Thursday 24 May 2012

Scaredy Squirrel

I love how so many books have great characters to which students can relate. One of the ones I have been reading to students lately is good old Scaredy Squirrel. Not only is Scaredy such a cute little character, but I think he has a great message for students about being scared. Students do find Scaredy's tales funny, but I think they also present the perfect opportunity to discuss worries and being brave. This is especially true in the early primary grades, when so many students are beginning school/starting new things and may be dealing with some anxiety and stress.
Click the picture below to find my Scaredy Squirrel unit on TPT:

Hope you enjoy!
P.S. I would just like to mention that I am apparently not very good a cutting out things for crafts. Circles, oval, squares, doesn't seem to matter what shape, my cuts always seem a little off. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to practice over the summer!

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Short & Sweet

I'm so new to blogging, but already my posts are getting shorter and shorter. Hopefully by the time summer rolls around, I will be (slightly) caught up on my sleep and will have more energy for posts. For now, I just want to mention a book I discovered today. I have seen the book One by Kathryn Otoshi on different sites but had never gotten to read it. Today I changed that. It is such a sweet book with a great message and the students LOVED it. I think all of them put their hands up when I asked for their favourite parts.  Once I have more time (will that be ever?) I will put together a unit for this book, but for now I just wanted to spread the word.

This book would go great with any bullying/discrimination theme for both primary and intermediate.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

It's All Gooood!

One of the things I love about all the amazing teaching blogs I've recently found is learning about new BOOKS! I must admit, I'm quite late on many book bandwagons, sometimes years, but hopefully I'm not too late on the Pete the Cat one. I actually found out about him a few months ago and after reading him students, I can see why he is sooo popular. The kids were singing him all day, and requesting to hear him as they were packing up to go  home. Even if your book doesn't come with the CD, you can find all the songs on HarperCollins. I'm sure everybody has heard about this cat, but I thought I would help spread the word anyways.
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Now his tunes are going to be stuck in my head all day!
P.S. Did I mention what a great message (for all ages) Pete the Cat spreads. I've seen these books used in intermediate classes and older students seem to like him just as much as primary students!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Birds, Birds, Birds

Is it only Tuesday? I am exhausted. Just another quick freebie today. A couple weeks ago I had to whip this up quick, hopefully somebody else will also find it useful. These printables help students when studying birds and also come in handy on that day when a student happens to bring in a bird's nest to share. Click the pic to download:

 Is it the weekend yet?

Monday 14 May 2012

Words of Wisdom

I'm always a sucker for some motivational quote or poster to put on the classroom walls, so I thought I'd add my own. Click to download:
This is something of which students always remind me.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Year End Memories, Where Has the Time Gone?

This is going to be short and sweet, with a little bit of a freebie thrown in. I cannot believe the school year is ending so soon (sooner for some of us than others). If you are like me, you may get super nostalgic when the last few months (or days, or weeks, depending on how lucky you are this year) roll around.  It always seems so important to preserve the memories and get students to reflect on what they(hopefully) learned throughout the year. This year I've got a Year End Memory Book for you to complete with your students. It is available in both colour and black & white and you can download it HERE or just click on the picture below:

Please leave me a comment if you download this freebie. Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful (rest of the) weekend in the sun, counting down those days until summer sandals!

Friday 11 May 2012

Ahhh Sweet, Sweet Summer

I don't know what it is, but every year around April and May, I suddenly get in full summer mode. As soon as the weather starts to get warmer, and the sun comes peeking out, I just want to pack up and head off to the beach. Keep in mind though, when I say "head off to the beach" I don't mean actually go in the water. It's been years since I've actually been swimming a lake, river, or ocean, it is always way toooo cold for me. So when I say go to the beach, I mean sit out in the sun, most likely with a book or magazine.
Anyways, the point of my rambling is that I completely understand why students suddenly have a hard time focusing at this time of year. I'm right there with them. I love learning, but who doesn't want to go outside in the bright, warm, sunshine, rather than sit in the dull, chilly classroom, no matter how fun and exciting I try and make it seem.
Can I also point how jealous I am of all those bloggers who are counting down the days until school is out. Days? DAYS? I've still got almost TWO months! I know, so sad.
To keep those students, hopefully, focused on something slightly academic, I've come up with a couple freebies for summer. Check out my Summer Vacation Mini Pack or my Summer Writing Prompts if you need some fun stuff for the coming days. You can also click on the pictures below to download the two packs:

Please leave me a comment if you download these freebies, feedback would be great!

Thursday 10 May 2012

Books, Books, Online Books

There are so many great resources on the internet, but I always seem to have a hard time finding them. That is why it is so great when other people do it for you. Today I want to talk about . It is a great website that I first heard about on the blog Step into Second Grade. Since first hearing about it, I have used it a bunch of times with a SMART Board in the classroom. It's great for when the students need a quiet storytime break, but for some reason they can't all crowd around for carpet time. I especially use this when snack time gets a little too loud. The kids love seeing the huge book on the SMART Board screen, and they especially love getting to flip the pages. Here are only a few of the books on the site:
Llama Llama Red Pajama - R4TR EnglishBig Red LollipopSkippyjon Jones

Source for photos:

This website not only has tons of great books, but it also lets you donate books to other children. The site really seems like a win, win, win to me, so go check it out and explore the many titles they have to offer you and your students.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Knuffle Bunny - A Teacher's Tale

"Boys and girls, I have a confession to make. I LOVE books. I LOVE reading." This is what I always tell the students. Part of me says it because it is 100% true, and part of me says it because, well, I want to be a good role model of a reader and inspire the students to love books too. One day I gave this introduction, then read the students this book:

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
Good old Knuffle Bunny. As I read, I oohed and aahed over the interesting illustrations, and quite a few students joined me. Of course, at the back of the carpet, there were a few wiggly boys who didn't seem to care at all about poor Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. I ended the reading as I normally do, reminding students that if they want to read about Trixie on their own, they can find in the school library. Well imagine my surprise when a few days later, as I'm helping one wiggly boy zip up his backpack, I see Knuffle Bunny poking out from behind his lunchkit. He had picked it out from the school library all on his own. Maybe he had been listening, despite his wiggliness. It was definitely great to see.

P.S. I'm hoping to have my Knuffle Bunny unit up soon to go along with my Pigeon Pack.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

To Craft or Not to Craft - Mother's Day Sunflowers

I have a confession to make - I am not crafty. Not even a little bit. Definitely not as crafty as you would think an elementary teacher would be. I try . . . well I tried this year at least. To be honest, I was late on the Mother's Day train. I only realized how close it was upon walking down the card aisle at the pharmacy. But this year I tried. I sat down and created a sunflower card for Mother's Day. So here is my card to share as a freebie. The download can be found by clicking the picture.

So there you have it, hope you enjoy my craftiest creation yet!