Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter Fun!

Hi Friends!

Today I want to tell you about a great little FREEBIE I just posted.  I am so excited about Spring and Easter that I thought I'd share my excitement with you.  This year our district has spring break during Easter time, so I pulled some small groups last week to work on some Easter activities.

I love to have my kids write, so I created a couple of short writing pages to get them excited about Easter and about writing! I spread this out over a few days, but you can use them in writing centers, as homework, or even as morning work.

Student love to share things they have done with their family, so the first page asks students to write down 5 things they do with their family.  After the list the things they do, they can draw a picture to go with their writing.

The next sheet got them really excited! They got to list some things they wanted in their Easter basket.  Then, they were able to draw a picture of what their basket would look like.

After that they were able to talk about the reasons they like Easter.  They loved sharing their thoughts.

When the students were finished we played a short matching game to help them with sight word fluency.  The loved matching the eggs to the basket.  It was a blast!

If you'd like to do some of the activities with your students, you can download this Easter Freebie, you can click here to download it!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

The French Lick Takeover!

This weekend teachers took over French Lick, Indiana!  It was an awesome, inspiring experience.  The theme for the teacher blogger retreat was “Take Your Passion and Make it Happen”!  This event was organized by the amazing Holly Ehle over at Ms. Ehle’sKindergarten Connection.  She planned a takeover of the beautiful French Lick Resort.  Its a great hotel and casino! Here are some pictures of it.

 It all started with a road trip with some of my favorite bloggers. Latoya (Flying into First), Angela (The Daily Alphabet), and Nia (The Education Diva).  They were also my roommates for the weekend.   We had a great car ride talking about products and motivating each other in our TpT journey.  We arrived at the resort and were ready to link up with other great teachers and bloggers.

I learned lots of great things at the table talk sessions.  They were informative and inspiring.  I learned about some great new apps that I can’t wait to try! We also had some great sponsors who donated some awesome prizes.  I was lucky and won a gift from Rockin’ Needles, an Etsy shop.  During the teacher tool swap I got a great gift from Jameson at Lessons with Coffee.  I got some nice sharpies and highlighters that I plan to use very often.  

One of the highlights of the weekend was the 80’s party.  I had a blast dressing up and dancing the night away with some great blogger buddies. There was even a photo booth! Everyone had on their 80’s best.  There was even a flash mob! After the party we headed to the casino and danced the night away with some other great bloggers.  

The next day it was time to say our goodbyes.  We took a nice group picture, ate a hearty breakfast and then headed home.
I cant wait until next year to do it all again!!

Check out some other teachers and bloggers and how they spent their time at French Lick!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Hi Friends! I wanted to take a second to wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

If you haven't done so already, click here to pick up this FREEBIE about St. Patrick's Day! Quickly print off some today, or use it next year!
Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Tips to Help Testing Go Smoother

 It's that time of year when testing seems to consume our days at school.  If you are like most teachers, this can be a really stressful time.  I thought I'd share some tips on how to make testing days a little less stressful.  Of course, there are some things we can’t change, and high-stakes testing seems to be one of them.  So, we have to make the best of the time we have to keep our students and ourselves sane.

Tip #1
Make test prep FUN!

Our students no doubt feel drained getting prepared for tests.  There are long passages, tons of multiple choice questions, and lots of problem solving and writing.  To make things fun for student, we can consider making some changes in the way we prep for test.  Here are some fun games your students can play to help retain information and have fun.

Trivia- Student love to show you how much they know.  Trivia, like jeopardy is a fun way to test their knowledge. 

Question Toss-Have a ball? Pass it around.  Ask a question and then throw a beach ball or basketball to a student to have them answer the question.  Kids love catch, so this is sure to be a hit!

Quiz-Quiz-Trade-Make some flash cards of what you are studying or reviewing.  Use the stand up-hands up-pair up to get students to find a partner.  One partner holds up the flash card to show the other partner the question.  The partner answers the question They switch roles and continue until it is time to find another partner. Encourage your students to praise each other when the answer is correct.
Tip #2
Get parents involved.

Students love when their parents are involved in their learning.  Getting your students’ parents involved is a great way to build community and let your parents know what is happening at school and in the classroom.  Parents love to know what’s going on and most are willing to help.  I liked to send home note to parents to let them know what we’d be doing during the week and what they could do to help their child.  Parents are appreciative of open communication.

Tip #3
Inspire and motivate students!

Our students love feeling like we care about them.  During test time it is important to let them know even more!  To show them we care we can leave small notes that inspire and encourage them.  You can write them on the desk (with a dry erase marker), type up a cute note, or even give them a card that they can cherish.  Have fun with it! 
Tip #4
Provide healthy snacks!

Kids love to eat! Sometime breakfast isn’t enough, or it wears off quickly.  Make sure your students have a healthy snack to eat during breaks.  This helps them stay focused and alert during testing.  Sometimes your district will provide snacks.  If not, send a simple letter to parents to ask for donations during test time.  Your kids will love you for being so thoughtful!

Tip #5
Rally the troops!

Get all of the teachers in your school involved in showing support for the student and teachers that are testing.  Teachers in testing grades really carry a lot of weight throughout the year and especially during testing time.  This year the second grade team at my school rallied around the 3rd and 4th grade teachers to show support and appreciation for all they do.  They provided snack and lunch for them each day of testing.  The teachers loved it!  What a way to be a team!  Show some support to those administering the test, or get your building involved in sharing the love!

I hope these tips helped.  Thanks for stopping by!