Shape Scavenger Hunt at the Pumpkin Patch!

Happy Fall, everyone!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! I love cold weather, sweaters, corduroys  apples, pumpkins, leaves get the picture.

My main girl, Anne, says it best:
Every fall we take a field trip to the pumpkin patch. How cute is this little farm/pumpkin patch? It's right down the road from our house and we love exploring here!
 Here are my cute little pumpkins:

This year I decided to have some extra fun at the farm by sending my kiddos on a Shape Scavenger Hunt!

First we read the book Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky. It's an adorable story that highlights real-life shapes that can be found on a pumpkin farm. 

Here is a small sampling of the pages included:

After reading the story you can take your students on a field trip to a pumpkin patch/farm and have them hunt for various fall-themed shapes. If that is not possible, take your students on a virtual field trip or you can have the students hunt through the book and color the items as they find them. Have your students cut out the pages, line them up in order, and staple at the top to create a booklet.

This fun-filled activity is a festive way to introduce and review basic shapes to your students - plus give them real-world examples of shapes we see every day. My son has been pointing out various shapes we see all over the place. I call that a successful activity!

So now it's time for you and your students to have some fall fun!

Buy the book, 
Pick a Circle, Gather Squares, on Amazon:
OR Watch the book being read on Youtube:
Visit my TPT store to download the Fall Shape Scavenger Hunt booklet:

FREE Condiment Morning Labels

I believe that having a clear plan for morning work helps to provide the students with a smooth start to the school day. Help your students know exactly what to do when they walk in your classroom each morning with these fun signs. 

Divide the morning work into three categories: 
1. Ketchup (Catch Up = missing/make-up work)
2. Mustard (Must Do = current assignments)
3. Mayonnaise (May Do = may do if they have extra time)

These FREE morning work labels are a must-have for any elementary classroom. Click on the picture to download these print-and-go signs:

My Mouth is a Volcano!

Do you know a student who BLURTS OUT in class? One who has a hard time containing his thoughts and opinions? He might be like Louis, the main character in My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook. Louis's words are so important that they cannot be contained. They ERUPT from his mouth like lava from a volcano. 

Story Synopsis: All of Louis thoughts are very important to him. In fact, his thoughts are so important to him that when he has something to say, his words begin to wiggle, and then they do the jiggle, then his tongue pushes all of his important words up against his teeth and he erupts, or interrupts others. His mouth is a volcano! My Mouth Is A Volcano takes an empathetic approach to the habit of interrupting and teaches children a witty technique to capture their rambunctious thoughts and words for expression at an appropriate time. Told from Louis’ perspective, this story provides parents, teachers, and counselors with an entertaining way to teach children the value of respecting others by listening and waiting for their turn to speak.

You can buy the book on Amazon here --> My Mouth is a Volcano

I love this story and the message it presents. To supplement the book and simplify your lesson planning, I have created a packet of print-and-go activities for you:

This Resource Includes:
•Story Summarizing Graphic Organizer - give your students practice identifying important story elements
•Volcanic Verbs Cards (12) –print, cut, laminate and display these twelve vivid verbs from the story. 
I have also included a blank page for you to add more verbs, if you’d like.
•Volcanic Verbs Graphic Organizer
•Hunting for Hyperbole Activity
•Once Upon a Time…Writing Activity: A creative writing prompt that asks the students to highlight important words by writing them in a different way (colors, squiggly font, all caps, etc.) just like the author did.

•Before & After Writing Activity: A visual of Mom's lesson from the book - erupting words vs. breathing them in until it's your turn to speak.
•Don’t Erupt Reminder Cards (6 per page) –print, cut, and put on each students’ desk as a reminder not to interrupt
•Breathe It In Sticker Chart (6 per page) –print, cut, and put on each students’ desk, Every time they wait their turn to speak, give them a sticker to put in a box (or draw a smiley face). When they have reached 10 filled boxes, they earn a prize.

Grab this resource for only $3 today --> 

Bible-Based Classroom Values

Setting the tone in your classroom is vital for a successful school year. As the teacher, you want to clearly communicate your expectations for how your students should behave. Many classrooms are focused on outward behavior modification. But as a Christian teacher, I was always concerned about heart transformation. 

One thing I created to cultivate a biblical classroom community was these Classroom Value cards. More than just a cute display, these cards serve an important purpose in encouraging our students to develop godly character. 

Ideas for the classroom:

  • Display these on your wall and discuss what each character trait means. 
  • Have your students give practical examples of what it looks like to live these character traits out on a daily basis. 
  • Divide your students into groups and have them look up the Bible references that correspond with each value.
  • Give each student a copy of the Bible-Based Classroom Values >At a Glance< printable and have them sign it as a pledge that they will seek to demonstrate these biblical character traits.
  • Give out awards each month (or quarter or year) to students who have demonstrated the different values.
This resource is provided in black and white to save ink. Have your students color the pages or print on colorful paper to make the display POP!

Cultivate a biblical classroom community with these print-and-go Bible Classroom Value Cards

Interactive Notetaking with New Five Star® Notebooks

If you've been following trends in education at all, you'll be familiar with the term interactive notebooks. Essentially, interactive notetaking is a fun and engaging way for your students to record and refer back to important information. I used interactive notebooks for every subject in my classroom for many years and saw student engagement and information retention rise as a result. In short: I'm a believer! :)

Interactive notetaking includes foldables that the teacher creates (or purchases) and the students glue them into a notebook, onto a file folder, or a piece of paper. I would normally have the students use file folders for each unit/topic, but those quickly became cumbersome and difficult to manage. And large pieces of construction paper worked well - for about 15 minutes. Then they would get scrunched, bent, lost, or thrown out. I was looking for a way to keep the students' notes organized and easy to reference all year long. So I switched over to using journals for each subject - and there was no going back!

Interested in trying out interactive notebooks in your classroom this year? Well I'm here to share about something that will make your life a little easier - you're welcome :)

This post was sponsored by Five Star® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

There hasn’t been a “ready-made” Interactive Notetaking product in the market, until now. Five Star® has created a new line of Interactive Notetaking items that address teachers’ needs, support various learning styles of students, and ultimately saves time for both students and teachers throughout the school year.

There are four different notebook options provided by Five Star® - you can pick the one that best meets the needs of your classroom. 
  • Interactive Notebook (College Ruled)Table of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, interior pocket for quick and easy paper storage, fold-out quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, college ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
  • Interactive Notebook (Wide Ruled)Table of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, 3 closure pockets for loose cut-outs and small supplies, fold-out quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, wide ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
  • Customizable Interactive NotebookTable of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, interior pockets for quick and easy paper storage, plus mid-size closure pockets for loose cut-outs and small supplies, durable, clearview plastic cover for customization & quick paper storage, fold-out quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, college ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
  • Customizable Interactive Composition BookTable of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, interior pocket for quick and easy paper storage, durable, clearview plastic cover for customization & quick paper storage, quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, college ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
You can purchase all of these notebooks at your local school supply store on online at the FiveStar website.

For my fifth grade classroom I chose the Five Star® Interactive Notebook, College Ruled because I liked the spiral feature and my students can write fairly small and neatly (when they want to!)

I like how the notebook has a designated Table of Contents:
And one of my favorite features is the flaps in the front - I had my students keep their spare foldables in there to work on coloring/cutting/gluing when they had time:
The first unit we do each September is an interactive Author Study. The students choose an author to research and complete a mini interactive notebook unit on that author. It helps me to introduce the concept of interactive notetaking and gives them an easy guided research project to start with. Plus it introduces them to new authors to check out as each student presents their findings. These Five Star® Interactive Notebooks will be perfect for this project - and many others that we'll complete throughout the year. 

I know these fantastic notebooks will become a staple in my classroom. Add them to your school supply list today! You can find them at many of your local school supply stores or online here.

Motivational Posters - Perfect for Testing Season!

Standardized testing season coming up? 
Brighten the walls of your classroom with these fun and functional motivational posters! These print-and-go posters are perfect for encouraging your students to work hard, make the most of today, and be true to themselves!
A variety of options are included:
*Full color posters that will brighten up any classroom wall or bulletin board

*Black and White posters: Copy these on colorful paper to make the posters POP
*Black and White coloring sheets: Hand these out to your students to color and keep or display in your classroom. Perfect for morning work or when students finish their testing.
*Black and White cards: students can fill these out and send to their classmates as encouragement or you, the teacher, can leave them on your students' desks to motivate them to try their best!

Make your students' day and encourage them to put forth their best effort on the standardized test with these print-and-go motivational posters, coloring pages, and cards.

Click the picture below to visit my TPT store:

All Aboard the Titanic!

In April 1912, the RMS Titanic set off on her maiden voyage from England to New York City. The third day at sea, she struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Every April my students and I did an in-depth unit on the Titanic - and it was a hit! My students LOVED learning about all aspects of the incident - building and furnishing the ship, the passengers, what life was like on board the ship, the crash, and the subsequent sinking.

Here are some of my favorite resources to use when doing a mini-unit on the Titanic with your elementary students:

Recommended videos: has created these phenomenal short videos. There are 14 of them to choose from and each one is 3 or 4 minutes long. I showed one or two each day in our unit.

Here's a kid-friendly yet comprehensive overview of the Titanic from Simple History on Youtube:

Recommended books:
  • The Story of the Titanic for Children is a fantastic book that shares short snippets and important facts on many different topics. It also includes real-life stories that will intrigue your students.
  • Titanic: Young Survivors (10 True Tales) tells the story of ten boys and girls who were aboard the Titanic. Written from the children's perspective, it is a really interesting take on the tragedy. 
  • If You Were a Kid Aboard the Titanic is a great book that follows two British children - one from first class and one from third class. While it's written for young children (early-mid elementary) it includes a lot of important factual information.
  • I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic 1912 is an excellent chapter book for your students who want to study the Titanic further on their own. It's a fictional book that tells the story of the Titanic from a 10-year-old's perspective.
*Note: these are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sharing the links at no cost to you :)

To simplify your lesson planning I have created a print-and-go resource that you can use in your classroom. Engage your students with this fun, ready-to-print activity packet, chalked-full of reading comprehension passages, graphic organizers, and critical thinking activities that will enrich any study of the Titanic.
 Here's a complete list of what's included in the resource:
Click here to purchase the Titanic unit from my Teachers Pay Teachers store - you'll thank yourself later!

Want to try it before you buy it? Here's a FREE sampler of the unit:

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