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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools Day Ideas...

Friday is April Fools Day...  Here is my 2010 post with some ideas + one I added for a new spin...

Have you fooled your kiddos today?

It's pretty hard for a four year old to understand the concept of April Fools...  But my seven year old gets it and I had a good time last year playing a few tricks on him.  I started by putting a fork in his cereal bowl!  I layed out pj's for him to put on for the day.   At dinner we had breakfast.  At bedtime I put princess sheets on his bed and Star Wars sheets on my daughters bed. 

This year, I have plans for a gag lunch!  I already started by setting the clock back an hour so he was in bed at 7:30 rather than 8:30.  I will fill him in on the prank when he wakes up pm April Fools. 

Check out these donut seeds:

Plant them and maybe you will get this...

Small April sobbed I'm going to cry
Please give me a cloud to wipe my eye
Then April Fool she laughed instead
And smiled a rainbow overhead.


Q: Why are people so tired on April 1st?
A: Because they just finished a 31-day March :-)


If it thunders on All Fool's Day,
expect good crops of corn and hay.

Visit Mrs. Jackson's Class Website Blog for April Fools' Day History, Lessons, and Resources

For More Spring Ideas:  http://www.teachingheart.net/teachspring.html

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Catholic Easter Bingo Printable For Grades 2-4

My CCD (Faith Formation) third grade class just finished their Resurrection Eggs File Folder books this past Sunday.  You can read about those here and print the files needed to make them. 

This week we will use the finished folders to retell the story to a partner and then a few volunteers will present their stories to the class.  After that we will play an Easter Bingo game.  The game uses the symbols used in the Resurrection Eggs as well as a few vocabulary words that are related to the Easter Season and are found in our third grade curriculum.  We will be using M&M's as markers. 

You need:
 1.) M&M's for each player
2.) Bingo Cards (Click Here) There are 20 different cards.  Use the number you need.
3.) Calling Cards (click here)

To play:  Draw a card and read the definition about the vocabulary word or picture.  Student finds the word or picture that matches your statement.  Place the card in the discard area and repeat until someone yells BINGO!!!  First person to get four in  row, wins!!!!

You do not need a class to play this.  We played it as a family and it was a great Lent activity.  I hope you enjoy it!! 


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello, I am Home Decor Challenged!!!

My name is Colleen, I am Home Decor Challenged...  What's your problem?

So I have begun the ever painful process of painting the kitchen/family room.  They are attached so it makes it even more painful than just doing the kitchen.  I love a finished product, I just hate the mess you have to make to get there.  It is a lot of blue tape around cabinets and the idea of pulling out appliances to paint behind them makes it more difficult.  Not to mention kids...  How the heck does anyone get anything done with kids around???  Yes, you can put them in front of the TV or make them read...  but that only lasts so long.  Paint can open and you find yourself playing a board game with a bored kid and realize...  Opps, left the open can of paint by the blind dog's dish...  U-huh ='s big mess to clean up!!!

Then there are the three days a week when I have 2 hours to myself, kid-free time.  Some people that work would say, "man you are so lucky you can have ALL that TIME to yourself."  Hey people, two hours is not that much!  Plus with volunteer obligations, you go from six hours a week to two...  Then of course there is the home business to run (but somehow people don't count that)...  Phewwww....  good thing I have a blog to vent on...  Let's get back on track...  Home Decor is what this post is really about...

I wanted to live on the edge and go crazy with color but I came out of the paint store with creams and tans. Truthfully, my colors look awfully similar to what is already on the walls in the two rooms I will repaint.  But, it looks a little dirty and this will clean things up!!!   I am just not brave...  perhaps I will be when I paint my bedroom!  No one sees that!  I suck at home decor.  I admit it, I am home decor challenged.  Give me a computer and I will make you a crazy good lesson plan!  Give me a paint swatches and I go all boring!!  

What's is your area of expertise and your challenged areas???    

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Spring Thaw Giveaway

Check out our facebook page, here. Like us (if you haven't already) and then enter to win our contest.  You will see the post where a comment is needed to enter.  Winner will be announced on Monday!!! Good Luck!!!

Check out the Spring Teaching Heart Theme Page for Free and Fun Ideas!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meet Our Sound Muncher...

Need to work on letter sounds, rhyming, or sight words? Need to work on other Phonemic Awareness Activities - Phonemic awareness describes the awareness skills used to detect, blend, segment and manipulate individual sounds in words.  Here's a sure way to get your PreK to first grader excited about these tasks...  Make a Sound Muncher...  Meet Munchy, he's our Sound Muncher. 

He's a mini flip garbage can purchased at the Dollar Store.  We added a mouth, eyes, and some letter stickers and like magic he came alive ready to work on phonics skills.  You can download his body parts here.  You can also download his belly stickers and a sound muncher song here.  Print on Avery Sticker Paper and stick to your Muncher!!!

Once your Muncher is ready to munch you can start to have so much phonics fun!!! 
Grab a buddy and try this activity:

With a Buddy - use ABC Flashcards (click here to print a set) to review letter sounds.   Take Turns and   - Say the letter.  -Say the sound it makes.  -Tell a word beginning with the sound then “feed” the Sound Muncher!

Be sure to also download these Sound and Picture Flash cards from http://www.kizclub.com.
If you have never visited Kizclub, you should!  It has some of the best free Pre-K to First grade resources you can find online!!!

Below is a video of my daughter and I working with the sound muncher.  Today he was hungry for all sorts of treats.  I laid out various pictures and asked my daughter to feed him one that rhymes with ______, or which one starts with the sound ______________, or which one ends with the sound ______________.

The Sound Muncher is so much fun and an easy way to get kiddos excited about working on phonics skills.  They just love to see the Sound Muncher come out.

Want more quality printables that make lesson planning easy?  Visit Teaching Heart's Store here!!!

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A Handshake from Heaven

My son will make his First Holy Communion in a few weeks.  Hard to believe that the little baby dressed in white for baptism is NOW the huge eight year old I see before...  People, say that days last forever but the years fly past.  It is so true!!!

It's crazy scary to think in a flash he will be sixteen and I will be blogging about the scary world of having a teenager... 

If you know me, you know I love a good children's book and whenever something is going on, I try to find a book to read to my kids.  Like when we were having my daughter we read tons of big brother books.  Or when I potty trained my kids, we read every child's book on potty time.  When my kiddos were in a wedding, I found a great children's book to match.  You can find a children's book to go with any topic. Of course we have every going to Kindergarten book made. Children's books make great cards!  I would much rather spend ten dollars on a great book than six dollars on a card someone will throw away...  Thus, I have been reading lots of books on First Communion.   I found one that really touched me and I knew this would be the one I would share with my son the night before his First Communion. 

It is called a Handshake from Heaven.  My first read through the book equalled tears...  It is beautifully illustrated and has such a warm feeling that comes with it.  The text is simple and easy to read.  This book helps explain how we touch God every time we accept the Eucharist from our priest, pastor, or Eucharist minister.  "The book talks about how we touch God when we hold those we love and when we touch his gifts (flower, butterfly, puppy). But when we receive the Eucharist, God opens Heaven's door each and every time. And nowhere else on earth can we touch a part of Heaven, except in the Eucharist. And someday, when God chooses, He will reach down and touch our hands once more, and this time, He will hold on tight. He'll walk us through Heaven's door and hold our hands forever because we chose to touch Heaven while we lived on His earth, every time we went to Communion." The whole concept of touching God through the Eucharist as a preliminary experience to joining God in Heaven was just beautifully done. 

If you are looking for a "touching" book to give to a child who will be making their first communion, I suggest this one and I have read quite a few. 

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Little Green Guy Does not Flush & Some!!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!  Every year the Leprechaun gets busy at the Gallagher House.  You can see the trouble he caused in 2009 and 2010.  Each year he seems to find more mischievous things to get into.
This year my kiddos woke up to a messy house.  Seems that the little green guy had way too much fun in the bathroom.  I had just purchased a large pack of toilet paper at SAMS club and asked my son to put the paper under the sink and he forgot...  well, the Leprechaun took a roll of that paper and covered the inside of our house in it as well as leaving a few green coins along the way...  It was everywhere... Hanging from lights and all over the floor of the house. 
Then he left my kids cereal that Mommy NEVER would buy no matter how much my kids beg.  He even spilt a bunch on the floor and table.  O, and he left my son his favorite yogurt...  Green Whips!  My son was so happy!!! 
Knock, Knock!
Who's There?
Irish who?
Irish YOU were a Leprechaun!
After breakfast it was time to brush teeth and would you believe, that that trouble maker used all of our bathrooms...  I guess his mommy never taught him to flush???  My daughter said, "Well he forgot to flush, I hope he remembered to wash his hands..."  Yeah, me too!!! 
Look at that green pee!!!!  Silly little guy!!!
My son hasn't discovered it yet, but there are a few surprises still for him to find at school...  That little green guy put shamrock stickers all over his snack and juice box for school.  In his homework folder he placed some more green coins.  His reading book has a shamrock bookmark in it now too... 
When my son goes to lunch he will see all green....
Mmmm....  Bagel with green cream cheese, green cucumber slices, green grapes, and some green cookies.  There is a note from a Leprechaun in there telling him that he hopes that mommy is not mad that he made my son lunch today. I wonder if he will eat the bagel today???

Our dog even met the Leprechaun.... 

Still a few more tricks up that Leprechaun's sleeve....  More to come....

Teachers - need quick ideas???  CLick Here!!!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting Ready To Read With Environmental Print!

Environmental print is the print of everyday life. It's the name given to the print that appears in signs, labels, and logos. Candy wrappers, labels on peanut butter and the M in McDonald's are other examples of environmental print. For many emergent readers, environmental print helps bridge the connection between letters and first efforts to read.

Infact, when you are out driving and your child points to the McDonald's sign and says, "Look Mommy, that is McDonald's!", your child is reading!!!  When you are out at the grocery store and your child sees a soup can and says, "Campbell's!", they are reading!!! 

 Environmental print is a great starting tool for teaching phonics and reading. Most children recognize labels and logos from their favorite products.  Environmental print provides lots of opportunities for kids to interact with letters, sounds, and words.

Print out some environmental print at Hubbards Cupboard over at this page.  I laminated the pictures and stuck a magnet on the back.  I also added the sentences:
I want to go to...
I want to eat...
The kiddos can then sort out the print to match the sentence.  Next they can read the sentence they made!!!  My pre-reader loves this activity and showing others how she reads!!!
Below are two FREE printable Bingo games you attach to a clipboard.  The first one you use in the car and your child can check off the things they find as they ride.  When they have filled their card, they win.  It may take a few car trips to fill the card.
This is one I have used while shopping.  My daughter loves holding this in the cart and checking off the "words" she spots as we shop.  Once she finds them all, she gets a treat!!! 
You may print both of the above card here at Teaching Heart!!! 

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Resurrection Eggs Idea With Printables

Easter Season is around the corner with Ash Wednesday this week!!! 
To start the season off, I finally decided to buy Resurrection Eggs for my family and CCD class. Call me lazy because you could surely make these yourself, but I liked having them done for me instead of searching for the pieces for inside the eggs....  Plus the resource book included came in useful.  This gave me more time to create a hands-on printable to share with you...

I also have a copy of Benjamin's Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs . The story is great and matches the eggs perfectly.  It is nicely illustrated and each page tells a story to match the item in the egg. The kids seem to enjoy the story and hearing it from the point of view of a little boy.  I highly recommend getting this book to compliment the eggs.

I hid the eggs around my house and told my kids to find them but not open them.  Once we had all 12 eggs we took turns reading a page from the book and opening the egg that went along with the page. 

We then made our own Resurrection Eggs (based off of the ideas found on Just Call Me Jamin's Resurrection Lapbook) at so that we could retell the stories on our own and recall how Jesus died for us and then rose from the dead.  I made my own printable to match JCMJ's!  The printable has an egg you open and inside the egg you glue a part of the story and a symbol from the egg.  My kiddos had fun coloring the eggs and then gluing the pieces onto the file folder.  I also plan to do this activity is pieces with my Third Grade CCD (Faith Formation) class over the next few Sundays. 
I made a printable to create this book.. You can download it free here. It is five pages.  The last page (foldable eggs) you will need to print three times on colored card stock.  All other pages get printed once on regular paper.  My kids enjoyed making the books and we will refer to them through the season.

I also plan to make the books with my Faith Formation class (CCD).  We will do it in stages over the next few weeks.  Last week I hid two eggs from the Resurrection Eggs around the room and picked four kids to go on a hunt for them.  Once they found both eggs they got to open the eggs and tell us what was inside the egg.  We then read the first two stories from Benjamin's Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs.   Each week I will pick four kids to hunt for the next two eggs.  Slowly we will work on parts of the book so that they will each have their own book to share with their families. 

Must See Site!!! 
For more resources, Catholic Icing is such a great blog and it has many examples of Resurrection Eggs found around the web.  You also should print out her Lent Calendar for kiddos.  It is great.  I have one on my refrigerator and gave one to each of my CCD kids.  Be sure to look at her Easter cookies too!  What a wonderful happy resource.  It surely is built with love!!!

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Princess Party Pictures and FREE Printables

A quick look at my daughter's Princess Party...  It was lots of fun.  We held it at my home.  She had 11 of her friends over for 2 hours of crafts, games, and cupcakes.  My goal was to keep the girls busy for a full 2 hours.  I did not want too much time for free play.  I packed up all the toys in the playroom and turned bookshelves around so that the toys on the shelves would not be a distraction.  Plus it makes for less clean-up after all the kiddos leave - no toys thrown all over the floor. 

My invitations included my daughters pictures.  They printed post card size.  (CLICK HERE) to print a similar invitation.  You will need publisher so you can modify the words.

Here is the cake made with the


I have collected Disney Snow Globes for years.  They finally came in handy as the centerpieces.  My Daughter loves them so she was thrilled to see them come out their case.  Note the Scene Setter in the background.  These are so cool and they do not require you to use anything sticky on your walls.  They just cling.  I highly recommend them.

I used my daughters Princess Plushes as decorations too.  I also made a Happy Birthday Banner.  It is free to download as well (CLICK HERE)!!!
When the kiddos arrived, they colored Princess Frames with their pictures already in the frames.  I also created a fun Princess coloring sheet.  You can create a coloring page too.  All you have to do is search for the images you would like to use online.  There are soooooo many!

As far as food, I did not do much.  I made it so the party fell after lunch and before dinner.  So the girls at the party had cupcakes and ice cream.  They drank Pink Lemonade.   I had some moms stay.  I had a large bowl of popcorn, pretzels, apples and dip, and some Princess Sugar cookies set out for the moms to stay.  I packed aways one cookie for each girl to take home with them.  I think the crown cookie cutter and the glass slipper cookie cutter are so cute!!!

We played...
1.) A Princess Hunt - The girls used their clipboards and a pen.  They listened to clues that led them to a princess.  When they found the picture of the Princess, they also found a treat to put in their favor bag.
Here is the Princess Check Off list)
3.) Princess Walk - Layout pictures of princesses.  Play music and stop it.  Call out a Princess.  Girl standing on the Princess you call wins a Silly Band.  Play till everyone wins. 

4.) Princess Relay - Every princess takes turns crawling through the Princess Tunnel, goes into the first Princess Tent and puts on a Princess Necklace, goes into the second tent and puts on a Princess Dress, runs out and tags the next princess to go.  They then stand in to lines; the Princess Tattoo Line and the Princess Make-up Line.  When they are done they look like Royalty.

As part of the Princess Hunt they girls were given a treat from many princesses which they stored in their princess bag.  The favors included: A Princess CD (Click here to see and Print the Label), a glass slipper, a magic mirror (each mirror said who is the fairest of them all!), a heart, a bracelet, and a few other goodies. 

Ahhhh....  It's always fun for me to throw my kids a party... but the wine after the event always tastes soooo gooooooddddd! 

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