Monday, July 12, 2021

Pencils and Paper and Read Alouds Oh My!

The countdown is on! School is inching closer and my to-do lists are getting longer! One thing I make sure I have on hand  before school starts are a lot of read-alouds for the first few weeks. Even if I don’t read them all, they are in my back pocket if we have some down time I didn’t anticipate, but really I am using them to teach life skill lessons those first few weeks of school (sneaky I know!)

Reading stamina will not be there for those younger kids coming off that summer break, so reading to them allows their brains to rest and for those big kids, just a break! 

Let’s face it, we are all going to need a 15-20 minute reset at some point! Think about pulling those read alouds out after recess, lunch, end of the day, or just as a mid-morning/afternoon break. 

Here are some read-alouds that are great for the start of school. Don’t worry about picking ones that are “new” to them. If they have already heard it they can be your experts. Remember the first few weeks are about building community, taking breaks, and enjoying a book just because. 


  • Show your class two titles and have them vote on which one they want to read. 

  • Make a digital form to have students nominate which read-alouds to read and choose them either at the start of school or keep an ongoing list throughout the year. 

  • Do a battle of the Back to School read alouds. You choose your top eight and then use this FREE battle sheet for them to track the favorites.

Reading a variety of books is also a good time to help get the kiddos started with a reading log. Since you will be reading the books together, you can walk them through the process. They can even rate the books with a star rating system. Click here to pick one up!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Earth Day is Every Day!

Earth Day is just around the corner! Are you ready? I have been doing a lot of research about it and I have to say, some of the facts I've learned are pretty disturbing. It's so important that we teach our students about some of the little things they can do that can really help a lot. Just click the pic to check out this site for a great list to start a discussion with your students.

And, my friend Terri, teaches her kids about reusing with food trays. Click the pic to check out how she uses them in her classroom.

So, how are you planning to celebrate Earth Day? Any fun ideas? I would love to hear about them! 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Earth Day Digital Escape Room

Earth Day is April 22! I can't believe how fast time is going! I've always wanted to create an Earth Day resource, but I never could figure out what I wanted to do. Now, since I found, the most amazing tool to help me, I was able to create a digital Earth Day escape room. The nice thing about making my escape rooms with is that there is no need for kids to need to make copies from Google. Many school districts are not allowing students to make copies from outside their districts. Ugh! A hurdle, but it made me have to think outside the box. Watch this video to see a little more about the escape room.

Now, I have to admit, I got a little carried away with this escape room and there is a lot for each of the sections. However, I have the PERFECT solution for the length! This is how I would handle it in my classroom:
  1. Discuss Earth Day and have the students discuss what they know and what they would like to know. (KWL)
  2. Assign the escape room using Google Classroom or other LMS like Canvas, Blackboard, etc.
  3. Have the students read the scenario and instructions located on the START button. Tell them you are going to just do one section a day and that they will keep track of their escape codes during the week. There is a planning page inside the escape room, however, students do have to make a copy of this for their Google Drive. You can make a copy of this page on your Google Drive and then send it to your students if they have trouble getting to it. The other solution is to have them use good ol' pencil and paper! :) I also put the planning page on TpT as an Easel digital activity, so you could assign it to them that way as well.
  4. Have students click on the #1 in the escape room to begin learning about the history of Earth Day.
  5. After they read, watch, play the games, and solve the clue, have a class discussion and tell them you will do #2 tomorrow!
Now, since there are 5 clues, that's 5 days of lesson plans for the week of Earth Day! Sounds like a winner to me!

I hope you and your kids have as much fun as I did with this Earth Day digital escape room

Oh, and happy Earth Day!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Three Engaging and Fun Activities for St. Patrick's Day

  • So, what fun stuff do you have for your little leprechauns to do this week? Any exciting ideas to go along with your 'MUST DO' learning activities? If you are wondering just how to keep everyone engaged, I have a couple of ideas for you. This St. Patrick's Day DIGITAL Escape Room is a fun and engaging way for your students to review language arts skills like:
    • inferencing
    • contractions
    • synonyms
    • homophones

Plus, this escape room is streamlined with, so no one has to 'make a copy' in order to use it.
Watch the video to check it out, now.

Click HERE to get your kids excited about learning this St. Patrick's Day week.

Do you need some math plans? How about trying out a math mystery. I now have them in a NARRATED, DIGITAL version made using, as well as my original printable, paper version. Click the pics to check them out for yourself. 

Not sure if you'll like the digital math mysteries? Click HERE to try a couple of FREE ones first.

Have a great week!
Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween Digital Math Mysteries - Now with Narration!

Happy fall y'all! It has been a beautiful start to fall this year. Last year it seems like we went straight into winter! 

I'm not sure if you knew that I retired in 2018. Well, I was loving it and then, in August, I went back to my old school to help a friend in her classroom. The next thing you know, the principal is calling me into her office to chat. The first thing she asked me was if I would like to teach a 5th grade, in-person class. I said absolutely not. Then, she asked if I could take a medical leave for a 1st grade teacher AND it was teaching virtually. So, of course, I hard could it be? 

WELL, I'm here to tell you that it was MUCH more difficult than I thought! I was in tears on day 2! It is an amazing amount of work and I'm sure you already know that! Well, that teacher still hasn't returned and I am now doing 1/2 days which is much more manageable. Wow! Teachers should be getting medals for the jobs they are doing nowadays!

Because I was able to go to 1/2 days, I am able to keep up with my Teachers Pay Teachers store. And, I have to tell you, I am just so excited to show you my newest version of my math mysteries! This is the second-grade version. Students have the option of being read to or reading on their own. Then, they answer the math problems with just a click. If they get the correct answer, the story continues If they get the wrong answer, they get a 'stopper' and click to go back and try again! So cool! Take a look at this video to see just how it works.


I am going to use narration for older grades as well, but the kids will just have to click the play button if they want to. I thought that would be good, especially for students who may have difficulty reading.

I have 1st and 2nd grade versions ready to go now, but I am working on 3rd and 4th grades as we speak!

Also, there is a Google Forms included in these digital versions as well. If you prefer to use Google, this is a good option. However, there isn't a narration option on Google. To have that, it would take the students to another site and no one wants that! Click the pics to check out these fun, engaging activities, just in time for fall break and Halloween!


I hope you are having a great start to your school year. Talk soon!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Digital All About Me Activities for Google Slides

Hi everyone,

How is everything going with your Back to School planning? Are you going to be in the classroom or are you teaching virtually? I think we probably need to be ready for both this school year! Because of the uncertainty, I've been making a lot more digital resources and have been turning my old favorites into digital resources as well. 

Last week I was at the pool with my homies and asked what they needed for their classrooms. All About Me activities were one of the biggies. This is what I came up with. Be warned, this is the wordy version of the video. You can watch a quick, fast-forwarded version, HERE. (Also, there is a video in the resource for kids to watch so they will know what to do when creating their book.)  

If you would like this activity for your classroom, you can pick it up HERE. And don't forget, the Teachers Pay Teachers sale is Tuesday, August 4 and Wednesday, August 5 and you can get up to 25% off the items you buy. Just use the code BTS20 at checkout. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Turn Your Teachers Pay Teachers PDFs into Digital Resources

Some stores on Teachers Pay Teachers now have the option to turn the regular PDF resources you have bought, DIGITAL! It's easy to do and you can delete the pages you don't want to send to your students. You can send them one page or 10. It's pretty neat.

You also can:
  • add text boxes for students to write answers
  • add extra instructions for students
  • highlight areas that need student attention
Students can:
  • highlight answers
  • type answers in various colors
  • circle answers with a pen or highlighter

If a store has this capability, you will see this:

Watch this video to see how you can begin making student resources digital.

Here are some free resources you can try it on. Pretty exciting!



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