All Posts By

Erin

Back to School Postcards

One thing that I love to do before the first day of school is sending out a welcome postcard to my students. I think it captures their heart and makes them so excited to meet me and for the school year to start. You can find this resource in my TpT store: Welcome Back to School Postcards! In the resource, you will find:

*Preschool-5th Grade

*Editable Design for the front and back of postcards

*Directions included.

George’s Marvelous Medicine Novel Unit

Are you looking for yet another fun Roald Dahl novel to read to your students that includes silliness, mystery, and magic? Then George’s Marvelous Medicine is the perfect book for you and your students. It is equivalent to a 640 Lexile reading level but can be used for lower grades as well with the teacher’s assistance. This would be a great novel unit for the whole class, or for a reading group.


This novel unit includes:
-15 Comprehension Checks/Quizzes (1 for each chapter) with answer key
-Text to Self Connection: Venn Diagram 
-Predictions Graphic Organizer
-Bubble Map
-Cause and Effect blank
-Cause and Effect with Causes written
-My favorite Part Writing Prompt

-Character Study for George and Grandma
-My Mental Image Page
-Retell Cards

Character Study
Character Study

Directed Drawings Throughout the Year!

My students love directed drawings. It’s such a peaceful and calm activity in the classroom and it gives students the opportunity to explore their creative side. Included are different writing and drawing options so that you can make them work for you and your students!

There are 2 drawings for each month, but they can also be switched around and used at any time! Here are the drawings included as well as the title of the writing pages that correlate!

Apple: A round of Apple-ause

Cow: Mooooove Over!

Scarecrow: Silly Scarecrow

Fox: What does the Fox say?

Frankenstein: How do you be a good Franken-Friend?

Spider: Spooky Spider

Acorn: I am NUTTY about Fall!

Turkey: Gobble, Gobble!

Reindeer: I love Reindeer!

Christmas Bear: How to Train a Bear!

Penguin: Waddle into the New Year!

Whale: Whale-come to the New Year!

Bumble Bee: Buzzing for Love

Love Lion: Roar for Love!

Caterpillar: Inching into Spring

Frog: Hop-Hop into Spring!

Bunny: Some-BUNNY-Love

Chick: Cracking up!

Dinosaur: Stomping into Summer!

Stingray: Swimming into Summer!

Turtle: Slow Down Summer!

Crab: I can’t be CRABBY, summer is here!

Snow Cone: Sweet Treats!

Firecracker: I love the 4th of July!

HLT Volume 3 FONTS!

Well it took me a little over a year to finish my third font volume. I have been practicing and this is my favorite volume so far! Volume four might be in the running to be my favorite, you will have to wait and see. Here is a preview of my third volume. You can get this volume and my first two in my TpT Store.

I am in love with All the Flairs and Rae of Sunshine.

I will be working on Volume Four over Spring Break, so be looking for that!

If you already own the HLT Font Bundle, check in your purchases to download the undated bundle.

Lots of love! Erin

Memory Book

For the past two years, I have been creating yearly memory books for my students. I got the idea from Kristen at Easy Teaching Tools, click on the link and it’ll take you to her original post about how she sets up her memory books.

This has been the easiest idea for collecting student work, displaying the work, and making sure the work stays nice and organized for the end of the year. The items that I used for this memory book are:

Manila File Folders with Fasteners – Letter Size, 100-Pack, Officemate 2 Hole Punch, 30 Sheet Capacity, Black (90092), stapler with lots of staples, and tags-I use their class number, so I can reuse the numbers for many years. *none of the links are affiliate links!*

I have evolved my display board over the two years. I first started with a bulletin board style with the fabric, boards, etc. It was too much work to hang it up this year, so I just stapled the folders directly on the wall and I think it still looks great.

2017-2018 Memory Book Display- I will make sure that this piece of paper is on each of their memory books for back to school night, which is before school starts, so parents don’t just see a file folder hanging on the wall. After back to school night, I will take down the sheet and keep them for the next year.

2018-2019 Memory Book Display

I try to make sure that we do at least two crafts or drawings to add to their memory books. I also take monthly photos of my students to add to their books. A teammate suggested this idea to me and I thought it was a great idea! It shows how much they have grown each month and especially from the beginning of the year.

I start their memory books with a first day of school photo.
Another view of their memory books with the first day of school photo.
I like to add different photos from the year that will help students remember their school year. This was from the Solar Eclipse. My principal was on the roof and took a picture of my class looking up at the Solar Eclipse. I then created this memory page for them to reflect on the event to be added to their memory books.
Another first of the month photo to show their growth.
A directed drawing from Amy at Step Into Second Grade for November.
Christmas Crafts-You can find this craftivity in my TpT store-Happy Little Teacher
Another craft for Christmas from my TpT store- Happy Little Teacher.
Directed Drawings for Fall.
Another directed drawing for Fall.
Directed drawing for January
Valentines Day Crafts can be found in my TpT Store-Happy Little Teacher
Another Valentines Day Craft from my store-Happy Little Teacher
More crafts from their memory books.

I will be honest, it does take some planning to make sure you are adding things to their memory books each month. My first year, I was trying to come up with ideas on what to add, my second year of doing this, it is much easier because I know what I want to add and when to space those activities out. The way I do it is by on the first of the month, I will take the students picture and send it to Walgreens when I am at school so I can pick them up on my way home from school. I will have the reflection page printed on bright paper and then tape the photos onto the reflection page. The next day we reflect on the previous month, what we learned, what we did as a class that was really cool, and they will write down a goal they have for the next month. I like to keep this page up for about a week, then we do a craft to add to the book. It takes my students a good amount of time to finish their crafts. When everyone is finished, I will hang their crafts up in their memory books. After a week, we will then do a writing and directed drawing and add it to our memory books. Each month I am adding about three items to the book. I have been asked if the file folders will fall off the wall, and no they have never fallen of the wall and they are heavy with lots of memory pages, but that’s why I use a TON of staples, so we don’t have any problems.

One of my favorite activities to do at the end of the year is to take down their memory books and have students go through all of their work. You will hear things like, “OH! I remember when we did that” or “Awe, look how much I have changed since the beginning of the year!” It makes me so happy to know that they will have a wonderful memory book from their second-grade year.

If you have any further questions on how I created my memory books or where I got all of the crafts, please let me know!

Oh Christmas Tree-Grateful Christmas Tree

In November, we created a giant turkey to show what we are thankful for.  In December, we have a giant Christmas tree to show what we are grateful for. We first start off with our giant Christmas tree.  This display is a little smaller than my Turkey display because I am just doing this activity with my students.

Oh, Christmas Tree has activities that help students identify what they are grateful for. Students will be able to make a fun craft either at school or at home with families to show what they are grateful for. This pack includes templates to help teachers make a giant tree to show off students gratefulness on their ornaments.

In class, each student gets the popcorn garland to decorate to hang on our tree. Then we wait for the ornaments to be returned.

All of the things that are included in the pack.

Lots of Love,

Erin

The Polar Express Book Buddy

Let me just tell you that one of my favorite memories, when I was a student, was when my teacher read The Polar Express.  I loved the illustrations and the magic of the story.  So when the movie came out, I, of course, had to see it.  I saw it actually 2 or 3 times in theaters because I loved it so much.  When I became a teacher, I wanted to make sure that I had this book in my collection to share with my students.  But I wanted the magic to last longer, and The Polar Express Book Buddy was created.

The Polar Express Book Buddy Includes:

-Comprehension Questions (whole class or independently)
-Characteristics of Characters-Little Boy(Chris), Conductor, and Santa
-Cup of Character
-2 Graphic Organizers
-Step-by-Step Directed Drawings
-Writing Page

The last week of school, during our reading group time, I will read the book to my students, and then we will listen to the CD (I know, what’s that?) a few times.  I have my students complete the comprehension questions and choose a character from the book to fill out the character web and then make their Cup of Character.  We then end with a writing prompt and our directed drawing.

All the things included in the book buddy.

I hope you share your favorite books from your childhood with your students.  I sure love sharing mine.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Lots of Love,

Erin

Easy Class Christmas Party Idea

I am a planner and I would rather be overly planned.  So in the spirit of over planning, I am already planning my students Christmas party.  Let me first start by saying, I am not one of those teachers who LOVES class parties.  In fact, I really dislike them, like really, really, really dislike them.  And before you think I am a horrible teacher, I will say that I don’t mind doing fun things with my class and tend to do fun activities weekly that go away from the curriculum, but when the students know that is it going to be a ‘Party Day’, my little ones lose their minds and this teacher needs a cocktail.

This will be my 7th year of planning parties for my class and I have gotten the party planning down to a science and I want to talk about what I do for my Christmas Party.  I am not sure where this idea came from but it really is the easiest thing EVER and we all need easy during the holiday season.

First, I will create a sign-up genius asking parents to have their child bring in items for the class party. See what I do there?  I have the students bring in the items, so I don’t have visitors in my classroom the last hour of the day when things are CRAZY, right before break!  Also, if you don’t know about sign-up genius by now, please google it!  I use it for everything.  Here is my sign-up that I will be using this year.

If you can’t tell, the theme of my Christmas Class Party is hot chocolate and sweets.  I ask parents for TruMoo chocolate milk and I will put one of the gallons into my crockpot and put it on low.  I don’t use the other gallon until later.  The chocolate milk continues to get warm all day.  Then, I set up my hot chocolate bar.

While my students are watching Polar Express, I start getting the hot chocolate ready.  I line up the cups, add a peppermint stick in the cup and pour 1 part HOT chocolate from the crockpot into the cup and then 1 part cold hot chocolate to cool off the hot chocolate.  When I do this, my students are able to start drinking their hot chocolate right away and don’t have to wait until it cools.  I am a cheeseball and when the students are watching the Polar Express and it gets to the part where they ask the kids if they want hot chocolate, I will pause the movie and ask my students the same thing.  They LOVE it and it has been something that I do every single year.

Also, for the sweets part of the party, I will put together pre-made plates and students can just grab the plate that they want.  This helps with timing, they take forever to pick out a cookie and touch every single one (hello germs) and then students get one of everything.

While my students are enjoying their treats, I will start cleaning up the hot chocolate bar and sweets table.  I am able to have everything cleaned up and put away before the end of the day.

I have had students from previous years tell me how much they loved this party and it was the best one.  If you have any questions on how I do my class parties, leave a comment!

Lots of love,

Erin

E.B. White Novel Units-Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little

I used to teach at a charter school and we followed Core Knowledge.  I absolutely loved Core Knowledge and how we built novel studies into our day.  One of the novels that we were required to read to the students was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  I students loved this story of the adorable little pig but were still struggling with truly comprehending what was being read to them.  So to help students fully understand what they were reading, I created Charlotte’s Web Novel Unit.

This novel includes:

-22 Comprehension Checks/Quizzes (1 for each chapter) with answer key
-Text to Self Connection: Venn Diagram
-Predictions Graphic Organizer
-Bubble Map
-Fact/opinion sort
-Cause and Effect blank
-Cause and Effect with Causes written
-Two Writing Prompt Page
-Making words
-Acrostic Poem Template and Craftivity
-My Mental Image Page
-Retell Cards

Text-to-Self: Choose your own talking animal and create a book cover.

I just had to include this cute little craftivity.

More pictures of student work.

After using this resource for two years when I taught 2nd grade, I realized how much of a difference it made for my students to fully understand the story.  Then I moved to a new school and a new grade level.  I was now teaching 3rd grade and no longer reading Charlotte’s Web, we were now asked to read Stuart Little.  So, of course, I felt like my students needed a novel unit to help them understand Stuart Little, so the Stuart Little Novel Unit was created.

This novel unit includes:

-15 Comprehension Checks/Quizzes (1 for each chapter) with answer key
-Text to Self Connection: Venn Diagram
-Predictions Graphic Organizer
-Bubble Map
-Fact/opinion sort
-Cause and Effect blank
-Cause and Effect with Causes written
-Writing Prompt Page
-Making words
-My Mental Image Page
-Retell Cards

Some of my favorite activities:

Both of these novels are also great to do back-to-back and I have been doing just that since I have moved back to second grade.  We start with Charlotte’s Web and then we read Stuart Little.  The students LOVE it!

If you are interested in having your students read both novels, I have bundled both of these novel units together: Bundle Up! E.B. White Novel Units.

You can find all of these resources in my TpT Store.

Happy Reading!

Erin