June 20, 2011

My Love For...

I have some big news to share...hopefully in a couple of days!

For now, let's talk about my love for...


For those of you who do not live by one, I'm sorry! Definitely check out their website here. It almost rivals my love of Target. Almost. Anyway, it's a warehouse full of wonderful finds on the cheap. The quality of most things is pretty fantastic for the price, plus there is a huge variety! I have bedroom furniture, rugs, organizers, and kitchen goods in my condo all from Ikea. They also have great resources for parents and teachers. Don't forget the amazing warm-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls for $1.

Here are some finds that work well in the classroom:

Magazine Files! 5 for only $1.99. These work great for organizing your classroom library. I think it's important to model to students that as lifelong readers we choose books by interest and then find a "best fit" book from there (as opposed to leveling out the classroom library completely). I plan on separating my nonfiction books by topic in these. Colorful labels and sharpies a must.
Aren't these storage containers cute? I have several ideas to put them to use. The rectangular ones are $6.99 and the round ones are $4.99! How would you use them?

Many classrooms have an easel, usually next to a rocker on a large carpeted area. I love it as an additional learning space and opportunity to get the students out of their seats. If I can't find a larger one off craig*slist or from a garage sale, I will start with this. At $14.99 it's definitely a good start (it has a whiteboard surface on the opposite side).
 This chest has definite possibilities! I can image storing reading pillows or indoor recess games inside, plus putting a cushion or two on top to turn it into a reading nook. I may decorate according to my classroom theme or paint quotes on the sides. Again at $14.99, it's a steal!
 I'm playing with the theme idea: The Big Apple. This lampshade would be pretty fab in my reading corner...for $7 at that :-) What do you think?

If you are a preschool/K teacher- they have great resources for sensory tubs and fine motor skills. Check out this amazing blog for ideas. 

This is what teachers do in the summer...definitely take a break, but also plan and dream about the next year. My plan definitely includes a few trips to Ikea,

June 13, 2011

Why Everyone Deserves the Chance to be Someone

Tonight was Tony Night, celebrating the many amazing performances on Broadway this year. I had 7 friends and classmates from University of Michigan, (GO BLUE!) perform. They killed it! It was amazing to see their joy, to see them living their dreams so soon after graduation. Two of them, Shina and Kevin (who was my dance partner in a show way back when), were part of the Tony winning cast of Anything Goes. I am so proud of them. It made me think about all the amazing training in the arts we've been given, and all of the hard work and sacrifice that goes into the dream. I think back and there's no way I'd be where I am today if it wasn't for the love and support of many people- family, friends, teachers, believing in me along the way. I think my friends on Broadway, in Dance Companies, or wherever else life has taken them would feel the same.

Then I just saw this video.

I am in awe of this kid's talent.
Yet, my heart aches for him.
NO ONE should have to live the life he's lived.
Abandoned. Abused. Alone.
No one to support his dream in the arts. No one to love him.
He was considered a "nobody." 
My heart broke for him.

This is why I want to adopt.
Every child deserves the chance to be safe, loved, and the opportunity to become


No matter where they came from, whatever their abilities, and certainly despite what the world says.
Will you be the one? To give the chance for an orphan to become,

June 7, 2011

Unexpected blessings

This is my first time blogging from my phone...hope you can read it! I'm still getting used to typing on the touchscreen, my old phone had a keypad too. But this phone has this weirdly cool function where you slide you finger across the letters, tracing your word and it picks  it up. Kinda like t9 meets the twenty tens.

I digress.

Anyway, my power is out, as it is for 2500 ppl. No storm, just out. At first I was really annoyed. I mean this is finals wk and darkness, low computer battery, and no internet is a prob. But, I think of most of the world who experiences this or much less every night. And I think maybe God has a blessing for me in this. I can set aside my mountain of stuff, crawl into bed with a book, journal and flashlight, (a la childhood) and just rest.

The work will still be there, but I will come back to it a little bit different. More rested, more peaceful, more thankful for the hidden blessings that pepper our lives.

Maybe power outages aren't such a bad thing afterall...

June 3, 2011

Blast from the Past....

I needed a break last night, a distraction from a current injury and my mountainous to-do list.

First, I ate my dinner of Ice Cream from the Dairy (Michigan Black Bear if you want to know...like Moosetracks, only substitute dark choc covered raspberry cups instead of PB, yeah, it's that good)
all while sitting on the swings of the park.
(My excuse- It had been a 12 hr work day and I needed to decompress and soak up some rays)

Next, a phone call with a friend in which we discussed the weird things we liked or did as children.
This led to what I call "YouTube Magic."
I am the master of distraction.

I confess. I was a child of the late 80s/early 90s.
We had some spectacular toys and tv shows. Light Brite, Skip It, Talkgirl (Think Home Alone), Legends of the Hidden Temple, CareBears, Full House...
We had some terrifying ones.

Enjoy the ride through the Tunnel of Surprise. (Zoobilee Zoo reference anyone?)

Puppy Surprise. I was all over this, Easter 1991. There was a baby doll version too that came in this backpack you wore on your stomach that had a heartbeat.  You opened it ("giving birth") to see what gender you had- sometimes it was twins. That was not as creepy as this Magic Nursery Doll....the Gender Neutral one? What.the.heck?

Zoobilee Zoo- Loved this show, this mouse-ish dancer was my fav. Now...it's terrifying.

Mousercise- I used to do these workouts at 4 yrs old using my baby blanket as a yoga mat. I also loved Barbie Dance Workout. Intense child? Yes, no wonder I became a dancer.

What were your favorite toys/games/TV shows as a child?

June 1, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm back from my month-long blog hiatus...unintentional of course :-)  May is really the craziest- busiest month of the year especially if you have or work with kids! Only a few more weeks of school then job hunting and wedding season...err summer. I can't wait for some days with NOTHING on the agenda, preferably several of those in a row ;-) To tide us over until then, here's what I'm lovin' right now:

The BEAUTIFUL weather- the weeks of cold and rain have passed, it's sunny, warm, and green! This kind of weather makes up for the long winters in my state. Thank you God!

Diet Coke with Lime- a summer twist to my fuel that's keeping me going

All of the new babies that friends of mine are having or adopting. There really is nothing quite like an infant falling asleep in your arms. Or tiny baby feet... Check out these friends of mine- some serious cuteness going on with their little Noah.

My new phone- a sweet graduation gift from a friend. It is helping me stay SO much more organized. I have much better coverage with this new provider and it has some pretty fun features too. I am blessed.

And of course- my precocious third graders. They keep me on my toes but always laughing. Some of their recent quotes to brighten your day:

"Ms. Wright, my glass slippers (clear jellies) pain me with every step but it makes it (Cinderella Dress) complete, get it?"

"Hey, remember when we talked about the REVELATIONary War? The one where we smashed the British? That was cool."

"Ms. Wright, I need to talk to you, not teacher-to-student, but dancer-to-dancer."

"The cause of the French/Indian war: British coming and taking over the land by Lies. The effect: Bloodshed, Cruelty, Betrayal, and Downright Unfairness."

"Ms. Wright, is this what school was like when you were little? Did you have your own slate pencil?" (On a Pioneer Village Field Trip)

"I think (dramatic pause) we're real explorers now." Me: What are we going to find? (On our field trip to the Pond) "Trees, Land, Monkeys, and the unknown."
Make Way for Ducklings: Forest Edition
Happy June,