Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Lesson Lady and I would like to wish you and your families a very happy holiday season.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or just a few days off, we hope it is filled with peace and joy.  We look forward to 2014 and all it brings, and wish you much happiness in the coming year.  

As we ring in 2014 in with our families, we are taking a short reprieve from blogging, but will resume our regular schedule in January, with more Fabulous Friday Freebies.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fabulous Freebies for the Holidays

Here are a few of my new favorite holiday freebies:

#1: Placemats.  You print them up, laminate them and give them to your kids to use as a template for creating fun holiday shapes out of play dough.  

#2: Color by sight words worksheet.  This is a free printable to use with students who are learning to read.  They color the space according to the color that matches the sight word that is printed there.  The coloring pages are Christmas themed.  This is sure to engage your students.

#3: Make your own ornaments.  This uses three simple ingredients to make the dough.  When students are done you bake the ornaments at 350 degrees for half an hour.  Once they have cooled, students can decorate them.  This is super simple and lots of fun.  Students can do this to decorate a class tree or make gifts for their families.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Remembering Mandela

Madiba.  Rolihlahla.  Nelson Mandela.  His life, legacy and the world wide vigil in his honor has captivated me for the past week.  I’ve paused for a week between teaching Things Fall Apart and Hamlet in British Literature to ensure my students realize how historic these days are for South Africa and the world.  Despite varying degrees of prior knowledge, many of them seem captivated along with me. 

So, what is there to teach?  There is the obvious.  There is the history of apartheid and his own personal biography.  More than that, though, are the lessons that he teaches, even posthumously through his words and example.  Here are a list of the first five that come to mind:

  1.       Don’t ever quite, even when you feel trapped, alone or condemned.  He puts it this way: "Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end."
  2.       Nothing is impossible.  Nothing.  In his own words, “It seems impossible until it’s done.”
  3.        We are all connected and ought to love one another.  If we can be taught to hate each other, we can learn to love each other as well.  He once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
  4.        We were born to reflect greatness and should not shrink from that responsibility.  During his inauguration speech he quoted Return to Love when he said, “We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”
  5.        We are not defined by where we were born or where life takes us, but our ability to keep on standing despite being knocked down at times.  In Madiba’s words: "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

How do we teach this?  Here is a tic tac toe board you can use to teach your students more about him and the principles he stood for.

Read his online biography and create a timeline.

Create a collage about one of his life’s themes.  Include at least two quotes and five images from his life  and/or country’s history that illustrates the theme.

Write a eulogy for him.

Read excerpts from some of  his speeches and write a reflection on which of his messages you believe teaches the most important lesson.

Design a memorial for him.

Read some of his most famous quotes.  Pick your five favorite and write them into a found poem.

Read about his political career 

Read Invictus (his favorite poem) and Return to Love (a passage he read at his inauguration) and put one of them to song.  Perform it.

Write a letter of condolence to his family.

I hope you find this helpful.  If you have any other ideas, please let us know!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Build Your Own Frosty!

We just saw our first real snowfall of the year last night  I'm sure more is on its way in the months to come.  Get prepared with weather relevant activities and check out my Snowman Glyph activity.

Your students will learn what a glyph is, make their own and analyze class data in this fun winter activity. They will begin by learning what a glyph is and how to use one to convey and analyze data. They will create one of their very own. Then they will look at their classmates' glyphs and analyze the data using fractions, percentages, and graphs (bar graphs and pie charts). They will have fun doing it during the cold winter months ahead. And, when they are all done, the materials can be turned into a colorful class bulletin board! 

Note: This is the advanced Snowman Glyph activity for 5-8 graders. (For the 2-4 grade version go to my store and check out the other Snowman Glyph activity without the math.)

This item has 4 out of 4 stars and has received strong reviews.  Here is what one buyer said...

Great seasonal resource that touches on MANY mathematical topics.

Check it out!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fabulous Freebies: Facebook Frenzy December 6-9!

This weekend's freebies are in the form of a Facebook Frenzy. Join me and more than 15 others in my group and get exclusive freebies December 6-9, 2013! Start at my Facebook page.

I have never participated in a Facebook Frenzy before so if you haven't either, I'll explain it. Eage Facebook page has a tab labeled "Facebook Frenzy." Click on the tab and an image similar to the one above instructing you to like the page and receive an educational freebie. After you like the page and download the freebie a link will appear that you can click on to go to the next page and so on.

The freebies are definitely worth while. Some, including mine, are ones that are items that are not normally free and are sold in our TPT store! The only way to get my game for free is through this exclusive Facebook Frenzy.

I am part of the 3rd grade math and science Facebook Frenzy group and I will be offering this exclusive freebie:

My Winter Snowman Math Game! Your students will have fun building a snowman as they practice greater than/less than skills as well as addition, multiplication or subtraction. My Facebook page is the only place to get this for free. It is normally sold in my TPT store and is rated 4/4 stars. Visit my Facebook page between December 6-9 to get this game FREE before clicking off to the other pages to get more freebies!

Here is a list of all the December frenzies you can participate in by subject and grade level, courtesy of Keep Teaching and Planning.

K Math/Science -

K ELA/Social Studies -

1st Math/Science -

1st ELA/Social Studies -

2nd Math/Science -

2nd ELA/Social Studies -

3rd Math/Science -

3rd ELA/Social Studies -

4th -

5th -

6th-12th -

Music -

Clipart -

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday E-Books are Here!

If you haven't noticed by now, I love freebies and great deals. That's one of the reasons we post freebies every Friday and post about great back to school sales in the fall. It makes me feel good to get the most for my money and make my dollars last a long time.

This week I have not just a great deal for you, but a HUGE deal! It's time for the annual TPT Holiday E-Book! There are four holiday e-books that are divided by grade level. Each book has been carefully assembled and contains 50+ pages filled with free teacher resources and holiday tips. Books were created using pages submitted generously by Teachers Pay Teachers sellers.

With just a few short weeks until the winter holiday season & school breaks, I think everyone could use a break with these books.

If you download the grade 3-6 book, check out my freebie offered in the book, my free Christmas Holiday Write & Draw!
2013 Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies for PK-K  

2013 Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies for Grades 1-2

2013 Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies for Grades 3-6

2013 Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies for Grades 7-12

I also want to thank the TPT sellers that took the time to put these books together. Please thank them by leaving feedback for the book you enjoy! 

If you haven't checked out the 2012 books yet, be sure to do so for more holiday freebies!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Join me in a Facebook Frenzy!

Starting Friday, December 6th I'm going to participate in a Facebook Frenzy! Many TPT sellers are participating and each will offer an exclusive freebie that cannot be downloaded anywhere else for free! I won't reveal what item I will be giving away just yet. Like my Facebook page to be alerted when the frenzy starts!

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