Dental Health Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade

Did you know that February is Children’s Dental Health Month? Usually, February is a perfect month to celebrate dental health, but really any time of year you can work it into your lessons is great because it is always a topic of interest for children.  Children lose teeth all the time. If you are like other primary teachers, you have a tooth chart to mark the big day a student loses a tooth.

Students buzz about how excited they are to get a visit from the Tooth Fairy! The lost tooth is a treasured possession of the student until they get the cash.

Dental Health and Losing a Tooth

Consider combining the two throughout the school year. Here are some great ideas for teaching about dental health:

  • Read Dental Health Books
  • Demonstrate how to Floss and Brush
  • Discuss the Importance of Toothpaste
  • Invite a Dentist to Speak to Students
  • Chart Lost Teeth Monthly
  • Make a Special Pouch to Carry the Tooth Home
  • Teach a Poem about Dental Health

Students love to feel like they are part of a secret club, so why not create a Lost Tooth Club for students?  You can track the exciting day on a tooth chart, design a special bag to hold lost teeth, give them a certificate and have them sing a song to commemorate the special occasion.

The Lost Tooth Troop

Dental Health Unit

Check out this adorable and simple TOOTH POCKET the students can just place under the pillow. The parent can easily find the tooth, remove it and place the cash inside the pocket.Lost Tooth Bag

Laminate these monthly teeth posters to use a dry erase marker to track the month that students lose teeth.  At the end of the year, you can graph the lost teeth, see which month that most students lose teeth, and figure out who has not lost any teeth for the year.Tooth Chart for Kindergarten

Students love interactive notebooks! Have them draw the steps to brushing teeth under the flaps or list adjectives about dental health in their book.Dental Health Interactive Notebook

 

Lost Tooth Envelope

Check out so Awesome Classroom Management Strategies


 

 

5 Awesome Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work

Going to school is very fun and exciting for the younger elementary students. They are experiencing new things and making new friends every day. It can be thrilling for them. However, it is important to set boundaries so that students know that while it is amazing for them to have new experiences, school is a place to learn. Their main job is to listen and learn, and the teacher’s job is to teach.  

The best way to get your classroom running smoothly is by structuring it in a way that students know what is expected of them. To accomplish this, you can start by thinking about how you want your classroom to be run. Look around online or chat with other teachers for inspiration.  

Here are some classroom management strategies you can incorporate into your classroom: 

Build good relationships with your students

This one is the first and most basic management strategy. You want your students to trust you so that they turn to you when there is a problem. They are also more inclined to follow the rules with a teacher they are comfortable with. 

Use a behavior chart for classroom management

This is a clear, visual way for students to understand the behavior that you expect of them. As the year goes on, they will grow to understand it better and strive to do well.

 My editable behavior chart makes it easy for you to track your student’s behavior. It also comes with a data-collecting graph to chart data as well as a poster about Big Problems and Little Problems. classroom management

Assign classroom jobs

I love assigning jobs to my students.  (You can read all about it here.) Giving jobs gives your students a sense of purpose and responsibility in the classroom. It also helps you because it keeps your classroom running smoothly when everyone completes their jobs. Ideas for jobs include line leader, paper passer, book monitor, homework checker, etc. 

These editable classroom jobs help make it easy for you! There are 25 pre-made jobs in two different styles to choose from.  You can also use the editable PowerPoint to personalize your own job chart! The chalkboard makes it easy to fit into any classroom.

Classroom management

Designate a calm down corner

Younger students are still learning how to regulate their emotions. Sometimes they get a little too worked up or upset about something and just need a place to breathe deeply. Assigning a certain area in your classroom as the “Calm Down Corner” will give your students a designated place to go when they need a few minutes of quiet to calm down. 

This calm down corner resource comes with visual cue cards, calm down corner ideas, posters, and printables to collect data, identify triggers and calm down actions.

classroom management

 

Offer Praise

One of the best ways to get students to behave is to praise good behavior. Doing this instead of only correcting bad behavior is a way of using positive reinforcement. Students love to hear that they are doing a good job and praising them when they are will give them a strong incentive to continue that behavior. 

When your classroom management strategies are working and everything is running smoothly, it is magic! When you and your students have found your groove, you can focus more on fun and learning instead of focusing on rules and bad behavior. 

I hope these strategies and resources help you out! If you have a classroom management strategy that you love, I would love to hear about it in the comments!


 

How to Celebrate Read Across America

Read Across America  (RAA) always falls on Theodor Geisel’s birthday without coincidence.  The goal was to create a day to motivate children to read and to celebrate the joys of reading. RAA has been linked to the classic Dr. Seuss books for years with schools dressing up as characters, sharing his work, and cooking green eggs and ham. Ever since Dr. Seuss has been linked to major criticism with allegations that The Cat in the Hat and other Seuss books are racist, the National Education Association let loose of Seuss.  They want all kids to see themselves in popular culture.  Now they are celebrating reading with diverse books during the event.

Even though a child who might bring in their favorite Dr. Seuss book to share with their classmates on their “Show and Tell” day should never be discouraged to share their love of a book, change can be good! This post is not to bash or support Dr. Seuss. Educators are trained professionals and should be trusted to use what is best for their students to promote reading with students. I personally used his work in the past to teach positive lessons about inclusion, social justice, and responsibility for years. However, I encourage you to look and listen to both viewpoints before you move forward with your reading week celebrations to form an intelligent conclusion about what types of books should be included in your week.

Read Across America Dress Up Day Ideas

Everyone loves to include dress-up days during the reading week.  Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Dress for Success
  • Rainbow Day (Reading is Colorful… Diverse books)
  • Hat Day
  • Camouflage Day (read books about animals)
  • Neon Day (Reading makes you BRIGHT… Science books)
  • Wacky Day (Wear clothes backward, mismatched, crazy hair)
  • Character Day (Dress up like your favorite book character)
  • Pajama Poem Day
  • Wax Museum Biography Dress Up Day

Magic School Bus

FRESH Read Across America Activities

My favorite reading celebration activity now is to have a Book Tasting!
This is where students get to read a little (a taste) of different book genres.  You can use any books you have access to from the library.  Students read them for a few minutes and then switch to a different genre.  This does require a little prep to set up the room to look like a restaurant, but this resource can help you out! It is a fun escape room with the book tasting! You can have it low key with the printed placemat or go all fancy with students dressing nice and you dressing up as a hostess or waiter.

Book Tasting Escape Room

Wacky Week Ideas

Do you love Wacky Wednesday? Why not do a whole WACKY week of reading activities?

For math, have wacky reading word problems to solve. Invite students to create a wacky animal with different animal parts.  Then, they can write about their animal with details. Using any rhyming book, have students create a wacky rhyme. Use mystery pictures of hidden objects that are out of place for students to find. Make a day of Where is Wacky Waldo and share those books. Mess your room up with an upside-down clock or socks sticking out of the tissue box, see if the kids even notice during the week.

Try a Wacky Digital Escape with your students! This one has riddles, puzzles, hidden pictures in art, and non-sense word activities. If you are virtual, let them wear their favorite wacky hat while they do the escape.

March Themed Activities

Finding reading resources that are March-themed can be used with any book during the week.  You can do a reading Write the Room activity with words like library, spine, characters, fiction, etc…  Rhyming words, nonsense words, St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities in any subject area can inspire reading across curricular.  Students can take a reading pledge and get certificates or bookmarks to encourage reading. March is a great time to introduce reading about hot air balloons.  The season for hot air balloon rides runs from April to October. Kids are fascinated with them!  Curious Gorge has a book about hot air balloons.  Others include The Great Balloon Hullaballoo, The Noon Balloon, The sky Above my Eyes, and My Hot Air Balloon.

Free Reading Pledge Printables

Some teachers use a circus theme in primary grades to promote reading during the week celebration.  Their activities included books about animals, popcorn, snacks during reading/writing time, animal and clown crafts, guest story readers, dress-up clown day, Write the Room activities where students look for book titles, and ended with a reading carnival with prizes and games.

elephant hatElephant Hat – Never Forget Reading Rocks

What’s the Point?

The purpose of having Read Across America is to get your students reading! Not just to read, but to enjoy it, love it, and want MORE! Whatever theme you choose, make sure you are sharing your joy of reading books with your students.  Then, watch them grow.

Grab a FREE Reading Pledge and bookmarks

Read more about using Theme Days to Teach in Elementary

Let us know what activities you will be doing to encourage reading!

 

Using Theme Days To Teach In Elementary

Theme days are an excellent way to organize and plan your instruction in the elementary classroom. Integrating lessons in every subject area around a particular topic, or theme, can improve student understanding.

Curiosity about the theme will help them learn more effectively, and more naturally. As they make connections between content areas they will gain even deeper understanding of the topics, and have fun at the same time! An exciting theme that engages students will motivate them to do their best work- making your job easier! 

Choosing which theme days you want to do for your instruction might seem daunting, but there is truly a theme to match every classroom and interest.

For example, seasons are an easy theme to integrate into subject areas. There are a multitude of ways to teach math concepts using seasonal ideas- such as candy in the fall or snowflake patterns in winter. Picture books with seasonal themes are perfect for reading instruction and writing examples.

Seasonal temperatures are an easy way to introduce data collection in science. With just a little imagination, you can create lessons for each season of the year. Other themes that are popular include oceans, springtime hatching, holidays, snow, deserts, and many more. You can easily adapt these themes to your students’ interests. 

If you are ready to start using theme days, but not sure where to begin, you can use one day themes.

A special day full of themed activities will get your students excited and motivated to learn. One of my favorite themed days is Spy Day.

theme days

Students complete many activities and challenges using spy skills, and will not even realize how much they are learning! This download includes all the plans you need and step-by-step instructions. 

Another favorite theme day is Superhero Day. This download includes superhero-themed reading, writing, math, and even craft activities. By the end of the day, your students will have gained new skills and have had a great time! 

theme days

With just a little planning, themes can get your students motivated and engaged in ways you never expected. They can gain deeper understandings of concepts while having fun- it’s a win-win!

theme days

 

For more fun theme day ideas, check out my resources here!

What are your favorite theme days? Let me know in the comments!

theme days