Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Activity Books to help Introverted Students to Mingle

In each class, there are always outspoken, social students and very quiet, seemingly shy students. I always try to get my introverted students to build their social skills because it is very important for them to be able to effectively express themselves to others both in the classroom and at recess time. The books that I'm highlighting below are filled with fun and engaging 'question and answer' activities that your children can practice to without feeling like they are being been put on the spot. These can be used as formal whole-class activities or students can try them on their own with a partner at any time. Just click on the books to see more.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Daily Deals and Sales for Teachers on Clip-art, Stationery and Teaching Resources

I usually use my Summer Vacation to stock up on new teaching supplies for my classroom for the upcoming school year. I use a site called Educents which is just for teachers - it works directly with publishers and companies like RockNLearn, Bench Prep, and Newmark Learning, to notify us about current sale promotions that can save us a few extra bucks for the things we usually need. 

Check out this fabulous deal below!

In addition to the physical resources, there are also deals on learning software for test practice, visual models, and video lessons. 

Feel free to check out Educents and see what they have for you!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Polygon Word Wall, Books, and Resources

math word wall bulletin board

This is an illustrated word wall of polygons with a definition sentence strip. Students can count the sides or corners of each shape to deduce the meanings of each polygon word. The polygon prefixes can also be studied and linked to the number sides, for example, the prefix 'tri-' means three, therefore the three-sided or three-angled polygon is called the triangle.  


This book, The Greedy Triangle, introduces polygons and their properties starting from the simplest one, the triangle. In this story, the triangle was unhappy about only having three sides so he added a fourth to become a square,  then a fifth to become a pentagon and so on... Let's just say that as he underwent each change, he learned about each shape's properties and learned to appreciate his own. See other polygon books here.

I created a set of activities for polygons that you can check out. It is available here at my TpT store.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Getting Ready for the last day of School with Picture Books!


School is almost out for the Summer and I know we all just can't wait to enjoy the break. Especially the students! However, it is important for them to look back on the experiences of the past year and savor the last few days of being in their current class. In addition to journal writing about the end of the school year and other end of year activities, it is a very good idea to include reading about it from another child's point of view.

When-it's-the-last-day-of-school Books-for-the-end-of-the-school-year

 In the books above, the main character is a child who will be making the most of the last day of school.

This one below is about getting ready for the Summer!


Homophones - Word Wall for Visual Learners


For the past year I have been busy finding ways to make everything (that I teach) as visual as possible. It is working well in my classroom especially for differentiating between homophone pairs. With the homophone word wall cards in the picture above, I included an illustration to go along with each homophone right on each card next to each corresponding word. This is really helpful to weaker students who may not be able to just grab a dictionary, find the homophone and read the definition to grasp the meaning of the word. Picture recognition will instantly give the reader a sense of the meaning of the word and the pictures also help to keep the students' attention longer than just the words alone. Digital pdf copies of these cards are available for purchase ($6.00) at my TpT Store and Teachers NotebookIt contains a total of 47 word wall cards with pairs of homophones (some triplets too), a homophone definition poster in the form of a graphic organizer, and a large 'definition of a homophone' sentence strip. There is also a preview file that you can download to see exactly what you're getting.

After downloading the file, you can print and laminate the pages then cut out the word cards. Because there are so many cards, you do not have to introduce them all at the same time to your class. You can rotate a new batch of cards each week or as often as your students need. The reading level of these cards range from second grade to fifth grade so you can separate them according to reading level among grouped readers as well. I really hope you give it a try!

You may also be interested in these other posts about ways to teach homophones:

Homophone Activities and Lesson Plan

Friday, 24 May 2013

Silly Back-to-School Picture Books about Teachers

Let me first state that it's a good thing that I'm a teacher or I might get into trouble for suggesting these books! It is good for teachers to be able to laugh at things... even ourselves. Teachers are often seen seen as 'stern and stiff' but the teachers in these books are rather unique characters that hopefully will break down the stereotypes that many students have in their minds about us. I think that these will be great additions to any back to school reading list!

My Teacher's Secret Life                                Miss Nelson is Missing!

My Teacher Sleeps in School (really funny)                 The Teacher from the Black Lagoon

What Teacher Can't Do                                     My teacher for President

For more teacher humor, check out this post: Do Teachers Have a Look? In this post I wrote about a funny incident that happened to me (and I'm sure it happens to other teachers as well).

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Simple Machines - Levers - Activities for the Three Classes of Levers


Are you teaching about Simple Machines? Levers are best to start off with because the effort, load and fulcrum are easiest to identify in a lever system.

I created a series of activities for students to identify the effort load and fulcrum in many tools that are found in the home. Also, levers are classified as being either a first class lever, a second class lever or a third class lever.

Real-world examples of levers are also included as labelled pictures, e.g. a pair of scissors is a first class lever, a wheel barrow is a second class lever, and a pair of tweezers is a third class lever

I have included a fun sorting activity for students to slide the pictures of tools into the correct pocket to show the class of levers to which each tool belongs. There are also posters and graphic organizers for easy visual recognition and recall.

It is available at teacherspayteachers and Teachers Notebook.

You may also be interested in my Simple Machines Unit Plan.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Thank you Cards for Teachers Appreciation Week or End of School Year!

Thank you Cards for Teachers appreciation week

This is a complete D.I.Y craft that makes a wonderful gift for a teacher. These cards can be used for Teacher Appreciation Week or to say ‘Thank you’ at the end of the school year. It comes in pink and yellow for the female teachers and blue and purple for male teachers.

Thank you Cards for Teachers
Each card says 'Thank you for...' (written above the pocket)

Thank you Cards for Teachers
Each card has a special pocket on the inside that has sweet little messages on smaller cards just for the lucky teacher. These little cards come in a variety of colors and shapes to match their message. These massages are all of the things that you are thankful for. 
Here are some examples below:

Thank you for 'sparking my ideas' - written on a bulb
Thank you for 'teaching me to reach for the stars' - written on a star
Thank you for 'steering me in the right direction' - written on a steering wheel
Thank you for 'sparking my ideas' - written on a bulb

You can see each one much clearer in the pictures below.
I can suggest these on the left for the female teachers and these on the right for the males but you can mix and match them!

All of the messages are expressions of thanks for all of the many different things that teachers do!
It is available at my TpT store as an 18-page digital download complete a tutorial and all of the cards and shapes you'll need to make one.


Here's a really cool thing I discovered, all of the card inserts can make a really spectacular Teacher Appreciation Week gift idea that is so easy to make (even easier than the card!). All you'll need are thin craft ticks or skewers, clear tape, a marker, a disposable cup or small plastic flower pot, small erasers or paper clips and my card inserts. First, think of the inserts as little signs or posters, then tape them onto the craft sticks. Arrange them into the disposable cup which has already been filled with erasers or pepr clips (these will hold the craft sticks in place). Use a marker to write 'Thank you for...' on the cup.
 These are pictures of what I used... 

...to make this!
Teachers appreciation gift ideas
Happy Teachers Appreciation Week!

About Me

My photo
As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!