Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cue the Balloons and Streamers!

Congratulations!  If you are reading this right now, you are alive!  That is a beautiful, wonderful thing that we sometimes take for granted!  So, I felt compelled to take a moment to put that out there.  We've been learning a lot about what it means to be "made in God's image" in church, and this week, our family lost a 101 year old family friend, so everything has caused me think a lot about life in general.  Life is so far from easy, and I've experienced some very dark patches that I shudder to think about, but more than anything else, life is precious.  Life is exhilarating.  It's a blessing.   It's also fleeting, and I just want to live my life with my eyes wide open, soaking everything in, loving everyone in my life, and being grateful for every single moment!   God has blessed me beyond measure in so many ways, and I am forever grateful for everything---the good times and the not-so-good times.  :)  He is so good!

When I started blogging, I never imagined that I would be sharing my inner-most thoughts and beliefs with you all.  I just thought I'd share some teaching ideas here and there, and that would be the extent of it.  Over time, I've shared some highs and lows with you all, and it never ceases to amaze me that people I've never even met in real life celebrate with me and offer support in my darker moments.  I cannot even begin to articulate how much that means to me, but know that your support is what keeps this blog chugging along.  I sincerely hope that you are able to find something useful for your own kiddos, because at the end of the day, that's why I do what I do.  I hope that I can continue to cut some time off of your planning, and I hope that I can encourage you all the way that you encourage me to keep working to reach my potential.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  :)

With that said, I just want to explain that I have no idea how my blog will evolve over the summer.  I am hoping to tackle some Pinterest projects and other crafty/hands-on ideas.  I'm also planning on tweaking some Social Studies units to share with you all (in particular).  I have a lot of ideas in my head right now, and I have a feeling that I'll be unrolling a lot of new stuff this summer.  I really try to blog more globally, and I try not to shove a bunch of units down your throats, so please forgive me in advance.  I am going to try to cram as much work into this summer as possible, and I want to be able to add units as I create them so that I can finish up my last grad class this fall and have a "normal" life outside of school, blogging, and TpT.  I want you all to know that I create because I have a need.  I don't create just to create or sell, because I honestly don't have time for that!  I just don't want anyone to misinterpret my productivity as greed, so I want to be very forthcoming!  :)  Of course, I plan on sharing quite a few freebies over the course of the summer as well, so keep checking in for those too!  I have a few on the burner... simmering... if you will.  :)  I tend to be spontaneous when it comes to tangible projects, so who knows what I'll come up with this summer.  I never know until I get struck by lightning in a store and just HAVE to make something right then and there!  I promise I will try my hardest to balance it all out!  I have lots of plans... but plans are like shifting sand sometimes.  We shall see!

With that said, I did upload two resources on TpT probably 2-3 weeks ago!  I have no idea when I added them for sure!  :)  Anyway, I created resources that I used with my thirdsters to review the three branches of government.  They were having a tough time remembering the duties of each branch, and I had to come up with something else since we had blown through everything I already had!  Ha!  So, to make a long story short, I created a resource to complement a School House Rocks video.  If you're interested, you can check out the file HERE!  Feel free to grab a few hula hoops (or large paper circles), and popsicle sticks, and get your learn on!

If you're interested in the School House Rocks video and the lyrics that inspired my resources, you can find the lyrics for FREE...HERE!  The lyrics definitely help the kiddos understand the song a lot better.  It's very... 70's... and a little difficult to decipher if you don't have the text in front of you.  It's totally a great mnemonic device though... and it's a super cute video too!  I definitely recommend the lyrics if you plan on using it with your kiddos though.  {Here's a peek at one of the pages...)

If you're interested, here's the super cute video to accompany the lesson/freebie file!  Enjoy!  :)

Lastly, in lieu of my "Live every moment like it's going out of style" mantra and my mushy-gushy "I love my followers" post, I'm extending the EasiSpeak giveaway for one more day!  The winner will be drawn tomorrow night after my class!  :)  It's not too late to seize the day!  Carpe Diem!  If you want to play along and join in the fun before time runs out... you can find my original post HERE!  Have a fantastic evening, friends!


  1. Thank you for sharing your faith. I think it's really special we can use our blogs to talk about how good God is. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. What a very inspiring post and I appreciate your honesty and for being so transparent. My faith is so important to me... so much that I left the public school sector to teach in a Christian school. God is good- all the time! I so enjoy your posts and your TPT store! May God continue to richly bless you!

  3. My hats off to you! I support and admire all that you do.

    Yearn to Learn Blog

  4. Love reading your blog, Amanda! Thank you for putting yourself out there, sharing your thoughts, and sharing your Faith! You are a blessing to blogland! That said, LOVE the name of this resource! Adorable! I know your kiddos remember it now!! Happy summer!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  5. Awesome post Amanda! Especially the first part! The friends I have made through blogging have gotten me through some tough times too! Some, because I talked about it and other times, God has used people without their knowledge. It is amazing how God works and how he uses others to bless. I have had kind of one of those life, eye opening moments this week too....all because of a book I saw recommended on another blog......little did I know it would help me truly deal with a tragic lose that I suffered 21 years ago....it's been a tough week for me but I feel like a "new beginning".....life is precious, you are right. Thanks for sharing...sorry to ramble.

    4th Grade Frolics

  6. Hi Amanda:
    I almost wrote something very similar today! (Instead I just tried to survive "Day at the Park" with the sixth graders...)

    The Blogging World has blessed me richly. It has increased my circle of support and filled my life with "friends" I've never met.

    Friends like you, Amanda! Yours was one of the first blogs I followed. And I always enjoy checking in!

    God IS good. Happy day, BlogFriend!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  7. It is good to be alive and to love what you do, after all, we are taking part in God's mission in caring for His young flock.
    I love your blog and your philosophy. It is in your sharing that you help teachers such as myself, to grow, and develop into stronger teachers. Ours is a mission that must be done collaboratively. With that said, keep the units coming. I love them all and you know I will snatch them up!
    Eileen Griffin

  8. Not only are you an exceptional teacher, but a woman of God too. You just "get" it. I still cannot believe we teach in the same building! I look forward to your posts. Been reading The Daily 5 and trying to figure out how to mesh that with Reading Street. Going to email you my ideas to see if you think I am on the right track! :). Hoping this is your best Summer yet!

  9. What a great post :)

    I hope you have a spectacular summer!

    Every New Beginning

  10. Amanda,

    Thanks for talking about the Lord! I'm in the middle of a "project" right now that I'm writing for Him and your post went right along with it! LOVE how He works in our lives. :-)

    Teaching Little Miracles

  11. Thanks for all you do for your kids and the teaching community! Praying for your family and friends.

  12. My fourth graders (way back when! 2 years ago) had The Shot Heard Around the World memorized! I have the DVD of greatest hits and You Tube has the rest. They rock!

  13. I would just like to thank you for your blog. I went thru a very difficult time losing my niece who was only 8 months old. It was very difficult and I still cry for her. Through this difficult time I wanted to honour her by making a difference in my student's life. I wanted to be a better teacher in honour of my precious niece.That is where I found your blog and it breathed some life into my teaching . You have allowed me to breathe again by inspiring me. I hope that I have made my niece proud. i continue now to do so and still miss her tremendously. Thank you for helping me in my small way of honouring my niece and in turn helping others learn as well. Mary

  14. Thank you all for all of the LOVE! I appreciate your feedback and support SO MUCH! It's nice to know that I have blogging buddies (and co-workers--- Jenny) who are so genuine and kind! You are blessings!

    Mary, thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear about your sweet niece. Sending lots of prayers your way! I am glad that I was able to help you in a very small way. :)

    Tara, I am so sorry to hear that you've been through a rough patch too, but it's great to have a support group, isn't it?! You are amazing!!!

  15. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction today. I've been a bit overwhelmed by the pace of summer at my house--dance, baseball, travel, etc.--and I haven't stopped to...praise Him.

    Schoolhouse Rock is still awesome! I was part of their target audience back in the '70s (ouch. How old am I?!) and I can still sing the Preamble to the Constitution. Lol! ReadWriteSing

  16. The lyrics page doesn't work- any suggestions? Tracy