Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013 Mr. Rogers Reminds Us to Look for Helpers

In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing it is good to remember that there are so many people willing to help others. Please share this post if you like.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Balanced Equations and a Math Craftivity Freebie

This activity works well as a math center. I asked the children to pick a number between 10 and 20 to make their equations. We focused on addition but you could easily do subtraction or mixed facts what ever you feel your children need the most. After they wrote the equations to go with the number they chose, I had them to put that part of the lesson aside. Then I had them to color and cut out the stem and leaves and the flower. After they glued the pieces together they wrote their equations with vis-à-vis marker. We are going to take this lesson a step farther by making equation chains. Please visit again to see the other things we will be doing with balanced equations! You can download it from Google Drive here.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Time Literacy Freebie and A Chance to help Jonah

Over at My Heart Belongs in First Grade Tamera is having a fundraising sell to help a darling little boy named Jonah. Jonah has EB. EB causes the skin to blister or shear off at the slightest touch. For $10.00 you can get $85.00 worth of products from some amazing bloggers. I donated my Barnyard Buddies Common Core Math Centers to the fundraiser. Please visit the fundraiser and see all the great products you can get for $10.00. Click Here!

Hear from Jonah's Mom and watch a video here.

I can't believe it is spring and let me tell you why. Today it snowed and sleeted in Greensboro, NC. Now mind you we are on spring break! We just don't have snow and sleet this late. Well for part of the day I sat on my couch and drank ice tea, read a book and wrapped up in a blanket. I can't fuss too much because it gave me time to create this fun literacy center for my classroom and yours. Some of my honeys are still having difficulty with that tricky Magic E. This center has differentiation with added blends on some word pairs. You get sixteen matching pairs and a recording sheet. The recording sheet has space to record twelve matches. Check out the center below.

You can get it at Teachers Pay Teachers or on Google Drive.
I'm confident that Mother Nature is not going to trick us again. After all I'm posting this spring printable just for her.

You can print your own copy at Craftionary by Hani!
Happy Spring!

Freebie Fridays

Teaching Blog Addict - Ultimate Freebie

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Poofy Cheeks
A Mom With a Lesson Plan

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day ~ Teacher Mom of 3 Shares her Expertise

I am so happy to share a guest post from Lauren at Teacher Mom of 3 on World Autism Awareness Day. Lauren experiences Autism in a way which many of us cannot. She is a tireless advocate for families. Please keep reading to learn more about Lauren and to find resources to help families, teachers and children.

It is my pleasure to be guest blogging today here at I Dream of First Grade!  I am Lauren, mom to three boys, an elementary reading specialist and literacy coach (currently on a leave of absence), and blogger over at~

In honor of  World Autism Awareness Day, I share a little of my own experience with this heartbreaking disorder.


Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day, an event that kicks off Autism Awareness Month.

Around the world, businesses, schools, retailers, social media outlets, and individuals will be shining a light on spreading Autism awareness. While the focus is on children, those of us who participate are also wanting to educate the public as to what this disorder is and how it affects not only the child but the entire family.

This day is personal for me, because my family has been touched with Autism. My oldest son is on the Autism spectrum, as is my young nephew.  For twenty-four years, I have dealt with Autism, whether it be as a teacher, a parent, or an aunt.  Parenting is hard.  Parenting a child with any disability is harder. The label does not mean much to me.  I didn't need an Asperger's label to tell me that my son was struggling, was in distress, was a challenge, was in pain, was not functioning within the "normal" range.  However, what a label does do is open doors and opportunities for help~ whether it be an IEP, 504 Plan, Medical Card, or professional help.

Parents of Autistic children can feel all alone as they struggle with the daily challenges of nurturing and caring for their child.  Many feel isolated as even family members may not fully understand the child's behavior.  Social outings are stressful, unpredictable, and so many parents feel that it is too risky and exhausting for them and their child to attend birthday parties, take a trip to the grocery store or even to the park.  If you have an Autistic child you get it.  I get it; I really do.

When life gets harder, I pray harder.  It is my main way to cope with all things in life, especially with those circumstances that I cannot control, fix, heal, or change.  Another way I cope is to read all I can as a way to educate myself, inform others, and to know that I am not alone.  


I want to share with you a few websites that I have found very helpful.  Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a friend, or a relative of a loved one on the Austism spectrum, I encourage you to check out these sites.  I have no affiliation with these sites... I found them in my search for answers and support, and I hope they do the same for you.
  • Child Mind Institute- Has a wealth of information for childhood psychiatric and learning disorders , including Autism and Selective Mutism (NOT on the Autism spectrum, but personal to me as well).
  • Autism Speaks- World's leading autism science and advocacy organization
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute- An internationally recognized institution dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.

When my child was first diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of fourteen, I discovered the book, Look Me in the Eye. Both my son and I read it. It gave us insight and hope. Click the picture below to check it out. If you have a child or teach a child with Asperger's, this is a must read!

Recently, I found the book ,Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum. Although I have not read it yet, the book is on my wish list, as it looks to be inspiring.

My prayer is that if your life has been touched with Autism in any way, that something from today's post will be helpful to you.  If nothing else, my goal was to share a little part of my story with Autism and to offer you hope. There is always hopeI know that when caring for an Autistic child the days can be long, the days can be lonely, the days can be exhausting, sucking the life out of you as you struggle to remain strong, and the days can be beyond frustrating.  

But there is always hope and there is always love.

Lauren,Thank you for sharing with us!
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