Ten Ways Teachers Can Prepare Themselves and Teach Kids about Safety in School During COVID 19

 

Safety at school is on everyone's minds-especially now during the Pandemic. School systems in our country and worldwide are faced with the challenges of opening safely. Some school systems are going all remote, some are using a hybrid approach, while others are going back in person. No matter which approach is being used, many safety precautions will be set in place as we move forward this school year. There will be lots of tough decisions that we will need to be made in each community. 

As a teacher, I will need to be prepared for all three scenarios and do the following:

-Be sure to stay on top of any COVID 19 updates in the community I teach. 

-Attend lots of training to ensure students' safety. I will need to learn many new school policies as we bring the kiddos back. There will be many safety protocols set in place within our building and across our school district.  I will also need lots of technology training to be ready for remote learning or the hybrid model. I just started the Educator for Fundamental Google training this summer to improve my skills and stay on top of all that Google tools have to offer. 

Visit the Teacher Center to learn more about the training and other possibilities (below).


Google App-Specific Training


-Set up and keep my classroom organized, clean, and safe. As students return, our district has mandated that our students are kept 6 feet apart. Desks will be placed 6 feet apart and facing in the same direction. This will be no easy task. It will be challenging, especially since I teach kindergarten. There will be lots of movement breaks built into our schedule and also opportunities for students to take off their masks in a safe manner. 

-Be sure that you have plenty of hand sanitizer, soaps, disinfectants, extra masks, or whatever you need. Your school system may provide you with most of these supplies, but there may be some things that you may need to bring. Think about the things that you will need to remove from your classroom. Some school districts are having teachers bring home unnecessary supplies to make extra room in the classrooms. There are certain supplies that you may not be able to utilize this year. For example, we can not use fans in our classroom as this may spread the germs. We are encouraged to keep windows open instead. 

- Practice social distancing, proper mask-wearing, and handwashing with the students in the classroom.  Encourage students to practice these skills at home as well. 

-Here is a Steps to Handwashing Routine Poster and digital or in-school activity that I will be doing with the students. It can be printed to be used in the classroom or you can use it on a digital device. I teach the kids to scrub their hands for a full 20 seconds. Sometimes they will sing the Alphabet song, Happy Birthday, or a handwashing song. I tell my students to shut the water off after rinsing with a paper towel so their hands do not go on a dirty faucet. Once cleaned they need to dry their hands thoroughly and throw out their paper towel. 

Steps to Washing Hands Poster and Activity

poster




-Practice social distancing while moving about within your building and your own classroom. Our school plans on staggering the arrival and dismissal times to help alleviate crowds and make it easier to stay 6 feet apart. This will take lots of thought and planning as we teach students how to maneuver about within the building. Students will not be intermingling between classrooms as we have done in the past. We will remain in our own bubble for safety. 

      

-Encourage open and honest conversations about COVID 19- If a student asks if you are nervous or anxious, it is best, to be honest. I will let my students know that it is okay to be a bit anxious, but we are all in this together. We will all work hard together within our school and within our classroom to make school a safe place to be. Students need to know that they are in a safe learning environment. If students feel that their basic safety skills are not met, they may feel on edge, uncomfortable, and unable to focus on learning.  Promoting safety at home, in school, or in the community is so important so kids can explore, learn, and grow. As we discuss safety throughout the year, here is a product I put together to encourage students to share their own ideas. 

Safety Tips- At home, School and in the Community


 


-Be mindful of student's social and emotional well being. Students look up to adults for guidance and how to react under stressful situations. It is important to acknowledge students' levels of concern without panicking. Let students know that they can have a sense of control over the risk of infection by following the safety protocols set in place. There are loads of great YOU tube videos that address COVID 19 in a kid-friendly manner that may alleviate some of their fears. Teachers need to be there to listen carefully to any concerns, be nurturing, provide comfort, and give helpful up to date information in which students can easily relate to and understand. Recognize those subtle signs of distress. Some of the most common ways children show stress is by holding feelings in or letting feelings out by being angry. Watch out for different sleeping or eating patterns. Do you have any students less attentive or disengaged more than usual? Are they getting along with their peers? Are they shying away and wanting to be by themselves. Are they more fidgety than usual? Is there a sudden drop in their school performance? Do you have a student with lots of mood swings? It is so important that we stay connected with our students and provide them with the help, encouragement, and support they need. Reach out to parents/caretakers, councilors, and staff to help support and guide you. 

-Be prepared for things to change quickly. Have a plan in place if you and your students need to go home and be quarantined.  We are unsure of what the future may hold, so it is best to know what is expected of you and your students. 

Stay safe, Be Well, Take Care! 


















































-I will need to be prepared to bring the kids back home if an outbreak or exposure makes it necessary.  







Back to School Giveaway (Win a Gift Card to TPT) plus bonus FREEBIE!

       

Enter to Win a 10.00 Gift card and grab a free Back to School Interactive Notebook



I hope you had a fantastic summer! I can't believe it's almost coming to an end.  I am hoping to start on Sept. 15th. Due to COVID 19, our school system is still deciding what the school year will look like. I know I need to be prepared for whatever happens. I've been very busy updating my activities so they can be used both in class or on a digital device. To kick off the new school year, I thought I would do a giveaway for a $10.00 Teacher's Pay Teachers gift card. You may want to use this money for the upcoming sale on TPT. You can save up to 25% off using the code BTS20.  I also wanted to showcase this temporarily FREE  Back to School Interactive Notebook.   
Before entering this giveaway in the Rafflecopter below, I first just want to highlight this Back to School Interactive Notebook product that I am particularly proud of and can't wait to share it with you. 
I have a variety of interactive notebooks that can now be used on a digital devise as well as be printed out for use within the classroom.

    Students will have fun putting together this Back to School interactive notebook as they introduce themselves and get to know classroom routines and expectations.  This is a  fabulous way to get your students practicing their skills and show off what they have learned. It has very simple cut-outs that make it super easy for young students who are just getting used to using scissors. Students will cut on the dotted lines and fold on the solid lines and paste them into a standard-sized 8.5" X 11" Notebook. Students will draw under flaps to answer responses and not have to worry about cutting out small pieces that just get lost. You can find this product embedded within the Kindergarten Literacy Interactive   Notebook or you can get it as a free Bonus file as part of Kindergarten Interactive Notebook Bundle which includes Literacy, Math, and Science skills.

This summer I've been working hard at updating my products so they can be used digitally or be printed for use within the classroom. You can easily upload these digital files to Google Classroom. The best part is that you can change the directions on the digital overlay to differentiate instruction to best meet the needs of your students. I bet you're probably wondering how can activities that have lots of cut and paste be transformed for digital use. Well, I've changed the directions a bit on the overlay and you can too. Students can use the digital pens, highlighters, and write their answers in the answer boxes provided. No worries, if your students are too young to spell. They can simply pick up the pen tools at the top 
of each page and draw their responses. The pen tools come in a variety of colors. On each page, the directions say to draw or write responses. Change up any of the colored directions on each page to fit the needs of the students you work with. 


 
   Be sure to use the code "BTSBONUS 20" as you checkout to save up to 25% off.  My entire store will be on sale including all of my BUNDLES. Best of luck with the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Happy Shopping! Have an amazing school year!

Here is a quick video of the kindergarten literacy notebook. There are also interactive notebooks for math and science. 





 Rafflecopter begins at midnight tonight. It lasts just 24 hours. Hurry! Don't miss out.  




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep the Learning Alive-Tips and Free Resources- COVID 19


We are all facing uncertain and unprecedented times. We have never faced something like this before, but we must all work together and support each other any way we can.  With so many school closures and cancellations, parents are left juggling with how to go about working from home and caring for their children. They want to keep their kids happy, healthy, and safe while continue learning. The new term "social distancing," has been ingrained into our vocabulary. Parents are left with active children and wonder what to do and how to keep them busy playing and learning during "social distancing."  Some families struggle with providing nutritious meals for their children. Schools are working to be sure that families that depend on school breakfast and lunch will get what they need. Teachers' intentions are to "Keep the Learning Alive," and the focus will be on getting resources available to send home or teach remotely for our students. Teachers care deeply about their students and their overall well being. Our classrooms are tight-knit communities full of respect, honesty, collaboration and love. We all can't wait for things to get back to the way they were just a few weeks ago. We hope and pray that scientist will find a cure and this virus will dissipate in the near future.  As I wait for the directive from administrators and how to go about this in my district, I have looked into how to go about this endeavor on my own. I also have found a few tips and quotes along the way as I make some preparations that I'd like to share. 

Tips:

1. Be sure not to judge people on how they are dealing with this crisis or parenting during it. Do what you feel is right for your family! Teach if you want to and don't if you don't want to. Don't shame people for doing one or the other. We are all in this together so let's not alienate each other.

2. Keep kids happy and healthy and let them play outside, the more natural and distant from each other, the better! Being outside does the body good as the outside air may be a natural disinfectant. Please do not invite other children for playdates. Social distancing is imperative if we want this virus to stop spreading.  Check out this article on how fresh and sunlight may be helpful with COVID 19. https://medium.com/@ra.hobday/coronavirus-and-the-sun-a-lesson-from-the-1918-influenza-pandemic-509151dc8065


3. Give kids some space and structure. Do what you can to balance your schedule. Here is a great sample schedule I found  from Face Book(credit unknown) 





3. Students should take this time to follow their curiosity and find their niche. Take this time to research interests online and read books.  Reading should be the number one academic priority. Whether or not the students read to self, a sibling or caregiver, listens to books read aloud or on a computer; it is important that this is done daily if possible. Keep a reading log of all the books read and hand it back to your child's teacher. They will deeply appreciate all their hard work. 

5. There are many companies offering free resources due to school closings. Here is a link to a great list I found from Kids Activities. com  https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135609/list-of-education-companies-offering-free-subscriptions/?fbclid=IwAR1fssAWmdVw4xN6-pvzVuXmhyNyoK1Rkc5Gyjyc3kJ7vrRFNh_q6-ueo80


6. I just signed up to get FREE access to ABC MOUSE and Reading IQ at https://www.ageoflearning.com/schools as part of my Contingency Plans should we continue to not have school for more upcoming weeks ahead. My student especially love Reading IQ as there are thousands of leveled books to access. I am thrilled to know that they can use this for free during this difficult time.



7. Many TpT authors, myself included,  have put together FREE resources.  The simpler the better, as families have so much to cope with during this stressful and difficult time.  When sending home materials, think of things that your students can do again and again. Students should be completing reading logs, practicing sight word flashcards, math facts flashcards, journal prompts, and hands-on games. 

Here are a few free resources that I am offering at my store to keep student writing during the spring, continue eating healthy and most importantly keeping safe.



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Writing-Prompts-1162169

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Healthy-Vs-Unhealthy-Food-Sort-Pack-a-Healthy-Lunch-609445


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Safety-Tips-Home-School-Community-766676


Please be safe and take care!








Back to School Giveaway and Sale

Enter to Win a 10.00 Gift card and grab a free Back to School Interactive Notebook


I hope you had a fantastic summer! I can't believe it's almost coming to an end.  I am hoping to start on Sept. 15th. Due to COVID, our school system is still deciding what the school year will look like. I know I need to be prepared for whatever happens. I've been very busy updating my activities so they can be used both in class or on a digital devise. To kick off the new school year, I thought I would do a giveaway for a $10.00 Teacher's Pay Teachers gift card. You many want to use this money for the upcoming sale on TPT. You can save up to 25% off using the code BTS20.  I also wanted to showcase this temporarily FREE  Back to School Interactive Notebook.   Before entering this giveaway in the Rafflecopter below, I first just want to highlight this Back to School Interactive Notebook product that I am particularly proud of and can't wait to share it with you. I have a variety of interactive notebooks that can now be used on a digital devise as well as be printed out for use within the classroom.

    Students will have fun putting together this Back to School interactive notebook as they introduce  themselves and get to know  classroom routines and expectations.  This is a   fabulous way to get your students practicing their skills and show off what they have   learned. It has  very simple cut-outs that make  it super easy for young students who are just   getting used to using scissors. Students will cut  on the dotted lines and fold on the solid lines and paste into a standard sized 8.5" X 11" Notebook. Students will draw under flaps to   answer responses and not have to worry about cutting out small pieces that just get lost. You can find this product embedded within   the Kindergarten Literacy Interactive   Notebook or you can get it as a free Bonus file  as part of Kindergarten Interactive Notebook Bundle which includes Literacy, Math and Science skills.

This summer I've been working hard at updating my products so they can be used  digitally or be printed for use within the classroom. You can easily upload these digital files to Google Classroom. The best part is that you can change the directions on the digital overlay to differentiate instruction to best meet the needs of your students.   Be sure to use the code "BTSBONUS 20" as you checkout to save up to 25% off.  My entire store will be on sale including all of my BUNDLES. Best of luck with the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Happy Shopping! Have an amazing school year!






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Incorporating Interactive Notebooks for the Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten and First Grade




Are you looking for a new ways to empower you to implement the Next Generation Science Standards with your students?  These new research based science standards give teachers the flexibility to create classroom experiences to enliven student interest that will serve them throughout their lives
as they deepen their thinking and become more curious. Many educators are scrambling about trying to find meaningful science activities and lessons that align with these new standards. Several districts do not have up-to-date resources on hand that will support teachers as they create lesson plans that incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards. Keeping this in mind, I developed this Science Interactive Note with young students in mind. I researched each standard for kindergarten and first grade and designed this Science Interactive Notebook. I have utilized these activities in my own classroom with lots of success. Students are naturally curious and once you provide them with opportunities to make discoveries on their own they will flourish. Interactive Notebooks are a great way for students to show of their knowledge.  In this notebook,  you will find activities in Weather and Climate, Ecoystems, Forces and Interactions, Engineering Design, Heredity, Earth's Place in the Universe, Light and Sound, and Plants and Animals. You will be excited to see over 60 different topics covered. You can find a full list of topics by checking in out here. 










               
              

             


              


Have you tried Interactive Notebooks in your classroom? I gave it try with my Kindergartners and it was a HUGE SUCCESS. Interactive Notebooks are a fantastic, fun way for students to learn and interact with new information as well as a great way to practice and review skills introduced. By adding an interactive feature, learning becomes more meaningful and will spark interest. This type of learning involves so much more than just simply listening to the teacher and then filling out boring worksheets. Keeping interactive notebooks in the classroom helps kids to be more responsible and take an active part in their learning. Unlike worksheets that go home and often don't ever get looked at again, interactive notebooks stay in the classroom as students work in them to build upon and review skills. It is also great for all those paras and incoming teachers that come into the classroom because they will have a better sense as to what topics you are learning about and what needs to be reviewed and taught. 


Interactive Notebooks provide a way for students to think and plan and use their creative side while they write, draw, color, cut, and glue. You can use different interactive notebooks in so many ways in all subject areas at any grade level. You may think that all this cutting and gluing might be a little scary especially, for the little ones. However, if you plan things out right while thinking about where your students are developmentally and let the students work at their own pace, it can be done!  



When creating my interactive notebooks for kindergarten, I thought about being sure that my activities did not require a lot of complex cutting skills. I made sure that there was not any complex folding or the notebook did not contain too many flaps. I also thought about not having lots of lose pieces that can easily become lost. I've seen some really cool interactive notebooks with pockets to keep pieces in, however I think that this may cause a problem with little ones, as pieces will just fall out and get lost. If you teach kindergarten or first grade, then you know how upset students can get if they lose something. They can cry so easily. 





So far, I've created six interactive notebooks. A couple of years ago I introduced my Alphabet Notebook and Number Sense Notebooks to my students. Students used them in small groups during either literacy center time or RTI time. At first, you need to slowly show students where to cut and fold. My interactive notebooks are very simple and easy for students as they are asked to cut only on the dotted lines and fold on the solid lines. After they fold, there is a large enough area for students to paste down in order to make simple flaps. lt is so important to provide an example of what your expectations are before the kids get started. Once they get the hang of it, they can work more independently. Once they finish a page, they can work on the next one until literacy or RTI time is over. "NO MORE, I'M DONE, NOW WHAT DO I DO NEXT."  I love interactive notebooks because it keeps students busy in a meaningful way while you are able to give your attention to other students who may be struggling. You also get a chance to run a small group for guided reading or RTI instruction. My groups are never more than four or five students to keep things manageable. 

If you are interested in viewing my collection of Interactive Notebooks for beginners, you can check them out by clicking on the following pictures that have a direct link to each product.  
Alphabet Interactive Notebook
 Alphabet Interactive Notebook
Number Sense 1-10

 
Kindergarten Literacy Interactive Notebook


Number Sense 11-20

Kindergarten Math Interactive Notebook

               
Science Interactive Notebook

If you are interested in purchasing my Kindergarten Interactive Notebook Bundle to save money check out the following link. It includes Literacy, Math and Science Activities. This Bundle will save you 35% off as these products would cost $38.00 if sold separately. It also includes many of the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards for the Entire Year! It is a fabulous way to get your students practicing their skills and show off what they have learned.


     
Kindergarten Interactive Bundle















Spring is Here!


   Ahhh! Finally Spring has officially arrived. I am hoping for more days with some warm sunshine. Some snow may still be  on the ground, but I refuse to let it get me down.  Spring is such a great time to watch students really begin to blossom as they develop all those skills that you have taught them throughout the year. Personally for me, it is especially exciting to watch my kindergartners shine as they begin to read books with several lines of text on each page and write more than one sentence about a given topic using inventive spelling. I've been busy designing some new Spring themed products for my stores that will get my students excited about showing off some of their skills. If you are interested, the best part is that they are all high quality items that are priced $2.00 and under. This is amazing!  Check out the many positive reviews on these products. I have kept them priced low so you can take full advantage of the savings. I also have many Easter products that you may be interested in. 
     Now that most of my students have really started to take off with their writing skills as they  use their knowledge of high frequency words paired up with inventive spelling, they can respond to lots of writing prompts. This week I'll be introducing my new Spring Writing Fun packet as we say "Goodbye to Winter" and "Hello to Spring."
     During literacy center time and RTI, my students will be busy with lots of short vowel practice. Next week, we will be introducing our final short vowel sound which is short u. My last year's class just loved my  "Umbrella and Raindrop Short u Word Sort"  activity in which they sorted raindrops under the correct short u  word family umbrella. They also loved reviewing all their vowel sounds with the "Spring Chickens Short Vowel Sort."
    In math, I can't wait to introduce my latest "Spring Time Addition and Subtraction Number Stories," and review those tricky teen numbers with " Spring Teen Fun."  I've been super busy uploading new products to my stores just in time for spring.  I would love for you to check them out and let me know what you think. This is just a small sampling of some of the Spring products you will see. I hope you can find that special something that will enhance your classroom or lessons you teach.





http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Chickens-Short-Vowel-Sort-Common-Core-RF-K3-569702


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teen-Numbers-Spring-FunPrint-and-Go-1101328  

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Addition-and-Subtraction-Spring-Number-Stories-Word-Problems-KOA1-10A1-1067738

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Umbrella-and-Raindrop-Short-u-Word-Sort-576851


New Year's Sale and Goal Setting Ideas for your students


I want to wish each of you a happy and blessed new year! May your upcoming year be filled with magic and dreams and personal growth. I hope you find good health, happiness and lots of love. To kick off the New Year, I will be having a sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Everything, including my bundle sets will be 20% off. These past few days I have been busy updated a few things and creating more products. You can check out some of my latest creations and this special sale here:  


As I create new products I always keep my own students in mind and work diligently to fulfill their individual needs. I look forward to tomorrow as I can't wait to see their smiling faces and I know they will be eager to share about all their holiday adventures. After a much needed winter break, I hope my class will be eager to come back and show me that they are ready to learn. It is a time to start out fresh and feel invigorated as we set personal goals for ourselves and our students. Starting off the new year is the perfect time to re-establish classroom expectations and procedures. Over the winter break I took a look at some of the data I have collected on each student and I made some changes to my RTI groupings in order to best suite the individual needs of my students. 

The second half of the year with kinders can be exciting as the student's skills really start to take off. Students love showing off their reading skills as they conquer simple text in books all by themselves. As weeks go by, students become more fluent and have a great sense of pride. The kiddos begin to write sentences about a given topic using inventive spelling and their knowledge of the high frequency words introduced. Students are learning many strategies to solve math problems and are beginning to write number sentences to go along with number stories. Keeping all this in mind, during my winter break I did work on creating and updating a few products to continue to strive forward and build upon these skills to enhance student learning. If you are interested you may want to check out my teacher store to see my latest creations.
This is the perfect time of the year for students to start thinking about their own learning and what it is that they need to improve upon. Kinders do need some guidance with this as they start composing goals. They may not have the language skills to put together their ideas on their own. Begin by discussing with students some of the things that they feel that they are really good at and some of the things that they find challenging.



Students need to know that setting goals without a plan is only a dream. They need to be thinking about how they plan on attaining their goals. What types of skills do they need to practice to reach their goal and if they get stuck how can they seek out help?



Teaching youngsters to learn how to set goals is an important lifelong skill that is sure to bring your students some success. You can check out the charts I prepared for the students so they will be able to set goals and track their success.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Goal-Setting-In-Kindergarten-1033431
You will receive charts for the months of September through June to track letter naming, letter naming for upper and lowercase letters, letter sounds, counting objects, writing numbers up to 20 or 30, and high frequency words. You will also receive Goal Met cards to laminate and attach to lanyards so students can proudly let your whole school know that they reached their goal and can ask about it.