05-01-2015

Fairy Tale Snacks

Fairy Tale Snacks

Today was our Fairy Tale Feast and we had a blast! A blast that was also super exhausting but a blast none the less. The kids dressed up as their favorite fairy tale characters and it was super cute! Obviously Elsa & Anna were well represented as well as an assortment of princesses, wolves, pigs, pirates, & one Little Red Riding Hood.

I dressed up as a very tired teacher/princess which mostly meant wearing my comfy casual Friday clothes paired with a very lovely tiara. A tiara that I am pretty sure was intended to go with prom dresses- thank you very much to Claire’s!

All week we practiced the adorable song from First Grade Wow’s amazing and free fairy tale unit. Today we were ready to record a video all dressed up in fairy tale finery to share with our families. Go check it out!

We finished our day with a buffet of healthy fairy tale snacks. The kids ate their way through that in about 5 minutes! Click below to grab your free signs to make your own fairy tale snack buffet:

Fairy Tale Snacks 1Fairy Tale Snacks 2Fairy Tale Snack Signs 3

Credit: KG Fonts, Little Red, Coffee, Kids, & Compulsive Lists

04-27-2015

Telling Time Song for Kindergarten and First Grade

Clock Song Image

We are working on telling time in first grade and I wanted to share this cute song in case anyone else is teaching time right now. This is another one of those songs that I have known forever but that I don’t know the origins of- if it’s yours let me know! We’ve been singing while we practice using Judy clocks and the kids love this one. Click the picture to grab a copy for your class!

Credit: Graphics from the Pond, Little Red, KG Fonts

04-22-2015

Instagram for Teachers: Earth Day Edition

Earth Day Insta-Ideas

Earth Day is all over the teacher-gram this evening! I have found so many amazing Earth Day projects that I’m definitely penciling in for next year’s celebration. Here are my favorites- be sure to click on the blue names to visit the teachers with these cute ideas!

04-14-2015

Learning about Clouds in First Grade

I love teaching about weather each spring. The kids always get so into it and there are so many fun activities & experiments we do together. This year I upgraded my song cards for one of my favorite weather songs all about clouds. I would love to give credit to the clever teacher who wrote these words to go along with the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In” but I’m not sure of the origins and I have seen it in many classrooms, both online & real life.  Please let me know if it’s you! Click any of the images below to grab a copy for your class.

Slide1Cloud Song Collage Corrected SpellingI also made a fun cover for the cloud journal I made for my class last year. I don’t know why I didn’t think to add that cuteness last year! Click below to snag the cloud journal along with a quick addition math game.

Cloud Fact Writing Collage

Cloud Journal Cover

Image Credits: Shutterstock/worker, Shutterstock/C_Eng-Wong Photography, Shutterstock/pablonilo

04-11-2015

Instagram for Teachers: Insta-Teaching Posts of the Week

Insta-Teaching Posts of the Week

Instagram has become my favorite place (after Pinterest, of course!) to find new teaching ideas & inspiration. Here are my favorite posts from the past week. Be sure to click on each name in blue below and follow these awesome teachers!

I am the worst at remembering to take attendance on time. I have post it notes all over my desk & laptop but they only seem to help me every other day. Setting a reminder alarm is genius!

I have a very messy bunch of kids this year and I feel like our floor only gets picked up if I personally invite each student to pick up each piece of paper one at a time. Can you tell I’m over this?! I am totally trying these table recycling bins this week.

This is such a cool idea to freshen up a behavior plan at this time of year when the kids are starting to feel extra frisky!  And I now have a new shopping quest to find one of this spinning frames!

I don’t think being irritated by pencil problems ever goes away so sending pencil sharpening home with parent volunteers sounds amazing!

I don’t know what it is about first graders but they love to tie knots. I had two little friends on Friday both tie their shoelaces together into the craziest knots I have ever seen. They were totally shocked that we couldn’t just pull them apart when the bell for recess rang and that they had to stay inside while their teacher struggled to free them! Well, now I’m ready to untangle any knots that come my way thanks to this great tip!

And this one was a little too relatable for the week back at school after spring break!

Check back next week for more Instagram inspiration!

Image credit: Shutterstock/Yurlymaging

04-06-2015

Free Baseball Reading Response Activities

Happy Opening Day from Happy Teacher

Today was such an exciting day! Opening Day means Giants baseball but it also means summer is on the way! In honor of the day I made a few fun baseball themed reading response activities. They are perfect for reading workshop, homework, or even quick sub plans. All you need to do is find a fun baseball themed story to share with your class. Click the image below to download your freebie:

Free Baseball Reading Response Activities Image

Opening Day Baseball Freebies Preview

Image Credit: Shutterstock/David Lee, Shutterstock/Jenn Huls

03-13-2015

Rainbow Shamrock Craft Freebie

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Click the image above for a free and easy St. Patrick’s Day craft. Be sure to visit Teaching Blog Addict’s Freebie Friday for more awesome freebies:

teaching-blog-addict-free-printable

If you’re looking for more St. Patrick’s Day fun for next week check out my other St. Patrick’s Day posts below:

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Correct 30 Fabulous St Patrick's Day Freebies collage final version

03-09-2015

Free March Reading Journals & Kiss Stickers

March Reading Journal Freebie Pinnable Image

Happy Leprechaun Awareness Month! I think St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite times during the school year. There are so many great books and activities you can do with your class. Way more than you can actually fit in between March 17th arrives. That’s where my March Reading Comprehension activities come in. I have 30 ready to use, no prep activities that you can use after reading any St. Patrick’s Day story with your students. They are also great to use for writing quick sub plans, using for homework, or during reading workshop. You can find this packet in my TPT shop by clicking the image below. And for a free sample click the image above!

2015 March Reading Comprehension Activities Square Cover

My new favorite craft (and I might be stretching things to claim this as a craft) is making kiss stickers for any occasion so of course my candies are ready for St. Patrick’s Day! Click below for free stickers! You’ll need full page labels and a 3/4 inch circle punch and you will be set.

Free Kiss Stickers for St Patrick's Day

 

02-07-2015

Free Valentine’s Day Chocolate Kiss Stickers

Valentine's Day Kiss Stickers

Looking for a quick Valentine’s Day treat? You’ve come to the right place! My mom needed a quick favor for our church group so we made these fun stickers. I made 3 different treat bag toppers that you can use for your kisses.  Here’s what we made for our church friends:

Love One Another Kiss Stickers

Here’s what I’m thinking about making for my class this year. I love Valentine’s Day at school. It’s always such a cute day at school and way less stressful than Halloween!

Your Teacher Loves You Kiss Stickers

And one more version for your treats. Leave a comment below if you have another phrase you’d like to see on a bag topper and I’ll add it to the file. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Kiss Stickers

Click the image below to download this free printable:

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12-31-2014

Survive the First Day Back at School After Winter Break

Survive the First Day Back at School After Winter Break Cover Image

I hope that everyone has been basking in winter break! Mine has been filled with gingerbread, latkes, & lots of cheesy Hallmark movies. Sadly I’m already getting mini panic attacks at the thought of being back at school. I’m trying to ease my way back into school mode slowly with some baby steps. Hopefully we will all have a smooth transition back to school in January!

Happy Teacher Happy Kids Survive the first day back at school after winter break 1

Start with the easy stuff. Plan your outfit- for me that involves conquering a mountain of laundry so all the better to start now! Pack your teacher bag. Clean out any remnants of holiday treats. At this point I think the bottom of my teacher bag is pretty much coated in glitter from sweet cards from students and candy that escaped from our gingerbread trains on the last day before break. It’s time to avoid an ant infestation! Plan & pack your meals & snacks for the first day and be sure to go to bed early.

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One of the things that helps me through the first day back after any long vacation is to remember that it’s like a mini first day of school all over again. Someone will be super late, some kids will be absent, someone will cry at some point, you might be lucky and have no bathroom incidents but it’s good to be open and prepared for the craziness. At the very least your students will be very excited to see each other again and want to spend some time chatting.

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I always try to start the morning by letting each child share one brief memory from our winter break as part of our opening circle time. After we share we’ll complete this cute page to get in some writing about winter break. Click the image below to get a copy to use with your class:

Winter Break Sharing Page

New year's blog post images2

Another thing that helps me on days like this is to manage my expectations…. which to me can mean going into the day with low to zero expectations and then having a lovely surprise when your class behaves wonderfully! January gives you a great chance to reboot your behavior plan or try something entirely new to keep your students motivated & on task.

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When all else fails, plan some fun surprises for your students. Last year I bought 2014 glasses at a party supply store the day after New Year’s Eve on sale. We took hilarious class photos wearing them. I’ve also done a New Year’s toast with sparkling cider or with actual slices of bread toasted. This year I’m thinking about using ring pops to “ring in the new year” Check back later this week for some free printables to go along with these New Year’s treats.

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It can be so depressing when you head back into your classroom in January to see empty, bare walls instead of glittery bright holiday projects everywhere. I haven’t decided which project we’ll tackle first but there are so many bright & cheerful ideas on pinterest to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites:

Snowman Art IdeasImage Credits: Nancy Nolan’s Kindergarten, First Grade Blue Skies, Mrs. Crosbie, Happy Holidays, Artsonia, The Vintage Umbrella

New year's blog post images4I love this post from Krissy Miner about being a performer in the classroom and it is so relevant throughout the entire school year. The more dramatic you are the easier it is to draw in your audience, aka your students. This is harder and harder to do the more tired you are which is what can make January feel like such an exhausting battle. My mantra at this point is just keep smiling!

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The first day back is a great day to read engaging books that are a bit longer. I find that my students can sustain their attention for an amazing story for much longer that they can keep working on more independent academic work at times like this. Here are a few of my favorite series:

Longer Read Aloud Series

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Just like on the actual first .day of school it’s always best to over-plan and over-prepare for everything! You’ll be ready for anything unexpected that comes up but you’ll also be ready for the next few days of school if you don’t end up using everything on the first day. Click below for some quick and ready to use activities for January:

January Freebies Image

 

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Another thing that has helped me on days like this is to be flexible with your schedule. Follow your class’s lead and shorten or lengthen work periods depending on how things are going with your individual students at that moment. This is something I try to do throughout the year but especially on days when your kids might be feeling a little bit more squirrely!

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My favorite tip for any first day back at school or really for any day in gloomy January is to plan some rewards for yourself. Give yourself something to look forward to no matter how small it might seem… a new magazine, nail polish, candy, or my personal reward for this year:

Chris Soules Bachelor!

And last but not least go home as soon as you can!

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image credits: Shutterstock.com/Sandra Cunningham/Patryk Kosmider/ Skylines/Annette Shaff/Luxe/Epic Stock Media/Dora Zett/Soloviova Liudmyla/Alis Leonte/Utekhina Anna/Neil Lockhart