Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Free Story Plan

Here's a story plan that includes a picture mat with picture tiles for your budding writers. They can use them for oral exercises, writing or for drawing their ideas. Included is a storyboard to promote linkages between picture and text. This resource only contains Who? and Where? picture tiles. The rest of the story is up to your students. Click HERE for further details.

Christmas Around The World

It's Christmas Eve here in Trinidad and Tobago as it is in many  parts of the world. In my country Christmas is celebrated similar to most other countries but our Parang and Soca Parang music adds lots of flavor. Our parang festivals start as early as September when parang bands travel around the island performing at different venues. I love listening to parang! Classic Christmas songs by  Nat King Cole and Andy Williams are another of my favorites. As a teacher I often find myself searching for audio and videos of the oldies to share with my students. This year my class enjoyed singing " Feliz Navidad " by Jose Feliciano. We had a blast! Christmas is celebrated differently in many parts of the world. It is very interesting to see how the Christmas Story is portrayed in varying degrees yet so so similar. I found a very interesting youtube video that gives a snippet view of how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Click on the video below to check it out.

Benefits of Morning Messages

 I always need to start my day on a positive note so that both my students and I stay focused and excited about learning. I often welcome them verbally as they enter the classroom and then delve into the day's formal activities. It sounds boring, doesn't it? With a class of five year olds this needs some spirit, some vibrance and of course some positivity. This is why I am going to use a different approach by using morning messages. A morning message to your students is  a great way to start the day!So I guess I will need to explore the benefits of it to convince you to do likewise. So here's what I found out! What is a Morning Message? Simply put, a morning message is just that, a morning message. It is a message written by the teacher for the class to read. It usually highlights some aspect of learning for the day, or it can be a way to reinforce what learning took place the previous day. It is a wonderful way of welcoming students as it utilizes many of thei

Base Words vs Root Words

In my experience over the years I have come across some terms which have similar yet totally different meanings. It is sometimes so easy to interchange these terms, but, as teachers we need to understand what we teach before we get down to teaching it. One such dilemma is the use of the terms 'base word' and 'root word'. Now don't get me wrong here, it's all the best that we are able to tell the difference, especially in the teaching of the higher grades. However, for the younger kids it may not be all that important to distinguish. A base word refers to the part of a word that is an actual word that can stand alone. Prefixes and suffixes were added to them. The root of a word refers to that part of the base word that comes from another language. These cannot stand alone. As a matter of fact, the knowledge of the root of a word can help older kids with Spelling and Vocabulary. Take a look at the visual below for an explanation using

Learning With LeapFrog

Nothing is more astounding than to get a hold of some fantastic teaching tech devices for kids. As teachers we may not be able to afford them for our students, but we wish that our parents would invest in the best for their kids . I know that our parents are organizing their Christmas wishlists  for their kids so I thought that I might offer a few educational options from LeapFrog which would make our work easier. Below are some educational toys that would keep our kids busy and learning during the holidays. Click on the pictures for further details. LeapFrog Learn To Write (3 to 6 years) LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power Learning Tablet (3 to 9 years) LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power Learning Tablet (3 to 9 years) LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System (4 to 8 years)

Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale

   It's that time of year when you gather all my TPT resources into your shopping cart then wait, wait, wait!  "Wait for what?" I hear! Well you wait till Cyber Monday December 2nd and Tuesday December 3rd to get BIG savings! You get up to 28% off all the contents in your cart when you enter the promo code CYBER at checkout. So go ahead and start shopping for your year-round resources for your teaching needs. Just click on the link below to go directly to my best selling products of all times! Don't forget to use the promo code CYBER at checkout! Graphics Courtesy Whimsy Workshop

Letter Reversals 'b' and 'd'

  Are your kids constantly making the mistake of writing 'b' for 'd' and vice versa? Are you in need of some support or mnemonics to bring some clarity for them? Well, here's a set of printables that would assist you and your kiddos. Click HERE for more details!

2D and 3D Posters for Your Kindergarten Classroom

This is a fantastic set of posters, mini books and  mats for use in the teaching of the properties and attributes of 2D and 3Dshapes to a kindergarten class. It is aligned to the Common Core Standards stated below. CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.1 CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.2 CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.3 CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.4 CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.5 CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.6 This 86 page set contains posters for the following 2D and 3D shapes:- 2D Shapes -Circle -Square- Rectangle/Oblong (both are included) -Trapezoid -Rhombus/diamond (both are included) -Triangle -Oval -Diamond-Rhombus -Crescent -Heart -Star -Pentagon -Hexagon -Octagon -Decagon -Dodecagon 3D Shapes -cone -Cube -Cylinder -Hemisphere -Pentagonal prism -Hexagonal prism -Pentagonal pyramid -Square based pyramid -Rectangular prism/Cuboid (both are included) -Sphere -Triangular based prism Also included in this set are:- -position word cards - 4 assessment sheets, -2 min

The Power of The Red Ink Pen

So is it ok to use red ink to mark your students' work? Does the color red place a negative meaning in the minds of our students? Well, I am sure you know that it was really difficult to find a clear cut answer to these questions. I found out that the whole idea is debatable and situational for the most. However, I want to share with you two ideas that I found that are in support of the use of other colors other than red. In a book entitled ' The New Teacher's Toolbox ' written by Scott M. Mandel new teachers are urged to leave the red pens alone! Mandel explained... "In American society, and in most societies, red is considered a negative color. In our society, it is used on stop signs and lights, warning labels, poison, to indicate the devil, and so forth. If you see a red light, you naturally hesitate. We are conditioned to view the color red as something negative, or at least prohibitive. A paper that is handed back full of red marks conveys to the stude

The First Thanksgiving Story For Little Kids

This bright and colorful book would be a great addition to your literacy centers and a fantastic aid for your Social Studies lessons. It depicts the story of the First Thanksgiving through graphics that are indeed child-friendly. This resource was created to help young children get the true meaning of Thanksgiving and is not to be used to replace sound teaching. Click HERE for details!

Curriculum Bundle

Do you get all excited when you see teaching 'BUNDLES' available for purchase? Do you anticipate a pack full of super fabulous resources that make you work so much easier? Well here's an awesome set of teaching resources bundled especially for your classroom!   Very excited to be a part of the bundle with Educents!  I know you will love my .... There are 35 other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  Literacy, math, science, social studies, and so much more!   Hop along to see all the goodies you will get!   But that's not all!   I am giving you a chance to Pin It to Win It. You can win my Idiomatics Matching Card Activity .  Pin any image from my blog and enter below to win! A Teacher' Idea Giveaway The deal won't last long so head over now!

Monster Meddling CVC Blending Mats

Here's some blending fun that's perfectly timed for your Halloween themed classrooms!

Attention Getting Signals

Getting and keeping your students' attention is not easy. As a matter of fact, it's a craft! I have tried the countdowns, Give Me 5s and the "I'm going to tell you a secret!" and they do not always work! I am sure there are a lot more that you have tried that have worked for you and you are willing to share them in the comments below. So I needed some ideas and I found some great ideas on  The Teaching Channel . Here are some real eye-openers to get your students' attention. Standing in One Spot Clapping Not Saying A Word!   Drumming Up Attention   Secret Word

What are Interactive Read-Alouds?

"Research has demonstrated that the most effective read-alouds are those where children are actively involved asking and answering questions and making predictions , rather than passively listening. " (Lea M. McGee and Judith Schickedanz ) I recently attended a workshop that promoted this idea of interactive read-alouds and at the end of it I was wondering how different was this from what we already do in our classrooms? There are so many 'new approaches' today that most times we get frightened into misunderstanding what they are all about. Most times we realize that it's a new label for an old approach. Well needless to say  I could not see any differences really and I simply went away with new terminology. To me an interactive read-aloud is actually reading to my students and getting them to understand the content while I do so. They can ask questions, make predictions, give ideas all during the reading process rather than waiting till the end. In this

Syllabication Rules!

There are more than twenty rules that kids must remember when they attempt to syllabicate words. Most times it is very hard to remember all of them so the next best thing is to get lots and lots of practice! Let them listen to words and try to figure out how many syllables there are. Engage them in activities which call for looking closely at words to look for patterns as well. The more they listen to the sounds of words and the more they look at the words that they say the more likely they are to discover the rules of syllabication naturally! If you are interested in a syllabication literacy center for kindergarten kids click the picture below.

Retention or Promotion? What is Best for Your Child?

Photo Courtesy I am yet to find the perfect argument either for or against the issue of retention of students. From my 21 years of teaching experience there has been many successes and failures when it comes to keeping kids down rather than promoting them with their peers. One of the successes that I have seen with retention was an increase in the performance rate of some struggling students. Although these students were left behind by at least two years they were able to 'catch up', well enough to move on successfully to a higher level of education. On the other hand, in many cases increases in behavior problems were associated with retained students. Some children who are kept down become so disruptive at times and of course their influence among the younger students seem to be far greater than the teacher's ability to cope. Reasons For Retention Experts in this arena say that retent

A Labor Day Mini Book For Little Kids

This is a mini book that offers a simple explanation of Labor Day for you to relate to your kiddos. Each fact is supported with the relevant graphics needed for your students to get a clear picture of what Labor Day is all about. It can be used to support your Labor Day unit or it can be used as a standalone lesson. After using this mini book, it can be placed in your literacy centers. This resource contains two copies per print. Please note that the vocabulary may be difficult for the young ones so I suggest that students are not left to attempt to read them on their own. Guidance is key! If you are interested in purchasing this mini book click HERE for further details.

A Contract Mini Book For Serious School Kids

Here's a mini book that can support your first week of school activities. It was created for kids from pre-k to grade 2. Click on the picture below for further information.

Readiness For Kindergarten

I know that some parents are concerned about their children's readiness for Kindergarten. I also know that kindergarten teachers are busy planning their checklists and programs to ensure that ALL students are well on the way to learning. Whether a child starts off on the ball or lingering behind the teacher's main task is to get them all on the same boat. So what is readiness? How important is it in the life of a school child? What do teachers look for? Well, today I am going to give you some idea of what we teachers look for in each child when we meet our new class. What is Readiness? School readiness is the child's state of having the ability to learn and cope with the school environment without undue stress. A child who is ready is identified as the child who shows that he is able to function as he is expected to in a school setting. As teachers we look out for any difficulties or behaviors that trouble the student. Some students show problems wit

Building Student Responsibility With Classroom Jobs

Classroom jobs are a great way for your students to take responsibility for their classroom. It helps them to gain a collective sense of pride and to show others how much they care for their learning environment. Students learn to work cooperatively  with their peers in the class community. For these reasons and more I think that every class should have a well organized classroom job system. After all, what a better way to teach our students to be responsible than to give them responsibilities. Organizing a Classroom Job System Here are a few ideas that I have gathered which will assist any teacher in beginning to use a class job system.   Plan Before School Starts If you are not back to school yet, then now is the best time to start. Make a list of all routine tasks from the beginning of the school day to the end. Some tasks may require little manpower while others may need a heft. Some may need a long time to complete while others may be short. Depend