The Polar Express Christmas Activity

If you like the book The Polar Express, then you are sure to love this activity.....
By the time kids get to 4th grade, some are wavering on the Santa thing.  I always like to do a special little activity to get them pondering the magic of Santa.  The afternoon before our Christmas break starts, I put little silver bells in the back of each of their desks.  Then the next day I read them a couple of my favorite Christmas books, one of which is the book The Polar Express.  A short time later, I have the kids clean out their desks (I do this at the end of each 9 week period),  and you guessed it, they find the silver bells.  My fourth graders always love this!  I hear one of them say, "I found a bell in my desk!".... a few seconds later, "I found one too!"... Before you know it, they are all ringing silver bells and saying things like, "It's the first gift of Christmas!"  This year no one even questioned where they came from.  It is such a fun Christmas activity!
 
 
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Happy Holiday Dollar Daze Linky Party

$1.99 or LESS
Guess what! It's a linky party hosted by Classroom Confections.
Shop for grades k-5.   
 
Join the fun by either posting an item or shopping for an item. Whether you are posting an item or here to shop, I thank you for posting about this link up either on your blog or facebook page with a link back here. That way everyone can shop til they drop!
 
Feel free to use the image below when you post.
 
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8:00- 4:00.... NOT!

Do you sometimes feel like you work around the clock? I do.
 
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Free Christmas Activities

Life has been so incredibly busy for me! 
I'm sure your life is just the same.
 
By the time I get home from my teaching, get the teenagers to where ever they need to go, find something to eat for dinner, go to sports events, make sure homework is done, get the toddler bathed and ready for bed, I can sometimes find the time to make a custom lesson or two for my fourth graders.  As far as blogging though, that has taken the back burner.  I have not made it a priority.
 
So, here I am on Thanksgiving break squeezing in a blog post.  And guess what?  You get some free Christmas activities out of this post.  You can't beat free, right
 
This is a Christmas activity for the younger kids.  Sometimes I will make something cute for my k-1 friends even though I won't be able to  use it in the classroom.  In this activity, the kids cut out words to glue down and label the picture.  They can then color it.  This will make for a cute center as it gets closer to the holiday break.  You can download this from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
 
 
 
This next activity I made for my fourth graders.  One of the fourth grade common core objectives is to form and use prepositional phrases.  This is a Christmas themed slide show to introduce the topic to my students.  I hope you can find a way to use it in your classroom.
 
 
 
 
If you are interested, I also made an I Have Who Has activity for prepositional phrases.  It goes along with the slide show.  It is Christmas themed.  Get all of the details by clicking the link below.
 
 
 

Don't foget to look through my TpT store for all of my other fun Christmas activities

As Thanksgiving approaches tomorrow, I would like to say how thankful I am for all of you that continue to visit my blog and purchase from me at my TpT store.  You make my addiction to making fun lessons worth while.  :-)
 
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Election Activities

The election is just a short time away, and if you are like me, you have talked about it a time or two in your classroom.  Actually, I talked about the election today with my students because it was the feature article in my Scholastic News Magazine.  We had a long discussion about the title question that read, "Where do they stand?"  None of my students knew what that question meant.  We then talked about how people typically select who they are going to vote for based on where the candidates 'stand' on issues, such as education, health care, war, and jobs.  This was about the third time Scholastic has printed an article about the election, so my kids have become quite familiar with the candidates. 

Do you all do mock elections in your school?  We are having one this year, but surprisingly, we are not voting for the candidates that are running for the presidency.  I know.... I was a bit shocked too.  My husband, the political science/social studies teacher, was really shocked.  He said we might as well not even have an election if that is going to be the case.  So, who are we are voting for?..... that would be Lincoln or Washington.  Since no one has had time to teach their kids about these two candidates, I guess the kids will be doing 'one potato, two potato' to make their choice.  After all, I have been teaching my kids about the 2012 presidential candidates not two candidates that aren't even from the same time period (I know, seems so strange).  I am not really 100% sure why we didn't go with the real candidates, but I think it had something to do with this being a pretty heated election, and no one wanted to stir the pot with political views.  I dunno.  Regardless, I am sure the kids will have fun, and I know they will cheer if their candidate wins. 

I thought I would share with you a couple of election activities I made for my classroom.  One is a basic election word search that I plan to do for morning work.  Another one is a set of election themed writing paper that is very colorful and would look great  hanging outside the classroom in the hallway. You can find both of these in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking on the links below.  Thanks for checking them out. 

 




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Words and Phrases Alluding to Mythology

Mythology......Yikes!!

If you are like me, that is exactly what you thought when you read this new common core objective:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

If one thing is for sure, I could not stand mythology when I was in school, so the thought of me having to teach anything related to it just freaked me out.   Plus, when I went searching for material related to this common core objective, there was absolutely nothing to be found.  Don't you hate it when we get objectives to teach and yet there are not really any lessons prepared to help us out.  I mean, I know we are capable of designing lessons, but sometimes it just makes things difficult.  As in the case of this mythology lesson, I won't kid around, I had to read and search to find the descriptions of these characters from mythology. It took me some time, but I hope you like the finished product.  

This mythology lesson does not really teach mythology itself.  It really focuses on the basics of the common core objective listed above.  I put together some mythological character descriptions to help kids understand that these characters have traits based on their actions in the stories from mythology.  I then put together some common phrases used in today's time that might pop up in literature that make reference to these character traits, such as "opened Pandora's box".  When students see these phrases, they will have a better understanding of the fact that they allude to the characters found in mythology.  In addition, there is a little illustration activity where students take products from today's time and see how these product names actually originated from mythology.  A few examples, are Trident gum and Amazon.com.  

I hope your kids have fun with this lesson.  

Click the link below to find out more info. or to purchase this lesson.





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Sub Plans

What is it with teachers and being sick????
You know what I'm talking about!
Most of us would prefer to go in and teach rather than have to deal with those stinkin sub plans.

Do you think people in other career fields feel that way? Do they have to spend over an hour preparing plans, getting paperwork together, etc. just because they are sick and need to take a day off? 

Maybe I put too much pressure on myself (could be). Despite the fact that I have 'emergency sub plans' at school, I feel like if I am going to take a day off for something like a sinus infection, I need to prepare very detailed plans about how the day runs, especially if I want my sub to be able to keep me on my schedule of curriculum that has to be taught. After all, it's a race to get it all covered with me being there all 180 days. 

When I think about having to do the sub plans and about all the kids will probably miss if I am not there, I decide that it is probably best if I am there, so I don't even worry about getting a sub. There I go... trudging into work with weeks and weeks of sick leave built up that I never take, feeling like crap, going on with my day, teaching away. 

At the school I used to teach at you had to find your own sub - even if it was last minute and you were puking all over the place.  Yep, let's say you have been throwing up all night, you wake up the next morning realizing you have to have your class covered.  Guess what, you better get on the phone and start calling a hundred subs despite the fact that you have a fever, can't hold down your stomach acids, and can barely hold your head up.  Believe me, I know it to be true because it happened to me.
One time my daughter threw up in the car on the way to school. Once I got to school with my sick daugher in tow, I went to the front office and had to get on the phone and start calling subs. And yes, my sick daughter was right there beside me. After calling about thirty subs, I was told they would take care of it, but geeeesh.... I was so worked up about that situation, feeling terrible for my daughter, and I was so frustrated!!

Is that right?  It sounds so insensitive and backwards to me.  I always wonder if the general public knows these kinds of things go on for teachers.  I am fortunate where I am now.  If it is an emergency situation you can call a designated person and they will find your sub.  You only have to find a sub if you know in advance you are going to be out.

What is it like where you teach?  Do you feel like me when it comes to being out?

If you need some ideas for your sub plans, you may my sub folder activities helpful. You can find these in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

Click the link below to view these substitute folder ideas.
 


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FREE Multiplication Practice Paper

Multiplication Practice Paper
Yeah, I know..... It has been FOR-ever since I posted. My school year has gotten off to a very tiring start.  Maybe if I told you I have 32 fourth graders that would explain everything. :-/  WOW, right?

By the way, I haven't even blogged since my blog make over...
I do hope you like!

If you haven't been to my TpT store lately, please do check it out.  Although I haven't been blogging, I have tons of new products.  I will write a few blog posts about those soon. 

In the mean time, I wanted to offer up this new FREE multiplication practice sheet I made.  It has graph paper parts for each problem you give the kids. This helps with the lining up of the places, which can be so important when working with two digit by two digit multiplication.  The fun part about the multiplication sheet is the sticker part.  While you are walking around the room monitoring the kids as they practice problems, you will give them a sticker when they get one right.  They will do problem after problem when they know they get the colorful sticker if they do it correctly.  Before long, multiplication will be a breeze for them. I hope your students enjoy.

Click below for the freebie.
You will be taken directly to my TpT store where you can get a direct download.



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All About Me Poster

All About Me Poster
We all do activities at the beginning of the school year to get to know our students.  One activity I do is an All About Me poster.  Each student gets to fill in information about themselves, such as writing abut the things that bug them, activities they like to do, favorite book, number of siblings, and more.  This is always a nice activity to do after the fast paced morning has settled down. 

You know what I mean......
you have gone over a million rules,
 they have written their names in a stack of books,
you have explained your classroom expectations,
shared the schedule,
and overwhelmed them any and everything  you think they need to know.
Let's face it.......The first day is a crazy day! 

Anyway, this activity allows them some down time to absorb what you have shared, to think about themselves and what they would people to know, and even allows them to do a bit of coloring.  You will have fun getting to know your kids with these All About Me posters.

There are other options for these posters.  You could send them  home for the kids to fill out.  You could send one home with your student of the week.  There are lots of possibilities.  Be creative!
Click the link below to get more info. or to purchase.

Here are the posters hanging outside my classroom.

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Teachers Pay Teachers SALE

Don't miss out on the TpT Sale

It's the biggest sale of the year... don't miss out!
28% off in my store and many others.
SHOP til you DROP!


click the link below to shop my sale.
teachers pay teachers store

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Do you have hurry sickness?

I thought this would be fitting as I go back to work.  The fast paced life style is about to pick back up. 


 
I know I do!

Are you stricken with the sickness that seems to be plaguing so many people today? With this sickness, there is no fever involved and no visits to the doctor. Its symptoms affect everyone around you, but most importantly, they affect you. The worst part about this sickness is you miss out on so many of life's wonderful moments.

It's called hurry sickness. Does it sound familiar? It's otherwise known as a sense of time urgency.

Ask yourself, "Is time a major factor in my life?"

Do you find yourself running around trying to get one thing done just so you can complete another?

Does your job place so many demands on you that you can hardly focus on what your real role is supposed to be? Maybe your real role at work involves people, yet you have so much paperwork to be completed you could easily forget about the people you are there to serve. Maybe you even start to see them as an interruption.

Do you take your work home with you and when your own child asks you a question while in the midst of getting your work done, you only give them a tiny portion of your attention, nodding, and not really knowing what they are saying? After all, you have deadlines to meet. You are hurried. Maybe you even start to see them as an interruption.

Hurry hates interruption.

You can't love.
You can't listen to a child.
Basically, you can't multi-task attention.

Hurry is an enemy.

Take note, being hurried is not being busy. Being busy can be a good thing. There is nothing really good about being hurried. Remember, being hurried is about time urgency. You don't have time for one thing because you are so hurried to do another.

If you are a hurried person, you don't have time for interruptions in your life. You don't have time to jump some one's car off. You don't have time to talk to someone in need. You don't have time to help the person who dropped something. You can't slow down long enough to talk to your kids.

So, what is your IQ anyway? No, I am not talking about your intelligence quotient. I'm talking about your Interruptibility Quotient. How many times do you allow for interruptions in your life? Do you slow down long enough to let God interrupt your life? What about when you didn't stop to help a person or talk to someone in need? Was that a prompt from God? It does make you think.

The next time you feel hurried or overcome with time urgency, take a moment to ponder if this interruption is really a disguise from God that he is trying to work in your life. I plan on trying it myself.



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FREE Lesson Plan Template

FREE Printable Lesson Plan Template
I decided to make me a new lesson plan template for this school year. I reworked the template I am actually using in order to share it with you.  I  have my times and subjects typed on mine, but since you don't have the same ones as me, I took those off. Although you won't be able to type on this template and use it as an electronic lesson plan,  you are able to save the template and print it for your use in the classroom if you would like.  The large boxes are intended to write different subjects or activities.  The smaller boxes within the larger boxes are to write the subject name and/or the time of the subject.  Feel free to use this free lesson plan template in your room if it fits your needs.





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If you are a teacher and you like what you see, please visit often.



FREE Meet Your Teacher Day Treat

Meet Your Teacher Day Treat

We have all heard the saying....
  you only have one time to make a good first impression.

Well, this is true with meeting your students, too.  Did you know that some research shows that people form an opinion of you within the first 90 seconds of meeting you. 

 HELLO!!!  You better make it a great 90 seconds.  :-) 

If this stands true with students meeting a teacher then they are going to either walk away from 'meet your teacher day' grumbling that they have the meanest  teacher, or they will walk away smiling and thinking they have the best teacher in the world.  Let's face it, in a kid's eyes, those are about the only two choices. 

 For me, I want them to walk away thinking they have the coolest, most creative, and fun teacher EVER!!!  So, I start working on creating that caring classroom environment the very first time I meet the kids.  Not only do I have the room all arranged and decorated and put a smile on my face, but I usually gift them with a little something to make them feel special.  It's not much... just a little treat. This year, I have a movie theme going on in my classroom, and to go along with that theme I created a card to place on a baggie of popcorn or other special treat. 

This treat sheet doesn't have to be used exclusively for a movie themed classroom, as it would work in any setting in order to make a new student feel special.  If you would like to try gifting your new students with something special, feel free to use this FREE movie themed printable teacher treat sheet in your classroom. If you don't want to use it on the 'meet your teacher day', you could even use it the first day of school.

*****************************

Click Here to Get the Printable


 

For other creative ideas on creating a caring classroom, please head on over to Corkboard Connections, which is Laura Candler's awesome blog. Grab some tips and even some other freebies.  Click on the image below.




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If you are a teacher and you like what you see, please visit often.




My Movie Themed Classroom

My Movie Themed Classroom
Yep, it's that time again.... Back to School!

In my district, teachers go back this coming Monday.  Just as I do every year, I have spent several days in my room this week trying to get ahead of the preplanning game.  Isn't it terrible that you feel like you have to do stuff before preplanning just to feel on top of things!  After 17 years, I still feel that way.  Anyway, I thought I would share a few things from my classroom.  I have tried to work a movie theme into different areas of the room.  I still have lots to do, but here is a peek at what I've done thus far.  All of these items can be purchased from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. So, here goes.....

These are my movie themed classroom rules posters and my calendar set.
You can purchase the movie themed class rules by clicking HERE. The calendar set comes in my movie themed classroom decoration set, and it can be purchased HERE.

Click on images to enlarge.

This is my movie themed hallway display.  It stays up all year, and I just change out the kids' work.
This also comes as part of my movie themed classroom decoration set.

I

I tried to work something movie themed into my reading area, so I printed off some theater curtains and made a poster that says, "Books are like Movies". 


This is something I made to help me call on kids randomly.  I won't use it all the time, but it's nice to be able to pull names out of a 'hat' sometimes.  Once I have my class list, I will put the kids' names on each of the popcorn pieces. This can be purchased HERE.



These are movie themed labels for my essential questions.  I simply clip them to my dry erase board and write the questions beside them.  


I also hung a few other things that are not movie themed, but I thought I would share. 
This is a place value chart I made using color coding.  Check out the details HERE.


I am using the set below as part of my behavior management.  There is a positive word for every letter of the alphabet.  Under each word are two cards.  Each month the kids can earn their name under a card when I see them displaying the positive behavior.  This display can be viewed and purchased HERE.






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teachers pay teachers store
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If you are a teacher and you like what you see, please visit often.

Christmas in July Sale

Sale Time
It's HOT*HOT*HOT here in GA, which means it's time to cool things down. How do I do that?  Have a Christmas in July sale!! I am joining up with lots of other Teachers Pay Teachers sellers to offer my seasonal items 20% off for one day.  So, while you may not be thinking about Christmas in the classroom right now,  your pocket book is singing Jingle Bells!! 

Sled right on over to my store by clicking below:


It's not just Christmas either.  Grab Thanksgiving, Halloween, and more!

 Check out all of the other sellers by visiting  I'm Blog Hoppin'.



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Back to School Activities

Back to School Activities

I know, you are probably telling me to shush up, right?  You can't possibly be thinking of back-to-school activities when July has just begun!!  Well, the funny thing is, I start thinking of back to school as soon as it's the end of school.  I get so excited about summer because I LOVE my summers, but I also start thinking about how I want my class to be decorated, what I might set up differently for the new year, what theme I might like to use,  etc.  And I know a lot of other teachers are just like me.  It's just how we are.

My students go back to school the first week of August, which will be here sooner than later, so I thought I would go ahead and post a few things I think you could use the first week of school.

Just click the links or pictures to be taken right to the product.

If you are looking for an activity pack for grades 3-5, you may want to check this one out:

Back to School Activities



Looking for a fun way for your students to get to know each other?

Back to School Game



Looking for a way to motivate your kids to read?  Celebrate with ice cream!

Year Long Reading Incentive Program


Motivate your kids with some themed writing paper.




The above listed activities are just a few of the things I have to offer to get your classroom and students ready for the new year.  Don't forget to check out my positive words behavior management system, my reader's workshop guide for grades 3-5, my themed classroom sets, and so much more.  Good luck finding lots of great things!


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Thank you for helping to spread the word about Classroom Confections.
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teachers pay teachers store
For more fun and creative ideas for the classroom, click the above picture to go to my store.

If you are a teacher and you like what you see, please visit often

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