Journal Prompts for Mental Health

Failure= Lack of Success

Success = Accomplishment of aim or purpose

Standard definitions offered up from Google.

journal prompts for mental health every little victory counts
DOWNLOAD Journal Prompt Lists and Pages at end of post.
journal prompts for mental health the failures of Ulysses s grant
Ulysses S. Grant at West Point

Ulysses S. Grant was the Civil War general whose strategies produced Northern Victory. He then served as the 18th U.S. President.

“For much of his life, Ulysses S. Grant failed at every occupation he tried. But in the United States Army, his remarkable talents as a soldier and leader saved his country from falling apart.” (American Experience Online-PBS.ORG)

To aid self assessment objectivity, we’ll define this important U.S. historical figure in terms of personal failure:

  • Never became a Math Teacher as he desired.
  • Raised to rank of Corporal at West Point, “it was too much for me” he wrote. Demoted and graduated at the lowest possible military rank-Private.
  • Failed to bring his family to live with him when he was stationed in the Oregon Territory because his business ventures failed.
  • After resignation, failed as Farmer.
  • Failed as a real estate partner.
  • Rejected when he tried to re-enlist when Civil War started. (someone intervened and gave him a military appointment)
  • Caused excessive casualties at Shiloh battle, due to lack of preparation.
  • Weakened the American Presidency.
  • Politically inept and ineffective, leading to several government scandals.
  • After presidency, failed as financial firm partner.
  • Declared Bankruptcy and had to live off of personal loans.
  • Never overcame accusations that he was an alcoholic.

Even in his success in the Civil War, he still messed up at Shiloh, costing soldier’s their lives. Grant began writing his memoirs as a way to support his family-then was diagnosed with cancer.

General Legacy, other then the Civil War Battle Victories:

  • Retained honesty and integrity
  • Fought for African American Rights
  • Victorious Civil War General
  • Completed his memoirs right before he died


Four items on the personal success list.

Twelve – 12, items on the personal failures list.

Well, to me, the lists demonstrate SUCCESS.

The Success of “perseverance”.

The Success of “courage”.

Perseverance takes courage.

What inspired me, was when he wrote “it was too much for me”, as a West Point student with rank, to explain his demotion. To graduate as the most non prestigious rank ever. It doesn’t appear he viewed it as FAILING. Doesn’t failure imply giving up on that aim? His first “job” out of the gate, he failed at.

No matter how much he sucked in business,he kept trying. To the end of his life he chose to seize opportunities. Mark Twain approached him about writing, and Grant didn’t sway from his goal even when he was diagnosed with cancer.

How do you view Grant using the juxtaposition of so-called failures and successes?

Journal prompt pages or the Journal prompt list, can be downloaded at the end of post.

Below is a link to “PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF ULYSSES S. GRANT” the free ebook

I did a research Paper on Grant in college and brushed up for this post.


readcountcraft DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree
Journal Prompts for Mental Health

Let the Preschool Memory Games Begin- free printable

Let the Preschool Memory Games Begin- free printable

Print TWO copies of each page. Each page has six different cards as shown. I made these for children with shorter attention spans.


Preschool Memory Games Free Printable
Preschool Memory Games

8 Lunar New Year Activities for Kids-Ages Four to Seven

8 Lunar New Year Activities for Kids-Ages Four to Seven

*unofficial disclaimer* We did these activities last year on MLK day and I saved on blog to post later. My blog was only a mo old in 1/19 so the post is a bit rough past the point of improvement. haha**

The goal of my curriculum was to implement the idea of different cultures. Same but Different, and at the root of it, planting seeds to equip student to defy any prejudice they may encounter.

My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz gave a great foundation. There are other books that we read but this book was so great for this age level, including differentiation.

Curriculum Activities Outline:

1. READ: My First Chinese New Year, at least once -3 days that week.

1a. Make Dragon and Chinese Girl for storytelling with book.

2. MAKE: Chinese Red Money Envelopes. (* note: I gave each child 2 plastic coins for their envelopes, which quickly were lost, as expected, ha-ha. To add math to this activity, take some pennies and count how many will fit into the envelope)

3. MAKE: Chinese Red Drums.

4. WATCH: (Short) Lion Dancing Video below, on YouTube.

5. PLAY: Drums (instruments) with eyes closed to focus our sense of hearing, during the Lion Dance Contest Song.( I have coffee cans covered with contact paper and super-glued lids)

6. PLAY: Red Drums and dance during Lion Dance Contest Song.

7. DANCE: Try to roll over at the same time to the music, and copy dance as possible. “I’m a dragon! I’m a Lion”

8. POUR TEA (water): I had 2 real tea sets we used, but I did find & buy a plastic one later to keep in the dramatic play area. As long as I stayed nearby, they did not get crazy with the water and really had a blast. We did this activity during days following as requested.

9. READ AND MAKE: Dragon and Girl Puppets for storytelling with BOOK Would you rather be a Princess or a Dragon? by Barney Saltzberg . This is a great opportunity for an informal compare/contrast literacy discussion.

Other things we talked about:

We talked about how every Chinese New Year is celebrated by Asian Countries and located on our kid style wall map. We discussed how every year has an animal and talked about what our animal is because of when we are born. Some students enthusiastically related to “their animal”.

We did 1 or 2 of these activities a day, and except for the crafts, repeated. The movement activities were great because of in-climate weather.

8 Chinese New year activities for kids

Extension Activity:


Chinese New Year Lucky Envelopes

Unable to locate my original envelopes download, below is a free printable for envelopes. Print on white and allow students to cut and color. My students did their own gluing, we used the white printable for the front and red rectangles for a back. using paint brushes and cups with Elmer’s Glue.

Chinese Drum Rattle Craft

Recommended for small group or center. I modified a bit: used my circle punch for 2 red circles per student. Students glued each circle on either side of a craft (Popsicle) stick. Each child chose a plastic bead for their instrument. I strung the bead, poked thread through a needle & paper and tied a knot. I glued the knot and allowed to dry.

Would you rather be a Princess or a Dragon?

readcountcraft DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree
8 Chinese New year activities for kids

DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree

DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree

This month expect my “how-to’s” – DIY mini- gnomes. 1$ store DIY pillow, doily hearts & birdhouses.
DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree
Place hearts face up. Cut the tinsel-CAREFUL -don’t cut frame. Start unwrapping and pulling out the tinsel, it’s not glued- only hooked on frame. Remove the hooks from each heart.
Pink Example Heart.
I wrapped ribbon around the inside of the frame.If smaller width ribbon is used, it could be wrapped around smaller sections of the frame, including using the inner hooks.
DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree
I tucked the ribbon end inside wrapped piece in back, then hot glued. I did not glue the twine in place. If you want your hanger stationary, glue your hanger ribbon in place.
Red ribbon wrapped heart.
Repeat the frame wrapping process. The red burlap ribbon fit loosely on the frame. I wrapped again with the smaller red ribbon to accentuate frame shape.
For this heart, use the same process that was used for the Red Heart Above.

I spent 6$ so these hearts cost less then 2$ apiece because I have supplies left over.

I hope you will share photos if you make these! Also, stay tuned for more! Next post is “Gnomies for your Homies”! I’m not keeping 13, lol, 13 gnomies! I’m sharing the love with friends.

readcountcraft DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree
readcountcraft DIY Valentine Crafts from Dollar Tree

Top Pick-Preschool Animal Tracks Book List +Free Printable

Top Pick-Preschool Animal Tracks Book List +Free Printable

Dual purpose visual discrimination page=

Introduce animal knowledge and some track ID, practice discerning visual differences which helps build the skill for future alphabet letter differences.

Preschool Winter Tracks Book List Free Printables
Preschool Winter Tracks Book List Free Printable

Recommended books for preschool and Kindergarten specifically about animal tracks in the snow!

For practical purposes I have included TWO printable book lists: 1 as a standard TITLE/AUTHOR list, another page as a list with book covers. I have used others book lists and have wished for a cover reference page as I had 5 minutes to scan through the Preschool Library and grab books for class book rotation!

Not pictured is my short summary for each book… a time-saver when I’m requesting library books!

Preschool Winter Tracks Book List Free Printables
Preschool Winter Tracks Book List Free Printable
Preschool Winter Tracks Book List Free Printables
Preschool Winter Tracks Book List Free Printable

Wait, what’s in the pack again?

  • Visual Discrimination
  • Standard Book list
  • Image Book list
  • 2 Summary pages

One Goal, One Passion- Living through Learning.


Paint Your Mind: Journal Prompts for Mindfulness

Paint Your Mind Printable Page Example

You are going to paint a wall. With your mind. If you choose, you can revisit that wall and repaint it, or observe it on occasion.

This is an exercise in writing, and creativity, and mindfulness. Its a tool to get an internal expression of yourself in a way that you can see “it”.

There are 5 pages in the pack. Four individual pages to print to respond to questions to create your wall. 1 page is a list form with the steps.

EXAMPLE: I chose to paint my mind wall with whites.

Since these are kind of non colors, I decided to paint my mind-wall with strong geometry. Even though I make many styles of things, my personal style is best described as kawaii/minimalist.


Paint Your Mind


Snicker for the New Year

Animal Humor Giggles
Animals with Misleading Names

An Electric Eel is: A type of Knifefish. They are being considered for a new type of power source. (all I can imagine is eel’s replacing wire power lines so I don’t wanna know)

A Mountain Goat is: the sole species of its group, and based on DNA, related to an OX. (whaaa…?)

Maned Wolf is: The only species of its group. (Translation: no one really knows anything)

King Cobra: Named because they kill and eat Cobras. (Umm just call it Sir or Maam. )

Peacock Mantis Shrimp: it’s punch at predators breaks aquarium glass. (Don’t even try to eat it.)

I knew the last types so I didn’t research.

Post is a public service message brought to you by PAMAMBGI5YD

also known as:

“Pay attention, many animals may be gone in five years dammit”



This Preschool practice page is your friend-includes book recommendations

This Preschool practice page is your friend-includes  book recommendations
This Preschool practice page is your friend-includes book recommendations

I do not get paid by any affiliates. I review and choose recommended books based upon graphics, appropriate and current use of storytelling, and length which generally summarizes overall appeal.

I build my curriculum for any age around a group of books, with attention to one or two student led favorites.

Visual discrimination practice builds pre-write and pre-literacy skills by:

  • Noticing differences in common objects helps notice differences in letter shapes
  • Line drawing helps fine motor-like with letter lines
  • Reinforces a book story as an extension activity.

Recommended Penguin Theme Books:

Direct Download Link Below


They learn it by playing this Kindergarten Math Game Free Printable!

Kindergarten Math Game Free Printable
Roll and Color the Polar Bear Kindergarten Math Game Free Printable

Combine the Roll and Color the Polar Bear Math Game with a Polar Bear Book to cover both math and literacy areas!

Other Skills:

  • Fine Motor
  • Science Extension (talking about Polar Bears, hibernation, winter animals)
  • Social Skills: waiting and taking turns
  • Assists in retention of subject matter as students personalize

Instructions: Roll ONE Dice – match the number on the die to the Number Square on Paper. If portion is already colored, the turn is passed. Everyone wins because each has her own bear page, OR first to finish bear wins.

Direct Download Link Below:
One Goal, One Passion- Living through Learning.


What more could you want? Free Ten Frames Math Printable for Preschool and Kindergarten!

Preschool Math Printables Free -Ten Frames
Preschool Math Printable Free -Ten Frames
Free Ten Frames Math Printable.
Good Morning Little Polar Bear book suggestion for Free Ten Frames Math Printable.

I made this set as Preschool and Kindergarten Math component to include in Polar Bear, Arctic, or Winter Themes. Students can use common manipulatives- cotton balls or white poms to fill in the Ten Frame.

Ten Frame Math Printables Pack includes Ten Frames for Numbers 1-10.

Direct Download Link Below!


10 Shiny New Year Journal Prompts to start your story

New Year's Journal Prompts
New Year’s Journal Prompts, my example after using the Brainstorm Journal prompt page

Print out the pages and make your own New Year’s Journal book, or use the New Year prompts to write in an existing journal.

I will be making these journal prompts every month in the same format. This way we can journal each month and have our own story by using the journal prompts!

These journal prompts for the new year are actually transitional prompts to move from 2019 to 2020. Page images below, but the actual size of journal prompt page is 8×10.

Direct Download the file, link is below the Heart.

New Year's Journal Prompts

Sunshine Blogger Award! Unintentional B-day Pressie and yes, I am 50 *again* Thanks..

Quite Welcoming as we just came out of 22 degree weather….sigh

First things First.

I’ve only been following/accidentally unfollowing/following a short time, but her product reviews are super-duper! (my town is so small we have no Target…wahhh, so yeah her Target haul was a fave.)

Since I’m 53-yes I’m still here-Yay, BUT don’t tell anyone 53 waah…I..Sshhh

One Passion

One Pursuit




OH what am I doing for my birthday you ask? tomorrow after church my husband and I are going to our small town arcade and playing my favorite game..honestly it’s part of my new mindfulness practice…you know..virtually shooting zombies is in my top 5..relaxation techniques *snicker*


Letter to Santa-Free Printable

I made this to give an easy way for beginning writers or even toddlers or preschoolers “writing” with help.

There is only a page in color, but the letter still looks cute with black and white printing. The child can even color the black and white letter for more personalization! MY LOGO STAMP IS NOT ON THE PRINTABLE.

The download has 1 copy of a Santa letter for printing and terms of use. I hope this comes in as useful and fun for many during the holidays!



Roll a Snowman Dice Game- play 3 ways!

Roll a a Silly snowman

This Game can be used 3 different ways.

1. Blank Template- Roll and Draw what matches the number rolled.

2. Printable- Roll and Color what is rolled.

3. Printable- Dab and Color what is rolled.

This is the first Roll and Play Game I ever created, it is so popular I continue to make more! I use it for a fill in activity because its NO Prep. Also, I use it when I have a group of children that are different age or skill levels. It has great differentiated applications.


– One to one number correspondence

– Matching


-Social skills, waiting, taking turns and peer interaction

-Interactive learning,

-Fine Motor

– Silliness!


Pack includes: Blank Snowman Template, Printable Shown Above, and Terms of Use page.

P. S. Please share or link or like if its not a hassle. I am fixing my blog with the purpose of generating income. I am going to try to keep it ad free as much as possible, and no videos. Free printables will increase, not decrease.

okay link below!


Hanging with my DIY Gnomies, Gnomies at the Christmas Bazaar

DIY Gnomies on Display
DIY Gnomie Homies Hanging out at the Bazaar

Short and Sweet, sharing my Gnome Ideas.

(p.s. I had a blast making gnomes once I got the hang of it!

I spent all of November making Gnomes, to sell at our local Senior Center Bazzar. It was the first time I made Gnomes, and 1st Time I was a Bazaar Seller. I made differently styled Gnomes (and painted wood slice ornaments). My husband took these photos so bear with me, he doesn’t know what photos look good on a blog! haha

DIY Gnome Styles
DIY Gnomes


Is it Live, or is it a No-Prep Differentiated Math Game?

This game can be used for a class with students at different level of counting skills. Even 3 year old’s can match with help and color.

No Prep Free Printable Roll and Color a Tree for math skills play
Students play and practice math skills
Students build math skills playing Roll and Color A Christmas Tree
Social+ Fun+Fine Motor+Counting+1-1 Correlation+ Festive + No Prep = Awesomely Awesome

I created my “Roll A…. ” games to provide a fun number learning activity for my group of students that were at different skill levels. I have used them whenever I can, the students frequently asked for the game the day after!

A format to target math and social skills for : One delayed preschooler, one advanced preschooler, a Kindergarten and a First grade student.

The game format also builds social skills. Learning to wait and take turns take practice. They game is fast moving because the turns go by quickly. However, it can take some time rolling that dice over and over to get the last number. However the triangles provide enough space so preschoolers can color while waiting for their turn. This prepared my preschoolers for kindergarten structure.

Another advantage was I could get cleanup or another activity prepared while the students played. I would check in and comment on pictures with identification “oh I noticed you colored your triangle purple”! Or, “oh did you color your circle decorations orange?” “Cool!” After the game we might look at and compare and contrast all of the awesome decorating, making sure to state the shapes again. Rectangle and Square were frequently confused.

Pack includes: Terms of Use page, Game Instructions Page, Finished Tree Page, Standard Tree Game Page (shown) and No Colors Key Game Page

Above is the Link!


DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps

DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
Building the Body-DIY GNOME (wood slice optional-beans allow for “standing-up”.)
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
How to make beard rows-DIY Gnome
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
Building a yarn beard
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
GNOME BODY W/WO BEARD EXAMPLE (note: wood slice optional)
Making the Hat-DIY Bent-hat Gnome
Making the Hat-DIY Bent-hat Gnome (this is the most challenging part for me)
Making the Hat-DIY Bent-hat Gnome
Making the Hat-DIY Bent-hat Gnome
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
All done with decorations! DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps
DIY Bent-hat Gnome in 10 easy steps


Hangin’ with my Gnomies

1st attempts =Each has own character. I never know what one will look like til the end. I choose the hat/beard style & make along….

Favs are the ūüĆü twins.

2 weeks ago,  I couldn’t find anything thrifty for the beard. In true traditional craftish-i used fur off of a worn jacket.

Last week I finally found the right type of yarn at the Sr Center thrift! ūüôĆ

I can make anything, but I’m not going to spend $ more on supplies, then the item costs in the store.

Crafting organically grew from practicality. 1 couldn’t just buy every single thing, OR afford a brand new what ever.

Also, to be a crafter-, was now how we think of artisans or designers  today.

In my parent’s day, a well worn couch would be recovered with discounted material, so 1 didn’t have to spend $ on a brand new piece of furniture!!

Being an Oregonian, these reflect my high desert forest mountain home- even if they don’t resemble the popular style.

Gnome “wreaths” from Thrifting supplies. Reduce-reuse-recycle!

Crafting -Making- is a passion but also a value that my grandma instilled in me. I remain proud of this & there’s no other feeling MORE satisfying then sort of scavenging materials & creating something OOAK & copying her tradition.

Ironically I’m not a rustic-farmhouse decor person, but I made these to sell locally & most folks here ARE. +gnomes are trendy right now.

I’ll see if this instinct is correct on 12/7. If not, every1 I know is receiving a present gnome bc I can’t have 35 gnomes. Unicorns? Yes. gnomes? GNO!(pun intended. +snicker+)

Below is my favorite gnome inspiration Blog, the writer’s enthusiasm, DIY gnomes are just darling! Many types w/tutorials!



its never too early to teach critical thinking/thanksgiving and technology in ECE


From perusing Pinterest, if the dated “history” of Thanksgiving isn’t being endorsed in lower elementary, then the dated symbols of turkeys and cornucopias, are used in teaching materials. *roll eyes*

One of my goals is to next year be able to provide complete units for purchase, still with some free printables- and Thanksgiving will be my 1st.

We are a small rural area, and the Klamath Tribe still has a presence here in their ancestral lands. The youth last year petitioned City Council to REMOVE Columbus Day.

When I taught preschoolers none of them even believed they had a turkey for dinner, and while we do have wild turkeys out in our brush areas, it is unlikely they have even seen a live turkey. Let’s keep learning relevant.

That being said, there IS a role for technology in preschool, for example: Turkeys on YouTube. I also encouraged them to ask ?’s and looked it up immediately to promote a phone as a learning tool value.

I love my country, and it’s history, but our education system needs to reflect a different aspect of Thanksgiving- until student brains develop critical thinking. For example, Where the Pilgrims landed as opposed to where we live, or the Mayflower vs modern boats, or different kinds of corn, or my favorite, Thankfulness and what/who makes a family.


Games for Thanksgiving

I created this game to provide a positive activity during class transition times for a 3.5 yo student who had challenging behavior. This student really enjoyed playing the game.

1. Supplies? dabber,die & printout.(when we played, I forgot the dabber and he used a pen to mark off the dinosaur. You can use a crayon, pencil, chalk, for less cleanup.)

Game relies on action by the players, not the game master. So adult can be cleaning in same room, for example, and “talk” child through the directions. Older children can easily help younger children.

2. Simple format, children can match even if they can’t count.

3. Children who can count will work on their skills to recognize amount # without counting dots.

Besides math skills, it involves using the brain to run the critical thinking motor, deciding same and different.

Below is an example of the game directions, each pack includes themed game page, directions page.


Each pack is set up to download individually by desired theme, to save time and paper, for those who don’t need all FOUR PACKS. I use lots of free printables and spend so much time scrolling through a pack, to print the pages I want, so I believe this is the most user friendly setup.

p.s. legal disclaimer, children playing game need adult supervision -game is not responsible for children.




Dab A Pumpkin: For Active Learners

preschool kindergarten pre-k math game
Increasing positive choices by increasing activity

I have moved from my own PreK daycare to a non profit preschool. One of our “friends” is very active and expressive emotionally. I made this game to use during a transition or “at need” time. OR in morning when energy is at highest after bus ride.

It allows my friend to throw a soft dice and hopefully this will transfer into the classroom to “think and throw my dice”. Which is safe and won’t hurt other friends or teachers. Additionally, if my friend is practicing getting his dice to throw instead of other things, my hope is to practice “stop and think” – where eventually we can work to reach out with other help then throwing.

I may use this game format in future for small group activity.



Alphabet recognition; T and I

Below is a direct download of a T and I worksheet that can be done with dabbers. I is one color, and T is the other color- dab a color for Dot I and Dot T on the upper right hand corner.

I find that after both letters have had an initial introduction, students have better success remembering letters after practicing differentiation between similar letters. It encourages critical thinking skills, instead of only memorization.

PreSchool Math Sensory Bin

PreSchool Math Sensory Bin

Each Student gets a card with the amount of objects to find in the sensory bin.

Pour a bunch of different beans into $ store cloth “baskets”. Added tongs. Added each number of object as indicated on card. 1 glass bead-2 pipecleaner shamrocks- 3 puffs, and so forth. This is a St Patrick theme bin, but I have used these cards for different themes. Or no theme, its a great fill in activity.

Laminate the cards, or print off a stack.

direct download BELOW
Egypt Kids Lesson Plan with activities

Egypt Kids Lesson Plan with activities

I came up with this unit out of a desire to show that language is symbols, just as our alphabet is symbols for sounds-so is hieroglyphics. My goal was to demonstrate the “concept” of the alphabet, as well as incorporate lots of art/engineering and diversity.

Kids love mummies! THAT was the interest “hook”!

We did these over the course of a month, one or two activities a week. I introduced the unit with a scooby doo mummy caper library dvd.

Cartography necklace made with hieroglyphs
After learning about pyramids and burial, they made their own “mummy” stuffed animals
Using my contact paper blocks, they built a pet cemetary and pretended to be pets.
He is being a mummy cat

We also built pyramids with Jenga blocks, egg carton cups,sugar cubes (i don’t recommend because they kept eating haha) and a 3d paper pyramid from a template.

Pyramid building and later days these cups became a favorite as they expanded into castle building.

Pyramid building extension activity. The next month, 4.5yo used Jenga blocks to make a sarcophogus in his own play. He also practiced drawing the “dog god” (anubis)
The printable pack has the lesson plan, links I used for some activities, center ideas, video links.

There is a link to an easy pharoah headdress to print and color which the boys enjoyed making and other activities we did not do. There are lots of choices to personalize for students. There is also a complete alphabet pack of hieroglyphic cards included.


Math blog that makes a difference: Math Geek Mama

Sharing an experience, unaffiliated with .

At my daycare, I work with my preschooler’s older Brother. He is entering 2nd grade this year. I have some elementary school training, including a paraprofessional certificate. However not since Common Core was introduced.

Math Geek Mama doesn’t target Common Core, but she DOES target how to teach math. From preschool through elementary grades. So after reading and applying some of her instruction, my student’s execution of all the common core steps IMPROVED.

If you want some beneficial points to improve teaching math in home school, or how to help your child improve his public school math, check out Math Geek Mama.

We are all busy and can only afford enough time for a few subscriptions. Math Geek Mama is definitely a worthwhile resource to follow, beyond free printables.

House that Jack Built Free Printable Literacy Pack Preschool and Kindergarten

I made this pack to go with the book “the house that Jack built”

With these fun anti worksheets, I introduced the ideas of story structure-charachters and setting. Also, how to write your own version of a story based on another story.

There’s a lot of learning with this pack, but it’s conceptual introduction as a literacy unit while the children have fun with story details.

I did different pieces of this pack/unit at different times. I read the book a few times, leaving a week or so between. Sometimes the children said, “the house that Jack built” after each page. We did all the pack activities as well as a block building activity, over the course of a month.

Below are photo examples, and at the end will be a table of contents and the direct download.

P.S. The unit is versatile, use some or all pieces, integrate your own style, interpration and its easy to differentiate/mixed groups.

Tell your story using story pieces blank template. showing without telling- subject-THEN action structure.
sequence page layout
small group sequencing (reading)
Tell your story using story pieces, and tell Jack’s story using story pieces.

Above: these pieces are the only prep involved (cutting)

Build a House from Letter H Craft
crafting a letter H house
block building a letter H house, going from 3d to 2d
House that Jack Built count and color free printable pack
House that Jack Built count and color
Draw your favorite character(mispelling is corrected now in pack haha) THE HOUSE, AND THE COW. YES THE HOUSE IS A CHARACTER ! House =6.5yo, Cow = 4.5yo. I drew a simple cow like this on the white board using shapes, he practiced, then did on paper. yes his cow is better then mine haha.

SO I confess, the draw your favorite character was my fav ha!

direct download link below


Children quote desktop wallpaper inspired by Dr. Jean & kickboxing

(public use photo; quote by Dr. Jean Her blog is a great resource and we tried out the kickbox letter sound song it was great, AND they got tired haha) DOWNLOAD HERE

If people like to recieve wallpapers or this post style, I will make more. otherwise you can get graphics with quotes on my other blog.


July 4th Games for all ages Free Printables

I made this free pack with 3 simple games:

Memory Game with Patriotic colors and pictures.

“We are America” , add one card to Memory game and play it like Old Maid.”

Roll a Patriotic Popsicle, roll and color.

Instructions for each game are included and fun all kids and kids at heart!

-Patriotic Memory Game Cards: example below:

July 4th Memory Game Free
July 4th Memory Game Example Free

“We are America” game, like Old Maid, just add a card to the memory cards. Example below

July 4th games free printable
July 4th we are America card game

Roll a Popsicle Math Game, example below

July 4th free printable games
July 4th free printable game

Direct download link under the below image


Preschool Unicorn Emotions

Preschool Feelings Star Chart

My preschoolers adore reward and star charts! They color, mark or place stickers on the stars and are very proud doing it!

So, I created this to reward for when emotions are expressed properly. This occurs during free play. A star can also be counted after completing an emotion activity, or identifying emotions, anything about emotions, really.

The star chart participation enables children to recognize and self identify emotions internally, “get in touch with feelings”.

In the pack are 10 unicorn feeling cards, 3 different star charts, and 2 different page “Good Mood” posters (example below).

Direct Download Link is Under the Unicorn Pic:


The Very Impatient Caterpillar and Butterfly Number Sense Game Free Printable

The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach

WE love this book, its hysterical! Biology + the difficulty of waiting + humor = Bawesomeness! (butterfly + awesomeness)

Free printable, includes a colored key (pictured above) and the same page with a blank key for student to choose her colors.

Direct Download Link Under the Butterfly:

Download Link Below

Preschool Common Core Prep and Literacy = “Letter Bonds”

( NOTE: I only use this tool ONCE for whole alphabet. When I use it again, it is for numbers. Because this is alphabet review, and they have 75% letter recognition, the content (letters) is familiar enough they can explore the number bond tool. Any repetition of using the bond for letters, may build an expectation of that’s the purpose.

Preschool Common Core Prep Alphabet Bonds
Alphabet Magnet Letter Match and Trace

I tested each of the 3 step process with my preschoolers. The skill range combined= some Kindergarten skill standards mastered – some preschool standards not mastered.

I have after school kids that I give homework support to. The first grader met all standards in Kindergarten, but fell behind Common Core math standards in the second half of first grade.

The 2nd grader had met all standards until the second half of second grade, then fell behind in Common Core math.

These students only needed more time to internalize the processes/steps they were taught. There’s so much packed into a short time-there really isn’t time for common core tools (like the number bond) to become second nature.

Construct Alphabet Letter I : Uppercase/Lowercase Trace/ I is for Iguana

I came up with Letter Bonds, to build my preschoolers familiarity with the number bond structure that is used, so that by the time they get to Kindergarten, the tool is so familiar, using it is automatic.

My theory is that the number bond format is about constructing and deconstructing, it doesn’t matter WHAT DATA is put into the areas. For example, my first grade student KNEW how to solve the problem, but he didn’t remember to draw his frame right-or his bonds right because he was in a hurry.

IF the number bond is a common tool that my preschoolers get introduced to it in preschool, then practice it with numbers later, they will just KNOW.

***NOTE: Again, I will only use this tool ONCE for whole alphabet. When I use it again, it will be for numbers. But because this is alphabet review, and they know 75% of their letter recognition, the content (letters) is familiar enough they can enjoy the number bond tool. Any repetition of using the bond for letters, would possibly build a student expectation that this is what its ALWAYS used for.

Perhaps 3 months after we finish with the pack, I will introduce simple 0+1 addition using the number bond. That practice with manipulatives and writing will include repetitive explanation of the Number Bond.

Preschool Common Core Prep and Literacy
Preschool Common Core Prep and Literacy

There are 3 packs to direct download separately. The packs are made to teach sequentially. Each direct download link, will be under each page example IMAGE.


Roll and Color a Flower Printable Pack

Roll and Color a Flower Games Pack for young learners
Roll and Color a Flower Games Pack Improved Learning Format
Roll and Color the Flower DEF Page
Roll and Color the Flower Blank Page

I changed the format for the Letter Roll A Flower, and the result is a HUGE increase in the FUN FACTOR. We tested it out and it was reported “that is a good game!” Anyways I made a few variations for others, because as long as pinners keep pinning, I will keep making. There is a preview of all of the pages at the end of the post. If your children play this game, see if you observe the following increase in skills below, that I have.

“The world is changing but kids stay the same” Dr. Jean

Increased Skills I’ve observed with my students as a result of playing this game weekly:

  • Subitizing– I don’t have to count dots to know how much it is (this is Kindergarten Prep for Common Core)
  • Number recognition. We learned 1-5, next is 6-10. Fives are a huge component for Common Core and for money. My strategy for teaching numbers is: First I introduce two consequetive numbers. We work on one the first week in different activities, but we review daily the other number. Then I reintroduce the next number and we focus on that number that week. The next week only play games using numbers one through five. The final week we return to both numbers. Repeat. I tried this because when I learn, I learn what things are by what they are NOT, I simply need comparison to learn so I can catorgorize data. Since using this approach, its been effective. I didn’t research, I just tried it one day and observed results.
  • Counting and remembering the number I counted when I return to the paper. CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING (to aid memory, I frequently have students yell out the number when they first read the die.)
  • Number Recognition, Letter Recognition. (looking up and finding letters increases recognition more then tracing, because they are so focused on the mechanics of tracing , they forget the letter they are doing).
  • Finally, I think most important. USING TOOLS, METHOD, PROBLEM SOLVING. I provided after school support for a first grader, who was falling behind with Common Core. He knew the answer but he was not showing his steps properly, and he also needed short cuts. The game introduces this math method. For example, one preschooler used his dice row, to figure out what petal to color when he didn’t recognize or retain the number 6. He retained the dot pattern, he counted along the die line (it was not memorized yet) and found his number. They learned how to solve to get the answer using their “math tools” when they can’t remember the answer.
  • Personal: I am to this day poor with math. I am 52 and we were taught by memorization. I have a bit of photographic memory, this did NOT help me with Algebra. My goal with this game is to provide an activity that builds problem solving skills, using math “tools” (like the ten frame) unconciously. In this way, a learner does not have to have a “natural math aptitude””, because they can use problem solving and critical thinking to solve the problem, whether its Common Core or something else.

BELOW IS THE PACK PREVIEW. (pack includes instructions, not shown)



I am an Alphabet Star! (simple alphabet checklist)

My students loved coloring in stars with a sheet that had 50 stars to fill in for reading 50 books. They could see their progress and would count the stars daily. We currently recognize 85% of our letters 100% of the time, so we are moving onto sounds because we have made the mental correlation and understand how print WORKS.

This is for a student to color in the letter that she can recognize AND says the letter sound. HOWEVER, it can be used for letter recognition also.

I made it because its always great to show the students how much they have ALREADY learned, and they each get to track and celebrate their own success with this sheet.

Direct download under fruit


Summer Alphabet Letter Match Cards, Number Cards free printable

And Then Comes Summer Book to use with Popsicle Alphabet Match
One Hot Summer book to use with Popsicle Alphabet Match

Whether you share the above stories with children, or other summer stories, PLEASE keep diversity in mind. If you live in a rural area like we do, in a low diverse area, read a book that contains something totally DIFFERENT like “One Hot Summer Day”. If you live in a city, read something that contains a totally different world. Read a “similar” book that contains the world you live in, AND a book that is the OPPOSITE of what you live in. Not only does this encourage imagination, critical thinking, but it opens a DOOR. As Dr. Jean says, “The World Changes but Children Don’t”.



This is the Nest Robin Built I spy printables for kids free

Counting and Identification of Common Birds, my students really began paying attention to birds once I started pointing them out! There are 4 to find, Robins, Bluebirds, Crows (or blackbirds, whichever you see locally, remember blackbirds have a YELLOW eye though), AND the “I SPY” bird, which is a pretend bird haha.

This is the Nest ROBIN built, a fun mostly fact book!

The direct download link is below the Robin Photo, chirp!

preschool math game
Download Link Below

I spy printables for kids free counting literacy activity

Preschool Math Game Roll and Color A Robin

Preschool Math Game
Preschool Math Game
This is the NEST that ROBIN built, suggested book for Roll and Color a Robin.

This game is great for number recognition and counting. Simply color what assigned number is rolled. Decide the rule if the number has been previously rolled- a. Pass turn or b. roll again.

Direct Download Link underneath robin photo:

Blank template included to use as a coloring page.

preschool math game
Download Link Below

Roll and Color an ABC Flower- Preschool and Kindergarten Math Game

We are mastering letter recognition and targeting sounds. Recognition they know Aa 100%, B 75%, b 25%, C I just introduced because it is one of the easier letters. After we go through the entire alphabet in sequence by three’s, I will target pairs. d and b. e and c-to aid the students forming e correctly by contrasting. p and b, and so forth.

Today we played the first time and it is a challenge for the students which is what I wanted. They really have to follow the steps , slow down, focus and think.

Pack Includes: Instructions, page with Key, (shown above) page without Key, Key Page, and Page with a no color key so colors can be personalized.

I don’t think anyone reads the blurbs but I wanted to explain WHY ha ha.

My 1st and 2nd grader are struggling with common core. The 2nd grader JUST started struggling. My observation is simply the material is not given enough time to sink in. The students are doing the steps without understanding the WHY, or dynamics. I’m NOT anti-common core, I’m anti rushing through material to meet standards.

As a result I am trying to build as much common core methodology with my preschoolers, so they will only have to focus on the actual math work and not the procedures. I started at age 4, not knowing if they were ready but they have picked it right up.

Preschool Spring Craft

Preschool Spring Craft


Preschool Flower Magnet Craft


Benefits: ¬†My take is any age can make these, kids and adults. I think my friend will like the one I made. So it’s practical too right? Like, you can hold stuff up on your fridge with it. It’s light, easy to transport or even mail to someone-if anyone other then me does this anymore. I’m estimating the cost at 2$ tops?

*ALSO- last year’s Mother’s Day craft was, egg carton flower bouquet’s, except we covered ours with glitter. THAT was a lot of prep, I really got sick of cutting all those egg cups out for sure! Then, I had to assist them with putting them together.¬†

This requires adult supervision. I recommend, not using  strong adhesive while children are in the room.


  • Kid friendly art paint

  • Stamp Pad

  • Wooden shapes- Get the flower shape which is not pictured here.

  • Strong adhesive

  • Strong Magnets

  • Stencil, or a tool to draw the middle with

  • Sharpie

  • Glitter glue pens¬†

  • Skinny kid friendly paint brush


Supplies are all from Michael’s. My town is so small we don’t have a Target so its either Michael’s, the $ store, or Walmart. I don’t order from online b/c I don’t find the 2d format inspirational whatsoever.

PREP: The only prep is PLAN TIME for each step. Each step requires drying. I planned a day per step.

Realistically? They painted the flower one day, and we rushed the rest this afternoon.

ha. Literally an hour before pick up time as I dug through my recycled containers, to send it  home in so it could DRY. (saved deli hot dog containers ha).

Kids flower magnet craft supplies
Kids flower magnet craft supplies

Spring Magnet Craft Step One
Spring Magnet Craft Step One – ISH

STEP ONE-ish. ¬†I drew the “petal” lines, with a Sharpie. ¬†I used the stencil for center circle.

( design subconciously inspired by Mary Engelbright, realized later).

***IF you get the flower shapes, you don’t have to draw lines at all, just draw the center circle.

Even the preschoolers could draw the lines if they had a photo/example to copy. If they draw them, they might not look like flower petals, AND you will need more time.

Preschool Magnet Spring Craft
Step two, Magnet Craft

STEP 2-ish

AFTER the paint has dried, help student to thumbprint the flower middle (center circle). ¬†We use a stamp pad because I have a student who doesn’t like paint on her finger, AND no mess.

STEP 3- 

AFTER, the thumbprint dried- I glued the magnet on the back.


AFTER, the glue has dried- student paints on glitter glue. I dispersed small amounts out of the glitter glue tubes JUST like I do with paint. That was a personal taste thing and a drying time issue thing.

However much YOU disperse, or if student uses tube etc, have student use a paintbrush at the very end because it will help smooth the globbs.

Again, I do allow Рat other times-  process art by using an entire bottle of glitter glue on a project if they want. They have to be able to explore and splurge with the medium before you can expect them to use it properly.  What THIS craft is good for is learning sequencing, following directions, methodology, attention span, LISTENING.

Spring Craft Magnet
Finished Flower Craft Magnet

Upper left is 4.5 year old, Upper Right is 6.5 year old, bottom center is mine because I hardly ever have time to craft ha. AND the kids really like it when I can sit down with them and make my own also.

Students might even be encouraged to outline the edges, especially if they have an example to look at. Later we are going to use this craft as part of our flower study.

(The color in real life isn’t poppy red, but these COULD be used for poppy day hu)




Mother’s Day Gift for Kids

Mother’s Day Gift for Kids

Mother's Day Gifts for Kids


Craft Gift Goals:  

  • Uses materials I already had

  • Students create independently.

My garden isn’t blooming yet, I bought fake flowers from $ store for our flower shop for spring unit. ¬†

I keep a collection of various plastic bottles for saving the earth while having fun while saving $, haha.

A friend’s daughter outgrew her washi tape, I had a surplus. If I hadn’t, I probably would have left that out.

Creation Station Table: (whenever I’m truly inspired I forget to take a picture ha ha)

  • ¬† 2 Power Ade bottles with ¬†per student.

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 3 differently shaped plastic bottles and a corn meal containter¬†


  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Random stickers-transformers,to be colored, hello kitty, etc

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Washi Tape

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Envelopes

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† White and Colored Papers both folded and unfolded

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Markers

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Scissors

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Small Kawaii Stamp Set with 3 stamp pads

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Smaller and cut out, pictures to color (owl below)

I did not include ribbon, guess who’s going to be tying the ribbon on, or helping with it? I wanted this to be a no holds barred CREATION, using ALL MASTERED SKILLS.

Favorite Photo= The messy table afterwards!



Acadamic take? Allow students to use as many different materials as possible in expected and unexpected ways.

Mother's Day Gifts for Kids

This is an empty  7-up bottle (green) and the 6 year old decorated it with cards taped all around the bottle! The owl is a colored picture and he wrote on the others.


This is both sides of the same vase.

Possibilities are endless!

Ms. Mel, oldest Daughter, 2 of 3 grandkids
Ms. Mel, oldest Daughter, 2 of 3 grandkids
Happy Mother’s Day !


Literacy Hibernation Activity -Loaded for Bear

Literacy Hibernation Activity -Loaded for Bear

2 Week to 4 Week Differentiated Preschool Curriculum.


Books: Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Snow Bears, by Jan Brett. Use these to invite talks about the differences, similarities in both stories. My preschoolers are always interested in exploring a favorite story retelling- leading to similar-but-different discoveries! Literacy Hibernation Activity -Loaded for Bear is built to introduce how animals and people live in the winter, with critical thinking as children notice the differences in how a story is told. I mention frequently that we can take a story and change it to make it our own, which I hope plants the seeds for creative writing , but also gives them confidence in sharing their own stories.

INTRODUCING Literacy Hibernation Activity -Loaded for Bear CURRICULUM:

*Teacher hints: Bears don’t actually sleep-their body metabolism slooowwwss down. Polar Bears don’t hibernate, unless they are pregnant.

Read first: Bear has a story to tell, and Time to sleep.

Introduces the concept of Hibernation. We read interactively as many times as I noticed students understood hibernation concept.

Read second: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Snow Bears.

Preschoolers may not have attention span for these books. I paraphrased some parts, or read just a few pages at a time. Once both books have been read completely at least two times, I introduced the Hibernation play activities.

At my home daycare I provided different building materials:

stools, towels, small blankets, blocks, a paw patrol train track, boxes of different sizes, small stuffed animals.

At a formal preschool I would have course used the Blocks, Manipulatives, Dramatic Play area or Art Area. Students choose to build out of one of those centers. In the Art area I would lead a small group with the book then offer building supplies to “build a cave”: paper lunch-bags, construction paper, card stock, glue, pipe-cleaners and maybe some paper rolls.

Be a Bear! Hands on Hibernation

Literacy Hibernation Activity -Loaded for Bear PRINTABLE AT end of post.

Talk about where brown and polar bears live. Do brown bears really live in a people house? ūü§£ So silly!


Bear House Printable and any decorations, such as, poms, paper shapes, stickers.

scissors and glue (we used gluesticks)

Piece of Construction Paper

Crayons or any medium.

1 Craft Stick per child

The Bear’s House.

First, after students color house, cut a line in bottom of door.

THEN Cut it out and Glue onto Paper

While teacher is doing this, students can cut out their bear and use glue stick for gluing bear on craft stick. (I reinforced with tape, before they took home but I’m sure it came apart anyways haha.)


Discuss, when reading Goldilocks and Snow Bears books, what happens in sequence, using First, Then, Last.

I like to intersperse YouTube clips with subject focused book reading. Some children may have never seen a real photo of a bear.

It’s not very exciting to watch a bear hibernate, these are short!

Sleepy bear in natural habitat

So, ask where each bear is living.
READ LAST: Over and under the snow. After the second reading, talk about the animals homes, our homes, even where we would hibernate if we didn’t have a house?

By the end
of Literacy Hibernation Activity -Loaded for Bear, the children will have practiced:

  • Critical thinking
  • Engineering
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Observation
  • Sequencing
  • Fine Motor
  • Prewrite
  • Pre reading

Most importantly they LEARNED THROUGH PLAY. They understood through using their imagination, dramatization and practical application!

Click the image below to print


ADHD and the Mindfulness Groove- Practice = Peace.

Let your Happy New Year Mindfulness flow
Let your Happy New Year Mindfulness flow

A new year, a new journey. Join me and practice mindfulness.

My approach to mindfulness, is a DOING. Instead of NOT DOING- It’s niether possible nor desirable to “Not Do” …sit still, be quiet, you get it.

It’s not the “answer” but it’s a practice that switches the light on. Mindfulness soothes and smoothes during the journey.

What is the landscape of your journey? Choose an external environment that you are drawn to the most.

  • The Woods?
  • The Beach?
  • The City?
  • The Suburbs?
  • Rural Farmland?
  • A Neighborhood?
  • A Coffee Shop?
  • A Mall?
  • A River?
  • A Trail?
  • A Park?
  • Childhood Home?
  • The Moon?
  • If Undecided, find a photo you like and imagine THAT.

Stand and look around your “imaginary” landscape. Visualize it.

This is going to be your place that helps you focus internally and bring awareness and retreat as needed.

Spend moments recalling your perfect landscape, a imagine yourself standing in it. The time you spend doesn’t matter, it can be 2 minutes.

Choose one time a day, to “visit your landscape”. The times can change each day. *Somedays I can sit in my car for 2 minutes and visualize, other days I have to go out into my backyard and sit for 5 minutes, it just depends.

This week, visit your landscape once a day. No time requirement, just picture your landscape in your mind and show up.

Every week we will focus on a different “step” in our landscape using this method. This can also be journaled, using this journey to write your story.