Holidays Around the World Plans 2015

I've made it a tradition each year to show you an outline of my plans for Holidays Around the World in my classroom.  This is the first year that I'm doing ALL of the countries! EEK! I'm excited! I know to always give myself more time than I think I need because we somehow fall behind.  That's why I don't do any countries on Fridays (except when we do Gingerbread Houses for Germany).  That way, I can catch up on anything I want on Friday. 





I'm using countries from both Part 1 and Part 2 and good news you can buy them both and save {the bundled pack!}







One fun thing I've added is this word book!


If you use this pack- I'd love for you to post a picture of your students using this resource (or a picture of their work, if you can't use their faces) and tag me on Instagram or Facebook post (@whattheteaccherwants).  


Happy Holidays!




Cyber Smiles! (TPT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale)


TeachersPayTeachers is having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale!  Use the code SMILE to get up to 28% off in our stores.


If all the throwback pictures aren't making you smile, I don't know what will! 


Here's Natalie's cute throwback picture!





Natalie has a Holidays Around the World pack for upper graders too! It is a fun Webquest that can integrate technology and ELA into your holiday celebrations. 


This 'Holidays Around the World' pack is the perfect way to mix technology integrated lessons, online research, and the fun holiday season! Your students will love using your computers or iPads to learn more about how different countries celebrate holidays in different parts of the world. 

A webquest is a fun way for students to conduct online research projects. Students will use inquiry-based learning to complete the six steps of a webquest: introduction, task, process, resources, evaluation, and conclusion.



Want your students to write a letter to Santa this year? Turn it into a persuasive Christmas essay! This Dear Santa writing project is aligned to the Common Core State Standards! In our state (Utah!), all 5th graders take a persuasive writing assessment at the end of the year. This is a perfect way to introduce or practice writing those persuasive essays.  Your students will love writing letters to Santa persuading him to add their name to the "nice list" this year! {Read more HERE!}






Here's Rachelle's 1st grade picture:



I can't believe we are already starting this TOMORROW!!!  I love teaching about Holidays Around the World (or HATW as I like to call it) and my students just soak it all up. 



The sweet ladies from All Y'all Need wrote this about my pack on the TpT Blog:



Want to spread a little cheer at your school and in your classroom?  We've loved "RACKing"! Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (could go along great with an Elf on the Shelf)


Click {here} to check it out!


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Can't do Christmasy things in your classroom or just want to do random acts of kindness all year?  Check out this Random Acts of Classroom Kindness pack that you can do all year round!
Click {here} to check it out!








Parent Communication Tools

If you ask a teacher what their favorite part of teaching is, they would most likely say teaching! Sounds a little silly, but it's true! A teacher's job description includes many more jobs including: planning, grading, team collaboration, bus duty, data collection, test administration, copy room tech… and many, many more! It's all these extra tasks that combine together to make the job of teacher extremely difficult. Teaching is the easy part! It's all the other hats a teacher must wear that make teaching (in my opinion) one of the hardest professions out there! 

One job that is often times quite difficult is communicating with parents. Today I'd like to share with you some ideas on how we can make the job of communicating with parents easier.

Parent Communication Log: It's very important to document phone conversations with parents. Detailed records of past phone conversations with parents could come in handy down the road if you were ever to encounter any problems. 



 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Parent-Communication-Log-2222921   




I always used to keep a spiral bound notebook by my telephone to jot down phone conversations quickly, but I recently made this binder cover and communication log that is much cuter! Simply make copies of the log sheet and put them in a 3 ring binder. It's an easy way to document your phone calls with parents. (You could also print off emails and collect any hand-written notes as well.) 


Just a tip: Don't forget to communicate with parents over positive things too. A phone call or email home about special accomplishments, letting parents know when their child met a certain goal, or just simply calling to tell them you love having their child in your class can go a LONG way! As a parent, I would LOVE to hear about the good things my own son was doing in class. Please don't forget to add positive communication with your parents as well!


Remember that you and your students' parents form a team and it will take all of you working together to have a successful year! 




Do you have any advice  for communicating with parents?
Please leave a comment are share your ideas!

Computer Class!

I thought it was time to give ya'll a little update about how my computer teaching job is going. In a nutshell, I love it! I still really miss being in a regular classroom with my very own group of students to love, but teaching every kid in the whole school definitely has it's perks. If I ever walk into the lunch room while the kids are eating, I feel like a celebrity with everyone yelling my name and waving to me. Same goes when I pass classes walking down the hall. Overall, I love my job in the computer lab!

So, what have we been doing in computers? A whole lot of keyboarding techniques, internet safety lessons, Google Apps, and some fun writing projects. Today I'm going to share 3 things I've found great success with.



1. Power Position

One of my pet peeves is when I have kids sitting in their computer chairs incorrectly. I see them come in, kneel up on their chairs, sit with their chairs crooked or tangled with their neighbor's chair, etc… and it drives me bonkers! It's my job to teach them correct posture and somedays it's like they walk in and forget the correct way to sit in their chairs.


This year I finally started something that has made all the difference! It's called "Power Position" and we do this little cheer when my students come in and sit down in their chairs at the very beginning of class. Anytime I see anyone sitting with their feet up on the chairs or have their chairs scooted back, I just yell out, "Power Position" and they all straighten! Sometimes I can just privately walk up to individual students and remind them politely to sit in "Power Position!" It's worked wonders in my classroom!!



Here's how it goes:




(For younger kids, I usually just yell out the first three lines and stop there. I use all 5 lines with my 3rd-6th graders.)

Download the free printable HERE!



2. Home Row Chant

I'm trying to drill the importance of keeping your fingers on home row, but my kids have some really bad habits. It seems like whenever I turn my head, I see a handful of students picking at their keyboards again. 


I started using this chant with my students every day before we start typing as a reminder to keep their fingers on home row. I yell each line really loudly like an army cadence and then the students repeat each line after me.




(Sometimes I actually make my students type the letters as we say them, other times they just place their fingers over each letter. When we do the space bar, I have them click it twice with their thumbs on the "bump, bump" part.)

Download the free printable HERE!



3. Writing Projects

In October I had my group of students do a fun Halloween writing assignment. The project was adapted from one of my activities in my Halloween Writing Project book called Create-A-Story




   

I did this project with my 1st and 2nd graders and they turned out SO cute! First they brainstormed, then they typed, then they got to draw a picture on the bottom of their page. The kids were so proud of their work when they were done! As you can see from the picture above, I spiral-bound the pages together to make a book and gave it to their classroom teacher to keep in their class library for the students to read.


Now that it's November and I have a new batch of students, I am doing a Thankful Book. This one is based off of a product in my store called My Thankful Book.

    

I'm adapting this project so that my students are typing in PowerPoint. Each topic will be a new page. When they're done we'll have about an 8 page story that we can staple down the sides and they can take the books home to share with their families at Thanksgiving. 

Projects like these usually take 4 or 5 thirty minute class periods to complete. I'll introduce the project the first day and model how to get started, then they write for 2-3 days, and then the last day they finish, print, and can illustrate if they have time. I love doing these types of writing projects because not only are the students getting to practice their typing skills, but I'm also helping their classroom teachers with meeting some important writing standards! Win-win!



Does anyone have any specific questions about the way I run my computer lab? Would you be interested in the websites I use for Kindergarten or the Typing websites I use with my 3rd-6th graders? Do you have any questions about using Google Docs, Google Slides, or Google Classroom? Let me know in the comments what information you'd be interested in and I will try to answer them in future blog posts.




As always, thanks for reading and stopping by our blog! 



Addition/Subtraction Fact Families with Big Daddy!

I laugh every time I have my students say "Big Daddy".  Well, duh. Don't you know who he is? He is the biggest number in our fact family! We named all three numbers in my classroom and it helped my students understand the relationship between addition and subtraction SO WELL!


I'm not going to lie... I used to HATE teaching fact families (as in a few short weeks ago).  See?

But, I figured if I was going to dislike it, I might as well try to make it a little more fun for next year!



So... this came about!


In this pack you will find:

Fact Family Explanation Poster
Big Daddy Poster
Middle Momma Poster
Tiny Tot Poster
Find My Home {Game with playing cards}
Fact Family Photo Album Activity
Fact Family House Practice Page
Triangle Trivia Fact Families Practice Page
Fact Family Dice Practice Page
Snowman Fact Family Practice Page

Use this pack to introduce your students to the relationship between addition and subtraction!







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