Winter Roll Dice Activities Freebie

Hey everyone!

If you're one of those ones still in school or maybe just want something to keep your kids amused at home, I have a fun little freebie for you.

Click here to grab it.


A Calculator License!

Hi friends!  It's Amanda from Teaching Maddeness.

We're nearing the end of our regrouping unit and I always have a love/hate relationship with it.  I LOVE the fact that my students are so stinkin' excited about solving equations with such big numbers.  I HATE the careless mistakes that come along with it. CALCULATOR LICENSE.

I wanted a way to encourage my students to go back and check their work - to use the strategies I've taught them.  They KNOW how to solve these equations, but those darn careless mistakes were killing them!  How could I get them to slow down and really apply the strategies?  How could I get them to really care about checking their work for perfection?

The answer was simple - a calculator.

I told my students that once they were EXPERTS at these types of problems, they would be able to use calculators in class.  I mean, I use a calculator when I do my work to speed up the process so why shouldn't they?  Of course, I don't give these to them in the beginning.  But after they've learned the concepts and mastered the skills, they are rewarded.....with a calculator license!

How does this work?  I give students 5 math problems per day.  These math problems include 2-digit and 3-digit problems.  The problems are written horizontally on the paper I pass out.  This requires students to rewrite the problems vertically (stacking the ones on top of the ones, tens on top of the tens, etc) to solve.  These problems are also mixed addition and subtraction problems.  Yep, earning that cursive license is tricky and only the experts will succeed!  If students solve all 5 math problems correctly for 3 days in a row, I declare them experts and give them a license to create.

Once a student's license is created, I laminate it and tape it to his/her desk.  The entire class instantly knows that this person is a math expert and has permission to use a calculator for future math problems.  They eat it up, I tell ya!  Those careless errors suddenly start to disappear as students are so motivated to become a license holder!

You can grab my calculator license freebie from my shop!  It includes the license I use, along with the problems I use to certify them as experts!  Enjoy! :)


Great Teammate & Teacher Gifts!

Are you in the market for teammate/teacher gifts?  There are 
lots of great ideas out there that won't break your bank!






Your teammates or teachers will love
any of these thoughtful gifts!

Happy holidays to all of our Owl friends!


Classroom Traditions

Aloha! It's Nicole from Teaching With Style!

If you are like me, this week was devoted to pulling out Christmas decorations and setting some things up around the house.  We put up lights outside, displayed the Nutcracker and nesting doll collections, and even got some visits from our Elf on the Shelf!

In the past couple of years I've opted not to decorate my classroom in Christmas/winter decor.  The main reason is because I don't want to distract my students, another being I'm tired at the end of the day and I'd rather be at home with my family or at the beach!  But there is still one important and fun tradition I hold on to: Polar Express Day.

When I taught in Oregon, Polar Express Day was HUGE at my school.  There was even a Polar Express committee! I taught at that school for 5 years and have brought the tradition to each school I have taught at in Hawaii, now.  The kids LOVE it! 

Here's what we do: 

1. I like to do this on the last day before break.  They are already so excited about Christmas and break that doing academics is hard and you should be mostly wrapped up with all your units by then anyway.  I make this day Pajama Day.  I even dress up!  

2. Find a special person to come read the book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg to your class.  I've had my mother-in-law come, the Superintendent, the principal, a parent.  Be creative! The class doesn't even need to know who the special reader is, it just makes it fun and exciting to have someone else read to them.  

3. After the story, I pass out bells! So all the students get the first gift of Christmas! It gets loud with all the jingling, but they seriously love it! I have put them on long strings to be necklaces, on short strings so they hold them, and have put out beads so they can decorate them.  This year I got 3 packs of bells at The Dollar Tree and will put them on long strands of gift-tying ribbon.  

4. While your reader is reading, get the hot cocoa ready! I cook it in my crock pot all day, so the room smells delicious! I bring a ladle, cups, mini marshmallows, and mini candy canes.  After the story, each student gets a cup of cocoa.  I play Christmas music while we sip!  My son's teacher gave all the kids coffee mugs for Christmas one year.  That would be a fun gift for Polar Express Day! 

These activities just make this day really special! I look forward to it and so do the kids! If you are allowed to celebrate holidays at your school, I suggest looking into creating traditions around the Polar Express! 

What other holiday traditions do you have in your classroom? 


Happy December! Desktop Calendar Freebie

Hey there! It’s Megan from I Teach. What’s Your Superpower?  I’m here with another desktop calendar for you.  It’s December which means three weeks of insanity followed by two weeks off!  Here’s hoping everyone makes it to their holiday in good mental health.

This Christmas tree is by Pink Pueblo and is completely GORGEOUS.  As crazy as this time of year can get, it is such a wonderful, magical time.  Happy holidays to you!

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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! 


Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving

I wanted to share a cute little craft that one of my students, Aiden, brought in for homework one Friday.  Every Thursday is 'Cool Spelling' night and our students are encouraged to create something out of the norm for spelling.  

turkey craft  spelling

See how simple, but oh so creative?  This could be a really good spelling center activity, too.  We could make the color of the strips categorize the spelling word family (e.g. orange strips for the ag family, yellow strips for the an family, brown strips for the am family).  I am pretty proud of him and his mom....they work together well.  

Oh, and did I mention that they make brownies and do the spelling words on top of the icing for homework, too?  Love those days!!!

Another way this could be used is by choosing a number and then having the kids write an equation that equals that number on the strips.  There are millions of ways that this could be used!

I hope you can use this idea!


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!

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