Vacation Journal- a must-have!

It’s almost spring break!  Every year around this time, I have families emailing me saying that they are heading out of town for vacation!  It’s very exciting for them, but can be stressful for me as the teacher to prepare homework in advance or collect classwork while they are gone.

Instead of assigning homework ahead of time, I decided to start sending a trip journal as “optional homework” instead, and families have loved it!  It keeps the kids writing and thinking through their trip, and becomes a fun keepsake for the child afterwards!  It also is fun for the child to share with their classmates when they return.  It’s a win-win!

We used it this last year for our own kids when we went on a family road trip from MN to CO for a family wedding.  I recommend it to anyone who has kids.  It can be appropriate for any age- from preschool to upper elementary.  Preschool will require support with writing, but would still enjoy drawing the pictures.

You can find it here at my TeachersPayTeachers store, Miz Riz Elementary Resources!

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It is a 17-page download, with a printable packet! The packet has a fun cover and a note to parents, explaining the purpose of the journal.

 

 

The rest of the pages are interactive pages for students to complete!  There is a page for students to record how they traveled!  Here is an example, thanks to my daughter Kayla, who used this for our Colorado vacation last year.

 

 

 

Also, students can record who they travelled with, what the weather was like, and where they went on a map (both USA and world map included!).

 

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The rest of the pages are simple journal pages for students to record what they did each day, with a blank spot for pictures and lines for writing.  I have included 7 days worth of journal pages.  If you need more, you could always add a couple before copying the packet.

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I hope you find this useful for your classroom and your family!  Enjoy!

Check out my TPT store, Miz Riz Elementary Resources, for more downloads to support teachers and parents!

-Laura

 

 

 

Holiday Build-A-Sentence Bundle!

I was creating some new items for Teachers Pay Teachers today and my daughter came up and started asking me questions about it.  She wanted to know what I was designing on the computer, so I showed her the process of finding clip art, resizing and formatting, adding fun fonts and text boxes.  Here’s what we were working on today:
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She was fascinated when I printed out what we had just made and she could hold it in her hands!

 

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She gave me some ideas and did the page as a sample for me!  We had a lot of fun, and even expanded my original idea into a whole bundle of worksheets!

Then I *tried* to explain to her how it works when I sell resources on TpT.  The whole abstract concept of a digital download is a little confusing for a six-year-old.  But you know what she does understand?  CASH.  She has now come to the realization that money can buy you things, and that money is not free.

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So I decided to use this as a “life lesson.”  Since she helped me so much with this resource, I’m going to give her a portion of each sale (that is, if it sells!).  Why not start teaching her the value of hard work and creativity now, right?

If you’d like to check out this bundle, you can find it on my TeachersPayTeachers store here, along with many other winter-themed resources!

Happy Holidays!

-Laura and Kayla

 

Quick holiday math center!

Need a quick math center?  My students loved these kind of “roll and record” math centers.  It seems like part number sense, part coloring page.  I used them all the time- centers, transition times, math games, whenever.  I hope you find them helpful!

They are super easy to use- print it and forget it!  You just need dice!  These are two that are good for the holiday season!  Enjoy!

Roll a Skater!

Roll a Santa!

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Winter Theme Resources for Kindergarten!

Hello teacher friends!

Thanksgiving is over and we are on to my favorite time of year!  There are so many fun things to do in the classroom during winter.  Here are some fun, easy to use resources for the month of December!  I hope you find something that is useful for you!

Winter Theme Writing Prompt

This is a bundle of 3 printable one-page writing prompts, with cute clip art, thanks to Sarah Cooley and NinjaWoman! Also included is a blank prompt so you can create your own. Just print, copy, and you’re ready to go! Great for the days when you need something to fill time, but you want a useful lesson as well.  Check the link for CC alignment and more details!

Winter Theme Leveled Reader Pack (Level A-E)

Kids love little printable reader books that they can write on, highlight and color.  I used these for guided reading, for all levels from my lowest readers to my high group.

This download includes:
-Level A Reader, ready to print
-Level B Reader, ready to print
-Level C Reader, ready to print
-Level D/E Reader, ready to print
-Teacher/Parent guide for each reader highlighting skills to promote learning in guided reading.
-Guided Reading Skills Checklist for Levels A-E
-All readers are winter themed, with snowmen, and no holidays mentioned.
-They are each 9 pages long, with a cover, parent/teacher guide, title page, and 6 pages of text.
-Text is approximately this level, based on Fountas and Pinnell’s leveling system. Text is decodable and uses picture clues when possible. Tested with real kindergarteners, who loved it!

Winter Weather Graph

This is a simple graph to track the four kinds of winter weather- snowy, sunny, windy, cloudy. Also, the second page, is a graph to track the temperature. It works well with the K Foss Kit Unit on Weather, but could be used by any grade. Enjoy!

Winter Theme Unit:  The 12 Days of Winter

This is a 12-day winter-themed unit. We use it the 12 Days leading up the winter break, in kindergarten. It could be used for any grade K-5, with some modifications!

Included are directions for each day.
You would need to have the book 12 Days of Winter by Deborah Lee Rose. Each day has a winter theme, that goes with a page in the book.

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On the first day of winter, my teacher gave to me…
-A Birdfeeder in a Snowy Tree- Theme is what animals do in the winter and the students learn about animals who stay. They make a bird feeder!
-Two teddy bears- Theme is hibernation. Students help create a bear cave in the classroom and read books in their “cave.”
-Three penguins- Theme is penguins. Students play a math game to create penguin.
and so on…

Included
– Parent volunteer directions
– Recommended titles to support the learning
– “I Can” statements that support Common Core for each day’s theme.
– Directions for each day’s project and theme.

I hope you enjoy this unit and this book! It’s a great way to get the kids excited about learning about weather, seasons, animals. And it makes a fun end to December!

 

What are some of your favorite winter theme plans?

Laura

One-stop Halloween Party!

Halloween is coming!  Do you have a plan for your party?

Usually October is a pretty full month with conferences, testing, and the curriculum in full-swing.  A Halloween party can sneak up on you!  Here is a tried-and-tested plan for a Halloween party that won’t take you hours to plan.  It is a one-stop Halloween Party in a single download!

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This download contains printables and ideas for SEVEN Halloween-themed centers. It is all you need to throw a fantastic, fun Halloween Party! Detailed directions are included for the following centers.

Centers:
1. Craft- Spider Hat
2. Photo Frame Template (Optional: Photo booth!)
3. Activity- Pumpkin Bowling- with a REAL pumpkin!
4. Coloring Pages
5. Word Search
6. Writing Center/Class Book
7. Halloween Read Aloud Center

Each center has detailed directions and a list of needed materials.  If you have willing volunteers, you could even print this whole packet and give it to them for them to run with.  Or you could have each volunteer take on one center.

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The spider hat craft is very simple, but the kids love it and it makes for great pictures!  You can make it more fun by adding googly eyes or accordion folding the legs.  For younger grades, it’s good counting practice to make the kids count the eight legs by themselves.

 

For the photo frame activity, an optional idea is included to create a photo booth.  This can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like.  One year, we hung a black plastic table cloth and some leaf garland from Michaels.  Bingo!  Another year, I had a mom of a student who went all out- hay bales, corn stalks, props, and even a portable photo printer so we could print the digital images right there at the party.  Whatever your level of involvement, it will be fun for the kids!

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The activity included is pumpkin bowling.  This requires you as the teacher to be okay with a little craziness.  It gets kind of nuts.  Beware!  But it is so worth it!

Buy a small, round pumpkin that is about 8″ in diameter.  Pull off the stem.  This is your bowling ball!  Then have 2 volunteers, if possible, run the bowling alley!  In this picture, we created pins out of old soda bottles.  I have also just used pins from a toy bowling set.  op8

 

The rest of the centers are calmer- word search, coloring pages, writing center, and book center.

The writing center is an important one because it gives a little more content to the day and makes kids stop and think about how they celebrate.  I like to collect these, bind them into a class book, and let the kids take turns bringing the book home to share with their families.

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I situated these centers around the room, had a volunteer stationed at each center.   Then, I let the kids roam around, completing each center.  Depending on the size of your class, you could let them do the centers in whatever order you choose, or you could make them rotate in a circle.  Or if you’d like a little more control, you could create groups and have them travel with a group and parent volunteer to teach center.  It’s up to you and what you think your class can handle.

I hope this helps you have a FUN and easy Halloween party!  Enjoy!

Here are the links:

One Stop Halloween Party!

Halloween Class Book

Fall/Halloween Party Signs

Holiday Writing Prompt Bundle

And check out my post about Pumpkin Math Centers, a great addition to the party day!

-Laura

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Pumpkin Math!

Hello teachers!  Happy fall!  It’s the time of year for apple orchards, boots, falling leaves, and PUMPKINS!  And why not incorporate such a fun season into the curriculum?

cimg8097This is a fun math unit my team came up with over several years.  It uses a REAL pumpkin to teach math measuring concepts!  We edited this unit and tweaked it over many years.  We created it for kindergarten, but it could be used for grades Pre-K through 3rd.  Here are the details!

This is a 3-page printable math lesson using REAL pumpkins! Pick up a huge pumpkin and a tiny pumpkin and you’re set! I have done all four parts to this in one long lesson, or I have split it up over 4 days. Use as you’d like! It covers:
• Weighing the pumpkin- We visit the school nurse with our pumpkin and have her weigh the pumpkins on the large scale. I also have each student predict the weight.
• Measuring the circumference. I hold out a length of yarn and each student cuts it to the length they think will go around the pumpkin. Then we measure the actual length and each student finds out if their guess was “shorter,” “longer,” or “just right!”
• Count the lines on the pumpkin. We have found the easiest way to count the lines is to designate a front and back to the pumpkin, and then count each side. Then they have to add the two numbers.
• Count the seeds. This is so FUN and MESSY! Give yourself plenty of time for this! It took my K class about 45 minutes. I have the kids sit at tables, then scoop (or let the kids grab!) a scoop of pumpkin guts. They separate the seeds into piles of ten, then we count by tens as a class. Large pumpkins generally have around 600 seeds!

It is also aligned to Common Core Math.  Here is one of the standards it covers, for kindergarten specifically.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.MD.A.1
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.

If you’re looking for a break from the normal math curriculum for a few days, this is a perfect fit!  It also would be fun to do on the day of the Halloween party, because we all know that not much actual learning happens that day!  This would be one day to redeem the day!

I hope you enjoy this!

Download the unit here:  Pumpkin Math Lessons!

Also, check out a freebie for your Halloween party here: Fall/Halloween Party Signs!

And, here is a link to some great writing prompts for this, and other, holidays! Holiday Writing Prompts!

Laura

 

Vocabulary Cards! Easy to use template!

Hey teacher friends!

Teaching vocabulary is built into most curricula, and we know it’s an important part of reading.  But I have always struggled with how to teach it in a fun way.   So I just created these easy to use vocabulary cards.  They are meant to be used as flashcards that the kids create.

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All you have to do is download, copy onto heavy paper, cut, and show the kids how to use them.  The kids write the word, part of speech, a sentence with the word, and draw a picture.  Then, you can use them however you’d like- as flashcards, test practice, games, etc.

I hope you find this useful and fun!

-Miz Riz

Dismissal Template- “How Do We Get Home!”

It’s the end of the day… Do you know where your student is heading?

Those first few weeks of school, I always found it stressful as the end of the day approached.  So many students, so many destinations!  It is absolutely imperative that the teachers knows where each student is going.

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Several years ago I made this template for dismissal since I had students going different directions every day for dismissal- some to after-school classes, some getting picked up, some bussing.  It ended up being so useful that most of my school started using it too.

Here it is for you in one handy download!  Enjoy!

-Miz Riz

(: Emoji Bulletin Board/Door Decorations! :)

I love door decorations and bulletin boards.  I especially love them if they are easy to create and I don’t have to run to the teacher store to buy them!

Here’s one you’ll love!  Everyone loves emojis!

Download this document and follow the simple directions to make a fun, memorable door or board!

Enjoy!

-Laura