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April Classroom Ideas

Books, Holidays, Morning Meeting

Please note Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Blog header photo for April Classroom Ideas. Photo of Easter eggs with math problems.

Today I’ll be rounding up a variety of teaching ideas that you can use during the month of April. I will share some fun themed books, activities, and a FREEBIE that you can use with your class.

April Book Suggestions:

Photo of 5 spring book covers

Here are five fun books that you can share with your class during the month of April.

April Classroom Idea – Math Easter Egg Hunt

Photo of math Easter Egg hunt

One of my favorite activities during April is to do a math Easter egg hunt! I buy a ton of Easter eggs and hide different math problems in them. You could differentiate this for any grade level – single-digit addition and subtraction, double-digit addition and subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. Then, I hide the eggs around the room.

I figure out how many eggs each student should find depending on the number that I have and the kids have to hunt for their math problems. I give them a recording sheet to record their work and responses and off they go! They love this activity and it can be a great way to prep for a test!

April Resource Suggestions:

Here are 3 of my favorite resources to use during the month of April.

  • April Morning Meeting Activity Slides – These fun spring themed Morning Meeting Activity Slides will keep your students busy the whole month of April. Click HERE to grab them for your class and save time in your Morning Meeting Prep.
  • Easter Word Problems – Story problems are a great way for students to practice a variety of math skills and build their problem solving abilities. These Easter themed word problems are great for independent practice, can be used as an Around the Room Activity, and more! Get these word problems HERE for your math students! (Digital and Print and Digital Bundle are also available in my store).
  • Earth Day Writing Prompts – The perfect set of writing prompts to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd! Click HERE to check them out!

April FREEBIE:

Photo of FREE Grammar Worksheets

These spring-themed FREE Grammar Worksheets are perfect to use during the month of April! These printables are great for independent practice, review, test prep, or homework! Includes practice using capitals and end marks, working with singular and plural nouns, and changing verb tenses. Click HERE to get your FREEBIE.

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March Classroom Ideas

Holidays

Please note Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Today I’ll be rounding up a variety of teaching ideas that you can use during the month of March. I will share some engaging books, activities, and a FREEBIE that you can use with your class.

March Book Suggestions:

Here are five fun books that you can share with your class during the month of March.

March Classroom Idea – Mischievous Leprechaun

Photo of mess left in classroom by "leprechaun"

On St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechauns visit our classroom and make quite the mess. They knock many things over and leave green leprechaun dust on the desks. The kids always think it is quite funny!

March Classroom Idea – Book Tournament

Photo of book tournament bracket

March is not only about St. Patrick’s Day. I also love celebrating March Madness with my class and even doing a little basketball transformation.

The book tournament is one of my favorite parts of this transformation. For the book tournament, we create brackets like the basketball team brackets. I created this poster board and then printed photos of the book that were competing. You could also print a blank Sweet 16 bracket online and either type or write the book titles in.

This tournament takes more than a day and students really get into it. I pick out 16 picture books that I have not read to my class yet and that are less common. I want to try to pick out books that my students are unfamiliar with. Each time, I read the two books that are competing against each other. The class does a silent vote and the winner moves on to the next round. They love seeing which book will win it all!

To see more about the basketball room transformation >>> CLICK HERE.

March Resource Suggestions:

Here are two of my favorite resources to use during the month of March.

  • St. Patrick’s Day Word Problems – Word problems are a great way for students to practice a variety of math skills and build their problem solving abilities. These St. Patrick’s Day themed word problems are great for independent practice, can be used as an Around the Room Activity, and more! Get these word problems HERE for your math students! (Digital and Print and Digital Bundle are also available in my store).
  • March Morning Meeting Activities – You’ll have ALL of your Morning Meeting Activities planned out for the month of March with these easy-to-use slides! These St. Patrick’s Day themed activities will keep your students engaged and having fun! Includes activities like Noggle, Word Creator, Story Starter, Quick Draw, and more! Grab them HERE.

March FREEBIE:

Photo of FREE March writing prompts

These FREE March Writing Prompts are perfect to use in your classroom during the month of March! This FREEBIE includes 2 prompts. These engaging prompts are great to use as a writing warm-up, for homework, literacy stations, and more! Grab this FREEBIE >>> HERE.

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February Classroom Ideas

Holidays

Please note Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Blog Header for February Classroom Ideas

Today I’ll be rounding up a variety of teaching ideas that you can use during the month of February. I will share some engaging books, activities, and a FREEBIE that you can use with your class.

February Book Suggestions:

Photos of February Classroom Books - photos of covers for Love Monster, Crankenstein Valentine, Valentine's Day Jitters, I Am Love, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose

Here are five fun books that you can share with your class during the month of February.

February Classroom Idea – Heart Attack:

Photo of hearts for heart attack - sharing things I love about my class.

A few years ago I started this whole “Heart Attack” on February 1. Each day up until Valentine’s Day I added a new heart onto the white board sharing something that I loved about our class! It’s a great way to show kids how to focus on the positive and promote kindness and compliments.

Valentine’s Day Party Ideas:

Minute to Win It Valentine’s Day Party is one of my favorite classroom parties ever! Click HERE to see my whole blog post all about it!

February Resource Suggestions:

Photo of February Classroom Ideas resources - pictures of word problems and Quick Draw activity

Here are two of my favorite resources to use during the month of February.

  • Valentine’s Day Word Problems – Word problems are a great way for students to practice a variety of math skills and build their problem solving abilities. These Valentine’s Day themed word problems are great for independent practice, can be used as an Around the Room Activity, and more! Get these word problems HERE for your math students! (Digital and Print and Digital Bundle are also available in my store).
  • February Morning Meeting Activities – You’ll have ALL of your Morning Meeting Activities planned out for the month of February with these easy-to-use slides! These Valentine’s Day themed activities will keep your students engaged and having fun! Includes activities like Noggle, Word Creator, Story Starter, Quick Draw, and more! Grab them HERE.

February Classroom Ideas FREEBIE:

These FREE Valentine’s Day Writing Prompts are perfect to use in your classroom during the month of February! This FREEBIE includes 4 different prompts total. These engaging prompts are great to use as a writing warm-up, for homework, literacy stations, and more! Grab this FREEBIE >>> HERE.

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Kindness Cards FREEBIE

Holidays

What are Kindness Cards?

The holiday season is quickly upon us! Years ago I used to do Elf on the Shelf in the classroom, but had been looking for a way to promote kindness during the holiday season! In comes…Kindness Cards!

Kindness Cards include writing letters to school staff, helping others, saying “Good Morning,” and more.  It’s a great way to promote being kind to others during the holiday season. The digital version even provides options that are great for distance learning or virtual learning.

How can you use them in the classroom?

I use these cards during the month of December in my classroom. Each day I post a new card on the board and we focus on that act of kindness for the day. For the digital version, I add a new “digital” card to our daily slides that we use.

Picture of printable Kindness Cards

Grab your FREE Kindness Cards

Example of Digital Kindness Cards

If you would like to grab your own set of printable FREE Kindness Cards >>> click HERE.

If you would like the digital version of the FREE Kindness Cards >>> click HERE.

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Polar Express Day

Holidays

Picture of train set-up for Polar Express party

One of my favorite days at school is Polar Express Day! When I taught first grade we had a whole week dedicated to the story the Polar Express.  We read the story, worked on comprehension questions, and writing prompts about the book.  Then, the special activity was our Polar Express Day.  Each student wore pajamas to school and got their Polar Express ticket!

Picture of Polar Express ticket and bell

After receiving their ticket, students went out into the hall to board the train.  You can see in the last photo how our hallway was set up like a train station. Our amazing school counselor dressed up as the conductor and punched everyone’s ticket as they boarded our classroom train.  Students also got a bell at the end of the day with the Believe tag on it.

Picture of food - candy canes, donuts, hot chocolate

Now it wouldn’t be Polar Express Day if we didn’t have treats! Students were able to enjoy hot chocolate with candy canes and donuts!  This might have been their favorite part of the whole day.

Picture of Polar Express Movie

We watched the movie throughout the day while sitting on our train pictured below.  I had seen this amazing train idea on Pinterest and just had to create it for the classroom! We covered the table in red butcher paper and created the front of the train with cardboard, butcher paper, and duct tape.

Tables set up like Polar Express train

Since our whole grade level participated in Polar Express Day we also decorated the hall to look like a train station. We used black painters tape for the track (while this looked cute – it is a pain to clean up after) and created railroad signs to put up throughout the hallway.

Hallway set up like train station

So as I mentioned it is one of my favorite days – I always love a good theme and room transformation!

 

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100th Day Birthday Party

Holidays
100th Day Birthday Party Blog Header

The 100th Day of School is a big deal especially in kindergarten and first grade. Last year when I was starting to plan out our celebration for it in first grade I wanted to do something a little different. I know many times teachers have students dress up like they are 100 years old so I thought – why not throw a birthday party for turning 100 years old! It was a hit! See all of the fun we had below…

Birthday Invite

Birthday party invite for the 100th Day of School

About a week before the 100th day of school, I let students and parents know that students could dress up for the day like they were 100 years old. Then, the day before (Day 99 to be exact) at the end of the day I shared the above birthday party invitation with my kiddos. This way they knew something was coming, but still didn’t know exactly what it meant. This was a great way to build hype and excitement!

Decorations

Happy 100th Birthday sign with streamers in doorway.
Birthday tablecloths and decorations in classroom.

Most of the decorations that I got for our birthday party were from the Dollar Tree. I got balloon tablecloths and fun party centerpieces. We also made some “Happy Birthday” banners and hung up the door sign with streamers. We also made some balloons to hang around the room too! For some fun party decor – check out my Amazon Storefront – HERE.

Photo Booth

Picture of 100th day photo booth with props

I like to have a photo opportunity with most room transformations and I definitely wanted to take pictures of the kiddos all dressed up like they were 100 years old. I wish I could post some of those pictures, but due to privacy I can’t. But, I can tell you that the kids looked super cute! They were dressed up with suspenders, bow ties, wigs, canes, etc. They went all out, which made the day super fun. I wore an “old lady” jogging suit and tried to put baby powder in my hair (but that didn’t work so well). For the photo booth, I put up birthday wrapping paper that I got from Target and then used birthday photo booth props from Amazon. You can find the photo props and more decor on my Amazon Store front…HERE.

Special Treat

Picture of 100th birthday cake

What would a birthday party be without some birthday cake! I ordered this cake from our local grocery store and the kids loved it!

100th Day Stations

For about an hour-ish or more, students were rotating through 100th day stations with their group.

Station #1 – Pattern Blocks – Students were given 100 pattern blocks and they were able to build any kind of creation with them.

Pattern block creations

Station #2 – Write 100 Words – Students were given a paper with lines numbered from 1 to 100. Their job was to go around the room and try to write down 100 different words.

Station #3 – Unifix Cubes – Students were given 100 unifix cubes and could build any type of tower or creation that they wanted.

Station #4 – 100 Lollipop Licks – Students were each given a Tootsie Roll Pop and had to see how many licks it took them to get to the center. I got this cute recording sheet on TPT from Buckmastery – HERE.

100 Lollipop Licks activity

Station 5 – Cup Challenge – Groups were given 100 Dixie cups and had to build the tallest tower that they could.

Special Snack

100th day of school trail mix snack

Another activity that students worked on during the day was creating their special 100th day snack. For this snack, you need 10 different items. Then, each child will get 10 of each of the 10 items and their trail mix will have 100 items in this. This year I used Cheez-Its, Kix Cereal, Cheerios, Pretzels, Raisins, Marshmallows, Goldfish, Gummy Bears, Chocolate Chips, and M&Ms. This activity is always a class favorite!

Math Birthday Party

Place value birthday cake

During this time of year we had been learning all about place value, so Amy Lemon’s Place Value Party fit in perfectly. Students made a cake using place value with a 2-digit number and played Pin the Nose on the Clown with place value type questions. You can find these activities… HERE.

Pin the nose on the clown

100th Day Scavenger Hunt

100th Day Scavenger Hunt

For our special scavenger hunt, students need special glasses to help them see. I make these 100 glasses using the school die cut machine and craft sticks and then students get to decorate them. They can see through the two zeroes and use it to help them with our scavenger hunt. For the scavenger hunt I hide 100 numbers around the room. This year I used stars and numbered them from 1-100. I color coordinated even and odd numbers. Students then use their special glasses to help them find all of the numbers. Then we put them in the correct order in a pocket chart.

For some more ideas for the 100th Day of School – check out my blog post from a few years ago >>> HERE. If you are interested in seeing what items I recommend from Amazon for this transformation >>> click HERE.

100th Day Birthday Party Long Pin

Five Fun Valentine’s Day Books

Holidays

Please note Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I love reading different books around the different holidays.  Here are my Five Fun books to read with your class for Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff – You can never go wrong with a book by Laura Numeroff….

Cover for Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse Book

Love Monster  by Rachel Bright – Super cute story with many craft options on Pinterest.
Cover for Love Monster Book

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Collandro – I love the Old Lady series and love how they have them for different holidays!
Cover for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose Book

A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger – My class loved the original Crankenstein and they now also have a cute valentine book too!
Cover for A Crankenstein Valentine Book

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat – A cute Valentine’s Day book that also can remind students about the importance of being kind.
Cover for Roses are Pink Book

Holiday Activities for the Classroom

Holidays, Math, Reading, Science, Writing

I know how crazy the last few days/week before winter break can be. We are entering crazy times teachers and we need to have as many fun, educational activities in our back pocket ready to go as we can.

So, here are a few things I will be using with my class this week….

Christmas Writing Prompts – This is a FREEBIE in my TPT Store.  It includes two writing prompts that are focused on personal narratives.  Great way to incorporate writing into the holiday excitement.

Candy Cane Science Lab – I did this activity with my class last year and will be starting it this week. We’ve been learning about lab reports during Writing Workshop and this is a fun science experiment to do this time of year. Check out my blog post on it….here

Olive, the Other Reindeer Book Study – This is a cute story and my students love hearing it every year.  This book study is now in my TPT Store. It includes comprehension questions and four different writing prompts. This could be used whole group or as a small group activity.

Christmas Story Problems – We will be starting these today.  I love using holiday story problems as one of my rotations during our daily math time.  The kids love that they are themed and fitting of the season.  The Christmas Story Problems include addition and subtraction problems with and without regrouping.

Winter Story Problems – I will actually be using these when we return to school in January, but if your school focuses on winter instead of the specific holidays – these story problems would be great. These can be used whole group, small group, or at a math center.  These winter themed problems focus on ice skating, hot chocolate, snowmen, etc.  Includes addition and subtraction problems.

Hope these activities and ideas help with the last bit of school before break. I’m down to 7.5 days left with students. We can do it teachers!

Five Fun Christmas Books

Holidays

Please note Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I love the holidays. In my class, all of my students celebrate Christmas while some celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.  So, we read a lot of Christmas and Hanukkah books during read aloud time during the month of December.  Here are Five Fun Christmas Books to use with your class…

The Polar Express – Yes, I know this is a predictable choice, but it’s such a great book. We read it and also watch the movie at our party each year.
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Olive the Other Reindeer – Olive is a dog who decides she must be a reindeer based on the lyrics in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This book goes through how she tries to join Santa’s team. Super cute!
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How Santa Got His Job – A fun story about how Santa realized his true calling…

The Jolly Christmas Postman – I love the Jolly Postman story for teaching about letter writing and the Christmas version revisits many of the same characters. Kids love how it has the letters and things you can pull out from inside.
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How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Another popular choice that had to make the list! Can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss!
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What are your favorite holiday books to read in class?

Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

Holidays
 
For the past few years, we’ve had an elf visit our 2nd grade classroom during the month of December.  Each time my class has come up with a different name for our little friend. We’ve had Sparky, Buddy, Snowy, and this year they decided to name him Gold. The elf always does something funny or naughty, and also always writes a note to our class. In our note, the elf always reminds us of the good choices we should be making.
Below are some of my favorite elf adventures from the past few years…
Our little elf friend came back from the North Pole with a cold or flu.  He had to rest all day, but still had a good spot to keep an eye on everyone’s behavior.

Snowy the Elf decided he wanted to be part of the decorations.  On our tree, we had ornaments with each student’s face on them. Snowy decided to take over.  

Here we have Snowy again. He decided to call no math homework for the night and even cut up all of the homework. The kids couldn’t believe it!

Our elf Sparky loved his name. He loved his name so much that he decided to decorate our room with it.

Here is Buddy the Elf. Poor Buddy was climbing a tower of unifix cubes the day before and fell when he tried to get down.  He had to rest and keep his leg elevated for the day.

Here we have Buddy again. Buddy decided his own behavior was outstanding and brought his own clip for the clip chart. He challenged the whole class to try to clip up that day.

Each week I have a different student who is star student and they fill in and share the poster above. Buddy didn’t want to be left out so he created his own star student poster to share with the class.

Here we have Sparky leaving us some friendly reminders…
I love having the elf visit our classroom. Do you have an elf in your classroom? If so, comment below!