Friday, January 5, 2018

Take Academic Advantage of a Snow Day!

No need to set the alarm....you are about to have a SNOW DAY!!!



But, wait . . . you can take academic advantage of this day!

Provide your 3rd and 4th grade students, in advance, with a packet of Solve & Color Math worksheets.


Simply print them out and pass them out when anticipating a snow day.  Students will keep the packet at home, only to open on one of these special days.

Answers along the bottom contain a quick self-check for students working independently.



What are you waiting for?

Print a few math worksheets now and you will be prepared for a snow day later!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Interactive Morning Messages

Today I wanted to talk to you a little about Interactive Morning Messages.


Our district uses a responsive classroom approach.  Each morning we have a morning meeting which includes an interactive morning message.

When I first started teaching I would spend my precious morning minutes creating a fun morning message that would often be ignored by distracted students as they arrived.  How could I save my morning time and present a morning message in a way that would catch students attention immediately as they entered each morning?

I decided to make my morning messages interactive!

How do I do this?  By adding a section at the bottom of each message for students to respond.  I keep a little bin of post-it notes and markers nearby.  I post my morning message up front by our door so it's the first thing students see when they enter our classroom.  They stop, read the message, and immediately respond.  Then, we read and discuss our morning message as part of our morning meeting.

To save time I bring the pad of paper home over breaks or long weekends and write out a months worth of messages all at once.  I follow a simple schedule:

Monday - Weekend Happenings
Tuesday - Social Studies / Science
Wednesday - Math
Thursday - Language Arts
Friday - Riddles, Jokes, and Fun Stuff

This schedule helps me think of new and creative messages rather than falling into a pattern of the same boring posts.

Here are some examples:

This is the message that I plan to post on the first day back from February Break.  This will also be my first day teaching after my long maternity leave.


You can underline key words to make them pop.  Use color to make different parts of your message stand out.  Place a post-it note on the message as an example of your expectations for students.

Here is another example.  This morning message ties in our math content.  I am collecting data about students' favorite colors.  We will use the tally chart to make a bar graph during morning meeting.


Notice how I left the day and part of the year blank at the top of the message?  I do this so I can reuse the message next year.  I'll just cut off the bottom and put a new piece of paper underneath it.  You can use post-it notes to add the date to the top of your message or have students help you fill in the date during your morning meeting.

Here are some helpful tips to make your interactive morning messages amazing:


Do you use morning messages in your classroom?  What tips would you share?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Go Character Education - Teaching Positive Character Traits in the Classroom with a Pokemon-like Feel

Are your new students obsessed with Pokemon?

Would you like to teach your little monsters about positive character traits?

Are you hoping to infuse responsibility, respect, and gratefulness (just to name a few) into your classroom schedule?

Well, I have the perfect program for you!

I've created Go Character Ed, a character trait program to infuse positive character trait instruction throughout your day.


I've collected, created, and packaged together loads of resources for you:

- Read Aloud Lists
- Classroom Activity and Lesson Ideas

- Task Cards
- Bulletin Board Display Items
- Posters
- Bookmarks
- Wristbands
- Postcards/Notes Home
- Reward Certificates
- Tickets / Brag Tags
- Discussion / Scenario Cards
- Journal and Prompts

....and more!


Infuse character traits into your language arts centers with task cards that contain quick activities that students can complete independently, with partners, or in small groups.


Students can write and reflect on the traits in their own personal journals.  Print the cover on colored paper for a little extra flair.


Reward students for showcasing positive character traits, or simple remind them, with wristbands and bookmarks.



Fill your teaching toolbox with warm-ups and activities to explicitly teach the character traits to your students in small blocks of time.


Print off the tickets and pass them out to students as part of your behavior management system.  I plan to pass them out as our classroom currency earned for displaying role model behavior.  Students can collect them inside vending machine capsules that slightly resemble Pok√© Balls.  At the end of the week students will be able to exchange them for prizes.  The colorful ones could be laminated as Brag Tags.



 Each character trait will be available individually, or you can purchase them bundled together for a nice discount.

So far I have the following packs available:

- Responsible
- Respectful
- Grateful
- GROWING BUNDLE



Why wait, catch them all now!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Problem of the Day - Aligned with Engage NY's 4th Grade Math Module Application Problems

Do you use Engage NY's 4th Grade Math Modules?

If so, then I have a product that you will LOVE!



I rewrote each of Engage NY's Math Module Application Problems into 3 fun formats.


The Cut Out versions contain four of the same problem on one page.  Have students cut them out and paste them into their very own Problem of the Day Journal.


The full page layout contains just one problem per page with lots of work space for students to draw a picture or diagram, show their work, and write an answer statement.


Projectable pages are also included.  One slide contains the problem and work space.  Have a Smart Board?  Students can come up and show their peers how to solve the problem.  Then flip to the next slide to see another possible solution.


There are a million and one uses for Engage NY's Application Problems.  Engage NY suggests in their lessons that the Application Problem be completed right after that day's fluency activities and before the Concept Development.


This year, I plan on having students complete this daily problem in their Problem of the Day Journals for morning work.



 Not every lesson contains an Application Problem.  Sometimes I want to expand a lesson across 2 days, instead of just 1.  There isn't an Application Problem on review or test days.

But, I would still like students to complete a problem for morning work.

So, I created an add-on pack with 35 extra problems.  There are 5 problems for each of the 7 fourth grade modules.


You can purchase the Add On Pack here in my TPT store.



You can find an individual pack for each module here for FREE!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Prepare Your Classroom for the 2016 Presidential Election

Is your classroom prepared for the 2016 Presidential Election?


Bundle and Save with my 2016 Presidential Election Bundle.

This is a combination of 2 of my hot Election packs:

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump
Election Vocabulary Posters and Activities.

With these packs, you will get an article and paired passages to compare and contrast background information and viewpoints on various issues for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.



Students are also provided with graphic organizers and final copy paper to create and display persuasive letters as to which candidate they most support.


Print the vibrant posters in color or black and white to create a classroom display or word wall of all the important election vocabulary.


Provide students with mini dictionaries to keep track of all their new Election vocabulary words.

Use the playing cards for a quick matching game like Memory or glue them back to back to make flash cards for study.




Further practice these new Election vocabulary words with a matching worksheet, word search, and 4-square organizers.



Create trading cards for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.




Save 20% off individual pricing when you purchase the bundle!


How will you prepare your classroom for the 2016 Presidential Election?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Earth Day Classroom Display

Reduce, recycle, reuse . . . how do you encourage students to help our Earth?


Earth Day is just a few days away.  Since it is one of my favorite holidays, I spread out our learning throughout the whole month.

Over the last few weeks my students have been learning about our Human Footprint on the Earth.  They have been examining ways that we positively and negatively impact nature and the environment.  As we learn, we have been keeping track of interesting facts we find.


Students then wrote a letter to Earth making a promise to leave a positive Human Footprint throughout their lifetime.

One of the materials we had received from Donors Choose was water color paints.  We painted our Earths to get a more natural look.


I took pictures of students with their hands up and they glued their Earth and their letter to their hands.


We displayed them in the hallway for all to see.


My students have the whole world in their hands.  Hip Hip Hurray for the Earth!