Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life Science Name Bug Art Project

This is an easy project making imaginary bugs out of a student's name written in cursive. Write name on the fold,cut out and decorate. Label with real world bug parts and display. Easy, no prep and fun!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

For all teachers, there was a time in their lives when 9/11 had no more significance than 9/10 or 9/12. In 2001, the world changed horribly and not one of us will forget where we were when we heard the terrible news. Our students, however, weren’t born yet. We wanted to teach the importance and meaning of this date in age-appropriate ways. Last September, our Thank A Teacher TPT store was brand new. We wanted to create a product that teachers would feel good about using with their elementary and middle school age students. Our idea was to focus on the First Responders, the true heroes of 9/11. The response was amazing. We had over 2000 downloads by teachers. The assignment involved writing about First Responders in our communities and lives. Then teachers could share the letters and artwork with local fire departments, police etc. The men and women who received these letters were so touched by the kid’s gestures of appreciation and support. We were thrilled that our product generated such a huge outpouring of love, thanks, and remembrance for the First Responders of 9/11/2001 and their successors.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Found a New Cool Tool and it's Free!

 Class Tools

Problem: I've used a bunch of online and manual timers and they work ok. But this online timer adds two cool new features that I haven't seen before. My first problem is that if kids don't look at the screen, they don't see the countdown. My second problem is interuptions. I give 2 minute multiplication tests. It seems like someone always someone walks in after I start the timer.

Solution:This timer solves both those problems. Don't let the boring picture fool you. For kids who don't look up at the timer, there is now a music component! I use timers for cleanup and this timer has a 3:30 Mission Impossible Song which works perfectly. Other songs are available and you can add your own. The second issues of interruptions or late starters is solved by having multiple timers going on a once! Genius! I can't wait to try this out!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bud, Not Buddy Text Support

Confession: my teenager's middle name is "Tech Support." Not really...but it could be true! Everybody needs a little tech support sometimes. Teachers, in addition, appreciate a little "Text Support" as well. What is text support? It is all the background information for the novel you are teaching that you would love to have at your fingertips...if you just had the time to do the research. Problem: Students sometimes have a hard time relating to--and consequently, comprehending--a historical novel. Much of the book may be foreign to a 4th, 5th or 6th grader: the era, the culture, and the setting. As teachers, we sometimes assume kids "get" more than they actually do. Solution: I created a "Visual Text Support" PowerPoint slide show for the novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. My purpose was to generate student excitement and familiarity with the story while offering a visual context for historical background and vocabulary. I also wanted supporting activities aligned with Common Core objectives, and of course it needed a very cool but simple art project. Let's face it...I wanted the whole package! Results: This comprehensive slide show I created made a huge difference in my students' engagement with the text and understanding of the story. It has been a flexible teaching tool that has proven to be an excellent way to scaffold the text for ELL students, while all students benefited from the enriched historical background.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Doodle Math

I love art! If I can incorporate it with math even better! I've created these really fun math worksheets that students create a scene by correctly answering the math problem. If it is correct the picture will look like the answer key. Students love it, super easy to correct and makes for a cute display! I just finished a coastal scene with problems at 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade level. Each grade level is a separate product. These are great for summer fun, sub work, assessment and review!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Website Bingo: Keyboarding Games

Have computers but need some teacher curated websites? Want students to focus on one topic and be accountable? Give Website Bingo a try! These are independent study bingo cards on a variety of topics that give students choice in vetted websites and an assignment that makes them accountable! Assign a row, column or the whole card. No emails or personal information needed! Students can access these websites in various ways: Print a copy of grids for students to type in the websites themselves. Put the PDF on your website, student click on the links. Put PDF on a class sharing site such as Edmodo or My Big Campus. Accountability: Students can create a Website Bingo Journal where they print screen shots of their documentation (i.e. high score). Journal labels are included. I teach my students how to use the snipping tool and how to print their work for the journal or go paperless by having students post to a file sharing site like or class social media site like . Follow us to be updated when more topics are added.
 Tpt Website Bingo Keyboarding