Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Closing out the Year...From a Distance

What a year it has been...I read a quote online today where someone compared the end of this school year to unpacking from a vacation you never took...Such a weird, sad end of the year. I've been trying to find a way to celebrate all of the hard work my students have done and mark the beginning of summer. I wanted to get my students a little gift and celebrate their transition to first grade. In the past, the first grade intervention specialist and I would do a "Growing to First" activity. You can read about it and grab the freebies to do this activity here. To adapt this activity to the current situation, I record myself reading Little Seed's Journey and completed the activity as much as possible. I emailed the link of the video to parents and included a QR Code linked to the video in students' gift bags.

In the video I also planted some flowers, the same ones sent to students.In the video, I also had the first grade intervention specialist tell students about herself and first grade so they could get to know her. I edited this in at the end of the video since we did not get together to record this.

I included these in students' bags

I included this printable in students' bags We talked about ways we can "grow" over the summer.

Please note, this blog post may contain affiliate links. That means I can receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase from one of the items linked. Affiliate links allow me to keep blogging and providing free resources! You can read more about this at the end of my post. 

Click the image to read more about this activity
I've now updated this activity to include first and second grade!! Click the picture to grab the FREE printables!

For the gift bags, I found a great deal on some here-available on Amazon.

In the bags, I included:
*Sunglasses! I have a low number of students so the 12 pack worked for me but I've also linked a 30 pack so you can save! :) 

Here is my son modeling an extra pair πŸ˜‚πŸ˜Ž

*Slime!-At the end of the year, I wanted to make slime with my students. Since we didn't get to do this, I sent the ingredients and directions to families so they could do this at home! I thought it would be a fun activity to combat the boredom too!

  • I have a super simple 3 ingredient recipe (baking soda, contact solution, and glue) included. Click here to grab the free printable!
  • Add a fun and free tag here!
  • Don't want to send the ingredients? Grab a great deal on BULK SLIME here.....one day shipping too! You can send students some slime as a gift along with the recipe so they can make their own later! :) 

I also wrote each student a card along with the "growing to first" activities, above, and their own seed packet.

Hope these freebies and links can help make your end of the year a little easier! What are you doing for the end for the end of the year? Leave me a comment!

Glitter and Glue 4 K-2 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Friday, March 20, 2020

Tips for Distance Learning

Hello friends! Wow...these past few weeks have been more like a movie than real life. I hope despite everything going on, you and your loved ones are well and healthy! That is the most important thing!!

On Wednesday (I think it was Wednesday... I honestly can't even keep track of the days anymore...) I recorded myself for my students. As much as I would love to interact live with all students I know that is not possible, although I will try with some :) so I made some videos that they can access at their convenience.

This was WAY out of my comfort zone. I don't know why but teaching online scares me! Fortunately we have a really awesome tech department who provided  some training on this. At our school, we use Screencastify. You can access some parts for free because it is a little pricy. However, you can always record yourself on your laptop or phone. If I didn't have this tool available to me, I would definitely be doing just that!

So, with using whatever is available,  my first tip is....

1. Don't overthink the video and don't stress the little things:

Sometimes I can be a perfectionist. When I have done recordings in the past, even if I make the smallest mistake, I stop and start over. Don't do this!! Just like in your real teaching, you will stumble over your words, you'll make little mistakes, you'll need to go grab something you forgot, you'll forget something in your lesson and go out of order... it's OK. You're going to drive yourself crazy doing multiple takes on these.


2. It's OK not to be fancy!

I'm sure you have subscribed to some pretty awesome teacher YouTubers too. They have cool effects and text in their videos. They edit out mistakes or random things. Nope not me... you'll see me awkwardly look for the stop button at the end of my video, rather than editing that part out. I have a dry erase board and marker to separate out each day. Yes, I could probably add in some fancy effects or text here...but NO. This works just fine! We all have enough on our plate to worry about this. Of course if you enjoy this and feel comfortable with the fancy stuff...go for it!!! Do what works best for you, just don't stress yourself out. We're all doing the best we can in such an odd situation.

3. Teach like Elmo

Nope not a typo....As I write this blog post my son is currently watching Elmo's World on Sesame Street. #dontjudge. If you haven't seen this or other children's shows lately, you will notice that when a character talks to the viewers, they pause. They pause because the kids are going to answer. When you ask a question, pause and wait. In my video below, you will see me do this a lot. I like to remind my kids that if they got a question right, to pat themselves on the back or kiss their brains. Yep, it feels weird when you're in a room by yourself... but try it!

During my guided reading lesson, I ran through sight words and other review concepts. I asked questions and waited. During sight words, I paused for students to answer and then read the words in case they were unsure of it. Along with answering questions, make sure you give sufficient time for students to turn pages, do a picture walk (totally forgot to do this in my video BTW), get materials, etc.

I always like to have my students highlight sight words word chunks, etc. in books. If you do too, remind students to pause the video and start it back up after they have done so. :) It's a great way to engage them.

*As I rewatch my video...I think I could have even waited a little longer. Just something to improve on for next time! πŸ˜‰

4. Use Familiar Visuals:

Your students, and everyone, are so out of routine. If you can, use some visuals that they are familiar with to enhance your lessons. 

Psstttt. Grab this free printable and MORE on a previous blog post HERE!

5. Stick with Familiar Activities:

I've had a few teachers reach out to me for tips on interventions. I would just suggest trying to stick with things that the kids are familiar with doing. You are not there to guide them through the activities so try to keep the activities simple. Flashcards, blending drills, even read alouds are great to share with students!

6. Have your materials close by

It's important that your video isn't too long so students can stay engaged. Make sure you have your materials close by so you don't have to keep getting up to get them. If you want students to do a worksheet or activity after, make sure you have it close by so you can show students exactly what they should be doing. 

7. Give Yourself Grace

Please be kind to yourself and others during this time! We are all doing the best we can! 

With that...please remember to give me some grace if you choose to watch my guided reading video lol.... Again, I'm nervous to share this because I didn't anticipate anyone over the age of six seeing this....

Hopefully this blog post helped you! What tips or resources do you have to share for distance learning? Leave me a comment below! Don't forget to check out some of my resources below too!

Grab the guided reading book and more FREE printables below.
Check some more of my no-prep printables from my TpT shop below too!






This includes the guided reading book and some printables!


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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Catching a Leprechaun: St. Patrick's Day Fun in the Classroom!

I have to admit, I don't usually do much for St. Patrick's Day. I mean, I tend to wear green and grab a Shamrock Shake but that's about it. Last year, my coteaching partner and I decided to do a little more than usual for the month of March. We decided to do some academic tasks centered around catching a leprechaun.

Please note, this blog post may contain affiliate links. That means I can receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase from one of the items linked. Affiliate links allow me to keep blogging and providing free resources! You can read more about this at the end of my post. 

First, I read students the book, How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace.  I love starting off with a book because it really gets the students' imaginations going!

Click here to add this to your classroom library! 
After I read the book, we brainstormed some ideas on how we would catch a leprechaun. You can do this whole group on chart paper or however works for you! After this, students can fill out their graphic organizers and draw their leprechaun traps. These pages are included as a freebie, so keep on reading to grab them! ☺️

This graphic organizer follows the same sequence as the books below!

Once we filled out our graphic organizer, we started our books! Students wrote their own books on how they would catch a leprechaun. I differentiate these by giving some students sentence starters that follow the graphic organizer. I also add picture pages too!

"I would look in the drawers. I would move the clothes. I would look under the clothes."

Students designing their trap.

Students designing their trap.

"I would keep him. I would play a game with him."
Students really enjoyed writing their books and they turned out SO cute! Grab the books here!

Click the photo to check out the books!
Finally, the most exciting part...students got to make their traps! We put students in small groups to make their traps. You can collect items from your home to make the traps or you can ask parents for donations too! Here are some ideas of easy and almost all free supplies you can use:

The thing I love most about these traps is that you can really just give students supplies and let them go! It's amazing to see what they come up with! I love to hear them explain how their traps work too! Check out some of the awesome traps our students created below!

I love this one! They cut a little trap door under the rainbow and coin!

Make sure you put these traps together early in the day or right before specials or a break like lunch/recess. That way the leprechaun can visit your classroom! While your students are away, go through and pull strings, take gold coins, knock over chairs and boxes. Make it look like the leprechaun visited their trap but didn't get caught! 

The leprechaun was here! 

Please clear this one with your custodian first, but you can always sprinkle the traps with some glitter too!

Sometimes I can be a little extra...after our traps had been destroyed, I pretended to call our secretary to see if she could print out the video footage from the camera in our classroom. That way, we could see what happened to the traps! πŸ˜‚No, we don't really have a camera...

While the kids were at lunch and recess, I borrowed a step ladder and took some photos of the classroom. 

Oh hi. πŸ‘‹Just up here taking pictures from our "camera"
If you look closely, you can see that I added a little leprechaun to the fake video footage. You can grab the freebie video recording template with directions below!

It's hard to "destroy" students very creative traps so don't forget to leave them something special from the leprechaun! Originally, I had planned to put these on their traps for after lunch but..ya know... I forgot...... so they went on their coats at the end of the day. I printed the tags and added a chocolate coin with some washi tape. 

Grab these free printable tags as a small gift from the leprechaun! 

More St. Patrick's Day Fun!! Click the photos to check them out:




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Glitter and Glue 4 K-2 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com