Winter Time: Teacher Tips and Freebies

Hi, I'm Michelle from Teach123.  I am always looking for new ideas to try. One of my favorite discoveries is reuseable ice cubes.  They can be used so many different COOL ways!
I love the colorful reuseable ice cubes like the ones in the picture above.  Give each team a colorful ice tray. When the ice tray is full the team earns a special prize such as:
  • Use special crayons, gel pens, or markers
  • 10 minutes of computer time
  • Shoes off during work time
Each team may fill their ice tray at different times and that is OK, because if one team wins, the other teams can continue filling theirs.  When one team finishes; they begin again.  This helps maintain the motivation of the teams.  They know they can eventually win, if they all work together.  Each time a team wins, it will motivate the other teams to do better so they can be the next winner.
Use the ice cube in your estimation jar or in your marble jar.  Tell your class you are looking for "cool behavior" in the hallway.  If you see a "penguin or polar bear" in the hallway - because who else lives in a cool place - tell that student who is acting like a penguin or polar bear that he or she may put an ice cube in the jar.
Inside recess is one of teachers' least favorite days in the winter months.  Why not try a couple of winter themed activities during your next inside recess?  I found the white puffy ball at Target's Dollar Spot last year.  I think it was supposed to be a snowball dog toy.  I decided to repurpose it for a game like Hot Potato only call it Too Cold to Hold.  Play it the same way as Hot Potato.  The class sits in a circle. One person begins with the object (snowball).  The music begins and the person passes the object to the person sitting next to him or her.  That person passes it to the next person and it continues until the music stops.  The person holding the object when the music stops is out.  Continue doing this until there is one person left and this person is the winner.  Play winter themed music such as:
Kids' Music:
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Let it Snow
  • Frozen soundtrack
There are also songs that adults know with themes of snow, ice, and winter such as:
  • Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
  • Hazy Shade of Winter by The Bangles
  • Cold as Ice by Foreigner
The black hat can be repurposed with a game of "Doggie, Doggie, Who has your bone?".  Only with this game it is "Frosty, Frosty, who has your hat?"
Are you looking for some winter themed lessons?  My Owly friends have some freebies that you will love.  Click on the pictures below and follow their stores, too!  Don't forget to leave feedback on TPT.

You are invited to hop over to my blog.  I love to share tips and free stuff.
Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Hands-On Fun Can Be Simple

Hey everyone!

I really have enjoyed teaching this Oregon Trail unit because I can do so much hands-on stuff. My favorite memories of school were when we did hands-on things and it helped make learning the topic that much more concrete for me.

It can be simple things too! We learned about games the pioneers played, like Cat's cradle. All you need is yarn. I love that they're sitting in the 'wagon' that was taped off for real-life measurements. Also, the student with the pink hood was teaching small groups how to play. So simple and fun!

This picture cracks me up! Research and yarn...learning the pattern and process for making a yarn doll using the internet for help. 

We also made butter the next week after we compared chores from the past to the present. 

After a lot of shaking for 20 minutes by all wagon groups, butter! Again, something simple as a jar and whipping cream, but I know they'll remember this!

I go more in depth on my blog if you want more info! 

Reading Minilessons - Making Reading Meaningful!

Teaching reading can be tough.  
But it can also be fun and engaging!

Reading a book is one thing.
Relating specific concepts in the
text is whole 'nother ball game!
That's one of the big pushes within
my minilessons - relating all of
our hard work with our reading.

Here is one example of a Reading minilesson:

We were on the hunt for plural nouns.

Here is another minilesson:

We were on the hunt for pronouns.

After these minilessons, my kids
complete their own word hunts.

This is an example of kiddos 
doing a blends hunt.

You can snag a sample of the book hunts {here}.
You can snag the whole pack {here}.

Here's another minilesson with the book
Dog vs Cat.  The kids LOVED this book!

What do you do for Reading minilessons?

Happy November! Calendar Freebie

Hey hey! It’s Megan from I Teach. What’s Your Superpower? back with another desktop calendar.  It’s November-which means Thanksgiving break quickly followed by Winter break.  It’s a good time of year.  Recovery is in our future my friends.

These absolutely gorgeous watercolor graphics are from France Illustration.  Swoon worthy.  I might need to get that quote tattooed on my heart.  Such a good reminder as we get overwhelmed at this time of year!

Image Map

FREE Inside Recess activities and tips

Happy Fall from Teach123!
Sometimes the new season, means a change in weather and the inevitable inside recess.  If you haven't discussed the procedures for this yet with your class, I would add it to your "to do" list.  Your substitute will appreciate it if you include detailed instructions about what activities and materials your students can do or use for inside recess.
Plan now a variety of activities before your class catches cabin fever. It will make these days a little less hectic. 
My choice of activity was based on my students' behavior, energy level, how many inside recess days in a row we've had, and my energy level.
Games are helpful when my students are in a social mood.  
  • Through the year I have accumulated games from thrift stores and parents.  Since I save them for special times like inside recess, the novelty of the experience holds my students' attention.  It helps if you collect games that vary with difficulty level and how many players are required to play. Suggestions:
    • Operation, Barrel Full of Monkeys, Connect Four, Perfection, Don't Spill the Beans, Ants in the Pants, Don't Break the Ice, Hi Ho Cherrio, Boggle, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Sorry, and Trouble
Integrating science and art is a good activity when my students have very talkative. Click HERE to read the post.
Listen & Draw activities are a quiet activity that also strengthens students' listening skills. These are especially helpful to use when you've had a couple of inside days in a row.  Click HERE to read the post.
Some of the games I played when I was a child are my favorites to use for inside recess. This post shares a few you might want to try.  There is minimal prep involved. 
    Have you tried squiggle stories?  My students have always enjoyed them.  I like to keep special supplies in my closet that I use for inside recess. It's amazing the difference you will see when you bring out a box of 64 count crayons!  Click HERE for a copy of squiggle stories.

    What are your favorite inside recess activities?

    Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

    Classroom Library and My Kids

    Hey everyone!

    Last year, I felt my library was thrown together. It was leveled and then there was nonfiction and interest. Once I was hired permanently, I knew my library would be my prized jewel in my class.

    For me, my library had to be organized, comfortable, and a place the kids wanted to hang out in. I also wanted them to have ownership over it. There are a few kids who organize it every few days, once a week minimum. We went over how the library is organized into genres, levels, series and/or authors. Each book has  a label to help them know which box/shelf it goes back on.

    I also wanted to make adding books to my library fun. Every time a Scholastic order comes in and I've added my name and the label, I make a big deal out of the new books. I think I've turned them into Pavlov's subjects because they see the box and get excited, lol.

    There are a few things I do to get them excited. Depending on the books, I may read the blurb on the back. My favorite thing to do is line the books up on the whiteboard easel. Then I pull their name sticks aka The Sticks of Destiny, and they can come grab one of the new books.

    It makes my heart happy to see them reading, or curled up in the library reading a book and smiling.

    Going Batty for Freebies!

    Hi everyone! It's Courtney from Swimming into Second. 

    We've been using lots of great stuff from the Owl's own Katie King and Amy Lemons. Have you seen their Rooted in Reading unit? I'm obsessed.

    Anyways, I still needed to teach my cause and effect skill this week so I added a few things into our reading of Stellaluna. I differentiated this page for learners.

    I found another series of bat books at the library. We read Bats at the Library today and my students loved it. The illustrations are so detailed. I can't wait to read them the other 3 books this week.

    Click on images to view on Amazon. (affiliate link included)

    I've created a few freebies for these books with cause and effect and story structure.

    You can grab all these freebies on my Swimming into Second Facebook page.
    I have them available to my followers. 
    Hope you enjoy these!

    The freebies tab is on the left side of the page.

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