Thursday, April 17, 2014

You've Been Easter Egged!

I saw this concept online and thought it was a fun idea.  Unfortunately, the version I saw did not involve a poem, so I felt compelled to write a playful little rhyming version this morning.

Click HERE to get the PDF file from Google Docs.

If you like this idea, try these for other holidays:
Valentine Love Bug
Halloween Phantom Call
Christmas Socking

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wax Museum Report

I am subbing in 5th grade right now and we are introducing a new project tomorrow - The Wax Museum!  Two of my kids have already done this project and my last one is participating this year. 

The students are each assigned a famous American for their project.  They make a poster board with pictures, a stamp, quotes, etc. and also create a five paragraph written report.  This project takes a few weeks to complete.  The grand finale is Wax Museum day where each student dresses up as their famous American and stand in front of their tri-fold poster board display.  Other students, teachers, and parents come and listen to each student talk about themselves as if they were that character.  It is really fun!

I need to explain to the students how to use 3x5 notecards to collect information for their report.  We'll start the researching tomorrow so to make things very clear, I made this handout with details about how to do them exactly.  (I REALLY don't want to explain the same thing over and over and over again).  It will print 2 per page and the kids will label each of their 10 postcards per subject with the appropriate topic and highlighted color.  I also pre-counted the notecards and put them in sandwich ziplocks so I could avoid the chaos of sorting them at school.  When their regular teacher comes back she'll explain how she'd like them to do the introduction and conclusion.  (And yes, I know I am a wee bit crazy to do stuff like this on my own since I am only subbing, but I do it because I feel it will help me and the students work more efficiently.  Plus I can whip this stuff up on the computer really quickly.)  Click HERE to get the PDF or HERE to get the PowerPoint file to edit from Google Docs.

Friday, April 4, 2014

General Conference Idea - Word Treat Jars

My cute nephew.

My friend posted this fun idea on Facebook and I asked her if I could share it.  I love it!  She has candy in each of these jars with word cards attached to the front of each jar.  Every time a speaker at General Conference says one of these words, the listener gets a candy.  Brilliant!  I've added pictures of friends' and family's application of this idea as well.

I am running out to the store to buy some candy tonight so we can do this in our family. I have teenagers so I will add in some other jars with key words that I'd like them to listen for.  Way to make things fun.

We also take notes using a form that I created a few years ago.  Click HERE to see the form.

By the way, this idea could be altered for other educational purposes. For instance, if your child is learning sight words or certain vocabulary words, you could make jars like this for when they are reading a book.  If someone is concerned about loading their kids up on sugar, they could put healthier snacks in the jars like pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, low-sugar cereal, carrots, etc. (although candy or cash would work much better on my kiddos LOL).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

General Conference - Notes Template

I designed this form to take notes for General Conference.  I'd found some other similar ones online, but this one works best for the way I think and take notes.  Feel free to copy and print it if you'd like to.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Euler Paths and Circuits

My son brought home a packet about Euler Paths and Circuits.  My brain was a little rusty in this area and he wasn't that familiar with the Euler concepts, so I did a little research and made him a "study sheet" to help him out (okay, I'll admit that it will also help me out if I have to teach this concept when subbing at school).  I thought I'd share my sheet with you.  Please let me know if you have feedback on how to improve it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Gilbert Arizona Temple Open House

This is a picture I found on-line (I didn't take it).  The rest of the pictures of the temple were taken by me or by other family members.

The Gilbert Arizona Temple Open House for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is going on January 18th through February 15th.  We had the opportunity to attend and it was WONDERFUL!  If you're going to be in Arizona, I highly recommend taking a free tour of the temple.  The touring process is very well-organized and runs smoothly (takes about 45 minutes in total unless it happens to be very crowded).  They expect 300,000-500,000 people to visit in the month that the tours are available.  Open to all ages.

If you'd like to visit, click HERE to make reservations.  You can also just show up without a reservation ticket but may need to wait in line longer.  They want everyone who is interested to be able to take a tour.

Here's a picture of the visitors going to the temple.

The details on the building and the stained glass windows are so lovely.

This temple is the tallest building in Gilbert.  Lots of stairs inside (but they also have elevators for those who need them). 

The landscaping is so beautiful with native Arizona plants and trees.  The agave plant was an inspiration in some of the details on the architecture and decorating.  I'm sure people will love walking around the temple grounds for years to come.  There is a very peaceful feeling there.

There are also some beautiful water features.  I think my cute little nephew was tempted to climb on in since it was a warm day.

 People can come in no matter how they are dressed but "church dress" is preferred if possible.  My son's friend made quite a fashion statement with the shorts and black socks and shoes.  We nicknamed him "Mr. Shorts."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gifted Education - Suggested Book List

Here is a list of helpful books if you're interested in Gifted Education.  There are over a dozen books on this list which obviously doesn't include all the wonderful books out there regarding giftedness.  We compiled this short list as a resource for our local elementary schools, in hopes that their local PTSO's would purchase them.

Parenting Gifted Kids by Jim Delisle (Amazon Prime $12.42)
A humorous, engaging, and encouraging look at raising gifted children.  Offers practical advice to help parents re-examine the ways they perceive and relate to their children.  Some topics include understanding giftedness, working with the school system, dealing with perfectionism, and being an adult role model.
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children by James T. Webb, Ph.D., et al. (Amazon approx $21)
Raising a gifted child is both a joy and a challenge, yet parents of gifted children have few resources for reliable parenting information. Includes practical guidance in areas such as gifted characteristics, peer relations, sibling issues, motivation & underachievement, discipline issues, intensity & stress, depression & unhappiness, educational planning, finding professional help, etc.
Living with Intensity by Susan Daniels, Ph.D. & Michael M. Piechowski, Ph.D. (Amazon Prime $20.06)
Gifted children and adults are often misunderstood. Their excitement is viewed as excessive, their high energy as hyperactivity, their persistence as nagging, their imagination as not paying attention, their sensitivity as immaturity, etc.   This book provides practical methods for nurturing sensitivity, intensity, and perfectionism.  Also includes info on Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration.
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (Amazon Prime $12.23)

Using the unique communication strategies, down-to-earth dialogues, and delightful cartoons, parents and teachers learn how to help children handle the everyday problems and strong emotions that can interfere with learning.   Shows how parents and teachers can join forces to inspire kids to be self-directed, self-disciplined, and responsive to the wonders of learning.
Picture it!  Teaching Visual-Spatial Learners by Betty Maxwell (Amazon Prime $17.96)
Illuminates the abilities of visual-spatial learners and describes the challenges they face in traditional learning environments.  Helpful for teachers, parents and visual-spatial learners themselves.

Describes the intellectual and emotional needs of children of high ability; typical and advance reading patterns for kids in K-12 grades; how to give reading guidance and discuss books with young readers; etc.  Includes a list of more than 300 books for readers of all ages carefully selected to promote intellectual and emotional development.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Talk - Christ's Birth, Life, Example and Purpose

This is a talk that my friend gave at church on the Sunday before Christmas.  I am thankful that she agreed to let me post it on my blog.

Like most of you, I love the Christmas season. It gives me the chance to reflect on the birth of Christ, his ministry here on Earth, and the atoning sacrifice he made for all of us.

Some of the most beautiful scriptures written relate to the birth of Christ.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Math Notes - Theorems, Postulates, etc.

My son had a math final and he was allowed to take one sheet of paper in for notes. We designed this page for him to use (click link to find on GoogleDocs in PDF and PowerPoint formats).  It has postulate, theorems, formulas, etc.  Feel free to use it if you think it might help.

PS Happy to report that my son got 100% on his high school final.  Woo hoo!

Christmas Jammies

Love this cute video card about Christmas Jammies!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2014 Primary Theme Door Signs

Here are some door signs that I designed to go with the 2014 Primary theme which is "Families are Forever."  Click HERE to get the PDF files or HERE to get editable PowerPoint files on GoogleDocs.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Baptism Talk with Kit Kat Reminder

This afternoon I am speaking at the baptism of a sweet nine-year old son who was just adopted into our friends' family.  They asked me to speak at his baptism this afternoon so I wrote this talk this morning.  Our main audience will be children so I know this object lesson will hold their attention and that they'll remember what is said.  Feel free to use this talk.  By the way, I didn't think of the concept of using the Kit Kat, it is "out there" on Pinterest.  I just made the graphics and wrote the talk which was inspired by the Pinterest pins.

Email me at if you need the files in PDF format.  PS My son with a sweet tooth will be thrilled with the handouts ;)

This poster can be placed by a basket of Kit Kat's as handouts for after the baptism.
These signs can be used during the talk as visual reminders to hold the kids' attention.  Depending on your stake, you may or may not be allowed to use visual aids during your talk.

These are little handouts that can be printed on a sheet of cardstock at home and then attached to Kit Kat bars.

Here's the actual talk:

Do you know that you are just about to participate in your very first saving ordinance and make your very first official promise to Heavenly Father?

Today when you are baptized you will make some promises to your Heavenly Father.

See this Kit Kat bar?  It may look like an ordinary candy but it is a symbol that will help you remember your baptism covenants.


When you are baptized, you promise to do your best to follow Jesus and keep all of His commandments.   When you make a mistake, you repent and try to do better.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

LDS Resources Toolbox

Here's a list of LDS practices and resources that was presented to a group of religious leaders who met at an American Clergy Leadership Convocation in Las Vegas in November 2013.  Please click on the links for detailed information.




(click on link above, then click "English" to download PDF)





Welfare Leader Resources


For those who attended the conference that may have questions or want more information, please email Don at

Friday, November 1, 2013

Christmas Videos for Families

I know it is a little early, but I wanted to share these great Christmas videos.  They aren't very long and are wonderful reminders about the true meaning of Christmas.

For little kids:

For bigger kids:

For the whole family: