Digital End of the Year Memory Books

As teachers learn about school closures for the rest of the 2020 school year, they scramble for new ways to connect with their students.  Of course the safety of children is a top priority, so we understand why they are not opening the schools up.  This still leaves teacher feeling like they didn’t get a chance to really say good-bye in a meaningful way.

A digital memory book is a great way to encourage your students to relive their school year if your students have access to technology.  You can even push out autograph pages for the class to use their favorite fonts to sign their names.  If you have pictures you took during the school year, add them to the digital file to push out through Google Classrooms or email.

Journaling During the Coronavirus

Writing Journal during the Coronavirus for kids

Journaling to Keep Kids Calm

NOW is the time to be journaling! We are all living history right now.  Even though this is a time of uncertainty, there is a lot to learn, feelings to explore, thoughts to organize and people coming together to turn lemons into lemonade.  We didn’t ask for this Coronavirus. Everyday is like living in a strange movie.  One moment you are fine and the next moment the sky is falling.  Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts.  Students right now should be taking notes of news headlines, observing the stock market fluctuate, and learning about healthy habits.

Should Adults Keep a Journal?

Writing is a great way to confront your emotions during difficult times.  It helps you face your fears.  Taking notes of what is going on in your world, your mind and your home can help you stay mentally healthy.  Journaling serves as a great tool for people at any age!  Start journaling today.

Distance Learning Packets for HOME

This is a difficult time for teachers and parents everywhere with the uncertainty of the Coronavirus changing our life.  There is one thing that I know for sure, CHILDREN NEED to keep a routine in their life to help them feel safe.  I created some distance learning packets with a fun spring theme to help keep children on track with their education and on a regular routine.

Packets range from Pre-K to 5th Grade.  They all include math and literacy skills that are specific to the standards for each grade.  Each packet has a sight word list, reading log, writing activities and include different covers.  This makes it easy to print and staple into a fun Spring Break Journal.

The easy NO PREP packets are available for only $4:

PRESCHOOL

KINDERGARTEN

FIRST GRADE

SECOND GRADE

THIRD GRADE

FOURTH GRADE

FIFTH GRADE

GET the all BUNDLED!

PRESCHOOL HOME LEARNING PACKET

KINDERGARTEN DISTANCE LEARNING PACKET

FIRST GRADE HOME LEARNING PACKET

SECOND GRADE DISTANCE LEARNING PACKET

tHIRD GRADE HOME LEARNING PACKET

4TH GRADE DISTANCE LEARNING pACKET

5TH gRADE HOME LEARNING PACKET

We are in this together! Here is a FREE home lesson made especially for families who want their kids to learn about healthy habits and have fun while they are home.

Coronavirus Distance Learning for PARENTS

Another great way to keep kids engaged is to have them create a 2020 Memory Journal.  Journaling is a great way for kids to organize their feelings.  They will write about their feelings, things they can control, learn about the stock market on a kids friendly level, take temperatures and read about healthy habits.

Coronavirus Journal for Kids

Hopefully this pandemic won’t run all the way into summer.  I do have summer packets ready for you. Check out the bundle.

summer packets for home learning

FOLLOW MY STORE for more educational resources.

At Home Learning During The Cornonavirus

This is a scary time we are living in right now.  Part of me as parent wants to tell the district that we have bigger issues to worry about than distance learning. The teacher part of me knows that students can miss a lot of information in a month or two without instruction.  There is no way that we can replace good teachers with parents or packets to be as effective for our children, but parents can encourage home education during this time.

Are Worksheets the Answer?

You won’t find many teachers who support overloading kids with worksheets, but you also won’t find many who never use worksheets. Sending home packets with students can be a great way to keep students learning if we remember the importance of worksheets.

Just because it’s on paper doesn’t mean it’s bad.  Well-designed worksheets help structure work for children.  Printed resources can keep children on task, help them concentrate and hopefully help them work with very little support from adults. I know lots of teachers who had to scramble to put packets together for students this past week.  Some felt guilty. Others felt like they did a service for their families.  I have used packets in the classroom to organize student work.  Many worksheets are designed to have students work together or provides a hands-on learning game. I sent home spring break packets, summer packets and homework packets regularly to my families to help their children.  

Worksheets as ACTIVITIES

Some worksheets can easily be made into flashcards, tasks for physical or oral activities, puzzles, origami, art or games.  One of my favorite kinds of printables are Write the Room activities.  This is where you place vocabulary words, sentences or pictures around a room. Students must move around to locate each one. Then, they read and write it on a worksheet.

Many worksheets have checkoffs or keys for students to use to monitor their own learning progress.  As a teacher, I can use the worksheets or activities to see how my students are learning.  Parents could check to see if students did the work later instead of having to be there if they have to go to work.  Worksheet packets for students who don’t have access to computers can be very valuable to their education.  What parent doesn’t like to hang a worksheet or piece of art on the refrigerator to show they support their child’s efforts?

Powerful Packets

Teachers would all love to have hands-on “worksheet free” classrooms.  The truth is sometimes you can’t replace old fashion paper and pencil activities. They are valuable when you need assessment tools that show previous knowledge, to view learning outcomes, to share information with other adults and to allow students to monitor the progress of their own learning.

Not all kids can learn from a packet or worksheet which is why the value of a good educator will always be needed for maximum growth. Packets can be powerful though.  So, don’t judge others who find them successful.

Keep helping students to learn, use social distance and keep your hands clean! We are all in this together. Which reminds me of these FREE labels to put on your hand sanitizer bottles to help empower children.

Hand Sanitizer Labels

March FREE Teaching Resources for Teachers

March Resources for Teachers

So this is a CRAzy (with a capital CRA) time of our life!  Teachers and parents we will get through this difficult time with the Coronavirus floating around ruining our daily life as we know it.  I talked to a few of my TpT author friends and found some March Freebies to share with all of you who are still in the classroom or parents who are helping your children grow with home learning.  Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

March Activities for use with Reading Celebrations    Women in History Scoot or Task Cards With QR Codes FREEBIE

Spring Writing Activities | Spring Writing Center Free     March Freebie: Butterfly Life Cycle

Leprechaun Math Game | St. Patrick's Day Math Game     Editable Calendar for Homework | March 2020 Calendar Printable

If you need more THIS LINK will take to to all the freebies in my store.  Stay Strong! – Cindy

Free Teacher Resources

 

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!

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:

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!

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!