Saturday, April 14, 2018

Poetry Writing for Kids

Kids ARE poetry.  
Poetry writing is...a piece of cake for kids!
When kids drop their inhibitions and let the ink flow, they'll write you an ocean.

All you've got to do is give them the rapturous recipe, and they'll cook.

Teach them to free-associate, use delicious adjectives and adverbs, repetition, alliteration, and a host of other poetic devices.

Then teach them how to go deeper, and explore the heart and personal emotions of their theme.  Yes, even a five-year-old can go there...

Red/ Fire truck shiny honk/ Apple is/ a juiciest/ sweetest/ tastiest treat/ lipstick red it/ is sticky and shiny/ perfumed chemical!
...and when they do, they'll see poetry everywhere, and share their glittering new world with you.

If you'd like 16 writing lessons that reveal the inner jazz in your kids, it's here: Free Verse Creative Poetry Lessons.

Teachers are poetry, too--despite long, hectic days of planning and showtime, tests and grading, working lunches and behavior glitches...or maybe BECAUSE of them, we NEED poetry.

Rebecca Gettelman is featuring teacher's poems on her blog--including yours truly, on April 15th and 24th.  

I'm wishing you a world of poetry every day!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Writing Paper for Kindergarten

Writing paper for kindergarten should be fun...
 Writing Paper for Kindergarten has fun, stylish paper for any lesson, kindergarten themes, seasons, holidays, and occasions.  Four pages of Writing Prompts, How to Differentiate, How to Jazz Up your Writing, How to Make a Booklet, Writing Tips for Gifted, RTI and ELL Students.
...and cute, stylish, artistic, inspiring, rigorous and sometimes outrageously silly.

Most kindergarten writing paper out there--you know, the ones from the big-name companies--are plain.  Or worse: they're useless because the picture box is too small.

I finally put together a package of papers that makes me go, "Ahhh!"  

This is nice!  I want my room to look like an art museum, not a cafeteria.
My kids love great writing paper.  Their eyes light up.  They can't wait to write.  You can tell, they feel like royalty, like they've just been given the greatest gift in the world.

So I went overboard.  Vertical paper, horizontal paper, kindergarten themes like "My Favorite Color."   Here it is with a sample writing and drawing of a firetruck.
I made papers for every month of the year--seasons, holidays and special occasions.  More sample writing and two monsters:
One thing I didn't do is make lined paper with the dotted mid-line.  My kids don't like it and neither do I.  

What I DID add was everything a teacher might like:
7 pages of Writing Prompts, How to Differentiate, How to Jazz Up your Writing, How to Make a Booklet, Writing Tips for Gifted, RTI and ELL Students; and Suggestions for Use.

It's also 50% off for the next 48 hours!  A crazy-good bargain, so please take a look and see if it fits your needs: Writing Paper for Kindergarten.

If--I said if--you're also wanting Graphic Organizers for Kindergarten--with to-die-for bells, whistles and trimmings, they are also 50% OFF for the next 48.
Wishing you all the best, and a beautiful bulletin board, too!  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lunar New Year Fun for Kids

Lunar New Year fun for kids...
lives in their memories forever.

Want to see a Chinese Dancing Dragon fly?  Nothing beats the sound of a dragon tail fluttering as you dance with it--along with 25 kids and their dragons!

It takes all morning to create these dancing Chinese New Year Dragons--punctuated by little breaks to practice our dance moves to the pounding drums, clashing cymbals and high flute of Chinese parade music.


My early finishers can read and color their Chinese New Year One-page mini-book of traditions and the cycle of animals sheet.

I've just added gorgeous Chinese New Year printables for kids to color and decorate, or write on (using creative prompts), as a Morning Work when they enter the room and get settled.

2008 Chinese New Year Song 
blends pop and traditional elements into a visual spectacular.  It's a great cultural backdrop for your own class parade.  Video footage includes a crowded Chinese New Year parade with giant dancing dragons, Chinese mountains, temples, lanterns, fans, cherry blossoms, waterfalls, and gardens.  A 3-girl pop group, The M-Girls, cheerfully sing in several Chinese styles and tempos.  They alternate wearing contemporary and traditional gear.   (9:49)

Chinese New Year Story Video For Kids
is a beautifully crafted shadow puppet story.  It tells the origin of the Chinese New Year cycle of twelve animals.  (2:43) is a great source for videos.  Many schools block YouTube, so you’ll have to use software, a YouTube to MP4 converter.  This is best done at home.  Then you can bring the MP4 on a flash drive to view at school on your SMARTboard or computer.

At the end of the day I've asked my kids what they’d like to do with their dragons.  They said…
·         Dance all night
·         Do ballet
·         Eat it
·         Feed it
·         Watch it grow
·         Do magic
·         Put on a magic show
·         Sleep with it
·         March in a parade
·         Put it in a doll house
·         Ride a scooter with it
·         Destroy it (said with a cartoonish swagger)
 A dozen ways to celebrate the night of the new moon.  Gung Hay Fat Choy, everybody!
If you'd like a Chinese Dancing Dragon, and all the memories and joy that come with it, it's right here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Teacher Resources on Sale!

LOVE TeachersPayTeachers--ON SALE!

Teacher resources at 25% off--there's a lotta love here!

Please stop by and look around...

 Number Chart Robots

 Number Chart Robots

I'll see you there!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

100th Day of School Fun

The 100th Day of School--or is that 100 Days of Cool?
It's coming!!

We start the day by making Super Hero Masks, so we can wear them all day.  

I still think my kids look way cooler than I do in a mask.
There's nothing more fun than 25 5-year-olds striking 100 super hero poses as we march around the room to my Counting to 100 song...

...Except maybe chant and response from a list of How to Say One Hundred in 25 Languages--all to a heavy rock beat on my electric piano.

We choose a super-creative task from my task cards in social studies, science, reading, writing, or math.  

 100 Days of School - Renee Dawn

Create 100 bugs anybody?  Budding scientists will be enthralled.

And we sing 100th Day of School songs all day.

If you'd like to do these too, take a look at this super-creative 100th Day of School resource that includes all of this and much more.  It'll keep you supplied for weeks after the festivities are over.
If  Number Chart Robots thrill you -- here they are:

 Number Chart Robots 1 - 100 Renee Dawn

Last year my kindergartners created the robots as a Do Now, while I set up their 100th Day art collages, brought from home.  

An editable Letter to the Parents explaining the collage project is included in the 100th Day of School Bundle.  Here's my favorite one from last year:

Happy 100th!!! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

TeachersPayTeachers Seller Spotlight
I'm in the Seller Spotlight!

Every little honor packs a punch!
But some honors are Woooow!!!

I'm in the Seller Spotlight in the TeachersPayTeachers Newsletter today!  (Be still, my heart!)  It's the
TpT Newsletter Vol 481: Grades PreK - 5.

This is what I saw staring back at me in this morning's email:
...and these are the links to the resources:

Our journey at TpT is so step-by-step—it’s soooo nice to take a giant leap every once in a while.

Thank y'all for sharing the journey with me!
Cheers, hugs, and truckloads of New Years confetti to ALL of our leaps--big and small!

I'm wishing you all MANY leaps in the coming year--and an ocean of health and happiness.

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top 10 Resolutions for Teachers

Happy New Year everybody!
Here are my Top 10 Resolutions for Teachers:
  1. Be happy!  You're a teacher.  You've just got to figure out how to custom-design it for you.
  2. Self-Improve!  Use mentors and the internet to learn and make your teaching life better than you can even imagine. 
  3. Behavior Management is king!  Treat it like royalty and everything else will fall into place.
  4. Organize!  Work smarter, not harder.  Prioritize what MUST get done, and delegate whenever possible--to parents, teacher teams, student teachers, and even kids.
  5. Get creative!  Teach your kids to see the world through fresh eyes, and personalize the thrill of learning.
  6. Beautify!  Check out your classroom's feng shui, or flow.  Improve your classroom's landscape.  Add eye-catching and inspirational posters and kids' art work--in 3D, hanging from ceilings and popping off walls.
  7. Smile!  If you were waiting for Christmas, go!  Smile--it's contagious--and even better, laugh more often.  You'll trigger endorphins and good will all around you.
  8. Move!  Don't just sit there.  Jog or dance while you read anchor charts, sight words, and chant math facts.  Extra points if you grab a weight vest or bar bells, too. 
  9. Get healthier!  Don't just teach, teach, teach; learn to eat, sleep, meditate, move, breathe, and think healthier.
  10.  Be grateful!  Ask non-teachers which job they wished for.  Sooo many say teacher!  You've got it.  Start a Gratefulness Diary.
Here's a gallery for your New Year's resolutions, dreams, goals, and plans:

 As always, I'm wishing you a wonderful, calm and confident, New Year!  And I'd love to know what you're adding to your top 10 list of resolutions for teachers so I can add some more to mine.