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Mar 30, 2015

How to THRIVE as a Substitute Teacher!

substitute teacher 

We often don't consider how great being a substitute teacher can be! It's hard when you feel like your life is in limbo waiting the next teaching job to come along. But whether you're trying to land your dream job or trying to just survive your first few weeks of subbing, here are a few things that may cheer you up.

       Subbing is fantastic for a few reasons:

A big one is that you are able to just enjoy the students for the day, not having to worry too much about parents, conferences, or other sometimes stressful things that go along with being a teacher.

Unless you are in a long term sub assignment, if you have a TERRIBLE day you don't have to come back...  EVER!

YOU are doing the school a huge favor. Usually, everyone is happy you are there to save the day when one of their teachers is out sick.

Primary students are infinitely curious about a new sub. Usually the teacher has prepared them to be on their best behavior. They are excited you are coming in. :)

If you come into the classroom confident and with your emergency toolkit (including your bag of tricks) most likely you have a fantastic day no matter what happens.

So are you ready to be a ROCKSTAR sub?? Just read the FREE tips below and you'll be ready!

substitute teaching freebie

substitute teacher resources

subbing resources

Don't forget! -  Always leave a note behind to tell the teacher how your day in the classroom went! Here are 3 FREE themed "While You Were Out" sheets!

sub freebies

Last but not least, here is the ULTIMATE substitute survival kit. This ultimate kit has everything you need and much more to not only survive, but THRIVE and have fun while substitute teaching!
This product is provided in a binder format where you can just print and use on the go for your subbing needs! There are 120 pages of activities, tips, checklists, resources, themed notes for the teacher and more!
substitute ultimate survival kit

You may also enjoy:

sub plans

Mar 29, 2015

Easter / Spring FREE Craftivity & Sale!

Hi teacher friends!
Last week I was on a craftivity RAMPAGE. I was so hyped up, I created and uploaded five all in one day. Phew!
After brainstorming lessons for spring in my last blogpost, I was amped to create a bundle of both Easter and spring craftivities! Easter is only a few days away so I wanted to include products in the bundle that could be used after the holiday as well!

So without further ado, here is the sale I am currently throwing for the next 48 hours (Sunday & Monday) :

20% off ALL CRAFTIVITIES in my store (including Easter and spring)

FREE Cherry Blossom Craftivity - Click here for yours!

20% off Spring and Easter Craftivity BUNDLE! Over 70% SAVINGS! - Click here for this resource!

       -Includes: Easter Bunny Craftivity
                        Easter Chick Craftivity
                        Mother's Day Tea Craftivity
                        Under the Sea Craftivity
                        Weather Mobile Craftivity
                        Sakura Tree (Cherry Blossom) Craftivity


Remember this is only until Monday! Be sure to stop by before it's over!
Enjoy! :)

Mar 19, 2015

Bring Spring into the Classroom!

Hi teacher friends,
Spring is just around the corner! I'm more than ready for changes in the weather! If you're like me, you want your class to enjoy the upcoming season as well!

Here are some fun spring activities and ideas to get you and your students ready for spring!

1. Earth day - Taking action! 
Is there a cause that your students are passionate about? Do they care about the endangerment of species or the harmful effects of global warming? Brainstorm a cause that students want to work together for to create a change in the world. Decide steps that you and your students will take to help support that cause. 

2. Beautiful Butterfly hand art!
 Students paint colorful designs right onto their hands! They can practice symmetry with color and design!

3. Activities that show changes in the weather!

There are exciting changes happening in the weather (unless you have allergies, then it's not so exciting!)  It's fun to learn how and why weather changes occur. Here are fun art projects and booklets to go along with science weather units!  

Click here to create a weather mobile with your students!
Here is "My Weather & Seasons Book"! 

4. Classroom garden - plant flowers with your students!
Do you have a space in your school to plant flowers? Planting with your students is a great way to spend time outdoors and appreciate nature! 

5. Hatching butterflies!
Photo by Patti licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Watch the life cycle in action with your students! Have a Live Butterfly Garden kit in your classroom so students can observe the different stages of the butterfly! 

6.  Flower crafts!
This was a sensory craft that my students made. They rolled marbles around in paint on construction paper. After it dried, they cut the paper into a tulip shape.

7. Baby animal activities!

During spring, baby animals are being born! The life cycle is happening all around us. Who doesn't love learning about adorable newborns? Here is a resource that has task card questions involving baby animals.  

8. Life cycle activities
Life cycles are usually included in curriculum around springtime. There are many different life cycles to study, popular ones including - frog, plants, chicken, butterfly... An easy way to learn life cycles is to have cards students arrange in the correct order with descriptions on the back. 
Life Cycle Resources: 
Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle Activities
Life Cycle of the Butterfly Activities
Life Cycle of Frog Trading Cards
Life Cycle of Chicken Trading Cards
Life Cycle of Butterfly Trading Cards

9. Easter art projects!

Depending on grade level, students may enjoy creating Easter art! Below is an Easter bunny craftivity. You can find this resource here! The writing prompt says "If I were the Easter bunny, I would decorate my eggs with..." "I would put ____________ inside them." "I would hide my eggs ___________________."

Click here for Easter Bunny Craftivity!

10. Easter Egg Hunt! Outside or in the classroom

Here are some photos from when I taught preschool age students. They had a blast finding eggs on the playground. An Easter egg hunt in the classroom would be just as fun! With older students you could even put rewards in the eggs such as "10 minutes of free play" or "Free word on the next spelling test!" ;) 

11. Activities & gifts for Mother's Day! 

There are TONS of cute gifts that you can create for moms. Poems, handprints, letters, crafted flowers..
Here are resources for Mother's Day - Letters to my Mother Activity Gift Pack
                                                             Poetry & Creative Writing Gift Pack

12. Nature Walk & Journaling -  Exploration!

Here is a nature journal that my students created just from a stick, leaves, and cardboard!! 

13. Listen to nature sounds. Sing songs about nature!

When students first walk through the door in the morning or during independent time, they can listen to calming nature sounds! This helps with focus and relaxation! 


Write below spring activities that you are most excited about using in the classroom!

Mar 6, 2015

10 Activities with Geometry & Shapes!

     Hi teachers friends!
Are you sick of your hearing your students repeatedly say, "I'm just not a math person!"? Math can be a struggle for many. Changing the way you approach new concepts with your students may leave an impact on your math strugglers. Here are fun and creative activities that you can easily modify to fit the needs of your classroom. For more advanced students, I'll give you ideas to enrich the activity!

1. Geometric Art
Take geometry to an artistic level! Give students specific directions of sizes, colors, and shapes. As an extension, students can classify types (if using triangles, they can label obtuse, right, or acute). They could also measure their angles and find patterns in their artwork.

2. Physical activity games! -Yarn, using your body
This is a unique movement activity and students also get the opportunity to stand up and stretch! Have students tie a large strand of yarn together so when stretched it makes a circle about their height. They can stand on one end of the yarn and contort their body in order to make  a rectangle, triangle, etc. It's a blast (and pretty entertaining for the teacher.. :) )

3. Experimenting with Shapes

Whether your students are learning 2-D or 3-D shapes, let them explore how to use them to design different animals, objects, and creations! You can do this with paper scraps, building blocks, or pattern blocks. This helps with spatial reasoning as well as creative problem solving.

4. Design a Geometric Dream House!

This is such a fun project for all ages! Seriously, who doesn't love brainstorming the house of their dreams!?! And this can be a way for teachers to reinforce geometric concepts into student learning! This also teaches students daily application of geometry. This project includes shape review, rough draft pages, final draft pages, cut out shapes for final design, and explanations of floor plans.

5. Incorporate an interactive math journal!
This is a great way to see student feedback about how they are doing with basic concepts of geometry. Allow them a few minutes to journal and reflect on how they feel about each lesson. Interactive journals are also great for keeping lessons organized and cohesive. Students can also color code and label.. Interactive journals are just plain fun!

6. Birdhouses & Shapes!
This is a cute spring activity for students who are just getting started with basic geometry (Pre-K-1st) In this resource, students color, write, count, and rearrange shapes using birdhouses! It is also common core aligned, with learning how to visualize objects in their environment, correctly name shapes, as well as building and drawing shapes. (K.G.A1, K.G.A.2, and 1.G.A.1)
Find this spring teaching resource here

7. Geo-boards!
Geo-boards are great for exploring and experimenting with shapes. However, students can get really off task with geo-boards and just end up mindlessly making crazy polygons. Make sure you give them set rules such as make a shape with 6 sides... "oh yeah a hexagon!" And then you can explore the differences between regular (all equal sides) and irregular shapes.

8. Shape hunt!
 Have a printout of the different shapes your studying, whether they are 2-D or 3-D. Have students grab a clipboard and search around the classroom for objects that match the shape. Then as a class, go over what the found.

9. Marshmallow and toothpick shapes!
Students can build either 2-D or 3-D shapes by sticking marshmallows on each end of a toothpick! These make for some really neat projects!

10. Build a three dimensional city, exploring height, length, width, and volume!

This activity is best suited for older and advanced math students who are ready to explore volume. Students can get really creative, naming their city and inhabitants!

Do you have any geometry activities/games/lessons that you enjoy doing with your students? 
Post in the comments below! 

Mar 1, 2015

Unique St Patty's Day Classroom Ideas!

Racking your brain over what to do in the classroom this St. Patty's Day? Here are some fun St Patty's Day activities to implement in the classroom!

1. Creative writing prompts in March
Every morning in March have your students answer a creative writing question!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
       "Today is your lucky day! You found a lucky clover. What are four wishes you would like to come true?"

      "What would you do if you had a pot of gold?"

       "How would you trick a sneaky leprechaun into giving you all his gold?"

       "What is a trinket or item you find to be lucky and why?"

2. Get out the fiddles and bagpipes! Listen to the music of Ireland!
When students come in during the morning or during quiet independent work, they can listen to serene and beautiful Celtic songs!
This video on youtube offers 2 HOURS of instrumental Celtic study music! I'm listening to it as I write this blog post! Check it out! © All music composed by Adrian von Ziegler.

3. Have students design a leprechaun trap!
Have students brush up on their knowledge of simple machines. Brainstorm to come up with a unique machine that will trap those sneaky leprechauns! Here is a resource that contains pages to help brainstorm a leprechaun trap!

4. Irish Folklore
Did you know there are tons of great Irish folktales and mythology? You students will love learning about Irish myths and folklore.

5. I Spy... Green! (Around the Room!)
Have students take a clipboard and write in ABC order things that they find in the classroom that are green!

6. Rainbow cupcakes!
All you need is:
     -Airhead rainbow belts
     -Rolo Candies
     -Gold sprinkles
     -Marshmallow frosting
     -cupcake mix
      -green frosting
Follow the cupcake mix directions as instructed. Wait until they are cooled to add green frosting. Then decorate with the Airhead rainbow belt and marshmallow frosting holding it into place. Top with the rolo candy as the pot of gold! Fill the pot of gold with gold sprinkles.

7. Design a Scavenger hunt for all things green
Think like a leprechaun trickster! Write riddles for your students to solve. At the end of the hunt, a large pot of gold awaits!

additional resource:

Photo Credit - Photos purchased from Dollar Photo Club


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