Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Little Shelfie Action

It's no secret that there aren't enough hours in the day for us to read! I have a to be read list a mile long and I add to it faster than I read books on it. Anyone else?!

This year I wanted to create a visual reading log for my students and the idea stemmed from my summer reading log. I had a few friends comment on how cool it was and then I decided--duh! this is the reading log for me! It really turns into a work of art and I'm already dreaming of the end of year reading logs...what a way to display what you read!

You can find this is my store as well as some reading snapshots (the coolest reading Polaroids ever) for students to display what they've read for parent nights and such!

Check the out {HERE!}

Over and out!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Friendship Towers and Building Classroom Community

Whether it's the beginning of the school year or anytime in the middle--this is one of my favorite activities to do with students.

As much as school is about reading, writing, math, science, social studies, PE, art, music, and all the subjects--it's even more about the relationships that students build with their peers.

No classroom is perfect because we are all learning! We start off with FRIENDSHIP TOWERS.

At first I have some building blocks (you can use Jenga blocks, unifix cubes, really anything that you can build with) and we talk about what makes a great friend by asking questions like:
What do great friends do?
What do they sound like?
What do they look like? (as in actions)
What do they make you feel like?

And with each response I build a tower. I have my students write down key terms that they say and add to their "Friendship Tower" page. A freebie printable is at the end of this post for you to use because #yourock.

Then I talk about how all friends aren't perfect...and I take away a few blocks.

We discuss how this doesn't mean that a friendship is over, it just means that you have to keep building.

Now sometimes something might happen where you feel your friendship tower has been completely destroyed. Sadsville. We discuss cirmcumstances like this because students will encounter this--it's real life y'all.

BUT then we talk about how it's okay to rebuild and refortify your friendship and how it is totally possible!

Then students get to build their own friendship towers and encourage one another and cheer each other on for the "coooolest tower" or the "tallest tower" or the "funkiest tower" and so on.

I'm allllll about simplicity with a big impact and my students alllllllways love this one. JUST  had to share! Will you try this? I think you should! Let me know how it goes in the comments.

Oh, and grab this handy dandy freebie printable {HERE}

Over and Out!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

PB and Jammin'!

Here are some songs that are on my playlist right now! ANNND can we just take a moment to realize how fast time is going--sllloooow down so I can catch a breath! I am totally loving apple music and creating playlists that I can listen to anytime and anywhere! My husband ordered this super fun speaker that goes juuuuust about everywhere with me. No affiliate...just sharing something that I love! What songs are you loving recently? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Year Long Work Boxes

It is THAT time. I feel like we are all starting to find our back-to-school groove...

And everything that comes with it--there's so much to do and not enough time at all!

I wanted to share one of my time saving tips that can last you all year...and your kiddos too! ANNND also get your kiddos showing their work.

While #thestruggleisreal with showing work--I've found a good trick to get kiddos to show their work. I take my work boxes and make copies of them and I am set for a good chunk of the year! 

What are work boxes? They are generic sheets that my students use for multiple subjects to show their work and respond on. I have a million sets of task cards and instead of keeping up with each recording sheet...I just whip out a generic set for students to show their work on. There's room for students to write the activity and SO MANY variations! 

I could never keep up with the millions of recording sheets to go with task cards, scoots, and other class activities...EEEEKS! So many! So I created my own set to keep us showing our work (and to keep me more organized).

Want to try it? Just follow me and try it out!

How are your first few weeks of school going? I know you are totally ROCKING this year!

Over and Out

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Genre Lovin'

I feel like we all need a deep---like super deep---breath right now! It's the beginning of the school year and the OLYMPICS are happening right now.

So there is no sleep.

Or very little sleep occurring.

AND so much excitement.

I got these little fun things together the other night EMOJI GENRE READING posters. And I love them. So much. 

My kids always need all the visual clues they can get--well...I need all the visual clues I can get ;). EMOJI's conveniently just lend themselves to fun projects like this.

AND here's a sneak peek that I totally love. (if you are interested they are available in my tpt store---Follow along and find them here!

AND they are editable. Which is aweeeesome!


May the forces of Genre be with you and your crew(s) this year!

Over and out!

Monday, August 15, 2016


As educators we are essentially entertainers. Right? Well, most days it seems like we are ringmasters of a circus--but either way we are running a show--that just so happens to be our classroom. After attending a Taylor Swift Concert I had to share some take aways that could transfer from the 1989 tour to your 21st century classroom. Because the teacher in me couldn't stoppppp thinking about everything I needed to do in my classroom.

Whether you are already feeling good or need a pick me up here are a few things that I LEARNED from Taylor Swift that I could directly implement into my teaching:

First Takeaway was this: TAKE it to the 9's

Taylor was dressed to the nines. And it was AMAZING!!! As teachers we need to dress the part! I know in the middle of the school year a new outfit or fresh tube of lipstick makes teaching a little more fun. And I'm totally apart of the #dryshampoofordayyyys club--please tell me I'm not the only member!

Plus your students notice and appreciate when your confidence takes precedence. I'm not saying you need to teach in 3 inch heels (if you can, hats off to you!) and wear red lipstick. Just simply, and so simply...

Take pride in your appearance, splurge every once in a while, and dress the part!

It makes a big impact for such a small and sometimes trivial thing.

Take away two: Work the ROOM

When was the last time you complimented your class? One of my favorite things Taylor said during the concert to work the crowd was this "I have a lot of favorite things about you but my absolute favorite right now is..." and all the tweens went wild! Your class will totally eat out of the palm of your hand if you compliment them both sincerely and like crazy.

And also in the sense of working the room...I have this silly goal that each lesson at some point I make it to four corners of my room. Meaning that I have to move as I'm teaching and make it to some invisible spots in my room. It's the easiest thing that makes a difference so we aren't glued to the front of our room. 

Take away three: Unite the CROWD
This was one of my favorite things! Everyone in the crowd had a band that lit up. And the band would change colors and blink like crazy in unison. It was so cool. So what do you have for your class? A special dance? A favorite phrase you all say together? A song you sing? What is something that unites your class?

While it seems silly, a common factor is something that can keep your students engaged and involved throughout the year is worth it's weight in LOTS of GOLD.

My class we have a awesome hand dance that we do--it unites us and we start and end our day with it. We also curate a class playlist that is ours and ours alone. It brings us together and it's one of the main memories that past students love and remind me of.

Take Away 4: SHARE the STAGE
When Taylor Swift came she brought some other class acts along with her Pitbull and Ricky Martin. All of the mom's in the audience just about LOST their minds because RICKY was there! It was amazing and really switched thing up and brought even more energy into the show.

Sometimes as a teacher we rack our brains for guest visitors that can come in and teach...but the best "guest teachers" are your students themselves! Let the teach and take the stage. I always tell my students that they speak 6th Grader better than I can (insert your grade level---5th graders speak 5th graders than teachers do)! And it's true. Sometimes because you've taught something over and over your students have a lingo that you don't have! Let them explain things and teach! You'll find you have some really amazing teachers and leaders in your class.

Other guests are family members, the principal (have you EVER invited your principal to come in and teach about a passion or something that they love?), your family (my husband comes and does strawberry DNA and teaches about BOX and WHISKERS because he is a STATS master).

There's definitely a time and place for it--but variety makes things so much more enjoyable!

Take Away: LOVE your PEOPLE

This is the biggest and most important thing LOVE your audience. Each and everyone no matter what! Always compliment. Be kinder than you feel. And be kind consistently. Take time when you feel rushed. And try your hardest to make every students feel capable and confident in everything that they do. Because they need you.

Teach on and ROCK on this year!

Over and out!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Recently Read

This has been a great summer thus far---and I'm in total denial that back to school season is upon us! EEEEks! But then I'm also excited to share and try out everything that I've learned this summer. It's such a bittersweet thing. I have pinterest boards of books and reading that I've been adding my faaaavorite books and reading tips too!

The last book that I finished was "El Deafo" by Cece Bell and I LOVED it. It was my first graphic novel that I read and totally loved it! It was funny and humorous and a quick and easy read. And now I am totally hooked and ready for more graphic novels.

Totally perfect for your kids that might not be the biggest reading fans--it's quirky and right up their alley. AND I HAD TO SHARE. <<< the link provided is not an amazon affiliate link---I just love the book and caught it on sale for 6 bucks--so I hope you can too! If not, grab it from your local library.

Anything that you've read recently and loved? I just started JACK by Liesel Shurtliff and I'm needing a for more books in my reading que. AND hit me with your favorites because I love good book recommendations!

Ps the personalized emoji's can be found in my store here and read all about how I use them here!

And speaking of spending money--go spend some on the TPT sale RIGHT NOW and don't forget (just reminding you because I totally forgot one time!) to type in the superawesome code BESTYEAR to get a few more percents off of your purchase!

It all adds up---especially when you have to tell your husband how much you spent! Hahaha!

Personally I am stocking up on some Blair Tuner goodness, Amy Groesbeck awesomeness, and some supa-fun posters from Teaching and So Fourth (her lyric posters have got me swoooooning!). This is my favorite kind of school shopping! Eeeeeks!

Hope y'all are enjoying every last minute of summer!

Over and out!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Quick and Easy Labels

I LOVE getting ready for the beginning of the year. LOVE IT! There's something about new notebooks, clean desks, crisp bulletin boards, and FRESH LABELS. Today I'm sharing one of my teacher tricks for creating students labels to ((attempt)) to have the most ORGANIZED school year ever!

Teachers have a thing for pretty paper, don't they? I have a few packs laying around at all times a few more that I would love to purchase just sitting at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. ;)

Keep reading and FOLLOW ALONG for other fun classroom organizational tools!

Print up a page per students. That's right, I have a page for each student and I keep it throughout the year. At the end of the year I send home what is left I send it home with the kiddos--and they love it!

I also print up a stack of class sets as well. Total lifesaver for organizing t-shirts, book orders, beginning of the year school supplies, and SO. Much. MORE. No Joke.

I slice up the paper into squares...well most likely rectangles. Lots of squares/rectangles. I make enough for a each student to have 4-5 squares/rectangles for their own labels. I put the labels in the middle and laminate a set or two and leave the others as is (unlaminated).

I put the laminated ones out in the hallway of our school on clothes pins. Out walls are bricks so we hot glue them to the walls. Which is sah-weet! They are perfect to staple and place by awesome student work.

One of my >>>favorite tricks<<<< to keeping students engaged is taking their label cards--two per student and hole punching them on one corner and putting them on a ring. I use these to call on students and since their name is in the deck twice they are never off of the hook! EASY PEASY! Give it a try! Today! Tomorrow! As soon as you can!

And have the best day ever! And the best school year ever!

Over and out!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Teacher to Teacher Communication (Freebie!)

One post just wasn't enough about Teacher to Teacher communication. I have a handful of students that work with a resource teacher at our school (she's my teaching best friend and I couldn't make it through a school year with out her). She is AMAZING and goes to such lengths for the kids and to communicate with teachers.

One rambunctious favorite student of mine loved going to her class and needed lots of reminders to on how to behave and to work really hard :/ :/ :/! It was such a problem because there was wasted time...and as a teacher you know how important time is!!! We started using this sheet and It made world of difference in how we were able to work together. I think sometimes as teachers with think that we do our thing and resource teachers do their thing. BUT we always forget that #togetherwearebetter! It was such a positive tool!

At the beginning of the year I fill out the date and what we were working the year goes on my students take over and I simply check it before they head to resource. The resource teacher fills out who went above and beyond, who worked really hard, and who (if anyone ;) needed a few reminders. It keeps kids working hard AND accountable.

Also, I like to know what celebrations my kids have with other teachers!!! I want to celebrate with them and carry it over to our classroom.

I laminate my sheet and just write using an expo or visa-vis usually. If there is a day where there are celebrations or reminders I take a picture of it on my phone to discuss at parent-teacher conferences.

We began sharing resources and I had sets of my materials made for students to take back and forth and things for her to hold onto. It worked so well and the expectations were the same. When kids know that teachers are on the same page, they know the expectations are the same, and they exceed them!

I had a box for me to write what we learned, my students wrote their homework assignment, and she jotted a note as to what they accomplished! ALSO, students know not to mess around...they are there to work and learn and improve. It helps them meet so many learning goals.

Here's this! It's for you! Do you send groups of your students to see speech teachers? I love to know what they are working's just for me to see but I love asking my speechers (my nickname for them) what they are up to! Teacher to Teacher communication is the best!

Here's a googledrive link to the document:

Over and Out!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Just STACK it!

How is it that summer is flying by? We are ENJOYING every minutes at our house. We don't have any huge plans this summer but we are really loving spending lots of time at the pool! I've been finishing a lot of books poolside which is the ideal reading spot.

I've been gearing up for the new year and reading "Reading in the Wild" for the first time and "The Book Whisperer" again. Both are by Donalyn Miller and really reaffirm my core reading beliefs as well as enhance strategies that I implement in my classroom.

Have you read them? If not totally check them out here! (no affiliate...just check them out for some awesome PD!!! will look like a superstar when you talk about reading them once school starts back up!). My much loved copy of the Book Whisperer is read EVERY summer and has been borrowed among so many teacher friends...who always end up getting their own. It really is that good!

One idea she shared was something I already do with my class but I wanted to share it in this space...

It's book STACKS! A stack of book recommendations that I give my students. But there's so much more to it that makes it personal for each student!

At the beginning of the year I give my students a reading survey--it's very similar to Donalyn Miller's but with a few questions changed, a few taken out, and one or two added. I am generally not a keeper of things but I hold onto these the entire year and keep them in my GUIDED READING BINDER. They are referred to all year!!!

Once my students take the surveys I sit and read through them with sticky notes and a diet coke. As I read through each reading survey, I jot down any and all books I could recommend to each particular student. I pull up my pinterest boards full of book recommendations, goodreads, Amazon, and (my go-to's!!!).

I keep in mind which books I know I have in my classroom library as well as what books our library has. I have a general idea of what the library has. If there are books that aren't in my classroom I add them to our class wishlist!

7-8 book is the perfect amount to put on the sticky note list so there is a variety of books! I am always finding my self referring back to these during reading conferences and when students get stuck selecting a book I have a list of ideas. I keep this on their reading survey. When they read it, I check it off to keep current with their reading.

Rather than telling these to my students we go and visit our library shelves sometimes and other times I curate a stack and we talk about each book. It gives students options an builds a trust with them--because 99% of the time they find a book that they are enamored with.

Sometimes I get sticky notes on my computer from students asking for a stack! It's important to help our readers--whether they are strugglers and wild readers sift through books and select things that they not just like but LOVE!!!

So JUST STACK IT! Try it out with your readers and let me know what you think!

Over and out!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Yahoo! Hooray! Whoo-hoo! I am so so so excited to share this! If you follow me on instagram (bethvanteaching)...I hinted about this a few days ago!!!

We all know that reading is important and that building a classroom of readers. I wanted there to be a fun and engaging way for my students to track and share their reading that was basically easy and effortless as well. So we are using this emoji "READING STATUS OF THE CLASS"!

There are EIGHT "categories" that students can put their very own/somewhat custom emoji's on...
Let me show you!

Do you see why I am geeeeeking out and wishing I could insert a billion emoji's right here in this blogpost? I just put these up in my TeachersPayTeachers shop (<<<follow along here!;).

Your students take ownership by having their very own emoji that they move around the board as the read through a book! How fun, right?

As the school year goes on your students know when their friend is finishing up their highly anticipated next read.

They know that when a friend posts on "all of the sads" that maybe a favorite character might have died, something didn't work out, or that their book is finished (you know the sad feeling when you finish a book you love!).

Your students can easily share hilarious moments, suspenseful seconds, and when they are just simply loving their book.

They have ownership and investment into the board--and there is nothing better than that.

They share this with you! I always feel like I have >>>THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS<<< much to do and >>>this<<< much time and as much as I would love to confer with each student daily and doesn't always happen. BUT this helps me know where my students are and how to meet their needs as a reader.

You can refer to this board as a talking point, when you need to put a box of kleenexes on  students desk, and when you can say "FIVE MORE MINUTES" because a students is so anxious to finish the last few pages of their book.

It is so easy to setup and maintain throughout the school year (something meaningful and with longevity...YES PLEASE!) AND keeps you and your readers connected.

Find it in my store HERE

Check out my easy peasy emoji sticker writing activity here! ((because we can't get enough emoji!)

Over and out!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Math Projects!!!

Summer time, oh sweet summer time! It's the best time to catch up on lots and lots of things!!! Netflix, sleep, not making lunches, movies, time at the pool...enjoying it all!!!

During the school year I feel like I start 1,000 projects, finish 10 of the and leave the 990 left for the summer. So I'm so grateful for catch up time!

Whew!!! Teachers need summers don't they!!?? Here are a few new things that are now posted in my TpT Store!

This was a work of HEART let me tell you! 50 Metric Task Mats targeting different skills plus a collection of fun and useful reference pages to make going from kilograms to grams and so on engaging and easy! And they focus on measurements that students are familiar with!!! Whoo hoo! 

This was made to specifically help all students with plenty of problems to challenge your students that NEED TO BE challenged and help those along that find it intimidating. Get your metric system set HERE!

Tricky Fractions! I always have the hardest time finding practice problems for when students need to borrow and carry when adding and subtracting mixed numbers. 

AND ones that don't involve crazy denominators because I'm usually needing these for my students that really struggle. 

I always fail when making them up on the spot--#teachertroubles. The common denominator becomes some huge number and then we are all lost...ha! Not anymore! I've loved having these in my arsenal.  
These task mats that can be printed full page for students to draw and show their work easily. Which I LOVE!!! Perfect for RTI groups and using throughout the entire year.

 I love to laminate them for working in small groups and also using them as stations for review.

Proportions! I love these bold and fun task mats!!! Your students will reach proportion perfection with these. 
From determining 
if an expression is a proportion to -> solving -> setting up a problem and solving it 
these have you covered. You'll love how big the problems are for group work!

Promotion Troubles = SOLVED!

Over and out!

Monday, June 20, 2016

All the FONTS

It's no secret that I LOVE FONTS. I bet you do too! I seriously wish there were enough hours in the day for me to use my collection in all sorts of teachers things. One project that I am working on is organizing my fonts. Whether you sell on teachers pay teachers or are a font enthusiast--you will love these lists to keep your fonts in tip top shape.

Here are my organization sheets they include the following font genius/artists: KG Fonts, Brittney Murphy Designs, Darcy Baldwin Fonts, Cara Carroll Fonts, HelloFonts, Babbling Abby Fonts, Perfect Blend Fonts, & KB Fonts.

I also have a page for thehungryjpeg. If you haven't heard of this site--I am so sorrynotsorry for the amount of money you are going to want to spend there! Each month they offer a font/design pack and they are stuffed with fonts goodness. Sometimes there are so many fonts that I love that it is hard to keep track of them. Whomp. Whomp. ;)

One last fonts tip---especially if you have a mac! I keep FONTBOOK on my dock so I can easily browse my fonts. #fonttroubles I have so many Microsoft struggles to keep up with my fonts and it slows me down to wait for them to pop up on my powerpoint list. So do this! Give it a try--it will make your font loving heart even happier!

Did I miss a font artist? Give me a shout below so I can add it to my list and organizers!
If you aren't able to download the pdf above just shoot me an email and I'll quickly pass it along!

Over and out!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Books of Summer!

One of my favorite favorite things about summer is that there is more time to read! It's nice to not have the hustle and bustle of the school year and relax and read! We've been spending QT at the pool and I'll read a few pages before jumping in or just sit on the couch and breeze through a book. It's the BEST! Here's part of my summer round up so far ((Just finished Raymie Nightingale...and LOVE).

The Crossover & Booked by Kwame Alexander

I read Crossover about a month ago and finally found BOOKED at the library! I LOVE both books--probably Crossover a little more but it was fun to see Mr. Alexander work his magic once again. All the tears all the feels. You'll wanna add this one to your library. Definitely.

The Wild Robot By Peter Brown
Ok the first 40 pages I was not so sure about this book. So give a little bit. BUT hands down this will be added to my own personal library. There are a lot of discussions and sweet themes throughout every chapter. I can't wait to see if this one is a Newberry contender. Because it should be. PERFECT for book clubs and literature circles. AND a bonus for you because it's a quick read!

Red by Liesel Shurtliff
Earlier in the year I read RUMP and thought I loved it but I would recommend starting with RED. I could not put this book down. It was perfectly balanced with magic, adventure, comic relief, and full of fairy tale twists. Grab this for a read aloud if you are looking for one. I love it when fairy tales grow up with kids and RED does not disappoint at all!

What are you reading this summer?I need to add to my list!

Over and out!

Monday, June 6, 2016


Emoji's are a thing! I love "rolling" with the trends and things that will easily engage students, don't you? It's what makes learning fun and always different.

A few a month's back I purchased a few sets of these emoji's (no affiliate link--just an emoji fan!) and kind of wondered what I would do with them---other than give them out to my students or put them on fab work. THEN I came up with this fun whole group activity that then became a fun end of year writing center. Totally stocking up on more of these this summer!

You'll love this for any time of year. I found some 1 inch small blocks that I purchased at Michaels and made them into emoji dice. So all you have to do (or your students) is roll and write and let the creative juices FLOW!

Roll them under a document camera for a fun whole class activity. For free writing or story writing I roll and say "your setting is" and students would have to weave the emoji into their setting. It made things tricky and exciting. Plus there are always a few giggles when the chocolate ice cream swirl -- aka poop! emoji is rolled.

 We especially loved this with poetry! Having to include a word associated with the emoji made things really interesting and stepped up the kids creativity.

Think about Friday afternoons when everyone is a little tired EMOJI DICE will be a total lifesaver! When there seems to be a rut during your writer's workshop...lifesaver! Needing a fun center to add? This. Is. It.

Seriously so so easy and engaging is right up your alley! And your students will love creative writing even more!

Want more? Be sure to follow me on instagram (bethvanteaching) and on teachers pay teachers HERE!

Check out my new Emoji READING Status of the Class!

Over and out!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BOOKS that ANY STUDENT will read.

Let's talk toilets, toilet paper, restrooms...and well, I'll stop there. But wait, don't your students appreciate a little potty humor? YES. OH, YES, they DO.

Don't let me fool you or think this post isn't legitimate potty talk...because it is. It's all about Bathroom Readers--only your students read them in the classroom.One of my favoritefavoritefavorite books that instantly transformed by reluctant readers!!!

Here it is!!!

Run and get these books I was so skeptical but once we read a few excerpts and saw the magic of this book--I literally ran to Sam's Club (I am a total Costco fan but Sam's had me on this one) and picked up this book to test it out!

I have to tell you "Uncle John's Bathroom Readers" make my skittish readers read. And since it's not Guinness Book of World Records (#insertteachereyeroll...there I said it...well, I have the hardest time with my perpetual Guinness Book kiddos and it drives me batty. Am I alone? Yay? Nay?)...
 I am so so happy that they love this. It's history/science/everything you want that is---so so funny and engaging!

My students that love reading love these just as much because of the real life/historical/scientific stories that are told and the funny (and yet still accurate) way the information is presented.

PLUS text features out the wa-zoo! Some information is presented in charts and lists which is so cool for students to see used in real life!

I love the page number--toilet paper rolls--your kids will love it too!

I have the "kid version" of the bathroom readers on my shelves--well, they are never on my shelves because my kids pass them around--and they have a 1.5 week time limit check out. So my students can use them for their personal reading but I use the original versions for reading groups throughout the year. The regular bathroom readers contain some """interesting history""" ;) so I keep those in my book cabinet ;) for selected reading articles

I mix up my groups with just about every book so sometimes there are books that require more meetings than others but I don't want to lose instruction time with those that are finished with their books...

So I copy less than 10% of the book and make packets for our lit groups. It's is hilarious and fun. Sometimes I pair my students up and they present us with information for one article, we read it all together and do some extra exploring during genius hour, and sometimes we just sit and giggle and read these articles that are totally true! It's also a great addition to their reading logs!

I love the "A Hair Piece" and usually show the Frozen clip when the Prince of WEASELTON's hair piece flips off and we all get a good laugh. And most of the time the funny titles just get me!

So grab your bathroom reader and get started! You have the entire summer to check it out!

Over and Out!

Monday, May 23, 2016


That's right! ALL about NETS! I don't know about you but for some reason SURFACE AREA totally throws my kiddos for a loop. Like they have to find all the area of that whole big shape thing and it's just a lot sometimes.

So FOUNDATIONS become really important. Especially laying a foundation for learning all about 3d shapes such as rectangular prisms, cylinders, triangular prisms, pyramids, and all that jazz.

It's time to bring in boxes and rip them apart to see their net, pringles canisters, toilet paper tubes, masking tape (making nets of of floor tiles), and taking a closer look at pyramids. It's all about opening their minds to everything nets.

We focus a lot on identifying nets and really getting our heads around how these 3d shapes are made. When you take time to do this surface area and all things nets just becomes easier.

One of my favorite activities to do with my kids is IMPOSTER! I have a series of nets that actually fold into an object and some nets that are well, IMPOSTERS! They have to sort through the cards and really analyze how these shapes come together.

Students will have those light bulb moments and really familiarize themselves with 3d shapes!

And then it is smooth sailing into surface bumps in the road because your kids are so familiar with nets that it isn't confusing or this crazy math cloud of confusion looming over their heads.

You can find all things nets (posters and activities) in my tpt store right here!

Over and out friends!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Blast off to the MOON

I wanted to do a compilation including the best of the best engaging activities about THE MOON!

 I feel like it's an area that is revisited over and over again and students have high interest in it. BUT keeping them engaged can be so tricky!

.....So here are a few of my favorite {elementary} resources for learning all about the moon.


Isn't it funny how food makes everything more engaging at school? Well, bust out the oreos and do a moon phase match. I've seen a lot of Oreo activities and found one that I loved from letstotschool (all the heart eyes). BUT then I made a few tweaks and made my own (shown above) for some kiddos with food allergies. If you are in need of that just shoot me an email and I'm happy to help you out!

What I love most is that it is already done for me. Hop on over to (or click the link) to grab your ready-to-go moon phase match!

Do you love parodies? I do! And your students will EAT THESE up. No joke. Mr. Parr creates science songs to well known songs that your students won't be able to resist. The Moon Phase song is to CeeLo's "Forget You" (insert JustDance moves here). 

What I SUPER love about these is if you click on the "show more" the typed up lyrics are there. I print them up on the back of my students science notes so we can revisit the song over and over--and they know all of the words.

Before I found Mr. Parr I used this song and my students each year LOVE LOVE LOVE it as well. You can watch it for free on youtube but I purchased it on iTunes so we could listen to it anywhere! Just choose which one you want to hear over and over again! 


This takes some downloading of GoogleEarth but your students will love this.

They take a tour of the moon with astronauts {virtually, of course}. It's pretty quick and your kids will love to be able to take a closer look at earth's satellite.

Google has a great video to get you started here. We always do the Buzz Aldrin tour :) Here's a student sample.

At the end of this post, I've included a pdf of the questions that my students answer. PLUS I had them take notes on the back about cool things they found to present to the class afterward.

Y'all I am so excited about these!!! Simply print these out, but and have students tape or staple them around their wrists and learn about the moon phases all day. It's such an easy way to study and they are rather cool. These baby's are ready to print-cut-go so your students will be moon experts in no time!

 They are included in my new moon bundle that is literally JAM PACKED with everything to make your students a moon expert in no time! From a moon crown, matching cards, posters, phases of the moon fill-in's and more! Check it out y'all!

And here's your quick and easy download for a GOOGLE MOON tour! Your kiddos will LOVE it!

What do you love most about teaching moon phases? Let me know in the comments!

Over and out!

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