Fire Prevention Week FREEBIE

This post is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and All opinions, funny stories, and awesome tips are my own! 

Did you know October is Fire Prevention Month and October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week? We take fire safety seriously around here and find that now is a good time to remind ourselves of the need for a plan. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a really helpful website for parents and educators but they also have an interactive (and super fun) website for kids! They share exclusive content is an easy to navigate format. 

I have spent quite a bit of time on both sites and want to share a few mom/teacher highlights.

Mom Card~

1. When T was little, we took a white piece of paper and drew our fire safety plan. It was basic but effective. NFPA provides a guide for drawing an escape plan that is designed to be done as a family and is suited for where T is now. Click the picture to print your own. There are several other free downloads including a fact sheet (must read,) info on smoke alarms and sprinklers as well as tips for staying safe while you travel. While on the subject, be sure to know where your child goes during a fire drill. I do and I am even in the building with him. 
2. Sparky has a NEW app and we can't get enough of it!  

Sparky's Fun House invites young children to practice their literacy and math skills while learning how to stay safe. It is a win win! While M is a bit under the age range (he's perfect for Sparky's Firehouse,) he has enjoyed sitting with T and being in on all the action! He especially loves the robot game!

Teacher Card~
1. As a first grade teacher, I am all about safety and helping my students know how to stay safe. In fact, part of this month's homework was to discuss your fire safety home plan. I have added Sparky School House to my class blog and LOVE the ready to use resources! Check it out and then visit Sparky to print them all!   
2. There are activities for a wide age range of students, all the way through adult learners. There are songs and videos for the younger grades as well as mazes and challenges for upper grades. There are lesson plans that you can adjust to meet your classroom needs. The is a great resource with a wealth of information for home and school.

For our younger friends, here is a fire safety planning page just for you! It is just a tad fancier than the one we first made with T. Be sure to add the date! His tree drawing on our original is one I will always treasure! Click the picture to download your FREEBIE! 
While October happens to be Fire Prevention Month, it is something we need to be thinking about year round. When we change our calendar page each month, we review our safety spots. It takes 30 seconds. 

Make plans this week to chat about fire safety. Maybe take the quiz as a family. Draw your plan and post it somewhere you know will keep the conversation going. 

Stay safe friends. 

What We're Reading Sunday

T has always loved books but this year (3rd grade) he has really become an avid reader. He can't wait to get his hands on a good book. I am loving it, but you know, trying to play it cool. :) Here are a few of his recent hits:

As for M, hitting the 2 1/2 mark has really changed his reading interests. I'm kidding. He still loves hearing the same stories, playing with the board books, and pretend reading T's books as he snatches them right from his hands. We wouldn't have it any other way. Here are his current hits:

As for me, I am loving every minute of reading with these two. I've been reading lots of teacher stuff but am also visiting these when I can:

What are you reading?

Joy Cowley DOUBLE Giveaway!

Do you remember learning to read? I don't, but I wish I did! Lucky for this teacher, I get to be a part of that reading moment for kids everyday and I love it. I cherish those moments.

Some of my all time favorite books for early readers have the same author, Joy Cowley. I was introduced to her books while I was student teaching 16 years ago. I've been a fan ever since. I've built readers with her books. I've laughed with Mrs. Wishy Washy and stopped with the milkman. When I met her at ILA, I was almost speechless. She is just as I imagined, calm and sweet, a lover of words and children. 
Ah! Sorry for geeking out! I just want to share the Joy Cowley love!! Her books are a must have for early readers, struggling readers, readers who like to giggle, readers who love animals, readers....well, you get the idea! Joy Cowley rocks and Hameray is her publisher! They are hosting a HUGE giveaway and a mini contest, too! Click HERE to enter the mini contest for one Mrs. Wishy Washy big book. 
Hameray Publishing is also giving away a Joy Cowley Collection! The lucky winner will receive an entire set of the Joy Cowley leveled readers (60 books,) Joy Cowley Early Bird lower-leveled readers (45 books,) all of her newest big books (34 of them,) a set of finger puppets and more! The book levels range from C-I and will be an amazing addition to any primary classroom! Read more about the collection HERE.
Enter to win this entire set for your readers! Click HERE or on the pictures! It takes 5 seconds! 

Fall in love with Joy Cowley if you haven't already! Hurry though, contest ends 2/28 and the winner will be announced 3/1!


If the magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone, then magic, pure magic happened almost three years ago when I stepped on the Listen To Your Mother stage to share my story one of my stories with the world. It is a story of motherhood, sisterhood, friendship, and most of all-love. 

Standing on that stage was a once in a lifetime moment. Being a part of something so much bigger than me was unbelievable. The bond I share with my fellow cast members is the best kind. They became friends and family. We still celebrate each other and cheer each other on. I have only the fondest of memories of the entire experience. In fact, I am honored that I was able to share this moment. It is one of my proudest mom/daughter/sister moments. Here it is.
I'm bringing this up in January of 2017 in hopes that you might be inspired to do the same! I hope you will step out of your comfort zone and write one of your stories. Or maybe share the story you  have written down already. OR maybe even the one floating around in your head. The story, your story, can be about your mom, you as a mom, your grandmother, you as a teacher who gets called mom, your significant other....anything having to do with motherhood! :)

If you are not so sure about all of this, watch the videos. My story happens to be a sad one. Some will make you laugh out loud though. Some will make your heart smile. Some will make you laugh, cry, and smile all in one! All of the stories will stay with you and many of them will remind you of a moment of your own.

If you are not in or near the ATL, visit Listen To Your Mother to find a city near you. If you are in or near the ATL, click HERE to find out how you can share your story.  We have amazing producers and alumni! Grab a friend and convince them to do the same. 

Want more? I wrote about LTYM here and here. Let me know if I can help you with your decision! I can read your draft, chat with you about your idea, or just have a drink with you to ease the nerves before you audition! 

Now, let's do this! Let's focus on writing in 2017! 


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