Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Catholic Schools Week UPDATED

Gearing up for Catholic Schools Week I thought I would share some of my favorite Religion projects I have done this year and in the past!

I had been searching EVERYWHERE to get a Catholic version of the Ten Commandments Phone I saw all over the place.  I just couldn't seem to find it and it was very confusing for my kids to see one thing in their Religion books and then another in the activity, so I created one that perfectly aligns to the Catholic Bible!  If you are interested in this activity click the pictures below!

This created the most amazing hallway display!!  I just found an image online and had my aide trace them onto large pieces of construction paper, white printer paper, and some yarn...voila!  The kids looked in magazines for the letters to the acrostic poem and we brainstormed words that described our Catholic School!

We have really been trying to get our students to actually utilize their Bibles!  This is a great activity for any time of the year (we actually did it around Christmas), but would be great during Advent, Lent, and even Easter!  The kids first used their Bibles to look up the verses and find the name(s) of Jesus in each verse.  Then as a follow up activity each child selected a name and did an illustration.  If you are interested in snagging a copy just click either picture below!

As we get closer to Catholic Schools' Week please come back and check out how I have updated this post to include more fun!!!


One theme to Catholic Schools' Week is to show our appreciation to our families for supporting our school.  The students are going to write thank-you letters and we needed some stationary to match!  This is FREE on TeachersPayTeachers!


Keeping in theme with the family appreciation we added something new to our calendar this year that EVERYONE is raving about!  Family Picnic Day!!!  Of course it is January and today was a high of 28 so it was an inside picnic, but still.  As a parent and a teacher it was great to get a glimpse of the pros for all work on the teachers part, except sending home an invite and super motivating for the students!  My kindergartner asked all weekend when her picnic was!  Basically each grade level had a picnic one day during the week. We doubled up so it was K with 5th, 1st with 4th and so on so that there weren't too many parents in the cafeteria at once.  The kids ate at their regular time and either brought a packed lunch or families brought in something special.  It was easy peasy!!  Here is me and my little one....of course she got McDonald's!  I have included an example of our invites.  The CSW logos can be found at .

Another thing we did this week that went along with our religion chapter but was also great for CSW because it allowed the kids to get up and move was Fruits of the Spirit posters.  Each child found 9 pictures, one for each fruit and wrote a caption.  It opened up great discussions about what are examples of gentleness, patience, etc.  Again, so easy for such a packed week!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Are you gearing up for the Solar Eclipse 2017?  We are one city that has over 2 minutes and 30 seconds of totality and our city is going all out!  We have a weekend full of fun, but first we have to get through the first three days of school and I know if all are like me then you are searching for the best Solar Eclipse resources you can find!!  Here I have compiled what I plan to use, some I made, some I bought, and some are FREE!!

Of course we needed an observation sheet to document the fabulous things we will be seeing at this once in a lifetime event!  I was having trouble finding something for middle to upper elementary so I created my own!  The good thing is since we are all obsessed such fans of our projectors and interactive whiteboards then the reflection questions can be done whole group for younger elementary students.  Click the pictures below to grab this in my store for just $1!!
After getting the observation in order I was then on the hunt for some specific 2017 Eclipse information.  One thing I have heard over the past year is "What is the big deal?"  This resource, AGAIN a steal for just $1.50, will give your students a chance to get up and move around and still learn about this amazing event!  There is a version for younger students that simply states the fact and a more challenging option that gives some additional information.  The beauty is this could be used in the same classroom for differentiation because the recording sheet is the same!
This is another paid product, but not one of mine.  I love the webquests in this pack, as well as the variety of reading skills that are being addressed!  Of course at under $2, the price isn't bad either!
I am pretty sure the entire world has an Amazon Prime membership or at least knows someone to grab this great movie for FREE!  The run time is only 44 minutes so enough to get in a class period for the teacher who are departmentalized. I also found a corresponding follow along sheet on TPT for free as well!  
I am not sure about school's around the nation, but for us we were pretty nervous about just letting our kids wonder around outside for the entire duration of the eclipse (over 2 hours) and just HOPING they keep their eclipse glasses on the entire time.  Therefore, we are designated approved observation times, which of course covers the totality as well.  Because of this, we are responsible for coming up with educational activities to complete indoors until the next observation period.  Below are three links to some free activities that may be useful if you are doing something similar!

Hopefully some of these resources ease the search for the first day or the first few days back to school before the eclipse! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Vocabulary Done Right!

I can't even believe it has been so long since my last post, it really is too long to even mention.  We are just a few hours away from this little cuties first birthday and I have been super busy getting things together to teach sixth, SIXTH, YES, SIXTH grade!!  Cra-zay!  We had a few abrupt changes at our school and therefore I have found myself in 6th grade until a position in a primary grade opens up (hopefully next year)!
Anyways, throughout conversations of this huge and overwhelming transition I have found that 1) I have had lots of moments of self-reflection, 2) I am my own worst critic.  BUT, I am confident about my vocabulary instruction.  It is not only a highly education time of our day, but I hear my students COMPLAIN when we don't get around to it some days...WIN, WIN.

This set up can be used with any set of words, but we use the words from our Wonders Reading Series.  I have added a link to a huge file that will be half off for the entire day tomorrow in honor of our sweet girl's birthday!

The set up begins with the vocabulary chart.  This is where we store and organize all our information for the entire week.  It also makes a great study guide for assessments and we also use this opportunity to practice cursive since it is usually only words or short sentences!
Day 1: Introduce words in a cloze format.  The vocabulary word is used in a sentence, however the word is committed and left with a blank.  I can not stress enough how important and rewarding this is for the students to think about what words would make sense in the blanks.  I usually let 3-4 students guess and then write the correct word in on the chart, which is usually projected up on our whiteboard.
Day 2: Students get an opportunity to come up with definitions for each word.  Again, such deep conversations are taking place!  We also utilize dictionaries on Day 2 if and only IF we feel our definitions are not satisfactory. 

Day 3 & 4: We use the next two days to do the antonyms and synonyms.  Again, we really stress that they should be one word and a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORD...things like not happy, longer, etc will not due!  Sometimes we do all the synonyms one day and then the antonyms the next.  Other times we do four synonyms and four antonyms one day and the other set the next day.

Day 5: The last day of course was an assessment day.  We utilized the crossword puzzle as well as what was provided in the Wonders Reading series.  
Below I have included a link to the 90 page packet (plus answer keys) of all the vocabulary resources that correlate to the third grade Wonders Reading Series!  This product will be 50% off for the entire day tomorrow!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I grew a human!

I know it has been almost 10 months since my last post!  Crazy how fast life can start moving and before you know a month, a year, or even more has passed.  I remember so clearly the days I prayed and hoped for a positive test, prayed and hoped for a heartbeat, prayed and hoped for a healthy anatomy scan, prayed and hoped for a successful delivery, and even prayed and hoped she made it through each night.  Day after day and here we are....a happy, healthy six month old who has made sure her presence hasn't gone unnoticed.  Her smile and laugh are impossible not to love and the relationship she is building with her big sister is so genuinely beautiful.

Of course, babies are a lot, A LOT a MASSIVE amount of work.  So we have our days when I don't think I sit down until 8 p.m. between both kids and being a full-time working, nursing mom.  But, like they say, someday I will miss this noise, constant to do, and utter chaos.

In all, it is ok to let some things go on the back burner, while others take precedent.  I have neglected my blog, but have made being with my little ones a priority.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Will a freebie make it better? Part 2~Pronouns

In my last post I revealed the reason I hadn't blogged in forever!!  I promised to come back and discuss how my class has moved from verbs to pronouns and where we are going from there.

First, we reviewed nouns.  We wrote what each noun was and then came up with some examples.  This was the perfect transition into pronouns.  You can grab this freebie from the Not So Wimpy Teacher.
After a quick intro we dived straight into first, second, and third person subject/object and singular/plural nouns......if that isn't a mouthful!  The kids were looking at me like I was crazy and speaking a language they had NEVER heard.  Luckily we knew what singular, plural, and subject meant...the rest of it seemed difficult to fully understand.  We only did subject and object pronouns for the first week and then moved to possessives the second week.  This chart opened up a lot of conversation and was very helpful in getting all the information to the kids in a systematic way.  We glued ours in our grammar notebooks.  You can get a FREE copy by clicking the picture!
We spent two days working on these pronoun pockets.  This opened a lot of discussion about singular and plural pronouns and whether or not we were included in the group or if the noun was talking about ourselves.  You can grab your FREE copy of the template I used by clicking either of the pictures below.  We even threw in a little alliteration review ;)
We practiced what we had learned with these task cards from the Not So Wimpy Teacher and Polka-Dots in the Panhandle which are both FREE in their stores!  Click the pictures to grab them.
We had a short week due to Easter so there wasn't much time to work on possessives.  We played this super fun game and of course task cards are always sooo easy and versatile!  Grab the game from Melissa's Teaching Mall for FREE and the task cards from Jennifer Bennett for FREE as well!
After our WEEK LONG BREAK....that's right an entire week, we will be combining our learning with pronoun-verb agreement.  I am only on day 1 of break and loving it!!  The last 8 weeks will be rough, but that is NOT what I am focusing on right now :)

We will get back into the swing of things by reviewing pronouns with this four square game which is FREE from my store.  Just click the picture to grab it!
Another one of my favorite things to do as an alternative to worksheets is interactive ppt/pdf.  The questions are displayed on the board and the kids respond with whiteboards or if you are SUPER BRAVE you can let the kids write on their desks!  This is an exclusive FREEBIE just for making it this far!  This is a paid product from my store.  In this pdf the kids will respond to each sentence displayed on the screen with the correct verb that agrees with pronoun.  There are also three intro pages as well!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Will a freebie make it better? Part 1~Verbs

4 months since my last blog post.  I am not sure time is even an excuse, but I promise I have one.
Some one says "hi" from the inards!  The journey getting to this place has not been easy.  We have had some tragic events occur in our path to having another child, but trust in God's plan for us and his will.  I am counting this blessing, but will be even more at peace when she makes it to Earth happy and healthy!
Lately we have been deep in verbs and pronouns for weeks!  To kick off we started with a game to remind ourselves exactly what verbs are!  This is a great freebie from Lindy du Plessis. You can grab yourself a copy by clicking the picture below.
We then moved quickly to verb tenses and more specifically spelling of different tenses.  I used both these $1.00 products to make learning fun and very low prep for myself!  You can click on both to take you to the stores of Vanessa Crown and Teaching with Wit and Wonder.
Next came linking and helping verbs.....oh my, was that chore!  It seemed no matter which one we were working on the kids would refer to the opposite!!  I found these task cards and had the kids identify the verb and write A for action or L for linking.  This is a GREAT freebie, not only because it is free, but also because the text is a bit more challenging for a third grade level. You can grab it from Foreman Teaches.
The last topic was irregular verbs.  Another freebie we used was from Amy Berry. I projected the ppt on the big screen and the kids wrote the irregular past tense verb on whiteboards.  I love activities like this where the kids get WAY more practice then on a worksheet, no grading, engagement, and much more entertaining!
Tune in tomorrow and get the scoop on what we have done with pronouns and where we are going, plus an exclusive FREEBIE from my store!  I will leave you with a picture, compliments of my 3 yr old daughter!