Punxsutawney Phyllis (Activities and Resources)


I don't know about you, but Groundhog Day always seems to sneak up on me each year. It has something to do with arriving so early in February and competing with so many other holidays early in the year. I tend to read several stories aloud to build schema about groundhogs and the holiday, but then we focus in on one story, Punxsutawney Phyllis (also called Wake Up, Groundhog).

If you aren't familiar with the story, here's a summary:

I've included some comprehension activities that can easily be added to my student's reading response journals. These comprehension spinners are a half page each and can be used with the other groundhog books I read throughout the week. They also get the students warmed up for writing their story summaries. 

My students love to make crafts to go with their writing. If you read other groundhog stories, you can let your students create their own groundhog character and write a short story. Since Groundhog Day is on a Thursday this year, you could also track the weather all week and have students write a weather report for an informational writing option.

I know most classrooms have students predict whether the groundhog will see his shadow. I like to take that one step further and incorporate some graphing activities in the classroom that can be used as fast finisher activities. There are two spin, tally, and graph options included. The first is whether the groundhog will see his shadow (yes/no). The other is graphing the weather:
Since students will be getting different results, you can have the students write 2-3 statements or questions on the back about their data. (ex. Rain was seen more than any other weather. How many more votes for yes than no?)

You can find all of these activities and more here:

For more Groundhog ideas, take a peek at my Pinterest board:

Happy Teaching!

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Sneezy the Snowman Resources


Are you reading Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright to your class this month? Today I want to share a few activities you can use with your students! 
 

Here's a summary in case you aren't familiar with this story:

After reading I always do a comprehension check. My favorite ways to do this are by asking questions and having students retell (or summarize) the story. Since my students already sit in groups at their desks, I like to print the questions on different colors and distribute one set to each group. By doing this, more students get an opportunity to answer questions and the pressure is off my shy students to answer in front of the whole class.

After group discussion, I will have each student choose one of the cards to glue into their reading response notebooks. 

I have also included vocabulary cards that you can have on display during reading. To take vocabulary one step further, you can use these winter word templates with the vocabulary words. Students write the word on the hat. On the snowman, students can write an original sentence, draw a picture, write synonyms, etc. These can be put on display or even made into a small classroom book after adding other vocabulary words you are learning.

For a simple written response, you can have students change up the text and make small substitutions to keep the rhythm of the author's writing style.

I also love to use craft booklets to get my students to respond to reading. This snowman template comes in three different options (lines, no lines, and lines with a picture space). After students have completed their reading responses, they can staple the pages together with the craft on top to create a snowman booklet.

In the story, Sneezy ends up eating ice cream to stay cool when he gets too warm. So I included this ice cream cone template you can use. You can stack the ice cream scoops:

or you can staple the ice cream scoops together into a booklet:

You can find all of these activities here:

Happy Reading!

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Snowman Supplies (a Free Math Station)


A few years ago I was bored to tears trying to find engaging ways to practice addition in my classroom, particularly when needing to add up to four 2-digit numbers. I decided to bring a little real-world math into the classroom and let my students go shopping. Today I want to let your students go shopping with this little freebie:

 Just like the other stores in my shopping pack, Snowman Supplies has a colorful poster, two recording sheet options, and 8 task cards where students must find the sum of four items.

After reading the task card, students must use the store poster to record prices on the chosen recording sheet. Then students will find the sum of the four items and record the answer in dollars and cents notation.

You can grab this freebie here:

For more shopping & money activities like this one, check out this resource:

Happy Teaching!

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Cup of Cocoa (Math Freebie)


I hope your students came back to school ready and eager to learn! Today I want to share one of my favorite winter math freebies with you and show you some ways you can differentiate to support your struggling students.

One of the ways I review math facts in January is with 3-addends. I use this Cup of Cocoa pack, which is designed to be used as a Scoot or Roam-the-Room activity. Most of my students are able to walk around the room and complete the task cards on the go. This helps get the wiggles out and gets them moving after sitting during the lesson. However, there are always a few students who need a little more support. When this is the case, I bring the materials to my small group table. 


One of the ways I support struggling students is with a 20-frame card and cubes. Since we are working with 3-addends, I have cubes in three different colors. Students fill the frame in the same order as the task card.  This works well with the first eight task cards that ask students to find the sum.

For the last eight task cards students are given the sum and two addends. For these types of problems I provide a number line and two clothespins. Students place the first clothespin on the sum so they can see their target number. Then I have students add the two given addends together and mark that number with the second clothespin. Finally, students need to find the difference between the two marked numbers.

 You can grab this freebie here:

Happy Teaching!

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A New Improved Santa Activities & Crafts


A New Improved Santa is a story about staying true to yourself and makes a great read aloud near Christmas. Today I'm here to share some ideas for using this book in your classroom!

If you aren't familiar, here's a blurb about A New Improved Santa:


This story goes into detail about the changes Santa makes each month of the year. I thought it would be fun to capitalize on this with a sequencing cut and paste activity.

I have also included a variety of comprehension activities to choose from.  There are comprehension question cards and matching written response pages. There are graphic organizers for both a retell and summary. My students always love to spin and retell the story elements because it feels more like a game!

Since my students are very familiar with writing friendly letters at this point of the year, I thought it would be fun to keep things fresh and exciting. We pretend we are the reindeer and elves and brainstorm all of the things we love about Santa. Then we compare how Santa was acting in the story. After writing a letter, students can add either an elf craft or reindeer craft to their letters.


For vocabulary practice, I like to print up the cards and put them in a jar. We play a game called Santa Charades. After we've studied and practiced the words, I let students come to the front of the room. They can either act out the word or give clues and the other students have to guess the word.

You can find all of these activities here:

Happy Teaching!

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Teachers That Give


I'm so thankful you have chosen to stop by today. I'm teaming up with some fabulous bloggers for this Teachers That Give blog hop! I'm so thankful for the teaching community and am thrilled to have an opportunity to give back. Today I have a new reading craft to share with you and a chance to win a $25 TpT gift card!

As your students are reading and responding to literature this month, you can use this gift craft to keep things fresh and exciting.

When opened, these little gifts reveals five spaces where students can respond to their text. I have included lined templates and blank templates which students can mix-and-match.

Here's a look at how I fold each flap in to create the final product.

And the final product:
Because this is a gift craft, I have also included printable gift tags. These can be printed on colored paper to keep things festive.
(P.S. If you use Scholastic book points to buy books for your students, these could easily be added to your gifts!)

Each of these gifts can be made using 9x12 construction paper and the printable templates. You can also grab 12x12 scrapbook paper and cut them down to size. I used the excess strips of scrapbook paper to create a decorative wrapping to the outside of the gifts.

You can find the templates, directions, and reading response ideas for this FREE reading craft in my TpT shop.

Now that you've grabbed your freebie, you can also enter to win a $25 TpT gift card! This one will end on Friday, December 2nd.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out these blogs for seasonal ideas, freebies, and even more chances to win gift cards!
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Happy Teaching!

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Turkey Trios (Freebie for 3-Addends)


 Are your students working on finding the sum of 3-addends this month? Here's a great way to get your students up and moving during math time!

If you are a Common Core classroom, 3-addends is a first grade standard: 
CCSS 1.0A.A.2: Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem. 

However, my 2nd grade students still saw 3-addends in their daily work when using our curriculum materials. We focused on strategies for solving (look for tens partners, doubles, number neighbors, etc.). Most of my students were able to tackle these problems, but some still needed more practice so I put together these Turkey Trios.

There are three ways I have used this product in my own classroom in order to meet the needs of my students: whole group, small group, and independent work.

 When the whole class needed practice, I printed the cards onto colored cardstock, cut them, and placed them around the classroom. Students carried their recording sheets on a clipboard and completed the task cards at their own pace. When students finished, I could quickly check their work using the answer key and send them back to make corrections, as needed.


When I only had a handful of students that needed practice, I could work with them at the back table. Instead of having the students walk around the room to work, I had the cards on a ring. We could tackle each card together and focus on which strategies to use. This was a perfect time to offer tools like number lines and 20-frames.


I have also used these cards for independent practice. When printing, I select to print 4 per page. This way the students have all of the cards and the recording sheet in one place while they work. I had students color in the turkey feathers used and then record the numbers on the recording sheet form.


You can grab this freebie here:

Happy Teaching!

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