After the Christmas Holidays

Christmas is Behind You, Now What?

Sometimes it's nice to provide students with the opportunity to share their holiday memories and traveling destinations. That's precisely why I created the Holiday Memory Booklet. Print enough copies of the booklet or just some of the great pages and your students will be thrilled to share their vavaction times with you.

I used to have some fun with my young learners when they returned from a holiday. I played Christmas Snap with them. The first student said one thing they got for Christmas, another student said SNAP if they got the same things, each student would get a chance to tell what they got.

I also let them do a comic strip about and event that happened over Christmas.

Have  few ideas you would like to share? That's what we're here for.

Christmas Fun

One of the challenges I used to give my students in the classroom was to have them figure out the cost of the items in the 12 Days of Christmas. Each year we would find the listing that would display the prices of each song item and calculate how much the True Love would have to spend this year.

A few other Christmas activities include
  • How many words can you make with the word Christmas?
  • How many items can you name that are white? red? green?
  • How many Christmas foods can you name?
  • How many Christmas ornmaments can you name?
  • How many days? hours? minutes? seconds until Chrismas?
  • How many different Christmas songs can you name in 3 minutes?
  • Re-write the words for a Christmas song and turn it into a birthday song.
Do you have some activities worth sharing? Share away.
Be sure to check out the free worksheets for Christmas too.

Christmas Worksheets

Free Teaching Resources for Christmas K-6

Are you looking for some great and free Christmas Worksheets? You'll find fun and engaging worksheets linked to Christmas for literacy and math.

Christmas worksheets are great for bell work.  For better classroom management, make sure that your students always know what they should be doing when they come in from recess and lunch. Do you have worksheets you would like to share with other educators? Send them along to info @worksheetplace for review and possible posting. Try these free graphic organizers for Christmas Writing.

End of School Year Fun

Learning Until the Very Last Day

As we near the end of the school year with the enjoyable summer holidays ahead, there are ample opportunities to motivate students. How you ask? The ideas are endless! Have them write your report card!

Or let them reflect about the year.
Or 4 things they want to do this summer.
Or a letter to next year's student.
Or a letter to this year's teacher.

Or just hop on over to worksheet place to see the free end of year worksheets.

Most importantly, keep the learning active to ensure they're motivated until the very last day. Go on a sound walk, have scavenger hunts, develop safety rules for the summer. Have mock interviews for summer jobs. Be part of the resource, post your great ideas.

Mother's Day

A Free 7 Page Booklet

Linking Special Days to Learning

Are you looking for some free worksheets and teaching ideas for your students? Look no farther, if I liked it and would use it in my classroom, then you'll find it here.

Using themes and holidays to motivate learners is always a great idea. This month, 2nd Sunday in May is Mother's Day. Regardless of age, there are many great writing activities kids can do.
A Perfect Day with Mom
Take this worksheet for example, kids right about the similarities and differences between their mom and them. They also illustrate them.

Another writing activity that is more of a repetitive pattern for early writers is:
I like ____________ but mom likes_______________.
I don't like____________ and mom doesn't like_______________.

Children can illustrate the likes and dislikes. Be sure to check out all the Mother's Day worksheets.

And if you have one to share, send it along.

Teaching Reading ~ Get it Right!

A relative asked me my why a 5 year old could recognize a word like weather yet couldn't read yet. I said, it sounded like the child was exposed to these words regularly and therefore committed them to memory, a drill and kill, rote learning approach. She asked about the value of this. I responded that, memory is one of many strategies required to learn to read. Teaching a child difficult words prior to the child understanding basics doesn't make sense to put it mildly. Children aren't vessels waiting to be filled up with information. Unfortunately some private schools in their attempt to convince parents that their children are brighter often use this approach ~ it's shortlived, this I know. Did this child attend private school? Yes. It will remain nameless.

The task of learning to read is a very complex process and is developmental in nature. Learning to read requires sound symbol recognition of the alphabet, it requires understanding of the consonant sounds at the beginning and ending of words, it requires picture cues, sight recognition and decoding skills. Most importantly, it requires really good resources that are developmental in nature. Books that have high interest and low vocabulary, books with repetitive patterns.

I have taught the art of reading for a long time. I taught a developmental child  with an IQ of 60 to read when others had given up; when I was told she would never read. I have provided my daughter with strategies, tips and resources to help my grandson read. He reads for enjoyment and information and reads well beyond grade level and has since kindergarten.

Have questions about teaching reading? Post away, although I no longer tutor, my advice is free!

Bell Work Fridays - and More!

Do you ever notice that by Friday afterrnoon both you and your students lack zest and motivation? The last thing you want to do on a Friday is work on a mundane paper/pencil tasks.

You need to kick it up a knotch. Inspire your student and get them hooked to learn right through to the bell.
Whether it's bell work or work for 'Early Finishers' , here are a few great ideas for 'pick me up Friday afternoons:
  • Try the bell work ideas here.
  • Conversation circle: students sit in a circle and you begin round robin question/answers  with the opportunity to pass (Favorite activity this week, least favorite activity, compliment about a student, where I'd rather be, what I'm most looking forward to this weekend etc.
  • Statues (play tunes, students wiggle/jiggle and when the tune stops, students strike a pose - repeat
  • Mystery Person - for example: my mystery person has a dog, got an A on their science test and was sent to the office this morning, the person guesses gets to do the next mystery person.
Add your own ideas in the comment section.

Revise and Edit

Revising and Editing

Today our students have access to computers to do their writing and therefore access to the grammar and spell checker. Perhaps this is also why they're writing has taken a step or two backwards.  After all, they spend a great deal of time texting and using text shortcuts. However, they still need to know how to edit their own work. These revise and edit self-checking worksheets are a great way to start.

A great way to use some of these checklists is to laminate them, give each student a laminated copy and let them re-use them. Wipe them each time and they're then ready for the next task.

Be sure to check out the fact and opinion writing worksheets to get them motivated to write.

Be sure to share with your colleagues.

Finding Great Resources Online

Pinterest Can Be Misleading

I am a fan of finding great teaching tools and resources online. I have used Pinterest but as time goes on, I'm finding it less useful and certainly gimmicky and cluttered. When you find something, it often leads to a sales page or the link is missing. I find I'm surfing via Google once again to find some truly great resources.

I've been an educator for what seems like a lifetime. Without a doubt, the internet has made my job easier. I rarely buy resources at the teacher's store anymore.

Good or bad, it's just the simple truth. Instead, I take time to create what I used to buy and offer it free online.

Truly great educators share, after all, why reinvent the wheel? Should you have the desire to share your woksheets, send them along. I'll post them and give the credit back to you. If not, always free to grab the resources you find at worksheetplace.

This month, be sure to visit our shape books category to get your students motivated to write.

St. Patrick's Day Worksheets

Embedding The Themes Into ELA

Drop on over the the St. Patrick's Day worksheets for some great classroom teaching ideas.
One of my favorite activities is this 'lucky, then unlucky' booklet. Let your students use their imagination to complete this great little booklet.

For example: It was lucky that my friend found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it was unlucky that the coins weren't real.
Whether students work in pairs or alone, this booklet will stimulate writing.