Thursday, February 2, 2017

Have a Heart

Punxsutawney Phil is America's most famous groundhog. He's also the first and official forecasting critter. Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800's. The first official trek to Gobbler's Knob made on February 2nd, 1887. 
Punxsutawney Phil has made his prediction, and we’re about to get six more weeks of winter.  Of course given his track record as of last year he has been only correct 39% of the times.
A Correction by Ever Ready: In my excitement  of counting down days to spring on Wednesday's posting I inadvertently forgot a whole month of days!! as of today there are 45 since the First Day of Spring in 2017 is March 20th. 

Mia Wenjen from in her own words "likes to blog excessively about children's books." You can always count on her for great themed diversity book lists. She also is the co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day recently held on Jan 27th. Her recent collage book list on kindness picture books led me to this find
"Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud. I shared this book with my daughter's class. It's a heartwarming book targeted for ages 4-8. The book encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it can be to express kindness, appreciation and love by filling others buckets.

The engaging and delightful illustrations show diverse characters in a variety of ages. Young children will relate to the illustrations and the messages are easy to understand. The book lends nicely to discussions whether at school or at home with parents and grandparents. The intended messages are easy to understand and it's a book to be revisited frequently.

The idea is we all carry around an invisible bucket. Your bucket has only one purpose to hold your good thoughts and good feelings about yourself. You fill a bucket when you show love to someone, when you say or do something kind, show respect or even when you give someone a smile. That's being a bucket filler.  You never fill your own bucket when you dip into someone else's.  
I also shared the story recently reviewed "Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup" by Pamela Mayer.

Both books were donated to their classroom library. 
To kick off Valentine month the students enjoyed a box of conversation hearts while graphing and sorting them first which did take a lot of self control. Notice the diligence and earnestness on this task. 
First they sorted according to color
   then they graphed the color piles on a chart

They transitioned into writing their sight words and then arranging colored tiles spelling out these words. Moving into choice activities inspired a variety of independent activities. This young gentleman was listening to a story on his iPad
Peanut Butter Butter Heart Cookies
This recipe comes from Betty Crocker and can be made two ways.

  • Need I box of Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix 
  • Heart shape milk chocolate candies 
  • Heat oven to 375 and follow directions on box to form dough 
  • Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar 
  • Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes 
  • Immediately press chocolate heart into top of each cookie 
  • Cool cookies on wire rack 
#2 Peanut Butter Cookies from Betty Crocker Cookie Book p.79
Cook's notes: This has been one of my favorite tried and true recipes from the book. You know its a keeper when food stains highlight the page :)
Check out the price of $3.95 for this book it's that old!
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1/4 cup butter softened 
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup chunky Skippy Peanut Butter 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1-1/4 cups flour (I use half whole wheat and half white flour) 
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • Beat sugars, butter, margarine, peanut butter and egg 
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and place bowl in freezer for an hour or refrigerator for an hour to make sure dough is chilled 
  • Heat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Shape dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and place on sheet 3 inches apart and bake 9 minutes. 
  • Immediately add chocolate heart to baked cookies. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling time.  

RAK Idea: When out to lunch with friends buy a dessert for everyone to share. 


  1. I just love all of the positive things you are doing from the classroom to writing here about how we can uplift others.

  2. I just love it when you share pictures of yourself reading to the school kids. Makes my heart sing :) Thanks for your contribution to MCBD and #Readyourworld. P.s I think I may still have that same Betty Crocker book!