February is FUN! {Valentine's, President's, and 100's Day}


February is busy, busy, busy!

First off, Valentine's Day!


1st grader: Why do we have Valentine's Day?

Me: Um.... to show we love each other.

1st grader: Ok! Cool!

Me: *walks to computer to Google it*
And that's how this mini-unit was born! Without getting too religious, I teach my students about the Legend of St. Valentine and they love it! It's a fun, interactive mini-unit that can take a week or one day! It's whatever you want it to be. I made it a few years ago but updated it today!


If you like the format of my Martin Luther King mini-unit, you will enjoy this one! This mini-unit is a great way to teach your students why we celebrate Valentine's Day (without being too religious). 





Tree Map
Was, Had, Wanted Graphic Organizer
Describe St. Valentine
Describe Valentine's Day
The Legend of St. Valentine Class Book
The Legend of St. Valentine Student Mini-Book
Informational Writing
Heart-Shaped Valentine Fact Booklet
Vocabulary cards 
Vocabulary game
ABC Order 
Word Search

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And then President's Day and U.S. Symbols!

I've updated this huge pack this week! I've added President Trump, updated clipart, fonts, and added REAL pictures of monuments, Presidents, and symbols! Hope this helps you teach your little ones all about our amazing country.

We'll be learning all about Washington, Lincoln and Obama, and President Trump!  This is by far one of my favorite thematic units to teach! We will also learn about 10 of the most famous U.S. Symbols and we'll it all while integrating social studies with reading, writing, and math.





President's Day and U.S. Symbols Unit

*UPDATED January 20th, 2017 

(Now includes President Trump)
This President's Day and U.S. Symbols unit is a great unit to celebrate America {available in color and black/white}!  
This unit includes:

*President Lincoln Poster

*President Washington Poster
*President Obama Poster 
*President Trump Poster
*Tree Map
*Graphic Organizers
*President Application
*President Picture {___ for President}
*If I Were the President Writing
*Dear President Trump
*U.S. Symbols book {includes 10 U.S. Symbols}
*U.S. Symbols Student Book
*Asking/Telling Literacy Center
*Hot Seat Vocabulary Game
*The Presidential Race {Graphing Math Center}
*Count Them Up! {Money Math Center}
*Class President {Tallying Math Center}
*Abe's Hat {Could be used as a writing center or whole group}
*President Washington Craft and Writing Activity
*President Lincoln Craft and Writing Activity
*President's Day Word Search




There's lots in this unit! So click [here] to check it out! 


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One of my favorite days of the year! The 100th day of school! I don't know what teacher thought "You know what would be fun? If we made the 100th day of school a big deal?" Well whoever you are, teacher out there, I SALUTE YOU! I love 100's day!

This 100's Day Book is perfect for your 100's day! 


Need something simple, fun, and engaging for your K-2 kiddos on 100's day? With just a click, print  and a staple in the left corner?! You've got it here in this 100's Day Book

It's simple enough students can work on it on their own, but also tied to the curriculum (reading, writing, and math). You can work on one or two pages each day, not even make it into a book (use the pages individually) or you can use the whole book on the 100th day! It's up to you! 
The book can be up to 19 pages (including the cover).

I've differentiated many of the pages as well. There is a kinder version, 1st grade version and 2nd grade version!


Click the picture below:




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100's Day Book for the 100th Day of School!

One of my favorite days of the year! The 100th day of school! I don't know what teacher thought "You know what would be fun? If we made the 100th day of school a big deal?" Well whoever you are, teacher out there, I SALUTE YOU! I love 100's day!


Some of my favorite ideas for 100th day:
*Trail Mix
*Fruit Loop Necklaces 
*100's Headbands
*Dressing up 100 yeas old
*Decorating the classroom
*100th Day Capes
*Collect 100 things (from home)



Need something simple, fun, and engaging for your K-2 kiddos on 100's day? With just a click, print  and a staple in the left corner?! You've got it here in this 100's Day Book

It's simple enough students can work on it on their own, but also tied to the curriculum (reading, writing, and math). You can work on one or two pages each day, not even make it into a book (use the pages individually) or you can use the whole book on the 100th day! It's up to you! 
The book can be up to 19 pages (including the cover).

I've differentiated many of the pages as well. There is a kinder version, 1st grade version and 2nd grade version!



Handwriting Freebies!

Have you ever wondered how to help your littles with their handwriting starting on DAY ONE? The Handwriting House is the perfect way to teach your students WHERE their letters fall on the lines. 
Roof: top line
Window: middle dotted line
Floor: bottom line
Basement: below bottom line

Teach them all about the handwriting house, work on each letter individually, and when they've "got it", give them a Handwriting House bookmark to celebrate. To keep the momentum going, have them rate their own handwriting each month with a self-rubric.

ALL included in {this} freebie!






My students took their handwriting self rubric VERY seriously! :) I do this once a month to keep them on track and motivated. They don't like disappointing themselves. HA!








Introducing Schema

When I sent out an email to my entire faculty asking 
"Does anyone have a lint roller in their classroom? I left mine at home and I need it for a lesson today!" I'm certain that I had people saying to themselves... what in the HECK is she doing that that classroom of hers? 

Did you know our brains are like lint rollers? 
We make our schema stick!

I saw this FABULOUS idea from Holly on her blog Crisscross Applesauce in 1st Grade!  What an amazing idea and I couldn't wait to do it in my classroom.

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First, I had my students write a fact they knew! It could be anything. Here were some of their sentences:

*Penguins can't fly.
*Hawaii is warm.
*I am seven years old.


We sat in a circle and I told them their brains are like this lint roller. As we learn, we gather up new facts and they stick to our brain! This is called SCHEMA.

I asked the students to tell me about their schema they wrote.

"I wrote about that Hawaii is warm because I've been there and I felt how warm it was!"

That is a perfect example. Some students might have read about Hawaii's weather and a few had actually been there. We can gather schema from many places (books, friends, experiences, etc.)




After we made our schema "stick", I asked the students to draw and label at least 5 things they have schema about! I made these "heads" on 11X17 paper so they had plenty of room to draw and write. They turned the heads into faces that looked like them.


You can download the schema head (haha sounds funny) HERE and another great printable from Holly at Crisscross Applesauce HERE.

Now that my students understand schema, we will continue to reference it and then move on to inferring!

Do You Want to Build a Story? {A Narrative Writing Lesson}




Do you have that Frozen song in your head now? DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?
Well, your students know that song and it's your gateway to teach them about narrative writing. Narrative writing can be a HOT MESS if it's not structured JUST RIGHT! As I'm teaching my students about narrative writing, I have them help me build (draw) a snowman. I relate narrative writing to a snowman! PLUS I wrote a song to go along with Frozen's "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"  to introduce narrative writing but we call it...
"Do You Want to Build a Story?" (special thanks to my friend Alyssa who graciously and beautifully sang it for me! You can preview the song here!





This pack is perfect for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade 
narrative writing standards!
Included in this pack:
Do You Want to Build a Story Song (and lyrics)-You can sample the song here
Snowman Storyboard (pre-write)
Story Element Cards
Story Element Posters
First Draft Writing Paper (snowman themed)
Final Draft Writing Paper (snowman themed)
Pre-Write Storyboard (pre-write)
First Draft Writing Paper (no theme)
Final Draft Writing Paper (no theme)
Narrative Writing Rubric
Narrative Writing Editing Checklist
Bulletin Board Letters (Olaf not included)






Check it out here!


Our final products turned out great and now they are on display in the hallway!










Our Favorite Ideas for January!

January is crazy month! Right after the holiday rush you have to keep those kiddos engaged somehow. We've gathered our favorite ideas from over the years and compiled them for your viewing pleasure. ;) Feel free to download or pin to Pinterest for later.





Q-Tip Snowflake
We write this poem on the back (on lined paper)
Snowflake, snowflake
Falling down
On the trees
And on the ground.









Q-tip Snowflake


 Magically Appearing Picture
This magically appearing snow scene can be made by mixing 3 parts of Epsom salt  with 1 part of water.  Stir really well! Use a paint brush to create a winter scene and wait for it do dry to see your picture!






 Marshmallow Snowman
The marshmallow snowman's body is made by dipping a large marshmallow into white paint.  The buttons and face are made by dipping a small marshmallow into black paint.  The accessories are made out of paper.




I posted about some *free* January themed activities that you can check out {here}.





I also have this fun word search that I made for January that you can download free {here}.
Clipart copyright Diane J Hood and use with permission by djinkers.com

Here's what we're doing in our classroom next:
This cute board is from Really Roper. She's got a free mini-unit! Go get it (here)!

Then, we've got this amazing unit that we'll do the second week of January:
I love this unit! You can get this one from Deanna Jump {here}.



And lastly for January, we'll be learning about bears. This is from my Bear Unit.
You can find it {here}


 I found Jan Brett's website and I just loooooooove it.  I printed, cut, laminated and attached a popsicle stick to the animal masks from "The Mitten" and my class and I are going to retell the story by using the masks and acting out each of the part.  I am going to use a white sheet as the mitten and my students will have to crawl in it as we retell.









Clipart and/or fonts copyright DJ Inkers and used with permission: www.djinkers.com
Click HERE for the writing activity.  Click HERE for the mask downloads from Jan Brett's website.



This unit is perfect for Kinder, 1st, and 2nd Graders!
This mini-unit is a perfect way to teach your students about Martin Luther King, Jr. and all of the great things he did for human rights. 

This unit is for K-2!


Click {here} to check it out!



Do you teach grades 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th? Then this unit is perfect for you!

Want to read about what this pack includes??


And here's a pretty snapshot of some of the awesome printables and graphic organizers you will receive. 30 pages total.


This unit is perfect for any upper grades classroom {designed for grades 3-6} and will be a fun way to do some great learning about an important time in American History.




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