Monday, May 18, 2015

Teaching about Memorial Day!

If you have been an educator for any amount of time, Memorial Day is a word you quickly associate with the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!  It is a time for the school year to come to a close, pools to open, parades to liven communities, and the unofficial beginning of summer for most Americans. 

However, if you are a veteran of the armed forces or a family member of a serviceman or woman killed in the line of duty, Memorial Day takes on a whole new meaning.  It is not just a day off from work, but a time to reflect on the memory of a loved one that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  This is truly a federal holiday that I feel my students need to be given the time to learn about.

I didn't want this school year to end without sharing some insight with my students about Memorial Day, so I created this Memorial Day resource to share with them.  If you, too are looking to keep your students engaged until the very last day of the school year and learning more about the history of Memorial Day, this reader's theater and close reading toolkit is the perfect resource to keep your students inspired!

The students at Monroe Street School are challenged by the town's mayor. This leads to them realizing that Memorial Day is more than just the end of the school year and a day for the community pool to open. This reader's theater will have your students reflecting and considering projects to complete way beyond the last day of school!

This reader's theater toolkit includes:
-a 5-page and 10-character reader's theater script
-close reading strategies for students and teacher
-reader response questions
-a Memorial Day organizer
-a summary organizer
-context clue word work
-a journal prompt for post-reading writing
-a Memorial Day Parade Float Design page
-an answer key
Estimated Lexile Measure is 670L.

Your students will LOVE learning about Memorial Day through this high-interest toolkit!  I would love to hear about any Memorial Day resources you share with your students.

If you are looking to snag a few more patriotic and All-American resources, grab this...

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sailing Into Summer Blog Hop

The end of another school year is quickly arriving and there are still a bazillion and one things to do before your students pack up their belongings and leave your classroom for the final time.  I find this time of year to be a complete blur despite having gone through it for 15 years.  I find that no matter how organized or prepared I am for the last days of school, I am always racing to Starbucks for one last gift card or racking my brain working to find the right words to say to a colleague, parent, or my children's teachers. 

This year, thanks to this blog hop with my secondary buddies, I feel like I have my act together, I am happy to report.  While you may be up to your ears in paperwork and completing final exam grades, here are a few ideas to grab right away, or store on your Pinterest board for next school year to make it easy to show gratitude and say thanks to those co-workers, parent volunteers, cafeteria/maintenance staff, student helpers, etc. 

Classroom Appreciation Printables 

I am BIG on thank you cards and notes.  I feel that it is essential that we take the time to show gratitude toward those that we care about, have given to us, or done some kind gesture.  As adults we must set a good example, so that our children and students learn this important deed.  To help with the task of showing thanks, and making my life as easy as possible throughout the school year, I created this $1 resource.  It is 20-thank you printables that with a simple signature and $1 Spot goodie from Target, are so meaningful.  The person that is on the receiving end of one of these, truly feels appreciated.

Click on the image to grab this appreciation FREEBIE!

Character Pals

I am one of those people that tends to give gift cards to others for all gift giving occasions.  I want the receiver to be able to pick out something that they can truly utilize and not duplicate something they might already have, or have to worry about a return.  Some call it impersonal, I think it is ideal.  I love gift cards!  This end of school, I vowed not to do that.  Instead, I came across this clip artist on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Lauren from Polka Dots & Pals, creates characters in the likeness of people and she is truly GIFTED!  I wasn't sure what I would do with the images, but I had her create my children's teachers.  I sent her a picture, filled out a brief inventory to assist her in creating the image, and VOILA, I had two adorable characters.
Mrs. Bell, my daughter's kindergarten teacher!
Mrs. Chancey, my son's third grade teacher!

I took to Powerpoint and Vistaprint to create these adorable post-its and bags.  Every teacher needs bags for stuff, and post-its are another teacher essential.  Lauren also gave me the go-ahead to send them their jpeg character pal to utilize with resources and blogging fun.  I can't wait to give them these fun end of year surprises.

My friend Lauren will give away one Character Pal to one LUCKY winner, so enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win.  I can assure you that you will LOVE her creation.

I would love to hear about any teacher appreciation or end of year gift giving that you do to show your gratitude...I am always on the hunt for fun ideas!  Happy End of Year!  You have almost made it! Check out some more ways to make your life easier these last few weeks by checking out these other amazing bloggers.
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