Engaging Students in Themed Days

There is no denying that the easiest way to keep students engaged is to have themed days in your classroom. Typical days I participate in are Polar Express Days, Snowed-In Days, May the 4th Be With You, The Ocean Festivals, The Thankful Festivals, and a Fall Festivals. The Fall Festival is where our team teaches the same fall lesson with a craftivity to the entire kindergarten as they rotate to each room. Another great day which involves math, science, reading, writing and critical thinking skills is a SPY Day. This themed day motivates and rewards your students while sneaking in learning. Students dress up like secret agents, are given a mission to find a stolen object, walk through lasers, learn how to lift fingerprints, make memorize a new alias and work as a team to discover clues to solve the mystery. Allowing the kids to dress like secret agents, really gets them engaged. I keep the lights off and have them do their work with flashlights. I also invite parents to participate in the fun. When students see their parents having fun, they can’t help but be more positive about learning. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have extra help these days too! I’ve never had one themed day where there was a child not participating. It’s a lot of prep work for the teacher, but well worth the work. So, if you want your students engaged in learning, try to make learning fun by introducing a themed day. Click the picture below to find the printables for this themed day.
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Win a Teacher POT OF GOLD for a $400 Shopping Spree

I’ve teamed up with some awesome teacher authors to give some lucky TEACHERS a chance to win up to $400 in a Raffle.  Go to this link   CLICK HERE to enter the RAFFLECOPTER Giveaway! (or see the links at the bottom to go right to each entry.)  Share with your teacher friends too by re-posting this blog. 🙂 There are 7 lucky giveaways to enter.  Just choose which ones you want to enter or enter all of them to increase your chances to win.  This is one way I can say thank you for following my blog and/or my store.  Good Luck!  I hope you win! #teacherpotofgold

*Contest ENDS Tuesday at MIDNIGHT. 
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HTML Codes – Make TpT Listings POP!

I’m constantly trying to get my Teachers Pay Teachers product listings to stand out and POP among the thousands of other great product listings.  Here are some “cheat sheets” to help you make your listings SHINE!

Make it BOLD by inserting <stong>YOUR TEXT HERE</stong>

Underline it by inserting <span style=”text-decoration:line-through;”>YOUR TEXT HERE</span>

Copy and Paste These:

A round bullet: &bull;
An arrow pointing right: &rarr;
An arrow pointing left: &larr;
A heart-shaped bullet: &hearts;
A diamond-shaped bullet: &diams;
A star-shaped bullet: &#9733;

Teachers Are Winners HUGE GIVEAWAY

Teachers and Homeschoolers,

I have partnered with a HUGE group of TpT authors to give two lucky winners twenty chances at winning an “AMAZIN” $300 gift card to Amazon or a $100 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. All teachers are WINNERS, and I want you to really feel it with this Giveaway!

*****Directions for entering:*********
1. LIKE this post
2. SHARE this post
3. CLICK the link below and enter to win the raffle. (The more entries you complete, the greater your chances are of winning.)

http://gvwy.io/ycgbefy

Want to find the other TWO HUGE Giveaways? Search #TeachersAreWinners to find Giveaway #2 and Giveaway #3!  Good Luck!  I hope YOU win!
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February + Teachers = Love

Teachers, you have so much on your plate during the school year, I just don’t know how we all do it!  I know we do it for the love of learning and seeing kids grow, but sometimes it is hard to do everything that we are required to do during the school day.  This is why I have teamed up with some fantastic teacher authors to give one of you lucky teachers a $100.00 Amazon Gift Card! The giveaway will run February 1-5. You can enter below:

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Thank you for all you do for students!

Lots of Love,

Cindy

Groundhog Day in K!

Groundhog Day is celebrated in America on February 2 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The legend is that the groundhog comes out of his burrow and if it sees it’s shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.  If it is cloudy and there is no shadow, it is an indication of an early spring.  Each year we create crafts and make predictions about groundhogs in my kindergarten class.  Here are some ideas:Slide22

  1. Pass out sticky notes and have a chart to make predictions on if the groundhog will see it’s shadow or not on February 2.
  2. Go to the Groundhog Web site to share the history of Punxsutawney Phil and watch the video LIVE STREAM of Punxsutawney.   http://www.groundhog.org/ (You can see the replay here also.)
  3. Use this FREE coloring printable for students to engage in for fine motor skills.
  4. Sing Groundhog Day Poem (Tune: Frere Jacques)Groundhog Day

    Groundhog Day

    Is near

    Is near

    Will he see his shadow

    Will he see his shadow

    And disappear

    Disappear

  5. You can make the whole day relate to groundhogs by using activities in all subject areas in this GROUNDHOG DAY UNIT.

Make it a fun day! Students remember connections, not lessons.

Mastering Sight Words

Previously, when I taught kindergarten, 34 sight words were standard for students to master before they went into first grade.  So when the standard went from 34 to 86, I was stressed about how to teach these words to kids who continue to struggle with retention and application.  Sight words are important to being successful at reading.  The goal put a lot of pressure of me to find new ways to help my students learn these words.   Here are some strategies I tried successfully.  I put 5 to 10 sight words on the class Word Wall each week.  Students learned how to use them in sentences, practiced writing with them and are encouraged to use the Word Wall Words during all writing activities.  The most effective way I found to get them to remember sight words is to make the activities fun.  During centers, students use paint dabbers to create sight words, play sight word games and sing sight word songs found on You Tube.  The Sight Word Necklace has been a huge hit with motivating students to learn the words in class and at home.  Start the students sight-word-necklace-coverout with a few words on their necklace.  By the next week see what they know.  If they know it, they keep it.  If not, the word goes off the necklace and home for practice with the parents.  For every 20 they master, they get a special card that rewards them with a treasure box treat in our room (you can use anything… a certificate, a hug).  When they reach all the words they get to eat lunch with the teacher and a friend.  Another game they like is the Fly Swatter Game.  Two groups of students a picked, the teacher calls out a word and whoever swats the word on the word wall first get a point for the team.

You can get the Sight Word Necklace printable for ONLY $1.00 for 24 hours.  A group of teacher authors are also having a hashtag sale #2017DollarDeals .  Just type it into the Teachers Pay Teachers search box to find the deals.  Happy New YEAR!

flash-sale

TPT GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY AND 2-DAY SALE!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you!  You all deserve this winter break to relax and spend time with your family.  To make your holiday sparkle a little more, we are offering a couple $25.00 TpT Gift Cards to some lucky winners.  In addition to the gift cards, we are having sales in some TpT stores taking place on December 25-26. Follow this link to see the store link ups – APPLETASTIC LEARNING

Click the image to visit my store!

Christmas Sale

Click here to find the raffle to WIN the gift cards.

Thankful for Teachers $550 Giveaway

Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and it’s safe to say most of us are ready for a break with some great family time!  Several of my Teacher Author Friends have teamed up to bring you a chance to win $50.00 in Christmas CASH!  The Give Away is HUGE!  Just click the link below to have up to 50 chances to enter the raffle.   You may enter Sunday, November 13th through midnight on Tuesday, November 15th.  Prizes will be awarded on Wednesday, November 16th.  Please share this on all your social media sites with you teacher friends.  There are plenty of chances to win!  11 winners will get $50.00 in Gift Cards.  Good Luck!  I hope it is one of you!

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