Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lessons for November- friends, safety, empathy, decision making, thankfulness, and bullying!

It's almost time for Thanksgiving break!!!!! Until then, here is a little about the fun we are having in class..

We are talking about being a good friend.

Intro: We started out by reading "Let's Be Friends" on BookFlix.

Next, we watched "Rainbow Fish" on Storyline Online to talk about how good friends put others first and share. 

The class shared examples of good friendship skills that I wrote on starfish and fish.  To end each student decorated his/her own rainbow fish that we put on our bulletin board: "We are all friends in our school" (get it school haha!) 

Need more: Check out the word match on Book Flix:

1st Grade: Our character education word of the month is citizenship. We are reading "Michael, Recycle!" This is such a cute rhyming book and it has a lot of big vocabulary words for 1st grade, like crusader! 
In the past I have used this amazing Rhyme, Define, Rhyme pack by Speech Snacks I found on TPT.
I really like it, but I think its too hard for 1st grade. I would definitely use it for 2nd or 3rd. If your students are up for the challenge there are rhyming cards in the TPT pack- you could hand them out to each child and them find the partner whose card rhymes with theirs. There are also some great discussion cards you could play Quiz Quiz Trade with. 

First, we read and slowly discuss the book. I let the students turn and talk and share their ideas and answer questions. Then at the end the students draw what they would do at school if we had a "Be Greener Campaign." 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lesson Highlights and Ideas

I really like doing lessons where students tap into themselves and make personal connections, but I love it when I can extend that to help them make connections with other classmates.

Here are a few ideas for lessons you may enjoy.

Here is what I did with 5th Grade. We watched this amazing Ted Talks about a boy becoming an artist. *heads up: make sure you watch this video before you play it to make sure it's good for your students. Mine love it and I've never had a problem.

After the video, we discussed the struggles he faced in reaching his goals and I asked the students to reflect on their own struggles by telling filing in the blanks: "I struggle with___, but I won't let that stop me from___." Here is the exit ticket.

I had a student tell me he loved this lesson because he really got to open up and share his feelings. Music to a counselors ears.

Other ideas:
*Read " This Is Moose" as a lead in and talk about reaching your goals even when others might doubt you. My students LOVE this book.
 This book is going to be so much fun for our career unit and talking about not giving up on your dreams. Read the story behind the story here.
*Tie this into a bravery by reading "My Brave Year of Firsts" with younger students.
*Talk about perseverance with older students by reading "3 Ninja Pigs" and/or watching this adorable video about not giving up.

*Have students research other famous people that have struggled and over come.
My next favorite lesson is....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Book Fair Books

The problem with your best friend being a librarian is you always have to buy books...I mean how could I not. Seriously she inspires me to add to my collection- I can't wait to share with the kids!

I got some great books at book fair this year check them out:

You know I can't get enough of the "3 Ninja Pigs" and this book has been on my wish list for a while. I can't wait to use this book along with Corey Rosen Schwartz other books to compare and contrast, talk about point of view, etc. Need ideas - no worries- here is the teachers guide.

Here is the book trailer:

I love this book by one of my all time favorite authors Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
This is a great way to add non fiction into your lessons. This book talks about bug manners and it's GROSS, which means the kids will love it. It would be super fun to have the kids vote on which but they think has the best and worst manners and why. Get the teacher's guide here.
I also grabbed a Tom Litchfield book. This book is going to be so much fun for our career unit and talking about not giving up on your dreams. Read the story behind the story here.

If you have "When Sophie Gets Angry" then you have to  check out this sequel.

This is a great book to talk about conflict resolution and problem solving skills. It would be fun to read it and then follow up with a socratic seminar on dogs vs. cats.

Book Fair Fun

It's Book Fair time!! My favorite time of year and the time of year my bank account hates. 

Love this sign in the library.

I mean how cute is this!

Svarda always stepping it up.

Tell your librarians to get a copy for the library!!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Teaching Feelings Activites

Here are two new activities I created for teaching feelings and coping skills. Check them out:
A fun FREEBIE interactive activity to help students match feelings words with feeling faces. This would be a great post test for K-2.

Check out this activity packet on coping skills for various feelings. This 8 page activity to help student identify coping strategies for various feelings including: anger, jealousy, worry, etc.

Class lessons for October- a highlight

Here's a look at what I'm doing in the classroom for October.



Problem Solving/
Conflict Resolution/
Point of view

Tattle vs. Tell

Tattle vs. Tell

Self Confidence

Decision Making/
Peer Pressure

Click read more below for a more detailed look at the lessons, links to lesson plans and resources, and free activities!

This is my fall break

New Book Alert

My bestie just shared this book with me. I can't wait to get it. Follow my blog to find out how I will use "Wild Feelings" by David Milgrim.

Also, check out this book trailer for "If You Give A Mouse An iPhone" which would be so fun to compare and contrast with the "If You Give" book series. This will be a great addition to my lesson on cause/effect and the consequences of our choices.

Monday, September 28, 2015

SCALI 2015

What a day- I woke up sick, shattered my cell phone, got the time wrong due to a time change story that's legendary, went to the SCALI conference without my computer adaptor, didn't have a mic in my session and lost my voice, and ran out of handouts. Oh my!

However, I did have the best time in my break out session. What a wonderful group of counselor. We talked about collaborating with your school librarian/media specialist and connecting lessons to Common Core and ASCA Standards.

Here are the handouts and resources I shared:

Here is my Power Point:

Here is my brochure:

A lesson plan with standards for "The Invisible Boy":
Get the QQT game cards for the lesson here:

Parent Workshop ideas:

Wonderopolis- an amazing resource for non fiction and to enhance research:

Flocabulary - videos to boost your lessons:

Kahoot- and Plickers- for easy assessment tools

Get kids talking and sharing about books at

Need a lesson on friendship and tolerating differences? Check out: and follow it up with :

Want a fun problem solving lesson you can collaborate with your librarian on?

Use Anchor Charts to help review a books and meet CCSS:

Need an easy print out of CCSS and more ideas check out:

Check out my Scope and Sequence here and here.

One kind counselor in the session shared this new amazing resource for parents, teachers, and students.  Check out
It's an online reading community and it allows students to earn FREE books. Awesome.

Also, my friend Svarda insisted (and I am so glad she did) the TN Standards App. Download it and the ASCA model app for EASY access to standards that make lesson planning a breeze.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Asking for help

Why is it the lessons I plan and plan go well, but the last minute lessons go great. Here was a last minute lesson I did with 4th grade on asking for help. It went over like gangbusters. 


I love this video for asking for team work, but it worked perfect for this as well.

Next we watched the BrainPop on asking for help.

At the end we did the graphic organizer. 

First we used the dogs as an example:
Whom can you ask for help- your brother
What are some ways to ask for help- bark at them
When might you need help- when he pulled it out at the pool
Why was it a good idea- it was heavy and it could have hurt his teeth
How can you make asking for help easier- practice

Then they did it alone and we discussed it as a group.

We finished by reading about my favorite canine counselor who has lots of dogs asking for help- "Help Me Mr. Mutt."

If we had more time I would have had them write me a letter asking for help or just share something they would like to share with me. 

Best New Video

Looking for an adorable video that covers topics such as: goal setting, perseverance, courage, problem solving, and determination??

Check out this adorable video. I showed it to my 5th grade to introduce our lesson on goal setting and they loved it. I can't wait to show it as part of my perseverance pig lesson.

Want to use it for goal setting? After the video had the students complete a "My Goals" sheet.
They divided their construction paper into 4 squares:
1) 5th grade goals
2)5 year goals
3)10 year goals
4) life goals

I had old magazines they cut out to represent their goals. They loved it. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Room Organization

Here are a few updates to my room =)
The back board has our " I Can" statements and highlights the book we are reading. It helps me remember my lessons in a single glance.

We have a CD that plays when students work independently.

Our character ed book of the month.

My brain is full....

Just had to share this idea from my week. I had a student who has a lot going on and described it as his "brain being full." So I was like lets draw about all the things filling up your brain. Check out the product:
 Next we drew a cartoon about a brain cell who goes to the day dream movie theatre. I love the idea of "what's playing" and what movie did the brain cell pick- what insight!!