Holiday Ideas

Early Learning

Blog Designs


literacy, reading, St. Patrick's Day, writing

Happy (early) St. Patrick’s Day!

We’ve been doing lots of St. Patrick’s Day activities in our room. Being right in the middle of our state testing window, the students have enjoyed the fun activities. After working really hard on the tests, they need a short break before moving on with the day.

We’ve written descriptive paragraphs on pots of gold about what you’d find at the end of the students’ rainbows instead of a pot of gold. My rainbow led to a pot of adorable puppies who were eager to play. You were able to take one (potty-trained, ha!) puppy back with you over the rainbow. The students had really creative ideas too. As a bonus, the pots make for a cute hallway display for the month of March.

My fabulous assistant’s cute rainbow. I added a sign to the pot, but forgot to snap a new picture. 

We also wrote haiku and acrostic poems on shamrocks, persuaded a leprechaun to give us his treasure (and devised a plan to capture him if he refused!), and colored March-themed graph art. If you haven’t heard of graph art before, you should check it out. The kids love them!

Finally, we’ve been practicing synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms with my matching shamrock templates. Similar to my Valentine’s freebie, the shamrocks come programed with math facts (multiplying eights), but can be reprogrammed with anything you desire. If you want your own copy of those, they’re in my TpT store for $2.00.

assessment, freebies

Test-Taking Strategies

As I mentioned last week, our state testing starts today. We spent Friday afternoon doing test “pump up” activities to encourage students to do their best. I wanted to share a freebie we created with you.

Test-taking can be stressful for students. Before our
standardized tests each year, we discuss strategies that can help students feel
more prepared. They have mastered the academic skills, but need test-taking
strategies and confidence.

Each year we create “LEARN” acrostic poems where students
highlight important test-taking tips. Each student also makes an alphabet
bracelet with the word “LEARN” that they can wear during the test for a
confidence boost. We’ve also used “EFFORT” in previous years.

Finally, I get a big piece of bulletin board paper and write
“OUR TEST PLEDGE” across the top. 
Students write important test strategies they’ll use during the test and
then sign their names. We hang the banner outside our door for students to see
each morning.
Pin It

You can download your copy of the poster here and find more test-taking resources at a linky party hosted by Teaching My Calling. Have a great week!

This freebie is part of Manic Monday!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Top Ten Award from Teaching Blog Addict

Debra over at Fabulously First gave me Teaching Blog Addict’s Top Ten Award. Hooray! I think that sounds like a GREAT way to start the weekend. =)  I plan to enjoy every minute of it because next week starts our Very Big State Test marathon. Our students are testing the week of March 5th, 19th, and April 30th. We had our ISTEP pump-up session today though, and I really think most of the students are ready. I hope to share some of our strategies (and pictures!) next week.

Enjoy the weekend… you earned it!

literacy, reading, writing

Read, Write, Think

Just in case you’ve missed it, I wanted to share Read, Write, Think classroom resources with you. You’ll find free lesson plans, calendar resources, printables, and so much more. I like browsing the calendar activities each month to look for author birthdays, relevant history events, and holiday resources too.

Their Student Interactives are the best though! These are online tools for reading and writing lessons that come with printable options after students have finished the work. You can search by grade level, theme, or objective. With all of the technology students are using to play games today, I’m happy to see educational options too. The interactives from Read, Write, Think keep my students engaged and allow them to work independently at the same time. Every student is learning every minute. I personally love the Bio Cubes. Click on over and I’m sure you’ll find something you can use in your classroom next week! I’d love to hear about it once you do.