Gooney Bird, Boots & Pinwheels

Down here in South Florida, we're entering the 5th week of school and I JUST now feel like I have my feet under me! After a bajillion years in the classroom, you'd think it would come a little faster. It's mostly because I'm always changing things up. I have to be that way though. I just can not do the same things I've done year after year in room that looks exactly the same year after year. But as much work as it is and as much as I question why I do this to myself every year, in the end it makes me happy and it's what's best for my little nuggets.

So, here's a peek into what we've been up to. First of all - big love to my blog buddy Jen over at:

I found her Gooney Bird Greene unit on TpT and it is fabulous! You can find it {HERE}. I've been starting the year with this book for a couple of years and I had intended on creating a unit of some sort to use with it. Now I don't have to! If you don't know the book, check it out - totally adorable. A spirited little girl moves to a new school and dazzles her classmates. She tells amazing "absolutely true" stories about her life. The kids are always completely fascinated by her. It's a great way to introduce writing, as Gooney keeps explaining what makes a story interesting to the readers. Really, it's a gem of a book.

One of the favorite activities we did from Jen's unit was to come up with our own Gooney-ish names.
After we all renamed ourselves, we made name tags and wore them all day. I did an example for myself on the board first and became Libby Michelle for the rest of the day. I forgot I had on my new name tag  when I stopped in principal's office later that day - that was an interesting conversation. Can you tell the kids liked this one too?

Not sure what a "tinkleberry" is, but these two boys were proud to be called that for the day!

I also especially loved these graphic organizers. We recorded important elements from all of Gooney's stories as we read, which then helped us complete the Double Bubble map below. I don't think my kids have had a lot of prior experience with graphic organizers, but they're learning fast!

I can't believe I didn't know this, but there are a LOT of Gooney books! Each of them seem to cover one month of the school year and a particular writing focus, like fables and poetry. I'm ordering them all! These links will take you to them on Amazon.

We also celebrated the International Day of Peace this week. We made pinwheels from the pattern you can find here. I modified the assembly a bit. We used pencils and I just stuck a thumbtack through the middle of the pinwheel and into the pencil eraser. Super easy and they came out ca-ute!  We have a small Peace Garden on the side of our school. A few years ago each class decorated a garden stone and there are a few memorial markers for staff and students we've lost over the years.  The original plan was to "plant" our pinwheels in the garden, but it seems like every year they get rained on! So this year we walked out to the garden, took some precious pictures, visited the memorials and garden stones and then took our pinwheels back inside to take home. A nice little class bonding moment...
And finally - the boots. I have an adorable little nugget who is really a unique and interesting child. She's always dressed adorably and always, always, always wears these pink sparkly cowboy boots.
I finally said something to her about them, guessing that they were just her favorite shoes - thinking it would be a good way to get to know her a bit better. She totally surprised me with her response. She said, "Well, there are a lot of memories in these boots." Captivated, I asked what she meant. She went on to explain that they were also her older sister's boots. She showed me something that her sister had written inside the boot. Then she told me how her mother keeps asking when she's going to wear the new shoes she bought for her and her response was," I have to wear these while I can, they're not going to fit me forever, you know." Seriously, how cute is that?? Is it crazy that I'm already thinking about how I'm going to miss this class when the year is over?

Well, my friends, the weekend is upon us. Yay! I'll be spending a large part of it getting some amazing product reviews and giveaways ready for next week - about 10 to be exact (including some Brag Tags, a Cricut-mini, some fun learning games, a nice big bundle of my newest products for October and November to name a few!) I think I'll call it Back in the Swing of Things Giveaway Days {I thought that sounded better than OMG I'm Super Far Behind in Reviewing Some Fantastic New Products Giveaway Days}. 



  1. Omg, your students are so sweet! Love the boot story!

  2. LOVE it!!
    and I love the boots - they even go along with being a "gooney bird" - and yes, it rains on us every year for the pinwheels too - but this year we had career day, so I didn't even get to do the pinwheels :-/

  3. Very sweet! I'll go check out Jen's Gooney Bird unit - we read this every year, too!
    Hello Mrs Sykes

  4. Your little girl with the boots is truly an old soul in a little body, isn't she? Precious!

  5. We made the Pinwheels, too. What a wonderful project and perfect for your peace garden!


  6. You can definitely tell your kids had a BLAST with those gooney-names.
    The boot story is so wonderful. What a "deep mind" that little one has. :D
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤


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