Monday, April 29, 2013

Celebrate the End of Year Blues with a FUN Summer Puzzle!

I'm so glad you are here at Teaching Blog Roundup! I'm Heather from HoJo's Teaching Adventures, but you can just call me HoJo. My blog is geared for elementary grades K-6 because I've taught all of them in some capacity! I'm especially excited about this new collaborative blog because I'm actually a country girl - so the name fits. I've lived in South Dakota my entire life, and my family raises quarter horses. At one point we had over 80 of them! It was great!! I even had a friend who had all of her bridesmaids wear cowboy boots with our bridesmaid dresses.

{Please don't judge the too short dress! I'm a tall girl,
and my bride-friend didn't go for dresses that could be ordered in extra length.}

Alright - I know that's not why you're here, so let's get down to business! 

The end of the year can be stressful! You're trying to get inventory done, see what teaching assignment you'll have for next year, try out some new classroom management techniques because your little "lovelies" have been anything but, and there are a 100 more things I could list that end up on teachers' plates at the end of the year. But you have to keep the students engaged!

One way I like to keep students engaged at this point in the year is through games and puzzles. Students tend to buy into them, and they keep their hands fully engaged which seems to help keep their mouths quiet. :) So I decided to create a little summertime freebie for you! We've all been dreaming of beaches, flip flips, and sand castles - so now you can use them to keep your students on task!

These free puzzles will keep students in grades K-6ish entertained. (I say 6ish just because it depends on the ability of your sixth graders. Some of mine love Magic Squares and could play them for hours, while others find them too easy and boring, but maybe that's just the middle school attitudes coming through. ha!) You can choose between scrambled word puzzles or vocabulary. There are four total puzzles/games to differentiate between all of your needs in grades K-6! Click here or on the picture below to download your free copy from TpT.

If you want more end of year ideas, check out my End of Year Pinterest board!

Thank you so much for stopping by Teaching Blog Roundup! Show us some love in the comments by telling us your favorite year end freebie or tip to make the end of year go smoothly!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Welcome to TBR

Howdy Ya'll!  I'm Teresa from  Today I have the honor of writing the first post for Teaching Blog Roundup!  Teaching Blog Roundup (TBR) is a collaborative blog I started to bring the best elementary teacher blogs and posts together in one place for you.  It will give you an opportunity to discover some new blogs while keeping up with some of your favorites!  Our fabulous authors will write an informative post on TBR once a month to share their wisdom, mistakes (so you can learn from them) and teaching tips.  They may even share a freebie with you!  You can keep up with our authors and their latest posts on the TBR Authors blog roll on the left side.  You can check out our shops and even link up with us on the pages linked to the navigation bar above.  (We are just rounding everything up, so keep watching as we grow!  Make sure you follow us!)

Now that I have shared a little with you about TBR, on with my post (and freebie!)

It is hard to believe May is already here!  It is time to get ready for Mother's Day.  I love to read "What Mommies Do Best!" and "Does A Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?" during this time.  Here is a 10 page unit that is great for the week before Mother's Day!  It includes activities that go along with these great stories.  It also has an inherited  traits activity.  (This is a great time to learn about inherit traits!)  Click here to grab it from my TpT store free or here to download it directly.   I hope you enjoy it! 

One of my favorite things to make for mother's day is the WOW MOM card.  I take a 12"x18" piece of paper and fold it in half (short side to short side) then in half again (short side to short side).  On the fold I trace this on the top and side folds:

I cut it out for my firsties.  You could have your kiddos cut it out, but make sure you trace a few extras!  Then when they open the card this is what they see.

I have them decorate the card with finger print flowers.  They turn out soooo cute.  (I wish I had a real picture or them, but I haven't done them with the class this year.)

Then there are the gifts.  I have done several different things over the years.  One of my favorites are these little picture magnets.  They are so simple and cheap!  You buy clear glass beads at the dollar store.  The ones that flat on one side and a little larger than a quarter.  Have your students pick out the glass stone they want to use and lay it on the small head shot photo of themselves.  Trace around the glass and cut out the picture just a little smaller than the glass bead/ stone.  Using clear glue, (I use Crystal Effects or any clear drying strong glue) have the students squeeze the glue on photo and then lay the bead on top.  Quickly turn it upside down to dry (yes learn from my mistake, they will stick to the table if you don't!) for a day or two.  Then hot glue a button magnet to the back and voila!

Another popular gift is a clay pot painted with finger print flowers.  I then plant marigold seeds in them.  I have a cute little Marigolds for Mom poem I print and put on a popsicle stick and put in the pots.  One year I even had to find a "I tried to grow a flower but it didn't work... but I know my Mom will still love it!" poem.  (I will try to dig up these poems and share them with you soon.)

This year, I am making tile trivets.  I had a bunch of bisque 6"x6" tiles donated.  I am going to let the kids use the oil based sharpies or paint pens for ceramics to draw a picture of their mom on the tiles and write "I Love Mom" or something to that effect.  They will do a practice drawing first on paper.  I am going to add little felt feat to the bottom of the tile and voila!  (I hope it works as well as I think it well.  I will let you know.)

So what are you planning to make with your kids for Mother's Day this year? 

Fun in K/1

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Work in Progress

Howdy!  Welcome to Teaching Blog Roundup!  This is a collaborative board I am just beginning.  It will feature a different post full of information, tips, pictures and/or freebies everyday from one of our authors. 

This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a great adventure.  We are just getting the ball rolling, so please check back often.  If you want to join us, please e-mail me