A Bunny Blog Hop

A Tisket, A Tasket, Freebies for your Basket!
Several phenomenal teachers and bloggers are joining forces for an amazing bunny blog hop!  As you follow us along the bunny trail, you will visit some of your favorite blogs and discover a few new blogs too!  Each with a fabulous freebie just for you!
Thank you for hopping on over to my blog! 
Did you know April begins National Poetry Month?  As a student, I always loved writing poetry.  However, as a teacher, I've always disliked it.  Maybe it's because I didn't really know where to start with poetry and how to get kids excited and confident about writing poems.  In my six years of teaching, I've discovered that starting a poetry unit with acrostic poems is the way to go!  Read on to find out more and to snag a SPRING ACROSTIC POEM FREEBIE!

First, I gathered kiddos on the carpet, and we discussed poetry in general.  I wanted students to understand that not all poems rhyme, and "the look" and syntax of poems are different than the "regular writing" we do.  I've often found that students who struggle with writing do very well with poetry because the typical conventions are tossed aside!  Yay!

Next, we created a circle map all about "Spring."  Thinking maps and graphic organizers are very familiar to my students so they had no problem coming up with ideas and content.
Then, as a class, we created two Spring acrostic poems TOGETHER.  I wanted students to realize that while everyone is writing about spring, their poems should look and sound different than their neighbors' poems.  We used words and ideas from the circle map to make these two poems:
I'm planning to hang the Spring poems on a bulletin board with tissue paper flowers.  Won't that be bright and springy!?!?  :)
Click on the pictures below to download the templates!
You can also get this freebie by clicking "Download" next to the Scribd logo!  

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!  If you are new to my blog and liked what you see, don't forget to follow me.  A Tisket, A Tasket, next up with a Freebie for your Basket is Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers.  Hop on over!

Just in case you didn't join us from the beginning, here is an ordered list of all the participating blogs.

Stephany from Primary Possibilities
Sally from Elementary Matters
Lory from Fun for First
Linda from Primary Inspiration
Nicole from Mrs. Rios Teaches Second Grade
Brian from Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings
Liz from The Happy Teacher
Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers
Sarah from Learning is for Superstars
Teresa from Fun in K/1
Nikki from Teaching in Progress
Faith from Kindergarten Faith
Renee from Fantastic First Grade Froggies
Amy from Happy Teacher Heaven
Leah from Learn with Leah
Nicole from Teaching's a Hoot
Kristy from The Phonic's Phenomenon
Rich from Mr. Giso's Room to Read
Susanna from Whimsy Workshop
Amy from Motivate to Learn
Lola from Preschool Wonders
Kimberli from Mixing the Next Batch

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Classroom Easter Egg Hunt

As a child, I absolutely LOVED hunting for Easter eggs! Every year, we'd go to an Easter egg hunt at the church and the local park. The Easter bunny would also hide eggs all over the yard. What fun! As a teacher, I wanted to put an educational spin on the traditional Easter egg hunt. So here's my idea... 

1. Create educational "tasks" or activities for students to do in the classroom. I've included a few examples below. Write the activities on slips of paper, fold them, and put them inside plastic eggs. 
2. Hide the eggs around the classroom before students arrive. 
3. Put students in groups of 2-3. Have each group hunt for ONE egg. As a group, the students complete the task inside the Easter egg. 
4. Then, the group finds a new hiding spot for their Easter egg. 
5. Repeat as many times as you'd like! :)
 This would also be a fun activity for "fast finishers!"
I've included 8 fun tasks below, as well as a blank page for you to create your own!  

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Guest Blogger: Primary Essentials

I am so stinkin’ excited to be guest blogging for Liz here at TheHappyTeacher!  My name is Fran, and although I’m not yet a blogger, I stalk quite a few blogs on a regular basis.  I’m the mind behind the Teachers Pay Teachers store, Primary Essentials.  I just love working in primary.  I think teachers that teach primary grades just think a little differently from everyone else.  You know what I mean?
            I stopped by today to share the whole group activity Four Corners.  I just heart Four Corners.  I think it’s great for two reasons. 1) It gets your little ones up and out of their seats (and the blood flowing back to their brains). 2) It can be used as an informal assessment to see which students still need more practice with the skill that you are currently working on.  Here’s how you play.  You decide on the skill you want to review and create cards for that skill that you will pass out to the students.  Put A, B, C, D signs in the four corners of your classroom.  If you have one or more corners that are not accessible, just place the sign where you want that group to meet. The signs below are for Hard and Soft C & G Four Corners.
Next, have the students get up and move to the corner that they think correctly fits their card. Then you can go around and check to see if everyone is in the correct corner.  This is a great time for you to make notes about which students still need more practice with the skill.  If time permits, you can quickly talk with any students that are in the wrong corner about what corner they should have gone to and why.  You could also have the students in each corner look at each other’s cards and help any friends that may be in the wrong corner.  Four Corners can be played over and over again by switching the game cards the students have each round.
If you have never played Four Corners I must warn you that you MUST set your expectations for behavior and noise level from the beginning.  If you don’t, you will absolutely hate Four Corners and will never play again.  All the normal classroom expectations are still enforced, but I like to add few more specific expectations.  Here are the expectations that I have for students when playing this game:
1)  No one moves until I say “Go.”
2)  When moving to your corner you must use walking feet at a normal pace.
3)  When you reach your corner you are not there to have a conversation, so stand quietly while I check to make sure that everyone made it to the correct corner.  If I ask you to talk with the other students at your corner, use a whisper voice.
4)  If you are not sure what corner you need to go to, make an educated guess.  No one will be punished or yelled at for going to the wrong corner. J
5) If you are unable to follow my expectations, you will get the honor of staying seated at your desk while the other students get up and move.  You will however still have to participate in the learning that is taking place.  I will come by your desk for you to tell me which corner you should be standing in.
I love Four Corners so much I've been busy creating products for my store that feature this game.  Each product comes with a few other activities that you can put in stations to reinforce the concept.  All the games are played with the same game cards.  Check out my new products below.
Picture Perfect L-blends Four Corners & More comes with six sets of game cards with eight cards in each set.  All the Picture Perfect products come with the four corner signs, and two station activities (word sort and Collect 8).
Sorting Mats:

 Picture Cards:
 Word Cards:
If you like Picture Perfect L-blends you’ll also want to check out these other Picture Perfect products.  Picture Perfect R-blends Four Corners & More, Picture Perfect Bossy R Four Corners & More, and Picture Perfect Hard and Soft C & G Four Corners and More

I also created one for Synonyms.  I would say that this activity is more for second grade and above.  Some of the words may be too hard for first graders.

Sorting Mats & Word Cards:
Last but not least I did create a couple of Math Four Corners game.  Check out Money Four Corners & More and Place Value Four Corners & More.
Money Four Corners & More comes with four sets of game cards and directions for four station activities (sort & sorting mats, Collect 8, Concentration, and Go Fish).

Place Value Four Corners & More comes with four sets of game cards and directions for four station activities (sort & sorting mats, Collect 8, Concentration, and Go Fish).

Thanks for letting share Four Corners and my newest products with y’all.  I would just love it if you would come on over to my TPT store and become a follower and check out some of my product while you are there.  I’m having a 15% off sale from Saturday, March 16th through Monday, March 18th.  You can also follow Primary Essentials on Facebook.
Leave a comment (and your e-mail below) and tell me your FAVORITE Four Corners game!  I'll pick a few random winners and send them their favorite!! :)  

8 Educational Easter Egg Activities!

Some schools don't allow teachers to "celebrate" Easter unless the activities have educational/instructional merit.  I'm here to share a few of my favorite academically inspired Easter egg activities with you!  If you have an idea to share, post it in the comments below...
Extension: Have students practice writing each uppercase and lowercase letter on handwriting paper.
Extension: Have students use each sight word in a complete sentence.
Extension: Have students write complete sentences in their journals using the compound words.  Need suggestions for compound words?  Check out this comprehensive list!   
Write a word part on the top of each egg.  On the bottom of the egg, write 4-5 letters that can be used to build words in that particular word family.  {For example: Mack, rack, back, and sack can all be made on the green egg by simply spinning the bottom portion of the egg.}
Extension: After students have matched all of the word families, have them record their findings in their journal.  Then students can brainstorm additional words to add to each word family list.  
Note: To make this activity more challenging, use only one color egg.  
Extension: Have students create another addition sentence with an equivalent sum for each egg.
Note: You can use separate eggs for the different components (number, number word, dots, and tally marks), or you can write all four components on one egg.  
Extension: Have students write the other two remaining facts to complete each fact family.  

Egg-cited for Easter!

I've used plastic Easter eggs in my classroom for many learning activities over the years.  This year, I came up with a fun twist on a traditional idea.  Check out the pictures and FREEBIE recording sheet below!  I think your students will be very EGG-CITED about this fun and engaging math activity.  =)
To download the FREE student printable and teacher directions, click HERE!
Here is an example of a completed recording sheet:
Hint: You can actually write on more than one side of the egg, so you can create multiple problems on the same egg!  Yay!  I had to share the following picture of my sweet kitty cat helping me.  Plastic Easter eggs are actually quite difficult to photograph, especially when a certain cat is batting them around the house!  :)
Have fun and Happy Easter from TheHappyTeacher!

Jelly Bean Math {Addition}

If you've been following me or reading my blog for some time, you know how much I love the part-part-whole strategy for teaching addition and subtraction.  I created a FREEBIE that is perfect for Spring and Easter time!  You can download this activity by clicking HERE!  Here are the materials and directions for the activity:
Take a look at a few examples:

I hope you and your kiddos have FUN with this TASTY math activity!   
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Check out more fabulous freebies by clicking the link above!  
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