Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Buddy League by H-E-B

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and National Diversity Month! I have blogged about my love for H-E-B before, but I just had to share this amazing resource they have put together for teachers to promote diversity and kindness in the classroom. 

The H-E-B Buddy League is a new program for school-aged children that promotes kindness, respect and inclusion for all. This FREE kit includes great resources for teaching your students the importance of being a buddy, not a bully. 

The kit includes a program overview, posters, stickers and coloring pages. 

I absolutely love the precious posters about kindness, respect and courage. They are perfect perfect to hang in the classroom, hallway or cafeteria. 

It even includes a dry erase poster! It's fun to remind students of a specific skill or even to recognize a student who is a great example of a buddy! 

The stickers and coloring sheets were also a hit with my class.

As teachers, we do such a great job of building a classroom community at the beginning of the year; but it is so important to continue promoting those skills throughout the school year. I love how easy this kit makes it! Click HERE to learn more about the Buddy League Program and request your FREE kit! Thanks H-E-B! : )

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Getting Ahead of the Game: November Edition

This summer I started summer weekly blog series called Getting Ahead of the Game. The series was designed to help you get ahead and not be so stressed when the new school year started in August. I received lots of great feedback and decided to start the series up again! On the 15th of every month,  I will post a Getting Ahead of the Game post to help you get ready for the following month. So, today is October 15 so we will be getting ahead of the game by preparing for November! 

I truly believe, the secret to not working every night and weekend is planning ahead! I don't care how much you love your job, it't not fun working 24/7. Here are 5 tips to help you get ready for November before it's even November! ; )

Spend a little bit of time getting an idea of what you will be teaching this month! Addition? Subtraction? Non-fiction text features? Story Elements? My state uses TEKS, so I always spend some time looking at what TEKS we are focusing on. If your district has a scope and sequence to use for instruction spend a few minutes looking over that! 

I am so guilty of buying new books without really looking at what I already have! I love to buy new things at the end of every season when they are usually on sale, but then I forget what I bought and end up buying more! Check your books files and wherever you store your center materials before you buy anything. If you are looking to purchase a few new books, here are my favorites with affiliate links to purchase on Amazon!

Most of these books are super popular, so ordering them early will ensure you have them when you need them! Don't forget about your school and local library too! Beat the crowd and check out early. Or reserve books for the week they are needed. Scholastic Reading Club has tons of great Thanksgiving Books too at great prices!

There are SO many great ideas on Pinterest, but many of them require some time and planning to make it happen in your classroom. Now is the time to pin away and look for all of those fun, hands-on ideas! Check out my November Pinterest Board for some  inspiration! Be sure to follow it, I will be adding new pins often!

 Let's face it: You are more likely to do that fun science experiment if you have planned it in advance and put together the materials. Speaking of fun science, have you seen this? You can grow indian corn! I just bought some dried, decorative indian corn at the grocery store and put it in a pie tin with water. 

Of course Thanksgiving is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the month of November, but there are other things worth celebrating this month too! First up is Election Day! Have you seen this book yet?

It is SO perfect for younger students and a great way to discuss the election without getting into the candidates. There is a great website set up to go with the book too! Check it out HERE. Students will vote for their favorite cause and the winning cause will receive $10,000! How great is that? My students will feel like real votes by making registration cards and wearing an, "I Voted!" sticker.

Check out this resource HERE.

Veteran's Day is also a really important holiday that you should teach your students about. 

We celebrate by writing a letter to a veteran! My class sends letters to my Papa every year and I love seeing the sweet things they write. 

Download this letter template for FREE by clicking HERE. These books are also great and age appropriate:

Just click each book to check it out! 
Hear me out on this one! When you plan ahead, other people can help you prep. You can ask parents to help cut materials, gather supplies, laminate or run copies!  I keep a bucket on top of my filing cabinet where I put things that are coming up. It feels so good to see how many copies I have already run or how many centers are all ready to go! Doing one or two extra things a week can really help you get ahead! Plus, it saves you the panic if the copier isn't cooperating or you run out of paper!

Here are a few November activities that you could already have prepped and ready to go! You will L-O-V-E yourself in a few weeks. 

Can't beat a turkey craft that's also academic! This craft can be used with any book! It includes different feathers that can be mixed and matched depending on the skill you want to teach. The feathers included areCharacters, Setting, Problem, Solution, Beginning, Middle, End, Main Idea, Detail, Fact #1, Fact #2, Fact #3, Fact #4, Fact #5, Fact #6.

I also love a thankful turkey too!
You could already have all these materials prepped and ready to go!

Speaking of thankful, this alphabet writing activity was a hit at the writing center!

My students loved the challenge of trying to come up with something for every letter of the alphabet! Download it FREE by clicking HERE.


This is a perfect math center for Kindergarten students! And it's FREE! Click HERE. 

You won't be sorry! : ) Receive lots of freebies, tips and ideas straight to your inbox!

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I hope you will join us on November 15 for Getting Ahead of the Game: December Edition. Of course I will be stopping in in between with more great teaching ideas and resources!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Pumpkin Life for Me

I can't believe October is almost half-way over! Where is the time going?!? Next week we are gearing up to learn all about pumpkins! I wanted to give you a little sneak peek post in case you wanted to use any of these ideas in your classroom this month!

We have been learning all about properties of matter in science! On Friday, we will have Pumpkin Day! I send this note home asking each child to bring a pumpkin.

We will spend the whole day learning about our pumpkin!

Download this free My Pumpkin printable HERE. 

We will also learn about the pumpkin life cycle! Here are a few of my favorite books to read:

My students will also make their own book about the pumpkin life cycle. They will write one sentence to go with each picture of the pumpkin life cycle. 

Check out this book HERE. 

We may even plant a pumpkin seed! They grow super fast! : )

My students can also make a Story Book Pumpkin! Students decorate a pumpkin to look like a storybook character and our librarian displays them in the hallway. I love them so much!

One year I created this Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes Pumpkin! 

To encourage my students to participate, I like to give out homework passes. 

Download this Storybook Pumpkin Homework Pass FREE HERE. 

Pumpkin pie and pumpkin play-doh is always a hit too! What are your favorite pumpkin activities? Be sure to check out my Halloween/ Pumpkin Pinterest Board for more festive ideas!