Sunday, August 13, 2017

Getting Connected With Your Students

If you are anything like me, you want to get connected with your students right away. And you want your students to feel at home and appreciated in your classroom. Having an activity in place for your kids that sets up the school year with these connections can create a positive teacher-student relationship!

During my 18 years as an elementary teacher, I have worked in an inner-city school as well as a high-poverty school. And if anyone needs these activities these children do! A great idea is to have your students bring in framed photos of  their family or even their baby pictures. One year, I had a bookshelf designated just for these pictures and the children loved being able to see and share throughout the day. But why not take it a step further? So I did. I brought technology and writing into the mix and the children jumped on the activity without missing a beat!

Each child was paired up with a partner. Partners photographed each other holding their photos. (I used our ipads for this.) After printing, we use our photos to write poems. These poems can be written in the style that you are learning at that time. (Examples can be haiku, acrostic, or cinquain.) After writing and revising we move on to the final draft which the children compose on Microsoft Word. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your students this program! They will love the different fonts and color choices! After printing I display their work on a bulletin board. I guarantee you that your students will want to do this activity again. And what's great about photographs is that you can incorporate them in other activities throughout the year!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My School's Bulletin Boards

I thought it would be nice this year to share, not just my beginning of year bulletin board, but my coworker's bulletin boards too! We have a very creative group of faculty and staff who care deeply for our kids and wanted them to feel welcomed! My favorite is the first one. We had it ready for 'Meet the Teacher Night' and each child colored a paper Smartie and received the candy also. I hope you can find some great ideas for your own bulletin boards.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Best Pencil Sharpener Ever is Awarded to...

I know you have been anxious all week to find out who has won the Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations! Markisha! You have your choice of the colors pink, green, red, blue, and black!
In addition, I am giving a free product away today! 
Thank you to everyone who entered!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Win the Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!!!

Have you ever heard of the Best Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies? If not, you are in for a treat!

When I started teaching 17 years ago I tried different pencil sharpeners in my classroom. There was the old fashioned metal ones the schools provided that were attached to the wall.  I tried countless electric ones. And I even tried giving the kids the little handheld ones. None of these were very effective and were more frustrating than nothing else. I was always asking other teachers what they were using but they were in the same boat as I was. As the years passed and social media made it easier to share with other teachers I was able to ask around for better ideas. That's how I found out about this wonderful pencil sharpener! I saw another teacher posting about it and swearing its effectiveness. She had even posted a video. I was so excited! I ordered one and couldn't wait for it to arrive. When it did I tried every kind of pencil I could. The worst to the best. And you know what? It sharpened them all! Hooray!

A lucky winner will win one of these great pencil sharpeners! And what's great is the winner will get to choose the color! That's right! The winner chooses the color to match her/his classroom decor. I love that!

Here are the colors available for the contest:
pink, green, red, blue, and black

So who is ready to enter? 
Each one is worth 1 entry except one is worth 5!!! So the more you do the more chances you have to win! Winner will be announced September 18th! Good luck! 

Please Note: The winner must have an United States mailing address. Thank you for your cooperation with this rule.

Please make sure you follow the directions on each entry. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Win a TpT Gift Card!

It's 'Back to School' time which means we are all working hard to get our classrooms ready for our little ones! Last year I had a combination class but this year I am excited to say that I am back to teaching just solely 2nd graders. Hooray! So let's have a celebration and a contest!

If you would like to enter for the giveaway visit my store and post below a product you would love to have. Don't forget to include your email! Good Luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Appreciation Posters

It's the end of the year and it's also time to appreciate everyone that has helped in our classrooms and schools this year! I have a few different things I like to do for those people that have helped my kiddos throughout the year. This year our school wanted to show our appreciation to two wonderful ladies who volunteer at our school pretty much all day every day! Below you'll see photos of what my class made and your class can make them too! They are so easy and fun! Just have the kids cut out circles, write their names at the bottom with a permanent marker and then draw their faces. Talk about cute!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

It's Butterfly Time!!!

Do you teach life cycles in your classroom? Each year my class and I study the life cycle of  a butterfly. My teammate across the hall studies the frog. We love to peek in at those tadpoles and they love to peek in at our caterpillars! This year I ordered 10 caterpillars and they are currently eating and eating and eating! Just like in the beloved story, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', they are becoming very FAT caterpillars! We check on our caterpillars everyday and record our observations.

We will learn all four stages of the life cycle. As a teacher I am tight on time, as I'm sure you are too! So I try to integrate different subject areas together. I love to mix writing in with science and do so by using this little flip book below. Just have your students fold and cut on the lines shown. Write about each stage under the flaps. Your fast fiinishers can color the front pictures when they are done. To grab this freebie CLICK HERE.

To see my other Butterfly Life Cycle Resources click the pictures below. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eagle Cams!

Raise your hand if you and your class love to watch the eagle cams! I do, I do! My classes and I have been enjoying the eagle cams for the last 6 years! I started out watching them when I was with my first kindergarten class. 

There are so many benefits to watching the cams. My class has loved learning about the life cycle of the eagle. The children have learned compassion for animals. We have cried when an eaglet or adult eagle has passed away. We have discussed the weather surrounding the nests including why the Florida eagles lay their eggs earlier than the eagles who live in northern states. We have seen feedings with different animals, watched a mouse run around a nest, and even seen a video of a bear going up in an empty eagle nest to take a nap. We have learned about the laws surrounding the eagles and that young eagles are often mistaken for other types of birds. The children are fascinated. I am fascinated. It is one of my favorite activities to share with my students each day.

I usually start my eagle watching with one of the Florida cams. These eggs hatch around Christmas time each year. Then we move on to other cams where these babies come just in time for Easter. Most of the time there are only two eggs, but occasionally we are treated to three!

There are eagle nests everywhere! If you would like to watch the cams with your class here is a wonderful list. If you know of one that is not listed please let me know and I will add it.

United States












New Jersey

North Carolina






Washington, D.C.

West Virginia



Please note that there are a number of cams across the United States that are currently offline and therefore have not been included on this list. In addition, if you are having trouble with any of the cams listed above try switching browsers for better results.

If you need some activities to use with your students I have just the thing! My favorite part of this product is the book the children make! They love it! The kids enjoy making it and it really helps to reinforce what we have learned about the eagles. They become eagle experts! Click on the picture below to grab this product for your classroom!

Eagle Clipart by Poppydreamz Digital Art