Monday, February 12, 2024

National Organ Donor Day

National Organ Donor Day is observed every year on the 14th of February. Valentine’s Day may have a very special meaning to you if you need an organ transplant to survive. This important day focuses on organs, tissues, marrow, platelets and blood. The day is supported by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services as well as numerous nonprofit health groups.  

Organ donation means to donate an organ to a person who needs a transplant. This special day was chosen for people to show their compassion and love for people waiting for organ transplants. By signing up for an organ donation you express your love for humanity. You can save several people's lives or heal lives with your eye and tissue donation. 

You can donate your organs or tissue after you die. The waiting list in the United States for an organ such as a liver, from a deceased person is long.  In some cases, a live donor is necessary to save a person’s life. The success rate for the transplant may be higher and also there is a shorter waiting time when a live donor is an option. 

Live liver donations are possible since our livers have a remarkable ability to regenerate. This means that if you donate part of your liver, the rest grows back to most of its original size within weeks. Our liver is unique and it is one of the few organs that can regenerate. 

There are several misconceptions when it comes to organ donations. For example, certain illnesses or physical defects will prevent you from being a donor. This is with few exceptions false.

Liver failure can be caused by a number of conditions such as liver cancer, hepatitis and cirrhosis. Norm T. is a relative  who needs a liver transplant. Her only option to survive from a disease is to find a living liver donor. A portion of a liver from a matching donor can replace her diseased liver. Livers, as mentioned above, have an ability to regrow to their normal size. This means that both the donor and Norma would regrow their liver to their normal size. 

Norma has shown a remarkable brave spirit in her long journey to fight her disease. We are hopeful that a suitable match will be found so that she can return to her normal life. 

If you are interested in becoming living donors to help save Norma’s life, please visit 

Becoming a donor is the ultimate act of love for fellow humans in need. Please share this post to enhance the chances of finding a living liver donor for our relative.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

February 2024 Products

February is here with National Pizza Day, Fat Tuesday, Valentine’s Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day. Several of the themes this month focus on teaching children how to interact with others. Emotions and feelings are underlying several celebrations during this month. But the month starts with a fun day. 

The National Pizza Day is marked on the 9th February. A great way to bring smiles to your students’ faces.  Shape math is a popular way to bring joy to the geometry lesson. Craftivies such as ovens, pizza items, and  chef’s hats will ensure that your classroom looks stunning for the celebrations.

Tuesday the 13th is Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is also known as Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday. Mardi Gras does not happen on the same day every year. Mardi Gras French for fat Tuesday and the holiday is based on the Christian calendar. Bring the celebrations into your classroom by making a Fact Booklet filled with interesting writings and drawings about the history behind the celebrations. Decorate the classroom with colorful jester craft or Mardi Gras masks. Provide your students with a chance to develop their Mardi Gras themed drawing skills by using a How to Draw resource. 

Your students will love this week since the day after Mardi Gras is Valentine’s Day. This day offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how we interact with other people. The book "Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch" is such a wonderful story to share with your class. This charming book by Eileen Spinelli, lovely illustrates the power of love and friendship. My storybook companion comes with a cute Mr. Hatch craft and contains Valentine hug craft, chocolate candy patterns, scavenger kisses hunt, and estimation hearts. A lovely mixture to ensure that your students get to practice their math and language skills on this special day. Follow the easy step to step drawing lessons and enjoy watching your students creating a cupid, rings, heart cupcakes,  love letters and roses.

The Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated on 17th February. Use the resources below to help make kindness the norm in your classroom. The idea behind the day is to encourage people to do good deeds for others. Create a caring environment by allowing your students time to reflect on how acts of kindness, even small, can make not only the classroom but also their neighborhood a better place. Making a Kindness Quilt is an awesome way to finish the celebrations. The activity uses the book "The Kindness Quilt" by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace as inspiration. Fill a wall in your classroom with kindness squares  and marvel at the creativity! Enjoy this busy month in your classroom! 

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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Scandinavian Countries

Children are curious and discovering that there are people and places around the world that are similar as well as different from them is a great way to feed their curiosity. Many students have family members who live in different parts around the world. Giving students cultural awareness is important to help them learn empathy and understanding for others. Learning about countries around the world also teaches children acceptance of traditions and beliefs that are different from their own culture.
I have recently added Scotland, Sweden and Norway to my list of places to explore. You can combine the Fact Booklets with my How to Draw resources to enhance the learning. Scotland is part of Great Britain and with its lochs, forests and mountains.  It is a place with fascinating wildlife. Also, Scotland is a land of myths and legends, and students love hearing stories about the elusive Loch Ness Monster. Learning how to draw the monster will add extra spark to a written story. 

Sweden and Norway are part of a region known as Scandinavia. Students love learning about toys that children play with in other parts of the world. In the  booklet about Sweden students will learn about a traditional wooden toy - the Dala horse. Learning about the land of the midnight sun is also fascinating. During the summer months the sun never sets in the northern parts of Sweden and Norway.

Vikings are another fascinating topic and your students will love learning to draw Viking ships. Vikings is the name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia and you can extend a project about Norway with learning more about these people who were  warriors, and barbarians, but also farmers,  traders, and ship builders.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world and globalized world, fostering global awareness is important and beneficial to students. Start 2024 exploring new and exciting places together with your students. 

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Monday, January 1, 2024

Ring those bells for 2024! 

A brand new year. I love this time of the year. Time to reflect and make plans to create new memories in the classroom. A great way to plan activities is to use special/national days as a guide for topics. January is filled with interesting days that can help you create a classroom that is inclusive and respectful. 

I think we all know that January is Martin Luther King Day. His birthday is celebrated this year on the 16 January. 

Yet, how many of you know when National Draw a Dinosaur Day is? Select special/national days celebrations based on your students’ interests and representation. If you have some dinosaur enthusiasts in your classroom they will love to celebrate these fascinating animals on the 30 January. Use a How to Draw Dinosaur resource to celebrate this special day. 

At the beginning of the new year National Bird is celebrated - 5 January. The aim behind this special day is to raise awareness and celebrate the beauty of birds. A bird fact booklet is perfect to ignite an interest in these animals. The booklet contains a wide variety of birds,  from hummingbirds to ostriches. On the 20 January you can use the penguin fact booklet to mark Penguin Day. These  aquatic flightless birds are always a popular topic. 

The day after MLK day is Ben Franklin Day - 17 January. This remarkable man was an inventor, scientist, as well as an American statesman! Plenty of things to explore and learn using a fact book. 

Another special day is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Check out my best selling Squirrel's New Year's Resolution. This storybook companion is perfect for 21 January celebrations. 

Starting January with asking your students to share their winter traditions, while you explore birds, dinosaurs, squirrels and famous people sets the tone for an exciting 2024!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Winter Solstice

Winter is the season of cold, dark days. Celebrate the return of the warmer and lighter days with a project about the winter solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere this usually happens on December 21 or 22. Winter solstice marks the moment when half of our Earth is tilted farthest away from the sun. This day is also known as the shortest day of the year.

Ancient cultures around the world built impressive moments to celebrate the winter solstice. Newgrange was a tomb built in Ireland, around  3 200 B.C. There are also fun celebrations to mark the event from China's Dōngzh festival to Iran's Yalda festival  and Scandinavian Yule feast. 

You can talk about these festivals as a short introduction to a project about winter using a Winter Fact Booklet. Your students will love learning how to draw winter items such as beanie hats, mittens, snowmen or palm trees! Directed drawings resources are great to use on its own but they also work really well with my fact booklets.

Non-fiction writing can be very exciting! A topic such as winter with the winter solstice with its powerful time of darkness can ignite lots of creative non-fictional writing.  Non-fictional writing should  be based on facts but it should also be creative and a pleasure to read.  So it is great to start early by encouraging young kids to write. 

A winter themed math journal is perfect for the winter months and combine it with some winter pattern block BOOM task cards to ensure that your students can develop their geometry skills.

Take time to enjoy the pleasure in the little things, like the long shadows on the winter solstice. Your students will love seeing the longest shadows of the year!

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Friday, December 1, 2023

December 2023 Products!

Welcome December! 

This is a month filled with excitement and energy. Finding engaging activities that balance learning and fun is the key to a great month. Planning this festive month filled with traditions and holidays is a treat but the excitement can be hard for some students. There are students who do not look forward to this time of the year: children whose parents are separated or divorced or children in abusive households. Maintaining daily routines may become increasingly more difficult in December but it might help students to keep things consistent and use familiar materials as well as new and exciting activities.

If you have used Fact Booklets during Fall, your students will be familiar with the concept. Short paragraphs, pages for filling in their own research about the topic, space  for drawing and decorating, and last but not least fun craftivities. Reindeers are amazing creatures and this topic can be paired with Christmas activities. But you can also use the booklets without focusing on the Christmas and the holiday season.

Fairy tales help kids to find solutions to problems and navigate life. A popular story for the December classroom is the Gingerbread Man. Use Reading BOOM digital task cards to give your students a chance to practice their comprehension, sight words, syllables and even learn how to make gingerbread! 

A storybook companion is a great way to dive deeper into a story. A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, is an important book. Many children move around and reflecting on what makes a home is invaluable. This rhyme book is about familiar houses, such as a dog kennel, as well as more surprising ones, like a pea pod. My unique storybook companion is filled with  math and literacy activities. You’ll also find home ideas for family projects. Your students will love using their creative thinking skill to explore what makes a home a home! 

Music in the classroom has so many benefits from calming and improving mood to enhancing creativity. Spread some calm sparkle in your classroom with music from the ballet The Nutcracker while your students work on this charming classical Christmas story.

Wishing you all a wonderfully calm and exciting December!  

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