October 1, 2016

Easy Witches Hat Cookies

It's October!!! Now is the perfect time to start thinking about some fun Halloween ideas, so you won't be thinking about those costumes, crafts, center ideas and treats at the last minute!  Today, I'm excited to share with you all a super easy little Halloween goody for your kiddos!

These easy Halloween witches hat cookies are a great treat or procedural writing activity for your students.

I liked to make these for my class and bring them in on Halloween most years for a little treat for them at lunch.  They loved it when I brought in special goodies that I made myself!  (And I got to use it as a way to keep them behaving all morning by promising them a special treat at lunch!)  These are fun and literally the easiest thing to make.  

You only need 3 things:
Hershey Kisses
1 package fudge-striped shortbread cookies 
1 container orange or red decorating icing

All you do is glue the Hershey kiss to the back of the fudge cookie with the icing.  Then, you pipe a little icing around the base of the Hershey kiss.  That's it!  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (as my students would say)!  This is also something that you could have your students make themselves and have them write a quick procedural writing paper about how to make witch hat cookies.

If you're looking for some fun Halloween resources to keep your kids engaged in math centers try these Halloween Word Problem Task Cards!  There are 12 spooky Halloween stories using addition and subtraction (and multi-step).  There are 2 sets- they have identical stories, but different numbers so you can differentiate for your kiddos!

Halloween Addition & Subtraction Story Problem Task Cards are a great math center for fall!

I also have these super fun Array Task Cards with Halloween emojis (because- emojis!!!).  These 24 arrays include repeated addition and multiplication.

Halloween Emoji Array Task Cards are a great math center for fall!

Also, be sure to snag this FREE simple Halloween basic facts sheet with a few story problems too!

Halloween FREEBIE addition and subtraction fact worksheets and story problems.

Happy Halloween!

September 19, 2016

Into the Book: A Website to Help Support Teaching Reading Strategies

Find out about Into the Book to help support teaching reading strategies and grab a FREEBIE!  Great resources for teachers and students!Head over to All About 3rd Grade where I'm going to be telling you about a little website that can provide some great support for teaching those reading strategies.  It's called Into the Book.  This site is FREE and it features a lot of cool stuff to help you with planning and teaching eight learning strategies: using prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, evaluating and synthesizing.  (The only strategy it's missing that I also liked to teach is determining the importance.)  It also provides some great student resources to practice these strategies too!
Plus, grab a FREEBIE from me too!

August 19, 2016

Indoor Recess Ideas for Teachers

This is a great list of ideas for indoor recess time in your classroom!

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of questions about what everyone does for indoor recess in the teacher FB groups I'm in. I thought it'd be a good idea to share some the things I liked to do when it was too rainy, too hot (in Florida I've been told by my administration some days that it was too hot for us to go outside to play at least a few times each year!) or too cold- for all you snowbirds!
Come check out my post on All About 3rd Grade!

August 11, 2016

Name Activities for Back to School

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

Every new year comes with a lot of new names to learn! Well, why not make it fun for you and your kiddos? Here are a few name activities that I have used throughout the years at the beginning of the school year that I though I'd share. Hopefully you'll get an idea or two. :)

This is super simple. Kids get a sheet of paper. Fold it into 8 squares (or more). Then, they go around the room and fill in the boxes with different names from friends in the class. I have them walk around so they can get some movement in and look at each other's name tags on desks to spell them correctly. Then, I handout some Skittles (because...Skittles, duh!) to use as place holders and we play name bingo. Depending on how many squares we've used we'll play different ways- a row, the whole card, etc. I liked to use this as a fun little transition activity the first day or two of school. You know how so much of those first few days are lots of talking about and practicing procedures and it can get a tad boring at times- this game just spices things up for a few minutes.

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

I've done this one two ways: One- I just gave the kids a regular size 8x11 piece of white construction paper and they had to write and decorate their name BIG (cover the paper). I always showed an example that I had made where I used a lot of color and details to design and decorate as a model, so they knew I really meant BIG and detailed. Two- I made and printed their name (great tutorial on how to do this) on the page and they had to decorate it.  I usually used this activity the first day or two of school. While the kids worked on this I was able to do some DRA's, running records or other beginning of the year conferencing or testing that I had to do one-on-one. Then, I displayed their name art around the classroom for Open House later that month.

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

I always started out the year with all of my students names on the Word Wall in my classroom. In 2nd grade, I did word work with our word wall words daily. One thing we did was a physical activity with the word. We would snap it, clap it, stomp it or cheer it. This went something like this- we would say the word, then clap (snap, stomp or cheer) each letter, then say the word again while we clapped the syllables. Then, the kiddos would write and box around the letters of the word in their word work notebooks. We did this with everyone's name the first week or two of school. Each student would pick what movement they wanted to do with their name, so they liked that. Plus, they learned how to pronounce and spell each person's name as well.

I love this idea for the first day of school. I would make a name card (similar to how I did it for the decorating names paper, but smaller) and put a little can of Playdoh on everyone's desk. They could manipulate the Playdoh to spell their names. Super easy, all ages love this and keeps them busy while you are dealing with all the "first day of school stuff" we always have to do.

Still looking for some Back to School ideas? Definitely check out my other Back to School resources!!

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!