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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Break Readiness

Before you start your winter break, though, make it a true break from your teaching duties by planning for January now.  You want to start the new year refreshed and prepared.  I'd like to help you do that. 

For years, I've been creating and utilizing centers for elementary students.  Let my work make your life easier. You need literacy centers.  Check these out:

Whether you teach The Mitten or not, this center is perfect for primary classrooms.  It's foci are initial consonant blends and rhyming words.  Your students will manipulate the 18 mitten cards to find 9 pairs of mittens.  Naturally, you can choose to use fewer cards if that is more appropriate to your class.  This center also has a recording sheet for your convenience.  
For older students, try Friendly Frog's Leap Frog Game.  

This center requires students to determine the number of syllables in words that pertain to frogs, bogs, and logs. They move their game pieces as many places as their word has syllables.  The center has a game board, 54 word or action cards, 6 game pieces, file folder labels. 

In the spirit of the season, I am planning several FLASH FREEBIES this week.  The above centers might be among the gifts I offer.  Check my facebook page for announcements of the flash freebies.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Ebook from TpT

There’s “snow” time like the present to grab your FREE copies of the 2013 Winter Holidays Tips & Freebies Ebooks from TpT!

For the 3rd year, some of the most wonderful TpT teacher-authors have generously given their time and talents to compiling and editing ebooks filled with tips for teaching during the days of December and providing links to FREE resources.  Each book is composed of gifts for you from 50 teacher-authors.

There are 4 books, delineated by grade levels.  Click on the thumbnails below to get the ebook(s) of your choice. 

A huge thank you goes out to the editors: Krissy Miner, Hilary Lewis, Rachel Lynette, and Addie Williams.

BTW, I am honored to be included in the Grades 3-6 ebook.  I hope you will check out my tip and FREEBIE on page 14 of that book.

Happy holidays everyone!

 Other December resources:


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

     May your stuffing be tasty.
     May your turkey be plump.
     May your potatoes n gravy have nary a lump.
     May your yams be delicious,
     May your pies take the prize.
     May your Thanksgiving dinner                     
     Stay off of your thighs.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, fun, and many, many blessings.

P.S.  It's about time, teachers, for the annual TpT Cyber Mon. & Tues. sale. Everything in my store will be 28% off with coupon code CYBER.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.   Celebrating their heritage with my students is something I look forward to each November.

Legends are inherent in any study of the Native American culture.  Thus, I begin by sharing picture books that are based on such legends.  Here are some of my favorites:

Perhaps my uber favorites are:

After reading The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, my 3rd & 4th graders research other wildflowers in the computer lab. They choose one for their own legend, telling how the wildflower came to be.  

My 1st & 2nd graders focus on winter counts and skin stories. After sharing pictures of actual winter counts, we compose a skin story together.  I display picture dictionaries of Native American symbols and we collaborate on how to "tell" our story using the symbols. Then we prepare a "skin" using a paper grocery bag or construction paper.  Tear the corners and sides to mimic the shape of an animal skin. In an effort to be more authentic, we record the story on our skin by writing in an oval that expands outward.
This is a collaborative story by a group of 1st graders.  2nd graders can do this independently.

The vocabulary of the Native American culture is often foreign to my charges.  Thus, I have created several literacy center activities that allow the students to work with the vocabulary while practicing skills aligned with the CCSS.  
This one requires students to put the words in alphabetical order, using up to the 2nd letter.

This one asks students to sort the nouns cards into piles of people, places, or things.

For more activities to extend The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, check out my thematic unit.  It is available on TpT and TN.

You may also like:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Poem for Veterans' Day

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.

You could also challenge your students' detective skills.  Since this poem is replete with polysyllabic words, ask them to find all the 3 syllable words, 4 syllable words, etc.  Put this poem in a literacy center and direct your students to find and list all the homophones and their alternate spellings.

The poem and possibilities are found in my unit, Poetry Possibilities -- Fall.

Thank you, Veterans!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Acorns Keep Falling on my Head!

Acorns keep falling on my head!  Really!  Our oak trees are dropping acorns like a rainstorm. Ouch!  But, kind of like Newton and his apple, those pecks on the head inspired me to create some acorn centers.

One of the centers is Acorn Patterns.  There are 2 sizes of acorns and each size points in 4 different directions. By providing that number of variables, it will be easy to differentiate instruction for my students. They can make a simple a-b-a-b pattern with sizes. Or, I can challenge my G/T students to create something far more complex. Because the acorns are uncolored, students can make even more complicated patterns by the way they color them. 

You can grab a copy of my Acorn Pattern math center at Google Docs.

In addition to the math center, I made 3 literacy centers: Collecting Acorns (compound word match), Acorn Contractions, and Acorns & Leaves (long vowel sort). If you like the patterning center, and I hope you do, you can get the whole set on TpT.

Other fall products you may be interested in: