Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Easter Egg Hunt With a Twist!

Have you ever tried an Easter egg hunt with a TWIST?  I did something completely different one year and it was a lot of fun.  I found this idea on the internet, but can't remember where or when I saw it.  If you know whose idea it is, let me know and I'll gladly give them credit!!

So here's what we did....we basically turned an ordinary egg hunt into something a little more academic.  I know, I know!!  It doesn't sound fun....but I promise my kids had a blast and were way happy with their goodies!!

I asked each student to send in 6 plastic eggs filled with a small toy or candy.  Then I had a parent volunteer come in and write one word on each egg.  The words were:  I, little, have, six, my, eggs.  So 20 eggs had the word I.....20 eggs had the word little......etc.

After the eggs were hidden, I let the students know that they each had to find 6 eggs that had the 6 sight words on them.  To help them, I created a recording sheet where they could cross off each word as they found each egg.   If you'd like to grab it for the future, you can download it here!

They were so funny hunting for the sight word eggs.  I could hear them calling out "has anybody seen the word little".......and "hey I need have"!  It was really cute to watch them trying to find all of the words and making sure they marked each word off on their sheet!!

After students found all 6 of their eggs, they headed to the sidewalk to complete the rest of the sheet.  They had to take out their 6 eggs and unscramble the words to make a sentence (I have my six little eggs.)  This was pretty easy for most students, but others needed a little bit of help.  Then they wrote the sentence on the lines.

The last thing they did before opening any of their eggs was to record the color of each individual egg, by writing the color word in the boxes.

Finally after all of that hard work......they got to open their eggs and see their special treats!  They were so excited!!!  Not a single one complained about having to hunt for sight words or do "work" afterwards.  They actually were laughing and smiling the whole time, so I consider that a WIN - WIN!

If you're looking for more Easter resources, I've got a couple things you may be interested in!  Check them out below!  Math and Literacy!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Olympics 2018

As a child watching the Olympics was one of my favorite things to do!  So you can imagine how excited I am about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang!  I am even more excited to share this experience with my students!

As I was perusing Pinterest I came across this super cute poem by Ken Nesbitt called "The Winter Olympics Are Practically Here."  It's a cute take on how the Olympics would go if animals were involved instead of humans!  It's a fun read that I bet your students will love!  Click on the poem below to download a copy for your classroom!

I always love creating edible treats for the classroom.  I think these Olympic Torch treats are simply adorable!  Get some ice cream cones and some popcorn (cheddar would make cool flames) and you've got yourself a fun edible torch!

Edible Olympic Torch from A Small Snippet

Here's another fun edible treat you could make to celebrate the games......Olympic Rice Crispy Treats!  Whip up a batch of rice crispy treats and add some M&Ms on the top to represent the Olympic rings.  There's no black M&M, but the brown ones get the job done just the same!

Olympic Rice Crispy Treats from Janice's MashUp

If you're looking for some engaging activities for your Kindergarten or First Grade classroom I've got some brand new additions to my store you might like!

This Winter Olympics 2018 headband is perfect if you just need a quick activity to get your kids excited!  Students will decorate their very own Pyeongchang headband/crown.  They can also choose their two favorite winter sports and paste them onto their headband! Check it out HERE or click the pic below.

I also have a Winter Olympics writing & literacy set that includes tree maps, labeling, scrambled sentences, write the room, and more!  It will definitely be a wonderful addition to your classroom study of the Winter Games!  You can check it out HERE or click the pic below. 

If you have anything fun planned for the Winter Olympics this year I'd love to hear about it!  I'm always looking for new ideas to make it exciting and fun for the kids! 


Monday, July 17, 2017

The 2017 Solar Eclipse

2017 Solar Eclipse

Will you be in school on August 21, 2017?  If so, you may want to see if you will be able to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse that is taking place that day!  My town is lucky enough to be in the path of totality and I am super excited about this!

Check HERE to see if your city/town will be in the path of totality and to find out how long you will see it!!

Since I'll be back in school on this big day, I am really looking forward to sharing this rare event with my students.  A local university actually purchased special eclipse glasses for every student in our that all students and teachers could safely watch the entire eclipse.  How cool is that?

So if you'll be watching the eclipse with your young students, read on.....I've got some things you may want to consider.  After all, kids will be kids!

 Our younger students are just learning about the world around them.  That includes things like the sun and the moon.  So they might not have any idea what an eclipse is.  Here's a great Brainpop video that might be useful to show your students to help them understand what will happen
I'm excited and you might be excited.  But our kiddos may not fully comprehend how rare this event is going to be.  If they have to miss something "fun" like center time or recess in order to view the eclipse, I can see them being even less enthused about the whole thing.  I have great plans to try and get them excited--just hoping my excitement wears off on them. HA!
So if you're in the path of totality, you will experience a couple of minutes of total darkness.  Day will literally become night.  I will be in awe, but I am betting some of my little ones might not be so impressed.  I am going to make sure my students are fully prepared for what will happen and I'm planning on doing some role playing too.
This one's going to be tough, but it is going to be SO IMPORTANT.  Seriously.  My kids can't keep anything on LOL.  So I'm betting that they won't want to (or won't be able to) keep the flimsy safety glasses on.  They will be too big or too small.  They will fall off randomly or will blow off in the wind.  Yall know how it is!  There will definitely be some safety lessons done beforehand so my students know not to look directly at the sun.
Ok this one's just a given.  It always seems that there's one kid who has to go to the restroom right in the middle of a fire drill or a guest speaker or a school-wide assembly.  I definitely don't want to be trekking back inside the school building and miss the whole eclipse, so I am planning to take the entire class for a restroom break BEFORE we head outside!

Will you be watching the solar eclipse with your students?  I'd love to hear about any fun things that your school has planned.  

If you're looking for a kid-friendly way to introduce your students to the solar eclipse and help them understand what will happen--check out my Solar Eclipse Writing and Interactive Reader Set.  It includes several writing activities and an interactive book for students to read and complete.  

Enjoy the eclipse!  I know I can't wait!!

Debbie :-)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Marble Run Fun in the Classroom

Marble Run Fun

Looking for a fun way to get kids excited about science, math, STEM, and more?  Let me tell you about the fun marble runs from Marble Genius!

When I received my first set, I wanted my students to be able to freely explore the contents...without me telling them exactly what to do or how to do it.  So to accomplish this, I simply opened the box and dumped the contents out on the table.

 I didn't tell my students what the pieces were for.  I didn't tell them how the pieces connected.  I didn't even tell them what they were supposed to do.  I literally dumped everything out and let them explore.

And explore they did!  A couple of my students had played with marble runs before, so they knew immediately what to do.  A few of my students had no clue what to do with the pieces.  The majority of my students, however, got right to work and began trying to figure out how the pieces went together.

It was pretty interesting to see how my students worked together and talked together as they tried to figure out how to build their marble run.  It definitely created a sense of team work, as they quickly realized that in order to be successful, they would all have to work together on this project!

 Several students asked for their marbles right away.  They wanted to try their marble run pretty quickly after starting.  Other students protested, and encouraged them to wait a little longer, to see how big and tall they could make their marble run.  I loved hearing my students have conversations about how to build and how not to build their creations!

My students had a ball exploring the marble run set!  They were all in agreement that today was one of the best science days ever!!! Today's fun was all about exploring the marble run set, finding out how parts fit together, learning how the process worked, and just having fun!  Our next project will be exploring how we can make the marbles travel faster (or slower) through the run and examining how different pieces can make this happen. 

I received four marble run kits for my classroom because I am a Marble Genius Ambassador!  Unfortunately the ambassador program is closed, but you can still get your marble run kits on the Marble Genius page.  I also highly suggest utilizing Donors Choose as a way to obtain marble run kits for your classroom!  If you need any help writing a project or getting ideas of ways to incorporate this project in your classroom, just let me know!  I'm always happy to help my fellow teachers!!

Your kids will thank you -- this I can definitely guarantee you!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Alphabet Brag Tags

Brag Tags in the Classroom

Have you heard of brag tags?  Are you using them in your classroom?  If not, read on....You may want to give them a try after you see all the fun you can have with them....even at the END OF THE YEAR!!

If you're not familiar with brag tags, check out my blog post here.  I explain what they are, how they work, and how I use them in my classroom!

Alphabet Brag Tags:  End of the Year Review

So since it's almost May and many of us are beginning to wrap up the year, I wanted to show you how I use Alphabet Brag Tags as a way to keep my students engaged and enthusiastic about our end of the year review!

Each year in Kindergarten our classes all do an ABC Countdown.  The last 26 days of school are filled with fun activities, letter/sound review, and a countdown from A to Z!  (ending, of course, with "Zee" Last Day of School...LOL)

There are several ways you can use Alphabet Brag Tags in your classroom....especially at the end of the year.  

1)  Use a brad and create a fan of letters that students can use as little flashcards to review, quiz their friends, or just practice by themselves.  You could give students all the letters at once, or if you do an ABC countdown, you could give them one each day!

2) Have students color their own brag tags to show which letters/sounds they have learned throughout the year!  

3) Hole punch the Alphabet Brag Tags and put them on a binder ring.  Again, you could give students all the letters at once or simply pass them out as you review each letter.

4) Hole punch the Alphabet Brag Tags and string them on some yarn or a chain.  Kids love necklaces and whether it's a bunch of Fruit Loops or a bunch of ABC Brag Tags.....they're going to want to wear the necklace everywhere!!

Students love brag tags and Alphabet Brag Tags can be a fun way to end your year AND help your students review their letters and sounds!  

My ABC Brag Tags include tags with letters/pictures, tags with capital letters, and tags with lowercase letters.  In case you'd like to save ink, I've also included ALL tags in black and white!  Simply print the B&W tags on color paper or have students color their own for added fun!