Grade Fabulousness!


5 Day Juice Challenge: Day 4


Green Lemonade – My favorite so far! Filling and refreshing!

So it’s the end of Day 4 and I have to say that I am surprised at how well I’m feeling!  The hardest day was definitely yesterday with boot camp!  The juices have all been great and I am excited that I’m already seeing results!!

Yesterday, I had both juices – the Green Lemonade and the Green Grape and Pear during the day.  At 4:00 we had boot camp and by the end I was honestly feeling pretty dizzy, but afterwards, I had more juice and a salad and felt fine.  The only side effect I’ve had so far was a killer headache last night, but I’m not sure whether it’s the juicing, stress (it’s also been a doozy of a week!) or being tired.  But I took 2 ibuprofen and slept more last night and felt much better this morning!

One more day, folks!  But it;s not over yet!  Then it’s on to clean eating as per jointhereboot.com recipes and then 5 more days of juicing.

BUT, WAIT!  There’s MORE!!  As of today, I am down 4 pounds!!  WEE HAW!  I am so pumped and feeling much more motivated to continue!!

Tomorrow, I’m probably going to finish the small bottle of Sunset Blend, have a Green Carrot from Day 2 and possibly a Strawberry Fields Forever!!


Strawberry Fields Forever – sooooooo delish!

I am trying to get my head in the game because it will be the first day we’ll be hanging out with friends and grilling and it is going to be HARD not to snack!  BUT, it’s only 1 more day and I can do ANYTHING for a day!!  Good luck to all you juicers out there, it’s tough not to give in sometimes, but it’s worth it!  Keep up the good work everybody!