Brain Breaks Video

Fun Brain Breaks Activity

Do you have fidgeting kids?  Do you need to take a moment to let them get their wiggles out? Maybe it's time for a brain break!

Brain Breaks Activity

 Sometimes if you just allow students a few minutes to get their energy out with a "brain break", they will become better listeners and learners once you start the lesson back up. I created a little video that takes no preparation.  Just click play and let your kids have a few minutes to move their body. Brain breaks are a great way to improve the  mood of you and your students.  After all, it can be quite entertaining to see kids move and groove, bend and reach, and skip in place. There is also lots of humor to be found when the teacher joins in. But, the best part is they can get a little break and then get back to the lesson. There are two options for watching the video.  You can watch it right here via YouTube, or you can go download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

Brain Breaks Video

If you would prefer to download it from my store, just click this link: Brain Breaks

Thank you for pinning this post or sharing on facebook! :-)

Interactive Social Studies Notebooks

I made this video to help teachers better understand my interactive social studies notebooks.  
To purchase my social studies interactive notebooks, click the link below. You can then scroll through my entire selection of close reading and notebook options. Enjoy!
Social Studies Interactive Notebooks

Note.... It may help with the quality of the video if you click the wheel in the lower bottom right corner, and then choose the top number for the highest quality, which is 480p. I think this helps especially if you go full screen. It is best viewed in a smaller screen. I may need to work on my video skills :-)

Classroom Library Poster

I can't believe it's already FALL! 

Actually, I didn't even know yesterday was the first day of Fall until my 4 year old informed me.  That's right!  My preschooler.It went something like this... 

I was sitting out in the back yard while my little guy was playing in his sand box.  Keep in mind the temp was the high 80's here in Georgia. He looks over at the fire pit and asks, "Can we build a fire?"  I was like, "Are you kidding, it's hot out here!"  Of course he asked again... and again!  You know how that goes.  My next comment was, "We need to wait til Fall!"  His eyes got wide as he said, "It is FALL!!"  Oh my.... I mean, I knew Fall was nearing, but I didn't know it was already here. :-)  I was like, "How do you know that?" His response, "We put it on our calendar at school today." My first thought was, "Crap!  We can NOT build a fire!!  (haha).  My second thought was, "YES! He is a good listener at school!"  He always keeps me on my toes.

In case you are fire! I know... bad mommy!  We  ended up having a good conversation about the temperature and how it really was not a good time to build a fire, and he was okay with that. Soon though!! He is an understanding little guy.

But, it is Fall Y'all.... so, with that in mind, I hope you can use this fun little fall reading poster I made. Perfect for your classroom library. Just click the link below.  Just trim it down, pop it in a frame, and place it in your reading center.  If you have a bookshelf in your classroom library, place it right on top. Or, don't use a frame at all.  Just laminate and hang. Your kids will love it, and it just might inspire them. Enjoy!

Classroom Library

Thank you for visiting my blog.  For fun and creative lesson ideas, please visit my store by clicking the link below.

Click HERE for Elementary Lesson Plans 

Ice Breaker Activities for the First Day of School

Back to School Ice Breaker Activities
Yes, that's me :-)

Ice Breaker Activities for the First Day of School

Ice breaker activities can help make your students feel more comfortable.
If you are like me, you know the feeling of uneasiness that comes along with walking into a room full of people you don't know.  I ran into that at the recent Teachers Pay Teachers Conference in Vegas. It was  800 people I had never met, and although I warmed up to everyone, it took some mingling to help make that happen.  Mingling is a great way for your students to get to know each other on the first day of school.  I have used lots of different ice breaker activities over the years, one of which is the 'get to know your classmates scavenger hunt'.  It's a fun activity, but many of the kids have done it before.  In an effort to change it up a little, I came up with my version, which is called Bubble Gum Buddies.  It's the same concept, but it's bubble gum themed and the kids get to chew gum while they walk around. I also included a version without gum chewing just in case anyone was forbidden to have gum in the classroom. Bummer if that is the case! Keep in mind that it's only about 25 minutes of gum chewing and bubble blowing, so it's not too big of a deal. Have your camera ready because it is going to make for some cute pictures.

Get this fun Ice Breaker Activity by clicking HERE
Back to School Ice Breaker Activities

You can also find the ice breaker activity in my back-to-school bundled activity pack for upper elementary. It has 15 activities to choose from at a reduced price.

Back to School Activities

Back to School Activities

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great time getting to know your new students.

Guest Blog Post for Laura Candler's Corkboard Connections

Calling all Laura Candler fans!! 
If you are like me, you have been a fan of hers for years. With that said, I am sure you can imagine how honored I was to write a guest blog post for her Corkboard Connections blog. The post is now live and ready for you to enjoy. It's a positively fun post with tips on how to  bring smiles to your classroom.  You can check it out by clicking the link below. There is a freebie  download included in the post. 

 After reading it, take a moment to look around her blog anTeaching Resources website where you will find many other great teaching ideas. She has lots of  printable resources, some of which are free. Enjoy!

Guest Post:  5 Ways to Make Your Students Smile

If you are interested in having me guest post on your blog, I am always open for the invitation. Just send me an email using the link on the sidebar and we can discuss the details.  

Teacher Burnout

Teacher Burnout
Although I have been in the classroom for  nearly twenty years, it has been the last ten years or so where teacher burnout has become so prevalent.  It's a sad reality that great teachers all over the country are leaving teaching, or even the field of education, to never return.  We all see the open letters floating around the Internet from teachers exiting the classroom.  It's their way of saying why they simply can't do it any longer.  

The start to a new school year is a great time to give yourself a little reminder that teachers are not Superheroes.  Even though we are pushed into Superhero expectations, we are not.  So, take a breather, enjoy my little video, and start your new year knowing that you are not alone when you feel overwhelmed.  Remember to take a moment for yourself when you need it.  

Also, you might find this little list of back-to-school teacher tips helpful.  It's from a former post and can be found here: Back to School Teacher Tips
Teacher Superhero

Feel free to share a link to this post.  Thank you. 

10 Things I learned in Vegas for the TpT Conference

There were so many things I learned or confirmed in Vegas
These are just 10 fun thoughts.   TpT is the best!!!

1. “A tpt cha-ching is better than a slot machine!”  (lost $3 but sold a $4 item all in the same 2 minutes).  That was the comment my husband made when I was like, “Crap!  And people bet thousands and lose!!” I was sad at 3 bucks!!   For those that buy from me... thank you for helping to support me and my family.  You are appreciated!

2. I’m not the only one that has gained TpT weight.  Several mentioned it, even a presenter.  Need to be better about that exercise and quit with the Twinkies. 

3. OMG....The Venetian is  beautiful, but Italian music is not for me. 

4. YES!!  I finally got to meet so many absolutely wonderful teachers.  I have  been talking to many of the teachers  online  for years and it was the coolest thing to see the non-virtual version. The tips I learned at the seminars were very much appreciated.

5. My shy (somewhat introverted) self wanted to walk away from the large crowds  of people, but I overcame that and I’m glad I did.  A glass of sparkly red helps.

6. Actually, this wasn't  just learned, but it was confirmed.  Joining TpT five years ago was spot on.  I thought it was brilliant then.  I KNOW it is brilliant now.

7. Okay, this was learned going to and from the conferences, but none the less.... I confirmed I don’t want to be an airline flight attendant.  I mean, really!!  Who in their right mind likes to sit for four hours beside  a  2x2 foot bathroom being used by a hundred or more people.  I appreciate them, for sure.  Just  don’t want to be one. 

8. Oh, when someone hands you a "two for the price of one" coupon in Vegas …………um, …. Well, ….yeah.... it's not your typical BOGO offer. 

9. The team at TpT is just as wonderful in person as they are online.  I mean, like totally awesome!!!  Enough said.

10. For ten, I will focus on 10.  I can not wait to see where TpT is in 10 years.  Totally can't wait!  The teachers’ lives being changed, the students’ lives being changed…. I am going to go so far as to say changing the world!!  I’m so glad I am along for the ride.

Me with  Amy from the TpT team.  LOVE Amy!!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Want to hear what other teachers thought?  Click the link below to read more.

A Burst of First Vegas Linky- Click HERE

Creating Colorful Writing

Thanks for joining me for another Bright Ideas Blog Hop.
My bright idea....

This is a fun activity to do at the start of the year with your kids.  It will get them thinking about the importance of writing using colorful words.  

Take a moment to check out these other bright ideas.  There are over 130 teachers participating.

We appreciate you 'liking' us on facebook, tweeting about us, or pinning us on Pinterest.
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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.

Boxes Become Bookmarks

I am so glad to be participating in the Bright Ideas Hop/Link Up again this month.  Right at 150 teacher bloggers have joined up to share bright ideas that you can take back to the classroom.  Enjoy!

I thought with Earth Day right around the corner, I would share an idea that goes along with that topic; reusing items, or giving items a new purpose.  How cool are these re-purposed box bookmarks pictured below!  All you have to do is take any colorful cardboard box, such as popular cereal boxes, Little Debbie boxes, Pop Tart boxes.... use whatever durable box you want that you think will grab students' attention. Then cut the box into bookmark sized pieces.  Use your hole punch to punch a hole in the top.  Run some yarn, ribbon, or cross-stitch thread through the top to make a tassel, and there you go.....
 a box becomes a bookmark!! 
To celebrate Earth Day, why not have your students bring in the front and back of their favorite cereal box or other treat box. By doing that,  the parents will have already helped with the time consuming cutting part of trimming off the excess cardboard. You can then take the flat pieces to your paper cutter and trim the large box pieces into bookmark sized pieces.  How easy!  When you are finished, you will have hundreds of the cutest bookmarks that kids will enjoy using. 
For more bright ideas from over 150 bloggers, please visit the links below.  Have fun!

We appreciate you 'liking' us on facebook, tweeting about us, or pinning us on Pinterest.
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.

Common Core Documentary

While searching for news articles related to Common Core, I came across this documentary video created by Home School Legal Defense Association.  Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about this association, but I was intrigued by the video when I came across a preview for it.  I watched the two minute preview and then went to find the entire video, which is called "Building the Machine- The Common Core Documentary". I think no matter what side you are on, whether it be for or against Common Core, you will find some or all of it interesting. I am not advocating either way, as I see pros and cons to the implementation of it. My state, Georgia, actually passed legislation to pull out of Common Core. I know others are following in that path. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts. :-)

The video mentions Race to the Top.  You might enjoy my past article on that topic. When I got to the end of the video, I realized he was saying much of what I said in the article.  In addition, they end by focusing on the need for parental involvement, which is a point I also make.

Race to the Top Post- Click HERE

This video was embedded using the embed feature on YouTube.  
I claim no rights to the video and am using it to pass along information only. 
Thank you for helping to spread the word about Classroom Confections.

We appreciate you 'liking' us on facebook, tweeting about us, or pinning us on Pinterest.
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.

Spring Sale

Spring weather can put a little pep into your step.  It can get you in the right frame of mind to do a little spring cleaning.  With that in mind, I have joined up with LOTS of sellers from Teachers Pay Teachers to do a little Spring Cleaning Sale.  This is a great time to clean up your wish list by making purchases at a discounted price. Have fun shopping and finding some great deals!
Click HERE to see what's on sale in my store. 
Who else is participating? Click HERE or on the button image below.
Thank you for helping to spread the word about Classroom Confections.

We appreciate you 'liking' us on facebook, tweeting about us, or pinning us on Pinterest.
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.

Free Printable 'EGG'stra Special Tag for Treats

Sending some sunshine with an "EGG"stra special treat......Spring time is a great time to let someone know you are thinking about them.  Maybe you want to  let your students know you are thinking about them. Maybe you have a co-worker that needs a 'pick me up' treat. Maybe you want to let your child's teacher know you appreciate him/her.  Whatever the situation is, this original artwork (yes, I created every little part of this tag... even the swirls on the eggs.... just a little doodle, but it turned out cute) gift tag is sure to pep up a friend's  day when you attach it to some chocolate eggs. Rarely can you go wrong with chocolate!! This printable "EGG"stra special tag is a freebie gift from me and it can be printed out by clicking the link below. They print 4 to a sheet.  Enjoy! 

Click HERE to print "EGG"stra Special Tags

Hover over the image to pin. 
Thank you for helping to spread the word about Classroom Confections.

We appreciate you 'liking' us on facebook, tweeting about us, or pinning us on Pinterest.
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.

Expanded Form Activity

Expanded form, also known as expanded notation, is one way students need to be able understand and write numbers.  The other forms being standard form and word form. When teaching place value, students must be able to see and understand the value of each individual digit in a number, which of course would be expanded form.  For some kids, this concept can be a bit difficult to fully understand.

A few years back, I picked up a student calculator ... you know, the ones that we all have sets of,  but they get stashed in the back of the closet or workroom because we often times don't see them as a tool for helping kids understand. Trust me, I have seen many dusty calculators :-)    I think mine is designed for the 3-5 classroom. It looks like this:

Expanded Form Activity

Anyway, when I picked it up and I started punching in some numbers to add, it dawned on me that it was bumping the addition problem to the top of the screen, basically showing the values I was keying in.  I had this 'ah-ha' moment that this would be a great tool to use to help kids see the values of digits when working with expanded form.  At the time, I actually had a small group struggling with expanded form, so I tried it out with that group the next day.  

The first thing I did was give them an addition problem (basically just an expanded form problem), such as 5,000+600+50+9, but I didn't tell them what it equaled.  I had them write the problem out horizontally and vertically, so they could see that it was basically just an addition problem like they were accustomed to adding.  I then had them key the addition problem into the calculator, and they could see their problem across the top of the screen as they entered each number, which was pretty much seeing the expanded form or values of the digits in the numbers.  I then had them hit the equal button to get the standard form of the number.   Once they had the answer, or standard form, of the number, we looked at the number on their calculator screen, which of course was 5,659.  We compared it to the addition problem on their paper and discussed that what they had done was given each digit in the number a value and that is what they added up to find the total value of the number.  We continued this process several times to gain understanding.  

Then I transitioned to giving them the standard form number first, such as saying," If I gave you the number 9,876, what values would you give each number (starting with the 9) that you could then key into the calculator as an addition problem that would get you an answer of 9,876?"  They would then start by saying, "Well, I think we would enter 9,000 for the 9." So, I would tell them to hit a 9,000 and then the plus sign.  Then they would say, "Next I think we would add 800 for the value of the 8." They would key that in.  Remember, all along the addition problem they are typing will be popping up at the top of their calculator screen.  ...... They would continue with the process until they key in all of the values.  At the end, when they hit the equals sign, it's like magic to them because if they did it right, they will end up with the number I told them to start with.  Sometimes they will give me a little , "YEAH!" when it is right.... they came up with that part on their own. (Don't you just love it when they do that!)

By the way, the calculator on my computer will represent expanded form too.  I used it to type some pictures out to show you the process used in the problem mentioned above. 
Click on the image to enlarge. .... not on t he 'p' that will pop up. :-)
For the last few years I have incorporated this expanded form activity into my teachings of expanded form and place value.  The kids LOVE using the calculators!  I hope you will have fun trying out this bright idea in your classroom.
Next up on the Bright Ideas Blog Hop is Kate from Second Grade Sparkle.  Kate has a great post about Magic Books for Reports.  Click  HERE to check out her blog post.

Click the button above to visit Kate's blog or the 'here' button above.

You can also search by specific topics using the links below.  These will take you to other awesome blogs in the Bright Ideas Blog Hop.

An InLinkz Link-up

Thank you for helping to spread the word about Classroom Confections.

We appreciate you 'liking' us on facebook, tweeting about us, or pinning us on Pinterest.
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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