About Me

Since I have started blogging, I have participated in a few "about me" linky parties.   I have copied a few in here for your entertainment... Ha!

Here is a post from Teacher Week 2013

Woo-Yee!  What a summer!  I will try to recap!

What did I do all summer?

I started my summer being the nurse to my sweet (yet simple minded) Dexter!
Poor baby had ACL surgery and had to be "calm" and on a leash for 6 weeks.
He really LOVED this tree!

Hubby and I went to Colorado... beautiful!
 I went to the National Whole Brain Teaching Conference in Louisiana with these FAB 4...
check out their blog!

Then I went to Nebraska to jabber on and on about writing!
Can you spot Kim Adsit and Shari Sloane?
I came home in time for a quick load of laundry, then I was off to Vegas!  I was honored to present on writing, math, and literacy stations.  We enjoyed a wonderful blogger meet-up and later a dinner with Amy and John of TpT.   Are you in one of these photos?
These wonderful photos are courtesy of What the Teacher Wants...You know that saying, "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?"   Well, my camera stayed in Vegas.  I lost it!  Boo!
From Las Vegas, we drove to San Diego to meet up with The Perfect Son.   We enjoyed a few days with my entire family.
The right lower hand corner photo is my sister and her awesome husband who taught Matt how to surf!
I left San Diego and head to Alabama where I talked, again, about writing, math, and assessment. Such a great time!  Did I mention that the conference coordinator had the MOST AMAZING cupcake waiting for me in my hotel room?  I really hope they ask me back!
I got to visit again with Kim Adsit and her girls!  But most importantly... I got to meet her grandson!

My final night in Alabama,  I met up with Vickie Plant (Mrs. Plant's Press) and the precious one!
Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!

When I finally arrived home, I was in full mental preparation for The Perfect Son's next step in life.
This was his kindergarten graduation photo!  Sniff! Sniff!  Last week I took him to get his first grown-up-guy-suit and a few days ago I dropped him off at college.   My nest is empty, but my heart is full!  And just like THAT we move on to the next phase of our lives.   (BTW: The University of Missouri, Science & Technology campus is only 20 miles away from our home... so it could be worse.)  It is hard going to bed and not exchanging our "sweet dreams and I love you" routine that we have done since he could talk.  I wonder if it would be annoying if I drove there every night?

Teacher week 2013

First I have to say that I am not very exciting so brace yourself!

I am an animal lover! I can't recall a time in my life when I did not have a dog... or two!

I think I was about 6 or 7 in this picture.  My sister,  Susie, is laying down.   That is our dog, Shawn.

This was Sootman, my horse.  It is hard to tell, but he was black and feisty! After school, I would meet up with my girlfriends and we would go on hour long rides and talk about boys.  And laugh? Goodness! Some great memories!

I grew up in San Diego and we enjoyed sailing in the harbor.  
Totally wish I still had those legs!
Mr. and I have been married for 21 years.   Let me just say that we thought we were VERY cool 20 years ago.   Yes, my hair was wild then too... it was all about big hair! The Mr. is sporting his stache!
We have THE most amazing child!   I will talk about him ALL day if you let me! We share the same sense of humor, love of music and affection for cookie dough.   When he was a baby, my mom would give him a bath in her sink (no... that is not the dishwater). She would make some sort of treat and Matt would lick the bowl.

I love Diet Coke!   
Those poor girls in Vegas had to put up with my deep, deep addiction!

I was in the Navy Reserves for 6 years.  Mr. and I were already married and I wanted to be a teacher.  I went in the Reserves to pay for my education.  Um... I went to boot camp in my 30's.   Hilarious!   I really like my creature comforts, so I have a few stories I could share... but I won't! Lol!   

Those 6 years taught me now to really work hard.  I worked full time as a medical administrator, went to school full time, reserve duty one weekend a month, then mom, and wife... not necessarily in that order. I never could have done it without the help of my won-der-ful parents.   
Yes, I was tired!

We move to Missouri a few years ago and I love it!

What else?  
I don't like escalators
or shellfish

I posted these photos in August of 2011.

Mr. W, me, and Baby Matthew...Ok... 3 weeks away from 16!  YIKES!

Dexter... Everyday is a POOL day!
Emmett... the finder of all random bones in Maries County!

My Girls!!!  They promise beautiful brown eggs in about 2 more months.

The calves... My husband reminds me that they are NOT pets... but they are so darn cute!

This is a little about me from a Feb 2011 post!

Here is a little information about me.  I grew up in San Diego which is where I met my husband of almost 20 years.  We moved to Missouri 6 years ago and we love it!

Our son is a sophomore in high school... the light of our life.  He runs track and cross-country and the boy can SING!

For the first part of my life I was a medical administrator.  Great career, great people, but teaching has always been my dream. I have been teaching for 8 years, four years in second grade before I was asked to be help launch our Balance Literacy adoption in my district.  I served as a Literacy Coach for two years.  I loved collaborating with the other teachers, but I missed, missed, missed having my own class.  So when a kindergarten position opened up, I begged and pleaded... Ta Da!  I'm back in the classroom.  Kindergarten is amazing and I'm here to stay!

Now the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?
A: Well, when I was 6, I wanted to be a waitress in a truck stop.  Think of all the people I would have met!  Now, if not a teacher, I would like to be a park ranger (see I'm still 6 years old).

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Teaching isn't a hobby?!  Spending time with my family, filling my roll as a taxi-service to my 15 year old son (8 months until he turns 16), and reading.  I started running a year ago and completed my first half-marathon in October.  I love cookbooks, but don't like to cook...hmmm... I guess that means I just like food.

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A:  Oops! I already answered that.

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?
A: Diet Coke, the entire food group known as The Cookie Food Group (can't have them around), Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew... Seriously, I'm drawn to it like a moth to flame... weird!

Q: What is your biggest fear?!
A: Escalators (I blame it on George Jetson) and small, confined places.

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?
A: Back to San Diego to visit my friends and family. Although... Italy has been calling my name.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: Realize when you say something unkind, you can never take it back.  People can forgive you, but they rarely forget it was ever said.

Q: What do you value most in others?
A:  Integrity!  I also look up to people who are active in their own destiny.  If you are unhappy about something, take steps to see if you can change it... talk to the right people or make a change.

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?
A: Resiliency.  Being able to roll with the punches, then make a difference where you think you can.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?
A: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!!!  Shallow me: Hugh Jackman, Teacher me: Lucy Calkins

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:

 I broke my arm falling off a horse when I was 11.  In high school, I worked at Sea World making cotton candy. I was in the Navy Reserves for 6 years in a unit that supported the marine mammal team... pretty cool!  I have two crazy dogs (a lab and a golden retriever).  They are frequent subjects of my modeled writing.  I LOVE shoes!  My husband thinks I have "enough"... Whatever that means!


  1. I like the new look! Nice job- as always, your blog is wonderful, great ideas! Thanks for your hard work.

  2. Deedee - Your website is AMAZING!! So are your educational items and your classroom! I am homeschooling all my boys and the twins are now in Kindergarten - but I can tell you our dining room table looks NOTHING like your setup! Once I pick my jaw up off the ground I look forward to perusing through all your resources and great ideas! Is there any way I could fly two 5 year olds to Missouri?... just for Kindergarten...

    Glad you're doing well! Say Hi to Mark (and Matt, though I know he hasn't a clue who I am) for me!

    <3 Josephine Riggs

    1. How did I not SEE this post before! So this is me saying "Hi" two years late. If you get this, I would love to chat! My email is: owens65066@gmail.com

  3. I enjoyed reading you blog and appreciate the hard work you put into posting the various activites you offered. Teachers helping Teachers :)

  4. I know this was an old post.. but I really feel like I know you! Thank you for sharing so much about you.

    :o) V.
    Special Teacher for Special Kids

  5. DeeDee,

    just curious...have you made any fact to 5 games? I am looking for something to help my kindergartners practice this skill! thanks!

  6. How cool! So glad to have come across your blog :) I went to Mizzou (in MO) for my undergraduate degree, but I- like you- am a native Californian! Nice to meet you- can't wait to try out some of your awesome ideas! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Oh Yay!!! If you are still in the area, my classroom is always open!! (except for the summer...ha)

  7. Hi Mrs. Wills,
    Love your blog. I "grabbed" the runnning record pdf (with the 100 blank spaces to track), love this.....I noticed on the bottom where you have comprehension check, there are numbers under the sections "very little" 6, 7, 8, 9; "some" 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15; etc. and I was wondering what was the significance of those numbers?
    Any help is much appreciated and keep up the fabulous ideas!

    1. Thank you! As you circle each area on the comprehension area, you then add those numbers together. It the total comes between 16-21 then they demonstrated adequate comprehension. This will help you to find their instructional level.

  8. Here I am entering my 2nd year of teaching Kindergarten and I need help. I taught last year with 15 kiddos and a part time aide. This year I have 30 kiddos and a full-time aide (budget cuts). I have never had a team to brain-storm with, I have always been the lone grade level teacher (grades 1-3). I am going into my 5th year of teaching. I have been reading your blog AND finally decided to ask for help. I am Literacy Collaborative trained and organize my literacy time around centers and Guided Reading groups. As well as a separate writing workshop time. How many kids to a center/station? Do you let 30 kiddos pick their centers for that day? Or do you have a back to school lesson plan I can read? Any help is wonderful! Thank you.

  9. Oh Jennifer... You will do beautifully with a 30 kids and a full time aide! I have two students to a station and I tell them which station to go to. I will have a detailed post about this in August. You can look through the posts that I have in the "My Classroom" section of my blog. It will help you!

  10. I love your blog! I would really like to start blogging too, but I guess I'm not sure how?? Do you have any good advice on that subject?

    I have been teaching since 1987, but left for many years and then came back. I have been teaching kindergarten, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!! My biggest challenge is that I have a hard time staying organized...My desk starts out clean in September and by January, it's completely buried!!

    Thanks for all your idea sharing! :)

  11. Hi Deedee. I'm a faithful follower who really would like to know the name of the program that you use for your lessons. Would you mind sharing? Bridgette

  12. Hey Deedee, do you still have your Dr. Seuss Math Unit?

    1. No, The Dr Seuss take legal action against people who sell products with their images on them. I know some people ignore the Seuss request, but I removed my Seuss products promptly when I became aware of it.

  13. Deedee! Hi!
    I would love to contact youconcerning some site issues. Is it possible? My e-mail is stacy.galvannn@gmail.com .

  14. Hi DeeDee, I have a confession...I'm kind of obsessed with all your products! Everything I have used of yours has only bettered my classroom, and for that I thank you! I have a couple questions regarding your journals. How many journals does each student have, as in math, poetry, etc? Also, we currently use spirals, but I was wondering why you prefer the composition notebooks. I'm sure you've explained this somewhere, I just haven't come across it yet! Last question...do your journals last all year? semester? Thank you so much for all you do, my whole kindergarten team thanks you from the bottom of our hearts for all your hard work!!


  15. DeeDee,
    Pretty funny. I worked as a park ranger assistant during college summers, which I saw if you didn't teach, you'd be a park ranger. I grew up in San Diego too. I fell off of a horse at 11, didn't break anything. Now I've been teaching kindergarten for 12 years! Kind of crazy that I came across this blog through Pinterest, yet so many things in common! Your blog is beautiful.

    1. Whoops, this says Garrett, but it's not. It's really Joanna. I've accidentally signed in under my husband's name. :)

    2. That is hilarious! I'm so glad you found me! I will be back in San Diego for my high school reunion this summer. Valhalla in Rancho San Diego/El Cajon!

  16. Lesson for Today: “How to Tie Your Shoes” with Ms. Jill

    Hello, my name is Jill Dust. I have been a Pre-K teacher for 17 years. One of the hardest skills for kiddos of this age range is to learn how to tie their shoes. This has always been a frustrating and complicated task for children, parents and teachers. There are books out that I have purchased in hopes of helping teach this skill; however, none of them seemed to help. So, recently I developed and App in hopes of making this fun, easy and exciting to learn. The app went live just a couple of weeks ago and I have already gotten some great positive feedback as well as success stories! Please check out my app at the link below and let me know what you think!


    or you can go to the app store and type “how to shoe tie” in the search bar! Thank you so much for your time! I look forward to hearing what you think! ☺ Would you consider doing a review on your blog??

    Jill Dust
    King’s Kids Pre-K
    1004 Pleasant View
    Effingham, IL 62401

  17. I am curious where/how you created your page for Frogs Around the World?
    We are studying the continents. Grace

    1. Hi Grace,

      I purchased the unit from Deanna Jump. She made the map. If you click on the file called Frog Frenzy, it will take you to her unit.

  18. After surfing your blog all I can say is WOW! You're amazing!!


  19. Hi Deedee, I think that I saw somewhere that you had your year laid out with what you taught and when. The order that you teach your letters, word families, blends, etc. I have been teaching Kindergarten for 7 years and I am so frustrated with what to teach and when. Can you help me? Also, have you given up Diet Coke??? You are really a gifted person and I appreciate all the work you do!

  20. I love your website! it so fullof information that I could use in my Kindergarten Classroom that I don't have any more. I am now the technology director at my district. I work on a web page. I love your cursive font. Can you tell me what it is?

    1. I wish I knew! Glena! My blog designer did it for me. I am not sure what font it is.

  21. Dee Dee,
    Your passion and commitment to children is evident in all you do. So excited to meet you and link up for visual lesson plans. Thanks for the opportunity!

  22. Hi, Deedee! I am an early childhood educator and professional storyteller here in Atlanta, GA. Do you currently invite advertisers to advertise on your blog? If so, Could you please give me your rates? Thanks!


  23. Hi Deedee! I am a fellow TpT'er and I am working hard at building my social media outlet! I noticed you are from Missouri and SO AM I!!!! Just wondering what part of Missouri you teach in???

    1. Hi Melanie! I am in central Missouri near Rolla. Where are you?

  24. HI! I'm new at this blog thing. LOL I was wondering how you created your site. Can you direct me how I can create or how someone create a beautiful site like yours. I would like it to match the theme of my classroom. Thank you, Karen Chubbuck

    1. Welcome to the blogging world! If you scroll down to the VERY bottom of my blog you will see a link to designer. They are wonderful!!!!!

  25. Good afternoon--

    I am graduating with a Master's in School Counseling. I am doing my thesis on the RTI process. You have forms posted on RTI. Would I be allowed to use them? I would need a letter giving me permission.

    My email is: delaneyh@mail.gvsu.edu

    You have a wonderful and colorful blog!

  26. Thank you so much for your encouraging blog. I am in in my last year of college and am unsure of what I am doing. I am 53 years old and am just getting my degree. I love working with young children. I was an aide for 13 years. I volunteer now. I am so excited about everything on your blog and am inspired to be a great teacher. Thank you for taking the time and effort in creating your wonderful blog.

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