Winter Olympics 2018 in the Classroom

Are you ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics in your classroom?  It is such an exciting time to be in the classroom and to connect with your students with what they are most likely watching at home.  It is full of history, inspirational stories, and competition.  What’s not to love?  I’m so excited about the Winter Games this year!  Living in Florida, we don’t get to see a lot of snow here, but we love to watch it on television.  I made some Winter Sports Resources designed with your classroom in mind to help them make connections, learn the history of Olympic symbols and traditions, and to create classroom discussions. (Click the photo to LEARN MORE)

Winter Olympics new cover

winter sports interactive notebook cover

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Summer Olympic Sports Activities for Kids

Summer Olympic in Tokyo

Athletes from all over the world gather to compete in the Summer Olympic Games every four years. In 2016, they were held in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. The 2020 Summer Olympic sports activities will be held in Tokyo, Japan. 2020 will mark fifty-six years after having organised the Olympic Games at the Japanese capital for the second time. This is an exciting topic to bring into your classroom with lots of opportunities to create classroom discussions about summer sports. As a result, families like to watch the games with their children, so your lessons and discussions can easily be reinforced at home.

Summer Sports Activities

The 2020 Olympic Agenda will use many existing competitions such as judo, equestrian events, gymnastics, archery, swimming, baseball, boxing, surfing, field hockey and volleyball just to name a few. There are 47 sports being represented. You can check them out on their web site. The Tokyo National Stadium will be revamped and replaced by a new area for the opening and closing Ceremonies. You can find a great video about Olympic Facts for Kids on YouTube. Why not have an entire unit on Summer Sports during this special time in history? Students can get some physical fitness, learn about the history of sports and have fun while incorporating all subject areas.

Summer Olympic Sports Activities for Kids

Summer Olympic Activities to do with Kids

Teaching young students about history can be difficult. However, it’s not that hard. Here are some summer Olympic IDEAS:

  • Compare and Contrast Summer and Winter Olympics
  • Make Shadow Puppets for Students to Guess the Activity
  • Write About Being a Sponsor
  • Write to Persuading Parents to Attend The Games
  • Create a Torch and Discuss the History of the Flame
  • Graph Student’s Favorite Summer Sport
  • Make Medals for Different Sporting Events
  • Design a Shirt or a Hat for The Summer Olympics
  • Keep a Journal of Each Sport Discussed
  • Use STEM Activities to Represent each Sport
  • Write the Room with Summer Sport Vocabulary Words
  • Watch Re-plays of the BEST Moments in Class
  • Read Books like Elympics by X.J. Kennedy (Exposes both Summer and Winter Olympics)

Summer Olympic Interactive Notebook

Love using Interactive notebook in your classroom? I do too! There are some great printables to support teaching about Summer Sports. Don’t just cover the sports, but add the rich history of the Summer Olympic Sports. These lessons can lead to easily fitting in adjectives during activities. Let students describe the sports. Lead students to writing activities about various summer sports by keeping data in a daily journal with your students.

Summer Olympic Sports Interactive Notebook for Kids

Have fun sharing the Summer Olympics with your class! It is an exciting sporting even that doesn’t happen often. Summer Olympic sports activities will provide a lot of great experiences for your kids!

Read Across America, Book Tastings and MARCH Lesson Plans

Hello Teacher Brains!

I hope you all have ready for some March fun with your students!  My dad would say, “Work hard and play hard.”  So, before you hit Spring Break, let’s talk about a lot of work that has gone into helping to ease your workload, but still makes you look like you have been laboring 24/7!

No More Seuss?

Next week is Read Across America Week.  Did you know that they are rebranding?  The week is no longer limited to Dr. Seuss for the celebration.  They even have a new logo that appeals to students of all ages, backgrounds and will celebrate a nation of diverse readers.  Of course, who doesn’t enjoy dressing up like Dr. Seuss characters and serving green eggs and ham, but now the new theme is opening ideas for more activities and resources to encourage reading!

This brings me to my NEW baby! Okay, it’s not a human baby, but I birthed it! Lol

Book Tasting Escape Room

I loved the idea of doing a Book Tasting for the celebration, but I also love doing Escape Rooms.  So, I made a resource to include both! Check it out!  You just add books, plates and tablecloths to the celebration while students discover a challenge and work to beat the clock by “tasting” different book genres.  The genres include non-fiction, fiction, biographies and poetry.  There is a fun video to use at the beginning to HOOK your students.  You can decorate your room simple with adding plates and table clothes or go all out making it a Harry Potter theme or Pizza restaurant.  The sky’s the limit!

Dr. Seuss Week Activities | Read Across America Activities | Right to Read Week

Everything that I made the previous years that are great to use with Dr. Seuss books are still in demand, I bundled the resources to save you some money.  Check out the rhyming work game, elephant reading hats, book box author reports and so much more that can be easily used during the week no matter what books you are using in primary. YES!!! The BOOK TASTING ESCAPE ROOM is included!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon too! This is one of my favorite weeks with leprechaun footprints, glitter and messy rooms.  Here are some of my favorite resources:

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Escape the Room K-3

St. Patrick's Day Escape Room

Leprechaun Headband (hilarious!  The kids love this one!)

Rainbow Craft

How to Catch a Leprechaun Writing

The Paper Leprechaun Activity

Lucky Charms Sorting and Graphing

Leprechaun Unit with Writing and Crafts

Color by Sight Word St. Patrick’s Day Edition

NEW *****NEW****** NEW ******NEW ********NEW

If you Give a STEM Challenge!  This is my new series of STEM activities that relate to Laura Numberoff  books.  She is one of my favorite authors.  I was even LUCKY enough to meet her one time when I first began teaching.  She inspired me to be a writer.  I have two completed.

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie has students reading the story and building a mouse house!  This one is good for primary and intermediate students with different activities to differentiate in a SNAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Give a Pig A Pancake has student reading the story and building a treehouse for the pig’s brother. So much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need editable word wall templates?  Well, I have you covered with this download.  Just type your words in the text boxes provided, pick your favorite fonts and colors to match your room!

Editable Word Wall Templates

FIRST GRADE TEACHERS,

Check out the 120th Day of School Mystery Escape Room!

I hope you all have a fantastic month! Make sure you are subscribe to my website newsletter so you can keep up with new releases, teacher-author courses and giveaways.

Sprinkling Lucky Fairy Dust on YOU so you can have a great month!

-Cindy

Read Across America Week Activities with a BOOK TASTING

Dr. Seuss Week

Have you all heard that Read Across America has rebranded?  There will always be a special place in my heart for Dr. Seuss books.  I grew up with his books and used them to teach rhyming words to students for 20 years.  The staff would dress up like Thing 1 and Thing 2, The Cat in the Hat and we even had the Lorax one year.  His books make it easy to have fun while learning like eating green eggs and ham and growing truffula trees. I even created lots of resources for teachers to use during the Dr. Seuss week. (Resources to use with Seuss HERE) But, “things” change.  So when I heard they are changing to celebrate by encouraging a nation of diverse readers with resources that represent lots of experiences and cultures for students, I thought how can I have fun with this new direction?

THIS IS THE MOMENT I HAD BIRTHED AN IDEA!

Have you ever heard of a “Book Tasting?” A book tasting is where students choose from books they might not normally read and skim or just read the first few pages of a book. Then they write a review in a “Book Tasting” menu.  Teachers and librarians decorate the room to look like a restaurant by using table cloths, paper plates (or real, if you dare), books on silver platters and really get the kids to feel excited about the books they are about to get a “taste” of during the activity.  You could have a medieval theme, Harry Potter, pizza themed, StarBOOKS Cafe… the possibilities are endless!

I also thought about how much I love creating escape rooms, so I decided to combine the two! Students watch a video (2 min.) to hook them by seeing a restaurant owner who needs their help with book tastings to earn money (Federal Funding) to open his doors.  They do 4 book tastings to beat the clock.  Completing the tastings will grant them keys or codes to a box that the owner left something special in for those who accept the challenge.  Opening the box lets them escape the room to recess or to the library. This would be a great activity for Read Across America because you can use any books.  What student doesn’t love to help someone and receive a reward? Check out he Book Tasting Escape Room to see what all the buzz is about this year! 

 

Book Tasting Escape Room

Math Centers for Kindergarten

I’m so glad you’ve stopped by my blog. Some bloggy friends and I have joined together for an old fashioned FREEBIE BLOG HOP! Not familiar with a blog hop? Here’s how it works…
Kindergarten Math Centers Freebie
blog hop      Kindergarten math centers

Each blogger has a “forever” freebie to offer you. That means it is not seasonal but can be used in your classroom at any time of the year. The freebies range from PK-5th grades. You start here and “hop” to the other blogs to download the resources that are appropriate for you and then end up back here at my blog. It’s a giant circle that will give you 23 awesome resources if you go to them all! There are 14 for PK-2.

Along the way, you will see pictures of and read about each freebie. You can download them all (to save for later) or only the ones that you need right now. If you don’t have time to go to all 23, click on one of the buttons below for your grade level.

Math “Salad Bar”

When I was teaching kindergarten, I attended a conference where someone talked about keeping a “Math Salad Bar” as a way to organize your manipulatives. You would take your manpulatives and keep them labeled and in one spot so students could easily find what they needed for a math task. I decided to take that idea and put it on steroids! I created recipe cards (task cards), used bowls for them to collect their materials, bought cafe trays and even had a rolling cart that the kids would roll to the middle of the room to begin the math centers.

Student Choice Works

Students would pick a recipe card that had the list of materials (ingredients) to complete their math activity. The card would say how many people it serves. The student picks partners if required. That group goes anywhere in the room to complete their activity. I would have several ways for students to learn one concept. So even though they all were working on the same standard, they were doing something different. They loved being able to choose their activity. My job was to observe, solve conflicts (which was rare after the first week) and take data on who needed more help in different areas.

Kindergarten Subtraction Math Centers

Math Center Problems

When we first began kindergarten math centers this new way, there were a couple issues to iron out. The main issue was how some students would react negatively if they were asked to join the activity. The person I called on would got to ask for people to join the activity, if needed. Some students were not happy about being called by certain students and it made a great discussion about feelings during circle time. After a week of students seeing that I would rotate who got to choose their task first, and talking about how sad it makes someone feel if you are rude when they were happy to pick you, they really took off and were begging for our Math Salad Bar time. Matter of fact if they had to do a traditional lesson and work alone, they were not happy about it.

Try these 3 center activities for FREE.

Why Kindergarten Math Centers?

You can still teach whole group lesson right before centers. Math centers frees you up to learn about what your students are learning. One task card is for the teacher to use called Teacher’s Table. This is where you can hand it to a couple students who you see are struggling with a math skill for remediation at your table. I never use the entire center time for remediation so they get some time to do an activity. If students finish one activity, they clean up and pick a new “recipe” card. There are assessments for the students for each nine weeks, data recording sheets to share with families and detailed plans for set up with suggestions.

What is Stopping You

What is stopping you from having math centers? I promise, if you try this you WILL LOVE IT!

Find the yearlong bundle here:

Kindergarten Math Centers YEARLONG BUNDLE

Watch a tutorial VIDEO about my set up here: How to Set Up Math Centers for Kindergarten

If you need EVERYTHING to teach Kindergarten, you can get the Kindergarten Curriculum which has ALL SUBJECTS Bundled for the entire school year. Homeschoolers love this bundle!

 

Do you do anything special for math to celebrate the 100th Day of School? Read about my ideas.

If YOU Give A Mouse A Cookie STEM Challenge | Build a MOUSE HOUSE

Laura Numberoff’s book are my FAVORITE of all-time books series. I was so lucky to meet her years ago when I first began my teaching journey in Orlando, FL. Her and Tomie DePaolo were speaking at a teacher conference. I bought all of their books, got my autographs and read them every year religiously to my class during author studies.

In 1985, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie was finally published after she received nine rejections. Her story inspired me to teach students how they should never give up on their dreams. I had a lot of fun using her books as companions for other lessons in my classroom.

One of my favorite lessons was for students to build a mouse house the character. It had to have all the rooms that were in the story. I tied in counting square tiles for the little ones while they created a floor plan with square or tissue paper tiles. They used lincoln logs or blocks to build the walls of the room and I would challenge them to complete the task in a certain amount of time. Students also had to make sure their paper mouse would fit inside the house they built. During centers, student made up their own adventures about the mouse with the house they built while writing stories. The students loved it! Of course we ended our unit with COOKIES!

This year I added a way for older students to get in on the fun! They use grid paper to make a blueprint of the floor plan. Then, they have to solve the area in square units and measure the walls with rulers. Here is an example of a mouse house for 2nd-4th graders:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie STEM
STEM for Kindergarten - 4th Grade

Kindergarten and First Grade

Don’t worry, I added all the printable to this unit to keep it simple for the little ones and still tie in math elements. Teachers who teach multiple grade levels love the ease of differentiating the material with their students!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie STEM
STEM for Kindergarten

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie STEM
STEM for Kindergarten

Animated Series

Not only can you explore all of Laura Numeroff’s books, she has a new Amazon prime animated video series that is amazing to share with students. Check out #IfYouGiveaMouse Videos to see all the characters in her most popular books!

Valentine’s Day FREE Teacher RESOURCES

Elementary Teacher Valentine's Day FREE Lessons

Feel the Love

What better way to show teachers some LOVE this valentine’s day than to give you some FREE teacher resources to use with your students! Holidays are the best time to use themed resources to get students motivated to learn in class.

If you are a elementary school teacher or a homeschool mom, we have some amazing printables for you that are FREE! I teamed up with a few other teacher-authors to bring you my favorites! You may even find a fun Mardi Gras resources. Just Click the images of the resources you want below and DOWNLOAD.

FREEBIES

FREE Valentine's Day Activities

Valentine Treat Bags Freebie Craft
Valentine's Day Activities No Prep Fun and Writing Pages FREEBIE
Place Value Color by Code Mardi Gras Picture Activity FREEBIE
Valentine's Day Math Worksheets: FREEBIE
FREE Patterns | Repeating and Growing Pattern Center | Hearts
CvC Word Work Worksheet Free Sample Heart Theme
Candy Hearts Graphing Fun
Valentine's Day Sound Boxes (Elkonin Boxes)
Boom Cards Ten Frames up to 10
Valentine's Day 2 Digit Subtraction with and without Regrouping Free
FREE Valentine's Day Party Pack
Valentine's Day Printables FREE Teaching RESOURCES Valentine Ideas to Keep your Students Busy and Engaged!

Student Classroom CHALLENGE – MAKE a COMMERCIAL – Win $100

So yesterday I had a crazy idea to offer $100 to the classroom who makes a 15-30 second commercial and uses the hashtag #TeachersBrainChallenge to share it with me on social media. There are rules to follow and a FREE download with lots of printables to get your class rolling with this idea. My mission in life is to help YOU create a fun educational environment for your students. If you are watching the Super Bowl like so many others, this will be a great way to get your students engaged in writing and teamwork activities in a fun way. PLUS, your class could win $100 for your classroom to decide how however they want to spend it!

GO HERE to find the FREE #TeachersBrainChallenge download. You need to hurry because the $100 will be given out on FEBRUARY 14th, 2020. I can’t wait to see how creative your class will be during this activity. I will share all of the commercials on my Teacher’s Brain Facebook page and my Instagram account, if your class or school followed the directions. HAVE FUN and good luck!!!!

#TeachersBrainChallenge Make a Super Bowl Commercial

You must follow the rules. The winner is subject to my discretion. You will find the rules, the rubric and printables to help students learn about target audiences and advertising strategies. Any grade can join in the fun. Feel free to share this #TeachersBrainChallenge with other teachers. Use the hashtag when posting to social media.

Number Sense Build A Superhero Activity

Students grasping a good foundation of number sense is essential for future success in math. This cute activity helps students build that foundation while building a superhero! They won’t even know they are learning with this activity!

Numbers in Different Ways

It is important for children to see numbers represented in different ways. This activity requires students to determine the meaning of the number by showing the numbers with tally marks, buttons, on dice and in ten frames. They must match the number parts.

Number Sense Activity for Kids

This is a great math center activity or small group activity for you to take a quick observational assessment of the students’ knowledge of number sense. There is a recording sheet provided for students who are completing the activity in a center so they are held accountable.

Number Sense Center Activity

Support Creativity

There are a couple printables to help students create their own NUMBER SUPERHERO. The pack contains 10 superheroes representing numbers 1-10. You will also find an extra activity for TEEN NUMBER SUPERHEROES for those students who have already mastered the single digits.

Directions

Cut the pieces out of card stock. Laminate the pieces to keep them protected for future use next year. Students will match the parts in order to create a number superhero. Then, students record their findings on the Recording Sheet. For a new activity with the same theme, use the “Design a Number Hero” printable.

Number Concepts

Find the BUILD A NUMBER SUPERHERO HERE.