Sunday, August 15, 2021

Retelling Path Summary Freebie

I get to go back to school tomorrow!!!!!  The last time I taught kids in my room was March 12, 2020.  Then, covid.  We were fully remote for all of the last school year but we're going back at the end of August.  Tomorrow I get to finally get back in and work in my room and I'm seriously giddy with excitement!

I thought I'd share a new freebie with you to get you excited too!  I just posted this "Retelling Path" summary freebie and have it all ready for my 2nd graders.  I created a digital version of this for last school year and we used it often for summarizing... but now we will be able to have out own hard copies too!

Please download and enjoy... and let me know what you think!

Happy back to school!

Friday, June 25, 2021

No Prep Phonics A-Z Alphabet Bundle NEW!... and a FREE letter!

Did you see my freebie last week for a compound word NO PREP printable, PDF, or slide deck?

Well... I've been hard at work making them for each letter of the alphabet!  Perfect for kindergarten, 1st grade review, or even intervention.

You can get letter D for free by downloading the preview on TpT!

Introduce the letter...

Read a repetitive passage and search for the sound...

Find words with the sound in a seek and find... this is also GREAT for vocabulary building and oral language because every picture on the page has the anchor sound!

Read or spell FIVE different words with the sound...

Identify the picture that does not belong...

I am so proud of these and hope you will love them too!  Click the pic at the top to download the freebie for letter D!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Compound Words FREEBIE For You!

Are you still sticking around this little blog of mine?  Hey, I'm posting just a month after my last post... so that's better that it's been in a long time!

I've been enjoying the last week of no school after a crazy year of 100% online teaching.

But, now it's time to start (slowly!) thinking about next year.

I'm going back to 2nd grade and looping with my kiddos, so that means I need some new activities and also want to keep doing things digitally as much as I can.  I'm a crazy "paper person" who needs hard copies and likes my binders full of papers organized in sheet protectors... but I'm trying!

So, I'm making some digital phonics resources for next year and you can have the COMPOUND WORDS set for FREE!

I know compound words isn't strictly "phonics", but I couldn't resist as we will cover this next year.

For each of these packs, there are five activities.  Right now I'm thinking I will do one each day.  Here's the run-down for compound words:

1- Monday: introduce the concept

2- Tuesday: read a passage and circle compound words.  I plan to project this onto my whiteboard and let the kiddos use the "magic pen" (ie. interactive pen that is just too cool) to come up and circle compound words while we read together.

3- Wednesday: seek and find fun!  For each of these, there are 10 pictures to read and find... but every picture follows the skill the conversation possibilities and teachable moments are endless!  Not to mention opportunities for vocabulary instruction too!

4- Thursday: look at the picture, write the word.  There are five different words each week.

5- Friday: Read the sentences and figure out which picture doesn't belong.

I'm excited to implement this in the fall.  I fell in love with PearDeck last school year so I'm thinking I may turn some of these into PearDecks too, once we learn the routine and students can be more independent.

I hope you'll head over to TpT and download the FREEBIE to see it for yourself.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Jumping on the Desk Pet Bandwagon... Here' s Why!

Honestly, I'd love to know your thoughts.  But, sit back and take a read first.

Thanks to Covid-19, I have spent the school year doing fully remote instruction with my 1st graders.  I have learned A LOT.  Like a LOT LOT.  One of the things that has been really eye-opening to me is how my "traditional" classroom management system just can't continue.

You know... points on the screen for following basic school norms that we have to follow anyway.  There's nothing inherently wrong with that system, but remote teaching has really shown me how THAT isn't what matters for maintaining a safe, loving, and productive classroom.  So, now that I've been "in" their homes for a year, I can't just go back and do business as usual.  I've learned too many lessons abou thow I can truly give up control of certain things and students will still achieve!

So, I am making a shift.

Gone are the days of publicly giving and taking away points, clipping up and down, and visible displays showing who's naughty and who's nice.  At least for me anyway.  Instead, let's focus on responsibility.  Let's make character building, kindness, and hard work the center of what we do.  Tie it in with "Quote of the Week", and it's a character-building match in paradise!

So, THAT is why I will be doing something different.  And, that is DESK PETS!  Students will get one to start and can earn dollars to enhance the living space of their critter.  My hope is that having a desk pet to care for will increase empathy.  It will make the classroom not about who is "on pink" or who has the most points.  And, more importantly, takes away the who's on red and who had the least points!  It will give us something to rally around together as our pets interact with friends and will be a point of pride for students too.  Not to mention all the ways it can impact academics through writing projects, having a pet to read to, endless possibilities!

I've been working away for days on how this is going to look and work in my classroom, as well as making something special for TpT too!

Do you use Desk Pets?  Do you have tips?  What about re-vamping your behavior management system?  And, why do we call it that... let's teach students to manage their own behavior by giving them something to be proud of!

I'm excited so start... so stay tuned for updates!

Monday, February 8, 2021

Classroom Games Virtually (An Easy How-to!)

I LOVE playing games in the classroom.  We play games every week in my classroom and I have had to find a way to do that virtually, as we've been remote teaching since spring 2020 (thanks, Covid).

Google Slides is my best friend for playing games with my kids virtually.

Here's what you do.

1- save the gameboard that you want to use as an image.  I am using the editable board template file that is available on TpT.  Everything opens in Google Slides and you can easily type in the words you want to use.  To save the file as an image, click "file", "download", "PNG image".

Click to check it out!  There's a link to a FREEBIE in the product listing.

2- make a new Google Slide file by typing

3- add the image that you saved as the background.  This makes it so kids can't accidentally move it!  (Click "background" and choose the file that you saved.")

4- add circles or other clipart for your counters.

5- add a video clip for dice.  I love this one.  Click to roll, click to stop.

6- change the permissions so everyone has access, share the link your kiddos in the chat if you want them to be able to interact (or just share your screen and interact for them if that works better!), and BOOM!  I also make multiple slides and tell the kids which one they are to play on. 

I teach 1st grade and they CAN DO THIS!

Here is another one we played this week.  So easy and SO fun!

I hope that helps you add some partner play to your classroom!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Free Groundhog Day Digital Activities!

That's right!  FREE FREE FREE!

I'm still in the throws of remote teaching.  I haven't taught a child in my classroom since March 12, 2020.  I still get to see 22 friendly faces every day, but it isn't the same.  

Remote teaching has helped me re-think a lot of things about what I'll do in my classroom when we return, but that's another blog post.

For today, I want to share a FREE digital slide deck for Groundhog Day.  Making learning interactive while trying to cram lessons into a 70-minute time frame is tough.  I walk away some days feeling like I did a lot of "talking at them".  I know I'm animated enough.  I know I work to make my visuals "fun" enough.  But, I also want to make sure my kiddos get to move, learn, and interact too!

Making room for fun has never been more important in education.  Kids miss school too.  They miss laughing with friends.  They miss class celebrations.  And, remote holiday parties... they are TOUGH!

So, I have a fun, interactive slide deck for Groundhog Day that you can share with your kiddos!  If you use PearDeck, it's all set up for you to use that way!  (If you haven't downloaded the PearDeck extension for Google Slides, do it!!!)  Otherwise, you can use the 2nd file in the download to make interactive in your own way.

I hop you and your students will enjoy this fun activity next Tuesday!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Free Predicting Escape Room for Google Classroom!

It's been a while!  I had been doing so well keeping up... and then COVID happened and, even though I found myself at home like most of you, I just couldn't commit to blogging.

The spring was a whirlwind of trying to create engaging ways to reach my 2nd grade kiddos through distance learning.  We Zoomed three times a week for 30 minute lessons and I fell in love with Google Classroom to house assignments and activities.

One thing my students enjoyed doing was participating in digital escape rooms!  I made some with random topics for them (cotton candy, rainforests, jelly fish, storms) and they had so much fun! 

Knowing that there is a likelihood of returning to distance learning for the upcoming year, I have become absolutely obsessed with this fun way to engage my kiddos in learning!  I have created escape rooms for grammar skills and reading comprehension, with a math list a mile long to start working on next!

I've decided to share a "Making Predictions" escape room for you!  Simply click the link to head to TpT to snag it!  It is specifically designed for Google Slides, so it will save to your Google Drive and you'll access it from there.  I'd love to know what you think after you check it out too!

I hope you'll check it out!

Can you think of any topics that I should add to my "to do list" for escape rooms?  They are so much fun to make!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

An Exciting Announcement!

I am so excited to share with you that...

I have opened an ETSY SHOP!!!!!!

I got a Cricut over the summer and have slowly filled my house with creations... now that I'm almost out of wall space but WAY not ready to stop creating, I decided to branch out and give Etsy a whirl.  I'm making bows, earrings, and signs for home and school.  Several of the signs can be personalized too!

I hope you'll come and check me out over there, favorite my shop and, if you see anything you like, take advantage of this coupon code... I'm offering blog friends 20% off with code BLOG20 during the first two weeks my shop is open!

Here's a sneak peek at just a few of the items you can find over there...

Do you have a side hustle for crafts?  I'd love to see what you're making!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Student Christmas Ornaments {I'm OBSESSED!}

I am obsessed with the student ornaments I am giving my kiddos this year...

Take a look- I made this one for my little nephew to show you the finished product!

I bought the round, flat-ish ornaments (similar to these on Amazon) at Michael's and used my Cricut to cut each students' name with the year... and, of course, a heart!  I placed this on each ornament.

I have tons of small pom-poms and I'm going to let my students choose about 20 to put inside of their ornaments, which I think they will absolutely LOVE!

Did you see my post over the weekend with my favorite easy parent gift ornaments?  Click the link below to find out more!

I've been out sick the last two days, so I'm looking forward to heading back in to see my cherubs tomorrow!  Hope all are hanging in there on these last few weeks until the holidays!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Easiest, Cutest Student Made Ornaments!

You read that right... you have stumbled upon the easiest and CUTEST student made ornaments!

These are so simple.  No cutting, no painting, no days to dry, no gobs of money to spend... in fact, you only need five items to make these and I guarantee that you have FOUR of them in your classroom right now.

You need:

*popsicle sticks
*permanent markers
*pipe cleaners

Those are the four things you already have.

The only things you need to buy are holiday cupcake wrappers.


Students take 3-4 cupcake wrappers.  My kiddos used three big ones and one little one.

Flatten them.

Rub glue on the back of each one, fold in half, rub glue on the half, and fold over again.

Then, arrange on top of each other like a tree.

Teacher adds a stick on the back with hot glue, students write their name and the year, punch a hole in the top, and twist on a pipe cleaner!  I got mine at the Dollar Tree!

I loved seeing my students' faces light up when they saw the finished product... the best part... it only took 30 minutes to do this entire project with my class of 26 second graders!

Of course, if you want a more ambitious project, you can check out what we'll be doing this coming week.  We're making another ornament using pre-cut wood slices.  I got these from Amazon for around $18.00 for 30 of them.   (Click either pic to check them out on Amazon- affiliate link!)

We'll be starting these in the upcoming week.  Here's the sample I made... I just painted three of my fingers white, pressed on the wood slice, and decorated with Sharpies when the paint was dry!  I know my kiddos will LOVE making these for their families and they'll have a pair of ornaments to take home for the holidays!

That's it!  Two cute, easy ornaments that are perfect for my kiddos and yours this holiday!
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