Birthday Party Linky!!

Calling all teacher bloggers and anyone else who would like to participate!!!

I am a little bit in denial about this, but whether I like it or not, I will be turning 30 next Friday. Although I would much rather skip this birthday and pretend I'm in my 20's forever, I also wanted to do something big to celebrate this milestone birthday.

A couple months ago I read this article at Mix Mingle Glow and was immideiatly inspired to do something similar. For her 38th birthday she performed 38 random acts of kindness - everything from delivering balloons to hospital patients to giving gift cards to random people. After I read this article, I knew this was a project I wanted to participate in. 

I was hoping that you all would want to join me in a birthday party linky by performing a random act of kindness at your school. I know you might be thinking, "I'm a teacher - I perform random acts of kindness EVERY day!" Yes, yes, I know this is true, but I was thinking we could all try to go above and beyond a do something nice for our co-workers or students and do something we wouldn't normally do. 

Here's what you need to know:

If this is something you would like to do, please blog about it or post on our Facebook page. We would love to hear all about the kindness you have spread to others. 

Make sure to link up with us and we'll highlight some of your ideas on our blog!!

Contraction Crash!

So, I told everyone on our Facebook page that I went bowling with my 83 year old grandma {and the rest of my family} and she *ROCKED* it!  She's seriously amazing.  We lost our grandpa less than a month ago and today would have been his 84th Birthday.  We knew that bowling would cheer her up and my grandpa is looking down thankful that we are taking care of her!

Top left is my grandma and niece.  Bottom left is me and my sister!

On another note... WE've been BUSY in class! :)  We just learned about contractions in my classroom and I always introduce it with the *CONTRACTION CRASH*!

Click {here} for Contraction Crash!

I Love You "Beary" Much!

We've been learning all about bears in my classroom.  We smashed a whole bunch of fun/learning into one week! All of these are available in my Bear Unit {on sale this weekend!!!} and are perfect for the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.

We snuck in some gummy bear sorting! I LOVE the fact that they say that they love this "game".  They have no idea they are learning!

We sorted the Fact and Opinion cards and then wrote an opinion piece on our favorite type of bear:

All of these {and more... 100+ pages} are available in my TpT store
This unit is on sale this weekend!

At the end of the week, I gave them these little bookmarks {available for FREE below}:

Clipart and fonts on the bookmark are from KPM doodles and Kimberly Geswein Fonts

Share the Love!!

I am getting so excited for Valentine's Day!! Maybe it's because February is my birthday month, but I have always really loved Valentine's Day! Even though it can get a *little* bit crazy in my classroom, Valentine's is a fun day to celebrate friendship and focus on classroom unity.

Have you seen the HUGE Valentine's giveaway?! The cute Erica Bohrer is hosting an incredible giveaway - 18 Valentine's themed prizes from some of the top bloggers!! 

Also, I just uploaded a cute Valentine's Day pennant banner to my TPT store. 
Check it out  HERE!

For more fun Valentine's ideas, check out some of the posts in our archives by clicking HERE!

Why Do We Celebrate Valentine's Day?

1st grader: Why do we have Valentine's Day?

Me: Um.... to show we love each other.

1st grader: Ok! Cool!

Me: *walks to computer to Google it*
And that's how this mini-unit was born! Without getting too religious, I teach my students about the Legend of St. Valentine and they love it! It's a fun, interactive mini-unit that can take a week or one day! It's whatever you want it to be. I made it a few years ago but updated it today!

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

Washing Hands!

Anyone else been sick lately? These germs our students are spreading are NO fun!!
I have spent the last two days in bed and I have had enough!!

Here's a poster that I made to hang in my classroom while we wait for this nasty flu season to pass. 

You can download this poster for free HERE!

Also, here is an awesome website with fun videos and games that can help teach your students about germs. 

Good luck and stay healthy!!

P.S. If you like the bubble border, you can buy the pack in my TPT store

YAY for Dr. King Day!

We've been learning lots and lots about Martin Luther King, Jr. and BOY oh BOY do my students just eat this up.  I mean, they really cannot even BELIEVE that segregation was a real thing.  They are loving learning about Dr. King's fight for peace and equality.  I love when they use these *big* words in our class discussions {boycott, segregation, etc}.

They enjoyed the book that I made for them, but instead of printing it off, we used it on my computer and put it up on the projector.
and then they fill out this booklet...

We also made these cute hand-print hearts as we talked about equality and peace...

Next up {tomorrow}, the peace dove made with our foot and hands...

And I copied these for a fast finisher project...

All of these {PLUS TONS MORE} can be found in my Martin Luther King, Jr. Mini-Unit! 
Click the picture to check it out!

Click {here} to check it out!

Common Core {Kid-Friendly}

The sweet Monica over at Schroeder Page  gave me the inspiration for my next Common Core freebie! Head over to Monica's blog and check it out because it's fabulous!

With the words "Common Core" being such buzz words around education right now, I thought I'd give my students a little insight on what it kid-friendly terms {and it helps the parents, too}!

After I taught them about it, it was time that they did their own craftivity, so they'd REMEMBER it! :)

I have my students free-hand the apple on construction paper! :)

The Mitten

It's that time of year again! THE MITTEN! I do this activity with my students every year and they love it so much!  I found Jan Brett's website and I just loooooooove it.  I printed, cut, laminated and attached a popsicle stick to the animal masks from "The Mitten" and my class and I are going to retell the story by using the masks and acting out each of the part.  I am going to use a white sheet as the mitten and my students will have to crawl in it as we retell.

 Then, we have a little creative writing activity where the students have to think of a different animal to crawl into the mitten and tell why.  The mitten is made with scrapbook paper and cotton balls.  Underneath there is a surprise!!!!

I only had my students glue the bottom of the mitten.

I just made a bunch of mittens from cardstock and the kids used them to trace their mitten.

Clipart and/or fonts copyright DJ Inkers and used with permission:
Click HERE for the writing activity.  Click HERE for the mask downloads from Jan Brett's website.

MLK and Civil Rights {Upper Grades}

Hey everyone!! Guess what... it's me... Natalie. Do you even remember who I am? 

If not, here's a refresher:
I am Rachelle's blog partner
I've been writing for What the Teacher Wants for over two years now.
I teach 5th grade.
I love American History.
I have an 8 month old baby. 
And a two year old. 

You may have noticed that I've been missing around here lately. Those two little kiddos 

I am pretty pleased to announce that I have finished a new unit just in time for the upcoming holiday, Martin Luther King Day!! 

Want to read about what this pack includes??

And here's a pretty snapshot of some of the awesome printables and graphic organizers you will receive. 30 pages total.

This unit is perfect for any upper grades classroom {designed for grades 3-6} and will be a fun way to do some great learning about an important time in American History.

Want to win this pack??

Leave me a comment telling me why you'd like to use this in your class. I'll randomly select two winners to receive a copy!!

Winners have been notified. Thanks for all the comments - I appreciate every single one of them. 

If you did not win, you can purchase this unit by clicking: HERE

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