Hectic Crazy Days What about you?

It seems that everyone has the holiday crazies right now and if you have looked up into the same night sky we all share something else is about to happen…a full moon. Just about every teacher and everyone who works in a hospital can tell you what happens during a full moon. Why even my student teacher said “I don’t even have to look at the sky to know when the moon is full!” Smart girl…she catches on quick. Lord help and let’s hope the creek don’t rise (means hoping things don’t get much worse) What could be worse you say?? Rain!! There better not be any triple plays here in North Carolina!!! How are things where you are?? Is that Elf on the Shelf working for you? Are the holiday crazies wearing you out? My bucket of chicken I picked up sure made me feel better this evening and so did that hug I got right at the end of the school day. Little things can make a big difference!!

Free App ChatterPix by Duck Duck Moose You Can Make Anything Talk!

Chatter Pix Can Make Anything Talk

Chatter Pix Can Make Anything Talk

Chatterpix can make anything talk — your pets, your friends, your doodles, and more! Take your own picture or use one you have already taken.
You can draw a line to make a mouth, and record your voice. Then share your Pix with friends and family as silly greetings, playful messages, or creative cards.   You can share by email, facebook or YouTube.  ChatterPix would work with children who are developing language and those who need to practice saying phrases. You could also use it for children to create characters.   You are given 30 seconds to record something for your character to say.  This is plenty of time for a nursery rhyme, a song or a couple of sentences!

Chatter 1Chatter 2

Chatter 3

Free App Chatter Pix by Duck Duck MooseFree App Chatter Pix by Duck Duck MooseI did some Chatter Pix with my family.  We had a blast with it. You do need to practice a couple of times when you are drawing the mouth.  We had fun putting all sorts of fun hats and mustaches on my husband’s pictures and making him say funny stuff!!  Even he was entertained!!  Poor fellow…….This is a very entertaining app and loads of fun!  It’s free so give it a try and let me know how you like it.  There is also a Chatter Pix Kids that you can check out here. The only difference is that is doesn’t offer sharing on social networks.

Join the Blog Hop for The 12 Days of a Teacher’s Christmas if you haven’t yet.  We have some great prizes and lots of free teaching materials from

some awesome bloggers.

I am an affiliate for iTunes. Whenever you click on or purchase a product from my reviews your price is always the same. I get a small percentage with no charge to you.  Thanks for supporting my blog!

All the best,


Chrysanthemum, Math Manipulatives and Target Gift Card

It has been a very busy week in my Kindergarten/First Grade Classroom.  We have been in school for 9 days! The class is learning routines and getting settled in. Of course we are still working on names.  We had two major focuses for the week.  We used the book Chrysanthemum to learn about the importance of names and how words can hurt someone’s feelings. We also used a lot of math manipulatives this week. I love manipulatives and the kids use them everyday in one way or another.

Chrysanthemum and Math Manipulatives

This week we counted a lot. The kindergarteners and first graders both worked on making sets of ten with manipulatives. This is a great multi-level activity and can easily be differentiated.  The first graders talked about tens and ones and the kindergartener worked on one-to-one correspondence when counting.  Some of the kindergarteners got into the tens and ones counting also. I worked with students in small groups that needed more direct instruction and practice.  The first graders also started a self-made book with representations of teen numbers. The children enjoy making these math books and we will keep them for their Math Resources File.


I am totally psyched about the newsprint writing pads I got for my classroom before school started. We used them for the first time this week and I am looking forward to using them for Working on Words in our Daily Five Time and other things related to literacy. The children used Mr. Sketch Markers to write with. They are a long time favorite of mine. We use them on our Morning Message. The children use labels for “Boo Boo Tape” if they want to make a correction.

Letter writingI have done a lot of activities with the kindergarteners and first graders working together. The first graders are providing great leadership and the kindergarteners enjoy having a special friend to work with.  We are working on completing a mystery picture together in math. This picture will take us about two weeks. We spend about 10 minutes of our math time working on it. It meets a lot of common core standards.

Mystery picture

I created a Sunflower Photo Frame for pictures. It is easy to make and the photos look great! Here’s the Freebie for you. The post is at The Organized Classroom Blog you can read it by clicking here.


I hope you are enjoying your class this fall. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments so if you have some time. Please leave a comment below.I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest!

If you follow me on Pinterest please leave a comment below and I will put your name in a contest for a $10.00 Target Gift Card. You must leave a comment to enter the contest. The
contest will close on September 30th, 2013.  Thanks for following.

All the best,

Sarah Tharpe Winchell


Toni Nickelson is the winner of the 10.00 gift card to Target. Thanks to all who entered!!

Teachers Don’t Give Up Even When Politicians Do

http://pinterest.com/pin/41236152810177940/Teachers across the United States have headed back to their classrooms or they are gearing up to head back. Even those of us who have a couple of days left are in “the mode”.  All teachers know what the mode is. It is when you start thinking about your next class, what learning activities you want to do, you start moving furniture around your classroom hey you may even find some surprises you had forgotten about. Every year teachers try to make it the best year ever. I think politicians don’t realize this or they don’t think about it. Here in North Carolina teachers are taking a beating in about every way possible.  That being said thousands of teachers are heading back to their classrooms  to make it the best year ever. They are putting their knowledge to work and they are putting their hearts to to the grindstone. Teachers have to be made of tough stuff otherwise we simply couldn’t make it. We have to believe that we can make a difference in the lives of children.  Teachers do make a difference it is minute to minute, day by day, month by month and year by year. Sometimes you may not realize the moment you changed a child’s life but you did. If you are lucky a kid comes back and tells you how you helped them but most of the time you just have to know it in your heart. You have to believe in what you do even when others don’t. I know teachers are working hard and teaching children and nurturing them even when the chips are down. Maybe the politicians have given up on children but teachers have not.

All the best,

Sarah Tharpe Winchell