Friday, July 20, 2012

Halibut, Marshmallows and a Freebie

No . . . I'm not sharing a gross recipe that combines marshmallows and halibut (thank goodness)!  They are just two unrelated things that I want to chat about. (Warning - this is a really long post but if you hang in until the end there's a freebie and a quick giveaway.)

The first thing you need to know is that I'm a closet Big Brother fan. It's my summer guilty pleasure, I admit it.  Anyone else?  Well, even if you don't watch the show, you'll understand my extreme reaction to, and subsequent dislike for one of the houseguests.  Twenty-something Danielle is a nurse from Alabama whose incredibly offending strategy is, "I don't want anyone to know I'm in the medical field or that I'm working on three different degrees including a Masters," she confides. "I plan to lie and say I'm someone not that smart like . . . oh . . . maybe a kindergarten teacher. I mean, how can someone who works with Play-Doh all day and reads The Bernstein [sic] Bears be that much of a threat, right?"
I don't even know where to start! I could go on for hours about how incredibly insulting and misguided this ridiculous twit young lady is, but I'll just rant about a few things:
  1. Play-doh all day, really? With increasing curriculum standards and heightened accountability, when was the last time you broke out the play-doh for an all-day fiesta?
  2. Most teachers also have multiple degrees, with many states requiring a Masters within the first few years of teaching.  It's something we do as teachers to hone our craft and become better at what we do, not to wear as a badge or to announce to the world on reality TV.
  3. Ummm. . . It's Berenstain Bears, not Bernstein Bears. If you're going to insult us, at least get it right.
  4. On Sunday's episode, when the houseguest cooking dinner said he was making halibut, Danielle asked, "What's halibut?" Now, I might not be a nurse, but at least I know what halibut is!  (No offense meant toward nurses, I know that they are as hardworking and dedicated as teachers are!)
  5. Lastly, I'd bet my left arm that the love of learning that propelled Danielle to pursue her many degrees was first cultivated by her kindergarten teacher. I'm just saying. . .
Okay, I'm done with the halibut, on to the marshmallows.

Back to school time means teaching and re-teaching rules and procedures to set the expectations for the whole year.  Looking back at the tough year I had with last year's bunch, I'm finding myself wondering if I spent enough time in the beginning of year doing this. I'm going in guns blazing this year, and I'm going to spend a lot more time really focusing on making good choices.  If you're a regular follower, you know that writing my own emergent readers has become quite an obsession a hobby of mine, so I've been working on some to help facilitate this beginning of the year "boot camp."
One thing I want to focus on right away is hallway expectations. Using the well known "Marshmallow Toes" gimmick, I came up with a cute emergent reader to share with my class as we practice walking quietly in the hallway. I also made a matching pocket chart sort and classroom poster to support what we'll learn from the book. Then, I made a matching take home version so the parents can reinforce the expectations at home. (You can grab this freebie down below.) Finally, since we can't play with play-doh all day but we still need a little fun, I created a craftivity (that uses real marshmallows!) to go with it.  I'm excited to use this mini-unit when school starts, and I think it will really help set the tone for the year. You can check it out in my TPT store (here) if you think you'd like to have a fun little boot camp of your own.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end of this really long post. Now for a quick "Halibut and Marshmallows" Give-Away.  I'll send a copy of the Marshmallow Toes packet to the first five people who can name a Big Brother houseguest that I would like to see take Danielle out of the game (any houseguest will do). Make sure you leave your email and no fair repeating a name that someone already answered with!

Have a great day!


  1. Willie!

  2. Ew!! That would so annoy me! I dont watch big brother so I have no idea! Is frank still on the show?!

  3. Joe..maybe? Cute unit...:)


  4. Not sure how to choose my profile when I post. My email: My google profile is somehow linked to my district email and takes me to theat page when I click the "Publish" button. Can anyone help me by telling me how to post a comment on a blog?

  5. Shane

    Nikki Mason

  6. My 17 year old and I love BIG BROTHER! We are on vacation and stayed in the hotel on Wed. and Thurs. so we could see it. I love Wil (one L), he is just too cute. His hair is sooo much better than mine, LOL.

  7. I'm going to guess Jenn. I would love to see Jenn take her out with her hard core rocker self! Although I am from TX -- using your sweet, cute drawl to make us all look stupid doesn't work for me. - and how can she be from Alabama and not know seafood! really?? I was never so glad to see your post. I wanted to copy and paste it to her email on Big Brother!

  8. I don't watch the show, though I have read several blog posts about this chick and I'm glad I don't watch it now! I'm going to go the cheater route and say, "ANYONE" ! Sorry, I have no idea about the house guests' names, but I would cheer for anyone to take out that ignorant little twit! Great blog post!

  9. Donna,
    Love the book! My last year LOVED the idea of marshmallow toes! They will be so sad that they didn't have this book!

  10. Donna,
    I too enjoy Big Brother. Although Ian has acted a little odd in the house I think it would be fun to see him get rid of Danielle. I think the Marshmallow Toes is a cute idea and will be trying it this year. I am like you and will be spending more time at the beginning of the school year on routines and behavior.

  11. I also love Big Brother Donna!! It would not break my heart in the least to see Danielle ousted out that door! She didn't do much during the first challenge and I think she should have been sent home by Dan. But oh well!
    Your Marshmallow Toes emergent reader and activities look adorable!

    ❤Mrs. McKown
    Little Literacy Learners

  12. I love the Marshmallow toes craft! I am a huge Big Brother fan, too. I have watched every season!

  13. I love the marshmallow toes craft, I have always done the poem at the beginning of school and very excited to do the craft this year! Thanks for sharing! We are your newest followers! Teaching Little Miracles

  14. This is very cute. Have you heard the "Walk In Line" song by Jack Hartman from his Transition Train Cd? I used this all the time with my Kindergarteners last year and they absolutely love it. It talks about marshmallow toes in it. I know I am too late but your packet looks adorable and I can't miss an episode of Big Brother. I am all excited when it is on and I would let anyone take her out. She's getting closer so maybe tonight she will go.

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