Throwback Thursday!

Hey y'all!  It's time for another installment of Throwback Thursday!  Woo hoo!!  Before we get to all that, I just have to tell you that Mr. Spouse and I celebrated 9 years of *wedded bliss* yesterday :)  Ummmm...if I'm being totally honest, I don't think either of us wished each other a happy anniversary until it was time for dinner.  Life really got in the way!  I rushed Landon to the ER the night before with severe stomach pains.  Praise Jesus it was just GAS!!!  HA!!!  Our little pug, Lloyd, went to the vet for some issues...I took the boys to get their hair cut....we were going a little crazy trying to get things ready for our annual trek up north...and was just a CRAZY day!  But it was great to finally sit down...sans kids...and reflect on the last 9 years and look forward to the next 90 {hey, a girl can dream ;)}
We actually got dressed up!  I mean, that sorta NEVER happens!!!  And the boys even asked to take pictures with us.  Pretty much the best anniversary gift ever!

We went to a yummy steakhouse and had the most amazing appetizer...a little Tuna Tartare {my husband has a VERY adventurous taste palate} and it was SO yum!

We finished the night with a DElicious croissant bread pudding topped with caramel, toffee chips, and cinnamon caramel ice cream.  YUM!!!  I was sorta floating out of there when it was all said and done :)

Now we'll move on to the real reason you're here....

Time for a little throwback!  Here's a post from January 2011.  One of my favorites!!!!!  Maybe it's something you can incorporate into your classroom this year.  My kids absolutely LOVED our Brown Bag Book Club!!!!!  Our favorite time of the week!!

Originally posted January 7, 2011

Years ago I was lucky enough to attend a Linda Holliman workshop.  It.was.AWESOME!!  She is such a hoot and her ideas are SO inspiring!!!  While she was explaining a few different ideas to us, one of them really got my attention.  She talked about how her kids would complete a readers/listening response on a lunch bag and then she’d fill the bags with popcorn and have the kids partner up and share what they wrote.  I LOVED that idea!!!  Since I’m such a big fan of book clubs, I decided to incorporate this idea and turn it into a book club…hence the birth of the “Brown Bag Book Club”.  Y’all…my kids are OBSESSED.  And I gotta say…I’m LOVIN’ it, too!!!
Here’s a little peek at this week’s Brown Bag Book Club…our first of the year!!

So here’s how the book club works…
Choose a story to read at the beginning of the week.  This week, we read The Mitten. {We did a few whole group reader’s responses throughout the week…venn diagram, flow chart, story elements, etc.}  At some point during the week, have the kids fill out a graphic organizer/thinking map and glue it to a brown paper bag {lunch sack}.  I had my kids fill out a graphic organizer focusing on characters, setting, main idea, and author’s purpose.  Any kind of graphic organizer/thinking map/response to reading will do!
The kids held on to their paper bags until this afternoon {Friday}.  We ended up having an odd number of kids in the class today, so I grouped the kids into 3’s.  We talked about book clubs and their purpose…the kids were SO on board!  As I was passing out the popcorn for their bags, I had the kids talk to their groups about whether or not they liked the book, why, and what part of the book was their favorite.  I heard some GOOD discussions!
Once they had their popcorn, Brown Bag Book Club was in session!  I used these questions to guide discussion…
I gave the kids about 3-5 minutes to discuss each question and then have one group share their thoughts.  They were SO into it!  I couldn’t believe how well the discussions really went.  It was so fun to hear my kids really “dissect” the book.  Of course, the popcorn pick-me-up really helped, too :) 
I plan on having the Brown Bag Book Club meet every Friday afternoon.  I’ll use a different set of guiding questions every week {depending on the book} and the graphic organizer will change, too!  I think we’ll be using a beginning/middle/end graphic organizer this week because that’s one of our week’s objectives.  And I’ll always serve popcorn!  The kids just LOVE it!!! 
This might be my most favorite Friday activity!!!  It’s an awesome way to end the week and the kids get SO into it all.  I HIGHLY recommend starting a book club of your own!!  And if you do start one, let me know!!!  I’d LOVE to hear how yours is organized!! 

Wanna share an old post from your early blogging days?!?!  Even if your "early" days were only a few weeks ago?!  I hope you do!!!  Just post a link to an "old" post below :)  Can't wait to see what I've been missing ;)


  1. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband, Cara ... what a beautiful blessing!
    Thanks so much for this opportunity to share a post filled with fun memories. Such a clever idea for a linky!

    Primary Inspiration

  2. Happy anniversary, Cara! I love your dress! So pretty!
    What a fun linky! It's cool to go through old posts. Lots of great ideas hidden back there! :)

    Happy Thursday!
    First Grade Follies

  3. Happy Anniversary! I'm so glad Landon is okay, how scary!
    Thanks for hosting this linky!!
    Happy TBT!

  4. Thanks for hosting this linky.
    Happy Anniversary.

    School Is a Happy Place

  5. Happy 9 years and that Tuna Tartare looks awesome! This also the first time I am seeing the Brown Bag Book CLub activity, it's a brilliant idea. Thanks.

  6. Happy Anniversary! I celebrated my first anniversary with my hubby on Monday! Super cute idea on the Brown Bag Book Club! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for hosting such a fun linky! Happy Anniversary! *LOVE* the idea of the weekly book club...I'm sure that made Fridays something special to look forward to!

    A+ Firsties

  8. I love the Brown Bag Book Club and I am so doing that next year. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

    Hooty's Homeroom

  9. Yea...we just linked up for the first time!! Love the pics of you and the hubby! You are so stinkin cute!! It was a delight to meet you last week! Thanks again for a great dinner!! Hope to be able to do it again!:)

  10. Happy Anniversary! Mine is coming up soon! This is my first time linking up, thanks for hosting!


    Fancy Free in Fourth

  11. Happy Anniversary!! After reading your original post about Brown Bag Book Club I began it with my class. They LOVE it and I've continued it each year. I switch up the snacks and it's always a surprise on what will be in the bag. It's a GREAT Friday activity and GREAT way to get kiddos talking about books. Thanks for sharing!!

    First Grade Lyons' Den

  12. Happy Anniversary!! I am so exited about the Brown Bag Book Club - what a great idea. I can't wait to use it this year! :) Thanks for the inspiration & thanks for hosting the linky every week, too.

    First Grade Fairytales

  13. Oh, happy happy anniversary, Cara! I commented on another blogger's post this month that I never take anyone's anniversaries for granted anymore, and I am so happy for you & your hubby! what a beautiful, God-honoring couple you are!! I remember reading your "brown bag book club" originally, but I wasn't on Pinterest then...definitely pinning this idea away for later;) Thanks for such a fun linky!

  14. Gives a new meaning to "I'm brown bagging it today". :D I love all of your ideas & happy anniversary!

    You Might Be a First Grader….

  15. I love the Brown Bag Book Club idea! I want to do that this next year! Thanks for sharing! Happy Anniversary!

  16. The Brown Bag Book Club would be GREAT for our kiddos this year. Can't wait to try it out!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  17. I love the brown bag idea! So fun and it gets kiddos talking about their stories. This would be such a boost for comprehension. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Happy Anniversary! Glad to hear your little one is okay!!!

    24/7 Teacher Amy Harrod

  19. Happy Anniversary!!! And I love the brown bag book club idea!! How fun!! I will definitely have to try that out in my class next year!!

    Lessons with Laughter

  20. Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby! Mine was yesterday , too....31 years for us. Your app and dessert look yummy! You are such an inspiration to us all. Wishing you many more years of wedded bliss!

  21. Happy anniversary, Cara! Your family is so stinkin cute!!

    Down Under Teacher

  22. Love this idea! This might just be the idea I was looking for to incorporate more themed books or units into my curriculum. I have a question though. If you are reading "The Mitten" to them, then what are they reading to practice or learn how to read? Do you have a time when they read leveled readers, like reading groups?? Or do you have a basal reader that they read from??

    Samantha :)

  23. I tried this with my kids the last three weeks of school and they LOVED it! I will definitely use it throughout all year next year. Thanks!

    Thirsty Firsties

  24. Happy anniversary! Me and my hubs are celebrating 10 years tomorrow! (but, I have a "date" with my 7 year old to see a diner theater show--Cats!) We'll be celebrating on the fly! Life does get in the way--but I'd have it no other way!

    Thanks for the linky! I love your ideas!!!
    Rulin' The Roost

  25. Happy Anniversary! Can you be any prettier??? Such a gorgeous family! Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

  26. Brown Bag Book Clubs sound like so much fun! Thanks for re-posting this idea. I love the summer for relaxation, but it is also a great time to find new ideas to incorporate into the next school year. Happy anniversary! You'll have to do something big for your 10 year next year :)

    First Grade Smiles

  27. Girl, we have the same anniversary!!! I hope it was great!!!
    Mrs. Richardson's Class

  28. Love your dress! This post made me hungry!

  29. You both looked so happy in your picture ~ Happy anniversary!!!! I just pinned your brown bag book club idea. That sounds like something I would really like to try next year. BTW I am so loving the idea of this linky party. . . everything old is new again. I will be back next week to link up for sure. Thanks for hosting.

    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars