Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers 3 Million Strong Sale - Up to 28% off!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having their 3 Million Teachers Strong sale starting tomorrow, 2/27-2/28!! You can get all items up to 28% off! Many teachers will be offering 20% off their items for these two days and additional 10% off is given by Teachers Pay Teachers. Just use code TPT3!

Both Etc and I will be offering our items at 20% off. Follow these links to see our stores:
Lesson Lady

Here are some of our best selling items that are on sale:

My fast finisher art activities packet has 50 printable drawing pages that encourage creativity. They are perfect for the fast finishers in your classroom and has been rated 4.0/4.0 by more than 100 people!

This Spanish centers packet contains eight stations for reviewing Spanish vocabulary and is a best selling item.

Check out more of the lessons here:

- Fun Art lessons for K-12
- Math & Literacy centers
- Educational Games
- Spanish products
- Upper level language arts lessons

For more stores offering sales, check out this TPT store linky party.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Writing Across the Curriclum: Art Writing Prompts

Writing across the curriculum has something that has always been popular in every school I have taught at and it makes complete sense since writing is such a crucial part of everyday life and a necessary skill for our students.

Sometimes it can be tricky to make writing interesting in every subject. This is especially true of art since sometimes students can tend to think art is all about creating or getting messy when it is really also about learning.

To help combine writing and art I put together a packet of art focused prompts. The prompts are divided into three categories - easy, medium and hard so you can pick and choose the level you want for your class.

Check out the preview if you want to read some example prompts for each level.

These writing prompts are also great discussion starters and can be used in many other ways including materials for sub folders, exit tickets, bell ringers and more.

It's an easy to go packet with little to no prep work, just depends on if you want to make the prompts on transparencies or just read them out loud to your class!

If you're interested in this pack, check it out at my TPT store.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: National Tell a Fairy Tale Day

On February 26, 2013 is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. This could definitely be a fun incorporation into your classroom or spark some interesting writing activities! I haven't ever had a chance to celebrate this in my classroom but now that I know about it I would definitely consider celebrating it in the future.

Here are some freebies to help you celebrate National Tell a Fairy Tale in your classroom. 

Find lots of resources related to fairy tales perfect for students in grades 4-6 at this site. There are PowerPoints, flash cards, vocabulary, fables and more. This website really makes it easy to incorporate fairy tales into your classroom.

Jump Start also has fairy tale printables for elementary age students. The sheets are easily downloadable and are very colorful and filled with nice graphics.

Arts Edge has a nice website plan for exploring American tall tales geared towards grades 5-8. The lesson plan is thoroughly written out step by step. Some tall tales include Davy Crockett and Paul Bunyan.

High school students might enjoy analyzing the stereotypes in fairy tales using the lesson plans and printables available at Thirteen Ed Online. I like that it starts with a pretest before comparing your answers to fairy tales. 

Have fun if you decide to celebrate this day at school!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Using American Sign Language: Top 10 Signs To Teach Your Class

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a new teacher was to use nonverbal cues to direct students.  The veteran teacher leading my professional development session said that it commanded students' attention to teachers gave them a stern look and told them what to do by pointing or gesturing.  I have found over the years that my students tend to respond really well to it.  It actually is a very effective way to direct students without being verbally confrontational.  Students who struggle with auditory instructions or speaking clearly appreciate the visual and kinesthetic form of communication.  Plus, teaching them American Sign Language comes with the added bonus of teaching them another real language while making them more aware of how people communicate when they can't hear.

Many of the signs I use don't even need to be taught; my students seem to just know what I'm saying.  Even if they don't at first, the nonverbal signs seem to peak their interest and they reflect for a moment on their behavior in order to interpret the sign.

Here are ten that I think can come in useful in any classroom.  If your students take to it, there are online dictionaries that can teach you and your students how to say much more.

1) pay attention
2) toilet
3) sit down
4) look
5) wait
6) calm down
7) finished
8) yes
9) no
10) understand

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ask Our Readers

Heather wrote to me on my Lesson Lady Facebook page and asked for some suggestions to help a student of hers. I gave her some ideas, but I know that our readers will give her many more options and suggestions than I could come up with on my own. Here is her question:


"I am desperate for some ideas. I have a 3rd grade student who is struggling with multiple step directions or more than one assignment at a time. What type of tools would you recommend to assist this student? Any ideas, thoughts, or anything would help." 


Thanks for the help!



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: African American History for the Upper Grades

With two weeks left in February and the Valentine's Day excitement behind us, now is a great time to find (new) ways to celebrate African American History month in your classroom.  PBS has created some great multimedia lessons to teach students about the history of social justice struggles in this country through the experiences of African Americans.  The history lessons are powerful and the themes are universal.  There are six of them:

The lessons are most overtly linked to social studies, but there are ways to link them to so many other content areas.  For example, the lesson on Resistance to Slavery talks about French ruled St. Domingue and Spanish ruled Florida.  It also has students identifying causes and effects, thinking critically about pros and cons of various approaches to problems, and writing journal reflections.  Math teachers could easily create a lesson where students calculate the distances between territories that did have slaves and free territories.  Music teachers can look at creative form of resistance and tie it to a lesson on the use of spirituals in resisting slavery.  Science teachers can discuss the climate changes between west Africa, the Northeastern U.S., Florida and the Caribbean and the adaptations that people would have had to make to survive in each territory.  

If nothing else, bookmark this cite as a something to look at in the future.  The lessons are thorough and tied to the common core. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Learning Values from Olympic Athletes

Besides the Olympic themed lessons on math, science, and more, students can also learn a lot from the Olympic athletes themselves. The values that are behind the Olympic athletes are great values that students can use in a classroom as well. Here are some values students can learn about from the Olympics:

1. Pride 

Students can take pride in themselves and their accomplishments just like the Olympic athletes do. Each country present at the Olympics also models pride in the way they celebrate their athletes at each event.

2. Sportsmanship

Many of my students over the years have had a hard time losing a game and being good sports. Seeing the Olympians cheer on their fellow athletes and lose gracefully is a great example for children everywhere.

3. Persistence

Many of these athletes overcome great barriers before making it to the Olympics or at past competitions. Seeing these athletes overcome these challenges is a great motivation for students to overcome their own challenges and succeed.

4. Responsibility

Athletes take care of many responsibilities including training, working and some also go to school. The way they handle these responsibilities and fulfill their duties is a great example for our students who also have many responsibilities.

5.  Health

Athletes are a naturally a model of health to our students. Most of them eat very healthy meals and have a great exercise routine. Striving to be healthy will help students in and out of the classroom!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Great Materials for Teaching Imagery

One of the 5th grade descriptors under the 3rd Common Core Standard for writing reads as follows, "Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely."

If you are looking for an engaging way to teach that, check out my lesson on imagery.    For just $3, you can have a lesson with over a dozen amazing pictures for students of all ages to write about as they practice how to incorporate imagery in their writing.  

It's a great bargain, but don't take my word for it.  Here a review from one of my buyers...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: Five More Great Olympic Lesson Sites

Since the Olympics are going on for a few weeks, I thought I would share five more Olympic lesson freebies. If you missed part 1, check it out here.

Activity Village has a section of winter Olympics activities divided by sport. I thought this was perfect so you can choose activities that fit the interest of your students. Most activities seem geared towards elementary level students.

Teach students the science behind the Olympics at the Learning Network website. This site had a ton of kinesthetic learning activities for students to do to learn the science behind the sport. Most of the activities focused on physics and are geared towards students in grades 6-12.

For more activities that focus on the science of the Olympics, try the Science Buddies website. It has activities that relate to each winter sport that are geared towards upper elementary and middle school students.

The NEA has a list of 10 Free Things for Teaching About the 2014 Winter Olympics. It has something for every grade level and a variety of activities including videos and historical Olympics resources.

I selected this resource because it was created by students for other students! This website was created by two fourth grade students and contains a wide variety of resources for learning about the Olympics. Some of the material is dated from Vancouver but most can be used anytime.

Have fun with these and root for your favorite team!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

For Frugal Teachers Only

Lesson Lady and I have had the privilege of working at schools that have taught us to be resourceful.  Our budgets many years have been nonexistent.  For a variety of reasons, we frequently have students coming to us without the necessary materials.  So, we have learned to differentiate between what we want for our classrooms and what we need, and find creative ways to get things done.  Here are just a few tips....

1) If students do not have something to write with I give them a golf pencil.  It supplies them with what they need while encouraging them to bring their own writing utensils because they prefer regular sized pens and pencils to the hand cramping minis.

2) This is an obvious one, but recycle paper.  Whenever I have unused single sided paper I cut it in half and use it for scratch paper, notes, etc.  I never buy notepads anymore.

3) Need to cover an old bulletin board?  Use fabric that can be washed and re-used or paint it.  This will save you from covering it-- and recovering it again later-- with paper.

4) If you can digitalize it, do it!  Save on ink and paper.

5) Trying to make the room look a little more cozy?  Hit the thrift stores and garage scales.  Scavenge through college towns during move out week.  Pick up an old piece and make it new with a little paint.

6) Struggling to find storage space in the room?  Tack a piece of cloth to a book shelf to keep students out of the stuff you want tucked away out of sight.  It isn't secure, but the cloth with deter 99% of your students from accessing that space.

7) Have a student center where left behind supplies can be picked up and used by students who don't have something.  I call these supplies orphans who are looking to be adopted.  When students ask for supplies that is the first place I direct them.

8) Ask parents to donate supplies that you know you will go through.  For me, these include kleenex, hand sanitizer, printing paper, dry erase markers and band aids.  It is an easy way for parents to contribute if they are busy and struggle to find a way to help out, but would like to.

9) Donors Choose is a great website to help teachers fund projects.

10) Use sheet covers and crayons to create a cheap set of dry erase boards for doing group activities.

11) Take pictures and turn them into postcards for sending notes home.  You'll save on stationary and postage.

12) Use old containers as storage bins.  So much stuff comes in sturdy plastic these days that you really shouldn't have to buy small bins for organizing school supplies.

13) Check out thrift stores and library sales in order to build up your classroom library.

14) Subscribe to our blog and find lists of quality freebies every week.  We make sure to hit most major holidays, so this can definitely help you with some of your seasonally themed lesson planning.

15) Stock up on supplies when they are on sale.  If your school allows it, you can sell it to students who come unprepared and use the profit to keep your school store stocked.

16) Artsonia allows you to post students' artwork.  Parents can then go on and buy products with the kids' art work on it.  A percentage of the profit will come back to you to use in your classroom.

17) Instead of buying thumb drives and external hard drives to save work, store it in google docs for free.  That way you don't have to worry about it crashing.

18) Most medium to large sized cities have recycle centers where teachers can pick up recycled supplies for free.  Check to see if there is one in your area.

19) Pack your lunch instead of eating out.  Take a loaf of bread and turn it into sandwiches for a quick breakfast and/or lunch on the go.  This will prevent you from buying lunch when you're running too late to make something, not to mention save you time.

20) Embrace the uniform idea and save on buying school clothes.  When I was in high school I attended a school where the students didn't have to wear uniforms.  But, there was one teacher who had an outfit for every day of the week.  Once a year he rotated one outfit out and a new one in.  Students liked him, liked this odd quirk of his and always knew what day of the week it was.  He taught economics and I have to think the connection made his wardrobe a great object lesson in living frugally for his students.

Were any of these helpful?  Have ideas of your own?  Would like us to pass on more tips?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: 5 Great Winter Olympic Lessons

With the Sochi Winter Olympics right around the corner, there are all sorts of ways to bring this current event into the classroom.  Here are a few freebies to check out:

Included in this packet by Lesson Lady are five puzzles and five creative drawing fast finisher pages with an Olympics theme. It is perfect for fast or early finishers.  And, although it was originally created in time for the summer olympics, almost all of it is general enough to be used for the winter olympics too. Check out this free packet here!

Games 4 Learning has a math brain teaser.  There are a series of brain teasers included in this free packet that are sudoku-like.  They are, obviously, olympic themed and written at different levels of difficulty to challenge a wide range of ability levels.

Audrums has a great compare and contrast packet for the summer and winter olympics.  There are readings, Venn diagrams and more.  It is a great way to give students an overview of the olympics while learning key differences between the winter and summer events.

Enchanted Learning has a page replete with history and printables.  There are short explanations of key Olympic traditions and images.  The collection of worksheets offer you a wide range of activities from coloring sheets to math problems to writing pages to quizzes.  

Education World has over 20 different links to lessons and informational sites about the olympics.  There are lessons to draw from for a range of content areas (sciences, health, reading, math, geography and more).

These are some of the materials I found that I thought were quality.  If you have links to freebies that you'd like to share, please do so in the comments sections.  Happy Olympic viewing and teaching.  Good luck team USA!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...