Before and After Classroom Pictures and a LABOR DAY SALE for Hard Work

Teachers are gearing up for a great school year!  I moved from first grade to kindergarten this year and had to move rooms.  Well, after teaching for almost 20 years, let’s just say I had a lot of stuff.  I threw out a lot and gave good stuff away to the new teachers.  When I arrived to set up my new class, all Labor Day Sale logomy items were piled high in the center of the room.  I had NO CLUE where to start and just stared at the pile for about 10 minutes.  Then, I did a Facebook Live video and got lots of sympathy, which motivated me to make my room into a “Learning Oasis.” I don’t even know why those words came out of my mouth on the video, but they did fly out like a bee attracted to Grandma’s perfume! So, I’m going to show you my before and after photos AND offer you 20% ALL DAY at my Teachers Pay Teachers store on Labor Day, so you can start your school year off right!  Thank you for teaching students (even the difficult ones.)  You all inspire me to keep making new products.  It’s because of all the dedicated teachers out there working hard that our society will expand into a caring community of self-motivated learners.  Have a great year!

You can see my Interactive Word Wall under the clock.classroom

Here are some of my items on SALE MONDAY:

Properties of Matter - Science by Teacher's Brain     Mini Me Square Cover   Fun Glasses BUNDLE Printables     Life Skills Character Building Posters   The Kissing Hand Home Connection Activity - First Week of School    Biography Book Report

 Slide1   All About Me Book for Primary   Play Parent Performance - Musical - Ocean Themed

Looking for some other stores joining in the Labor Day Sale? Check out these awesome stores on Teachers Pay Teachers. They are all bringing you some significant savings on Monday, September 5th!

1. Shelly Rees at Teachers Pay Teachers

2. Lisa Taylor Teaching the Stars

3. Kelly Avery

4. Teacher’s Brain

5. Teach with Tori

6. Tied 2 Teaching Teaching Resources | Teachers Pay

7. Sandra Naufal Teaching Resources | Teachers Pay Te

8. Rainbow City Learning

9. Get Caught Engineering – STEM for Kids

10. Katie Roltgen Teaching Resources | Teachers Pay Te

11. The Owl Spot

12. Teaching in the Heart of Florida Teaching Resource

13. Creative Curriculum Adaptations-Ginger Joyce Teach

14. Keri Brown Teaching Resources | Teachers Pay Teach

15. Annie Jewell Teaching Resources | TPT

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.

Teaching Your Students About Civics and Government

Civics and government is a very important part of your kindergarten and first grade students’ education. Understanding the basics including rules and laws is going to be vital as they grow up and enter the world. Unfortunately, it can seem a little dry trying to teach it in a way that your students will find fun and interesting. 

To do this, you want to find engaging lesson plans for your students so they will not only learn the material, but really understand and retain it. The key is to make your lessons fun! This is especially important with any lessons you do for kindergarten and first graders. The more fun the lessons are, the more interested they will be, the more they will learn! 

I have you covered with my Civics and Government bundle!

This extensive resource includes nine full weeks of detailed lesson plans and everything you need for the entire unit. You’ll also get a home connection parent letter, American History Journal with a wordbank, a rubric for the journal, 9 interactive notebook pages, and posters for your classroom, 

This Civics and Government resource will cover:

  • Primary Sources
  • Sequencing events
  • Calendar Skills
  • Being a GOOD Citizen
  • Rules and Laws
  • Conflicts and Fair Decisions

Extras included for centers: primary source activity, months of the year (what comes next), sort the pictures activity (rules vs laws),  Tattle Tale Officer Activity (to teach your students the difference between being helpful and hurtful), big problem, medium problem, and small problem posters, and a Write the Room Activity (a great way to incorporate writing into your social studies lessons). 

I created this resource to make your life easier and take the stress out of lesson planning! My goal is that this resource will cover all standards and truly engage your students so that they learn and retain the lessons. 

Check out my tips for for social distancing while teaching here! 

civics and government
civics and government

 

Do you have any tips for making civics and government fun? Let me know in the comments below! 

civics and government

 

Back to School Teacher Giveaway

BACK TO SCHOOL FOR TEACHERS

The crucial role by teachers is magnified during these uncertain times. YOU are the unsung heroes! We have teamed up with other amazing teacher-authors to show you how much we appreciate and respect your hard work and dedications to students!
𝐖𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐫𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟𝐟:
❤️3 $200 TpTGift Cards using the Raffle Link
❤️1 Rolling Storage Cart with a SECRET Gift
What NEW resources will you buy if you win?

Enter the raffle HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Raffle Ends at 11:59 PM EST 07/30/2020. The winners will be announced by 08/01/2020.
👉You must be an educator to win. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, or Teachers Pay Teachers. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this page and not to Facebook , Instagram, or Teachers Pay Teachers. No Purchase Required.

Also read:

Engaging Students In The Five Senses

Teaching your kindergarten or first grade students about the five senses and how they use them to understand the world around them can be such a fun unit! There are so many ways you can get creative and hands-on in the classroom on this one. The best way to really engage your students in learning about the five senses is- you guessed it, letting them use them! Really let them smell, taste, feel, see, and hear during the activities.  

There are an enormous amount of activities out there that you could use to teach this. It can be overwhelming to decide what lesson plans to go with. You want something fun, age appropriate, and engaging, but that is also based on standards. 

With that in mind, I created an awesome, extensive five week long 5 senses activities unit! 

This resource includes 5 full weeks of lessons, a journal (a great way to integrate literacy and writing in your lessons), 5 mini books, posters, inquiry lessons, detailed plans and more! 

  • Week one, your students will explore and learn all about the sense of touch. 
  • Week two explore the sense of sight
  • Week three learn all about smell
  • Week four explore hearing
  • Week five explore taste

Additional Tips For Teaching The Five Senses

  1. Read books about the five senses. This helps give visuals and incorporate vocabulary into your science lessons.
  2. Get hands-on! Students love when they can get their hands dirty and really dive into an activity. Don’t shy away from it. There are so many cool ways to teach the senses. 
  3. Use the scientific method in your lessons. Check out my post on teaching the scientific method here! 

five senses

 

five senses

 

What is your favorite way to teach the five senses? Let me know in the comments.

 

Back to School Checklist and Tools for Teachers with Social Distancing in Mind

Back to School Checklist

This year is going to be different than any year we have ever taught before thanks to Covid-19.  The best thing you can do now is get a jump start on classroom organization.  I like to have checklists and a lot of teaching tools at my fingertips before I begin the school year in order for my days to go as smooth as possible.  The best advice someone gave me once was to always plan and if the plan doesn’t work in teaching, change the plan.

Checklists for Teachers

Here is a list of things you can add to your own checklist for this school year.  I have a free social distancing checklist download on TpT you can use if you don’t want to make your own.

  • Gather and organize classroom materials and supplies. (Include safety supplies, masks and hand sanitizer)
  • Distance seats from each student.
  • Make it a rule that kids need their own water bottle to keep kids out of the water fountain.
  • Create individualized bins for each student for supplies.
  • Prepare student name tags and/or student desk labels.
  • Organize your files.
  • Label all furniture in the classroom.
  • Create an emergency substitute folder.
  • Label textbooks, workbooks, and supplies.
  • Set up your grade book.
  • Make the first day of lesson plans very detailed.
  • Have rules for the NEW social distancing guidelines if you are in person.
  • If you are doing virtual or a blended version of both, create those rules.
  • Decorate your room to help students remember new safety guidelines.
  • Plan icebreakers for each day the first week of school.
  • Have a classroom calendar and schedule in the classroom.

Teacher Toolkit

In order to help you with all the new social distance guidelines and distance learning, I got together with some of my favorite teacher authors to bring you some teaching tools you can use in this Back to School Tools for Teachers! This is exciting because some of these are resources are way too time consuming for teachers to create.  There are a few freebies in the mix too.

Here are the resources for your Distance Learning Teaching Toolkit:

All About Me Google Slides | Star Student     Virtual Meet the Teacher | OPEN HOUSE | Google Slides

Social Distancing Greetings | Posters | Craft | Mini Books   Social Distancing Posters | Mini Book

Back to School Getting to Know You Project for Distance Learning   Social Distancing Coloring Book EDITABLE | Classroom Rules Coloring Book

Math and ELA Toolbox Distance Learning   Pen Pal Packet for Distance Learning

Back to School Distance Learning Activity - Reading Interest Inventory Survey   1/2 PRICE! Covid 19 Safety Posters and EDITABLE Desk Name Plates

Distance Learning Coronavirus | How to Talk to Young Children About the Virus  Teacher Planning Tool for Digital Organization

Distance Learning Animal Adaptations for Google Classroom  Emergent Readers | Back to School Staying Safe School Rules Booklet

Virtual Learning Behavior Expectations Posters| Distance Learning| Google Slides  Home School Calendar Toolkit

Also Check Out:

Teacher Tips for Returning Back to School Safely

Returning back to school safely is going to take teachers a lot of patience, tips and tricks this year! There are so many unknowns but I know for sure that being organized and clean are going to be play a big role in our Back to School routine.

Here are some ideas for you to think about this school year while planning!

Tips for Teachers Returning Back to School Safely

1. This hand sanitizer holder is pretty neat to place outside of the door.  Students use their foot to squirt their hands.  I have seen some great motion detected dispensers on Amazon too.

(Photo: Stephanie Deal)

2. This teacher is using individual yoga mats, plastic serving trays and individual bins for supplies to keep her students learning at a distance from each other.

(Photo: Kaycie Huffman)

3. Individual book bins are a MUST this year. Plan on using paper printable books or after a week, place the books on quarantine for a couple weeks before rotating them to the next student.

 

(Photo: Teaching Little Leaders)

4. If you are meeting students in person this year, teaching Distant Greetings are going to be important to teach that first week back to school.  Make a poster or sign to hang at the door for students to easily remember and choose their greeting and goodbye each day from a distance.

(Photo: Teacher’s Brain – Cindy Martin)

5. I love this idea! These are pillowcases turned inside out with individual supply bins inside.

(Photo: Mrs. Classroom Craziness)

6. If you are teaching virtual or in person this year, a virtual Meet the Teacher or Open House will make it easier for you to introduce yourself, the classroom and to get students to get to know each other virtually. Google Slides are perfect for personalizing and sharing with families.

7. Social Distance Posters are perfect for in the classroom to remind students of the new safety rules and procedures for the school year.

Also Check Out:

Science Lessons For Kids: What Is A Scientist?

Science is such an important part of elementary curriculum. We set the foundation for our students to understand important science concepts later on. Creating meaningful science lesson plans that students can really learn from is essential. 

A great way for students to begin to really grasp science and have a FUN, positive learning experience is to teach them how to see themselves as scientists. Putting themselves in a scientist’s shoes can really get their minds working and understanding the subject. 

What is a scientist?

I like to start the school year off with the first lessons focusing on what a scientist really is. A scientist is someone who observes, thinks and discovers how things work. A scientist has expert knowledge on a particular subject.

The next step is to move into what tools does a scientist use? Teach about safety equipment including goggles, gloves, and masks. Other tools you can teach include rulers, thermometers, measuring cups, beakers, hand lens, globe, etc. 

Next you’ll want to teach the scientific method. The scientific method is a way for a scientist to study and learn new things. 

Teach your students the steps: 

  1. Ask a question
  2. Gather information and observe
  3. Guess the answer or make a hypothesis
  4. Test your hypothesis
  5. Analyze your test results
  6. Make a conclusion

After covering this with your students, dive into some fun experiments! Plan to do lots of STEM activities to engage your students and make learning about science fun. Interactive notebooks are great for helping students collect data and easily integrate writing into your lessons.

To help make this lesson easy to plan, I created this What Is A Scientist 3 Week Unit! 

It includes 3 full weeks of detailed science lesson plans with interactive notebook pages, posts, and hands on activities that are fun and engaging for your students. Examples include gummy bear science, rainbow milk magic, and mixing primary colors to make observations. This unit is perfect for preK, kindergarten, 1st grade, or homeschool students. 

Science Lessons For Kids

science lessons for kids

Interested in a full year of science lesson plans? Check out my Science Curriculum Yearlong Bundle. For more tips, check out my post here.

What are your best tips for teaching science to younger students? Let me know in the comments!

 

Science lesson

Social Distance Greetings for Students

No-Touch Greetings for Students

Greeting students in the morning is going to be especially important this fall with a pandemic hanging around.  Welcoming students in the classroom is a great way to help students feel welcome and leave any problems they might have from home at the door.  Teachers want schools to open safely this year.  Social distance greetings for students can help with the transition from home to classroom.

Here are some no-touch social distance greetings you can do with your students:

  • Foot Bump
  • Jazz Hands
  • Namaste
  • Wave
  • Blow a Kiss
  • Bow
  • Curtsy
  • Wink
  • Peace Sign
  • Smile
  • Air Hug
  • Thumbs Up
  • Air Five
  • Air Fist Pump
  • Raise the Roof
  • Pretend to Tip Your Hat
  • Salute

How to Teach Distant Greetings

I would have students pick a greeting before they get to school to do at the door and an action for how to say goodbye.  These activities should be quick. You can make a sign that has the actions that hangs on the wall by the door for a reminder.  Hang posters and share other distance greeting activities to help students get in a routine of greeting each other.  I recommend having a few actions and then changing the activities out every month to keep them engaged. Create your own or check out Teachers Pay Teachers for some great resources already made for teachers.  Using Velcro will make it easy for teachers to change the greetings regularly.

Social Distancing Greetings for Kids

Jack Hartmann has a wonderful song to help teach how to greet someone without touching and remind students how to stay 6 feet away from others in the classroom.  Check it out! Thank you JACK!