Eat a Book | Book Tastings

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Back in the day....waayyy back circa 2003ish we would do rotations among our first grade team that we called EAT A BOOK.  Sounds a little crazy right!?!?  Well think of today's version of book tastings and it's kinda similar but with a twist.  Who knew we pioneered this idea back in the day. 😜  Well I think the book tastings that are done today are more in depth and done in one classroom ~ think of ours like a speed dating version of one. 😂

book tasting ideas

We would decide which teacher would take which story at one of our grade level meetings   ( before we called them PLC's ) and then we would plan a snack and activity based on the story.  We would read the story x amount of times ( let's say we had 5 first grade classes ) so 5 times and prepare enough snacks and activities for 5 classes to rotate through our room.

At the end of the day our students would be exposed to some awesome children's books and have a full tummy and fun memories. ** FYI:  I do remember we did account for allergies as needed and made adjustments for those kids. **

Here are some of the fun snacks and ideas we had over the years and I've added some that I thought of more recently too:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie:  do a circle story activity and eat  small bite sized chocolate chip cookies

Blueberries for Sal:  eat some blueberries and work on the reflection page.

If you Give a Pig a Pancake:  eat tiny pancakes - can provide whip cream if you like 

Dog a Donut - mini donuts

The Doorbell Rang ~ chocolate chip cookies

 If you Give a Moose a Muffin ~ mini muffins

 Chocolatina ~ Hershey Kisses 

The Carrot Seed ~ mini carrot sticks

 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ~ mini meatballs or any item from the story ~ lots of options with this story of course.

 Bread and Jam for Frances – toast or bread and jam , melba toast pieces if that makes it easier.

The Giving Tree ~ apple slices 

Piggy Pie – mini hot dogs

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – anything from the story 

Pancakes, Pancakes – pancakes of course

The Rainbow Fish - Goldfish crackers

We had just enough time to read the story /discuss and eat a snack, I think we also sent home a little something to go with our session, a bookmark, or quick art project/activity we were able to squeeze in as well.

If you want to try this version of a book tasting you can find out more here.

book tasting activities pack

Enjoy ~ I hope you are able to incorporate this idea!


Sight Word Games and Activities for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
The holidays are just around the corner and I've been teaching virtually since March.  Whether you are virtual or in person I have a few games that will keep your students engaged and asking for more when it comes to practicing sight words. 

holiday games and activities to use with sight words

No more BORING flash cards....ugh!  We live in a day and age of BOOM Cards, Interactive Google Slides and even good old fashioned games from when I was a kid.

We have played plenty of online digital games regarding building our sight word fluency and recognition.  In fact, here are few you might love:

digital sight word game

I have several more like this in my store:  some google slide activities, some powerpoint games and more.

But tomorrow we are going OLD SCHOOL and playing a matching game under the doc cam.  I also updated my December sensory bin so next week we will be Digging for Sight Words.  Kids are looking forward to Winter Break and I want to keep them  engaged up until the last day/minute/second.  Let's be honest, most of the kids I service are at least a year behind grade level ( especially with COVID and not having the support of in person learning ) so...if I can keep them learning ( and sneaking in fun ) up until  the final hour...well sign me up!

Here are some pics of our activites we will  be doing:

A matching game can EASILY be played under your doc cam if you are virtual or in person ( maybe save for later if you are in person - due to 6 ft restrictions and not sitting together at the reading table etc. )

Sight Word Matching Game

How it looks on ZOOM to my students:

sight word matching game

I hope these are just some reminders that you aren't as limited as you think  when it comes to virtual teaching!  There's A LOT you can still do that you did in the classroom - just transfer it to ZOOM.  The kids will respond the same and still enjoy it and ask to play again and again!

Another activity that I have found great success with on line is a sensory bin...YEP you heard me right - don't look at me funny! 😜
You can put the sensory bin under the doc cam and pick words out and call on kids to say them aloud or say them together as they are pulled.  Of course it doesn't have the same effect, but they still get a kick out of it and I think it makes them feel a little 'normal' since they are familiar with sensory bins.

Holiday sight word sensory bin

TEACHER HACK:  If you can't find any cute tongs ~ like the ones I have been trying to find at HOBBY LOBBY that look like cute can  tape an image on them (  like the reindeer clipart below ) I also have a winter kid taped on one from last year with my snowflake sensory bin.

Christmas Sensory Bin

If you want ideas on what you can fill your sensory bins with - I have an entire blog post dedicated to that here to get your creative juices flowing.


Thank you sign for Delivery Drivers

Monday, December 7, 2020
COVID has made our year anything but normal, I think we can all agree on that.  One thing I have done more of this year for sure is online shopping! 🛒🛍
 I have to admit, although I miss the massive Christmas trees filling the malls and the sounds of Christmas music blaring through the speakers 🎄🎅 - I have enjoyed the quietness of perusing online shops from behind my computer screen. 💻

Delivery Driver thank you note for porch

The hustle and bustle of dodging crowds and looking for the all elusive parking spot has been replaced with a blanket across my legs and scrolling through online shops in the warmth of my own home.  🏡

With that being said, I wanted to be sure and thank the delivery drivers bringing me all the goods.  Usually while shopping during the holiday season I make sure to STOP , look the cashier in the eye and with a warm smile thank them for helping me.  I get it, they're tired - working long shifts with some  ( not so nice customers ) at times.  😴🛌

I spent most of my life prior to teaching in the pool - competing, lifeguarding,  teaching swim lessons...however, I did spend a year in retail while I was getting my teaching credential.  Let's just say I didn't love it. 👎

Since, I'm unable to give a smile and some kind words to the hard working retail employees in our current state of lockdowns here in So. Cal, I want to show my appreciation for the delivery drivers dropping off our packages.  🎁🎁

This of course is not a new idea, I've seen it on Pinterest for years and it always warmed my heart knowing this idea has gone viral.  We could all use a little more kindness and a little less harshness right!?!?

So, the idea behind this that ended up going viral a few years ago is to just show your appreciation by leaving some goodies, beverages and a note of appreciation.  If you've had the opportunity to see some of the video responses from the drivers they have been heart warming as well.  Some dancing, singing, thanking the home owners via Ring, it's been awesome!  It just shows what a small act of kindness can do to brighten someone's day! 🌞

delivery driver appreciation note

If you'd like a copy of a note to leave with your goodie basket - you can grab it here.

delivery driver thank you note

If you end up using this, take a picture and share the love so others will join in and bless our hard working drivers.  

Be blessed my friends,


Holiday Ideas for the Classroom

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

holiday ideas for the classroom

Happy hump day friends.... welcome to another edition of...

The holidays are such a magical time of year.  Even if our holiday celebrations look different within our classroom there's no denying the whismy of the bright lights on people's homes and the songs we hear.  For some reason, the month of December has phenomenal feeling about it.

Addressing holidays around the world and offering a special share time for your students in December has always been a highlight.  I love hearing how different students celebrate the holidays and what their family traditions are within their home.  It's always so enlightening to hear and ask about how student's celebrate and what they celebrate.  

One of our favorite crafts in December is my snowman holiday countdown.  I love it because it lends itself to celebrating any holiday or just the countdown to winter break.  Kids love holidays and a break from school usually so why not count down each day?!

You can find this adorable countdown here.

countdown to christmas craft

Another favorite in this month is an extension from a classic folktale:  The Gingerbread Man.  Encouraging retelling of the story is easy with these engaging crafts.  The kids run home to 'retell' the story to their family/loved ones.  

You can grab this fun pack here.

Gingerbread Man Unit

Also, I have a separate retell craft that is fun for kiddos to use as a retell as well, this one only has pictures rather than a space for writing so it's perfect for TK and Kindergarten.

This sweet retell craft is available here.

The Gingerbread Man retell craft

Another favorite for the holidays is reading The Snowy Day - you can culminate the unit by having a snowball fight with plush snowballs.  I got mine at The Dollar Spot at Target.

If you are interested in this fun SNOWY DAY pack - grab it here.

The Snowy Day craft and ideas

I also like to keep their behavior in check during the month of December ~~ there is always such excitement for the upcoming holidays/vacation.  This has been super helpful for that.  Grab a seasonal chair back cover at the Dollar Tree, Santa hat is perfect for December.  Move it around all day for kids that are on task, engaged, being extra kind, etc.  At the end of the day whoever still has it on the back of their chair gets a ticket, prize, etc.  They LOVE this and if I forget to move it they tell me. LOL

Classroom behavior hack

This is just a sweet gift I love to give my students.  It's truly the gift of love and appreciation.  Your class is an extension of your family and I promise they feel the same way about you.  This is just a sweet way to let them know you love them and it won't cost you a thing..even better right!?!?!

Classroom community in December

I hope you can use some of these ideas either this month or stash them away for upcoming years.  Bookmark this page and you'll always be able to find this post when you need it.  Take care, stay healthy and....

happy teaching!