Friday, February 23, 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

100th Day of School 2018

The 100th day of school is just around the corner for many of us.  I have blogged several times about the activities I do in my classroom each year.  I've received requests for all the items I use in my activities. Now I've put it all together in one product.  I've include pictures and details about how to use the 100th Day activities in your classroom. You can get it here.

If you want to read the original blog post on how to implement these activities in your own classroom, click here.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

MLK Day 2018

My students love it when I put up an upcoming holiday on our math calendar!  But what is funny, is that its not only the holidays that we are out of school, but the ones we are in school for too.  It's because they've realized that I always plan something fun that day!

The next holiday will be MLK Day, and my students know that on Tuesday, when we return, our class will do lots of things related to Martin Luther King, Jr.  I have several things planned all throughout the day, and I've listed them below.

Morning Work:
1. "I have a dream" color sheet.
2.  Thinking map:  Circle map to show what they already know about Dr. King.
Shared Reading:
1. Read aloud the book titled Martin's Big Words.

Here is a good choice for an upper grades read aloud.  It's called Who Was Martin Luther King?

Independent Reading/Reading Groups:
1. Read and complete color/comprehension sheets  (first one for grades 1-2, second one for grades 3-5)
 
Shared Writing:
1. Together we will create a class chart titled "How to be like Martin".  This will open up a great discussion of the book we read earlier during Shared Reading.
Independent Writing:
1. Students will create their own "I Have a Dream" small book.
Social Studies:
1. Watch Brain Pop video about the life of MLK or read the book titled .
2. Complete cut/paste time line activity.
3. Compete cut/paste fill-in-the blank activity sheet (Upper grades:  scrambled words fill-in-the-blank activity sheet)
 
If you are interested in doing any or all of these things in your classroom, you can download the complete unit titled, Martin Luther King, Jr., An American Hero here.

Here is a freebie just for stopping by. 
  
Just click here to get your freebie.  




Sunday, November 26, 2017

TYT Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale

TPT is joining the rest of the cyber world tomorrow and Tuesday for its big Cyber Sale!  Now is the time to grab up all those products you've been looking at, but wishing were on sale!  I've got plenty of shopping to do myself!  So go start shopping!  



You might want to check out my newest Christmas product to use with QR code readers.  It's a collection of links to 20 great read aloud books with a Christmas theme.  My kiddos love using the iPads in the listening station to read along with these wonderful Christmas stories!


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mothers' Day Craft Idea 2017

Are you planning on having your students make a craft for Mothers' Day?  Here is one of my favorites!  Flower pots!

I love the flower pots my own children have made over the years, some were from school and some were from church.

In most crafts, I like to include something unique to the child.  To do that in these flower pots, I have them use their finger prints.  Their finger prints make the ladybugs on their flower pot.

Here is all that you need to get started... plus a clay pot. 

I have my first graders come to my table in groups of 3, so that I can guide them. If you have older students, your can have larger groups and this will go much faster.  I turn the pot over and write their initials and the year on the bottom with a Sharpie.


Then I put a bit of red paint onto a paper plate.   I show them how to dip their finger into the paint, blot it on paper plate if needed, and then press their finger onto the clay pot.  I have a model already made so they can see that I want them to make a top row and a bottom row of finger prints.


Once they have made prints all around their pot, I set them aside to dry.



I do this next part after they go home.   (However, if you have older kiddos, they may be able to to this themselves.)  I use the Sharpie to draw the ladybug features (head, antenna, line down the back, and dots).


The next day, I have students use a paintbrush and the yellow paint, to make a yellow band all around the top.  They love painting with the paintbrush, and they do a really good job.  For first graders, I must show them how to make back-and-forth strokes with the brush so that their finished product looks neat.  Then I have the pots dry again for a few hours.  (Sorry I forgot to take any more pictures, but as I make them again this year, I will upload them.)

After my kiddos go home, I pull out my trusty Sharpie (and sometimes 2 or 3), and I write the following phrase on top of the yellow paint, going around the pot.
"Like a flower, my love for you grows and grows..." (I include the dots at the end)

Lastly, I have my students decorate a white paper bag including the words "Happy Mothers' Day!" I wrap each pot in colorful tissue paper and we put them inside their handmade gift bag.  Ta-da!  All Done!!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

St. Patrick's Day 2017

One of the most exciting things to do on St. Patrick's Day for first graders is to have a leprechaun visit  the classroom.  It seems that some leprechauns wreak havoc on the classroom, while others leave a few scattered gold-covered, chocolate coins.  I prefer the latter because I really don't want to clean up the room any more than I already do.


To add to our independent reading this month, I made QR Codes for March and April read alouds for several books about St. Patrick's Day.

At our school we have B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) day every Wednesday, and sometimes on Fridays as well.  We are fortunate to have a few iPads in our classroom as well.  I rotate the classroom iPads and students who don't have one, know they will get a turn next time.  All you need is a QR Code scanner which can be downloaded for free from the app store.


I like these QR codes because they do not show advertisements to my students at the beginning of the read aloud.  My students like them because they feel so hi-tech using their devices to read the wonderful stories themselves.





Easter comes in March this year, so I added Easter books in this QR Codes for March and April Read Alongs  I've included several of my favorite books.  Here is a list of the books included.

  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
  • The History of St. Patrick’s Day
  • That’s What Leprechauns Do
  • Jack and the Leprechaun
  • Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
  • The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever
  • There Was and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover
  • The Leprechaun’s Gold
  • Fin M’Coul, The Giant of Knockmany Hill
  • The Easter Egg
  • Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure
  • The Night Before Easter
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Marley and the Great Easter Egg Hunt
  • The Easter Bunny’s Assistant
  • Bunny Cakes
  • Happy Easter, Curious George
  • Happy Easter, Little Critter
  • Happy Easter, Mouse!
  • The Runaway Bunny

There are times I want my students to respond to a book they've read independently.  Here is a FREE copy of one of the response sheets I use in my classroom.  You can cut it in half and have students paste the sheet into their regular Reader's Notebook.  Another ides is to make a Response Journal and put in several blank copies of this page or others like it.  Then have your students fill out one response per day, or as you desire.

If you happen to be a second or third grade teacher reading this blog, you probably teach the difference between simple and compound subjects and predicates.  Here is an activity I made to help, at least with the subject topic.  It's called St. Patrick's Day Simple Subjects vs. Compound Subjects.


I always love to include an educational video that explains the origins and traditions about our national holidays.  
Here is a great one that tells all about St. Patrick's Day.


I hope you and your students enjoy St. Patty's Day this March 17th!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

What are you doing for Dr. Seuss Week?

I can't believe February is almost over and March will be here next week!  In fact Thursday, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Our school will celebrate this beloved children's author with a full week of Seuss-like fun!


  • On Monday, students will wear a hat and bring their favorite Dr. Seuss book to read during reading.  Our principal will read The Cat in the Hat to each grade level.  
  • Tuesday will be crazy sock day and we will read Fox in Socks.  
  • Of course Wednesday will be Wacky Wednesday, and all the children will dress in their wackiest of outfits.  
  • Thursday students will wear green for Green Eggs and Ham.  
  • On Friday, we're all wearing our favorite college shirt along with reading Oh, The Places You'll Go book.   
Dr. Seuss's birthday coincides with Read Across America Day, so I really wanted my kiddos to have as many books written by Dr. Seuss as possible.  I was so disappointed when I found that I only had 7 or 8 in my classroom.  So I went to our media center and found only 2 that were not already check out by students or teachers. With only about 10 books, it didn't look like we were going to do much Dr. Seuss reading at all... and then I had an idea!



I would make QR codes linking to books that could be read with an iPad!  I worked on this for several days and when I was done, I had 20 books linked to videos which showed the words, in most cases, on the iPad screen, as well as the sound of someone reading the story aloud!



As you can see, last year my kiddos enjoyed traditional books 
as well as our new access to read alongs with our brand new QR Codes!


My students were so engaged and excited to get to read so many great treasures by Dr. Seuss!  We actually used these all throughout the week.  If you are interested in checking out the set, you can click on the link below and download a preview.





If you want to see the fun Dr. Seuss-inspired math activity called 
 click on the link in this sentence. 

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