My TpT Store

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Food and Learning Activities for July 4th

Do you love the crafts, food, and reading that goes with July 4th?  Here's some great suggestions for getting your holiday started early!

Patriotic Books
These book suggestions by No Time for Flash Cards are perfect for:
  • Teaching the meaning of Independence Day
  • Teaching the meaning of 9/11
  • Learning about the 50 states
  • The National Anthem
  • Several of the book selections are A-Z, so it's a great opportunity to learn or review the alphabet

Patriotic Crafts
Art is a great way to sneak in education:
  • Talk about mixing primary colors to make secondary colors
  • If children are old enough, have them practice their scissor/cutting skills to prepare the toilet paper tubes
  • Talk about recycling the toilet paper tubes by first using them as a brush and then recycling the paper after the craft is finished

This Fireworks Painting activity by Happiness is Homemade is fun for all ages. 


Patriotic Food
There are several benefits to making food together:
  • It helps children become more interested in trying different foods when they are part of the preparation. 
  • It teaches counting when you read the recipe and count out the ingredients 
  • Children practice colors when they identify the different colors in the ingredients 

These Watermelon Blueberry Sparklers by Tastes Better From Scratch are super easy to make. 


Do you have any other favorites to add to the festivities?  I'd love to hear about them!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ways to Decrease Your Lesson Planning Time and a FREEBIE

Even seasoned teachers are constantly looking for ways to decrease their lesson planning time. Here are some ways you can do just that, regardless of how long you've been teaching.

How to decrease your lesson planning time.

1.  Start with the end in mind. 
Look at the state standards you'll be assessing.  See if you can find key words that repeat throughout the standards. Write these down. 

2.  Create your assessments based off of your key words and main concepts in your state standards. 
These assessments should include daily (formative) and final (summative) assessments.

3.  Use key words within the standards to see what chapters or pages in your textbook cover that information. 
Once you have your textbook pages selected, here are some general comprehension activities you can do with the information: BONUS: Many can be done during your Language Arts block:

How to decrease your lesson planning time.

How to decrease your lesson planning time. 

How to decrease your lesson planning time. 

3.  Use key words within the standards to do searches on the internet, Teachers pay Teachers, or Pinterest to find lessons or activities that teach those keyword concepts. 
One word of caution concerning internet browsing:  Don't start window shopping or you'll waste more time than if you created the lesson or activity from scratch. My advice is to set a timer. If you haven't found exactly what you're looking for in 15 minutes, you probably need to create the lesson or activities yourself. 

4.  Plan review activities to do before the final assessment for those students needing extra practice. 
Here are some of my favorites:

How to decrease your lesson planning time.

How to decrease your lesson planning time.

5.  Plan remediation activities for students who do not pass assessments. 

I often have students do test corrections using their textbook and notes. Sometimes I have them work in pairs or in a small group with me to make the corrections, depending on their level of independence. 

And that's it!  Once you have a your units put together with this basic format, you can easily add items each year to customize your lessons for individual students. 

Do you have any tips for making lesson planning quicker?  I'm always trying to streamline this part of my day. I'd love to hear your ideas!


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Teacher Self-Care Routines That Take Five Minutes or Less

We NEED to take care of ourselves, perhaps this time of year more than ever.  Here are some self-care practices that you can do almost anywhere with 5 minutes or less.

1. Diffuse a Calming/Motivating Blend of Essential Oils: Peppermint and Wild Orange

I love this little portable diffuser.  It has a USB cord and is small enough to fit in a cup holder in your car.  That means you can easily take it from your car to classroom.  Just a drop or two of oil, and this bad boy will diffuse for a few hours.  I love that it will not make the whole classroom smell of essential oil, just my desk area.

If you can't diffuse at work, put a couple of drops of essential oils in the palms of your hands, rub together, and inhale. 

2.  Drink more water!

A drop or two of lemon oil encourages me to drink more water and detoxes my system.

3.  Make yourself a cup of tea.

Magnesium tea is AMAZING, and super-easy to make.  The magnesium is the ingredient that makes it extra calming. Plus, it presents more ways to hydrate!

4.  Stretch at your desk. 

Even though most of us don't sit at our desk much st all, it is handy to help you stretch out those tired muscles. Bonus:  This routine can be done during state testing!


5. Listen to an audiobook on your way to school and home

6.  Write down at least one thing that went well each day and keep it to read when you need a reminder of how you are doing a great job and YOU MATTER!

7.  If you can, do a couple of laps around the hallways of your school at a brisk pace to get your blood flowing.  FEEL-GOOD BONUS:  Do this with a favorite teacher friend.

8. For days when all else fails, during your planning period:
~Shut the door, turn the overhead lights down, draw the shades, turn on soft lighting, play your favorite music or put an uplifting/funny YouTube video on in the background while you work.  I swear this one works!

Please help me add to my list of ways to stay happy and healthy. I'd love to hear how you de-stress!