Teaching Heart Mom

Just a Mom With a Teaching Heart. Find fun activities to do with your kiddos and students (infant to age 10). www.teachingheart.net blog

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's not Christmas Without the Polar Express!!!

I have loved the Polar Express since I first read it to my class when I was student teaching.  It touched my heart and made the magic of Christmas shine a little brighter.  Since that first Christmas season when I first took a ride through the pages of the Polar Express, I began reading it to all my classes.  I also based a week of lessons on a Christmas Train theme.  In 2004 I was ecstatic when the Polar Express came to the theaters!!!  It was my son (who is now 8) first movie in the theater.  He sat through the movie and did not make a peep! 

 Back in 2002, I created a Teaching Heart Polar Express Theme Unit that is used all over the country by creative teachers, you can view that at:
Be sure to check it out even if you have been once before.  Today I updated it.  Got rid of the dead links.  Added some new links.  Created two more free Christmas train printables.  I hope you will enjoy it.

I also wanted to share a great unit I recently surfed upon that is loaded with some fresh ideas and printables to match...  You will love it!  It is from the blog Chalk Talk.  You can view it at: http://larremoreteachertips.blogspot.com/2010/11/polar-express-unit.html 

Snow Falling Down On Christmas Eve
The Sound of a Train and it’s time to leave.
The Polar Express is here!
The sound of a hissing steam engine is all I hear.
“All Aboard” calls the conductor.
I jump on the train and off we roll.
I know we are off to the North Pole.
The train ride is bumpy, but there is nothing to fear.
Soon we will see Santa and his Reindeer.
The first gift of Christmas will be handed out.
“I want a bell from Santa’s Reindeer” is what the children shout.
The Polar Express stops at the North Pole
I feel like we have stopped in a snow bowl.
Santa picks me up and places me on his lap.
He asks if I would like a new ball cap.
He can tell I would like a bell.
He hands me one and says, “This bell looks swell!”
Do you hear the sound?
I believe I will hear it all year round!
What a magical night.
The Polar Express has filled me with delight!

By:  Colleen Gallagher @ www.teachingheart.net

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Season of Giving Teaching Heart Contest!!!

This weekend our Facebook Teaching Heart Fan page hit over 2,000 fans.  Waaaahhhhoooo!!!  Are you a fan?  I hope so!  I already gave away a Teaching Heart CDROM of choice to not one, not two, but 6 Facebook Fans!  Don't miss my next Facebook fans giveaway, become a fan today. 

It’s the holiday season, I am feeling generous and Thankful to my blog followers, Facebook Fans, customers, and my over 7,500 Yahoo Group members!

Let’s get the season of giving going with Four of My Favorite Things Giveaway Contest & Some Teaching Heart Products!

I will draw four random Lucky winners on Monday, December 6th .  Those winner will need to send their shipping address to cgallagher_1999@yahoo.com by Tuesday, December 7th .  

You can enter in the comments section of this post.  1 to 4 separate entries for those that qualify.

1.)                       1 Entry if you are a facebook fan.  Please leave the name you use on facebook as well as your email in the comments section of this post.
2.)                      1 Entry if you follow this blog.  If you don’t, you can follow now by clicking follow in the top left corner.  Please leave your email and name in the comments and the words, I am a follower.
3.)                      2 entries if you have a blog or website and have a link to Teaching Heart www.teachingheart.net and Teaching Heart Mom Blog http://teachingheartmom.blogspot.com/     on your website or blog.  Must link to both Teaching Heart website and the blog.  Leave your website url or blog url in the comments.  Also include an email address.  Enter 2 separate comments if you qualify for this entry.

(Anyone who enters more than 4x will be disqualified.  Anyone who enters in a category that they do not qualify for will be disqualified.  So follow the rules and enter if you can!)

and the prizes are: 

Hand Painted Wine Glass by Bottom's Up - Shaping Our Future + 1 CD of Choice

This glass is adorable! It is painted with a teacher on it and a school house. So attractive to the eye. It comes packed in an equally cute box!!! The bottom is done in chalkboard paint, so you can write on it! Pair this with a bottle of wine and give it to your child's teacher for a gift they will love. Teachers often get tired of the same old - same old gift and this gift is surely unique!


The Power of Giving: How Giving Back Enriches Us All + 1 CD of choice.





Jan Brett's Snowy Treasury [Hardcover] + 1 CD of ChoiceLove me some Jan Brett!!!  Here you have some of her best stories in one hardback book!

Three CD’s of & one email packet of Choice and A Surprise Treat!  


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Teaching Links!!!

Here are quick links to our Winter pages filled with so many resources for the winter months ahead.  I hope you will find a few ideas to use in your classroom or with your own children.

Index to so many winter treats:http://www.teachingheart.net/xmas.html

Snowman Soup and other DIY treats:http://www.teachingheart.net/snowmansoup.html

Ideas and Lessons for Christmas:http://www.teachingheart.net/christmasteacherresources.html

I love me some Gingerbread Teaching:http://www.teachingheart.net/gingerbreadman.html

Snowman melt my heart and make teaching fun!http://www.teachingheart.net/snowmentheme.html

Don't forget the reindeer ideas:http://www.teachingheart.net/reindeerunit.html

Mmmm... Candy Caneshttp://www.teachingheart.net/candycane.html

Books I love for Winter Teaching With Great ideas to match!!!

The Snowy Dayhttp://www.teachingheart.net/snowyday.html
Polar Expresshttp://www.teachingheart.net/polar.html
The Mittenhttp://www.teachingheart.net/mitten.html
The Cold Ladyhttp://www.teachingheart.net/oldlady.html

Printables for instant download!!!
It's Cold Outside Packet http://www.teachingheart.net/winterprintables01.html
Gingerbread and Snowman Packethttp://www.teachingheart.net/snowmangingerkit.html

On the blog:
Posts Tagged Christmas:
Post Tagged Winter:

Thanks for checking out all the links.  Have a wonderful time teaching over the winter months!!!


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Why I Gave Up Store SHopping on Black Friday!

This year I decided with help from my non-shopping husband to stay home on Black Friday and do my shopping online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday!  Did you know that all the deals you get in the store can be had online if you have quick fingers, and do lots of refreshing of the desired item...  We got a great-super-fantastic deal on a computer package this season.  I also saved about 200 dollars on my children's Christmas presents.  I got my parents a high sought after electronic for $100 cheaper than regular price.  I saved in the comfort of my home.  Here comes the but....

Shopping Online this black Friday has been easy and I have gotten some great deals... but something in me misses the rush of pushing and shoving and grabbing items out of the other shoppers’ hands.  Plus I love to people watch on this day...  Last year I was in Vermont and headed out at 2am and returned with a coffee maker and a My Little Pony that I later returned!!!  I did however realize I may be a little sick in the head... I would do mean things like see a lady looking at the last Zhu Zhu pet and grab it before she could... I would then walk around the store and relocate the most wanted item in the underwear department... I then realized that black Friday was turning me evil!  Not only was it turning me evil, I would buy things I did not need because peer pressure was getting to me...  Why did everyone rush to get that coffee maker, I needed one too... NO!  Thoughts would float in my head...  "Look, I have seen six people with a special edition My Little Pony, I must have one."  I would then wait in the long line and join in long conversation with other shopping strangers about the next spot to hit for yet another item that was not on my list! 

So now I am online with my cup of coffee, in my PJ's getting great deals on my couch...  Later my son and I will do some mother-son bonding at a Paint a Plate venue with some of his old friends.  I will see all those shoppers pulling their hair out and a small part of me will be a little jealous that I did not get to join in the fun this year. 

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Do It Yourself Easy Homemade Gifts with These Fun Printables...

I love making gifts for my friends, family, classroom, and neighbors over the holidays.  Just a little something to let them know I think they make my life special.  It's great when I can think of a cute printable to attach to an everyday item to make it a wonderful Christmas treat...  Here are a few ideas with a link to the printable page where some of the printables are free and where you can buy all of them for instant download.
Click here for the printables to match the items seen in this post!

Snowman Soup!
Gingerbread Cookies with a Poem written by me!
Candy Cane Seeds:

Santa Kisses:
Snowman Kisses
Winter Wishes Wrapper:

Reindeer Food:

and so much more at http://www.teachingheart.net/snowmansoup.html

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I"m Not Lucky... Just Blessed!

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey
Gotta love Oprah...  Did you see her last two favorite things shows?  Friday's show was my favorite because my Aunt Sandy was on the show!  I lived vicariously through her.  Here is her local news cast telling about the show;

I am very Thankful that my Aunt had this opportunity.  She is a good person who does good things for others and it is always fun to see the good girl win!! 

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you all.  I am so Thankful that my kids pulled out the GeoTrax today and played so well that I got the house all cleaned.  I also made awesome Bourbon Stuffing (that I have eaten way too much of already and it isn't even Thanksgiving), homemade cranberry sauce via Food Network, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Bean Casserole.  I'll finish it all up in the AM and family and friends will arrive here at 1:00 for some appetizers via Tastefully Simple!!!  O, and did I mention I also ran two miles and did a killer 30 minute Kettleball class with my girlfriend, Leslie.  Best part was that the instructor talked about his Thanksgiving Feast while beating us with exercise.  I learned that a fried turkey has the same nutritional value as a baked one if you throw away the skin. 

I am very Thankful for my life, I am truly blessed with a great family and awesome friends.  I hope you find the little blessings in your life daily and remember to thank God for even the smallest of happy treats in your life.  Happy Turkey day you all...  I leave you with this... 

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

Gobble, Gobble!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Sale = Save 25%

Must Have Teaching Heart Products for winter!
Use coupon code thankyou for 25% off orders placed onhttp://teachingheart.cerizmo.com/
Must purchase on or before November 29th 2010!!

Thanks for being a customer, reader, and having a Teaching Heart!!!  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with many blessings!!! 

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence."  ~Erma Bombeck

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.  ~Johannes A. Gaertner


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Free Turkey Phonics Printable (Beginning Sound)

My four year old is working on letter sounds.  I made her this large printable game.  Each Pilgrim has a letter.  There is a pumpkin with a picture for each Pilgrim.  To play you must match the picture on the pumpkin to the beginning sound on the Pilgrim.  My daughter loves her new game.

To make it:  Just print this file (click here).  Cut and glue the Pilgrims to a large poster board.  Place Velcro on each pilgrim and each pumpkin.

Classroom:  Great game for prek-first graders.  You can use it as a center or a take it to your seat activity. 
Make couple and let the kids work together in teams to give each pilgrim the correct pumpkin. 

If you like this, there is a similar game in out Winter Warm Up Packet - Click here to see that! 

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I like it... Holiday Hodge Podge 2010 (#1)

What I so love about the blogging world/ website world is all the sharing that goes around over the Holidays.  There are so many wonderful ideas being shared by so many creative people.  Here are some that recently caught my attention!!!

Love a fun Count Down!  Here is a great way to Count Down with your Kids! Download the free printables at  it is what it is

My girlfriend made a ribbon wreath similar to the one seen below...  I Love, love, love this Polka dot Ribbon Wreath from  She's {kinda} Crafty

Celebrate with SuperChick as she shares five FREE printables for Thanksgiving that she found on the Web!

Fiskar's table with a the pie snack holder and paper bag drumstick is to die for, at least I think so!

Ok, what lucky kids to have this as the kids table...  Frog Prince Paperie's shares this o-so lovely kids' table.

Yes, I have some of my own past ideas to share today...

Please fill a friend's bucket and go Turkey them!!!  Turkey A Friend....

You can make yours kids Turkey Shirts!  Fun for all!

For Your Older Kids (age 6 to 9), Roll a Grocery List to Make Pumpkin Pie Game off The Teaching Heart Thanksgiving Packet which is emailed to you in less than 24 hours after you place the order. Filled with lots of fun for Thanksgiving!!! Keep them busy while you cook. My son even plays this by himself.

My son had fun with this pumpkin Pie Rhyme Center. You match the whip topping to the piece of pie. He loved doing this on his own and then I could check his work when he was done. This is a printable from the Teaching Heart Thanksgiving Packet. You can see more by clicking here!

Hope you have found a few ideas to start your Thanksgiving fun!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wake up and get to it...

Yes I am in the middle of a dinning room make over.  In fact, every free moment I had this week was spent in my dining room tearing down the wallpaper... 
It took me a week of tearing and scraping and with three hours to myself on Friday, the last part came down.  I estimate that it took about seven hours of work to get the paper down.  I was so hoping to get started painting on Friday; but I was scheduled to volunteer at my son's library...  Duty called and then Friday night came.  I decided to take care of a 4 week cold turned to sinus infection and found myself at the doctors getting antibiotics.  All home improvement stopped till today.  Off to Home Depot and we now have three colors of paint, a new Chandelier, and new fixtures for the outlets.  So have I started painting? NO.  

What have I been doing???  Got the kids to bed and found myself online Christmas Shopping and then I started thinking about cookies I will make for Christmas this year.  I mapped out the cookie baking and my dinning room remains colorless...  However, I have my cookie designs mapped out.   Red Stockings, Green Christmas Trees, and White Snowflake Cut-outs.  I ordered some fancy sugar for toppings, got my stars ordered for my cookie trees, and some sugar crystals for my snowflakes.  The dining room is still all white.  The furniture all pushed into the middle of the room.  A few scraps of wallpaper backing lines the carpet.  I am wondering if my hubby could be bribed to do the painting...  hmmm... what would be a good bribe? 

Maybe if all goes well, in a few weeks I can post a picture of my hard work...  A picture of the dinning room that is! 

Hey, love this book if you need sugar cookie ideas:

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Free Thanksgiving Printable Coming...

We are getting closer on Facebook to 2,000 fans.  When we hit 2,000 fans on Facebook, I will post a free Thanksgiving printable that will be great for PreK-1st center time or to use at home for some beginning sound practice...  So, if you are not a fan...  click here and become one.

Until then, check out our Thanksgiving Page for awesome ideas.  Ideas like:

Gobbling Good Glyphs....


Pilgrim, Pilgrim Book Idea

and so much more...

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Pittsburgh...My Home


Moo... It is Monday!

Wahhhhoooo...  I feel like I may be over the hump!  I increased the protein in my diet over the last few weeks and increased my calories (yes eating more) and over those two weeks I lost 2.5 pounds (steady 26 pound loss).  So I am hoping this tweak to my diet will be what I need!

This article tells us how protein helps with weight loss. 

So new motivation in the color blue.... Want to see????

DRUM ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!

O, God help me...  I have to wear this dress in June in a size smaller than I am now!!!  I am the Matron of Honor in one of my best friends weddings.  This dress sure looks good on the girl in the picture...  My husband of course loves the dress...  I think he thinks if I put it on, I will look like that.  Unfortunately, I did not get to try it on because they did not have my size in the store models...  But we got to see it on one of the bridesmaids who is probably a size 2.  It  has nothing to hide one of the most hated parts of my body....  MY ARMS.  If you know me, you have never seen me in a tank top, right?  Now you know why.  It could be 100 degrees and I would still not wear a tank top unless I was running.  Also, let's face it...  I have no boobs!  What the heck will hold this dress up?  Wish me luck!  Please pray it will zip up and my fat won't flap in the wind!  I will share a picture of me in this dress after the June Wedding!  Thank God for Boot Camp!  
Goals this week:

Fluids...  Protien... Calories... 3 - 4 days boot camp and 2-3 days of running!!!  Hope to be down 2 more pounds by next week. 

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christian Christmas Children's Book Review

Pretty soon we will pack up the Fall books and bring out all the winter and Christmas stories.  Here's a new one I just reviewed for the Amazon.com Vine program.  I really enjoyed it and thought I would share it with you!

17 Christmases is a Christmas adventure for a family that goes on a holiday road trip to visit relatives and friends in 17 states.  They start in California make their way all over the USA seeing new things and experiencing how Christmas is different depending on where you live.  One thing that remains constant is the celebration of the birth of Jesus by their family and friends no matter what state they are in.  We enjoyed reading this especially because my eight year old son loves Geography.  They discuss 17 states and many of which we were familiar with and the ones we weren’t we learned a little about.  My 4 year old daughter enjoyed the story.  The text is fun to read with the rhyming on each page.  The illustrations do a good job of showing what a certain state may look like at Christmas Time. Then the ending of the story finds the little boy thankfully climbing into bed in his home state saying, "I thank God for Jesus and family galore, For seventeen Christmases---never a chore."  I highly recommend this Christmas story especially if you find yourself traveling from place to place to celebrate the birth of Jesus. 

For more Christmas and Winter Lessons, Book Ideas, and More follow the link below.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Go Turkey A Friend....

Here's a little something similar to being Boo'ed!  It's a fun way to thank a friend...  I got this last year and I am still not sure who it was from ;) ... thought I would share if you were looking to thank the people who have been good friends in your life this year.   If you have one good friend in your life, than you are very lucky and should go Turkey them!!!

(click on the graphic above and then print it to send out!)

Someone is Thankful to have you as a friend!
A “Turkey of Thanks” is what they send!

A little reminder, that you are special in your own way,
Making a certain friend thankful to God for YOU today!

The holidays quickly grow busy and we often forget to thank the ones that are always there to lend a hand or an ear to listen…   The friends that are there for you in good times and bad.  You happen to be one of my favorite friends!  So this little treat is something I picked out just for you.   If I did my job as I was told, you will never know who sent you this treat.  However, I hope it will bring you a smile and make you feel special!  You truly are a great friend!  I am thankful to God for the blessing of you in my life.  This treat comes with a few rules and requests that will help make others know that they touch lives too.

1.  You cannot ask anyone directly if they Turkey-d you. 
The best Turkey-ers will not let you know they did Turkey you, even if they did!!!
2. Copy this letter and the attached turkey three times.
3. Pick three friends or neighbors to anonymously send this to.  Include a small treat for each friend.  Something that reminds you of the certain friend.  Please send before Thanksgiving. 
4. Do your best not to share that you were the one who Turkey-d your friend.