Apollo 11 Moon Landing Activities

This summer you can discover fantastic space-themed events, as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of America’s first steps on the moon. Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those first steps on the moon as the rest of the world watched and cheered in amazement.

The moon landing marked the day American positioned itself as a global leader in science. Fifty years later, we remember this mission. So how do we get our students to feel the aw of this moment? If you visit NASA’s web site, you will find events all over American to attend celebrating Apollo’s 50th Anniversary.

As a teacher, I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn about the first time man walked on the moon. So I created a 2 week lesson plan that would dive into the event while hitting standards. I wanted parents to be involved, so I added a “HOME CONNECTION” project which included them making a rocket ship. I wanted to make those two weeks Apollo 11 themed in all the subject area, so students wrote about themselves going to the moon, made books, created a STEM Challenge of making a Lunar Lander, studied vocabulary, and made books.

Lunar Lander Apollo 11 STEM Challenge

Young students love pretending, so how much fin is it for them to pretend to be an astronaut who wants a job by filling out an application! Students love making little “space men” finger space holders on craft sticks for them to use during writing activities.

Apollo 11 Activities

Moon phases are easily displayed on and “ipad” printable during science. The best way to really get your students to understand the event if to share videos with them from NASA. It will help them understand the how long ago it was when we visited the moon. You can talk about the importance of teamwork to get to the moon.

What are you going to do with your students to celebrate The Eagle landing?

Alphabet Practice in Literacy Centers

One of many fantastic topics to teach in kindergarten is the alphabet! Students are like sponges in the classroom ready to absorb anything you put a song to when it comes to letters. As a kindergarten teacher, I was always looking for the most engaging ways to energize my students, so they would quickly learn their letters.

Letter Recognition Worksheets Center Activities for Pre K - Kindergarten

Letter Identification Activities

Sometimes I couldn’t find what I needed, so I would design it myself. I wanted students to have a lot of practice with each letter. In centers, it is not enough for students to write a letter. I wanted to help create a hands-on experience. So, we would use play doh to form letters, trace them on each other’s backs, and use rice or pudding in a pan to form a letter with our fingers. The class’ favorite way to learn about letter identification was to solve mysteries. It could be escape rooms, puzzles, or problems to solve as a classroom to find missing letters from the word wall. Anything that seemed “secret” was a hit!

Escape Room Alphabet Zoo Animal Mystery Pre-K - 1st

Morning Work

Every morning my students would get a morning work tub with different activities. This would provide extra reinforcement with the letter for the week. They could choose a hands-on activity or their Morning Work Journal. Students played games, looked around the room for the hidden letters, and had to find all the letters for the week that were in a large pile mixed with other letters. They loved morning work!

Kindergarten Morning Work Math and Literacy Bundle

The Next Step

Once students grasp letter identification, it’s time to work on the letter sounds. This is much more difficult than letter identification, but so rewarding!

Classroom Crisis – Teacher Shortage

Teachers are resigning from teaching in droves! I’m ONE of them. I loved teaching in the classroom. Being in the classroom for 20 years is one of my greatest life treasures. Now, like many teachers, I resigned and work full time out of the classroom, leaving my tenure behind. My field is still in education, but I’m out of the classroom.

WHY ARE THEY LEAVING?

While I can never talk on behalf of all teachers, I can share why I left the classroom. After meeting lots of other teachers who left the classroom, I found that we all had similar stories. The student behaviors are getting worse. You would think that would be the reason we left, but it is not. Helping troubled students was part of our vision. There’s an amount of pride in being able to help a student through their grief, anger, or loss. The reward it high. Some students we never think we reach, but years later, we receive letters of appreciation from them for our hard work.

So why? It is not about the behaviors, it’s about the lack of support from the administration and the district. There are many administrators who don’t have the best interest of the children in mind. Some have used a behavior situation to encourage a teacher to leave who they might not like, or they see that one teacher is talented with behavior problems and overload them with too many. The district doesn’t provide proper training for teachers to deal with severe problems. School counselors are busy doing lunch duty, testing or some other activity that has nothing to do with their job description. With many evaluations today, the teacher gets written up for not being able to handle behavior problems. How is writing a teacher up helping them learn how to handle a future behavior problem?

The lack of support is a helpless feeling for a teacher. Many teachers have had nervous breakdowns from being physically abused from the students and emotionally abused by their district who provide not support to the teacher. When you have to weigh teaching in a classroom with your own personal health, there is really only one option.

Drowning, Ocean, Emergency, Safety, Water, Sea, Drown

PREVENTION?

Yes, this can be prevented to where we can retain our most experienced and qualified teachers. Teachers need to gain the respect of being the professional in the classroom. They need to be taken seriously when they inform administration about behaviors. There should be a plan in place that EMPOWERS the teacher. The plan needs to provide the teacher with the knowledge of how to handle problems, insurance that they are not alone while dealing with severe behaviors, and real training prior to getting in the classroom that is on-going. Our students are in crisis! Our dedicated teachers are leaving! It’s time to fix the problem.

The Power of Visualization

Have you ever heard about how powerful visualization can be to help people with their confidence, business, or personal life? Well, there is science to back it up! One of my favorite examples of visualization was listening Jim Carey talk about seeing his future. He would visualize being successful in detail when he had nothing. It made him feel better. He wrote himself a check for ten million dollars and dated it for 1995 for acting services rendered. Years later in 1995, he found out he was going to make ten million dollars on Dumb and Dumber.

That is a perfect example of how powerful your thoughts can be to your real life.

Why don’t more of us use this tool?

I found many scientific studies that show that the brain doesn’t differentiate between a real memory and a visualized one. If you visualize an item, an action or moments, your brain chemistry actually changes as if it was real. Your mind records the memory.

Become Confident

I used this technique many times when I needed to build my confidence. One time I had to talk to someone I feared, so I visualized the conversation before it happened. I found that I dominated the conversation and had the outcome I desired. If I didn’t visualize it, it could have left the conversation open to the other person to dominate. I would bet that the outcome would have been different.

Visualization is a skill I used when I first became a teacher. I feared talking in front of students. Even reading a book in front of them caused me a little anxiety. I would practice in my mind. The emotion of joy would fill my body as I could see the students gaining understanding from my lessons and giggling at my tone. It helped me get through my first year. Repetition turned my fear into something that is as natural as breathing for me now.

The trick is to pretend like you already have what your are wanting and attach an emotion to the event. This will ease your fear and anxiety of an event you might feel dread about attending. It will boost your confidence about following through with something you may fear.

PROOF

Many studies show that using visualization is effective to improving skills. Some studies showed evidence of visualization being just as effective as real practice when it comes to improving skills. This is why athletes’ use it in their training. It works well!

HOW To Visualize

Here are the techniques that are effective.

  1. Close your eyes, mentally state your goal or your intention of the visualization.
  2. Imagine the situation or event with all of your senses.
  3. Place a STRONG emotion with the images. Feel as if it is real so your brain can record all the images while you feel the emotion.
  4. Focus on breathing calmly. Repeat the whole process until it is clear and easy to imagine.

I hope these tips for visualization are helpful for you to gain confidence, take control of your life and change your mindset to achieve your dreams.

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Literacy Night Ideas

If your goal is to include families to be engaged in your family literacy night at school, you need to be creative. You will find some great ideas here. We will also focus on a Dinosaur Themed Escape Room that the entire school can participate in during Literacy Night. Here are some ideas, tricks and tips for a successful family literacy night.

Know your GOAL

First, you will want to think about what your main objective is for the night. Do you want to build family and school relations, connect the student with the parent, build and excitement about literacy, sell book fair books as a fundraiser or support parents with helping their children at home with literacy skills? Once you know your goals, it will help you think about your activities for the event.

Theme

Know your audience. What challenges will there be? Knowing your challenges ahead of time will help you prevent any mishaps during the night. Are there kids with needs, language challenges, or is it difficult to get your families to participate in school events after hours? Picking a great theme can motivate families to participate. Here are some theme ideas:

  • Camping
  • Reading in Pjs
  • Movie Night
  • Trunk or Treat
  • Superhero Books
  • Hollywood
  • Dinosaur Hunt Escape Room
  • Sports Jersey Night
  • Around the World

Activities

Selecting a theme will help you come up with some great themed activities. For example, if you are doing a camping theme, have tents up, have a special reading about camping, make s’mores at a station, a reading picnic or a photo booth with them catching a BIG FISH. The BIG FISH could be a book. All of the themes could have photo booths, professional storytellers, giveaways and stations full of literacy activities that include the parent.

Help and Reminders

Finally, sending home reminders regularly will increase the participation. Written invitations, phone messages, texts, calendars and emails are all great ways to remind families to participate in the Family Literacy Night. Most importantly, make sure you send a reminder home the day of the event. It helps to provide some incentive of a book giveaway that is high on the student’s interests meter or gift cards.

If you need help running stations, request parent volunteers. You can offer child care where a teacher watches siblings for the parents who are volunteering. You should encourage teachers to participate. One way is to let teachers know the theme, and let them pick an activity they would like to do with families. It doesn’t hurt to offer an incentive to the teacher volunteers either.

Dino-MITE Escape Room for Literacy Night

Kids love dinosaurs! What better way to get parents engaged with their children than an Escape Room with a dinosaur theme that they all can enjoy. Even teachers have fun with this Literacy Night theme! This escape room can be used for literacy night or for a single classroom to reinforce sight words, blends, problem solving and teamwork. They will have to open a box with surprises to escape their room! No need for locks or fancy boxes either!

This escape room is editable, but it comes with two activities that are differentiated. Students will solve 3 clues in order to solve the mystery, find a baby dinosaur and break out of the classroom. There are step-by-step directions, but you can easily change things around to fit your needs. The sight words, blends and riddle are all editable, if needed. It takes about 45 minutes to set up, 30-40 minutes to solve all the clues and 10 minutes to clean up! You will find invites, homework passes, reminders and photos of the easy set up. Check it out!

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Literacy Night Idea
Dinosaur Escape Room Teacher Volunteers for Literacy Night
Literacy Night Activity

Want to learn about how to set up your own classroom Escape Room? Check this blog out HERE.

Summer Practice for Kids

Activities for Kids that ENHANCE Summer

If you have ever worried about your kids suffering from summer brain drain, then there are some easy things you can do to keep them motivated to learn all summer.

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Here is a list of things to tell children’s parents to do with your child at home:

Helpful Tips

1.Crack open a dictionary.  Ask them to find a hard word like, “integrity” in the dictionary. Then, have them explain the meaning to you.

2. Teach your child how to do the laundry.

3. Play a board game with your child.

4. Teach your child to set the table.  Have them count all the silverware.  Reinforce the “game” by offering desert for the right answer.  Continue with teaching them how to make a special dinner.

5. Children at any age love to paint! Give them water colors and paper outside. Let them go crazy with splattering/flicking paint on the paper.  If they have an outdoor playhouse, let them paint it with water colors.  When it rains, it come right off.

6. Encourage your child to tell you a prediction to an ending to a movie or story.

7. Tell your child they can only watch TV or play a video game if they can tell you the time on the clock. (not digital…) 

8. Encourage your child to do a garage sale with you or open a lemonade stand to earn a little extra money.  Tell family members to come visit so they can not only participate, but test them on giving change for items.

9. Father’s Day is often overlooked during the school year, so let your child make a project or go shopping for dad and give them a budget.

10. Ask your child to come up with words that rhyme and challenge them to make a rap using the rhyming words.

11. At bed time, ask your child to sequence the events of their day.

12. Create a new dance move or hand shake with your child. 

13. Do some wood working with your child, but letting them use a hammer and nails to build something like a birdhouse with your supervision.

14. Ask your child to show you a Jumping Jack, Push Up, or Skipping. 

 You would be surprised how many kids can’t do these tasks.

15. Use chalk outside to make Hopscotch. Teach them how to play.

16. Teach your child figure out how to play frisbee or tennis.

Summer Practice for Kids

Sending home summer practice packets for kids is a great way to keep kids actively learning all summer too!

Over 90 printables to review what students should already know from 4th Grade to practice on before they enter 5th Grade.  It has math, literacy, and writing activities.  There is a summer weekly journal for kids to write daily about their summer events.  Parents have suggestions and directions they can do to keep their kids prepared for the next level!

CLICK HERE FOR:

Related Products

☀️ End of the YEAR Summer Packet From 1st grade to 2nd

☀️ End of the Year Summer Packet For KINDERGARTEN to 1st Grade Review

☀️ End of the Year Summer Packet Pre-K to Kindergarten

☀️ Summer Packet for 2nd Grade to 3rd Grade

☀️ Summer Packet for 4th Grade to 5th Grade (NEW)

Make Learning FUN!

WHY?

I had someone once try to make me feel bad about having fun while teaching in my kindergarten classroom. They even said I should use the word “engaging” instead of fun. 

Never mistake smiles and laughter in the classroom as not learning. It is the way to build rapport and capture interest. It is a tool to open the door to learning! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty about having fun in your classroom! Open that DOOR! 

Always?

Not every lesson is going to be a Disney experience. We want students to value learning even if it’s not always fun. Plus, teachers would be exhausted planning lessons. That is a great reason to used Teachers Pay Teachers to find “FUN” lessons. Rigorous learning entails deep thought and reflecting on those thoughts. You should also run a very tight ship when giving instructions or it will lead to repeat instructions and misunderstandings.

We are competing with technology now in a new way. Today’s technology is a game changer in education! One great way to ensure engagement is to integrate technology into your lessons. I try to make every educational resource have some kind of fun hook or exciting end of the unit review to capture a moment that students will be inspired to learn. Most of them include technology.

I want children to wake up excited to come to school. FUN lessons are a perfect tool to increase student engagement, to retain information, and to build a rapport with your students. We should strive for creating fun memorable moments with students regularly. Research shows that engaging students in the learning process, including technology, movement, comedy and collaboration increases learning.


🍏👉 Share your ways you build rapport with your students.

Quote: I dream of a world where children wake up excited to go to school!

Secret Tips to Successful Goal Setting

Hi, everybody!  I promised you last week that I would share with you my secret tips for goal setting, making sure you feel successful at the end of the day, and ways that you actually will follow through with your goals.  Time got away from me last week, but I am here now!

I want to let you know that making goals in today’s world is a MUST! You have got to set goals or you are just going to spin your wheel’s and not get anywhere.  So let me share with you some of my goal setting secrets.

First of all, you have to know what your big mission is whether that be doing something great in your business, losing weight, or wanting more family time.  

What is it that you want?  

This is going to help you decide what your goals are in the morning.  I want you to do these first thing when you wake up. You could do these at night, but I believe that it is important to do this first thing in the morning!  

Write Down Your Goals

So when you wake up, before you grab your phone, I want you to write down three goals.  These are doable or fairly simple goals. I want you to physically write these down. Even though you may believe that you can just say them in your head and memorize them, studies show that when you write something down (like these goals) you are fives times more likely to follow through with your goals.  

My three goals for today:

  1. Do a Facebook video about goals! (DONE!)
  2. Write a Blog. (In the Process!)
  3. Workout for 30 minutes. (DONE!)

Visualize Your Goal

Now this next part is very important! Don’t skip this!  Right after I write that down, I close my eyes for about 30 seconds, and I visualize myself doing each one of my goals.  I will also try to attach some sort of feeling with it. How will I feel after I am done with the workout or how will it feel to do my Facebook Live, and to follow through with something I told everybody I was going to do? I put a feeling with each goal by visualizing it.  

These goals can be little things, but they are all leading up to the big mission or mission statement that you are wanting to work up to completing or accomplishing.  Harvard studies actually show that if you are doing little things that are of some importance to you, and you finish them in a short period of time you will go to sleep feeling successful, accomplished, and satisfied.  

Sometimes life happens. I will make 3 simple goals that I think will get done within one hour, and I do not even get them completed that day!  That’s okay, because I will just add them on to the next day. I put them on my list for tomorrow, no big deal. I still feel successful the next day if I get them done, and I will still feel accomplished.  Chances are if you can not visualize it when you are trying to think about your goals, you are not going to do it. So if you come up with something too big and you can not picture yourself doing it in that 30 second time frame, you will most likely not follow through.  

Final Goal Setting Secrets

Those are all my goal setting secrets that actually have been working for me that I wanted to share with you.  Make sure that you know what your end game is or your end mission. If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?

Go ahead and start tomorrow!  

Create 3 simple goals that are doable, write them down, visualize it, and FOLLOW THROUGH!  Now go be a great goal setter!

Black History for KIDS

Celebrate

Black History Month presents a great opportunity, not only to celebrate the achievements of African-Americans who have helped shape our culture, but also time to reflect on where we are as a nation.  We need to continue to grow together.  Above all, it is a time to rise-up to remember that the only race that defines us is the human race.

In the Classroom

Teaching Black History to children helps build a connection with history, so they can better understand the past, and develop compassion for other people.   Furthermore, engaging children in activities such as reading books, listening to music, making meals, or watching video footage of actual events are great ways to teach kids about the African-American experience. These are activities that can be explored all year, not just in February. Almost every new teacher asks for ideas on how to teach Black History in the classroom, so here are some ideas to consider.

  • Food to try.
    • Stoplight Cookies with M&Ms (discuss the inventor of the stoplight, Garrett Morgan)
    • Twice-Baked Yams
    • Okra
    • Banana Pudding
    • Sweet Tea
    • Shrimp Creole
    • Peanut Soup (discuss George Washington Carver) *Make sure you check for any food allergies before serving.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a video. (Make sure it is culturally sensitive by maintaining a strict level of sensitivity to language.)
  • Make a craft.
  • Seek out guest speakers.
    • I like to find a parent or a teacher who can talk about their choice of an African-American who made an impact in our cultural. They can read a book or do a speech. This should be approved by an administrator.
  • Write about your favorite African American Hero.

Finally, here is a list of African-Americans who are influential for students to write about:
•Oprah
•Elijah McCoy
•Harriet Tubman
•Frederick Douglass
•George Washington Carver
•Booker T. Washington
•Samuel Morris
•Dred Scott
•Matthew Henson
•Garrett A. Morgan
•James Weldon Johnson
•Colin Powell
•Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
•Barack Obama
•Mary Mcleod Bethune
•Ruby Bridges
•Mahalia Jackson
•Marian Anderson: singer
•Maya Angelou: singer, actress, activist, writer, poet
•Lil Hardin Armstrong: jazz musician
•Pearl Bailey: singer, performer, stage, film, special ambassador
•Marian Anderson: singer
•Regina Anderson: librarian, playwright
•Josephine Baker: entertainer
•Willie B. Barrow: minister, civil rights activist
•Daisy Bates: journalist, civil rights activist

New Years TEACHER Giveaway

Just in time to start the new year off right…. A TEACHER TpT Gift Card GIVEAWAY!

Just click the links, follow a teacher store, write the follow number in the area provided and click enter. The more stores you follow, the better your chance are to win. Good LUCK! I hope YOU get to enjoy a Teachers Pay Teachers Shopping Spree! Happy New Year!

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