Teaching FREEBIES and Resources Monthly Newsletter!

Apr 26, 2017

Fun Ideas and Activities for Novel Studies + a GIVEAWAY!

Hi teacher friends,  
    Some of my favorite memories in elementary school were centered around reading novels in the classroom! I'll always remember making a glittery web with glue and black paper while reading Charlotte's Web in third grade. (I also remember our teacher scolding us for the giant glittery mess on the carpet.)
    Creative projects and activities have the ability to bring novels to life. While choosing a novel unit, it is obviously important to keep your students' reading levels and comprehension skills in mind. That is why interactive notebooks and similar resources are a great way to differentiate their learning and allow them to work at their own pace.
     Here are some of my favorite activities, resources, and ideas to utilize in the classroom while studying novel units!

Host a Book Themed Party!
     After the whole class finishes a novel, host a themed party where students can create props, costumes, classroom decorations, or even bring in yummy snacks that are related to the book.
Some of my favorite book themed party ideas include:
   Butter Beer for Harry Potter   (2 liter cream soda, 2 tablespoons butter extract - for cream top- 1 7oz container of marshmallow creme, 1 cup whipping cream - add all items together in an electric mixer and combine until smooth.) 
   Dirt & Worms for Holes (chocolate mousse cups with oreo crumbs and gummy worms)
   Onion Dip for Holes
   Creating Egyptian Masks for The Egypt Game
   A Day of Random Acts of Kindness - Wonder
   Making Yarn Dolls - Esperanza Rising
   Making Jamaica Flower Punch - Esperanza Rising

Book Tasting Event + Menu / Brochure Freebie! 
    Host a book tasting in the classroom so students can experience a variety of genres and writing styles! Learning how to select a book that you know you'd enjoy is such a great skill to acquire. Utilize group tables by having each group table represent a different genre. Time students for about 10 minutes at each table and then rotate. You can also have your students create table menus before setting up the book tasting. Download this Google Classroom FREEBIE where students can use this template to create a menu in Google Drive!    

This resource allows students to create a pamphlet that can be edited for ANY novel! The file contains a Google Drive link that can be used for Google Classroom. Download here

Interactive Notebook Novel Studies
      I love having interactive notebooks for every subject. Each of my interactive notebooks contain Character Cards that fit inside a card pocket, Writing Warm-ups for Each Chapter, Vocabulary Cutouts, Themes Foldables, Chapter Quizzes, a Final Exam, a Fun Board Game (to help study for exam!) Novel Quote Posters, Reading Logs, Notebook Cover, Interactive Reading Notebook Templates, and SO much more! Here are some more photos of the interactive notebooks (board game included)...

 Find Novel Study Interactive Notebook Resources here! 

Books + Novel Study GIVEAWAY!

Last but not least, I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY of my favorite classroom novels! The winner of the giveaway will receive hard copies of five books AND five matching interactive notebooks! (The 5th-6th Grade Novel Studies Bundle!) During the giveaway I will also have this resource set to 20% OFF! Find it here!

The novels and interactive notebooks include:
 Enter here to win!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 18, 2017

When Kids Want to be ANYWHERE but in School!

When Kids Want to Be Anywhere But in School   It’s that time of year – it is beautiful outdoors and kids are ready to let out all of that pent-up energy from the winter months. It’s that time for teachers, too – time for teachers to dig deep into the old bag of tricks and come up with any little thing that will hold the kids attention!   For times like this, when it’s still way too early for end-of-year activities, but definitely time for a little variety to grab the kids’ attention, what do you do? What classroom activities can you come up with that will take the kids attention off of baseball and swimming pools for a little while but still stay in line with the skills they need to learn?  

 Here are some ideas that don’t take lots of planning, but just might provide that little something different the kids need:  

  Reuse and Recycle Resources!
 Task Card Jeopardy - Dig out five sets of task cards that you have already used earlier in the year. Choose several cards from each set to use as the questions in a Jeopardy-style game.  
 Blackout Poetry from an Old Book – Choose a class novel that’s falling apart, or ask for a discard or two from the library. Give each student a page torn from the book to use in creating a blackout poem in which they use markers to “black out” all of the words except for those that will make up their poem.  
 Magazine Collage – Recycle a pile of discarded magazines by using them once more as material for a collage with a spring theme, a theme from a class novel, or a review topic.  

Read Something Unique!
  Find non-fiction articles about student interests. First, give each student a chance to tell the class about an interest or hobby that their classmates might not know they enjoy, and then follow up later with readings on some of the topics the kids brought up.
Read a story you’ve always liked but never had time to use earlier in the year. Maybe choose a suspenseful story from a children’s magazine and read it aloud to the class; kids of any age enjoy listening to a great story.  
 Read a play aloud. This was a favorite activity in my classes at this time of year. Sometimes there just isn’t time to fit plays in earlier in the year, but plays always seem to be a hit with the kids once you do have the time.  
 Read poems aloud as choral readings. Big Talk, by Paul Fleischman, a collection of poems for four voices, is one good choice.

 Repeat a Favorite Activity, But with a New Twist!
  Students love working in groups, but maybe you usually assign group members for behavior or academic purposes. For a change, let students choose their groups.  
 Repeat a favorite whole-class activity, such as solving puzzles on the whiteboard, but this time with one of your students as the teacher.  

Solve a Mystery!
  Kids love anything that’s like a puzzle, and mystery stories definitely fit the bill. Preview the story to find just the right spot to stop reading so that kids can work on solving the mystery themselves before reading the end of the story. You could even work in the use of “text based evidence” by requiring kids to show support from the text for their solutions. Solving mysteries is a great activity for group work, too!   And on the subject of mysteries, here’s a freebie from my store – Mysteries Task Cards – a set of twelve cards with a fun little mystery on each one.
  Task Card Mysteries FREE    

  Write Instead of Read!
  Kids do love to read plays aloud. But could they write one? Challenge groups of kids to take a scene from a class novel and rewrite it as a skit to be presented in class.  

Advertise It! Creating advertisements is fun because it’s hands-on and creative. Kids can make an advertisement for anything from a novel (think movie poster) to an editing or fact-checking service. They’ll enjoy the creative process as they design their ad and recall things they’ve studies during the year at the same time. Depending on their interests, and how much time you want to invest, kids could make a poster, a magazine ad, a recorded radio ad, or even a video or slide show to showcase their “product.”   Activities like these are just different enough to get students interested – fun, but not too off track. After all, you want to save the really entertaining ones as long as possible - until it really is the last days of school. At this time of year, just a little twist may be all that’s needed to spark some interest and get one more beautiful spring day in the classroom off to a fine start!

Anywhere But in School pin copy

   Classrooom in the Middle logo - rectangular
 Guest post by Sharon from the Classroom in the Middle blog. Sharon has spent over 20 years teaching English, reading, and other subjects to middle school students. She loves having more time now to create and write about resources for teachers – especially materials for teaching reading, vocabulary, and writing to students in grades 4 through 8. Here is the link to her store, also called Classroom in the Middle.   

Mar 30, 2017

Earth Science - Easy Prep Teaching Ideas!

Hi teacher friends,
Are your elementary students studying Earth Science this year? I've always dreaded trying to hunt down lab supplies and equipment for science activities, but during the last few years I've been able to come up with little-to-no prep activities to teach Earth Science! These hands-on activities allow students to experiment and learn the material much quicker than reading from a textbook! With the right tools and resources, science is engaging and amazing!

BIOME GO Activity
This physical activity is HIGHLY engaging for students. Students find one animal per round. They fill out their “Biomedex”, recording data and answering questions about the animal they have just discovered. When they are done, they will go and hide the biome animal for the next classmate to find. Just tape or glue the animal circles to a popsicle stick so they don't blow away. Biomes include Forest, Desert, Tundra, Tropical Rainforest, and Aquatic (Saltwater). Students give their animals POWER MOVES based on their unique adaptations! In-depth Directions are included. Facts about each animal are also included. Students can identify special adaptations for each animal to help them play the game.

biome activity earth science activity
biomes teaching resource

Find this fun resource here!
Biome Go teaching resource

Identifying Rocks, Minerals, and Gems
This is always a favorite in class! Using the Mohs Scale, students can also determine the hardness of the mineral. They can make predictions by studying their rock (its color, shape/surface, size) and then testing it using the scale.

Rocks Minerals Gems Teaching Resource

Rocks and Minerals Resource
click here to find Rocks, Minerals, and Gems INB

Easy Ocean Zones

You will need plastic water bottles, blue food coloring, & vegetable oil for this science activity. First, fill the bottle half way with water. Add about 10 to 15 drops of food coloring. Use a funnel or squeeze bottle to fill the rest of the bottles with veggie oil. Have students shake it up as hard as they can! (Make sure the lids are on tight!) When the water and oil finally settle, it creates three distinct layers. These layers resemble the three zones: sunlit, twilight, and midnight. (or euphotic, disphotic, and aphotic zones) Students can label their bottles and take the ocean home with them!

Earth Science Interactive PowerPoints

These teaching resources are quite the virtual experience! The Earth Science PowerPoints can be used as powerful classroom presentations or students can click their way through them on individual computers!!

Here is a fast-paced screen capture of an interactive powerpoint in action!
Find more Earth Science Interactive PowerPoints here! 

Earth Science Interactive Notebooks
The units covered within the Earth Science Bundle are: Rock Cycle, Minerals, Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes, Weather, Ecosystems, Earth's Cycles, Photosynthesis, Biomes, Energy
6th grade students love these interactive journals for Earth Science curriculum. This resource contains over 30 pages of interactie learning material!

Do you have any fun Earth Science activities you enjoy doing with your students? Post Below!

Mar 3, 2017

Techy Teacher Giveaway!

Techy Teachers,
Are you a teacher that LOVES implementing technology into your classroom? Are you addicted to searching Pinterest for the latest STEM activities for your next lesson?  Or, maybe you are somewhat overwhelmed and unfamilar with the latest classroom gadgets. 
In order to keep students engaged, it’s crucial to speak their language—technology

There's no getting around it, students in today's society are completetly immersed in technology. There are countless ways to bring technology into the classroom!
   So whether you consider yourself a tech wizard or you're just slowly starting to implement technology into the classroom, this current giveaway is just for you! 
 These tools provided in the giveaway will not only give your current lesson plans a big boost, they will keep your students engaged and motivated! These tools are some of my favorites to use in the classroom. 

Included in this giveaway: 
-An INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD system from IPEVO.com - $170 Value! 
-STEM T-shirt
-Google Cardboard Glasses for Virtual Reality
-Bluetooth Kidz Gear Headphones
-Fun and motivating Emoji stickers pack! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 28, 2017

United States History Activities That Your Students Will Love!

Creative US History Lessons and Ideas for Students

     Interpreting history can seem like a daunting task for students, but with a few creative tools and ideas, teachers can bring historical events and people to life. I love providing students with an interconnection to the people who shaped our country. Our history is on-going and by studying our past, we can hopefully learn from our successes and mistakes to better shape the future! 

   If you are looking for a quick way to add a little pizzazz to your U.S. History lessons, check out the resources below! 

Souvenir Great State Plates! 
50 States Activities - US History Ideas

Cindy from SensationalSocialStudies.blogspot.com assigned her students a random US state by drawing names from a hat. They then completed a research assignment using the Atlas, the Internet and other resources to find specific facts about their state. They also used the paper plate as a canvas to creatively display their research. You can find more information here

US History Interactive PowerPoints! 
This video features a fast-motion screen capture of an interactive powerpoint from the US History PowerPoint Bundle. These teaching resources are quite the virtual experience! The United States History PowerPoints can be used as powerful classroom presentations or students can click their way through them. The United States History PowerPoint Bundle contains the following units:  Ancient & Native Americans, Early Explorers & Trade Routes, Relations Between the Colonists & Native Americans, The 13 Colonies, American Revolution and Events Leading up to the War, The Declaration of Independence & American Revolution, The Articles of Confederation - Constitutional Convention - and the Constitution. 

Native American Artwork 
Native American Activity - Totem Pole
While studying early American History, my students learned about the Native American Nations of the Northwest. Several tribes, including the Tlingit, carved elaborate totem poles from cedar trees as an emblem of their family-clan. It was once an important part of the Potlatch ceremony, a gift giving feast practiced by the Pacific Northwest tribes. Ms. Collins, an art educator and blogger from My Adventures in Positive Space, assigned her students to build their totem poles out of paper towel cardboard tubes. They drew each image in sharpie and added more color with cray pas. To discover more about the totem pole project, click here

United States History Interactive Notebooks 
United States Lesson with Explorers

5th grade students love these interactive notebooks for our Social Studies / Early United States History curriculum. This resource is actually aligned with the US History Interactive PowerPoint Bundle. I would highly recommend using these interactive PowerPoints along with the notebooks but it is optional. The notebooks are a stand-alone resource. Materials include: Interactive notebook covers for each of the 7 units, reading passages, answer keys, critical thinking and analysis questions, flaps, foldables, timelines, graphic organizers, and more. 

Illustrated Timeline Posters
US History Timeline Interactive
I am in love with this poster idea that SensationalSocialStudies.blogspot.com shared on facebook! Her students are learning about the events leading up the the Revolutionary War. This timeline allows her students to illustrate and compile the major events in chronological order. 

Do you have any creative activities that you do with your students while teaching United States history? Share in the comments section below! 

Feb 6, 2017

Teachers Pay Teachers Be Mine SALE & GIVEAWAY!

     Teacher friends, It's that wonderful time of year again!
It is almost time for a Teachers Pay Teachers Statewide SALE! It's beginning TONIGHT at 9 PST and going on until the 8th!  

     You may just want to drop by the StudentSavvy store for great savings! Get your cart ready for 28% off EVERYTHING using the promo code LOVETPT!

This is also your big chance to win a TpT GIFT CARD just in time for the sale! Win $10 by entering the giveaway below! The winner will be chosen by 7am PST tomorrow so there will be plenty of time to use it during the  sale!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are some new/seasonal resources that you may want to check out during the sale! 

Valentine's Day - Love Bug Valentines
Love Bug Letters

Valentine's Day Activities
February Fun Pack

American Revolution - Events Leading up to the Revolutiona
**NEW American Revolution - 
Leading up to the Revolutionary PowerPoint

 **NEW American Revolution - 
Leading up to the Revolutionary Interactive Notebook

Save Money on BUNDLES! Find them by clicking here

Jan 2, 2017

Chinese New Year STEM Challenges 2017!

Chinese New Year STEM 2017!
Rooster Themed STEM Challenge Ideas

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and with it comes a world of opportunities to incorporate STEM activities into the classroom that can directly tie in to the season. There are countless fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities to do with your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going this winter season!

Flying Rooster Challenge
Students compete to design a paper airplane that flies the furthest distance. Students must complete three trials of this task, measuring the distance of each trial, Students do not have to use all the supplies but they are not allowed to use anything that is not listed below.  (scroll down to the end of the resource to view) 

Outside resource on to how to fold paper airplanes: http://bit.ly/2ivMiE2

***For materials and more challenge information, scroll down to the end of the post! 

Chicken Coop Challenge 
In groups of 3-4, students must construct a chicken coop plan that would be functional for hens if built to size.  The coop must contain roosting poles, (poles for the chickens to sleep on), a space for a nest box, a feeding area, and a chicken run. Students must complete this change in 3 days, allowing for glue to dry if needed.  

***For materials and more challenge information, scroll down to the end of the post! 

Egg Drop Challenge: 
Students must design a contraption that will protect their egg when dropped 8 feet from the ground. Students will have an hour and thirty minutes to plan and build their contraption

***Advice: Try to build as much of your contraption as possible without using the egg to prevent it from breaking before the drop test. If students break an egg, they will lose a trial. 

***For materials and more challenge information, scroll down to the end of the post!

Integrating seasonal activities into the classroom can sometimes be tricky with Upper Elementary grade levels, but with STEM, celebrating Chinese New Year will be a blast!

Chinese New Year 2017 Activities - Year of the Rooster!

Chinese New Year Activities

Teacher friends, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster according to the Chinese Zodiac! The Year of the Rooster starts from January 28th, and ends on February 15th, 2018.
Here's some fun information you and your students can enjoy about the year of the rooster!


2017 Is a Fire Rooster Year!

"Active, Amusing, and Popular Among a Crowd

Roosters are always active, amusing, and popular within a crowd. Roosters are talkative, outspoken, frank, open, honest, and loyal individuals. They like to be the center of attention and always appear attractive and beautiful.
Roosters are happiest when they are surrounded by others, whether at a party or just a social gathering. They enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charm on any occasion.bb
Roosters expect others to listen to them while they speak, and can become agitated if they don't. Vain and boastful, Roosters like to brag about themselves and their accomplishments.
Their behavior of continually seeking the unwavering attention of others annoys people around them at times.

Roosters are Healthy and Enjoy Sports

People born in a year of the Rooster are typically healthy people. They are active and enjoy sports, such as hiking and swimming. Roosters don't get sick very often because they tend to fight illness well. Even when they do become ill, they feel better quickly. Roosters are a little sensitive, and they feel stressed and moody at times."

Personality traits of the Rooster: Trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work

Lucky numbers: 5,7,8

Best-suited Careers: athlete, politician, police, fashion designer, or beautician

Would you like your students to learn more about the year of the rooster and other 11 zodiac animals? 
Students are able to design a 15 page booklet where they can celebrate the year of the rooster and learn about their own Chinese zodiac!

Chinese New Year Teaching Ideas
Year of the Rooster 2017

Chinese New Year Rooster

You many also enjoy:
STEM challenges

STEM activities Chinese New Year


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