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This isn’t your mom’s listening center

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Whaaaaaat? It’s August! Five for Friday is back! I completely forgot about it, so pardon this post if it’s not that fantastic.  Seriously, I’ve got a lot going on.

1.  When I first started teaching (a whopping 6 years ago), I scooped up a couple of Walkmans and went to the freebie table in our staff lounge (a cemetery where old teacher crap goes to die until the custodian has a proper trash can funeral) to score some books on tape. I think I found 6 tapes and maybe 3 had the books to go with them. Fast forward a couple of years later and after patiently teaching 7 year olds how to use a Walkman (apparently it’s a generational thing) year after year, I decided to update the center.  I brought in my own iPod touch daily already (to listen to the Storytown weekly text every Tuesday), so I figured that would work. I bought some earphones with individual volume adjusters (yay!) from Lakeshore, a headphone splitter, and about 15 iTunes audio books that I already had at least 5 copies of. Ta-da! Modern listening center. Is there a listening center piece that could make this better? What does yours consist of? Do you have a Fred Flinstone (old) or a George Jetson (new) center? And since I’m not in the classroom yet (2 more weeks for me), just imagine a little clear tub with these items…like I said, pardon this post!

2.  My mom and I went on a drive to the Mendenhall Glacier (5 minutes from my house, and hers-she lives down the street). We met this BABY porcupine! So fluffy I’m gonna die!!!! Seriously, his (yes, I’m making it a boy) quills looked like fur! His name is George…

3.  After playing with a porcupine, we started to leave…but BAM! Mama bear and 2 lil cubs! What about you? What wildlife do you encounter?

Check out my instagram (@tongassteacher) for the video!
4.  Back to school shopping is in full effect.  My first year of teaching, I found spiral notebooks for a penny each. ONE PENNY. I haven’t seen it again (trust me, I’m vigilant about it).  Here’s what I saw yesterday:

 50 cents is preeeeetty impressive (how about in your town? any cheaper? leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear what deals you’re getting!).

 I put mechanical pencils and .7 lead on my school supply list….we still use regular pencils if we run out of lead, but MAN, I LOVE THIS SWITCH!

Giant Capri Suns?! Seriously. My husband and I just stood there. Kids these days are so lucky. I remember begging for a second Capri Sun on a hot day after eating a dry sandwich. Ahhh, those were the days….

5.  It’s been beautiful and hot (75 is hot for me) all week. Went downtown (15 minute drive from my house) and had lunch at The “Fish” (Twisted Fish is a restaurant on the dock). It’s tourist season, so it’s very crowded, but on days like these, it’s worth it!



  1. August 2, 2013 / 7:34 pm

    Wow, bears and porcupines! Don't see any of those here in southern LA. Maybe a rabbit or a turtle crossing the road.

    Composition books are 25 cents here at Office Depot till tomorrow.

    Love that multiheadphone splitter. Great idea!

    Shepherd's Shining Stars

    • August 3, 2013 / 6:39 am

      Haha a rabbit and a turtle is actually pretty funny! Tortoise and the hare! I'd love to see that!

  2. August 2, 2013 / 7:48 pm

    I love reading your posts! OH what a ride you had with your new found friends! That would just be SO EXCITING! I saw somewhere that Home Depot will cut those composition notebooks in half for you for school!
    I have a Flintstone center (surprise! haha) but also a Jetson one because we are all getting 5 iPads in our classroom this year. I had them last year as a pilot program. They were great. But they took out our desktops. 🙁 I will miss those.
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    • August 3, 2013 / 6:40 am

      And I love reading your always kind comments! We actually have a home depot here, so I'll have to check into that..thanks for the heads up! You're going to have fun with 5 ipads…I bet next year's class will love them!

    • August 3, 2013 / 6:43 am

      Hi Lauren! They can't see the book on the ipod, but I already had 4 or 5 copies of each book I bought (that's how I decided which audio files to buy-I checked my classroom library and stacked the multiple copies and went from there). I know Scholastic has an app that reads the books aloud and has the pages on the screen, but the last time I checked it was pretty limited and since I have only 1 ipod, I can't imagine 5 little heads crammed together to watch!

  3. August 3, 2013 / 12:46 am

    I so need one of those headphone splitters in my class!!! Thanks for sharing!


  4. August 4, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    I'm not sure what I'd do if I saw a mama bear and cubs just out and about. Where I live I regularly see geese crossing the road together. I work in a more rural environment than where I live so I see frogs, rabbits, deer, and sometimes an errant cow or sheep gets out of their fence.

    75 is hot? We've been in the 70s here lately (low for our summers) but it's been pleasant. What does an Alaskan consider cold?

    You Might Be a First Grader….

    • August 4, 2013 / 9:58 pm

      Hi Brenda! I guess it depends on which Alaskan you ask! I personally think it's cold if it's below 60, especially cold if it's raining! Kids here go through the sprinkler after 65 🙂

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