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2/25/2017

Fabulous and [a lot of] FREE Non-Fiction Resources for March!

March is basically HERE! I'm not sure why I love St. Patrick's Day so much (am I allowed to say BEER?!) but for some reason the seas of green make me giddy. Maybe it's spring around the corner, maybe it's the cutie little creepy dudes [I'm talking about leprechauns], but for whatever reason, I'm in full on giddy mode.

It's that time of year when my teacher friends are getting a little bit tired and trying desperately not to count the days until summer break, so I thought I'd do some of the leg work for you and collect some fabulous (and lots of FREE) non-fiction resources to go along with your March units!


This list is broken into the themes of my March Informational Text Passages. If you haven't grabbed yours yet, you can get it here! These are a BIG HIT with teachers and kiddos alikeThey are perfect for morning work, to add to centers, for literacy groups, or even as your core passage for the week. Plus, each passage is provided with a fill in the blank and multiple choice option to help you modify for different ability levels. And SURPRISE! I'm giving a set away today!


I've recently updated this pack to include interactive notebook pages! Even if you don't download the pack, interactive notebooks are a super simple way to get your kiddos engaged in their reading! They don't have to be fancy either! 

My March wish for you is that you find tons of great material here to get your March plans stocked with interesting and meaningful non-fiction content for your classroom! And don't forget to enter the giveaway below!


St. Patrick's Day

BrainPop Video + Great Corresponding Activities!
You'll Need a Log In

Brief, Free videos on St. Patrick's Day

FREE! For Grades 1-5, from Study All Knight



Snakes

FREE Passage + Comprehension Questions [Grade 1]

FREE!

Free, From The Teachers Guide - Passage + Questions

Classifying Animals Brainpop Jr Video
FREE. No Login Required! Check out the great corresponding activities!




Daylight Savings

BrainPop Video + Great Corresponding Activities!
You'll Need a Log In

Free




Spring

BrainPop Jr. Video + Activities
You'll Need an Account

Amazing, FREE differentiated readers (for THREE levels!) [Grade 1-2]
FREE Informational Text using Spring poems to teach about poetry. [Grade 3]



Rainbows

FREE Passage + Questions [Grade 1]

Free Passage, Vocabulary Cards, & Comprehension/Response Activities [Grade 2-3+]



Enter To Win!

In celebration of MARCH, I'm giving away one of my March Informational Text Packs! To get more info on how this pack can TOTALLY simplify your month, check it out here. Then enter to win one FREE below!





2/22/2017

Be A Guest Blogger at #TeacherMom!

Hello Blogger Buddies!

2017 has been a year of new bloggy adventures! I redesigned and have been working hard to try new things -- with fabulous results! 

I’m finally getting organized enough to branch out in the world of guest bloggers! I am so excited to offer spaces on my blog for YOU, my blogger buddies, to be a guest blogger over here at #TeacherMom! I would be honored if you’d partner with me in this adventure!

Yes, this is me in my robe. Don't judge.


My plan is to host up to one blogger per week, each supporting a [semi-specific] theme. Here's what you need to know:

The Upcoming Themes:

- St. Patrick's Day: Thursdays, March 9 and 16

- Life Cycles: Thursdays, March 23 & 30.

- Easter: Thursdays, April 6 and 13.

- Spring: Thursdays, April 20 and 27.

Posts can be ANYTHING even loosely related to these topics (for instance, I would totally consider snakes related to St. Patrick's Day), as long as they meet the guidelines below.

The Guidelines:

- Your post must be appropriate for my audience, which is anywhere from toddler through primary ages, both homeschool and classroom settings.

- You may use a recycled blog post, but you must be intentional about making sure content is up to date.

- You must offer quality, useful content. ONE paid product link is permissible, but the content must be valuable without the product.

- Great ideas and free products are always a hit!

- Photos must be high quality, clear, and attractive. Product covers are not acceptable.

- This FIRST image on your post should be an interesting, high quality photo – NOT a collage of photos, clipart, or a photo with digitally added text. This is for consistency with my sparkly new blog design.

- You must complete & submit your post for review at least 2 days before the publishing date. 

What’s in it for You?

- You will, of course, link back to your own blog [or social media page] in the post.

- I will share your post across my personal Pinterest boards as well as many collaborative Pinterest boards over the course of a week or more.

- I will share one or more [interesting, high quality, clear image only] from your blog post onto my Instagram feed at least once. The more interesting images you provide, the more I’ll have to share! I am a part of Instagram Engagement groups that will help spread the goodness.

- I will share your post on my Facebook page, boost the post for at least one day, and share to several Facebook groups.

If you're interested in joining me at any time, please fill out the Google form here.

2/10/2017

A Buck And Chuck Valentines

You know what I like? I like how in pictures, everything seems cutie and simple and fun and easy. HA! If you're NOT one of those moms whose toddlers' crafts turn out perfectly poised for Pinterest, then you're not alone.


So Brian and I are leaving for Paris in T minus 3 days and I CANNOT EVEN HANDLE the overwhelm. Mostly excited, and a little bit nervous. We've left the kids before (we did Ireland in May) and even though my anxiety level was decidedly higher, it turned out juuuuust fine. We had the time of our lives and I know this trip will be the same, but still, I'm feeling extra sentimental and needing to get in ALL THE SWEET TIMES with my kiddos before we flit off to immerse our selves in a blissful child-free week in the city of romance.

So this morning we went full on Valentines Fun! It was a blast in a lot of ways, but just know: there were many anxious moments. We started out by breaking out our new decoding cards. Smarty pants kid loves these cards so much and I swoon every time he gets excited about new ones. Let's talk about how he'd rather play with these cards than do my cutesy pinteresty crafts. Sigh.



Then we made a very late breakfast. Beckett LOVES to cook and I'm enamored by how focused he is in the kitchen. He pays great attention and is very careful and aware of his surroundings. This will be our bonding spot. I'm mostly looking forward to the day where I can sit back with a glass of wine while he does the work.



Charlie is less trusted in the kitchen, and will probably be for a while. Although while she's standing there, she repeats in her cute, tiny voice, "hot hot hot!" For now, though, she gets to stand way back. She seems happy dancing on her chair to Kidz Bop on Alexa while Beckett simultaneously sings Jesus Loves Me (he's been obsessed since we finished our posters). The entertainment factor is real in here.



Ok. Then the stressful part began. Now, someone please tell me how picky we as moms are supposed to be about crafting with our kids. Do we insist they follow instructions because following instructions is an important skill? Or do we let them go where ever they want and encourage their creative genes to flow?

During this "sun catcher" Beckett wanted to ball up his papers. WRONG. Then he wanted add blue, which is OBVIOUSLY not a valentines color. GASP! I let both happen, because I didn't want to be the tissue paper Nazi, but it hurt my feelings people. It REALLY HURT. Charlie, on the other hand, rocked this activity. It's rare that she's my more agreeable kid, so this was a welcome change.




Then we broke out the paint. I should have taken a valium first. They had both gotten paint on themselves and or their clothes, seriously, within 30 seconds. That is not an exaggeration. WHY? WHY would you put paint anyplace but the paper? HOW, BECKETT did you manage to get paint on your SISTER's cute new shirt? Insert. An. EYE. ROLL.


Beckett was fairly entertained by this activity, but Charlie is her mother's child. She was in full on I WILL ROCK THIS CRAFT focus mode. I loved every minute. That lasted until she decided she was done with this side of the paper and would turn it over, paint side down on the table, so that she could paint the other side. I wish you could see my face right now.



We finished off the morning with a much needed coffee break and some reading from our February Book box! Other than my lap being not big enough for both kids, their inability to agree on a book, and their insistence on trying to spill my coffee, this was pretty low stress.



Here's the list of books in our February Book Box!



Our Printable Valentines!

The kids are in "school" for the first time (kind of). They go to Parents Day Out. We looove it! I've had so much fun picking out backpacks and dressing kids for days at school (as opposed to our usual, very chic, "jammie" look). So of course, for Valentine's Day I had to come up with something cutie and fun.


Originally, I wanted each kid to have a Valentine that represented something they loved, so Beckett was going to give Hot Wheels and Charlie would give hair bows. That idea flopped when I realized that Charlie's class wasn't all girls. Ha!


So instead we decided each kid would give both types of Valentines, so they could personalize their little gift for the boys in their class or the girls in their class.


PEOPLE. This was SO. MUCH. HARDER than you would think. Why are people these days (ahem.. me!) naming their kids with such difficult names?! Why can't we just name boys Joe and girls Jane? It took two days of passing notes back and forth to determine which kids in the class should receive bows and which should receive cars.


Anyway, I realize that I overcomplicated things, and that I'll likely be buying dollar tree valentines by third grade and having the kids whip them up on their way to school, but for now I'm going full on Pinterest mommy and personalizing these bad boys.


I thought I'd go ahead and share the goodness, so you can download the wheelie valentines here and the xoxo here. The listing tells you which fonts you'll need to personalize them completely. Have fun, Pinterest Mommas!


Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Blog Lovin to keep up with the fun!
2/08/2017

We're Learning to Read through Worship!

Of all of the little activities I've done with Beckett, this last project has got to be the one he's been most excited about. My heart is bursting with how excited he is to sing and learn these worship songs, and to read along as we sing! Make sure you read to the bottom because I'm looking for your ideas, AND I'm giving one set away!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links
So in our church, littles can go to the nursery during the whole service, but Brian and I have chosen to keep them in the service with us through the music worship time at the beginning. We do this for a couple of main reasons: mostly we love exposing them to worship time as a church body and to the worship songs we hope they'll grow to love and live by. We also like the opportunity to expose them to "big church" and the chance to practice sitting quietly in small spurts (announcements, etc). However, one new bonus to keeping them with us is Beckett has started pointing to the words on the screen and "following along" as we sing!


This past Sunday, watching him was incredibly precious (and a little bit distracting), but it also gave me an idea! I obviously can't spend too much time during worship helping him know which words we're singing, but I sure can make them accessible to him at home! And so my Sight Word Worship Song Charts were born.


Because we're talking about Valentine's Day this month, we've included books in our book box that relate to love and hearts, including Jesus Loves Me (which is basically just the lyrics to the song, and SO CUTE). So, it made sense that we would kick off the fun with this song!


I chose the two main verses and three sign words. In our case, "Jesus" will be a sight word. I printed them up on card stock and laminated it so we can use it for a while. Beckett was IMMEDIATELY enthralled with "reading along" to a song he know so well. He's asked me to read his poster with him countless times in the last two days.



Then I recreated the poster on a large post it pad. We sang the song repeatedly as I wrote the verses out in pencil. Then we went through and traced the words we were focusing on. Beckett pointed out each time he saw Jesus, loves, or me and I traced it with the color that matched our mini poster.





Then we sat around and sang and colored our poster! This was mostly for fun and so that Charlie had more of an active role in our activity.




We hung the poster in our kids library and have referred to it several times in the last couple of days! I love that it adds to the atmosphere of our little Valentine's Theme we've got going on.



I went ahead and polled my mommy friends for more ideas for posters. As of now, the pack is mostly kids songs, but I'd love to add choruses of songs we hear in church regularly! For a chance to grab yours for free, check out the Rafflecopter & comment below with YOUR favorite worship songs! And make sure you're following my on Facebook and BlogLovin. The goal for 2017 is to host LOTS of giveaways!




1/31/2017

Black History Month Bulletin Board Giveaway!

Happy First Day of Black History Month!! In celebration, today I'm bringing you the deets on my cutie cute new Black History Month Trivia Bulletin Board, AND I'm giving one away! WOO!


If you've been here before, you know that I'm not in the schools anymore. I'm rocking the SAHM life and so grateful for that opportunity. But sometimes I miss being in the schools! Lucky for me, my bestie still works at a local elementary school and she "lets" me do her bulletin boards for her! I say "lets" because I LOOOVE it and it's totally not her thing, plus she has all the - you know - TEACHING to do, so really it's a win for both of us.


Every time I dig into our history of slavery and the Civil Rights movement, I'm awed and honored all over again. The things these people endured are INCREDIBLE. Did you know that at age SIXTEEN, Booker T. Washington walked over 500 miles to college? When he arrived, the understandably apprehensive headmaster asked him to sweep the floors. He did such an incredible job sweeping, mopping, dusting, and washing the walls (all several times), that she admitted him to the school and allowed him to work through college as a janitor. I do not know a single teenager with that much drive.


So! I see it as a big responsibility and incredible privilege to share pieces of our history with our students! While this board is FAR from comprehensive, it is a perfect little peek at simple interesting bits of information that will hopefully pique the interest of our young minds!

I wanted to have a few different types of questions, so I decided on three approaches:

1. "I Statements" in first person, describing an overall descriptive fact about each of my ten historical figures: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ruby Bridges, Frederick Douglass, and Jackie Robinson. In the packet, the question and answer cards are on the same page for simplicity's sake.


2. Quotes from each individual. These quotes are actually pretty tricky, but some make a lot of sense once you think about them. They are great topics for discussion. Several really got me thinking.



3. Word Scramble. While unscrambling words is not necessarily specific to the individual historical figures of the board, I just couldn't continue to pass over these words during my reading without plugging them into this activity. The question cards have a scrambled word + the definition. The answer cards restate the definition and use it in context, specifically referring to one of our displayed historical figures. Fancy pants!




Finally, of course, the set includes the extra little tid bits you'll need to bring the board together: The title letters, the "black history month trivia" poster, and the Melonheadz "headshots" of each historical figure!




What do you think? Are you ready to win your own?? Simply enter the Rafflecopter below as many times as you'd like. The winner will be announced Saturday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out more great ideas for Black History Month with my friends below! Feel free to link up your blog post and/or giveaway. [No product posts please.]