Thursday, March 26, 2015

Testing TIme

It's that time of year! Testing time.
Here is what I am doing to help our students and families prep for testing this year:

Class Lessons

3rd Grade- Since this is their first year taking it, we are doing test preparation.

We read "The Big Test" (or "Testing Miss Malarkey") and discussed the strategies in the book. Then we practiced in our class.
Visit TPT for the test taking version.

We completing the "teat taking" gold pot activity by the amazing Savvy School Counselor. Get yours here:

Then if time allowed we practiced relaxing, just like the students in the book did. We did a Go Noodle, but you can also have them practice 5-star breathing.

4th Grade- We addressed perseverance and not giving up. We talked about ways we show perseverance at home, at school, and on "the test." We read my favorite book on this topic "The Three Ninja Pigs" and then students drew a Ninja Pig that represented something they wanted to practice, persevere and get better at. We then took turns guessing what each persons pig represented. On the back of the pigs I had a copy of the Scholastic word search (for my speed racers.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Are you ready for the real world?

What to do you to help your students with college and career readiness to #reachhigher?
One of my favorite ways is with a reality fair! Our event was even highlighted on this amazing Scholastic Blog:

Reality Day/Reality Fair is a ton of fun. Trust me, your students will be talking. I love tying it into my career research units and college prep talks. Here's the basics on how it works:

1) The students research future careers/college plans.

2) The day of the fair you give them a register for a career (ideally the career they choose during their career exploration) and the average salary after taxes (include lots of CCSS by having them figure it out themselves). Need help with the math? There are lots of paycheck calculators online such as this one.

3) On the day of the event booths are set up with real world bills/businesses. From real estate to child care I try to give them a sample of life as an adult. They visit the booths and start budgeting their future. Do they really need that mustang?

4) Sit back and try not to cry tears from laughing to hard. Seriously I've heard some great lines over the years such as these: "The real world is really mean, and I probably shouldn't, own a farm and have 2 kids." 

Ready to create your own fair? Well lucky you, I created an event packet that has everything you need to recreate your own reality fair. Get it at my TPT store and enjoy. Be sure to tell us how it went!

Read more details about Reality Day here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pet Grief

Loosing my cat Sprigg was without a doubt one of the hardest times of my life. She was almost 21 when she passed. I can't imagine what a mess I'll be when I loose Brooklyn and Boss. 

Pet grief is one of the hardest parts of my job. I have a few books, but just reading them can bring tears to my eyes. 

So, after hitting a wall trying to find resources for my students after the loss of a pet I created this memory book activity. This booklet contains a cover plus 7 pages for your students after the loss of a pet. This memory book is perfect for small group settings, for work with individual students, or to send home so parents can do it with their child.

Here is a sneak peak.

Get your copy at my TPT store:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Are you ready for testing season?

I know I'm not!!

It happens every year, yet every year I think wait it can't be testing time already. What gets me through this time is the hilarious and teaching some of my favorite topics like stress reduction.

Here are a few parent resources to help you get ready for testing season.

I created this brochure for parents on tips on help their child deal with stress.

Next, I created a few testing tips for parents that you can also use in your classroom.
This packet has everything you need to host a parent workshop. It's full of ideas, handouts, and games parents can play with students. I love playing the Let's Rock (roll and respond) game with my 3rd-5th graders. It's a great way to review our lessons on test prep and let them have fun during this stressful time.

This packet includes a variety of testing resources for parents and teachers. 

Parent Packet- This packet was designed to host a parent workshop. It includes parent conversation cards to help improve parent/student communication, a family game night roll and respond game, a resource page, and three pages of tips for before, during, and after the test.

Parent Brochure- Designed to be copied double sided to create a one page handout for parents. It includes tips for before, during, and after the test as well as additional resources.

5 Star Breathing- An activity for parents and teachers to practice with their students before and during the test to help reduce test stress.

What are your favorite testing resources?