Saturday, February 27, 2016

Lessons to Learn from Dr. Seuss


Hello friends!  I'm so glad you came to stop by today!  Soon we'll all be celebrating one of the greatest author's birthday, Dr. Seuss, in our classrooms.  Have you ever really stopped to think why we celebrate this legendary writer and illustrator?

I'll be honest with you... As a teacher, we celebrate so many things people outside in the real world don't celebrate it's not even funny.  I mean, how many times have you had a Dental Health celebration at your home?  We kind of get caught up in the celebrate-teach-celebrate mode, that we forget the real reason why we celebrate at all.  That's me.  Yes, it's on my calendar.  Yes, there are activities planned.  Why?  Because all the other teachers are doing it.  Heck, we're even having an all school celebration, so I guess I better jump on the bandwagon. I admit it; I've been guilty for over 18 years.  

But not this year...

I decided to celebrate one of my favorite authors this year, genuinely and with a purpose!  I researched, learned more about the Dr., and even joined a book subscription club to receive all his books!  OMGosh!  Dr. Seuss was really AWESOME!  And now I know the real reasons why we celebrate him in March.  He taught me a couple of lessons that I wanted to share with you quickly and maybe you can relate...


Be More Creative in All Facets of Life!

Many of you that know me already know that I'm artsy-fartsy in the first place.  I draw clip art for a "job" and draw for fun.  That's the first way I connect with Dr. Seuss.  Did you know he wrote and illustrated almost all of his books?  Not only was he talented with words, he could draw as well!  This just makes me think that there has to be more ways I can be creative as well, besides drawing.  So I've vowed to myself to allow creativity into my life anyway it can!  In what ways could you be more creative?

Hop on Your Pop and Put Socks on Your Fox

Ok, I'm no writing legend like Dr. Seuss, but my point is to let more fun into my life like he did.  Really think about how fun his life must have been!  He wrote silly, thought silly, and drew silly.  That would be awesome to be more silly once in a while (in an appropriate way, of course!)  But you know what I mean.  Life needs to be more than work and taking care of the worlds children.  Let's be children ourselves more often and play and have fun!  Are you down?  In what ways could you allow more fun into your life?

I turned my research into a Dr. Seuss product that includes many facts and fun things to do with your students!  It's an Author Study first and Book Study second.  I'm providing you with a few free pages!  Just click here for these pages!





If you're interested in the full 80 page packet, you can check it out here!

Click on the picture above to be taken back to the Primary Pack for more wonderful ideas about celebrating Dr. Seuss and his work!

Have a wonderful day my friends and Happy B-Day Dr. Seuss!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Peaceful Art Projects for Your Classroom

The Winter holidays are a special time for us to get together with our families and reflect on the special things in our lives.  For most educators, this transfers into our classrooms as all those little faces have a special place in our hearts!  

Here are a couple of peaceful projects you can do in your classroom this Winter to help celebrate your school family in a positive light!

This first project is one of my favorite to do with my kiddos each year; it really hits home the importance of diversity and how our differences, when put together, make one beautiful human race!

To make this project, students will need to have three different colors for the "flower".  These can be skin colors like shown in the picture, or you can also use rainbow colors to show the same concept.  But I like the skin colors the best!


Have students trace their hands on the paper (one hand on each color).  Then they'll need to arrange and glue them together into the flower shape.  


Next, on the green paper, cut a stem and leaves.  Glue the leaves to the stem.  Then glue the flower to the stem.


Finally, glue the entire craft onto a sheet of construction paper.  I personally like to use purple with the students as that is a color that represents peace!  This project can be used anytime of the year, especially for those times when you need more "peace" in your classroom.


This second project is so cute and easy too!  You'll need three coffee filters per student and a white paper dove.  The dove needs to have a slit cut into the middle.


Gather the filters together and pull them through the slit.  Fan them out for the wings of the bird.  You can attach a string to the top of the dove if you'd like to hang it from your ceiling.  This makes for a real special project that I like to do during Black History Month.


As a gift to all of my Primary Pack friends, I'm giving you the templates and directions for the Peace Dove project above!  Just click the picture to download the project materials.  I hope you enjoy it!

Both of these projects can be found in my newest product, Let's Celebrate Black History!  It's a growing bundle of craftivities, that will include more than 24 projects to do for Black History Month!  Currently there are 8 projects in the product, but will be full of all the projects by February. 

 

There is also a reflection journal included in the product that your students can complete each time they do a project.  It has questions for them to answer to think about the meaning of the project and any connections they can make to a Black History Great.  For example, the Peace Dove project is one I do to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.  The craftivity bundle can be found here in my TpT Store if you'd like to check it out!


Merry Holidays to You Friends and Until Next Time,



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Make the Cutest Holiday Card for Christmas!


Looking for a cute classroom craft for this Christmas?  Try this easy Fingerprint Holiday Craft... Your families will LOVE it!

The first step is to draw a squiggly line on a sheet of white cardstock with a Sharpie marker.  Then add little squares for the bottom of the lights.   Make enough squares for all the kiddos in your classroom. Your paper should look like this...


You have a couple of options for this next step.  I chose to do it the "easy" way and use paint markers from Crayola instead of paint.  You could also use watercolors or tempra paints but it will much more messy!  It's up to you really.

If you choose to use markers, color the students fingertips like this:

Then press their fingertips onto the squares you drew with the marker.  Spread different colors out to make it more festive.

Lastly, add the text of your choosing to the paper.  You could use Merry Christmas or From Room 201, or whatever you like.  I chose to use Happy Holidays, because not all families celebrate Christmas.


You could also print the cards in black and white and students could color the fingerprints with markers if you'd like to save on copy costs.  Either way, this will be the cutest craft for your class this Christmas!


I'd love to hear your comments or about what crafts you do for the holidays in your room...


Until Next Time Friends,


Sunday, November 22, 2015

All I Want for Black Friday Linky and HUGE Giveaway!


I'm joining my best blogger friends over at The Primary Pack for another fun adventure!  We are celebrating Black Friday in a fun way (and a little early).  There is no word yet if there will be a Black Friday sale at TpT but regardless, we are sharing a few of our most wish-listed items in our carts and our stores.  We are also having a HUGE Black Friday Giveaway, check it out below... You don't want to miss it!

On my Personal Black Friday Wishlist is the following:

1.  Hoverboard-  My son Garyn is all about Back to the Future right now!  I keep trying to tell him that hoverboards aren't "real" but to no avail he found the above hoverboard-look-alike on Amazon.  He said that Santa is going to get it for him for sure... I said not to get your hopes up; it costs around $700.00.  So I'm hoping Santa will magically have it appear under the tree!

2.  Munschworks 3-  One of my favorite authors is Robert Munsch!  His books are SOOOOO funny and the kids just eat them up!  I found this treasury of his books on Amazon and would love to have this under the tree for me!

3.  14 kt Gold Nose Ring-  For those of you that don't know, I have my nose pierced.  I actually have a lot of piercings (all above my neck!) and they're on my ears, with the exception of my nose ring.  I'd love to have a real gold and diamond nose ring under the tree for me this year!

On my Classroom Black Friday Wishlist is the following:

1.  Kringle Jumbo Bundle of Digital Papers and Clip Art-  I'm all about the clip art for this Xmas (and always for that matter!)  This set of Christmas Papers (from I Teach.  What's Your Superpower?) is the absolute cuteness in clip art.  Along with these Christmas Mazes (from Trioriginals), my Christmas products will be an A+!

2.  I'm in absolute love with all products by Lyndsey Kuster!  I especially like these non-fiction units, Animals in Winter and Be a Non-Fiction Guru!  These will have any student being a non-fiction expert!

For Your Classroom Black Friday Wishlist is the following: 

These are the most wishlisted items in my store right now and would be perfect for YOUR classroom Black Friday List!

1.  Fairy Tale Dreams-  This is a response journal for 20 (Yes, 20!) fairy tales!  Students complete various printables from this no-prep journal after reading their favorite fairy tales.  It's a fun way to complete work related to what you're reading.

2.  Black History Month Bundle for Young Learners-  This bundle has 5 of my most recent and fabulous Black History Month products for your primary learners (K-2).  These products will have you all set for this February, with products relating to Black inventors, heroes, and more!

3.  December Interactive Read Alouds-  This product is my baby right now!  I've included over 10 read-aloud picture books and response pages to go with each.  You'll love all the different activities that include interactive notebook foldables, story element maps and more!

4.  Wants and Needs-  This product is hot right now in my store!  I think a lot of teachers are teaching this subject right now and this product is a cute and informative way to teach it to your babies!  Included are a multitude of printables, a craftivity AND a powerpoint!

5.  Friends of Mo:  An Author Study-  And lastly, this is another very popular product in my store!  This author study, features many picture books written by the famous author, Mo Willems!  Check it out if you're reading any of his books as I focus on Elephant and Piggee, Knuffle Bunny and more!




Drumroll please.... Check out this HUGE giveaway package you can win by entering below! There is a resource from almost everyone in The Primary Pack, perfect for all primary grades!! Good luck, friends and happy shopping!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Now It's Your Turn To Join The Fun! 


Just a few rules to follow and your on your way:

  1. Download the images above!
  2. Add your personal holiday wishlist to the image titled "My Personal Black Friday Wishlist"
  3. Add your favorite sellers products from your TPT wishlist to the "My Classroom Black Friday Wishlist"
  4. Add your own products to the "For Your Black Friday Wishlist"
  5. Link up below to share your Black Friday Wishlists!
  6. Don't forget to enter our fabulous giveaway above AND visit others linked up below!



Until Next Time Friends,








Wednesday, November 18, 2015

9 Literacy Terms You Must Teach Your Parents!


Even though Parent-Teacher Conferences are over, there's still no time like the present to help your families in any way you can!  One sure-fire way to help them is to teach them the literacy terms you often use with your students.
Read on to learn the 9 literacy terms you must teach your parents and families!



There are many terms and teacher "lingo" we use with our teacher peers and even our students...  But what about the families of the children we teach?  

I strongly feel it helps if we're all on the same page in every way possible.  One way to help them to help their children with reading is to teach them these terms we use everyday.  There are 9 that I've selected as critical terms you should be teaching your families!


Please keep in mind that these terms and definitions are how I present them to families...  I tried to use as much language as possible they may be familiar with as possible, without sounding too much like a "teacher".

Decoding is figuring out new words in a text.

Comprehension is understanding text by using different strategies that should be taught.  Some of these strategies include visualizing, inferring, questioning, and making connections.

Sight Words are those children learn to read by "sight".  They usually don't folly any specific spelling patterns, which make them more difficult to learn.

Vocabulary are the words children should know to effectively express themselves, both verbally and in print.

Phonics is an approach to teaching children how to read.  It emphasizes spelling patterns and that there is a connection between written letters and spoken sounds.

Fluency is the rate at which your child reads.  They should be able to read effortlessly, automatically and with the correct speed.

High Frequency Words are those that appear most in a text.  There are specific lists (Fry, Dolch) that contain these words your child can practice.

Guided Reading is a strategy for teaching reading where a small group of students work on strategy-related skills using leveled texts.

Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words.


There are many other terms that our families could learn but we have to be careful not to overwhelm them!  So the above should be enough to get them started.  I've put them together onto a family-friendly print out you may feel free to use with your families should you wish!  Just click on the picture to download!



I hope it's useful for you and your parents!
Are there any other terms you think they should know?  I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments below!
Until Next Time Friends,




Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Make the Cutest Thanksgiving Snack with Your Class!


 Looking for the cutest snack craft you can make with your kiddos for Thanksgiving?  Try these...

These Gumdrop Gobbles are really easy to make and allow the students to use creativity.  The best part is that they can eat them afterwards!  

To make these, you'll need:

To start, students will need one, big gumdrop wedge.  The package said they were "Fruit Wedges".  You could also use the big gumdrops for the base of the turkey.

2.  Students will then need to cut the bottoms off three small gumdrops and attach them to the base.  (That's the black arrow above.)  When they cut the bottoms, the gumdrops will be tacky and stick right to the base with no problem.  These are the "feathers".

3.  Next, cut the tops off two gumdrops for the wings.  Those are the white gumdrops in the picture.  Cut two orange drops for the feet and attach those to the base for the feet.

4.  Then cut a yellow drop for the beak and a red piece for the snood.

5.  Finally, attach two mini-chocolate chips with frosting for the eyes.

And there you have you own cute, gumdrop gobbler!


I'd love to hear what you do for Thanksgiving in your classroom or at your own home!  Leave your comments below!


Until Next Time Friends,

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Directed Drawing: Charlie Brown in 9 Steps!


Tonight my son Garyn and I are going on a Mommy-Son Trip to the movies, to see the opening of Peanuts!  Never in my life would I ever have thought I would be taking my 8 year-old son to a movie with characters I fell in love with many years ago!  So this post is a tribute to Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang!





I know, I know... You can't draw.  That's what's ringing in through your mind right now.  But, I will break it down so YES you can!  So go grab a pencil and paper and I'll wait here...


Ok, let's get started!  I'm going to describe the directions exactly how I would for my students to give you an idea of how you might teach your own kids to draw Charlie!



1.  First draw the head.  The head is an oval.  Then draw two "C" shapes for the ears.  Notice that the right ear is a backwards "C" shape!



2.  Next, let's draw the nose.  Notice two things... The shape of the nose is another letter "C".  Secondly, notice that the nose starts slightly ABOVE the ears.  Now you try.  Then draw two small dots on both sides of the nose.  Look where my dots are and do the same on your paper.



3.  Now lets draw two eyebrows over the eyes.  Notice that they are the shapes of small frowns.  After you draw those, we need to draw Charlie's hair.  His hair is like a curly-q or pig's tail!  Look at mine and now you try.



4.  The next step is to draw Charlie's smile.  Notice that his smile curls up on both ends.  It's almost the entire width of his head.  Look at mine carefully and you try to draw it on your paper.



5.  Now we'll draw two parallel lines straight down for his neck.  Then notice his collar.  It kind of looks like two mountains joined together.  You try on your paper.



6.  The next step is to finish drawing the bottom of his collar.  These are smile shapes.  Then draw two lines down from his collar, that are slightly curved.


7.  Let's draw Charlie's sleeve and arm.  His sleeve is an "L" shape.  Then draw a line straight down to make his arm.  Connect the bottom of his shirt with a straight line.



8.  His other arm is very similar.  Draw a straight line down that is close to his body.  Then draw a horizontal line across to make his sleeve/arm.



9.  One last step!  We have to draw Charlie's famous zig-zag on his shirt.  Look carefully at mine and try to make it on your paper.


Ok, blog readers!  How did you do?  Did you draw Charlie Brown perfectly or what?  See, I told you I could teach you how to draw!  The last step with your kids would be to color Charlie...



As a bonus, I created these writing printables you can use to follow up with the directed drawing activity!  Just click the pictures below to download them!

Thanks for drawing with me today friends!

I'd love to know if this will be useful for you in your classroom in the comments below!
Until Next Time,



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