Five for Friday - Linking Up With Doodle Bugs

11 January 2013
I am linking up with Kacey of Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five Random Things about My Week!

Random #1:
I have two very large LOFT gift cards burning a hole in my pocket!  My problem: the LOFT has been a serious disappointment this school year!  I mean come on LOFT stylists: a dress with cats on it that fits like a potato sack!  Get back to your teacher-friendly roots.   I seriously went in the store and left with one thing and two intact gift cards.   This is unthinkable!  

So, where have I been getting my shopping fix?  H&M!  
This is actually not an outfit I wore to school, but the blazer and top do work well for school.  I love H&M's blazers,  their loose fitting tops, and reasonable prices.

Random #2:
I am still working on my Penguin Packet!  I know it is taking me  FOREVER.  I plan on using it on Monday with my class, so I better get a move on it.  If you are interested in the packet, follow my TpT store so that you get an email when it is posted. 

Random #3:
I posted my visual plans this week on my blog and received such sweet/encouraging feedback, that I am going to try and do it again this Sunday.  

Random #4:
I turn my art projects into art centers.  This is a project by First Grade Blue Skies that I made sentence strip directions for on my pocket chart.  I include tracers, construction paper, and a sample in the center.  The students have to read the directions and follow the model to complete the project.  It takes a whole week before I get everyone's finished product but it is an effective way to squeeze in some art.  See my plans above for more details about where to get the project and the acrostic poems. 

Random #5:
A student's cat died this week.  If you read my blog, you know I love animals and consider pets family members.  When a student's dog or cat dies, I send home the book Dog Heaven or Cat Heaven, depending on the type of pet.  Both books are by Cynthia Rylant.   I have the family write on the inside cover, as pictured below. I know, the book Dog Heaven made me feel better when my Cocker Spaniel, Hannah, died.


Thanks for reading!  Remember to hop over to Kacey's blog to read more Five for Fridays! 


  1. I love Cynthia Rylant and I love your idea! What a sweet way to connect with families!!

    Third Grade Bookworm

  2. I need to check out those books! "I'm sorry" just doesn't cut it when you lose a fur baby. :( I am saving my LOFT gift cards for spring...I'm hoping they get their act together because it's the only place I shop! Thanks for sharing your visual to see how others organize and how things flow. It satisfies a nosy part of me. ;) Happy weekend!


  3. You are so lucky that you live close to an H&M. The closest one to me is 2 hours away! They have such cute clothes.

  4. Your snowmen turned out SUPER cute!! (cats on a dress... really?? lol)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  5. I have never heard of Cat Heaven or Dog Heaven. I am going to have to check those out. What a sweet idea to do for your students when that happens.

    I have been searching for a good blazer.....will have to try H&M!

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  6. I love that you send home Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven when a student's pet passes away! I have both book in my room, but never thought of using them that way! Thanks for sharing!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  7. #1- I almost spit coke out of my nose!!! cat pattern that fits like a potato sack?!?! bahahah! #2- your penguin packet cover is adorable!!!

  8. UM, Loft is out of control this year. I.hate.everything.there. My go-to is The Limited. I love your pet book. So sweet. I know that means a lot to the little ones.

    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  9. Definitely agree with the Loft problem this year! Every time I get a sale email, which seems like it is daily this year.......I cringe that I can't find one thing worth buying! Love the book idea for the lose of a pet!

  10. Sending books home for animal deaths - very sweet. I am sure the kids and families really appreciate! Awesome idea; thanks for sharing :)

    The Brown Bag Teacher

  11. Thanks for the book suggestions..I need to get those!

    Happy weekend!

    Teachery Tidbits

  12. How thoughtful, those look like great book selections for not only the student, but the family too. Do you talk to the families before you send the book home with the child?

    1. This year I forgot, but all my students celebrate Christmas so I thought it was a safe bet to send the book home. I usually mention the books at Meet the Teacher Night, when I talke about letting me know about things happening outside of school that may upset their child.

  13. I totally understand your Loft issues. What is the deal over there?! I went into H&M over Christmas break and about lost everything. There were so many things on sale! We're talking heels, belts, jewelry, blazers, the works. So cheap too. I seriously love your idea for helping children mourn the loss of their family members (the fuzzy ones that is). Animals are such an important part of the family. Thanks for sharing :) PS cannot wait for the penguin pack and your plans this week!


    1. Wouldn't it be great if we could be consultants for them and they could send us free clothes to try out!

  14. I need to check out H&M! That blazer looks soooo CUTE!
    Sweet Times in First

  15. I will have to pick up those books. What a great idea:)

    Surfin' Through Second

  16. Wish we had an H&M in Maine!! It seems like a GREAT store.

    LOVE Dog Heaven!! My friend's mom gave it to me after my cocker spaniel died. I was in tears. Love that you're using those books to make a connection to your families and showing them how important pets are!!

    First Grade Lyons' Den

  17. Love the idea for the books being sent home if a pet dies. VEry sweet and caring. I have Jennifer's snowmen packet, too. So adorable! This year, I MUST get the circle sponge brush to make it easier.


    1. I actually used my circle punch and had the kids glue the white circles to the bows. I showed them how to trim the edges off. Some did it and some did not, but they still came out cute. I have a huge fear of paint in the classroom!

  18. I LOVE H&M! They just put a new store in near me (before the closest one was 45+ minutes away) and it is now dangerous for me to go inside... haha. So many cute clothes! And great prices!


  19. H&M is my "go to" store! :) Seriously, the dog and cat heaven books are so sweet. I'm putting them on my wishlist.

  20. I love the idea of sending home thos animal books with a family whose pet has just died. Such a sweet way to honour the pet and let the family know you are thinking about them. I need to check those two books out. Thanks for sharing!

    First Grade Garden

  21. I love the idea of sending home those books. I will definitely need to do that too. Rainbow's Bridge is a sweet website to visit when you lose a pet. I will need to be medicated when my kitty and bunny die.=(

    I know this won't help with your gift cards but you can by things new off eBay. I love the store Anthropologie but it is expensive. I buy new with tag things off eBay all of the time. =)

    Thank you for sharing! I am sure you would still look cute in the cat dress!

    Heather's Heart

  22. I just recently discovered Loft and I am excited to start shopping there for new school clothes. Also, I am always running out of time to do small art projects and putting them in a center is not only a great time saver, but I bet the kids loved it!

    Darling Little Learners

  23. Wonderful site and huge information. The information present here is helpful for the readers I'll come back to this blog for sure!
    Craft Supplies

  24. I also love H&M! My closest store is up near Cincinnati, which is about an hour and a half away, so that kind of stinks for me, cause I love their low prices! I wore and H&M sweater today actually! :-)

    I love the idea of doing artwork as a center. Unfortunately, the kids that come into my room for reading absolutely couldn't handle that. My own class could, though, so I want to find a way to work that in! I think they could do most of the art activities I've done on their own! And those snowmen are so cute!

    I love Patricia Pollaco, and I love the idea of having those books! I may need to get a copy for myself! What a great idea!

  25. Oh My Gosh Erica. Dog Heaven is a family favorite of mine. My little boys know it by heart. (Don't you love that God has a sense of humor and makes dog biscuits in the shape of squirrels?) and have given it away to so many of their friends over the years. Thank you for sharing it with the world.
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  26. Erica, I really love the idea of sending home a special book when students lose a pet. Thank you for sharing this idea for helping families as they grieve.
    Karen :o)
    Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten

  27. Thanks for sharing about Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven. We just lost one of our dog's this week and I ordered Dog Heaven for my son and then I will put it into my class and do the same thing. I shared what you do on my blog and linked back to this post. Just and FYI and thanks again for the great idea!


    Fantastic First Grade Froggies

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. I love your idea of creating the art projects at center time! Maybe I could get some more art into our day. :) Thanks for sharing!

    Teacher Treasure Hunter


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top