Saturday, November 30, 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a huge sale on Monday and Tuesday.  This is the perfect time to stock up on some items that are on your wish list!!  Here are all of the details…

Happy shopping :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thanks for Giving

Are you looking for a way to show appreciation for the staff members at your school?  Do you want your students to recognize the people who do so much for them during the day?  Or how about showing your thanks to the unsung heroes at your school such as the crossing guard or lunch workers? If so, look no further!

I started showing some love for the staff members at my school quite a few years ago.  We start by brainstorming a list of all the workers at our school.  Next, each child chooses one of the staff members and writes them a secret special note telling them why they are thankful for that person.  Then comes the super-top-secret-mission...enlist the help of a parent volunteer and have each child take a picture with their chosen staff member.  I always have my students say, "We are doing a special project in social studies about the people who help us at school.  Can Mrs. ___ take our picture together?"  After printing the pictures, have the students use scrapbook paper as a background for their secret note and add the picture to the top.

Next, have your students write an invitation asking for their presence at a special presentation in their honor.  Include the date and time you would like them to come (the presentation usually takes about 2-3 minutes so you can schedule them every 10 minutes or so).  Be sure to have an option on the invitation that allows them to choose a different time if the times you provided don't work with their schedule.

Finally it's time for the big day...presenting them with their writing piece!!  I usually lay a piece of red fabric on the ground to act as a red carpet and line the 2 sides of it with star lights I found at the Dollar Tree or some glittery stars found at your local craft store during the holidays.  When they enter the classroom and walk down the red carpet, have their special student waiting for them at the end.  At this time, have them read their writing piece about them and be prepared for some tears!!  Have the student give them their writing piece and cue the class to say, "Thanks for giving!" before sending them on their way.  What a wonderful way to celebrate those who do so much at your school!!

If you're interested in this file, you can check it out here on Teachers Pay Teachers.  The first 2 people who leave a comment sharing who they would like to say, "Thanks for giving!" to and why will receive the file for free.  Be sure to leave your email when you comment.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm Thankful for My Funny Family (or Friends)

I've had my students complete the same story starter for years when Thanksgiving rolls around...What are you most thankful for?  And it seems I always get the same responses...
"I am thankful for my friends, my school, and my video games." 
That was basically the gist of their writing pieces...ugh! 
I wanted them to get deeper, more specific, and use great word choice-and year after year, I taught them about juicy words, asked them to tell specific things they were thankful for and why.  And, year after year I still got the same type of responses from the students.  Then...
The FUNNY FAMILY pictures ended the boring and lifeless Thanksgiving writing pieces.
I'm Thankful for My Funny Family Writing
How to get a great Thanksgiving writing piece started:
First, ask each child to bring in a family photo.  If a child doesn't bring in a photo, simply take one with their friends in class and use the Thankful for My Funny Friends writing topic.  Enlarge it on the copy machine (make sure it is set to photo).  I enlarge a 4x6 photo 180%.  Then, give them their photo and have them go crazy with fun foam, chenille sticks, puff balls, fabric-any odds and ends I can find in your bin of art supplies.  You can even ask parents for donations of scraps since many of them have little things like this around the house (let them know you are just looking for scraps, nothing needs to be bought new).

    Next, the students complete a graphic organizer and writing piece on why they love their funny family.  They often include funny nicknames their parents call them, funny stories they share, or things their brothers and sisters do.  Then, when their final writing pieces are done, invite their families in and have each child read them to the group and be prepared for lots of laughter!!

Interested in the file?  Find the file here on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Includes a Thanksgiving version (I'm Thankful for My Funny Family/Friends) and one to use any time of the year (I'm Grateful for My Funny Family/Friends).

 The first 2 people to leave a comment telling me why they're thankful for their funny family or friends will receive the file for free!  Be sure to leave your email address in your comment!!