Ahhhh, summer. It's almost here. In fact, it's so close I can taste it. I love summer. Everything about it (except the crazy Houston heat and humidity!) What I love most about summer is having my kids home with me. Having them home also means I need to figure out ways to keep them busy. Not shuffle them here-and-there kind of busy, but active (both physically and creatively). Since the boys were little, they've been helping out around the house (as much as they can). If I'm being totally honest, this last year they've been slacking in the responsibility department quite a bit. I can't blame them solely for it though. If I had a mom … [Read more...] about Summer Chores & Boredom Busters
As the end-of-the-year quickly approaches, we often find ourselves looking for exciting ways to engage our kids, keep their interest, and teach them all the way until the last day. Okay, okay....the last week(ish), LOL. So often Science and Social Studies take a backseat to the daily demands of math and literacy, but there are SO many ways to incorporate science on a cross-curricular level. Why not end the year with a BANG and incorporate hands-on science activities that include a literacy and math component as well?! Abby and I created a year's worth of The Science Of...resources to meet the needs of science, but also incorporate … [Read more...] about Ending The Year with Science
Earth Day is quickly approaching and while I know that many of you may already have the day planned out, I wanted to offer a few more ideas and suggestions that you might be able to incorporate into your instruction. Instead of simply focusing on Earth Day for one day, I like to incorporate cross curricular Earth Day activities throughout the week leading up to Earth Day. I think it's important to expand on the topic and give lots of time for disuccsion and opportunities for new learning. There is SO much to know about Earth Day! One day is never enough. I also love giving my kids opportunities to build their schema before Earth Day … [Read more...] about Earth Day
***This post contains affiliate links via Amazon*** A couple of days ago we chatted all about how I plan for a thematic unit with a focus on insects. Today we're diving into a couple of insects I focus on during this unit of learning...bees and ants! Our kids are naturally curious about bugs. Each year I was in the classroom a recurring theme of interest kept occurring. My kids were SO inquisitve about bees and ants. I do think a big part of this was due to the fact that these two particular insects were always swarming about during recess and other outdoor activities, but nonetheless they wanted to know all they could about these … [Read more...] about All About Insects – Part 2 (Bees and Ants)
One of my favorite thematic units to teach is INSECTS! Does anyone else feel the same?! Now, many of you may be scoffing at the word "thematic", but don't let that word fool you. I don't mean thematic in the sense of arts and crafts and fluff and stuff. I mean thematic in the sense of cross-curricular learning. Now that we have that out of the way, let's chat about insects. This is the perfect time of the year to learn about these little creatures. As the weather changes and gives way to the emergence of bugs EVERYWHERE, our cross-curricular learning comes to life! SCIENCE OF INSECTS To make our cross-curricular unit of … [Read more...] about All About Insects – Part 1
If you're anything like me, as a teacher you love teaching thematically. SO much content can be covered on a cross-curricular level...so many connections can be made... when taking this approach to instruction. And because most public schools don't support teaching about Easter, this is a great time of the year for teaching all about oviparous and viviparous animals! Today I wanted to share with you a few activities and read alouds I love incorporating in my plans this time of the year. No thematic unit of learning is complete without a good set of read alouds! These are a few of my favorite oviparous animal books to keep in the … [Read more...] about Let’s Talk About Oviparous Animals
*This post contains affiliate links via Amazon* On a personal level, Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. The parades. The family. The FOOD!!!! And when the weather cooperates, it's one of the most magical days of the year (for me, anway). So it should come as no surprise that I would feel the same about celebrating Thanksgiving in the classroom, too. Well, any holiday, really ;) Here are a few things I've done with my Kindergarten and First Graders through the years during the month of November. Of course, I don't have time for everything you see every single year, so depending on the dynamic and abilities of my students, I … [Read more...] about Celebrating Thanksgiving
Ahhh. It's October. This time of the year lends itself to SO many themes we can use to teach different skills and concepts. Candy, the skeletal system, pumpkins, and Fall. And SO many more! Two of my most favorite thematic units of study this time of the year are bats and spiders. I typically start the month of October using these two themes the first couple of weeks. Today I wanted to take a minute to share with you what the first couple of weeks of October might look like in my classroom. Today we'll start with bats! Tune-in tomorrow for Spider Week activities and ideas! I always start out bat week using a schema … [Read more...] about Bat Week
As the end-of-the-year quickly approaches, we often find ourselves looking for exciting ways to engage our kids, keep their interest, and teach them all the way until the last day. Okay, okay....the last week(ish), LOL. So often Science and Social Studies take a backseat to the daily demands of math and literacy, but there are SO many ways to incorporate science on a cross-curricular level. Why not end the year with a BANG and incorporate hands-on science activities that include a literacy and math component as well?! Abby and I created a year's worth of The Science Of...resources to meet the needs of science, … [Read more...] about End of Year Science
Can y'all believe we're already (quickly) approaching the end of April?! WHERE DID THE YEAR GO?! Our babies get out at the end of May and you know how May goes. Everything sort of hits us at once. Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, testing, assessment after assessment, portfolios, cumulative folders, plays, musicals, field trips, graduation, etc., etc., etc. Try as we may to be on top of things, sometimes the inevitable just sneaks up on us! For me, that is usually Mother's Day. I always think I have more time to plan and prep. What about you?! Well today I wanted to share with you some Mother's … [Read more...] about Celebrating Mother’s Day
It's about that time of the year....for us anyway...to introduce & reinforce 2D & 3D shapes (concepts and ideas). Does that hold true for you, too? Shape identification and geometrical language are always among my favorite concepts/skills to teach. Hands-on and engaging and so many connections to the real world! And for our kids, shapes are tangible. They can feel real world shapes. They can play with them. They can even identify shapes in the environment around them. Shapes are EVERYWHERE! And shapes are among the earliest objects they learn, recognize, and identify (thank you, Mickey … [Read more...] about 2D & 3D Shapes
Happy (ALMOST) New Year, friends! 2017....really?!?! Have you made any resolutions? Me...notsomuch. Of course, I always want to be a better version of who I was the year before, but resolutions never quite "stick" if you know what I mean. Sure...I want to eat healthier. Work out more. Get more organized. Keep the house clean. Do the laundry...regularly ;) Yes...I want all those things. And to eat all the things and still be able to fit into my jeans. But really...I just want to have a great year filled with lots of laughter and more memories than I can count. I'm still … [Read more...] about All About January (and a few freebies!)
It's almost time for our family elf, Elfabet, to visit us from the North Pole. He is one of my favorite family traditions because his silly hijinx always make my boys laugh. There is just no sweeter sound to wake up to in the morning, I swear. Not only are the elves flying back to homes everywhere across the country, but according to my calendar, they're flying back to classrooms everywhere, too. Here's a peek back at our visit from our classroom elf a few years ago. A special delivery straight from the North Pole with a letter, a gift tag, and everything! I read the letter to the kids and they … [Read more...] about Classroom Elf Freebies & Ideas
Hello all! I hope this week's supermoon hasn't throw your babies off at all. Oh, who am I kidding?! I know it has, LOL!!! Here's to you and making it through to the Thanksgiving holidays up ahead! Halleluia, right?! Okay, so let's talk math, shall we?! I just wanted to share a couple of math activities from my Simply Social Studies Thanksgiving Mini Unit (K/1) that you might be able to use in your classroom this week or next. I always try to include ELA & Math extension activities in my social studies lesson plans. I love cross curricular teaching and our kids tend to build a more … [Read more...] about Thanksgiving Math Freebies!
If you're anything like me, you are always looking for more ideas and resources to add to your ever growing collection. I do this for EVERYTHING. Constantly looking for new ideas...more resources...and more time. If anybody can tell me where I can find more time, I'd really appreciate it ;) That to be said, I want to share with you a few ideas to help you with any last minute prep you might be doing for Veteran's Day (tomorrow!!!) I absolutely LOVE teaching my kids about veterans and the sacrifices they make for our freedom. At my old school, veterans related to the students were invited to an … [Read more...] about Celebrating Veteran’s Day (with Freebies!!!)
Since we typically have the day off for Columbus Day, I do acknowledge it. And it's in our standards to teach it, too. However, instead of focusing on Columbus being the first to discover America...which, by the way is highly disputed...we focus on exploration, new discoveries, and Christopher Columbus' explorations. I figured today would be a great day to share with y'all what I posted last year...in case you're planning, too! If you're all about the snacks....which you know I am!!!...then these are pretty fun...and cute, to boot! Of course, this will take a little ambition which I don't always have when it … [Read more...] about Columbus Day in the Primary Clasroom
Hey Y'all! Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and if you started back to school today, I hope your summer treated you well! I thought it would be fun to pop-in once a week....in this case, on Tuesdays...and share some time savers with you guys. I know how utterly hard it is to effectively juggle all the demands given the time we have, so any little tips and tricks for time management, whether at home or school, is always helpful! This week we're talking all about time saving meals. I know how important it is for teachers to have access to quick and easy meals. The last thing I want to do at the … [Read more...] about Tuesday Teacher Time Savers
Sunday I posted all about how I introduce the alphabet in my classroom. I told y'all a little bit about what I do during small group and showed y'all a little sample of what that small group instruction entails.... Now let's go ahead and dive a little deeper. Before I get started, let's quickly talk about some invaluable resources I've used in my classroom to help teach and reinforce letter recognition and letter to sound linking. These are materials I use during small group, tutoring, and I keep these out in literacy tubs as well. This isn't everything I use...it doesn't even really touch the surface...but I've … [Read more...] about Small Group Alphabet Instruction
Hello friends! Happy Monday! I'm heading out for mentoring in just a minute, but before I leave I just wanted to pop in and let y'all know that The Science of September has been posted...just in time for September, HA! It's jam-packed and chock full of 4 weeks worth of science lesson plans, vocabulary, read alouds, anchor chart suggestions, experiments, and cross-curricular activities. Whew! September's resource will cover various science skills and concepts using the themes of Five Senses, Farm, Apples, and Fall. Some of the skills covered included observable changes, organisms & their … [Read more...] about Science of September
When I hosted a little Coffee Talk a few weeks ago, one of the things a few of y'all wanted to know about was how I introduce the alphabet to my Kinder friends. Instead of answering with a little blurb, I felt like this was a concept that deserved a lot more than just a little explanation. So let's get started, shall we?! Before I start, I think it's important for you to know that I wholeheartedly DO NOT believe in "letter of the week" alphabet instruction. Although letter identification and letter to sound relationships should be taught systematically and thoroughly, the sequence and spacing of instruction doesn't need to … [Read more...] about All About the Alphabet
I often get asked how I'm able to fit things into my day and I'm hoping this helps give you an idea of how that looks. Let's go ahead and start with the plans. I'm fortunate enough to be able to help teachers plan for their days while pushing in to assist and mentor. We talk a lot about "fitting it all in" and I hope this helps you to see what that looks like. I tend to OVERplan because I'd rather have more than enough to get through the day(s). You can download them HERE for a closer look. Whew. Now let's break it all down. MORNING WARM-UP Most kids are still filtering in during this time, … [Read more...] about Visual Lesson Plans – How I Fit It All In
Today we're talking about something that's near and dear to my heart as both a teacher AND a parent...parent/teacher relationships!!! But before we get started, let's get some housekeeping out of the way. TODAY ONLY (August 22), Teachers Pay Teachers is having a back-to-school BONUS sitewide sale! You might want to snag some of those items on your wish list before the sale expires at midnight (EST). Just be sure to enter the promo code ONEDAY at checkout to get your discount!!! And here's a quick little shopping tip.... If you're looking to see if I have something you might need, you can always type keywords in … [Read more...] about Building Relationships & a ONE DAY ONLY Sale!
Hey y'all! Is everybody surviving the back to school rush? My boys know who their teachers are and we're meeting them tomorrow night so they're all kinds of excited! (ME TOO!!!!) Lots of things have been happening behind the scenes here that have been keeping me unexpectedly busy (that's life, right?!), but I wanted to pop-in real quick to tell you a little bit about my newest resources for my K & 1st teachers. After we released several months worth of Science plans in the Spring, we received lots of emails asking if we were planning on creating a similar Social Studies resource filled with detailed lesson plans and … [Read more...] about Social Studies & Such
The Back to School Bash 2016 has been so much fun! Thank you to everyone who has joined us this year. BUT...it's not over yet! We have one final chance for you to win! When we say win, we mean WIN BIG! Anyone needing some updated technology for your classroom? I give you the B2S Bash Grand Prize... Yes! This is real life! Yes! This could be in your classroom very soon! But you have to enter first! Here's how you do it: 1) Begin the insta hop by locating @stepintosecondgrade on instagram. You will want to begin with Amy so that you collect the letter tiles in order. Each blogger will link to another letter. Click … [Read more...] about The GRAND PRIZE FINALE! An Insta-Hop GIVEAWAY!!!