Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Peak Into My.... Friendship Unit

My Friendship Unit is one of my favourite units. I use this unit as a complimentary unit to the Friends for Life Program which I have used in my classroom for a few years now. The Friends for Life program is a mental health and resiliency program meant to help with suicide and anxiety prevention. The games and activities that I have created for the Friendship Unit fit nicely with this program, and also serves as a balanced anti bullying unit that works in a positive way. For example instead of talking to the class about how bullies are mean, instead talk about how can be become better friends to one another. Students respond better to the positive! 

The picture above shows the beginnings of a kindness chain which is a neat activity where students can create a new link on the chain each time they show kindness or have kindness shown to them in some shape or form. This can be paired with a lesson about what kindness looks, sounds, and feels like with discussion including examples of when member of the class have been kind in the past. The kindness chain templates can be found my Friendship Unit

The one special thing about me art and short writing assignment could make a cute bulletin board with all of the people templates linking hands. This activity would also make a perfect getting to know you activity or ice breaker as it reminds students that everyone is special and unique and it also gives students the opportunity to learn new things about each other and make connections with each other that they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to make. 

There are also many excellent books that you can pair with this Friendship Unit that elaborates on the theme of being a good friend to yourself and others including: 

-Enemy Pie by Derek Munson 
-The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
-The Best Friends Book by Todd Parr 
-How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath, Maurie J. Manning and Mary Reckmeyer
-Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff 
-The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
-Scardy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt 
-The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy. 
-The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein 

To find out more about Friendship Unit which includes 17 unique and interactive activities and a Congratulations on being a good friend certificate that would be perfect for giving away at an end of month award ceremony. Click on the image below to check out my Friendship Unit. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This Year's Annual TPT Cyber Sale Starts Tomorrow!

This has been a super busy month for me, and I feel like I haven't been able to give my store the attention that it needs. That being said, I have been working on a new product for awhile and it is really close to being complete. I'm hoping to upload it to my TPT store sometime during the sale, so watch out for my brand new product which is all about Social and Emotional Learning.  

I also wanted to announce that I will be participating in the Teacher Pay Teacher annual Cyber Sale and everything in my store will be 20% off including my already discounted bundles. All you need to do to get the sale price is fill your carts on November 30th or December 1st and enter the code 'smile' into the promo code box. 

I wanted to send out a thank you to Artflex Graphics for creating and allowing me to use these fabulous banners.

Did you know that you can also save on TPT by leaving feedback on your purchases? For every dollar you spend on TPT you are given a credit, and once you have 100 credits you will have $5 to spend towards your future TPT products. I usually save all of my TPT credits to use towards my sale purchases. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

2016 Student Made Calendars: A Great School Fundraiser or Gift for Parents

Are you looking for an idea for students to made Christmas gifts for their parents? Why not have your students make a calendar filled with their art for their parents? I have recently updated my Student Made Calendars for the 2016 year. If you have purchased this product last year make sure to download the updated copy and do this project again this year. 

My Student Made Calendars include:
-A cover page with room for a student illustration. 
-A calendar for each month of the year 2016.
-An illustration page for each month of 2016. Each page includes directions for a illustration appropriately themed for each month and enough room for the student illustration.

You could also chose to use this calendar as a fundraiser. As a class, your students could work together to complete the illustrations (perhaps the early finishers?) to make 2 or 3 unique copies of the calendar, and then you could copy and bind together a number of calendars to sell at your school’s holiday events and raise money for field trips or a worthy cause. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

A peak into my.... Poetry Interactive Notebook

My Poetry Interactive Notebook includes 42 pages of fun poetry activities and posters. I have included a poster for each poetic device and a poster for each type of poem. I have also included a variety of interactive notebook foldable and templates for students to write their creative new poems on. below is an example of a diamante poem on a cute little envelope foldable. 

Below is an example of another foldable, this foldable is flower shaped and is a fun and creative way to practice the poetry device of alliteration. Students can choose a letter of the alphabet and write a different word that begins with their chosen letter for each petal of their flower. Once completed, students can colour and glue their alliteration foldable onto a piece of construction paper. 

The next foldable is meant to practice rhyming. Students need to write a word with it's corresponding rhyming word next to it along with a picture for each word for each box of the foldable. Students can then colour, fold along all dotted lines and cut along the heavy lines to create this cute foldable. All of these foldables would make a terrific poetry bulletin board display. 

This fun poetry bingo game is a great way to get students excited about poetry in an independent and interactive way. You can choose to have the goal of students completing each task on the poetry bingo game chart, or instead they can work at achieving a line on the bingo card during a specific block of time. 

All of these templates plus more are available in my Poetry interactive Notebook product which is for sale in my TPT store. Click on the link here to learn more about this great product and to visit my TPT store. 

Enter to win my Poetry Interactive Notebook. On Saturday November 14 I will be announcing the winner of this prize. 
Enter to win below. 
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Congratulations to the Winner!

The winner of the Halloween Blog Hop Rafflecopter Draw is Amy Mehallic. I will be contacting Amy by email to send her a copy of my 20 Spelling Activities for Any Spelling List. Congratulations!  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trick or Treat Blog Hop: Halloween Lollipops and Dismissal Tips

Welcome to my Trick or Treat blog hop post! 
This is a long post, so make sure to scroll all the way down, and enter to win my Halloween themed Writing Centres, read all about how to make a sweet Halloween craft, and don't forget to read all of the other blog hop participant's blog post too!

The trick of the trade that I wanted to share is... dismissal tips. Dismissal time can be challenging! Students may be tired, parents and guardians may be outside the classroom waiting for the class to end which may make students becoming more anxious, and students may have different responsibilities around the classroom which may cause extra craziness. Special days like Halloween, which break routines, also make dismissal time even more challenging. 

Dismissal Time Tips: 
1. Make it a rule that no one leaves without the teacher's permission. 

2. Have students tidy the classroom and pack their backpacks 15-20 minutes before dismissal time and take their bags to their seats. 

3. Once everyone is back to their seats, play a game. Use a bean bag to play a quick game where students sit on their desks and toss a bean bag around the classroom until everyone has had a chance to share one thing that they have learned that day. Instead, you could do a ticket out the door where everyone writes a 2 sentence reflective journal about the day, or a 2 stars and a wish about their learning. 

And now for the treat...
This is a super cute Halloween themed craft perfect for any primary classroom's Halloween party.

What you need to do: 

To make a spider lollipop you will need:

1 lollipop
4 pipe cleans 
2 goggly eyes 
a small square of tissue paper. 


1. If you choose, you can wrap a small square of tissue paper around the top of the lollipop (this is optional).

2 . Take a lollipop (the sphere shaped ones work the best) and wrap 4 pipe cleaners around the middle of the lollipop to create the 8 spider legs. You will have to wrap the 4 pipe cleaners around the top of the lollipop stick twice for the pipe cleaners to stay, and then you can bend the pipe cleaners to make them look more like legs. 

3 . Next, glue 2 goggly eyes onto the face of the spider. 

To make the ghost lollipop you will need: 

1 lollipop
1 pipe cleaner 
2 goggly eyes 
1 kleenex 


1. Wrap a kleenex around the top of the ghost. 

2. Take a pipe cleaner, and wrap it around the neck of the ghost and then bend the pipe cleaner into a bow tie shape. 

3. Glue 2 goggly eyes onto the face of the ghost. 

Enter to win!
Enter to win my Twenty Spelling Activities for Any Spelling ListThis package includes 20 different games, activities, worksheets, and task cards to help your students practice their spelling words in a variety of different ways. There is something here that will meet the learning needs and multiple intelligences of every student in your classroom.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Owls the Perfect Unit for Autumn.

I just completed and uploaded an Owl Unit to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. This unit is packed full of activities and information about owls. Included in this unit is an interactive cutting and pasting owl’s species booklet, a variety of cutting and pasting activities, a variety of owl themed graphic organizers, and partners and group activities. The activities in this unit surround learning about the different owl species, owl’s food chain, adaptations, habitat, and comparing owls to other birds. Check out this great new unit by The Third Grade Zoo. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Save the Macaws TPT Fund Raiser

The Save the Macaws Project is a fund raiser designed to help the Tombopata Research Centre in Peru. This organization works hard to help protect the macaws by working with the local community to better understand these endangered birds, purchasing veterinarian supplies, creating and monitoring artificial nests, and caring for chicks. To help this worthy organization, TPT seller Carrie Whitlock has created 5 unique grade level bundles and a clipart bundle each filled with a variety of resources from some terrific TPT teacher authors who have donated their products to the cause. The grade 3-5 bundle contains 21 different products for only $25, and also includes my Wild About Animals: An Animal Unit.

Each product in this bundle is themed around helping animals and helping the planet. You can show your support for the macaws by purchasing a Macaw Project Bundle. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Canadian Back to School E-Book

If you are looking for Canadian teaching and learning resources make sure to check out this new Canadian Back to School eBook which contains dozens of teaching tips and tricks, activities, and freebies which were all created by teacher authors from across Canada. Thank you to Sidney from Teaching is a Gift who did a fabulous job of putting together this eBook. Don't forget to look for the Third Grade Zoo's page! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Three Ways How Popsicle Sticks can help you manage your classroom.

Did you know that popsicle sticks can help you manage your classroom? It's simple! Write each student's name a popsicle stick, and then keep your class set of popsicle sticks at the front of the classroom. 

You can then use your popsicle sticks to:

1. Give each student a partner. Use the popsicle stick method to keep things random and fair. This method allows students to get to work with everyone and encourages students to get along with everyone. 

2. Call on an individual student to answer a question. This method encourages everyone to pay attention as you are not going to call on the regular keeners or the students with their hands up. You are going to call on a random student so everyone must be paying attention. A lot of the time when the teacher just calls on a student with their hand up the other students disengage because they know they are not being held accountable. With the popsicle stick method students have to pay attention.

3. To help choose helpers in a completely random way. You can even take out the names of the students who have already done that job, or had that privilege so that everyone eventually gets a turn for each job. 

Check out my Back to School: Classroom Routines package for more great ideas to help you manage your classroom efficiently. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Animal Adaptations Art Lesson

This is a cute craft that I like to incorporate into my animals unit. I do this craft with my students when we are learning about animal adaptations. This craft is fun and easy, but most importantly it usually sparks some creative thinking and conversation about different animals and what predators and environmental hazards each animal needs to protect itself from. This also leads to conversation about why each animal looks, moves, and protects itself the way it does, and how these characteristics help animals survive in their environment. You might have a discussion about why birds have wings so they can fly away from predators, a giraffe has a long neck so that it can eat the leaves off of the tallest trees, and rhinoceros uses its horn to help defend itself. 

To do this craft you need a variety of images of animals. My students cut up old National Geographic magazines. Students can then choose different animal parts from the animal images to create a new animal. You can then have a class discussion about each of the animal's parts, their purpose, and how it helps each animal survive its environment. 

You can find this, and other great animal lesson ideas in my Wild About: Animal Unit

Friday, July 31, 2015

Back to School Giveaway!

Back to School is around the corner and I thought it would be the perfect time for a giveaway! To enter all you need to do is use the raffle copter below to follow either my TPT Store or my new Facebook page. The winner of this giveaway will win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card and a copy of my Ultimate Back to School Bundle Package with includes 8 of my best selling products including: Student Portfolios, Formative Assessment Strategies, Behavior Management Strategies, 20 Activities for the First Month of School, and an Editable 2015-2016 Teacher Binder. Scroll Down to Check out the linky party filled with fabulous free back to school products from other TPT sellers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations to Sarah R. who was the winner of this giveaway! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to School Freebie Linky Party.

Welcome to the party! I am inviting all of my teacher author friends to link up a FREE resource or blog post that will be useful for teachers to use during the first month of school. So, please link up your free resources and don't forget to check out the other resources from the linky party! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Do You Use Writing Centres in Your Classroom?

Writing centres are a big hit in my classroom. Writing centres can be set up in a variety of ways, you can have the centres set up in such a way that it allows student choice in what centre each student goes to, or you can set up your centres so that each student gets to visit a variety of writing centres each day.

The benefits of writing centres include:
1. Practice. No one does anything well unless they practice, by setting up writing centres regularly in your classroom your students will get lots of writing practice. You can even structure writing centres in such a way that students are practicing a particular still at each centre which you will have given a pre lesson before the writing centre about that particular skill. For example, you could do a lesson on using descriptive language in writing and have writing centres that all involve descriptive language. 
2. Novelty. With writing centres students will be able to write in a variety of different ways and forms during writing centre time.
3. Independence. Set up with the right structure and routines writing centres will allow students the independence to work independently.
4.  Allows opportunity for small group time and for student/teacher 1:1 time. You could make one centre an extra help station, or you could use centre time to work with those student who may need the extra assistance. 


A variety of accommodations can be made to help students who may struggle to work independently at a writing centre. Ideas to help these students feel successful might include: using technology to assist with the writing process. iPad apps such as Story Maker, where students can make their own stories using picture and recording their voices with the app, or Dragon Speech Recognition Software where students can use technology to  type for them. Students can also draw pictures and make comic strips to tell their stories, or you can have a helper use a highlighter to do the writing for a student, and the student traces over the highlighter to practice their printing. 

How to set up writing centres in your classroom: 

Writing centres can be set up in a variety of different ways. You could have a writing centre set up in the classroom for early finishers, or you could have a rotation of centres set up so that everyone spends a small amount of time at each centre, and when the timer goes off everyone moves to the next centre. You could also set up 4 or 5 centres and allow students the opportunity to choose what centre they would like to work at. 

Also check out this blog post I made last year that includes directions on how to set writing goals.

My TPT store has a variety of writing centre resource packages, and also a bundled package where you can purchase all of my writing centres products for a discounted price. Click the links below to check out my writing centres products: 
Hurray for Writing Centres 
Halloween Writing Centres
Christmas Writing Centres
Valentine's Day Writing Centres 
Spring Writing Centres 
and Writing Centers Bundled Package 

I also have all of these products available with both American and Canadian/British spellings of "Centre" or "Center".