Category Archives: Literacy

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

 

 

 

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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

 

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

Back to School: Curriculum Overload!

It’s back to school time!

Bulletin boards!  Meet the Teacher Night!  Class Lists!  Labelling!  Laminating!

And on top of it all, they throw a few new curricula at you!  Yikes!

I have been there.  I have been teaching for eight years and not a single year has gone by without at least one new curriculum or program added.  That is a lot to handle, especially when you oftentimes get handed the books just days before you’re supposed to teach them.

To help us handle the overload of different curricula that we needed to teach, my team developed this Scope and Sequence Planning Chart.  It’s a basic excel document, but it will save you so much trouble!

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Why you need it:

-With big teams of teachers (mine was five teachers per grade!), it is imperative that we all stay on the same page, teaching the same units at the same time.

-With several curriculum per unit of study (two language arts, two math, one social studies, etc), it can get very easy to get behind.

-Starting with a laid out plan will save you from getting to May and realizing you haven’t taught a unit yet!  Yikes!

-With a plan in mind, you can work the units around the quarters (or trimesters), school breaks, testing windows, and school events.

-It will make you look super organized to both administrators and parents of students.

 

Here’s what you do:

-Download this planning chart for your team.

-Set a planning meeting with your whole team.  This will take at least an hour.

-Set the basic parameters of the planning chart, editing in Excel.  Add in your notes, trimesters or quarter breaks, and your curriculum titles at the top.

-With your team, physically collect and lay out all the curriculum you will be expected to teach this year.

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-Decide as a team what units you will aim to complete each week, month, and quarter.

-Print and save!  Stay on track all year!

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Check out this and many other useful resources at my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Miz Riz Kindergarten Resources! 

-Laura

 

Back to School Writing Prompts: Making your first few weeks easier!

Hi teacher friends!

One of my summer resolutions was to add some new quality products to my store!  I was thinking today about what I could create that would make back to school a little easier for us all.  I thought about how stressful those first few weeks are, and how it is nice to have some short, filler lessons and activities.  Sometimes these activities can be last-minute and are not very valuable, so I wanted to create something worthwhile.

I think any kind of writing time is valuable.  I love printable writing prompts, because they are handy to use when you are teaching a specific skill.  I use them to work on writing conventions: punctuation, capitalization, spaces between words, complete sentences, and so on! They also are great to save for conferences or portfolios, so show growth in their writing over the months, without having to pull out a big writing binder or notebook.

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I did the hard work for you and correlated this to Common Core Standards for grades K through 3.  I hope that helps!  I know the stress of finding a standard to go with your lessons.

Also, a quick shout-out to Namely Original Clip Art!  I love her trendy style.  Check out her store.

So enjoy this quick and easy download!  And stay tuned: I have more writing prompts in the making!

Enjoy your summer!

-Laura