Monday, March 31, 2014

Totally Sweet Math Centers is having a Giveaway!

 Tabitha from Totally Sweet Math Centers is having a giveaway in celebration of her first TPT Birthday! I love giveaways, so I thought I would share this one with others. This giveaway includes a $20 credit to Totally Sweet Math Centers by Tabitha’s store and a choice of a K-1 or a  grade 2-4 prize package full of math resources from TPT sellers. (Plus my Telling Time with Ninja’s resource package is part of the grade 2-4 prize package!). Click the link below to be redirected to Tabitha’s Facebook page so you can enter to win these fabulous resource packages.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Favourite Freebies Link Up

Welcome to my new blog!
Everyone loves freebies, so feel free to link up your favourite TPT Freebies or free items from your blog, and make sure to check out everyone else's freebies too!  Today was the official start of Spring, so I'd love to see some Spring freebies.

Please only link up free items and one link up per person.

I'm Having a Giveaway in Celebration of My Leap into the Blogging World!

Welcome to my brand new blog! To help celebrate my start into the blogging world I am having a giveaway. The giveaway is for a $25.00 gift card to  all you need to do is follow me for a chance to win. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks  starting on Friday March 21st and will run until April 4th. I will inform the winner of the giveaway that they have won by e-mail on April 5th. Don’t forget to check out the rest of my blog I’ve already added some great blog posts with science experiment ideas and classroom management tips. Good luck everyone and thanks for checking out my new blog!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Student Portfolios

Student portfolios are an excellent tool to get students thinking about their growth as learners, about what they are learning, how they are learning, and how to become better learners.

The goal of this student portfolio is for students to set goals that are important to them, independently monitor their learning growth with student selected work samples and reflections, and for student to gain a better understanding of the way they learn best.

Click Here to purchase Student Portfolios Resource Package.

Table of Contents:

1. The Goals and Purpose of this Student Portfolio
2. How to use this Student Portfolio
3. Student Portfolio Calendar
(Recommended times for activities)

Portfolio Student Binder Dividers
4. My Portfolio Title Page
5. All About Me Divider
6. My Goals Divider
7. My Best Work Samples and Reflections Divider
8. All About Me Activities
9. All About Me Collage
10. All About Me Worksheet
11. My Strengths Mind Map
12. My Assessment Flowers
(Beginning of the year, mid year, and end of year sheets)

Goal Setting
13. Narrowing Down What I Need to Work On Sheet.
14. My Goals Sheet
15. Goals by Month Sheet
16. Student/ Teacher Conference Questions Form.

17. Student Choice Work Samples Selection Sheet
18. Artifact reflection for Portfolio Sample Cards
19. Writing reflection Graphic Organiser
20. Math Reflection Graphic Organiser
21. Final Reflection (Stop light sheet)
22. Final Reflection Paragraph About Portfolio Journey.
23. Portfolio Checklist

Balloon Rockets

This is the fourth time I’ve done this experiment and it’s always been a blast! I always like to do balloon rockets on a nice day, but this year the day started off sunny and when it came time to shooting off our balloon rockets it was raining outside, so we did our science experiment in the gym.

What you need:
1. One balloon per student.

2. One straw per student.
3. One piece of tape per student.

4. Enough string to stretch the length that you want the balloon rockets to shoot across. I like to go between two different pieces of playground equipment. From out school’s jungle gym to our monkey bars is the perfect distance.

1. Hand out the materials (balloon, tape, and straw) to each student.
2. Each student needs to blow up their balloon (but do not tie it). Next students place their straws on top of the balloon and tape it down. Students can then let their balloons deflate.
3. Tie a string to an anchor (we used a hockey goal post in the gym this year; previously we have used playground equipment). Stretch the string out the length that you want the balloon rockets to shoot.
4. Have students line up with their balloons rockets. (Students will need to blow up their balloons again, but do not tie the ends).
5. For each student you need to pull the string tight against the anchor. Feed the other end of the string through the straw of each balloon. Have the student let go of the balloon. The balloon will shoot the length of the string all the way to the anchor.

Making Dinosaur Fossils

Each day of the week leading up to spring break my class did a different science experiment. We had so much fun with these science experiments!  It was a great way spend the afternoons with all the excitement of a week off coming up! I can’t take credit for developing these experiments as I found these science experiments from various places including research on the internet, science books, and my favourite... Pinterest! On Monday we started day one of our week of science with dinosaur fossils! I started off the lesson by taking the class outside to an old tree, and we had a discussion about how in 10 000 years there might be evidence of this tree left behind. This eventually led to a terrific discussion on fossils. Next, we came inside and watched a youtube video about fossils on the smart board.

We then started creating our own fossils.
Day 1: Creating fossils
What you need:
-One cup per student
-Clay (I bought air dry clay from our local dollar store).
-One mini toy dinosaur per student (I found a bag of 10 mini dinosaurs at the dollar store).

1. Have students make two small balls with their clay, next students flatten their two balls.

2. Place the dinosaur into one of the flattened balls, and place the other clay ball right on top of the other side of the dinosaur.
3. Place the clay ball into the cup. (Make sure to put the student’s names on the cups, so you know what fossil belongs to who).

4. Let the clay dry for a night or two. I placed them in the window so they would get the morning sun.

Day 2: Creating fossils

What you need:
-Clay fossils created from day 1.
-Dry paint brushes
-Clay tools

1. Have students open up the fossils using clay tools. It’s easiest to stick a tool between the two pieces of clay and gently pry.

2. Once apart, students can then gently take the toy dinosaur out of the clay, I then had students use a dry paint brush to gently brush away the bits of dust and clay.

3. Students can then take a look at their fossil and compare their fossil with their friend’s fossils.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Classroom Organization Idea

Each September, the school I currently work at, provides all of the school supplies that every student in the classroom will need throughout the school year. It is now mid March and all of our school supplies have seemed to have disappeared. Instead of providing new school supplies for each student I have decided to try moving the desks into what I call table groups, we have had this desk arrangement before during the Christmas season, from the U shape we were in previously this month. For each table I have placed a small tub (that I purchased at our local dollar store) with all the supplies the table group will need: scissors, glue sticks, crayons, and extra pencils. I’m hoping that this new arrangement will encourage sharing, discourage students from leaving their seats to get supplies, and encourage students to work together to take care of their new supplies. I have also written the table number on each of the bins so we know what bin belongs to which table. I also made one extra bin for when a student or group of students might need to leave the classroom to work.


Behavior Management Strategies
The purpose of this package is to provide teachers with some ideas and strategies on how to help students who have difficulty controlling their behaviors, so that these students can be successful in the classroom.

Contents include:

1. Purpose of this ‘Behavior Management Strategies’ package
2. Tips for helping difficult behaviour students be successful
3. Behavior management goal sheet
4. How I’m feeling today scale strips
5. Go for a walk a cool off strategy
6. Positive Behavior Sticker chart
- Happy Kids edition
- Hockey Edition
- The Three Little Pigs Edition
7. My three choices a cool off strategy.
8. My home and school communication book
9. Behavior Reflection Sheet
10. Documentation of student behavior sheet

Click Here to purchase the Behavior Management Strategies package.


Part of this package is a hockey themed sticker chart. This is a good visual for students to have taped to their desk. It’s also a terrific strategy to incorporate into a behavior plan, and a great way to reward good behavior. Directions: write the blocks of the day in the time column. Next if the student makes it though that block of time without a meltdown, or if he or she does all of his or her work during that time, or whatever the goal for that particular student is, they get a sticker. I like to tape these sticker charts into a notebook and then I have a nice documentation of that student’s behavior. You can make an agreement with the student, so he or she can have computer time or a treat at home if they get so many stickers.  (I had a student in my classroom a few years ago who got a Slurpee with his Dad on Fridays if he got so many stickers each day that week).

A Classroom Management Strategy

This classroom management strategy is great for reinforcing positive behavior and it’s easy! All you need to do is draw the outline of your hand on the white board. Now you need to watch the class to catch their positive behaviors. This positive behavior might be: listening, contributing to a class discussion, acts of kindness, or it may be as simple as everyone getting their work done on time. Once you catch these positive behaviors give the class a star. Once the class has a star for each finger of the hand the class gets to play a game. The length of this game can be as quick as 10 minutes. My class enjoys: 7up, the copycat game, a silent murder mystery game, and a hot potato bean bag game. Adapt this strategy to meet the needs of your classroom!


Measurement Magicians: A Measuring Length Unit
My best selling unit! Measurement Magicians: A Measuring Length Unit contains various games, activities, and worksheets to help your students practice measuring lengths in both centimeters and inches.  All answer keys are included.

Table of Contents
1. What is a ruler poster
2. Measurement scavenger hunt: classroom edition
3. Measurement scavenger hunt: outdoor edition
4.10 measuring ourselves task cards
5. Practice measuring in centimeters worksheets
-Measuring the magician and his magic props (cm)
-Measuring school supplies (cm)
-Measuring the height of monsters (cm)
-Measuring the magicians favourite desserts (cm)
-Measuring the magicians favourite animals (cm)
6. Practice measuring in inches worksheets
-Measurement magician: measure the props (in inches)
-Help the magician measure the bugs (in inches)
-Measure the monsters (in inches)
-Help the magician measure his lunch (in inches)
7. Order the magician’s assistants from shortest to tallest (cutting and pasting activity)
8. Ordering the school supplies from longest to shortest (cutting and pasting activity).
9. Draw line to show the length and then order from shortest to longest (cm)
10. Draw line to show the length and then order from shortest to longest (inches)
11. How big is a…. List game….
12. What unit do you measure with worksheet?
13. Answer Keys

Click Here to purchase the Measurement Magicians: Measuring Length Unit.

Kool Aid Play Dough

My students love play dough, so I thought it would be fun to make our own play dough!  Another teacher at my school shared this no bake recipe that I would like to share. This play dough smells great, is great for sensory, and the possibilities for play and learning with play dough are endless.

Kook Aid Play Dough recipe:


1 cup of hot water

1 Kool Aid package

1 tbsp of oil

¼ a cup of salt

1 ½ cup of flour


Add dry ingredients and oil into a bowl. Using a spoon, stir in the boiling water. Make sure to warn students that the water will be very hot! Students will stir until the play dough becomes a ball then they can take the dough out of the bowl and knead. If the dough is sticky add a little more flour.

Don’t forget to store play dough in an air tight bag or container. We used big zip lock bags.