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.

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.

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!

Brevard Times SHAMES Teachers Attending Educational Rally

Brevard Times, a Florida newspaper, posted the names of teachers who have used paid PERSONAL leave to attend a rally Monday in order to gain support for our education system. They accuse these teachers who advocate for students of “skipping work” and not providing “adequate supervision.”

These teachers who dedicate their lives to their students are not skipping work! They are using PERSONAL leave to fight for their students’ futures. They planned this in advanced with the approval of their school district. Teachers who put their careers on the line to make the Department of Education listen are heroes in my book! They are not going to the beach for the day. They are not spending quality time with their family on a vacation. Matter of fact, these teachers are going to have to leave their family just to attend. They are crying out for help in the classrooms and for their profession. If there weren’t problems in Florida’s education system, there would not be a huge shortage of teachers.

What was the purpose of the newspaper putting some of the names of the teachers attending in their paper? The paper says, ” Parents can then follow up with their child’s school to ensure that their child has adequate supervision during the school day on Monday.” Not every teacher attending is on the list.

This is a sick way to bully our treasured teachers by violating their privacy. If you plan on calling the school to find out about “adequate supervision,” consider calling to say THANK YOU to these teacher heroes and schools for supporting your child. If you are going to read their names, read them because they are honorable.

Did you know that Florida ranks 46 in the nation for teacher pay? There is a shortage of teachers not just because of the pay, but the lack of respect and resources for students. Newspapers like Brevard Times are part of the problem for not supporting their teachers in their county. It is important to point out that the school district has been very supportive of their teachers. It is Brevard Times who has failed the community.

SUPPORT THESE TEACHERS and let Brevard Times know they are the ones who need to be shamed!

FREE 100th Day of School Activities

The 100th Day of School is one of my favorite days of the year to celebrate! Students make necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops, play math games that equal 100, stack 100 cups to make a pyramid, make trail mix using 100 pieces of food and do 100 jumping jacks! I would request parents to send in free items for that week, if needed. My new favorite thing is the 100th Day Escape Room! There is a primary escape room and an upper elementary escape room. Students watch a quick video hook that has a mystery to solve involving saving a crime fighting pup! Students solve mysteries to escape open a box of surprises and escape their classroom to recess or the library! Sometimes, I couldn’t afford to purchase fun activities so I would search all of TpT’s FREEBIES.

100th Day Escape Room for Kids

If you are like me, you are always looking for some resources to add to fun celebrations that are easy on the wallet or FREE. This is why I teamed up with other TpT authors to give you FREE TEACHING 100th Day Resources at your fingertips! Click the photo of what you would like to download from TpT. Don’t forget to let the authors know how much you appreciate their hard work in your feedback on the product in their store so they are encouraged to keep producing freebies for you. Have fun!

FREE 100th Day of School Printables

100th Day of School Activity MOBILE FREEBIE
100th Day of School Activities Color by Number & Writing Pages FREEBIE
100th Day of School Writing Prompt (Before I'm 100 Years Old, I Want To...)
FREE 120th Day of School | Read and Color to Follow Directions and Math
FREE 100th Day Mini Activity Page Series Pack {Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs}

Click here for MORE 100th Day of School Ideas!

Sight Word Activities for Kids

What are Sight Words

Sight words are words that appear frequently in reading and writing.  Most of the words are learned by sight and cannot be easily sounded out.  When students automatically know these words, they can focus on more difficult words that can be decoded.  The more students see the words and use the words in activities, the more successful they will feel and be at reading.  The words begin simple and get more difficult the older students get or as their knowledge advances.  Provide students with both home and school activities to get the words to create automaticity.  These engaging activities will help students recognize the words, improve reading skills and show students how much fun they can have while learning to read.

Shaving Cream

This one is easy, helps clean desks and the students LOVE it!  Add some shaving cream to a table for students to spread around.  Call out sight words or have students pull sight words out of a bag to have students write the words in the shaving cream.  You can do this in small reading groups as well.

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Pudding?

When parents ask what they can do at home, consider having them add pudding to a sheet pan.  The parent calls the words out.  The child will write the words in the pudding.  If they get it correct, they get to lick their finger! YUM!

Fly Swatter

If you have a word wall that is low enough for students to reach, this is a great game for your students.  Word walls are a MUST in elementary classrooms because there are so many great activities a teacher can do with words. Create two teams. Each team gets a fly swatter.  Call the word out and the “swatters” have to go swat the word on the word wall.  The team who swatted the correct word first, gets a point.  Play to 10 or 20 points.

Sight Word Necklace

My students loved to have sight word necklaces.  Basically they would have a ball chain necklace that could open easily. Once they knew a sight word, they would add the word to their necklace to share with their family at home that weekend.  Students would use the necklace during writing activities too.  Have them use the necklace to find their words in books during center time or small reading group time.

Long Pins

Paint It

Have students work pull sight words out of a box.  They would write the word.  Then, they would paint the word next to the word they wrote on paper.  They could use watercolors.  You can even use chalk instead of paint.  Want to have students think a little deeper about patterns?  Tell them they have to do every other letter a different color to create an AB pattern. Grab the FREE Sight Word Download Here.

Sight Word Practice Printables

STAMP IT

Find some letter stamps for students to work on spelling sight words using the stamps.  This will help with fine motor as well as spelling.  Provide some different color stamp pads for students to use during this activity to keep it interesting.

USE IT

This is a great way for students to build some comprehension while working with sight words.  Students will first write the word.  Next, they will have to use it in a sentence.  This way you can check to see if they understand what they are reading or see if they make need to be taught the meaning of the words.

STOMP it!

Print out the sight words you want students to learn for the week.  Scatter them on the floor.  Another student calls out a word while their partner STOMPS on it.  This is a great activities to do at home or in small groups. Need more activities? Click HERE

Hopefully these activities will give you some ideas when planning for future lessons using sight words.  I can’t wait to hear about your favorite activities for teaching high frequency words in your classroom!

Christmas FREE Printables and Lessons for Kids

freebies.jpg

The holidays are a really busy time for everyone, but ESPECIALLY teachers! This is why I teamed up with some great TpT authors to give you FREE TEACHING CHRISTMAS Resources at you fingertips! Click the photo of what you want to download from TpT! Don’t forget to let the author know how much you appreciate their hard work in your feedback or blog comments so we are encouraged to keep the freebies flowing! Have a great holiday season!

FREE Holiday Printables

Christmas Activities | 3D Tree    POLAR EXPRESS Activities Color Sheet NO PREP Fun for Winter  Free Christmas Cards    Winter Math Worksheets Free

    Snow Globe Narrative Writing Freebie   Free Number Sense and Number Gift Coloring Game!

 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas- I Have Who Has {Freebie}   FREE Christmas Multiplication Activities

Making Ten to Add  Holiday FREEBIE Mega Math Practice CCSS 1.OA.6A   Hanukkah  FREE

Christmas Ornament Poem (to put on an ornament)   Christmas Memories Ornament

 

Christmas Gift Craftivity or Bulletin Board for Kids

Paper Bag Gift Book

Making gifts for parents in the classroom is something I always struggled with as a teacher until I started making gift waffle books. They make a great decoration for the bulletin board and then, you can send them home for student o give to a parent or loved one as a gift for the holidays.

Here are the directions:

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You can even use wrapping paper on the front cover to make it look more like a gift with some fancy paper. Coupon books that promise rooms getting cleaned, massages or some other special action on the part of the student make a nice touch inside the gift bag book.  There are 10 different pull books to choose from for the holidays, birthday or even a blank template for students to create their own.

Bulletin Board Set

Add a cute title the a bulletin board to create a cute display for the holidays.  This helps serve two purposes… a display and a gift to send home! Parents love them and students enjoy creating the craft.  Place decorative bows on top for an extra special touch.

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Find the printables HERE.