Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Make Way for MLK: A FREE Learning Packet and Book Recommendations

Hi all.  It's Amber from School Is a Happy Place.  While I'm still totally loving winter break, I'm also mapping out all the special learning opportunities January has to offer.  New Year's, the 100th Day of School, and Martin Luther King Jr. are a few of the important themes that will shape our time in the classroom.  

Today I'd like to share a few things we'll be using to learn about Martin Luther King Jr.  Some of the activities my young learners will be doing are in my packet, Make Way for MLK:  A Martin Luther King Jr. Freebie.

This packet includes two literacy centers and two math centers (both with recording sheets), as well as a writing craftivity. 
One of the math centers provides practice with addition facts.

The other one works with time to the hour.

One of the literacy centers allows students to practice sorting sentence by type (asking or telling).

The other literacy center works with rhyming words.

My favorite part of this packet is the writing craftivity, I have a Dream Just Like Martin Luther King.  With the pattern, you can have your students create a MLK peek over or you can have them make one that looks more like themselves.  Either way can work.

You can click on one of the pictures to check any of these activities out.

There are also some really fabulous books about Martin Luther King Jr.  My First Biography: Martin Luther King Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer is a great choice for early elementary students.  The story is very simple and the illustrations are appealing.

The other biography I recommend is National Geographic Kids:  Martin Luther King, Jr. by Kitson Jazynka.  Like the book above, this one offers basic biographical information about King.  However, this text goes into more detail and uses actual photographs.

After reading these biographies, we will take a little closer on the March on Washington and the I Have a Dream Speech.  We March by Shane Evans is a book I found last summer.  It follows a family as they join the 1963 March on Washington.  The illustrations are very engaging as they focus in on individuals that were at the historic event.

My final recommendation is I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.   The content of this book is King's famous speech and the illustrations are outstanding.  My copy (from Amazon) also came with a CD of the speech.

There are certainly many more activities and books that you can use for your study of Martin Luther King Jr.  I hope some of these suggestions can be of use to you as you plan for MLK learning in your class.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 29, 2014

One Word Resolutions Linky

It's great to be back again, I'm CaseyJane from WigglingScholars

I am not much for resolutions.

Like many, I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure, making a to-do list, or cheating by choosing things I knew will be easy. A few years ago I came across a great idea to reduce your expectations and increase your success. I use a one-word resolution. That's right, all of the things I need to do can usually be summed up in one word

No SMART goals here! 
Measurable? Don't bother.
Timelines? Not a chance.

Just. one. word. 

If you think about it, you can only fix one thing at a time. A resolution should also command a bit of respect. It needs to be a big-something that will improve your life and the lives of those around you. But instead of deciding to take on a second language or lose whatever number of pounds, choose to change or improve one quality of yourself that has been neglected. 

For example, you might find yourself spending more time with TV than you'd prefer, you want to lose weight, and you would like to learn a few more healthy recipes. A good word might be: 'active'. The parent who introduced this to me said that she felt like she spent too much time wading through junk mail, responding to email, and talking about trivial things. Her word was 'intentional'. She wanted to be more intentional in her communication. One year, I chose the word 'measure'. I knew I was going to have a year of significant growth and I wanted to take the time to see how far I'd come as opposed to spend the year thinking about how much farther I needed to go. 

So for our purposes, I'd like you to think about your classroom, career, profession, or overall connection with education. Sure, your word is likely to have some overlap with personal goals, as it should. But I'm curious, what one word are you going to think about this coming year? How are you going to improve yourself? 

A quick tip, put this one word somewhere you will see it often and let it be your secret code to stay focused.

 Link up below! 
 1. Grab the button!.
2. Add it to your blog post. 
3. Stop back here and add your link. 

Have a great New Year!

For anyone new to linkys: 
1. Grab the button means to download the picture above. You'll open it and add a text box right on top of the picture. 
2. Add it to your blog post means that you write a post about the topic, insert the button with your words, and please consider linking to this post on Primary Powers (be sure to click the blog title and then copy the URL so you have the exact address of this post instead of just linking to the blog). 
3. Then come back to this post and click the inlinz button. It will prompt you on how to add your blog post (again, please add the specific link and not a generic link).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Planning & Centers

Hey everyone, it's Angela from The Daily Alphabet!

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas, and I'm looking 
forward to a Happy New Year! I know that some of you may 
be in denial,but pretty soon it will be time to get back into gear 
for school! That's alright, you can pin this for later!

I'm kind of the queen of planning and making to do lists and
such, so I thought about making a planning sheet that could
really be for anything: school, home, you name it!

I left the headers blank, that way you can use it for
 what you need.

Just click on the pictures for your copy!

While you're doing your planning, you might need a quick and
easy peasy center for your kiddos! A recording sheet is included
as well!

Clicking on the picture will take you to download your center!
Talk to you guys later!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keeping It All Together-Absent Folders

Keeping up with absent work can be a pain for students AND teachers...can I get an amen?? I spent my first years teaching trying to figure out a system that really worked and kept my students organized and accountable for all the missed work. So obviously, Pinterest came to my rescue. It was filled with fabulous ideas and pictures of teachers using absent folders! Thank goodness for Pinterest!
absent folders
Today’s freebie is set of covers for your absent folders. All you have to do after assembling these bad boys, is simply place the absent folder on the student’s desk. Just slip their worksheets and missed work inside the folder all day long! I like to make it even MORE simple by having a student helper be in charge of passing out the folders at the beginning of the day. EASY-PEASY! When the student returns from his/her absence, they meet with me for a few mins and go over what they need to complete and how much time they have to turn it in. I usually let them have one day extra for each day they missed in class.

Are you ready to get organized?! Just click on any of the image below to grab your set!
Absent Folders

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A {free} Gingerbread Banner to Decorate Your Classroom

It's been a while since I have said hello to you via Primary Powers!  I am here from My Second Sense  to share something with you.

My last day was Thursday. I had the chance to take a picture of this banner right before I packed my bags.  I took Friday off  to visit my family with the kids.  Who loves to get up at 4:00 am to fly at 6:00 am?  Not this girl :)  But we did it, and we are getting spoiled already.

I am hoping you can save the banner idea for next year (?). My students loved coloring it.  They want to know when I can make a new one so they get to use their crayons for longer than 5 minutes.
We shall see...

Feel free to download HERE.

I think I need a cookie now... and chocolate milk.

Happy Holidays!

Not sure about all of you .. but I am WIPED! It has been an amazing week of activities (Reindeer Day, Elf Day, Santa Day, Grinch Day, Holiday Concert, Holiday Party!) ... throw in some sick kids at home, then and some x-mas shopping, cooking, cleaning .. OMG!!! It's been insane, but lots of fun! So, I will keep this short and sweet! New Year's Day is just around the corner .. it will sneak upon you, before you know it! So, I'm giving you this freebie, as a holiday present for all of you!

I would love to wish all of you  ... from my family to yours, a cozy and warm holiday season!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Let it Snow! Parent Gift Idea

Hi everyone! It's Jeannine from Creative Lesson Cafe

 What a rush December always is! Aren't we lucky to have some wonderful vacation time to look forward to? After so much Christmas crafting in the classroom, I can bet the LAST thing on your mind right now is another project! However, this is one that you may want to *save* for a great parent gift idea for any time of year!

 I'm here today to share one that I just LOVE! I hope you will too!

When I find a cute craft for my students to make as a gift for their parents, I stick with it! One of my favorites is decorating wooden frames. It's an inexpensive, sweet gift that parents adore and actually display!

This frame design can stay out all winter long.

I use these unfinished wooden frames from Michael's.
They are only about $1.00 each!
 The creative possibilities are endless.
 I've painted them with my class for Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts too.

We begin with a single layer base coat of acrylic paint on the front and the edges.
On the back, the students write their name and the year in Sharpie.

The next step is to do a little sponge painting with white paint.
We blotted the frame, but also twirled the sponge for a snowstorm effect.

Using a Martha Stewart tool, I punched snowflakes from white cardstock.

The students arranged their snowflakes and pressed them into a light coat of glossy Mod Podge.
 I helped them spread the Mod Podge over the snowflakes to be sure they were sealed and did not bend. They spread a final coat over the entire frame to blend it all.

Then it was time for the best part...adding fairy dust!
This is actually a beautiful embossing powder.

 We sprinkled the powder over the snowflakes before the adhesive dried.
 After that, we quickly added a light dusting of clear glitter over the entire frame.

  These plastic glitter bows came from Big Lots.
  I love the way they shine! 
They are hot glued onto the corner.

This year, I had the childrens' holiday photos developed in black and white.
It looks SO nice with the silver bow!

My kiddos are thrilled with the way their beautiful snowy window frames turned out!
 Oh, I wish you could stop by to see how they sparkle in person!

 I sure hope you will be able to file this project idea away! 
It's a keeper!

  Thanks for stopping by today friends!
Wishing everyone a very joyous holiday and a restful vacation!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freestyle Santa Freebie!

Hi Friends!

It's Sarah from A Sunny Day in First Grade!
Are you counting down the days until winter break?!

I have a fun little freebie in case you're in need of something fun! :)

This is my all-time FAVORITE project!
I get so many compliments on it each year!
Check out these adorable little Santas!

They look a little complicated to make, but I promise it's not as hard as it looks!
I always start by modeling how to make Santa using basic shapes.

Then the kids go for it!

I just LOVE how they each come out so different and unique!
This year, we wrote letter to Santa to go with them.

Here are some step-by-step instructions so you're kids can make them too. :)

Have a fabulous holiday sweet friends!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's the Problem? A Holiday Freebie!

I love word problems.  There I said it, I really do.  Anytime I can squeeze in some extra practice for my kiddos, I do!  I especially love tasking my students with writing their own word problems.  This encourages them to think about word problems more critically than when they simply read and solve a problem.

We recently started practicing this skill in my classroom.  So far, we have discussed and reviewed how to write a word ("story") problem.  I made this chart and we review it before the students go to write their own problems.  Once they have these steps down, I will begin to encourage them to add extra information to their problems.

When my students write their own word problems, they use these What's the Problem mini books. This is the Holiday Edition and the kids have had lots of fun writing holiday related stories the past few weeks.

 Click {here} to download a FREE copy of this mini book.

Click {here} to download this mini book for FREE!

As you can see, students write a word problem to go with the provided answer.  This can be a trickier skill than one might think.  Some students "get it" very quickly, whereas others need repeated practice with the skill before it begins to click. Either way, they seem to enjoy writing their own math stories!

I've made one for just about every month of school, and they are all available for free on my blog.  I hope you can use them!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sequencing: Holiday Style

Hi, Everyone! It's Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers.
These last few days before holiday break can be overwhelming to say the least. Last minute rehearsals for the holiday show, assessments, gift wrapping...oh, and quality instructional time! The last one may be the hardest to achieve. 

I wanted to find a way to review my students sequencing skills before we left for break. I decided to use the book There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell by Lucille Colandro. 

My kiddos colored an cut out the story sentences and glued them in order. They worked in pairs to check each other's work before they glued them to the paper.

Then, my students wrote about their favorite part of the book.

They colored the old lady and described their favorite scene. They made a cute display in our room.

You can grab your FREEBIE copy of these activities by clicking on the picture.

Enjoy! Happy holidays to each and everyone of you!