Are you ready to fiesta this week? Cinco de Mayo may have started out as a celebration of an 1862 war victory in Mexico, but it's evolved into a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. It's a big deal here in Texas.

All Y'all Need has an Ask Away Activity just for the day. Fiesta Fun is part of our What a Wonderful World packet.

The templates can be trimmed to slide into the plastic grids for Guess Who? If you have 1-2 students, this is doable.

Since most of my groups involve more than 2 students, I usually print out 6 copies. My biggest groups have 5, so that's one copy per student plus 1 for me. I put them into plastic sheet protectors and give the students dry-erase markers (a big hit!). A tissue works very well as an eraser. I love simple setups! To start, I think of a picture and ask the students to ask me yes/no questions.

For Kg-2, we cross out items together. For example, if a student asks, "Does it make music?" and I respond with, "No", we would talk about what can be crossed off. Naming the pictures targets labeling,  artic sounds, and being able to extend yes/no questions. It can be very difficult for some of my students to understand. They hear "music" and want to cross off everything else. Or they get on a roll and cross off everything.

3-5 students usually know how to play, so each student takes turns answering the questions. Mostly, these groups work on artic sounds in questions (sentences) and using language to ask the questions.

I hope you have a buena semana!
From Amy:
First off,  me and the little sweeties celebrated Earth Day with Little Red's Earth Day Fun Craftivity.  Oh my, the sweeties were all about making the Earth a better place.    I love the the accents these two sweeties put on their Earth faces & papers.   First grade girls know how to make some serious eyelashes, and they were lovin' the free access to markers!

Then today was the bomb-dot-com.   The little Kinder sweeties got to make their own home libraries.   We have been working nose-to-the-grindstone all year in RTI groups.   Today, they designed their own libraries.   They got to take home ALL their leveled readers, their journals, and a fancy pencil.    There was not a whine, complaint or sigh anywhere in the room.   The sweeties got down to serious business decorating their boxes.   And when they found out they got to take their journals home AND all their readers.....the smiles were contagious.    Ok, I admit it was a three-tissue moment for me.....sniff, sniff.

From Laura:

#1 - Songza

I like to have a little background music when I write reports and do paperwork. Our school website blocks most music sites, but Songza is still on the approved list.

Just go to the Music Concierge and choose a playlist depending on your mood. I usually go for Bright & Happy Pop or Energy Boost. I'm reliving Amy's 80's days by listening to Big Hair 80's right now. My 80's were more pop, but Big Hair Bands sounded like a good thing. My daughter asked me just what I was listening to when Talk Dirty to Me came on! Oh my, I remember the music more than the lyrics to most songs.

#2 - Local News
Temple Daily Telegram, KXXV, KCEN and KWTX

All of these have done a wonderful job of covering the tragedy in West, Texas, which is an hour north of me. It's been a nice blend of news, compassion, and community.

From Lisa:
#1 - The Band Perry: Pioneer

This week, I've been listening to The Band Perry's new cd. It's called Pioneer, and I absolutely love it!

#2 - Classroom Break Dance!

I came across Koo Koo Kangaroo on Pinterest, and they have been a lifesaver! My kids absolutely love dancing to their songs. The dances have been a staple in our daily routine. Our class faces include Dinosaur Stomp, Awesome Rainbows and No Crust. Whatever grade you teach, your kids will have a blast dancing to these hilarious songs! They are great for brain breaks.
It has been a big testing week in Texas elementaries this week with 3rd, 4th and 5th grades all taking the STAAR. Luckily, my principals know that I have to make up any speech therapy sessions I miss,so they use me as a last resort. I helped out with 3rd grade reading.

The whole week was full of quiet halls, schedule changes, and changes in weather. I don't know if there was a full moon or not, but it sure seemed like it! Several groups didn't get smellies because they talked too much and didn't finish the game. In the 3-5 Functional Academics class, the aides got the smellies! And then I still got a goodbye hug from most of the students. Go figure.

It's been a hodge-podge week with no clear theme. I blended old and new activities. Monday and Tuesday were devoted to Earth Day, and the Ask Away Activity went over well. Yesterday's groups worked on Sentence Scrambles from Fortunately. Today's groups played Creepy Crawly Bingo. I could have sworn it's from Speaking of Speech, but I can't find it on the site.

Totes TGIF!!! (Did I use that right? Probably not.)

Tuesday Talk:  Books We are Reading This Week

It’s me, Amy.

Just wondering what you are reading this week?

First up in the library, it’s Earth Day.   Nonfiction and fiction titles will be read:

Add a few fairy tales, such as The Frog Prince.  I love sharing all the different versions.  

The kids love to retell the story with me on the simpler versions, after I have read the story aloud.    I like to point out the different illustration styles, as well.
And who could forget the classic by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith?   

Also making an appearance this week is a hard working hen.   None other than Little Red Hen will be trying to get her point across this week.   She is a favorite.   The kids have their own opinions about whether the Little Red Hen should share her bread/cake with the other animals in the stories.   Just a hint, most of them are not in favor of sharing the good stuff with the lazy friends :-)

For a spin of the traditional Little Red Hen, there’s always: this one.    Is there ever a bad time for pizza??????
Just FYI.   Today's weather was gorgeous!   I can't imagine celebrating Earth Day in the snow!  

I hope you have a fabulous week filled with books and more books,

To celebrate Earth Day, All Y'all Need has a couple of products. First is a free ABC download:
 Second is an Earth Day Ask Away Activity in our What a Wonderful World packet which has 4 games for $3.
I will be celebrating by trying to turn off the water the whole time I brush my teeth. Happy Earth Day!
When my cousin Lisa sent me a picture of an Origami Owl locket a couple of months ago, I instantly fell in love. I had never heard of the jewelry before that. One of my friends recently became a designer, and now that I've seen everything in person, I want it all! Here is my wish list so far.

My first locket will center around family and have our birthstones:
I also made a board for loving life:
The sand dollar represents our annual trip to the beach, and Jim's mother collected sand dollars. The bone is for our dog, the ribbon for my recent breast cancer journey, books, and the seemingly opposites of chocolate and Diet Coke.

Here is a speech therapist wishlist:
One of the new charms is red lips, so that will definitely have to be a part of the necklace. I've included the sign language for I Love You, a laptop and a gear for working, an autism heart, the SLP initials, and red and white stones, my school's colors.

I really like how the lockets are magnetized and the charms will be able to trade out easily. I have a lot more inspiration to gather, but check out the start of my Pinterest board here. Of course, it has Disney stuff. And if you have a locket, I'd love to see it!

Wow... what a week. And next week is a big state assessment week for the STAAR in Texas elementaries. I think it's time for a little cheering up, so here you go! Some subway art to celebrate May is Better Speech and Hearing month!

There are 3 pages so that you can choose black and white, primary colors, or bright colors. Or, you can use all three! The art is designed to be printed out onto white cardstock from a color printer. It's $2.50 for all three. Printing out for a whole department? Buy the first set and then only pay half for each extra set under Buy Multiple Licenses. Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy it!

From Amy:
I work with a group of very enthusiastic Kindergarten Boys.    We are still working hard on our sight words.   This week, I introduced a fantastic new product from the uber-talented Reagan Tunstall.    Drum roll, it’s called Sight Word Stick Centers!   There are 10 different centers in the packet.    We only did 2 centers this week, but the sweeties are very motivated with the new format of stick, I mean sight words :-)    So go ahead and check out our fellow Texas girl Reagan.   

My Favorite Girls, not just on Fridays are Laura and Lisa.   They are my family and I love them.  Today I just want to say thank you to them.    I have really enjoyed working with them at All Y’All Need since the end of July.   They are always encouraging, creative and so darn smart.    Boy, are their sweeties blessed to have them in their lives.   Here’s a little love to my partners in crime.   They are getting their shop on at Hobby Lobby this summer.
From Laura:
R and I took a little tour of part of the Hill Country Saturday, thanks to a sports event. Here are two places we enjoyed food from:

#1 - The Leaning Tree in Wimberley. I found it on urbanspoon as the top restaurant in the charming city, and it did not disappoint. R loved her chicken salad. All the adults got the Caprese Panini, and we were scooping up crumbs from the homemade chips.
#2 - The Texas Pie Company in Kyle. We drove by the store early in the morning and loved the exterior. Doesn't it look like something out of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs? We drove back by around 4:20 p.m. and entered the store, not realizing that it closed at 4 p.m. I guess the curtains over the entrance should have given us a clue. The owner was willing to sell us a cherry pie with a fantastic crumb topping, and R got a s'mores bar.

I am writing this with a heavy heart. Are you familiar with the book Me on the Map? A child talks about where she is in the world starting with her room and going all the way to the world and back. My life feels that way now. My pastor had surgery today. West, Texas is only 1 hour north of us. I feel a sense of community with Boston even though I've never been there. It's spring. Patience is short, there's a sense of urgency with state assessments next week, and students are dealing with a lot for their little lives. Some students are oblivious, others are sensitive, and some are inappropriate.

So it was a wonderful surprise to find this in my mailbox from our school's PTA:

Don't I have a wonderful PTA? I don't know how they did it, but every classroom teacher got a certificate. That's in a K-5th school with 6 teachers per grade level. I have never had anything like this. I walked into the book fair and asked the PTA President if $50 was correct. She laughed and said yes. I still hesitated and she laughed again and told me to go pick out books. It was this afternoon before I finally put my name in the books. Seems to good to be true, but that's my awesome PTA!

Here is what I got:

I hope they are good picks! I can always use fairytales, farm books, Laura Numeroff books, and Old Lady books. I'm very grateful to our PTA for this gesture and am looking forward to putting these into my library!
Nothing was wilder this week than clicking on the TpT weekly newsletter - and seeing one of our products! Library Subway Art - Colorful was mentioned for National Library Week! It was a little surreal. All Y'all Need also has the library subway art in black and white. Show your librarian a little love!

A is for Amy, because I am quacking with you today.
P is for prayers.  Praying for the city of Boston and each person who suffers today because of violence.
R is for restaurant.   I’m still enjoying my Saturday night dinner at gorgeous Driskill Grill.   We went there to celebrate my friend’s upcoming retirement.   It is an exceptional dining experience in downtown Austin's Driskill Hotel.

I is for Instagram.    Pretty much just because it is a fun way to share photos.
L is for libraries, after all it is School Library Appreciation Month.

I lucked out because April is a short month :-)

That’s all the quacking for now,
Here's our newest product - and it's a freebie! It's ABC Order for Spring.
It includes spring vocabulary words to learn, discuss, and alphabetize. Hope you enjoy it!

Our hearts and prayers are with everyone affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

I just felt the need to write that before I get to the recipe, which is Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells by What's Cookin', Chicago?

Here's our dinner:
And because I apparently have no fear of embarrassment, here's the original from Joelen:
The Good: Quick, easy, R approved of them.

The Bad: Boiling the jumbo shells isn't fun for me.

Summary: A great and simple weekday meal. We will eat these again.

Amy likes two returns:
#1 - Mad Men

#2 - Cherry blossoms, in front of the Library of Congress, of course!
Laura's favorites are both from Disney World.
#1: Spending my birthday at Magic Kingdom!
 #2: The Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot:
From Lisa:

#1 - Making Memories: This week, I’ve tried to be “ahead of the game” by compiling my kinder babies’ memory books. It has really been a wonderful year and this is definitely a group I’ll never forget. I’ve been in awe when I look back at the beginning of year photos. They’ve grown so much! While I am sad that I’m going to have to “share” my kiddos with others next year, they will always have a special place in my heart. 

#2: What to wear

Today, I finally got overall approval from my classroom fashionista! It only took me 147 days! Haha This precious student is up on the latest trends and has called me on the carpet for some fashion don’ts. At first, she wasn’t a fan of the colored capris. She actually asked me one day, “Miss F, are you sure that matches?”. I’ve never thought about my outfits so much! Haha There were some days that I thought she was surely going to love my outfit. Day after day my attire didn’t get any recognition. Today, she commented on how much she liked my outfit. She also complimented my shoes AND my purse! Woo hoo! Now I’m off to pick out another outfit that my fashionista will approve of.  

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