Saturday, April 29, 2023

Mother's Day Gift

Hello, friends!  Happy *almost* May!  We're heading into the last month of school.  Things are getting crazy hectic.  Add Mother's Day into the mix!  Today I'm sharing a FREE Mother's Day gift idea.  So simple and so thoughtful.  Minimal supplies Sharpie markers, yellow ribbon, a hot glue gun, blue & yellow cardstock, and yellow paint.

I always love tying a picture book into an art project, so here ya go!  Browse "Fireflies" and my other favorite Mother's Day books HERE (affiliate link).

Grab the free firefly jar template by clicking the cover below.  Happy Mother's Day!



Sunday, April 23, 2023

End of the Year Student Gift

I can hardly believe it, but we are in the FINAL STRETCH!!!!!!  PRAISE!  Teaching has always been challenging but this year has been another story.  The level of mental (and of course physical) exhaustion I'm feeling is unlike any year prior.  I've had the most challenging class this year....with all sorts of needs.  Needless to say, I am TIRED and ready for a break.  

Today, I'll be prepping my students end of the year gifts.  Yes I know it's May 23 and we have 23.5 more days of school left (seriously, who's counting?).  However, as you know, the end of the year is BONKERS.  An ever-growing to-do list and kids who have checked out makes for an even more exhausted teacher!  

I like to keep my gifts simple, cost-effective, and thoughtful.  When I first started teaching, I thought I had to spend gobs of money on elaborate gifts for my students.  As I've developed as a teacher, I've come to realize that teaching is a gift in itself.  And let's not forget the hundreds (actually thousands) of dollars spent on the classroom and fun activities throughout the school  year!

If you've been around here for any length of time (shoutout to the OG's who have been with me since 2010!), you know I love Junie B. Jones.  I've read a chapter from her book each day, after lunch, for 20 years.  The love began during student teaching (shoutout to Minal, my cooperating teacher who introduced me to good ole' Junie!).  Needless to say, my students' end of the year gift is always a brand new Junie B. Jones book with a personalized bookmark.  I like to order the variety packs on Scholastic and let the kids pick their title. 

Does your class have a favorite series, character, or author?  I'd love to hear who that is!  Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Want to know the cost?  Well, I use Scholastic bonus points that I've accrued over the years to order the books.  A roll of thin ribbon for the bookmarks is about $3.00.  The bookmarks are in my TpT shop (linked HERE for you!).  I do use my own laminator, because I like the bookmarks to be stiff, but I can get four bookmarks on a page.   I'm only using 6 laminating sleeves.

The kids always cherish these personalized bookmarks (and of course, books, a class favorite)!!!  Don't worry, the bookmarks are editable!  Color and black and white versions included.  It's super easy to insert student names at the top and your name at the bottom.  Of course, you can always use a Sharpie and hand-write your name and kids' names in.  There is a set included for team teachers as well.  

Grab the bookmarks by clicking the cover below and get to personalizing!  I'm also linking the ribbon (3/8 inch works well) for you HERE-a bit more expensive to buy on Amazon than a craft store...(because it's April 23 and we are all mentally fried).  Enjoy!



Tuesday, March 14, 2023

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Hello from a snow day in Ohio (yes, on March 14th)!  I'm here with a few, last minute St. Patrick's Day ideas for you.  I hope you find some things you can use!  Enjoy.

First up is a rainbow craft.  For years, my students completed this tissue paper rainbow craft.  It takes a long time but turns out so cute, and is perfect to leave up all spring!  This year, I transitioned to a tear-art rainbow...much quicker and just as cute!

On St. Patrick's Day (or close to), we love doing a procedural writing about how to make a shamrock float!  Of course, our writing isn't complete without actually having a yummy drink!  Grab my  best-selling pack by clicking the cover below.

A fan-favorite is reading about how to catch a leprechaun, and then of course, having students write about how they would catch one!  Grab the Leprechaun Literacy pack by clicking the cover below!

Here's a fun leprechaun craft!  The idea is from Cara Carroll.  Grab the patterns HERE.

Who doesn't love a mini-book?  This St. Pat's one is perfect for searching for sight/trick words and reading together.  St. Pat's is usually near the end of our 3rd quarter, so I like to pass this out for coloring while I do my end of quarter assessments.  Click the cover below to grab this!

I love leaving a little something on my kids' desks on St. Patty's Day.  These Skittles tags are a great treat.  Buy individual bags or bag your own and purchase bulk!  I also love the little cards with a chocolate or plastic gold coin!

I Have, Who Has
 is a fantastic game for a brain break, or to incorporate into your "Morning Meeting" time.  I have so many of these games in my store.  I've linked them all below for you.  Click the cover to snag the St. Pat's one or the bundle.

Literacy Center time is so important to my students and I.  It gives them the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers, and provides me a block of time to work with a small group for intervention.  Typically, our centers are Fundations Phonics based, but the week of a holiday, I like to incorporate a few thematic centers!  I have some St. Patrick's Day centers, which are shown below.  

For Math, we love completing thematic number grid pictures.  Rainbow Bump is another favorite for Math.

Here's a cute little "Lucky Dog" craft that includes a writing page.  Grab it below!

These leprechaun directed drawings are always so creative!  Just "Google" to find which one you like.  

You can't go wrong with St. Patty's Day BINGO!   I love using thematic mini erasers for this.  Linked below for you.



Sunday, February 12, 2023

Valentine's Day Ideas

 Hey friends!  It's almost Valentine's Day!  I'm here to share a few ideas with you.  Hope you can find something to snag for the upcoming holiday!

Party Pack-This is one of my favorite Valentine's Day resources!  It's a party pack containing everything (minus treats, of course!) you'll need to plan a simple Vday party.  Some of the stations/activities included are: Valentine BINGO, friendship notes/pictures, candy heart Math, and MORE!  Take the stress out of planning a party with this pack!

Click the cover to grab this pack!

Valentine's Day Books-
Check out my Amazon storefront, which has a special area called "Picture Books."  I have linked many of my favorite picture books to use as read-alouds in class!

I Have, Who Has-
It's a fast-paced and favorite game that helps build vocabulary.  We love playing it during Morning Meeting!

Click the cover to grab this game!

Valentine's Day Centers-I love using my Fundations: Level 1 activity pack for centers, but when there is a holiday approaching, I sprinkle in some thematic activities!  Shown below is a Valentine's Day Verb Match.  

Click the cover below to grab this verb matching center 
(nouns and adjectives match included, too!)

Art Projects-Been making this Valentine bee for many years and it's a favorite!  Grab it HERE.

The Valentine lovebug is also super cute!  Grab it HERE.

"____ loves _____ to pieces!" Tear Art-This is a super fun and easy craft to do on or around Valentine's Day!  Kids fill in the lines with their name and the name of their school.  Provide pink, red, purple, and white paper for kids to tear up (hello, fine motor practice!).  They use the torn paper to fill in the heart.  Easy-peasy!  

Click the cover to grab this FREE art project!

Valentine Bags-We love decorating Valentine bags using stickers, foam pieces, and Ellison cutouts!  It's cost-effective and quick.   I use white gift bags (linked HERE) from Amazon, but white lunch bags work, too.  The handles on the gift bags make for easy transport on the bus!