Saturday, March 5, 2022

Grab Some March Freebies and Ideas

Hello, Teacher Friends!  

Happy March! I really love teaching in March. Maybe it's leaving winter behind? The welcome of spring and warmer weather? The feeling that summer isn't too far off? For whatever reason, I always feel energized with the kids during March.

Maybe it's the fun Leprechaun Traps the kids make at home and the anticipation of bringing them in to catch a pesky Leprechaun? Feel free to grab freebie and use...


(Here's a video of our traps and what happened when we put them out....FUN!!!)

March means it's time to pull out some March-themed math games. This year, I added this freebie for a  St. Patrick's Day theme .  It's super easy to play! Perfect for K-2.


We always do a quick craft or two for spring to refresh the classroom, too.  Usually it's this:





But this year, as part of my Monthly Goal Product series, I made these instead.  Kids tucked a goal for March underneath.  The best part? These are so easy that from start to finish was 15 minutes for most kids...including the goal writing!





I had kids pick one or the other.  Most picked the lion.  Next year, I'll have them make both so I have lots to decorate with and they'll have a matching pair to bring home. They'll do two goals, too.  I have 25 goals to pick from in the product so that won't be a problem.

Of course we kicked off the month with Read Across America. My kiddos enjoyed making a headband to wear. Isn't it cute?



Here are my March Crowns / headbands if you want to take a peek:



But my favorite activity so far in March? One I just started to implement last week and I'm sure I'll do for years to come EVERY DAY in my classroom! Yep! EVERY DAY.

What is it? Stay-tuned! That will be my next post later this week.  It's late and I've gotta get some sleep!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Two Classics: Betty White & Harry the Dirty Dog (FREEBIE!)

These two are perfect together! 


I love Harry just as much now as I did when it was read to me as a child.  When I discovered that Betty read this on Storylineonline a few years ago, I was even more excited! Perfection for sure! 

You can get my Harry the Dirty Dog Book It for FREE in my store! If you aren't familiar with my Book-Its, there are three activities. 

Book It: Retell It, Write It! Make It!


1. Retelling the Story:




2. Make-a-Word 



The kids start off very slow with the words they can make. Model, model, model! There is so much you can do with Make-a-Words and I feel like they are an untapped resource for so many teachers.  I use their word study lessons as a guide and then sneak in all sorts of other min-lessons. 

Since there is an "S" in this one, I introduced plurals and kids were excited to almost double their words.  By the end of the year, many kids can get 50-100 words (TRUTH!) on a good Make-a-Word phrase.

3. Writing Prompts (Pick-a-Prompt)



Sharing these is always a pleasure because I don't have to listen to 20 of the same prompt responses. While not always spread even across all 3, it does allow for variety. I'm virtual this week and will be doing this orally during Morning Meeting. It's great practice for them!

Book Its are also awesome to leave for a substitute!  Yep! Why? Because it's at least an HOUR of meaningful work. Watch/read book, Retelling, Make-A-Word, and then the prompt and sharing.  More than 60 minutes for me and I usually don't do everything in one day.  (Retelling is an example: They practice retelling a few days independently and then with partner.)

Last year, for the first time in forever, a NEW Harry the Dirty Dog book was released:




If you like the above BOOK-IT, I have a 3 more FREE ones in my store and 125 Book Its for sale at $2 each. Perfect for when you just want a little support on a book! Here are TWO more Freebies:



I hope you can use some of the freebies above!

Have a great day and a terrific week ahead!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Back to Virtual Learning (And a Freebie!)

We are back to Virtual Learning for two weeks. I have a feeling that the two weeks will turn into 3-4 weeks. I hope I'm wrong. How about you? Are you teaching from home or is it business as usual?  

I'm doing my best to infuse some fun into my daily online lessons while maintaining a sense of normalcy and familiarity.  Our favorite activity each day in school is our Morning Meeting.  It really sets the tone for the day and creates and fosters a strong sense of community...whether at home or in school. Here was my January Morning Meeting for the first day back virtually:


I've been able to use lots of my existing slides in my January packet but have had to change the order around since some activities don't work as well online. But with so many slides to pick from, it was just a matter of quickly cutting and pasting. Whew! It's so nice to keep our Morning Meeting routine intact!

If you want to read my series on implementing Morning Meeting into your classroom AND grab a FREE week of Greetings, Shares, and Activities (and a message you can edit), check out this post Building Classroom Community Through Morning Meeting (Part 1: Greetings)


Over break, I made a January Which One Doesn't Belong? that I've been using virtually as well. Such a great activity! Click to watch the short clip to see examples.


I've also been using my favorite January Poems and Songs to try to keep it as close too in-person learning as possible.  I use these with my Doc Camera instead of screen sharing them but my Doc camera messes up my computer settings.  Need to problem solve that ASAP!



I also added another Goal-Setting January Activity to my bundle BUT I'm not able to use it yet.  If I knew we were going virtual. it would have been fun to copy and send home. Oh, well! 


Here's a picture of what my December Goal Setting Bulletin Board looked like. Cute! You just had to life up the legs to see the goals the kids set for themselves. They are still hanging up so when I get back, that's the first thing I'll need to do!



I was able to send home some of my January Crowns that I had already copied. Yea!


It will be cute to see 18 of my Smarties all wearing one or two of these online.

Off to get ready for the day.  Have a good one!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year (Some Adult Books I'm Reading, too!)

Happy New Year, friends! I truly feel that 2022 MUST have more positivity in store for us all. With my surgeries behind me, I'm so ready to move on in so many ways.

(I love INSPIRIVITY's work above and below! Follow her on Instagram)

Yesterday, it hit me as I walked from the parking lot into the library without pain and with total ease, that I am moving on and mainly MOVING! WALKING! On my own! 

I came home and almost cried telling John that I can't believe I have my independence back. That I can really walk places and distances without having to plan out where I'll sit, think if it's too long of a walk (more than 50 steps was!) etc.  

This is seriously the first time I've been pain free in about 25 years. 


I wish I had the surgeries sooner.  If you are in a similar situation with a quality of life issue, I urge you to make the appointments. Get it done. The sooner the better.

Back to the library yesterday... 

Yes, it was open on New Year's Eve (day) from 10-6. Kind of crazy! But I did get a few books that I'll be reading. 

My goal over this break was to read 5 adult books.  I'm almost done book 4 with 1 more to go which won't happen before Monday. (Just found out we are going virtual for two weeks so lots to prepare for.)

Take a peek into my books this week:


The Paris Library is a must read!  I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! A friend suggested it 6 months ago and I'm so glad the library had it! I am certain that the characters I fell in love with must be in this picture!


I also really liked The Last Thing He Told Me.  A VERY easy read. Loved the characters. 

The Neighbor's Secret was okay.  Fine. Not on my must-read list. 

People We Meet on Vacation was picked simply because it was on display at the library and I was in the mood for more of a "predictable" and "fluffy" book after The Paris Library.

The Last Flight was also recommended to me. I know it was a BOTM selection a few years back.

Speaking of Book of the Month, John got me a year subscription.  YEA!  I just picked my first book!


The Magnolia Palace! I gave my sister a subscription for her birthday. She's picking Reckless Girls. We'll swap when done.

My friend actually got me a 3 month subscription to BOTM when I was having my first surgery. That was such a thoughtful gift! (Thanks, Patti!  She was also the one who recommended The Paris Library.)

I'm open to all sorts of books EXCEPT horror and, at the moment, prefer books that don't make me sob more than once! Please send me suggestions!  I'd appreciate it!

Happy New Year! Love, Light, and Good Health to all!