World Down Syndrome Day

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day, a day that I never knew existed.  
Now it will be a day that I will never ever forget.  

This year I was contacted by Renee Canfield to see if our school would like to participate in this special day.  I did a little research and thought it would be a great idea.  I wanted to find a way to help the children understand Down Syndrome but also just recognize everyone's unique qualities.  I found the perfect product from Kelsey Mango.  She is also a teacher who has a child with Down Syndrome. Her packet was amazing and filled with so many wonderful resources.  It was hard to choose what we should do in our classroom!  

First things first, we had to wear our crazy socks. 
I had the privilege of teaching this amazing little girl last year.  I just love this photo her teacher captured!  It melts my heart!
World Down Syndrome Day - First Grade Roars!

My first grade students!

Word spread to the junior high and they also wore their crazy socks!  Mr. Mitchell (my husband) participated too!
Yes, he's all mine ladies!!!

McCord students showing their support as well.
For my first grade students we discussed chromosomes.  I know, right!  First graders!  Well believe it or not the picture images displayed by Kelsey Mango are a great visual and I think most of them understood that children with Down Syndrome have 3 #21 chromosomes.  

Then we watched a video by MattyB.  and discussed how Sarah was feeling in the video. 
Here is a link to that video.
This led to a great discussion with the students.

Next up we discussed muscle tone.  This is such a significant part of the struggles children with Down Syndrome face.  Mrs. Friend from The Friendly Teacher is doing a demonstration to show how speaking can be difficult for children with low tone.  She has marshmallows in her mouth.  We had all the kids try to speak to one another with marshmallows in their mouth.

We also tried writing with a sock on our hand to show how writing can be difficult as well.

Our last activity was creating our own unique socks.  We talked about how boring it would be if we were all the same.  We decorated our socks and wrote about our favorite things.

The day was so much fun for everyone and I feel like they all have a better understanding of Down Syndrome and how important it is to treat people with respect and include everyone.  

I am grateful to have shared this experience with my students and co-workers.  Every year it seems as though more awareness is spread about many disabilities and children are being accepted and celebrated for who they are!  

I would have never imagined or predicted the life I live right now.  
The devastation I felt at the first diagnosis of Down Syndrome is indescribable.  
Now I look back and I hate that I ever felt that way.  I wish I could tell people not to grieve or be upset.  Charlie has truly been the best thing that has ever happened to our family.  My husband and I are completely enamored by her beauty, smile, and love for life.  We CELEBRATE every milestone and never take anything for granted.  With the inclusion and education we provide in our school system, I truly believe we will increase awareness and acceptance. 
My little Charlie is soon approaching her third birthday and I don't know how that is seemingly possible.  Words can not even express the joy this child has brought to my heart, my family, and endless other people she has met.  She has been such a blessing in so many ways.  

To read more about our story Click Here.

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French Lick Teacher/Blogger Retreat 2016

This year I was so excited to attend the French Lick Meet-Up.  After seeing all of the amazing pictures last year, I wanted to be part of the fun.  It turned out that two of my co-workers were also going so we went together.  It was a 5 1/2 hour drive but it went by faster than I thought, we had a lot to catch up on.  Here are 5 of my favorite parts of the weekend!

I knew I was staying with Kayla and Hannah but I did not know my other roommates.  We ended up getting there at the same time and we immediately hit it off.  We stayed with Jessie and Ashley from the  Red Sister Squad.  They were so nice and it was like we knew them forever.  We had so much fun and I gained two amazing new friends!
French Lick Teacher/Blogger Retreat 2016 - First Grade Roars!

Saturday afternoon was filled with sharing.  We all met one another through a fun activity that spelled out our theme "Take your passion and make it happen."  I HATE getting in front of other adults and I tend to be on the shy side but I forced myself to volunteer to share our group.  We kind of broke the rule and Hannah came up too!  I was pretty proud of myself for going outside of my comfort zone.

After that we had our teacher swap.  I loved being able to have time with other first grade teachers and seeing everyone's favorite teaching tools!  I was so lucky to receive a bag full of items.  I LOVE my new water bottle and have been using it everyday!

Next we had some fun sessions to attend.  I thought they all were amazing and I love learning new things.  

Finally it was raffle and freebie time!  I was so lucky to be part of the group who received new pencil sharpeners.  I'm looking forward to using that in my first grade classroom!

There were endless freebies from many sponsors.  We were so lucky!
Check them out below.

#3 80's PARTY

Who doesn't love a good party, especially 80's style.  We had a blast getting ready.  The photo booth and flash mob were my favorite parts!


You can never have enough friends and supporters.  It was so amazing to meet people from all over the country.  Everyone was so nice and I made some new amazing friends. 

As a mom of 7 children you don't get a lot of time for yourself.  This weekend offered me the opportunity to step away from my super busy life and spend some "me" time.  It also made me miss my family like CRAZY and appreciate them even more.  It was especially hard to be away from Charlie because she is so little yet.  FaceTiming her was great but by Sunday I couldn't wait to get my hands on her.  Luckily she was in the great care of my amazing husband.  Now we just need to work on him doing her hair! YIKES!!

Thanks for a great blogger meet up Holly Ehle!  
and everyone else who helped plan and organize the event!

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Right to Read Week K-1

Right to Read week is my very favorite week of the year!  Who doesn't LOVE a little Dr. Seuss?  We always celebrate by doing something different each day of the week.  This year we are going to spend a week and a half just to keep the fun going!   Here are a few of the fun things we do!

We read, "The Cat in the Hat" and all the kids wear hats on that day.  We do fun graphing and comparing and contrasting with their hats.  You could do homemade hats or just wear your favorite hat.  I have a freebie to help you get a few ideas!

Right to Read Week K-1 - First Grade Roars!
We also celebrate with a little cupcake treat!  
Last year I made these signs and we were Students 1-25.  I was Teacher 1.  The kids loved it!  We also made fun headbands with red paper and light blue strips of paper.

Next we read "Green Eggs and Ham".  Of course we have another yummy treat for this fun day!  Super easy and my favorite!

We also taste test the eggs and write about them!

I took their pictures and we made a class pictograph!

Our finished writing!

Grab this fun freebie below!

Wacky Wednesday is always so much fun!  We dress a little wacky and write about a wacky day!

We also learn backwards that day.  We start with our end of the day and work towards the beginning of the day for a fun little twist.

Next up is "Fox in Socks": Crazy Sock Day!

We wear our crazy socks and stay in sock feet ALL day!! 

Also we do some fun graphing, comparing, and contrasting!

In the end we watercolor some crazy socks!  So much fun!

Feeling sleepy yet?  We end our unit with "The Sleep Book".

I'm sure you guessed it, we wear our pajamas to school and do many pajama day fun activities.

We do centers the entire day!  It is so much fun!  We even bring our stuffed animals along with us for some fun Dr. Seuss reading!

A sample writing mini booklet we make!

I'm really looking forward to another fun week and a half full of activities.  This year we are wearing stars and stripes for "The Sneetches" and playing a Sneetch game.  We are also making elephant headbands for both "Horton" books!   

I hope you were able to get a few fun ideas here to add to your week filled with Dr. Seuss fun.  
For more activities, check out my Right to Read Packet

As always, thanks for stopping by!  

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