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Friday, October 9, 2015

It's Almost Halloween!!!

I love Halloween, and I have always loved Halloween! From dressing up to trick-a-treating to going through my candy with my friends and siblings in our living room, for me,  Halloween was just the perfect holiday to be a kid and have permission to pig out on sweets...even if it was just for one night.

Now as a teacher, I feel like I get to relive the joys of Halloween by incorporating the fun of  holiday with our curriculum.  And of course, the kids are always equally excited as I am!

A fun English/Language Arts and arts and craft activity that ties in with adjectives is after reading a fun Halloween story about monsters or has monsters in it, we create a Frankenstein as a class.  Next, I encourage the kids to think of all the adjectives that we have learned about to describe our monster.  Using a graphic organizer for this activity fits perfectly and really helps the students when they go on to write complete sentences using their adjectives.  Once the writing is complete with sentences, the students glue it to the back of their Frankenstein!

To download the eyes for Frankenstein, click to the image of Frankenstein.  To download the writing template, click to the image of the graphic organizer.




I also use my Halloween Math & Literacy packet filled with many interactive and engaging activities throughout October with my kids.  The kids love how fun it is, and I love that I am able to sneak in all the math and literacy skills learned up to this point in the year for additional practice and review.



I have also asked my fellow Teacher-Author friends to link up their fun and engaging Halloween resources below.  Make sure you check them out!


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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!

Who doesn't love fall and pumpkins?!!! Whenever fall comes around, I always look forward to heading out to the farm and picking out the perfect pumpkin for our family and my classroom.



This year was no exception...except we have a new adorable addition to our family to celebrate with!




In the classroom, I love reading all the pumpkin books and using pumpkins to connect to the skills and concepts from our curriculum. One of my favorite books is The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Stven Kroll. 

Here's a freebie that I love using! Read the book to your students, then encourage them to write what they would do if they had the biggest pumpkin! Afterwards, glue their picture onto the pumpkin template along with their writing prompt!

Click to the image below to download the pumpkin template for FREE!




If you are looking for more pumpkin activities, check out the resource below!





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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bats & Spiders Oh MY!

I'm no fan of creepy crawlers and animals of the night, but I have to admit, they sure are fun to learn about with my firsties!  Throw in some nonfictional and fictional literature with writing and arts and craft, even the squirmiest students will definitely be caught in the learning web! :)

A fun activity that we do is that we start out with some nonfiction text paired with fictional stories.  Afterwards, we create a t-chart and compare our findings.  This is always so fun as it is interactive and involves a whole-group discussion on what is fact and what is fiction.  As I am recording the students' findings, I am also highlighting correct capitalization, punctuation, and spacing along with sounding out the letters for additional spelling practice.




Afterwards, students are encouraged to pick a fact and fiction statement to record on their own writing template.  Once completed, students then cut and glue their writing onto a bat tracer ready for display!  Click to the image below for a free copy of the writing template!



Click on this link for the BAT TRACER.

As for spiders, we go through the same routine with pairing nonfiction and fiction texts and the t-chart.  However, I add in a KWL chart and make it even more engaging by incorporating graphic organizers to help my students think through their writing.




To download the KWL Spider chart, click on the image below!



No matter if you're teaching about spiders or bats this season, I hope you will have an AHHHH-some time with your littles!

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October Currently

Wow!  It's October again, and the air is definitely feeling a little cooler, even though compared to other states, Texas still feels like summer...but I'll take 80 degrees weather over 90 or 100 something any day! ;)

And so now onto my October Currently with Mrs. Farley from Oh Boy, It's 4th Grade!




Listening: Of course, the best sound right now is silence in the house as my babies are all snugged in and sleeping so very peacefully.  With a 2 month old and 3 year old, silence definitely comes far and few in between nowadays, so I'm taking in the silence and loving the stillness throughout the house.

Loving:  It's my birthday month! I can't believe I'm turning 19 again!  haha... Just kidding.  Whenever October rolls around, I am always reminded of all the memories of my childhood birthdays. No matter how big or small the celebrations were, my mom always made sure we celebrated as a family with singing and a yummy cake!  So glad I get to continue the tradition and celebrate this year with our new baby girl. She definitely makes this year so much more special and memorable for me!



Thinking: Halloween costumes, of course! Every year, I try to dress my family up together.  Last year, we were the Peanuts (Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the Great Pumpkin).  The years before we were characters from the movie Up and Snow White.  I'm still brainstorming and eagerly scrolling through Pinterest pins for ideas. 



Wanting:  As much as I love Christmas, I really just want fall to stay.  The leaves here haven't changed colors much since it's still relatively warm here in Texas.  However, when I used to live in Kentucky, I always loved driving down the road and marveling at the beautiful fall foliage.  Now, as soon as the trees turn color, I rush to get my camera and babies and snap away like a crazy paparazzo. 



Needing: Since October is here, it has reminded me that I only have one full month left of maternity leave with my sweet baby.  To be honest, it was hard at the beginning to just be idle and hold her in my arms all day as that is all that she allows me to do.  For a busy body like me and someone who is constantly on the go, to be at rest for so long was very difficult.  However, it has been the best thing for me as as my body needs the rest and she needs me...all of me while I am still home with her.

Boo-tiful: Motherhood can be very messy.  I am constantly wiping off spit-ups and cleaning after my babies....but I love it.  At the end of the day, their love and presence make me so incredibly happy and beautiful.

Thank you for reading!  Hope you're having a boo-tiful October!


Monday, September 14, 2015

5 STEPS TO TEACHING GOOD CITIZENSHIP & A FREEBIE

Learning to be a good citizen in the primary grades is so important as young students begin to understand what it feels like to become a rightful member of a classroom community and their own community as a whole.  When teaching about citizenship, I have found that there are so many abstract ideas that it can be overwhelming for the kids to grasp upon.  However, the key is to take those BIG abstract ideas and explain them in ways and terms that are relatable and meaningful to the kids.

Here are my 5 Steps for teaching Good Citizenship:


What is a good citizen?  What do they do?  Why is good citizenship important?  Can students be good citizens in their own classroom?
What are rights?  Do all citizens have rights?  What are rights that citizens have?  Do kids have rights too?


What responsibilities do citizens have?  Why are responsibilities important?  What responsibilities do kids have at school and at home?

What are the traits of a good citizen?  Honesty, fairness, etc.  Do you look for the same traits in a good friend?  

How can students become good citizens themselves?  What can they do in the classroom to practice good citizenship?  To download a copy of this Good Citizenship Crown FREEBIE, click to the image below.




If you need more ideas teaching citizenship, check out the resource below.












*Special thanks to I Teach What's Your Superpower? & MyCuteGraphics for the graphics in this content.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Currently

Ahhh.. It's September, and I finally have the time to BLOG!!!  I really never thought it would happen again, but I actually have time to sit down and share with you all the happy craziness that's been going on in my little corner of the world!  Thus, I give you, my September Currently as I link up with Farley from Oh Boy, It's 4th Grade! :)




Listening:  Since our little family welcomed our daughter earlier last month, it has been busy, busy, busy for all of us.  If it's not the sound of the door bell with sweet presents and visitors then it's our cellphones or our toddler son's Ipad and TV shows or the sweet cries of our daughter.  With so many changes and commotion going on (which I am so blessed to experience), I have been on the move nonstop and have been listening to anything but silence.  But tonight.  Yes, tonight.  With everyone sleeping so soundly and no one is calling for me, I am enjoying the sound of silence throughout the night...even if it's only for another 15 minutes max. :)



Loving: I am really loving the precious time that I have to bond with my daughter at the moment.  Since I know that every minute brings me one minute closer to when I have to return to work later in the fall, I am treasuring every cuddle and snuggle with her.




Thinking: While I'm treasuring this precious time I have with her, I am also thinking of my firsties who are starting the year without me...but with a wonderful, heaven-sent long-term sub.  I cannot tell you how lucky I am to have the sub that I have now, since my first long-term sub notified me that she accepted a full-time position on the day of Meet-the-Teacher and I had prepared and printed an introduction letter and her info for my kids and parents! Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for her and so glad that she found a long-term position!  But having found that out with so little notice, I was on the brink of breaking out into tears and hives knowing that I had to be on maternity leave at the beginning of the year without having a sub.  Luckily, my second long-term sub came along and saved the day!  After a successful Meet the Teacher Night and helping her get started on the first day of school, I am very much at eased and know that my kids are in great hands!



Wanting:  With that being said, I would like for time to slow down, because I can't believe that it's been 4 weeks already since we welcomed our sweet daughter into the world.  How was it that my pregnancy seemed to have lasted FOREVER, yet it's already been 4 weeks and our sweet baby is now outgrowing her newborn clothes?! :(  On top of that, my once newborn is now a big kid going off to Pre-School!  Slow down, babies...slow down....




Needing: As motherhood is in full-swing, I am excited that my best friend of 25 years, yes 25 years (we met in first grade) is visiting my family and me this month!  Every year we try to meet up with each other, and this year is no exception...only that it's our 25 year BFF anniversary!!!  We totally made that one up, but we totally love it! :)



3 Goals: It's definitely hard to find time to be alone nowadays, but I do miss being creative...so I need to jot my ideas down and make time.  I also need to focus more on all the positives around me and dwell on all the positive energy and TRULY enjoy the moment as I know every minute brings me closer to the end of my maternity leave...

Thank you for stopping by!  What's on your list for your September Currently?

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