Browsing Category

Winter

No Stress Valentine’s Day Language Arts Lesson Plan Ideas

I have mixed feelings about celebrating Valentine’s day in the classroom (mostly because it’s all chocolate and sugar) but I do like the concept of friendship and love for one another. Since all holidays in the classroom are filled with a bit of chaos, I’m sending a no stress Valentine’s Day language arts lesson plan your way!

Need inspiration for a Valentine's Day language arts lesson? Look no further! Read here for a super engaging, no stress Valentine's Day language arts lesson plan.

No Stress Valentine’s Day Language Arts Lesson Plan

I’m sure other primary teachers can agree that it’s always nice to find a book where our students can relate to the characters. I love when a character has a problem that my kids might have. Then, I can talk about how the character solved their problem and can refer back to them if I ever find my students in the same problem.

I love the book The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll because my students can relate to the characters’ problem. For those who haven’t read, this book is about two students (mice) who want to make a valentine for their teacher (Mrs. Mousely). As they’re making their valentine, the two start fighting because they don’t like the way the other is contributing. So, they go home and try to make their own valentine but find that something is missing because they can’t make part of the valentine like their friend could. The next day, they come back together and decide to try again. They end up making the biggest, most beautiful valentine for their teacher and her and the class love it!

Need inspiration for a Valentine's Day language arts lesson? Look no further! Read here for a super engaging, no stress Valentine's Day language arts lesson plan.

This book is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s day and refresh your student’s on what it means to be a good friend and working together.

Activities to go with The Biggest Valentine Ever

The Biggest Valentine Ever Book Companion

This book companion comes with 6 language arts activities and a craftivity (pictured above). With this resource your students will sequence the story, identify the problem and solution, compare and contrast the main characters and write using 3 different prompts.

Need inspiration for a Valentine's Day language arts lesson? Look no further! Read here for a super engaging, no stress Valentine's Day language arts lesson plan.

Check out the freebie version of this product here!

Challenge your students to work together to create one valentine

Pair your students up (or let them choose their own partner) and tell them they must create one valentine together like Desmond and Clayton.

Reenact the story

Break your students into groups. Have each group sequence the story and then turn it into a play to reenact for their classmates!

Make a valentine out of something other than paper

Students search the classroom to create a valentine out of something other than paper such as play-doh, legos, on a whiteboard etc. You could even take your class outside and so they can make a valentine out of leaves or sticks!

Need inspiration for a Valentine's Day language arts lesson? Look no further! Read here for a super engaging, no stress Valentine's Day language arts lesson plan.

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day activities?

Run, Run for These Gingerbread Activities

There are so many activities you can do with your students during Christmas time that it can get overwhelming to try to do it all. Yet, I ALWAYS try to do it all because I can’t seem to let anything go. Gingerbread activities are some of my favorite to do during this season. The first and second grade teachers and I have started a tradition at our school where we mix our classes and students get to design gingerbread houses. This activity, plus a gingerbread man in class project, make for a perfect gingerbread filled day! Here are two gingerbread activities that are too much fun to give up!

What is your favorite way to celebrate the Christmas season in your classroom? Read about two of my favorite gingerbread activities here!

Design a Gingerbread House

Like I said, my kiddos, the first graders and the second graders all get to design their own gingerbread house. The day before this event, parent volunteers assemble these houses. (Tip- use very sturdy plates, a large tub of royal icing and milk cartons for extra support.) Then, the day of, I split my class into three and some kids go into the other rooms and they get to go to town on designing a gingerbread house. Many kids get very creative and add a front or backyard! It’s an activity where students surprise you on their creativity and attention to detail.

You might need…

 

(affiliate links)

Gingerbread Man Project

For this activity, students try to disguise a gingerbread house so the gingerbread man won’t get eaten by the old lady or any animals. This project is apart of my Kindergarten Projects for the Years growing bundle. It can be used as a take home project or in class. Since I didn’t have enough time to send home the project, I chose bits and pieces of the project and students completed it in class. Check out this project here.

You may also be interested in…

A Unique Way to Use Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

Creating Christmas Magic in the Classroom

#StopTeacherGuilt: How to Relax While You’re on Break

If you’re like me you’re always thinking of the next thing to do and never slow down (even on breaks). I often think of breaks as a perfect time to get more done and once break is over I don’t feel as rested as I should. Three inspirational teachers, Kelsey, Shana, and Jenna  have started a movement called #stopteacherguilt. This movement is about teachers making time for things that are important in their lives and not feeling guilty if they’re not constantly planning or working on things for the classroom. With winter break around the corner, I’ve created a list of how to relax while you’re on break and to #stopteacherguilt when you’re resting and recharging.

#StopTeacherGuilt: How to Rest and Recharge during Break

Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash

1. Make a List

Create a list of things you don’t have time for during the regular school year. Some of the things on my list are:

  • Move into/settle into my new house
  • Play with and train my new puppy
  • Read a book
  • Learn hand lettering
  • Bake Christmas goodies with my family
  • Watch Christmas Hallmark movies

Other Ideas:

  • Binge watch a show
  • Try a new recipe
  • Complete a DIY project

2. Make a Promise to Yourself

Make a promise to do one of the things on your list each day (even if it’s just to rest!) Here’s the important thing about this promise: don’t think of any teaching responsibilities, #stopteacherguilt!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

3. Put Your Computer Down

I know, I know that’s not always possible and if creating a new product or starting a teacher blog is on your List of Things You Don’t Have Time For During School Time then allow yourself to use it, but only if it’s making your heart happy! Try, try, try not to check your school email. Parents’ needs can wait while you’re enjoying your well deserved time off. I have my school email on my phone (I know, total mistake right?) but I try not to check my messages until the day before we go back from break.

4. Leave Your Planner at School

Now, this might not be realistic and I will admit that I do take time to plan over breaks but if you can, leave it at school. If you can’t, only dedicate one day to planning and then put it away for the rest of your break. I like to enjoy the first part of my break, mostly because I am usually so burnt out and ready for a recharge that I can’t even think about planning until after I’ve given myself a break. This year, I’m going to try my hardest to plan before so I don’t have to work at all!

5. Make Time for You and Enjoy Your Break!

 

Are you a teacher who thinks about your job 24/7? Do you feel guilty when you're not working because there's so much to do? #StopTeacherGuilt, read here!

 

Join this wonderful #StopTeacherGuilt movement! What will you do to make sure you rest and recharge over break? Comment below!

A Unique Way to Use Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

Elf on the Shelf is typically known for getting into trouble and doing mischievous things. Not my Elf! My classroom elf promotes kindness throughout the holiday season in my kindergarten classroom.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Inspiration

I am obsessed with everything the holidays have to bring! My favorite time of year is right before Thanksgiving and throughout the month of December. This is when we start to cozy up by the fire, set out decorations, light scented candles and spend quality time with our friends and families. It’s also a time of fun activities in our classrooms as well as reflection on what a great year it’s been.

The holidays in the classroom can be a tricky time. It’s hard to balance doing exciting activities to celebrate the holidays while still managing to teach the academics and not let your students spiral out of control.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Classroom Elf

I’ve always loved Elf on a Shelf and the magic he inspires. (Not to mention students are always on their best behavior while the elf is watching.) And, I love using my creativity to make our elf get into trouble. However, I wanted to give our elf a bigger purpose. So last year, our classroom elf, Elfie, challenged us each day to complete an act of kindness.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Letters

Each morning, my students find our classroom elf in a different spot of the room, up to some sort of silliness, next to a letter. The letter explains what the elf is doing and encourages the class to spread kindness or Christmas cheer through a specific action.

For example, I introduce my elf by having him sit in one of our buckets we use for bucket filling. Through this letter, he tells students to spread kindness through writing a bucket filler for someone they wouldn’t normally write one for.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

These letters state many different ways students can share joy through the holiday. From giving a hug or smile, to donating old books or clothes, these letters give students as young as kindergarten concrete ideas of how to show love and spread kindness.

Check out my Classroom Elf: Promoting Kindness here.

Classroom Elf

You may also be interested in…

Creating Christmas Magic in the Classroom

 

100 Days of Kindergarten!

Our 100th day of school was last Wednesday! Each day during our circle time, the student who is the “place value” job for the week gets to add a straw to our place value chart. We have been very excited to count down the days leading up to our 100th day! Here’s how my school celebrates this amazing accomplishment…

Our K (me), 1, 2 team planned a whole day celebration with different 100th day centers! Most of these centers we found on various pinterest sites. Here’s a look at how our day went…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Days like this are more than exhausting but so worth it! The kiddos enjoyed every second.

When is your 100th day and how do you celebrate?