Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Halloween Literacy Fun

I LOVE Halloween time! There are so many wonderful, descriptive words that go with Halloween which leads to many literacy activities. 
 If you have a class that you have to differentiate work for, these FREE alphabetical order pages will be perfect.
They look similar, and have most of the words the same. The difference is in the number of words on the page. If you have students who work a little slower, or who do not do so well with a large number of choices -- give them the page with only 10 words on it. If students love a challenge or work quickly -- give them the page with 15 words on it.
If you want to turn these into a literacy center that can be reused, time and time again, pop them into page protectors and have students write on them with dry erase markers. If you provide the answer keys, students can mark their own pages! 


Friday, 11 August 2017

Stop Buying Tissue Paper Flowers!

I beg you to STOP buying those tissue paper flowers. Yes, you can buy them everywhere and they are convenient to throw in your shopping cart, but please, please, PLEASE stop. They are super easy and cheap to make. I am going to show you how you can make your own and in any colors/patterns you like.

Supplies Needed: 
  • scissors
  • string (I use the embroidery thread for friendship bracelets but any string will do. Use fishing line or clear thread if you are hanging them) 
  • tissue paper in any color/patterns you want
  • push pins (for mounting on wall)

 Step By Step Instructions:

1.) Select your tissue paper. The bigger you want your flowers the more sheets you will need. To create the blue flower above I used six sheets. For larger flowers I use 12-16. I would never use less than 6 sheets but you can play around with it. If you are hanging the flowers and want petal all around in a ball, you will need more sheets. 

2.) Lay your paper on the table. If you are making smaller flowers, cut the tissue paper in half (Yay you get 2 flowers out of each package!!!). Arrange the paper so that it is vertical in front of you (hot dog not hamburger shaped... lol)

3.)  Start folding your tissue paper back and forth like an acordian fan. The fold should be no bigger than 2 inches. There is no harm if the folds are bigger you will just get less petals. 

4.) Once you have completely folded you paper, tie your sting in the middle of the strip. If you are hanging you flower you will need to leave a longer string hanging. It is also important that the knot on the string be on the edge side of the strip (see the picture).

5.) Cut through all of the tissue paper ends in any shape (curved, pointed, etc) you like. This will form the petal design. Here is a link showing a variety of petal shapes. 

6.) Now for the most delicate step. Starting at one end of your strip, fan out your accordion fold. Starting with the top piece of tissue paper CAREFULLY separate it from all the others, pushing it in towards the middle where your string is. Go sheet by sheet until you are finished that side. Once done flip it around and do the same to the other side. Once all your sheets are separated you can start playing around with it to fluff it up. 

If you are going to put the flowers on a bulletin board or wall, like in the picture here, leave one side of the flower flat and push all the petals forward. To attach them to a flat surface, I found push pins work way better than staples. Staples tend to flatten too many of the petals and will tear them when you take the flower down.
 If you are going to hang your flowers, make sure you spread the petals on all sides of the flower to make a flower ball. Once it is hung you can play around with the exact placement of the petals.
 These are so simple to make that I have done these with students in Grades 2-7. Everyone loves making them and they were ALL successful.

Layer colors or use patterned tissue paper for more unique flowers.

The main thing is to have fun, be creative, and SAVE money!!!! I can buy a package of tissue paper (12 sheets) for $1 and make 4 flowers out of it. If I luck out and get the 30 sheet packs for $1 during seasonal times, I can make way more (this isn't a math post so I won't figure it out...lol) I know I will NEVER buy pre-made flowers again, and neither should you. 


Friday, 7 July 2017

Free Calendar for the Upcoming School Year

It has been WAY too long since I posted last. I will be teaching at a new school next year that will be way less stressful and time consuming and one of the things that I am going to make a priority is my blog. I feel I have been neglecting it for the past few years being at a school that consumed all my time. I am excited for my future possibilities! 

With that said I thought my first 'Back At It" post would include a freebie for those of you who have stuck with me. One thing I have learned over the past few years is that I need to be organized to stay some what sane. My calendars (yes I use a few different ones)have been my work saver. I would have been lost without them. 

Here is a FREE one for you all to enjoy. It covers August 2017-July 2018. All you have to do is click on the picture to get your copy :)

If you are looking for something more detailed and versatile I have a fancier teacher calendar for you.  

The bright colors of this are sure to brighten up your work day. Each month opens on two pages in order to have bigger boxes for writing in, as well as a small notes section on each month. There is also a page for monthly goals and one to record birthdays. Add your name to the front cover to personalize and add text boxes to the calendar to input any important dates you would like.

Each month has a teacher quote to help inspire you along the way!
There is a "Notes" page that can be printed as many times as you like.

This calendar is very versatile and can be coil bound or printed and put in a binder. The calendar covers August 2017 to August 2018.

If you live in Canada, I have the same thing but in a version just for you! All the Canadian holidays are on this calendar!

 The best thing about all of these calendars is I will update them EVERY year. So once you get the first copy you will have FREE updates year after year!!!!


Saturday, 24 December 2016

New Years 2017 Free Mystery Grid Activity

Most years we don't really celebrate New Years in school because we usually go back to school around January 9th. This year we go back on the 3rd so we will get to do some New Years activities!!! 

I just updated my mystery grid activity for 2017 so that will be an activity we will definitely do. Last year I taught my students about grid mapping so this will be a nice review (the benefits of teaching the same class 2 years in a row). 

To get your copy just click on the picture.

On another note, as a Christmas treat, my store will be on sale December 25th and 26th! This is a great time to stock up on items for the next few months so while you are grabbing your free mystery grid activity check out some of my other great products :)


Monday, 19 December 2016

Chalk Winter Art

A couple weeks ago I was looking for a quick art project for my class to complete. I cannot remember where I saw a picture of a winter scene done on black paper with chalk, but it was likely Pinterest. After searching town for white chalk (our school only had yellow) and finding some, I decided this was the art project for my class.

I tried 2 methods, one where everything was done on one piece of black construction paper and another using 2 pieces. I decided that I liked the crisp edge of drawing an oval on one piece of paper, drawing the winter scene, and then cutting it out. When I had created it all on once page the edge between the scene and the framing was too messy looking for my liking. 

Supplies needed:
2 pieces of black construction paper per student
1 piece of white chalk per student 
glue stick

Step 1: Draw an oval shape on one of the pieces of paper. Inside the oval draw a winter scene (we stuck to snow and trees) using the chalk.

Step 2: Cut out the oval shape just inside the white oval outline. This makes it so that when glued to the background page there will be a nice crisp shape to the oval. 

Step 3: On the second piece of paper, use the chalk to create a background frame. Some students may choose to blend the chalk, others may like the bolder look of not blending.
 Step 4: Glue the oval winter scene in the center of the background page.
Step 5: This was the hardest for us... Find something to sign your name with that will show up on the page. Usually we sign our names in white on black paper but because of the white chalk the names were not showing up. We found some metallic pens that worked great.   
That's all there is to this project. I just LOVE how they all turned out and my students were proud of their work. They were surprised that they could make such beautiful art in such a short time. The entire project (including my explanation and stapling the art on the bulletin board) took no more than 40 minutes. 

I am always looking for more art ideas, so if you have a blog post or a Pinterest board with art I would love for you to leave a link in the comments. Please also add what grade level the art would be best for.



Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas Alphabetical Order Freebie

Hi All,
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0pWUz3vnglybWdBRWgxbXpfazg/view?usp=sharingI have this 15 minute block of time, once a week, first thing int he morning before we go to PE that I have to fill. I usually have my students do some morning work activity. Most times it is Math or Language Arts but it ALWAYS has to be independent work, as the mornings are busy with reading messages from home, collecting permission slips/money (seems like we are always collecting $$), or getting students settled.

Anyways, last week I had to whip up a quick activity because it was taking me longer to find something that would work and that was Christmas themed. I thought that since my students always need practice with alphabetical order I would make a quick page focused on that. I have students working at many different levels and a group of them are slower than molasses finishing anything, so I created 2 versions of the same thing.

There is nothing fancy here, today. No fancy TpT cover, no fancy instructions page, and no fancy additional products page. Just a plain, old new freebie. Just click on any picture, print, and go!

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Answering Questions Freebie

Here is a quick freebie for you. I always want to set expectations at the beginning of the year for how I want students to answer questions. Since I teach grade 4/5 I don't want just one word answers (unless it is an adaptation for a student) but rather more in depth answers that have part of the question in them. 

 I always tell my students that I should be able to tell what the question is from your answer. If you write Pizza as the answer, is this "Your favourite food", "What you had for dinner last night". or "Your dog's name"? I want them to be specific. 

This worksheet along with a lesson is a fun way for students to practice writing complete sentence answers.


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Teachers Helping Fort McMurray

I haven't written a blog post in WAY too long but this is one cause that I was sure to be involved in. 

If you have not heard, Fort McMurray, a Northern Alberta town, was devastated by a wild fire that tore through the town. Nearly 90 000 people were evacuated and many of them lost their homes and all their belonging. There is still no date set for when they will be able to return to their homes and start the clean up process. It has been estimated that it will cost up to $9 Billion to clean up after the fires. 

I have family and friends who had to evacuate and I cannot even begin to imagine what that moment was like for them. 

There are so many stories showing up in the news about the amazing heroics of those people involved, as well as how people are helping out financially. 
Canada and the world are coming together to help out those in need, and so are a bunch of Canadian teachers. Myself, along with other Teacher Pay Teacher sellers have decided to donate 100% of our Monday, May 16th proceeds to the Red Cross Relief Fund to help those impacted by the wild fire.   

Click Here to be taken to my TpT store.

Here are all the wonderful, kind-hearted TpT sellers who are donating their profits! 


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Soccer, Soccer, Soccer

When I am not at work I can usually be found somewhere near a soccer field waiting for my son, Parker, to finish practice or cheering him on in a game. I LOVE watching him play soccer. 
He use to be that player who was picking the dandelions on the field and then one day all that changed. 
He decided that soccer was going to be his life. All he wanted to do was play soccer. It didn't matter what time in the morning (yikes there were some EARLY morning games) or what social event he was missing, as long as he got to kick a ball around.
His determination and hard work has been paying off this last year. He was selected as one of the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy players of the year! Very few players in B.C. can say they have earned this honor. To top that off he was asked to play on a team that travels throughout North America and Europe. They will be going to California at the end of April to play a bunch of games. Parker is over the moon excited about this opportunity and can see his dreams coming true. We are so incredibly proud of all he has accomplished.

If you have a child in competitive sports you know that it can be VERY expensive. Parker is fundraising to try and make the trip and we were talking about how I can help him reach his goal. I cannot get a second job because I am too busy being a teacher and soccer mom, so we had to do more thinking. This is when the idea to post on here came to us. I don't normally do this but I am willing to do  anything to help my son reach his goals and see his dreams come true.

 This is where you come in.... 

For every dollar that you donate to Parker's fundraising, I will offer you the same amount in products from my TpT store! There is no limit to how much you can get -- If you donate $5 you will get $5 worth of products. If you donate $20, you will get $20 worth of products. It is as simple as that!!!! We would be so grateful for any support you can give.
All you have to do is go to Parker's fundraising page and donate. Once you have made your donation send me an email (terristeachingtreasures@gmail.com) with the name you donated under, the amount, and a list of all the items you would like me to send you. Then I will send you the products and a HUGE thank you :)

As a thank you for just reading this I have included a freebie, soccer-themed of course :)

These math centers focus on basic multiplication facts and subtracting 3-digit numbers with regrouping.


Friday, 12 February 2016

Journal Writing in Intermediate Grades

No matter what grades I have taught I have ALWAYS had my students write journals. Of course journals in primary grades are different that journals in intermediate grades.

At the beginning of the year when I introduce journals to my intermediate students (this year grade 4/5) my students are like..."Hold on! We don't do journals anymore!" This quickly changes to "Hey, when are we writing in our journals again?" 

Here is how I do journals in my intermediate grades.

The MOST important thing is for my students to know that their writing will only be seen by myself. I will not be sharing it with the class to show excellent writing, nor will it be shown to their parents. I also tell them that I am not marking it for spelling (if they make a mistake I try to write a sentence back with the proper spelling of the word) or proper sentences. It WILL NOT be used for report cards either.  Why would I do it then, you ask? It has been the best way to find out more about my students and find out who they really are as a person and not as a student. 

These are the notebooks I use for our journals (mostly because they are cheap!) but you can use whatever you like. I recommend that you do use a notebook of some sort and not just loose leaf paper. This gives you, and the student a chance to see how their writing has changed and they can keep it as a keepsake if they like. 
The format we use is letter writing. They write a letter to me and I write back. I tell them they can ask me ANYTHING. I may or may not answer their question and I will tell them if I don't feel comfortable answering a question. The same thing goes for them. If I ask them a question they can decline to answer it (as long as they tell me they don't want to answer, so I don't think they are ignoring me.)

BELIEVE ME when I say that journal time is the QUIETEST time in my class. EVERY student is working to write in their journal no matter what their writing abilities are. Sure some need adaptations (a scribe - myself or an education assistant writes on a small whiteboard and they copy into their journal, or they get to write few sentences, or get more time to write) but ALL students write. I also let them know that they can write to me using anything they want -- pens, markers, pencil crayons, etc. Just not anything in yellow. It is too hard to read...lol

They are super excited to read what I have written and they ALL try and read what I have written. Those student who can read cursive get the challenge of reading my cursive response.  

I have learned so much about my students, from what they did on the weekend, to why they are sad, to what their favorite things are. 

This is the one activity that I will NEVER give up doing with my students. 
Here are some samples of my students' journal entries.

This one shows how much information I received about the things in my students life  all in one journal entry. 


We all have that student who thinks outside the box whenever they do anything. This particular student decided right away that he wanted to give me "Would You Rather" questions. He is pretty creative in the choices he gives me. He always gives me 2-3 different questions like this and I give him 2-3 back. 
He also is an incredible artist and I wanted to incorporate that into one of his responses so I asked him to draw me a picture of his cichlid. 

This next one makes my heart happy because this grade 5 girl was new to our school and she could barely write one sentence. We started with her barely asking me how old I was, to getting a scribe, to writing this all by herself (with the help of our class word box) :)

When I respond to my students is allows me the opportunities to acknowledge great things they have been doing at school, like being responsible citizens...


Or finding out their interests. These are things that I can bring into other lessons. I found out that this student is serious about hockey so when I am writing Math questions I can incorporate hockey into them.  


I really  find out how humorous my students are when I look at how they respond to my entries.

I am not going to lie... It takes a lot of time to respond to my students each week (we do journals once a week) but like I said it is well worth it. My students open up to me and they get a glimpse into my life outside of school as well. 

If you use journals in intermediate grades, I would love it if you left a comment below telling me how you do it.

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