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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Little of This...and That

Hello Everyone!
I sure hope you are all staying warm! We've had temperatures well below zero the last few days here in PA and have been off school. I sure have enjoyed the extra time with my little guy, but will miss it when it's time to make it up in JUNE!
I have had quite a few people sending me messages asking about our son Cael. He is doing outstanding right now! We are looking at his next open heart surgery in June, heart cath in May, and hopefully removing the feeding tube in September! Here is his Facebook page that we set up when we were in the hospital a lot to keep our friends and family updated. 
Now on to teacher stuff....
I haven't been quite as productive with school stuff as I probably should be. {In my defense, I went to start work the other day, hopped on Facebook, and read a post that said "When you have to choose between work and your kids, pick your kids, the work will be there later!" I figured that was my sure sign that I needed to let the work go and play!} :) Here's just a little something that I put together tonight for helping verbs this week. It's a {FREEBIE!}!

I'm so excited about my next unit! It's a work in progress right now. The unit started when I was student teaching eight or so years ago (shout out to my amazing cooperating teacher Ms. Lair!!). I've added and made so many things. I absolutely love to teach it and the kids eat it up....It's the WILD WILD WEST....PIONEERS!

Here's just a little sneak peak....

Have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Hi teachers!!! I'm back! It's been quite some time since I've posted on this blog! As I posted before, my son has a congenital heart defect. It's been a rocky, rough, busy last two years in my little world. Just a super quick update....Our son, Cael, was born on March 31. His condition is known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He surpassed all his odds and fought hard for the last 17 months. He is now 17 months old and doing WONDERFUL! His heart is and always will be an ongoing concern as we monitor and watch him. He will have at least one more open heart surgery (possibly summer 2014) and possibly a transplant. He still has a feeding tube in his stomach and eating/drinking is our daily battle. Cael is such a blessing to us! {Cael is the spokesperson for the American Heart Association - Butler County this year. You can check out his whole story on our AHA Heart Walk page. }

I promise to be more active posting this year! :)

Here's my little miracle!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Update on our Baby! Prayers please....

An update on Baby Lew:

Today my husband and I left our 20 week ultrasound appointment with a box that contained the gender of our little miracle and a heavy heart because of the fact that it was determined that something “wasn’t right” with our baby’s heart. Our doctors sent us to local women's hospital right away to meet with a specialized team of cardiologists. After more tests, the team of doctors determined that our baby has critical aortic stenosis. (In other words, the baby’s heart doesn’t and won’t ever function properly on its own. If the baby makes it to term, a series of open heart surgeries will be performed immediately to try to repair the major malfunctions within and around the heart. Mortality rate is high and the prognosis of survival with this type of heart defect is slim.) After returning home we decided to cancel our gender reveal party and focus our time and effort on our little baby. So we opened our box and found that our little miracle is a BOY!!!! Travis and I are strong in our faith and know that God’s Will will prevail. We don’t have answers and won’t ever know why our baby is that slim odd number with a serious critical heart defect. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow or on April 8th when he is supposed to come into this world. We do, however know that we can’t do this alone. Our journey ahead is going to be long and difficult. We are prepared to take each day a step at a time with God guiding us and comforting us. We need nothing more from all our friends and family, but prayers….prayers for our little guy, prayers for us, and prayers for our doctors.

Prior to finding out the gender, we had picked out a boy’s name….. Cael Ryan. To our surprise, we found out tonight that his name means “mighty warrior and victorious people”. That is exactly what this little guy is…a mighty warrior….a fighter!

Thanks so much for your prayers!
Travis, Tanya & Baby Cael


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Projects (Diary of a Bat, Bat Projects, Invisible Ink, Etc.)

My kiddos  have been busy bees lately (or should I say busy bats!) Last week we learned all about bats! It was a review week in reading (Treasures series). One of our vocab strategies was multiple meaning words. Because "bat" is a multiple meaning word, we centered all of our learning and reviewing around bats! Here are just a few things we did. the first one isn't' bat related, but it was part of our review week. It is called Vocab on the Move. The students have vocab words on their heads. They travel around the classroom to try to find synonyms, antonyms, examples, etc. of their word. They use these clues to figure out what the word on their head is.   
Click here for the FREEBIE Vocab on the Move sheet.

 We started our study of bats with this exciting activity (I adapted it from some place on the wonderful web, but I can't remember where. :(  Let me know if you've seen this so I can give someone the proper credit.)  I had a box with all kinds of bat goodies (books, crafts, erasers for the kiddos, a headband for me to wear while introducing, etc.) The box was from Ms. Frizzle! I had the secretary call down to our room on the loud speaker and tell us that a strange looking box arrived in the mail today. I sent two students down to get it. They were thrilled to see that it was from Ms. Frizzle. We opened the box to find a letter from her and a ton of goodies. The kids LOVED it!
Before we opened the box!
As we read and learned about bats, we used this wonderful idea from Fun in First Grade. The kids worked in teams to cut out mosquitos. We found out that a bat eats 600 mosquitos in one hour. We also found out the largest and smallest bats and measured their wingspan using yarn.

As our morning meeting activity we went outside to learn how bats find their food. Some students were bats while others were bugs. The bats had to close their eyes and say "Echo". The bugs responded with "Location". The object of the game was for the bats to catch the bugs without seeing. This activity also helped the students understand the meaning of echolocation. (Think of Marco Polo.)

We made bats out of foam and feather boas.  
As we learned about bats we started to write our own Diary of a Bat. The students wrote from the perspective of a bat to tell a narrative of a bat's life. They LOVED, LOVED, LOVED  this project!
See the project on TpT.

We edited our writing using this FUN idea from Lesson Plan SoS. The students used eyeball rings to "spot" their errors. This activity also includes a great song that the kids sing! (The file is called Eye on Editing.)


 As part of our review for the week, we learned about story elements. Problem and Solution was one of our skills. I read the students The Vanishing Pumpkin.
They used "invisible" ink to write the problem and solution on a pumpkin. (Lemon juice diluted a touch) I then used my iron make the ink visible again.