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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

It's About Time for Valentine's Day Parties

It's About Time, Teachers for Valentine's Day Parties!

The class party for Valentine's Day is my absolute favorite party of the year.  That's because I have my students create their own treat! It's such fun to see how creative (and excessive) 1st graders will get.

Here's how it works:
  • Ask your room parents to bake heart shaped sugar cookies for the party. They should NOT decorate them!  Ask them to use the largest heart shaped cookie cutter possible. That way you will need only 1 cookie per student. Since many children now have peanut and other nut allergies, I recommend using Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough since it is safe for those with allergies. That is, of course, if the bakers are not making dough from scratch.


  • The room parents should also provide tubs of frosting; 1 tub for every 4 or 5 children. That's way more than is needed, but it certainly cuts down on the sharing problems that 6 & 7 year olds can exhibit.

  • Have enough plastic knives to allow each child to have their own. If you are nervous about knives, even tho' plastic, tongue depressors also work well.
  • Your students should gather around decorating centers (paper covered tables) supplied with the above mentioned frosting tubs, plastic knives, and a generous supply of decorative sprinkles and colored sugar crystals.
  • Now stand back and let your children have the time of their lives.  They will almost certainly create cookies that are piled high with every decoration within their reach and that are nearly inedible.  But, they will have fun.
  • Clean up is as easy as whisking the paper covering the tables into the garbage. Woo hoo!

This party plan will take up most of your allotted celebration time, so room parents will not need to plan any games or crafts.  You may even find that there is insufficient time to open their valentines at school.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day party with your little sweeties.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

It's about time, teachers, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

MLK, Jr. Day is Jan. 15.   Do you need resources for it?  Try this one; it's FREE!

This FREE poetry unit provides 3 poems about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each of the poems in Poetry Possibilities -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Edition has a page of possibilities for teaching. The poetry possibilities are custom designed and include a teaching point related to poetry, as well as activities and skill lessons from multiple disciplines. Topics covered include:

• metaphors
• rhythm
• sensory detail
• meter
• iambic foot

• accented syllables
• unaccented syllables
• capitalization
• punctuation

These poems are copy ready and, thus, may be added to your students' poetry anthologies. The range of reading levels in these poems makes them appropriate for all intermediate classrooms. This unit is CCSS aligned. 

"The time is always right to do the right thing."
                                                            -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Great $1 Word Challenge

This is one of the best teaching challenges I have ever used!  Year after year my students beg to do this and they have a voracious appetite for it.  Such enthusiasm warms my teacher's heart!

So, what is The Great $1 Word Challenge?  The simple answer is it's a quest for words that equal exactly $1 when the letters are valued like this:
Most $1 Word Challenges ask the students to discover words with no parameters; no clues.  How daunting is that?  So, I created clues that will lead students to such words.  Along the way, they practice computation, calculator skills, dictionary & thesaurus skills, parts of speech, vocabulary development, prefixes, suffixes, verb tenses, plurals, spelling, editing, proof-reading, critical thinking, and problem solving.  Talk about BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!  

I'm a visual learner, so I created a series of visuals to explain these awesome challenges.

If your kiddos enjoy them as much as mine do, you will be grabbing more clues as fast as you can.  You may be relieved to know that these clues are available in money saving bundles.

Did you notice that my images failed to include $1 Words 1.0?  That's because I saved the best for last!  The first unit is FREE!

You can try $1 Words before you buy them.

You don't have to take my word for how fun this project is.  Read what your comrades have said:

Head here to find all of the $1 Word products.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Collaborative Boards for Teachers

I have 13 boards that are open to new collaborators.  It's easy to join.  Just follow the board(s) and/or me.  The send me an email with your Pinterest profile name and the board(s) you wish to join.  Easy peasey!

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's about time for Veterans' Day, teachers! 

That means it's about time for a poem. And, of course, some activities to go with it.

Here are some teaching possibilities:

This poem and the teaching possibilities are part of Poetry Possibilities: Fall Edition.  There are 25 additional poems.  Each poem is accompanied by a teaching point related to poetry, as well as activities, skill lessons, and poetry writing prompts. All of the activities are custom designed for that poem. Lessons include: 
• Elements of poetry (rhyme, internal rhyme, rhyme scheme, rhythm, figurative language, voice, imagery, form)
• Poetic form (haiku, tanka, acrostic poems, tercet poems, cinquain poetry, 1-2-3 poems, 5 senses poetry, list poems)
• Guided reading lessons (CAP, phonemes, rimes, fluency, expression, grammar)
• Book links
• History
• Math (graphing, patterns)
• Art (visual, performing)

Every poem is copy ready so that you may have your students bind them into an anthology of their own. 

These poems provide a range of reading levels appropriate to both primary and intermediate classrooms. Thus, you can accommodate students reading above or below grade level. 

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