Digital Award Ceremony – End of the Year Virtual Classroom Awards

End of the Year Activities

Celebrating accomplishments at the end of the school year is not only popular, but important to recognize student achievements.  Accomplishments can include more that academic success.  Recognizing improved behavior, attendance, athletics, character, art or music abilities are great ways to shine the spotlight on your students at the end of the year.

Distance learning has made it more difficult to celebrate our students with their friends and family.  But, it is not impossible! If you are an educator who is using Zoom, Google Meets or some other way to video conference your students, there is many ways to celebrate.

First, send and invite to the families and students for your virtual ceremony. If you normally give certificates to students,  fill them out as normal and then share them during the ceremony.  You can than email or mail them their certificate.

Don’t want to worry about printing out certificates?

You can create certificates in a PowerPoint or with Google Slides to share during your meet-up.  Then, just send them a copy through email.  There are lots of pre-made editable certificates available online also.

Planning a Virtual AWARD Ceremony

If you are doing your own planning for your classroom, grade level or even the entire school, here are some key elements to consider:

  • Introduction  Music
  • Introduction Slide to the Ceremony
  • Certificates (Titles and possibly add Images of each student)
  • Music during the show
  • Funny Moment Slide Breaks (A group photo or funny science moment)
  • Will there be a video or live announcement from you, a special guest or the principal?
  • Ending Music
  • Practice Practice Practice

Here is an example of how to create an end of the year virtual ceremony:

There are virtual award ceremony templates already made for you at TpT to make your celebration easy.  You just drag and drop text and images in the google slides.


Do you have an award ceremony for your students? If so, what types of awards do you give? Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear how you recognize your students.

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

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

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!

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.

shaving cream.jpg

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

 

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!