Saturday, October 31, 2009


The Winter Song
(tune: Farmer in the Dell)

Let's sing a winter song,
Let's sing a winter song,
The days are short, the nights are long.
Let's sing a winter song.
The winter wind is cold,
The winter wind is cold,
It freezes noses, ears, and toes.
The winter wind is cold.
Winter now is here,
Winter now is here,
Put on your coat, your hat, your gloves, Winter now is here.

Dress Warm Poem

The day is cloudy and the wind is bold.
Dress up warmly, you mustn't get cold!

Put on your coat and zip it up tight,
put on your left boot, put on your right.

Put on your scarf and put on your hat,
put on your mittens and clap-clap-clap!

Go outside and play and play.
Come in again, and then we'll say-

Take off your coat that was zipped up tight,
take off your left boot, take off your right.

Take off your scarf, take off your hat,
take off your mittens, and then take a nap!

Ten Little Snowballs

Snow fell last night and it fell so hard,
when I looked out my window, it covered up my yard.

I made 10 little snowballs and I put them in a line.
One fell off the wall, and then there were 9.

9 little snowballs, I put them on the gate.
1 fell off and then there were 8.

8 little snowballs, I hit 1 up towards heaven.
It came down splat! and then there were 7.

7 little snowballs, I hit 1 with a stick.
It broke in little pieces and then there were 6.

6 little snowballs, all lined up side by side.
My dog stole 1 and then there were 5.

5 little snowballs, I took them to the store.
1 fell off my sled, so then there were 4.

4 little snowballs, underneath a tree.
I threw 1 at a monster, then there were 3.

3 little snowballs, I'll share them with you.
You have 1 and I have 2.

2 little snowballs, left out in the sun.
1 melted away and then there was 1.

1 little snowball left all alone.
I'll put it in my pocket and take it home.

Snowman Pokey

Have children make a snowman small enough to glue to an "popsicle" stick or tongue depressor. The snowman will be used as a small puppet to sing the snowman hokey pokey.

Tune of the Hokey Pokey

You put your snowman up, you put your snowman down,

you put your snowman up and you shake him all around.

You do the snowman pokey and you turn your self around, two stomps on the ground.

You put your snowman in front, you put your snowman in back,

you put your snowman in front and you give your knee a whack.

You do the snowman pokey and you turn your self around, two stomps on the ground.

You touch your snowman to your head, you touch your snowman to your toe,

you touch your snowman to your head and you shake his to and fro,

you do the snowman pokey and your turn your self around, two stomps on the ground.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 Tips to Cure Writers Block!

Helium6 tips to cure writer's block

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Saturday, October 24, 2009


It's so exciting!

Next month, VBT – Writers on the Move is having its ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

To celebrate this accomplishment, we are having a STUPENDOUS Blogaversary Tour!

Daily postings and DAILY PRIZES! But, that's not all, we're still having our Mystery Site Giveaway: the Anniversary PRIZE is a $25 (US) GIFT CARD.

Visit the VBT – Writers on the Move blogsite for all the details. --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
Nov. 1 Dianne Sagan is hosting Heidi Thomas
Nov. 2 Harry Gilleland is hosting Karen Cioffi
Nov. 3 Karen Cioffi is hosting Martha Swirzinki
Nov. 4 Kathy Stemke is hosting Brigitte Thompson
Nov. 5 Nancy Famolari is hosting Deborah Weed
Nov. 6 Margaret Fieland is hosting Elysabeth Eldering
Nov. 7 Crystalee Calderwood is hosting Harry Gilleland
Nov. 8 Katie Hines is hosting Heather Paye
Nov. 9 Helena Harper is hosting Steve Tremp
Nov. 10 Liana Metal is hosting Crystalee Calderwood
Nov. 11 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is hosting Marvin Wilson
Nov. 12 Gayle Trent is hosting Dianne Sagan
Nov. 13 Mayra Calvani is hosting Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Nov. 14 Marvin Wilson is hosting Gayle Trent
Nov. 15 Linda Asato is hosting Mayra Calvani
Nov. 16 Heather Paye is hosting Katie Hines
Nov. 17 Steve Tremp is hosting Helena Harper
Nov. 18 Elysabeth Eldering is hosting Linda Asato
Nov. 19 Darcia Helle is hosting Liana Metal
Nov. 20 Deborah Weed is hosting Nancy Famolari
Nov. 21 Brigitte Thompson is hosting Margaret Fieland
Nov. 22 Martha Swirzinki is hosting Darcia Helle
Nov. 23 Heidi Thomas is hosting Kathy Stemke

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Friday, October 23, 2009


Here is a simple story you can use early in the year. The bold words are the things you sketch as you tell the story. Use just enough detail in your drawing to get the point across. Use colors only where indicated.

A Fall Day at the Playground

Today I visited the playground. Right in the middle of the park I saw a big maple tree. The leaves were orange and falling from the branches. Next to the tree was a swing. I went up and down on the swing. To the right was a slide. I slid down to the bottom of the slide. The monkey bars were very high. I climbed to the top. A little squirrel was gathering nuts. There were 4 lily pads floating on the pond. I jumped on each one, and counted to four. It was a great Fall day at the playground.

*The teacher tells a story, drawing a "story map" as a memory aid.

*Students reconstruct the story, as a group, as the teacher points the story map.

*Teacher reads the story and students act out the story.

*Individual students tell the story using the story map.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Check Out This Great Blog by Maria Zagora


MiaZagora Homeschool Minutes
A blog that highlights inexpensive and free resources, links to the greatest blogs, as well as occasional educational news topics.

Maria provides LONG LISTS of great resources:

Fantastic Freebies!
Inexpensive Learning Curriculums!
Web Sites for Kids!
A Great Blogroll!
A Seperate Math and Science Blog List!
A List of Super Homeschool Blogs!
A List of Writing Instruction Blogs!
Art and Crafts Blogs!
General Education Blogs!
Christianity Blogs!
Blog Carnival Information Links!
A List of Fun Stuff Blogs!
Curriculum Links!

Recent Posts include:

All Owls: A fun study
My Body
All Apples: A fun study
ook Bag od FunB
All 50 States

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reusable craft ideas WOW!!
Recycle: great projects
Make your own alphabet book with your digital photo-great!
Great site!
Some free worksheets.
Free clip art
Make dice, etc.

·Federal Reserve Bank of New York-click on the education link and order free materials.

·Dole 5 a Day Program-encourages students to eat five servings of fruit or vegetables a day. Has both online materials and materials to order. (Shipping is suspended during the summer so order for fall in the spring) Your school must register but then all teachers can order their free materials.

·Crest-curriculum materials for 1st grade dental health

·Puffs-curriculum materials for 1st grade about germs

·Mead Parent Conference Packet-fill in a form and get a packet on how to have productive Parent Teacher conferences

·Starfall-will send free teaching materials and books for you to use in your classroom K-1st grade level

·Koko the Gorilla's Club for Kids-get free materials about Koko and the project of communicating with gorillas.

·The History Channel-offers various teacher's guides, calendars and other special offers for teachers.

·National Gallery of Art-borrow materials from here to enhance your art education program-well organized

·National Arbor Day Foundation-materials about the importance of trees, growing trees and other issues. A sampler pack is free other materials are available for costs

·Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University-free posters dealing with various topics in science. Also have free lesson plans and teaching ideas available for download.

·National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information-offers a set of free magazines appropriate for Middle School. Poke around in this site and discover other anti-drug and drug education materials.

·State Farm Insurance-kits that include videos, posters, teaching guides, and handouts on a variety of subjects including character education, insurance basics, and other subjects. Also offers presentations to schools

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Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'm taking part in a fantastic on-line conference with hundreds of authors and dozens of brilliant teachers. Some of my workshops include: Adding Suspense to your novel, Fine Tuning the Senses, Creating Teacher Guides, Getting to Know your Characters, How to Write Power Sentences, First Pages in the YA Market, Assulting a Writer's Thinking, Before Copy Editing, Tightening Up your Writing, Finding your Voice, World Building, and Creative Block Busters. I just may have overbooked myself. I'm on information overdrive.

Wait, I'm not done yet. I was also given the opportunity to meet and chat with publishers and agents. They give invaluable information like what they are looking for as far as genre, and even style. It doesn't hurt to be able to mention in a cover letter that you met at the Muse Conference.

There are chat rooms designated for mingling with the other authors, too.

Finally, I got the opportunity to pitch my new picture book to an excellent publishing house. I got positive feedback and was asked to submit my manuscript. Keep your fingers crossed.

The very best feature of this conference is that I attended it in my PJs in bed. If your interested in writing, I highly recommend you attend next years conference. By the way, it's free.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009


I'm having a wonderful day today. I got so many birthday wishes from my old friends, my new friends, my family, and even my old students from New York. In fact my pastor's wife in New York and my cousin in England sent me a cake and a card on facebook. I love reconnecting with old friends and relatives from all over the country and even the world on facebook.

After finding some treasures at garage sales this morning, my husband took me to a Thai restuarant for lunch. Then we went for a hike in the north Georgia mountains. Oh, I almost forgot, I was served pancakes in bed this morning, too. Next weekend I'm having a party with my two daughters and their families. I LOVE BIRTHDAYS!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tips for New Preschooler Teachers by Adrienne Carlson

It’s never easy to teach children. Kids are unpredictable, they tend to become cranky when they’re uncomfortable or hungry, and they may throw tantrums when they don’t get their way. But, they’re so much fun to be around; their energy is infectious, and they show their affection for you in more ways than one. Kids are both exasperating and lovable, so when you’re teaching a group of preschoolers, you need to learn how to remain calm under all circumstances.

Don’t stay strictly to your plans: When you’re teaching preschoolers, you cannot stick rigidly to your plans, either for your lessons or schedules. You must be able to improvise and go with the flow; otherwise you’re going to end up feeling very frustrated.

Use stories to good effect: If there’s one thing that’s bound to hold a child’s attention, it’s a story. Use costumes, props, and story related activities to keep their interest. They also enjoy things that are not routine, like a trip to the playground or a game of catch in the park. So mix up ideas and routines when you’re in charge of preschoolers.

Discipline should be firm but gentle: Be firm in your authority without frightening the child into submission. You must be able to make the child understand that in the classroom, he or she is just like the rest of the children and they must follow the classroom rules. Get children involved in setting the rules so they will be more likely to obey them.

Maintain good relations with the parents: When you teach preschoolers and interact with them on a regular basis, you must know their parents well and be able to maintain good relationships with them. Treat all kids and parents equally to avoid criticism and accusations of bias.

Kids are quick and enthusiastic learners, so you can bet your teaching experience will be rewarding and satisfying.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of accelerated online degree Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

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Monday, October 5, 2009



*Use vocabulary to define quantities and relationships and make comparisons
*Demonstrate concepts such as part and whole by sorting, matching, sequencing and classifying
*Form groups by sorting and matching
*Develop perceptual awareness skills
*Practice counting
*Experience-basic-addition/subtraction concepts
*Discover similarities and differences
*Develop small muscles, grasp and wrist rotation with puzzles and connecting pieces
*Develop three dimensional eye-hand coordination
*Make and repeat simple patterns using objects
*Discover color, shape, line and texture
*Work-on-persistence,-attention-and problem-solving skills

Getting Organized

For children to use puzzles and other small-scale manipulative materials, there needs to be a defined area for their use away from foot traffic. There should be small tables, benches and an open space with a floor mat where individuals or small groups can play games. Many varied and interesting materials can be assembled for use in this area – anything that invites children to construct, fit things together or develop patterns. Shelving at the child’s level, with picture and word labels for containers, will keep the area from becoming messy. Puzzles and manipulatives need to be rotated as children look for the next level of challenge.

Basic Equipment

*Puzzles of varying difficulty and puzzle rack
*Matching games
*Pattern blocks and patterns
*Linking and Lego-type materials
*Beads and string with bead patterns
*Button, zip, lacing and snap boards
*Light table with clear, colorful sorting and
patterning objects
*Counting objects
*Peg and geo boards
*Building sets/Legos
*Simple dominoes and Lotto games

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery
by Mark Van Doren

"Doing things well with their hands is important for many things children will learn in school. They need to be able to hold pencils and crayons correctly so they can learn to write and do mathematics. Play that involves the use of hands, muscles and eyes helps children develop coordination and problem-solving skills. Puzzles and pegboards give practice coordinating hand-eye movements. Simple number games aid the learning of concepts and functions of numbers. In particular, children this age need a lot of practice in digital dexterity – opening and closing items and using things without dropping, breaking or spilling them. If they can’t use their hands well, they will be afraid to try new things, and trying new things is an important way that children learn."

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Saturday, October 3, 2009


I'm honored to have author Jane Sutton back today. She has so much to offer! Here are some of her words of wisdom.


The past week my life has been topsy-turvy. My imagination has been boosted into overdrive. My written words are short and appear in bursts of colors. I’ve read the same several dozen books over and over again. This creative surge has nothing to do with my current projects. I didn’t discover some super pill or eat a magic mushroom. My husband and I have simply spent the past 5 days with my 2 ½ year old grandson while his parents are away.

I see him frequently because they live nearby. But regular visits can’t compare to the exhausting responsibility of being a round-the-clock caregiver. I keep reminding myself, I’ve done this before and survived. My grown daughter and said grandson are my proof.

Though I can’t remember the last time I felt this tired, and my normal routine is way out of whack, it’s been a fabulous experience because he’s reminded me about the important things in life. Such as:

It’s perfectly fine to burst out into a song in the middle of the grocery store, if the mood strikes.

Getting down on your hands and knees to look at a bug crawling in the driveway provides a whole new perspective to the world. The expectation of a reply to the question, “Where’s he going?” can act as a verbal writing prompt.

Sometimes you should stop everything you’re doing to spin in circles in the living room for no particular reason.

The most important use of a dining room table is to make a tent. Forts can be made out of any available materials.

It’s possible to travel in space, back in time, to the beach, or to undiscovered lands without leaving your bedroom.

Stuffed animals and other inanimate objects have a distinctive voice of their own and love to say what they’re thinking.

Kissing an owie and then placing a Dora or Diego Band-Aid on the spot really does make the hurt go away.

Crayons make great rocket ships.

An entire house can become the Village of Sodor for Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.

I’m confident now, that the next time I come up against the brick wall of writer’s block or my muse goes on an unplanned hiatus, I won’t panic as I’ve done in the past. Instead, I’ll simply sit back and try to look at the world through the eyes of a child.


The Ride begins in California where Barbie Anderson, unaware that her mundane existence will soon be unraveling, approaches that fateful Thursday as she had the other 8,395 days of her marriage. When news about the death of a relative reveals shocking family secrets and an unexpected windfall, Barbie begins to question everything she’s ever known including her identity. Her attempts to come to terms with the revelations and restore order to her life are hindered by guilt and self-esteem issues as well as an alienated daughter and an obsessive husband. When a handsome stranger enters the fray, Barbie finds herself embarking on the ride of her life down historic Route 66 towards Chicago, encountering the road to self-discovery along the way.



ArcheBooks Publishing


Email –

Web page -

Blog – Jane’s Ride

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Thursday, October 1, 2009


Prior to embracing the role of author, Jane considered herself a ‘professional tourist’ as her husband’s career kept her moving around the globe. According to Jane, settling in and exploring each new locale was an exciting, full time job with no pay but a host of benefits. She’s lived in Taiwan, South Korea, England, the Netherlands, Italy and Saudi Arabia, but has also had the opportunity to visit many other countries as well. Since settling back in the states, Jane is now a full time writer and occasional tourist. She is a member of the Florida Writers Association and the Gulf Coast Writers Association. The Ride, is Jane’s first novel and was released by ArcheBooks Publishing in August 2008.


Though I’d like to try my hand at children’s books someday, I write adult fiction. However, I wanted my guest post to fit into the theme of Kathy’s excellent blog. My almost three-year-old grandson, Sebastian, is an avid booklover (often opting for a new book over a new toy), so I thought I’d enlist his help by doing a mini-review of three of his favorite books. However, after realizing what his favorite books would be, I decided to pick my favorite books to read to him. When you read his list, you’ll understand why.

Sebastian’s list:
1) Any book about Thomas and Friends
2) Any book about a train
3) Any book with a picture of a train in it

Selecting three books was not easy. His shelves contain some old favorites I read to my daughter that I still enjoy such as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and a variety of Dr. Seuss. However, I thought I’d select books I wasn’t familiar with before they became part of his collection. I settled on the following:

Miller the Green Caterpillar by Darrell House, illustrated by Patti Argoff, is a delightful story about a caterpillar who wants to fly. The underlying story is if you believe in your dreams and try hard enough, those dreams can come true. Sebastian likes this books not only for the story and artwork, but because he has also been able to observe the actual cycle of caterpillar to butterfly for himself. This book is one of my favorites because I met Mr. House through the Florida Writer’s Association and this book was Sebastian’s first personalized, signed copy to grace his shelves.

Wombat Walkabout by Carol Diggory Shields, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, is a charming counting story that follows six wooly wombats on a walkabout. The book begins with a definition page to introduce some Australian terms children may not be familiar with, including wombat and walkabout along with billabong and kookaburra. The illustrations are darling, the rhyming story is fun and, well…wombat, billabong and kookaburra are fun words to say.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt never fails to bring about a smile with the amusing illustrations and story. Along with letting kids know it’s okay to try new things, the book cleverly introduces time and days of the week. Scaredy Squirrel is afraid to leave his nut tree for a variety of reasons including bees and green Martians. When he accidentally falls out of his tree one day, he discovers that not only is there nothing to be afraid of but that he also is able to fly.

Regardless of the book being read, it’s the quality of time spent together in this essential activity that’s most important and makes the stories magical for everyone involved.

Thanks, Jane for this fun article, and the great book suggestions. Adults need fun books too! Jane's book, The Ride, is just that. Check out what others are saying about her book.

Midwest Book Review (5-stars on
“The wild and unexpected can be ever the savior when one is in despair of the mundane. “The Ride” is the story of a housewife who has sunk into a deep depression from her everyday life and her marriage to an egomaniacal husband who seems to forget she exists. But luckily for her, money is on her side, as is her Knight in a shining red convertible. A thrill ride of a romance, “The Ride” is exciting reading, sure to please.”

Jeff, 10/08, Goodreads
Through adversity comes strength. This book is aptly named and ultimately life can be one fantastic and fun ride.

Heather Lewis, Florida, 9/08, Amazon
A thrilling ride. The Ride is a well-written, thoroughly engaging, and downright fun read. You can't help but laugh out loud and cry at Barbie's sometimes heart wrenching, and always entertaining adventures. I highly recommend this book!

Buy The Ride on Amazon

ArcheBooks Publishing

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