President's Day

President's Day is just around the corner and I thought I'd share some of my favorite resources to use in the classroom.

I like to start with a short video. This one gives a brief overview (less than two minutes) of President's Day. Once we have the basics of when and why we celebrate President's Day, we're ready to dig deeper and focus on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
You can find even more President's Day videos here and here.

When learning about Washington and Lincoln, there are so many books to choose from.  Here are my favorites that I use for both guided reading and shared reading.  You probably have them in your classroom library, too!

Since we are familiar with nonfiction text features at this point of the year, one of my favorite activities to start with is a scavenger hunt. Not only is this fun for students, but it helps them understand the way the text has been organized and gives them a preview of the information to come.

As we begin reading, students can record information learned about each president on their graphic organizers.

Reading biographies is also a great time to work on timelines. The National Geographic Kids texts have a timeline included. After studying these timelines, we use information from Abraham Lincoln: A Magic Tree House Fact Tracker to organize important events in Lincoln's life.

Even though nonfiction tends to be more straightforward than fiction, I find that many of my students struggle to comprehend as quickly as with fiction. I like to use comprehension checks to make sure we aren't moving too quickly through the texts.

 But that's not all.  I also love to combine our new learning with a craft.
You can read more about these projects in this post.

You will find most of the resources mentioned above in these book companions:

To find even more ideas for President's Day, take a peek at my Pinterest board:

Happy Teaching!

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Valentine's Day - Free Bubble Gift Tags

Valentine's Day in the classroom can be a great time for friends to show appreciation for one another. My daughter loves candy, but this year she wanted to give bubbles to her classmates. So we worked together to come up with these valentines for her classmates.

For this project we only needed a few materials:
- printable Valentine cards
- paper cutter
- glue dots
- pencil
- bubble wands (found at Target)

After printing the valentine cards and cutting them apart, it was time to get started. She used her class list to write names on each and every valentine. This step took the longest.

Once the names were done, she was ready to attach the bubble wands. She put two glue dots in the white section near the bottom and then placed the bubble wands on top.

Because these Valentine cards use the word bubble, you could also attach bubble gum to them.

You can grab a copy of these gift tags here.

For more Valentine's Day ideas, take a peek at my Pinterest board:

I hope you have a great Valentine's Day!
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