Pumpkin Ideas in the Primary Classroom

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

adjective pumpkin lesson

Fall is my favorite season....definitely NOT for the Pumpkin Spice....not a fan of pumpkin!!

pumpkins in primary

But I love bringing out the sweaters and boots and scarves...it's all about the fashion for me. 

But seriously I wanted to share some fun pumpkin/fall ideas you can use in your classroom that have worked in mine for years.

First of all, pumpkins and adjectives naturally just go together right?!?!  I always introduce adjectives with a pumpkin and it lends itself to candy corn too which I'll share in a sec.

So, how do I incorporate pumpkins with adjectives you ask??!?!  I always buy a pumpkin and we brainstorm adjectives and I write them on the pumpkin with a sharpie...I usually include inside adjective traits and outside ones... as you'll see below:

adjectives lesson with pumpkins

So as you can see first I divide the pumpkin in 1/2 like the picture shows and then I write inside on one side and outside on the other side.  If you are also teaching character traits you could write internal and external on it as well.

adjective lesson and pumpkins

adjective lesson and pumpkins

I created this pumpkin printable to go along with my pumpkin and my students wrote right along with me.  If you are interested in the pumpkin adjective freebie paper like above you can find it here.

adjective pumpkin lesson

adjective pumpkin lesson

My students have a much better understanding of adjectives after this and it's a fun display to keep up all month as well.

adjective pumpkin lesson

Now onto candy corn...
candy corn adjective lesson
Now I always do this lesson in October as well...this is an oldie but a goodie.  I create an oversized candy corn...YES I know my colors are out of order but I didn't want to redo it..haha 
We fill in the middle with adjectives to describe Halloween and then hang it up for the month as a display.

candy corn adjective lesson

Here's one from several years ago.  ( Done correctly with the colors might I add )

candy corn adjective freebie

If you want to recreate this for your own classroom I have this freebie you can grab it :  here 

I hope you love these Fall adjective ideas and with the freebies included you can try them out right away in your own classroom.  Thanks for joining me here every week for my series:  

As always you can find me on Facebook and Instagram...don't forget every Sunday night you can find tips and tricks on my Instastory called Sunday Night Snippets.  I'd love to see you there each week.  
Happy teaching my friends,

Phonics Engagement Made Easy

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Y'all let me tell you....this activity brings #allthefeels - I have parents emailing me telling me their children can't stop talking about the Hulk hands and how much fun they are having at school!

sight word games

  I found these this summer on Amazon and had to order them!  You can find them : here... 

There are a few options with these fun fists.  My students love to play the punch out the sight word, or sight word fist bump game.  I spread out sight words and they find one they want to read and say it aloud.  Next they pound the Hulk fist on it.  After that they keep that word in a pile.  We take turns and play until there are no more sight words.

sight word games

sight word games

I even had to get in on the action....I mean they're Hulk fists right?!?!

sight word ideas for small groups

Look at this happy guy learning those sight words!!!

Another option is to add it to a word building activity.  We built words with puzzle letter tiles and then I asked them to find the vowels.  They would say the word they built aloud and then say the vowel and the /sound/ and then pound the word.  They keep asking to play this one.

sight word games

sight word games

Other option: build a word, find and 'hit' the vowel.  Differentiate by building 4 - 6 letter words.

sight word games

I hope your reading group time is as fun as my reading group time.  It was a small investment to make for this much engagement...let me know if you try it out.  Thanks for joining me for my weekly series:  

Don't forget you can find me each week on Instagram too for my weekly video series:  Sunday Night Snippets.  As always, 
happy teaching!!

6 easy ways to teach comparing numbers

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I'm so glad you joined me for another edition of :

Tips on teaching comparing numbers

This week we will be talking about comparing numbers.

Comparing numbers is such a fun concept to teach!  I love how hands on it can be!  I've compiled 6 fun and engaging ways to teach this...

Pick up this ADORABLE alligator ( bag ) clip from either Tuesday Morning or Amazon...  you can find it here: 

crocodile clip for teaching on comparing numbers greater than less than

Isn't this the greatest thing ever?!?!  I saw this last year and freaked out over it...I've been using it ever since.  It's such a great visual for the kids!  

It's perfect to use as a manipulative, the kids love coming up and using it the correct way.

Create a fun math center that is super engaging and your students will LOVE it.  All you need are pool noodles and a crate and you are all set.  It can easily be differentiated to meet your students needs.

comparing numbers pool noodle center

They can build number sentences like this all along the edges of a laundry basket or crate.  The possibilities are endless:  Instead of numbers like this you can have addition or multiplication sentences that they have to compare or even numbers as high as the thousands place...be creative!

Have them practice this skill with a fun dice game....after teaching a lesson on it...have them follow up with a dice game that they can do alone or with a partner.  You can find that by clicking the picture below:

math dice games

easy manipulative to make for comparing numbers

I like to have my students write numbers on their white boards and use this as manipulative to compare numbers.

This is so fun if you are teaching this concept in the Fall...your students will go crazy over this idea and it will make your math time super engaging and...well yummy!

using candy corn to compare numbers

This is so easy and cheap and you can easily make a class set in no time at all or leave for a parent helper.

comparing numbers craft

I hope these ideas were helpful and new to you.  If you don't already follow me on Instagram be sure to - every Sunday Night I do videos for tips and tricks you can use in your classroom.

You can find me here:

Have a great week and as always...
happy teaching!

Always take the HIGH ROAD

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Teacher life isn't perfect...in fact it's far from it.  We see #allthefeels on instagram and it looks almost perfect.  We have deadlines, parent emails, computer glitches, teammates ( which can be a blessing or a curse ), admin, IEP's, SST's, 504's....I could go on and on and on.

take the high road

But the bottom line - we have to make the best of it.  I can tell you right now, things will NOT always go your WAY.  They just won't...you will have misunderstandings and frustrations along the way.  The worst part is when your heart really is in the right place and people misunderstand you...<3

All I can say is :  Take the HIGH road...you will never regret it.
The high road = Where we treat people better than they treat us.  They don't deserve it but we offer it because we have integrity and want to do the right thing.  It's similar to the mercy and grace that God bestows upon me every. single. day.  
Let's take a look at our options...we can take the 
LOW ROAD which = treating people WORSE than how they treat us...um no sounds awful, I'm not that kind of person.
MIDDLE ROAD = treating people equal to or the same way they treat us...that's your average situation but not always warranted because you may come across a grump that treats you terribly..it doesn't mean you can turn around and treat them terribly as well.

My mom always took the high road and I always feel like a million bucks when someone says I remind them of her.  She passed away to cancer in 2007 and I always think about her and wish my children had more days with her. 
Her legacy will be : THE HIGH ROAD...always!  In fact people will say she did MORE than take the HIGH road.  She reached out to the sick and lonely, she gave favor when it wasn't deserved, I could go on and on.  
I guess I just want to remind you that life is fleeting...we are here for such a short time.  We want our legacy to be one of honor and integrity not of anger and impatience.  
The true test of character and maturity is to always treat others better than they treat you.  This may seem like a strange way of thinking...but you will be amazed by the positive impact this has.  When you offer LOVE to someone that is angry and short with you that is expecting the same from you they are taken a back and don't know what to do with you...they are usually softened and don't respond in anger.  It's a beautiful thing to see...when you offer grace to someone that doesn't deserve it.  I challenge you - this week:  OFFER GRACE to someone that truly doesn't deserve it and watch what happens...it really is a beautiful thing to witness.  Even if it isn't you still did the right thing and that's all that matters.  They will remember you for it - I promise!  
Instead of anticipating negative reactions from others, you will begin to assume positive interactions and your expectations will be matched.  
Don't focus on the flaws of others and try hiding your own! Start to  look for ways to forgive them and find that others are returning the favor in a way you never expected!  
Go out and do your thing...but remember you would want grace extended to you....so extend it to others often.  That's all for today...
as always ~ happy teaching my sweet friends!

Emoji behavior incentive

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

emoji behavior management tip

I am always looking for the next best behavior tip.  I would say classroom management and building relationships are my strong suit for sure.  I have my trusty go to tricks, but I'm always trying to come up with other incentives so I keep them on their toes too.
Welcome to my weekly series 

You can find me here every Wednesday during the school year for new ideas each week.

This week I wanted to share an idea I had that incorporates - something kids LOVE - which is super important.  You gotta keep up with the lingo, and things they are into.  Unless of course it's dabbing or flipping water bottles OR the floss - then run for your lives! LOL 
So, I'm going with emojis this time around.  Kids love emojis and this incentive will definitely motivate them...I can't wait to try it out and give you updates on instagram and facebook.

So, first I created this little poster to get them excited about this new behavior incentive and I tried to be clever...notice the word tried...  Not sure how 'clever' this is but whatever.

emoji classroom management tip
Using emojis of course this message says:  Your work and behavior is ' on point! '

So I found these emoji balls.... on  Amazon and thought to myself - I could use this for something!!!

Using emojis for behavior management

emoji marble jar reward

So since the jar is so large I included Washi tape to help us meet our goals.  I got this ( tape ) idea from my amazing friend Becca - over at Miss Giraffe.  It's a great way to meet a goal and keep going for a 2nd goal.  So, maybe the first goal is a Popsicle party and the 2nd goal is an extra recess or fort and flashlight reading day.  There are so many ways you can use this.  You can even let a sub give double the amount of balls if they have a great day with your guest teacher...
OR if you know you are going to be out for more than a day and want a special reward incentive in place just pull this out on those days.
I've been teaching long enough to know that YES you need consistency and structure but you also need to SWITCH things up when it comes to incentives too.  OTHERWISE they get bored easily - ahem I blame fort night and other video game 'babysitters' for the fact that these kids are getting bored so 'easily' nowadays ~ ~ but that's a whole 'nother blog series... kidding...kinda.

emoji marble jar reward

emoji reward jar

If this is something you know your students would love and you are dying to try it....you can find the emoji balls here:

This huge bag of emoji balls was less than $10 and the large jar I got at Walmart for $11.  You can probably use a clear Tupperware container from home as well.
If you have some behavior challenges this year and are frantically optimistically searching Pinterest for fresh ideas I hope this comes in handy.  I'm telling you whenever I use a different behavior trick, things get better.  Make sure to add to your bag of tricks often to keep things fresh in your classroom.  I'm certain that in doing so you will find success even with a chatty or difficult class.

As always, happy teaching!