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Thank You Teachers!

There are so many teachers in my school that work with my little ones, I like to make sure they feel appreciated all year, but especially Teacher Appreciation Week!
 
Thank You Teachers! Here are some thank you cards that are just perfect for teacher appreciation week!

I recently updated my set of Thank You Notes to include cards for Teacher Appreciation!

Thank You Teachers! Here are some thank you cards that are just perfect for teacher appreciation week!

There are plenty of choices, some in color, and plenty in grayscale for easy printing. These will work well for Mother's Day, as well as the end of the school year. I encourage my kiddos to make them for all those other teachers that work with them.

If you hang onto this set, there are some you can use at Christmas as well!

If you're interested in a sampling, see this image or see HERE.
Thank You Teachers! Here are some thank you cards that are just perfect for teacher appreciation week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


Thank You Teachers! Here are some thank you cards that are just perfect for teacher appreciation week!


What to do with Leftover Jellybeans?

Do you have leftover Jellybeans?  
If you don't, I'll bet you can get some real cheap!

What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.
 

My students and I have been having some fun observing jellybeans that have been soaking in different solutions.

We started by recording our predictions on what might happen.

Then we poured the solutions in and watched.

A day later, we recorded our observations.
What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.

The conversations between the groups were priceless! 


They were drawing conclusions and making logical comparisons. What an awesome group of scientists I have!

We have a couple of days before the final observation at the end of the week. It should be interesting to see their final conclusions!

This experiment is part of my Science and Social Studies for April.
 
What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.

I have one of these for each month in an effort to squeeze in Science and Social Studies topics into my second grade. We have so much focus on literacy and math it's tough to squeeze in the subjects that the children love the most! These collections are my attempt to make the life of a primary teacher just a bit easier!

With these Science and Social Studies activities, I can find the time to do some fun stuff, without wasting much class time or prep time. 


Besides the jellybean experiment, there's another experiment on how to make an egg float, the lifecycle of a frog, a close read on Earth Day, and a mapping activity based on major league baseball teams. (The latter is a mini-version of Baseball Geography, which you can see more about HERE.)

You can save by purchasing bundles:


What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.


What to do with All Those Papers!


No matter how we go about it, there are always papers at the end of the day. Once they're all corrected, what do you do with them all?
What to do with all those papers? After you have corrected a pile of student work, what do you do with it? This blog post has a suggestion.

I used to give them back at the end of the day, but I found they'd get lost in backpacks. The kids wouldn't even look at them, and they'd never get home to be seen by families.

Then I decided to file them, and send the paperwork home in an envelope once a week. 

The work got home successfully! The parents got to see it and anticipated the work coming home every Wednesday!

But then, the kids never got to see their own work! 
That means they never got feedback on their written work!

We all know feedback is what feeds learning. 

If the children don't know if they've done well, how do they know to keep doing it?

If the children don't know they've made mistakes, how do they know to stop doing that?


Here's how it's organized: 

 
1.  I write notes on the children's papers, letting them know what they're doing well, or what they need to fix. (Gently, of course!)

2. They find the previous day's papers on their desk in the morning. They take a few minutes to look them over and see their feedback.

 What to do with all those papers? After you have corrected a pile of student work, what do you do with it? This blog post has a suggestion.
 
3. They file their own papers to be saved for the week.
What to do with all those papers? After you have corrected a pile of student work, what do you do with it? This blog post has a suggestion.


4. Those papers are sent home weekly in an envelope for the parents to see.
 
What to do with all those papers? After you have corrected a pile of student work, what do you do with it? This blog post has a suggestion.


What do you do with student papers when you're done correcting?

Baseball Fun and Learning!

I'm so excited that baseball season is finally here! Baseball means spring! 

 After a tough winter, anything that means spring is OK by me! 
Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!
 
I've been doing a lot of baseball reading this week, in honor of the opening of baseball season. Here are some favorites: 
 
                                                     

Baseball and April bring another opportunity: It's National Poetry Month! What a great opportunity to write Diamantes!

Why Diamantes?  Because they are shaped like diamonds!(Get it? baseball diamonds?)

Or check out this resource, with plenty of examples and options!
Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!


Speaking of shapes... a baseball diamond could be called a square or a rhombus, but did you realize home plate is shaped like a pentagon?

Have you noticed, when we connect learning to sports, all those little boys perk up?  (Many of the little girls do, too!)

I have a resource I'm VERY excited about called Baseball Geography
Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!

These are all task cards based on the locations of major league baseball teams! I had such a blast putting this together, and so far my students can't get enough! Plus, they're really getting to know the locations on the US maps!

Here are a couple of other baseball-themed games I've got:

Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!


Baseball Antonyms combines a couple of popular games with antonym practice. 

Plus, I have a couple of BINGO games with a baseball theme:
Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!

Home Run Two Digit Addition gives the children practice adding 2 two-digit numbers, along with a little strategy. 
 
Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!

Home Run Two Syllable Words is a similar BINGO game, but this one gives the children practice reading two-syllable words. 

The students LOVE these BINGO games! 

Come to think of it, they love any time I combine learning with sports!

And, of course, there's one more! A bundle of all of the baseball-themed activities:

Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!

How do you include sports in the learning process?

Baseball Fun! Books, activities, and resources to keep your sports fans engaged in learning!

My Plans for April Fool's Day

The laughter of children is one of my very favorite sounds! That's why I go out of my way to hear it on April Fool's Day in my classroom!
 
My Plans for a Productive (and fun) April Fool's Day! Here are a couple of resources to help learning happen on April Fool's Day!
 

These are my plans for April Fool's Day!

My Plans for a Productive (and fun) April Fool's Day! Here are a couple of resources to help learning happen on April Fool's Day!


This set has more than enough to spend the day on fun, silly activities, yet still squeeze in a little learning and skill work!

For math, there are story problems (with silly situations, of course!), three-digit mental math (adding hundreds) math fact review, and balancing equations-second grade style!

For word work, there's a great list of April Fool's day words, sentence writing, alphabetical order, compound words, and spelling practice.

There's an April Fool's themed writing practice.

For reading, there's prediction and visualizing.

This should keep those little guys busy, and happy, too! You'll be hearing that delightful laughter!

Just see the image for the link!

My Plans for a Productive (and fun) April Fool's Day! Here are a couple of resources to help learning happen on April Fool's Day!


See this link, for this math resource, too! This is a sample of the larger resource above... just the math stories!

Looking for more April Fool's Day learning fun? 

Check out these other blog posts.



My Plans for a Productive (and fun) April Fool's Day! Here are a couple of resources to help learning happen on April Fool's Day!


What Does a Non-Athletic Girl Learn From a Football Coach?

It hardly seems there is much of anything that a non-sports type like me might learn from a football coach, but I'm living proof that a football coach can teach plenty that has nothing to do with the gridiron.
I've been thinking a lot about my dad today. He would be 97 today if he were still alive.

My dad was a football coach. I never had much luck with sports, although I was expected to participate back then. (It was very frustrating, since I was downright awful!) 

However, I learned a whole lot about life from my dad! So did his players!

Optimism! My dad taught his players to believe in successful outcomes. "I can, and I will!"

Empathy! My father taught his players to show empathy for the losing team, and on rare occasions the winning team. (Our team rarely lost!)

Creativity! Although football players learn drills and plays, there are plenty of times on the field they need to think for themselves and create their own path. 

Grit! Playing football involves courage and strength of character. He taught them to work hard to attain their goals. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"

Self-Control! Football players need the control and discipline to perform as a team. It takes willpower to push personal emotions and impulses to the side and focus on the task at hand!


Resilience! No matter how many times they were tackled, they got up and tried again!

Wait... those qualities: optimism, empathy, creativity, grit, self control and resilience, aren't those important skills for all kids to learn?

Although they're not actually part of the curriculum, don't you think these are important for children to learn?



Relax and Read!

For most of us, one of our goals as teachers is to instill a love of reading. I find much of that is in the way it's presented! I never tell my students they "have to" read. I never, ever let it sound like a chore. I tell them it's time to...
 
Relax and Read: Here's a simple suggestion that could help your students learn to love reading. It's all in the approach!

Independent Reading time in my classroom is pretty special. I have a collection of pillows that I ONLY allow to be used during independent reading time.
Relax and Read: Here's a simple suggestion that could help your students learn to love reading. It's all in the approach!

Plus, I make sure there are plenty of good books available for the kiddos. They typically go to the school library once a week, and I have loads of great books in the classroom as well.

Although I typically insist on their reading "Just Right Books", I make an exception on Fridays... they can read an "Easy Sneezy" book. Who doesn't love revisiting an old friend? This is the "summer beach read" for the kids.
Relax and Read: Here's a simple suggestion that could help your students learn to love reading. It's all in the approach!

One more thing I do to instill a love of reading: model a love of reading!

Much of this comes from my read alouds, which is my favorite part of the day! Read alouds are a great time to model many reading skills, but modeling that love of reading is at the top of the list.

I choose books for my read alouds that are worthy of loving... books I've loved in the past, books I know children enjoy, topics I know the children enjoy, and authors we love. 

I've actually been known to pick up a book and caress the cover.  Ok, maybe it's a little bit of overacting, but it really isn't. 

I really do love these books!


And I make sure the kids know it!


Hope you find some time to Relax and Read!

Relax and Read: Here's a simple suggestion that could help your students learn to love reading. It's all in the approach!

Lessons From A Bus Driver

A long time ago, long before I started working where I am now, I substituted.

Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!
 
One day when I was subbing in a third grade classroom, I had a very interesting conversation with one of the children.

The classroom was situated right near the driveway, so the children could see the buses drive up at the end of the day.

Here was the conversation:

Boy: Yes!!! The good bus driver is back!
Me: That's great! What makes him such a good bus driver?
Boy: Well one day after I'd been out sick for a few days, when I came back, he asked me if I was feeling better.

I've thought about that conversation many times. 

Clearly, the boy liked that bus driver because the bus driver paid special attention to the boy. The bus driver showed an interest.

That's all it takes!

Since that day, I've made an extra effort to let the children know I am interested in what they do. I find ways to let them know I'm glad they came to school that day. I think it makes a difference to say things like: 

Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

After an absence:
Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

One of my favorites:
Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

The more you make your students feel welcome, the more they will want to perform! 

No matter how I say it, I make sure I am there for my students, making sure they know they are an important member of my class, and give them each a special greeting as they enter my classroom each day!

What are your favorite greetings?


Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!


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