My sweet blogging friend Life Is A Sandcastle passed this task on to me. Thanks for mentioning me in your blog and highlighting me as a blogger you tagged.

Here are the rules:
1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people

This is our dog Pumpkin. During her sophomore year in college, my daughter came home from visiting an out of town friend with .....a dog. She found Pumpkin in a shelter and fell in love with her. We told her not to bring a dog home, but she was already on her way home. This picture was taken  last Christmas. Now, we don't know what we would do without her. I do think Pumpkin suffered some abuse early in her life because she initially would flinch when we went to pet her and did not like men at all. She still dislikes all men with the exception of my husband. She adores children and loves it when my students come over to visit. We think she is part dachshund and part beagle. Isn't she a cutie!

Now it's my turn to tag. Below is a collection of bloggers who will entertain you, make you think, and sometimes make you sad. I love reading each and every one of them. Okay my blogging buddies, start looking for a photo. Happy Saturday to all!

1. Ellen in America...My very first and special blogging friend   Ellen In America
2. Heather....My funny and likable blogging buddy   This Is The Day
3.Terri......My blogging friend who I would love to meet   The Four Scarbarys
4. Brenda Susan....My thought provoking blogging friend     Walking Butterfly
5. Theresa...My talented writer AND teacher blogging friend   Substitute Teacher's Saga
6. Andrea........My inspirational blogging friend      Arise To Write
7. Choices.......My interesting and helpful blogging buddy   Love To Teach
8. Debbie........My favorite blogger friend   Debbiedoos
9. Kelly...........My passionate blogging friend  God Bless My Boys
10.Karen........My  very talented professional artist blogging friend    Kbladosdesign
11.Angie.........My bubbling personality blogging friend    Just Shy Of A "Y"   
12. Tree.........My informative and resourceful blogging friend  Mother Of Pearl It Is
13. Debbie....My strong motivational blogging friend Single Mom In A Complicated World
14. Stacey....My mentor blogging friend Daily Gems From God's Jewelry Box

Okay, I can't close without a funny story. I like to have an annual party at my home for my students. I am usually exhausted when it is over but they have a blast. One year, when my husband came up from the basement area to say hi, one little boy looked at him and said "Are you Ms. B's Daddy?" My daughter and I  teased him about it for

I look forward to getting to know all my blogging buddies better!

Five year old children are such a delight to watch as they learn and expand on their knowledge of the world. I remember one year when a child kept circling my desk as I sat working. When it got to the point where he started looking under my desk, I finally asked "Did you lose something sweetie?" He looked up at me with a puzzled expression and asked "Where do you sleep?"

I have gotten that question in other years as well.  Open House is always an eventful night since it is often the first time a classroom teacher meets the parents of his or her students. Since I live about thirty minutes away from my school, I knew I would not be able to make it home and get back in time so I brought my dress to change into after school. I threw it over my chair when I entered my classroom that morning and immediately began attending to early morning tasks. Once the students arrived, a precious little boy with a head full of blond curls walked over to me. He kept looking at my desk and  finally asked "Do you sleep here?" with a puzzled look. He was staring at the dress as he asked. I assured him I did not.

It is also fun to run into students outside of the classroom setting. Once I ran into a child at the grocery store who looked at me in shock and asked "What are YOU doing here?" I guess he thought I stayed in my classroom 24/7!

Today we had a potential kindergartner visit briefly. The child's parent said that they could not stay  because of another appointment but would be back soon for another visit. The child knows a little boy in my classroom. My little student ran over to give his friend a hug and then introduced me by saying "This is Ms. B.... my teacher.  When he learned they weren't staying, he said "You can come back tomorrow if you want to." The child's mother laughed and said I wouldn't be there tomorrow to which he replied "Yes she will. She lives here."

During my first year of employment in my current private K-12 school, I remember walking over to the high school building with another teacher. We were chatting about the obstacles we were facing in trying to lose weight as we came through the entrance lined with teens sprawled out studying or enjoying their lunch. Just as we walked in I said "My problem is that I have a terrible coke habit". Fifteen heads immediately popped up from their books to stare at me with their mouths agape. Realizing that they had misunderstood, I immediately looked down at them and said "Soda!!!! Coca-cola!!! Sugary drink!" My friend just giggled as we proceeded into the building.  The moral of this story is "Not only do you have to watch what you say, but pay attention to the way you say it!"

The last public school I taught Kindergarten in had a wonderful patio area right outside each classroom door. Each Kindergarten classroom had two entrances, one inside the building, and one that led outside to the courtyard area. I had a sand table on one side of the door and a water table on the other side. I remember one bright sunny March morning, I filled the water table up midway and added a bubbles solution to make it more interesting. There was a curled water hose nearby on an outside wall that I used to fill it up. When not in use, it had a hook that it curled around and was connected to the outside faucet.

All you preschool and kindergarten teachers know how popular both the sand table AND the water table are. I use a clothespin system to assign centers and these two centers fill up quickly! On this particular March morning, three little girls picked the clothespins for the water table and headed out to play with the water toys in the bubbles. I was inside working with children at the math center when all of a sudden I heard a lot of screaming. I ran outside to see the curly water hose writhing around like a snake spewing water everywhere. When one teacher walked outside to see what all of the commotion was about, she got sprayed right in her face. She had put her hands up to shield her face, but she got pretty wet anyway. I ran around to the side to try to grab it and you would have thought that hose was alive. It was moving up, down and all around. I managed to grab it AFTER it soaked my shirt.

I finally got to the faucet and turned the thing off. Evidently one of my little charges decided that the water table needed more bubbles and took it upon herself to turn it on. When she tried to turn it off, she turned it the wrong way and ended up turning it on full force. When I asked who the culprit way, two girls pointed at the same child. She in turn pointed at one of them and then, after a minute, said "I did it." I reminded them that our rule was that only teachers turned on the water hose. The teacher with the wet face glared at them from her door as I was talking to them. When she looked at me, she burst out laughing. I in turn started laughing at her, wet hair and all. There we were, two wet kindergarten teachers, laughing at each other when the assistant principal walked up. "What happened to you two?" she asked. "We were in the mood for a shower" I replied! For some reason, she didn't find it as funny as we did. Oh well! My students sure did!

Tomorrow I am going to post some great teacher made games that require little effort and the kids love them!!!!

Classroom rituals and routines are so important in a kindergarten classroom. Five year olds really enjoy a consistent routine and knowing what to expect each day when they walk through the door. I believe that it makes them feel connected.  We have rituals for putting away materials, washing hands with hand sanitizer,  and even for changing centers.

In my classroom, the children love some of our rituals and look forward to them. For example, whenever a child is absent, I call the child at home and the entire class yells " We miss you...and then say the child's name"! One year I almost forgot to make the call to one little girl. We got busy and I didn't realize it until the school day was almost over. We quickly called her and told her we missed her and hoped she would feel better soon. The next morning she walked up to me,handed me her folder and raised one eyebrow as she looked me in the eye and said " I was beginning to think you were going to forget to call yesterday!" She sounded like a little adult. I told her that we had gotten busy but there was no way we would have forgotten her. Then she wrapped her arms around me and gave me a hug. 

Young children look forward to being assigned a weekly job. Most of the time they take it very seriously and are so proud of carrying out whatever responsibility they are assigned. Years ago, when fire restrictions weren't so strict, I used to hang center signs from the ceiling. One year I had a transportation theme and a special chair that the child of the day got to sit in. We called him or her "The Big Wheel" that year and the chair they sat in was "The Big Wheel Chair". That name really stuck and so every year for the past twelve years, I have had a big wheel and a big wheel chair.

Morning meetings are also very important to my students which includes a time of devotion. The children really look forward to each daily reading. After reading a passage one morning about being kind to brothers and sisters, one child teared up. I asked him what was wrong and he responded "I think I hurt God's heart this morning at breakfast. I smacked my sister when she wouldn't give me back my show and tell".

One other ritual that my students really look forward to may cause some of you Moms out there to cringe. I give a birthday spanking. I even have students come back for a few years after they leave kindergarten wanting "another birthday spanking". I invite the Mom or Dad in and I put the child over my knee. While the children count, I leg. With each smack, I yell "ouch" to the delight of the children. They are a mass of giggles by the time I finish. Who would have ever thought a child would ask for a spanking?

What rituals do you have in your classroom or home?

Today I thought I would share some of my classroom organizational tips for teachers. For the rest of you, I will end this post with a little classroom funny. Before I begin, I want to wish my beautiful daughter Katey a Happy Birthday! She is 21 today! I love you sweetheart!

For this post, I thought I would share with you how I  organize my classroom lesson plans. I know we all have our methods, but for those of you who are interested, this is the way that works for me. I put each week in a notebook and label the week with a tab. Next, I put all ideas, papers, etc. behind the week so that I have easy access to it. There are generally 3-4 weeks in a notebook.

I keep all of the notebooks in a bookcase close to my kidney table. I do not have a desk because I want the
maximum  amount of floor space  available for the children to use. I have long rectangular storage boxes that hold instructions for projects or samples of crafts for each month. I will add that picture tomorrow as I forgot to take one today. If you would ever like me to share a unit or lesson plan with you, just let me know. I am happy to do so. I will also make a copy of any activities that you would like and send them as well along with instructions.

 I also keep all my lesson plans on the computer by week. I do the same with my newsletters. Every year the class makeup will change but I have a skeleton curriculum map and can change my plans to fit the needs of my students.
I also take pictures each year to put in a book I call "The Wonder Year". I mentioned it in an earlier post. Each child writes a sentence for the month and we post a large picture on the page under the sentence. It really helps to set up files for each activity. For example, once we take a field trip, I label the folder field trip pictures. Then I set up a folder for each child within the main folder.
 I keep a stack of each child's name handy so that as we complete an activity, I have a checklist to ensure that I don't miss anyone.

I will close with a little classroom chuckle. We share a bathroom with the kindergarten class next door. One day a few weeks ago, I was working with a small group of children when one child asked if we could hear singing. No one else heard it, so we continued with the game we were playing. Now, the kidney table I use is next to the bathroom wall. All of a sudden, it sounded like a young Elvis Presley was belting out a tune at the top of his lungs from inside the bathroom. My entire class got quiet and listened. Then we all broke into laughter at the same time. Meanwhile, the singing continued with our little American Idol wannabe still singing at the top of his lungs. I went over and knocked on the door and asked whoever it was to please stop singing.  The singing immediately stopped. Evidently the child had been oblivious to the fact that he could be heard. I am not really sure what it is about bathrooms that causes one to break into song, but we haven't heard a peep since that day.