How to Make the Most Out of Your Holiday Break

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Let's admit it. December was hard. Really hard. The Christmas season always seems to make students a little more rowdy and a little less controllable. You're tired, they're tired and it feels like it should be December 74th already. So whether you're on a break yet or counting down the days, hours and seconds until the last day of school, here's a quick guide to help ensure that you make the most of this well-deserved time off.

Whether your break is for one week, two weeks or six weeks, it's not the length of time that matters, it's how you're spending it. If your plan is to spend the entire break doing a Marie Kondo style clean of your house, you'll end up back to school in the exact same state of mind that you left it. During your time away from school, it's important that you practice balance. I have a few tips and ideas to help you plan your break so you return to school rested, rejuvenated and ready to tackle a new year.

5 Ways To Make the Most of Your Holiday Break

I have put together a list of 5 things that you can implement to make the most of your holiday break.


Second Grade Numbers and Place Value

Friday, December 13, 2019

It’s finally here! My Math worksheet series has finally hit second grade. And what better way to kick it off than with place value. 

Place value in second grade has students further exploring how the position of a digit in a number determines its value. Students begin looking at hundreds, tens and ones while continuing to develop their number sense skills.

To effectively grasp 3 digit place value, students should be exposed to a wide variety of activities allowing them to ‘play’ with numbers. Students should have opportunities to compare numbers, order them, compose them, decompose them, expand them and so on.

I designed this packet of activities to help your students explore 3 digit numbers and become number champions. I can’t wait to share the activities with you!! 

The Activities

There are over 70 different activities included with many of them being interactive. Plus, I have included some differentiation options too, so if you still have students working on tens and ones, there's a bunch of activities for them too.


CVC Centers and Activities Volume One

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hi friends,

I've finally completed this CVC center packet and I'm so thrilled to share it with you. It's taken me a whole two weeks to get it done and it was so big that I had to split it into volumes. So this post is all about Volume One and it is packed full of fun and engaging activities to get your students learning about, practicing and mastering their short vowel words.

The Activities

This packet features 12 different activities which are designed to provide students with hands-on experience with CVC words. All the short vowel sounds are covered as well as all the common word families. Here is an overview of the activities.

1. CVC I Spy

Let's start with one of my favorites from the packet. This activity is exactly like I Spy but for CVC words. Each mat comes with a list of CVC words that students need to read and locate somewhere on the mat. Once they find it, they circle it using erasable marker and check it off the list.



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Guys!!! I have dropped a freebie for you all and I think it just may be my favorite one yet.

Let me introduce the “Proud Work Clips Cards”. These cards are designed for students to clip onto their work when they feel that a piece of work is their BEST work. You can then take a photo of it and share it with their parents OR display it on a WOW Work bulletin board.

This process encourages self-reflection as students will be asking themselves:
  • Is this my best work?
  • What is it about this that I’m proud of?
  • How is it different to my other work?

Plus, as an added bonus, they’ll be inspired to work their little tails off to deliver something worthy enough of these clip cards!


Phonics and Alphabet Activities

Monday, October 7, 2019

Hey friends!

I've just finished creating a huge, interactive phonics and alphabet packet for little learners and am super excited to share it with you all. It was originally meant to be just one activity, but I was slightly inspired and it turned into a comprehensive pack filled with all things related to phonics and the alphabet for pre-k and kindergarten students.

I'm a strong believer that phonics and the alphabet should be taught hand in hand from the start. This is super important because letters should not be taught in an isolated way; learners should also be taught the sound that these letters make. Including a fair balance of both early on provides learners with a stronger context and can deepen their recall of the letters of the alphabet. Plus, it can get them reading sooner too!

The Activities

This packet is filled with so many activities to help your students practice and learn single sounds (beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds), letter recognition, letter formation and lower/uppercase letter identification.

1. I Spy Mats

These I-Spy mats will have your students giddy with excitement. Students get their detective on to find all the pictures that match the beginning sound shown on the mat. Students circle the pictures with erasable marker or cover them with small objects such as pompoms, mini erasers, buttons or blocks. There are 26 included in total.


How to Get Early Readers Responding to Texts

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Once you’ve got your students in a guided reading routine, it's time to have them exploring what they’re reading and completing activities that develop their comprehension skills. This is no small feat when it comes to young readers because their writing skills are generally not developed yet which makes it difficult for them to express themselves independently. In order to set your students up to become comprehension experts, here are some tips and an overview of the order of progression that occurs. 

Step 1: Diverse Verbal Questioning

To begin their reading journey it is essential that students are asked LOTS of diverse questions. This is a great way to help readers develop a large repertoire of comprehension skills, particularly when they aren’t able to articulate their ideas in written form yet. It also gets them thinking about the text and gets them accustomed to responding to it which will be useful in later activities. When using verbal questioning, it is important that stuents are asked a variety of different questions. Questions should go beyond recall knowledge such as "Who is the main character?" and include higher order questions too such as "When have you felt the same way as the main character?" You want students to think critically and most importantly, you want them to connect to what they are reading.

Here are some question ideas:


10 Fun Activities to Teach Adjectives

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Aren't adjectives just so much fun! They are one of the most important parts of speech that you can teach. Why? Because adjectives make writing more meaningful, vivid and interesting. Adjectives are the key to getting students to become accomplished, creative writers. Let me give you an example. Here is a sentence without adjectives:

The bird is in the tree.

And here is a sentence with adjectives:

The baby bird is in the lush, green tree.

See the difference? The second sentence helps you to create a clearer image in your mind and visualize the text more effectively. I've put together a list of engaging ways that you can teach adjectives in your classroom.

10 Fun Activities for Teaching Adjectives
Teaching adjectives does not have to be boring (or full of worksheets). Here are 10 fun ways that you can teach adjectives in your classroom. Many of the activities are free and super simple to set up.

1. What's in the Box?

The best thing about this activity is that it is fun and free! Simply gather some things laying around at home or in the classroom such as an apple, pencil, glue stick, bottle etc. Then, place one of the objects inside a box or bag and choose a student to take a peek. That student describes what is in the box to the rest of the class using adjectives. The remaining students try to guess what the hidden object is by listening to the clues. For example, to describe an apple, students might say that it is round, it is red, it is crunchy, it is sweet.

Student Bucket List Freebie

Monday, August 19, 2019
I've got a FREEBIE for you guys!!!
To celebrate the launch of my blog I’ve made something special for you all!

This is the STUDENT BUCKET LIST. It’s designed to be worked on throughout the year and is filled with random acts of kindness, plus I’ve slotted a few educational ones in there too (I've got your back teacher friend😉)

Brag Bracelets

The Ultimate Classroom Management Tool

What better way to kick off the school year than with an introduction to my favorite behavior management resource EVER. This resource has been transforming behavior around the world! I'd like to introduce you to...

CVC Word Builder

CVC Word Building Activity

To say that I am obsessed with this activity would be a HUGE underestimation. It's the first thing I recommend to anyone teaching CVC words. This compact, little center is the ultimate resource for learning how to spell CVC words. It is adorable, easy to store and super engaging. Students get to master their short vowel words in a hands-on way without having to search through piles of magnetic letters and laminated cards. It helps to familiarize them with the onset and rime components of CVC words, and did I mention, alphabet order too!

How to Encourage Growth Mindset

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Why is Growth Mindset Important?

Growth mindset is HUGE in the teaching community right now and for good reason too. As teachers, not only can you influence how students grow academically, you also have an enormous impact on their socio-emotional skills. 

Helping to shape students thoughts about THEMSELVES is one of the most important things a teacher can do. After all, what you tell yourself everyday becomes who you are. And we all want our future generation to bloom. Astronomically! That is why growth mindset activities are important - they help to change the words students use when they talk to themselves which is a lifelong skill that they can carry with them for years to come.

How to Create a Growth Mindset Classroom

Here is a list of 5 strategies that you can use to make your classroom a growth mindset fortress where mistakes are treasured, negative self-talk is eliminated and achievement anxiety is reduced.


Getting Students to Write Creatively

Thursday, August 15, 2019

How Does Creativity Happen?

I think we can all put our hand up and say that we've heard the phrase "I'm not sure what to write about" often enough. Why does this happen? It happens because creativity cannot be scheduled in like "Okay students, we have a narrative lesson after lunch so you must be creative." Creativity happens when you are inspired. My most creative ideas come to me when I'm taking a walk in nature, laying on an acupuncture table or watching the sunset on my balcony with a warm tea. While it's important to provide students with opportunities to think creatively on their own, giving them prompts can help to improve their creative thinking skills and inspire them to writing thrilling, imaginative (and sometimes hilarious) stories. This is where the Story Builder can become the ultimate teaching tool to inspire young writers and get their creativity flowing.