St. Patrick's Day

Next week is time to pull out my St. Patrick's Day Unit

Here are some of my favorite activities...

This is a differentiated opinion writing:

 This missing addend math game is a HUGE hit!

 The leprechaun application makes me laugh every.dang.time. It is also differentiated!

This estimation math lesson is fun and educational!

This HUGE pack {91 pages} is full of fun, meaningful activities!  It's available in color and black/white! This Common Core aligned St. Patrick’s Day Unit has everything you need to integrate this fun holiday with math and literacy! Each activity has variations to meet the CCSS for kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade.

Blocks Rock STEM Game!

(This post is sponsored by Blocks Rock. All opinions are my own.)

My school has recently become a STEM+A school, so I'm always looking for more resources! Two summers ago, I was given a Blocks Rock STEM pack and my students love using it in our classroom. I posted about it last school year and I'm here to tell you that they've added some features to the program and there's even more (free) fun!  They've included the cards for FREE, added all difficulty levels on the app for FREE, and of course the app is FREE! 

My favorite part of this block game is the technology component.  Although you can play this game without using the app, the app brings another element that my students just LOVE!  

I love the 3D aspect of this game and how you can differentiate the difficulty level on the app. You do not need to use the app for this game, but it is such a great extension (and it's free too).

Here's how the students play Blocks Rock:
  • The students get equal amounts of blocks (the game is for two players, but I had my students play in pairs so there were 4 students playing).
  • Player 1 flips over a card and both players create the picture using the blocks (I love that they can build it flat or 3D like a tower). There are two types of cards (Level 1/2).
  • The blocks have to be touching.
  • The first player to build their structure will ring the bell and they win the round (you can also have students touch their head when they are finished if you don't want to hear the bell).  If the structure isn't correct, the round continues...and the pressure builds! HA!
  • The player who wins the round, keeps the card.

My favorite uses for Blocks Rock:

* STEM rotations
* 3D shape introductions
* Indoor recess
* Rewards for positive behavior

What do your students learn while playing?

Color Identification: Players match the colored blocks to the colors on game cards.

• Problem Solving: Players arrange the blocks and fix when necessary.
 Shape IdentificationPlayers match block shapes to the shape of blocks on game cards.
• Spatial Learning: Players must build a structure to match the structure on the card.
 Hand-Eye Coordination: Hand-to-eye coordination is key to building a block structure
in the shortest amount of time.
• Math Skills: Points on the cards can be added up at the end of the game to determine
the winner, or younger players can count the number of cards each player has to find the

You're probably wondering if my students enjoy these activities and if it challenges them. 
If your principal is wondering if there is research behind the game, the answer is YES! 
Want to get your admin to pay for it? 
Show them this study on Blocks Rock and the effects it has on the brain!

Are you interested in trying this with your students?
Blocks Rock is offering our readers an exclusive 20% coupon code AT CHECKOUT ON AMAZON! 
Code: TEACH2018


Valentine's Day Tags (FREE) and Non-Fiction Unit

Valentine's Day is right around the corner!!!!  

My students will get PLENTY of candy and treats from their peers, so I decided to go the non-food route this year.  Once I went to Target, Hobby Lobby, and The Dollar Tree...I was SO inspired! Hopefully you can use these ideas for years to come and never have to repeat. :) I wanted the Valentine cards to be simple, but fun (and to save ink). Want to see all of the ideas? Click here!

Need something for next week?

If you like the format of my Martin Luther King mini-unit, you will enjoy this one! This mini-unit is a great way to teach your students why we celebrate Valentine's Day (without being too religious). 

Tree Map
Was, Had, Wanted Graphic Organizer
Describe St. Valentine
Describe Valentine's Day
The Legend of St. Valentine Class Book
The Legend of St. Valentine Student Mini-Book
Informational Writing
Heart-Shaped Valentine Fact Booklet
Vocabulary cards 
Vocabulary game
ABC Order 
Word Search


Extend the Reach of Your Teach

This post is sponsored by VIPKID. As always, opinions are all my own.

Have you heard of VIPKID? I heard about it recently from one of my sweet blogger friends, Nicole. She posted about this amazing opportunity to teach students all the way in China...and she did it from the comfort of her own home. Nicole needed some extra money (she's also a full-time teacher and graduate student) and VIPKID allows you to set your own hours and WORK FROM HOME!

VIPKID is an online English education platform currently with 200,000 Chinese students and 20,000 teachers (most of whom are in the US and Canada). VIPKID designs a unique curriculum for teachers to deliver English classes online in a 1:1 environment right from your own home.

Although Nicole loves making the extra money (while setting her own schedule and working from home), what she loves the most about it is that she became special friends with the Chinese kids. It's a wonderful opportunity for Nicole to share her culture with her Chinese students and learn about the culture of her students from the opposite side of the earth. How awesome is the fact that she can impact the lives of children all the way across the ocean?! Plus, all stories are shared and bonds are built in her own classroom.  She talks to her students about similarities and differences between her American and Chinese students; the students love hearing about how she celebrates holidays, what our school-day looks like, and what Americans kids  do for fun!

  What a fabulous way to extend the reach of your teach to 7,000 miles away!

Nicole initially started teaching with VIPKID because she needed to pay of some debt and she saw the pay was competitive. At the time, she had already tutored with other companies but had to travel to the tutoring center. VIPKID allows you to teach right from home, and eliminates that travel time and gas money. Even though the extra income she made from VIPKID was great, Nicole fell in love with VIPKID as she started to really get to know her students, and she enjoyed her time with them each lesson!

This is a picture of a teacher in the U.S. working in her home office/classroom! She's teaching english to a child in China!

Did you know?
  Started in 2013, VIPKID is the fastest growing online education company globally, with over 200,000 students as of summer 2017
  VIPKID is backed by Kobe Bryant
·      VIPKID is ranked by Forbes as a top 5 work from home job

Special Bonds between VIPKID Teachers & Students
“With VIPKID, I “travel” to China every day. My students showed me the breakfast churros they eat, their school mandatory uniforms, how they celebrate for Chinese New Year, and so many special things. And the sweetest thing is to know that for these little kids, their lives are a little different because of me.”
-       Teacher Nancy 

“I won a trip to Beijing to visit the VIPKID office, my students, and tour China. By the end of the trip, the happiest moment for me was not seeing the Great Wall or the Tiananmen Square, but giving my student a warm, warm hug for the first time!”
-       Teacher Jessica

“My daughter loves her VIPKID teacher. Sometime even an hour before class starts, she would already bring her little chair in front of the computer and start waiting for the teacher.”
-       Student Xiaxia’s mom

VIPKID teachers are often their students’ first friends from outside of their home country, and they really shape these children’s view of the outside world. That is tremendously special for these young souls. 

The anticipation, the endearment, and the respect teachers receive from these children in China are the most magical part of being an VIPKID teacher.

We can tell that there is a very dynamic VIPKID community that supports their teachers!
 Lessons are already created for you and they are 30 minutes long. Think of it is an interactive Skype lesson. You get to add your own flair and creativity to every subject you teach! You do not need to know how to speak Chinese. You just need to have a bachelor's degree and at least one year of teaching experience under your belt. You get to choose your own schedule and can work early in the morning or before bedtime. Sounds like a great opportunity to share your love for teaching children all the way across the world while supplementing your regular teaching income!

Are you ready to find out more?

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