Why Use Writing Prompts- Plus FREEBIE




   Do you use writing prompts in your classroom? How often do you have your students write in your classroom? You may be asking yourself why is it so important. 


Teachers should work diligently to develop growth as skilled writers by giving students the opportunity to write each and every day. This can empower students to be creative and develop their voices as they write about topics that interest them the most. Students will build language skills and vocabulary by brainstorming ideas and sharing their knowledge, opinions, and imagination. As students share their ideas they are also building friendships, making connections, and working on social skills. Writing can also give students the opportunity to become caring members of a community by sharing ways to make the world a better place. It can also inspire students to work on problem-solving and think about their inner feelings. Spark a child's interest by giving students sentence starters or writing prompts and letting them get their minds going. Make writing a part of your daily routines. While working with young students, be sure to start with topics they are familiar with and enjoy.


Here are some reasons why it is important to use writing prompts in your class.

  • Gives students a starting point.
  • Gets students to respond to a specific topic using targeted language
  • Helps beginning writers stay focused
  • Inspires young writers
  • Sparks creativity
  • Provides writing skill practice with spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and handwriting
  • Teachers can monitor writing progress over time and make adjustments in their instruction.


If you are stuck for writing prompts that will inspire your students, check out some of the writing activities I developed while working with young students in the classroom. I put together some seasonal writing packets that are sure to promote your student's curiosity. There is such a wide range of topics to choose from. Give your students the opportunity to select the topics they are excited about. Each writing prompt is on primary or secondary lined paper to easily differentiate the needs of the students you work with.


Winter writing is a great way to encourage creativity in the classroom! With these winter writing prompts, designed for kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade, students can explore the winter season in a fun, imaginative way. Whether writing about snowflakes or dreaming up a winter story, these prompts will keep students excited about writing all season long.







Grab this FREEBIE. It is always a big HIT in my classroom. I let the students create paper snowflakes and hang them around my classroom. They can develop their procedural writing by naming the steps of how they did it and recording the information.


As spring approaches, teachers admire how the student's writing continues to blossom. All the hard work and dedication to writing really do pay off. Whether writing about flying a kite or what they might see at the end of a rainbow, these prompts will spark their interest throughout the spring.


Encourage your students to continue to write over the summer. Let them share all their summer adventures with you when you see them back at school in the fall. From ways to stay cool on a hot summer day to how to make s'mores. Your students will find something interesting that they can expand upon. You could send home a Summer Packet with some of these writing prompts to inspire them.


Here are some writing prompts to get you started in the fall. Students can write about what they might pack in their backpacks, what they might look for in a new friend, signs of fall, harvesting, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and more.




If you are hooked and want to save money, you may want to purchase writing prompts to use throughout the year.

Check out this bundle of writing prompts to use yearlong. You will find close to 100 different writing prompts to choose from. Make writing easy with these print-and-go writing prompts.









Reasons Why You Should be Teaching Word Problems to Your Students

Enhance learning for your kindergarten and first-grade students with these fun and interactive winter-theme number stories and word problems! With a variety of number stories to choose from, you can easily differentiate your instruction. Not only do word problems provide higher-level thinking for young children, but they bring meaning to real-life situations. Children learn quickly why it is important to learn how to add and subtract because they need to in order to solve problems that they may face in the everyday world. It is important to create word problems or number stories that students can easily relate to. Students should begin solving simple number stories with tangible items found in the classroom. Once the students have lots of experience with adding and subtracting with manipulatives, they can move on to picture representations to assist them in solving problems. 










Are you struggling to find age-appropriate addition and subtraction word problems for your kindergarten and first-grade classrooms that use decodable text? These Winter-themed word problems or number stories are perfect for engaging students as they are able to illustrate and write equations to show off what they know. This packet contains 20 number word problems for students to solve by answering addition and subtraction number stories. You can differentiate this set of word problems or use it at different times of the year as your students further develop their skills. You will receive ten-word problems using addition and subtraction within ten, and ten more word problems for students to solve within 20. I have also included a cute winter-themed black and white cover page so you could staple this packet together as a booklet. Students will enjoy the winter theme graphics and number stories.




Use the printable or digital format for your convenience. See the link below:


Are you interested in engaging in seasonal-themed or holiday-themed word problems? Check out these products or purchase the yearlong bundle of word problems for extra savings. 


         

       

       











Martin Luther King Jr. Activities

 








Teaching young students about MLK Day is very important, yet it can be challenging to explain to students how things used to be long ago when there was segregation. Here is a great video made by young students that explains the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in very simplified way kids will understand.



Here is a couple of MLK mini-booklets. I like to print these out in black and white for my students and I print one copy in color for myself to read to the students.  I purposely did not put page numbers on these so teachers can pick and choose which pages they want to print. 




One of my favorite MLK books to read to students is "Martin's Big Words; The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." by Doreen Rappaport. This picture book brings to life Martin's powerful message in some of his own words.  It tells the story of his life and it shows how he was a gifted speaker and influential leader. After reading this book,  I love to show the video of it and have students be thinking about Martin's big words. We make a web on the board and students copy all those powerful words. 
                

                                         

Students can make their own "I Have A Dream" mini handprint booklets. It is important to have students be thinking about ways to make the world a better place for mankind and not about what they wish for themselves. After making these mini-books, I let the students read and share their thoughts with their classmates. 

During MLK week, Here is another great follow-up activity that I enjoy doing with the students. Begin by teaching the students the song "With My Own Two Hands"  lyrics by Ben Harper. This video version is sung by Jack Johnson. 



                                             

Students brainstorm ways that they can make the world a better place with their own two hands and share their ideas with a thinking partner. They can practice reading the song lyrics on this worksheet and color in their hands using flesh-tone crayons. Students will then write a sentence about how they can use their hands to make the world a better place. Students who want to share their writing piece with the whole class may do so when they are done. 

                                                 


Here is an easy cut-and-paste timeline that you can do with your students. This timeline is also a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device using Easel. It has a self-correcting feature. Did you know that Easel is free on TPT?


There is a wide range of writing prompts. You can differentiate your instruction by choosing the primary or secondary lined paper. Share the poems and songs with your students and have fun doing the "Pathway to Freedom" mazes and craftivity with the hands holding the globe. Many of these sheets come in both black and white and color versions to choose from. 



                 
If you like these MLK activities, you can grab get them here.  What is your favorite MLK book or video that you enjoy introducing to your student? Please comment below. I'd love to hear any suggestions.  


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Enter to win a Teachers Pay Teachers Gift card plus Back to School FREEBIE!

            


Are you eager to start off the school year? Nothing excites me more than the promise of a new school year.  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 BTS22. This annual Back to School Sale will be on August 2nd and 3rd. 

Download for your TpT Store Page Leaderboard - 720 × 90


Before entering this giveaway in the Rafflecopter below, I first just want to highlight this temporarily FREE  Back to School Interactive Notebook product that I am particularly proud of and can't wait to share with you. I have a variety of interactive notebooks that can now be used on a digital device 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 to practice their skills and show off what they have learned. Many of these pages can simply be printed out and used as a regular handout. You may want to begin using this product as an interactive notebook  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 the Kindergarten Interactive Notebook Bundle which includes Literacy, Math, and Science.


This summer I've been working hard at updating my products so they can be used digitally or 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.   

As you begin the school year, it is imperative that you build a strong classroom community and discuss ways to make good choices throughout the day. I put together this bundle of products that will help teachers build a community of kindness, responsibility, respect, and acceptance of other people's differences. Students will learn ways to discriminate between good choices vs. poor choices. Your class will also learn to discriminate the difference between tattling and reporting. This is something that can be difficult for students. Students need to learn that it is important to only let the teacher or an adult know something if it is dangerous, destructive, or harmful. We do not tell on others to try to get them in trouble. It is best to try and work out minor issues on your own without adult help whenever possible. Grab the desk incentives to let the students know they are on the right track. Send checklists home with the good choices students have made throughout the day. Let them feel a sense of "shine" as they show it off to their families. 


If you are interested in these products or want the bundle, click here. 

Be sure to use the code "BTS22" 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.  HURRY!!  This giveaway starts at midnight EST on July 30th and ends on August 1st at midnight. Just in time for the BIG Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. 


 Have An AMAZING School Year! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab this Sizzling Hot Science Experiment-Find Out What Melts in the Sun-KIDS WILL LOVE THIS

                                       

What will melt in the sun?  Kids will love doing this easy Science Experiment. You can grab things you may already have in your classroom or household. Grab a muffin tray or any kind of tray will do. Set out items that you want to experiment with and place them in the muffin tins or tray. Place the items out on a sunny day. Have your students make predictions and record their findings. You can also make note of the time you set the items out in the sun and the time you checked on your items. 

It has been scorching HOT these past few days. This extreme HEAT inspired me to write this post as I try to stay cool with the air conditioning. We are in the midst of a five-day heat wave. It should start to get cooler as some thunderstorms will be rolling on in to give us some much-needed relief. 

Here is a picture of what I put out on my deck this afternoon. This is just to give you an idea of what items you may want to try. 


Here are a couple of recording sheets that you may want to use to go along with this experiment. You can grab this activity here.



Here are a few more recording sheets that you may want to use. Differentiate to meet the needs of your students. Have students draw what changes they observed. 



I developed this activity with the Next Generation Science Standards in mind.

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

K-PS3-1.Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. [Clarification Statement: Examples of Earth’s surface could include sand, soil, rocks, and water.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of temperature is limited to relative measures such as warmer/cooler.]
K-PS3-2.Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include umbrellas, canopies, and tents that minimize the warming effect of the sun.]




Here is another great activity students can do to show off their creativity. You'll be quite surprised by the structures they create. I usually have my students work in small groups of four or five students to work on this project. We have a large variety of materials to choose from. They have a couple of days to think about it and work on it. They are allowed to bring in some materials from home if we do not have what they are looking for in the classroom. 


If you want to try this with your students, you can get this activity at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Click on the image to get this fun experiment. 

What Melts in the Sun?


Relax, Have some fun! Stay Cool! 




Dream Activities Your students Will Be Over the Moon About


      Students are naturally curious about the moon and want to explore the wonders of the night sky.  If you are you looking for an easy way to explain facts about the moon and the moon phases, this may be exactly what you are looking for. The students in my class always love doing these activities and it has sparked lots of insightful conversations. These high-interest, low prep activities will explain the moon and the moon phases in such a way that students can easily make connections and understand. You can also use this as a digital resource for your students in Google Classroom. As students learn about the phases of the moon, they can follow up with this wide variety of differentiated activities.


Students will explore the moon using a  mini-booklet about the moon, fact sheets, diagrams, a science experiment, and a variety of engaging worksheets and activities. You can find this resource here It has lots of positive feedback and has been used at many different grade levels due to differentiation. 



     In my class, I like to start off by finding out what students already know about the moon, and then ask what they are curious about and want to explore. I run off the mini-booklet in black and white for each student and show the colored version using my document camera up on our whiteboard. This way we can color it in as we discuss the various pages. I usually have the kiddos act out how the earth revolves around the sun. One student stands still in the middle of our circle and pretends to be the sun while another student pretends to be the earth. The student pretending to be the earth orbits around the sun by walking in a big circle and spinning at the same time. I explain to the students that the part of the earth facing the sun is having daylight while the opposite side is dark. They are always fascinated by this. They know that people that are living in places on the opposite side of the earth, such as in China,  are sleeping while we are awake and learning at school. They learn that it takes 365 .25 days (one year) for a complete orbit around the sun. Since I teach kindergarten I don't get too technical about Leap Year as it may go over their heads. LOL! I then have another student stand up and pretend to be the moon and pretend to orbit and revolve around the earth. There are some great YouTube videos that show the phases of the moon.  Here are a few pics of the mini-booklet about the moon. It is in kid-friendly language. Moon facts are explained in a way that kids can relate to. It is loaded with diagrams. I have found that giving students hard copies of these diagrams and letting them examine and color them is so beneficial as it helps make the new learning stick.  




     You can follow up with a fun, simple, and easy science experiment using a flashlight and a large ball. I like to use a basketball, but it can be any large ball you may have. The directions and recording sheet is included in this product. I assign a moon phase calendar to students who are curious and want to know more about the moon's appearance and how it changes in the night sky  I let these students know that sometimes we are unable to see the moon due to the heavy clouds. At the end of the month, students can bring in their calendars and discuss their findings. One of my favorite books to read is called, "I'll See You When the Moon Is Full." It is an endearing story about a young boy who wants to know when his dad will be back from his business trip. His dad replies, "I'll see you when the moon is full." The boy anxiously waits for his dad's return while noticing the changes in the moon each night. 


Here are some pics of these pages.





     To be sure that students are fully understanding, they will need lots of additional practice. I especially enjoy having my students do the phases of the moon cut and paste activity. I also demonstrate it using the moveable pieces on the whiteboard using Easel from Teachers Pay Teachers. There are several different options for differentiated instruction. Using these fact sheets, diagrams, and worksheets, students will learn about the following:


•moon surface
•moon size
•moon temperature
•moon's gravitation
•distance from the earth
•phases of the moon
•first landing on the moon




My hope is that your students are over the moon about the activities you choose to do with your students. If you like this product, click here to learn more.


You may also like the following Night Sky Products from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. If you find something you like and want to know more about, click on the pictures below and it will give you a direct link. 



   

 















GRAB THIS FREEBIE! 30 Reading Response Forms




Do you want your students to have a better understanding of what they read? Are you looking for ways to drive deep reading comprehension by questioning your students about text? This set of  30 Reading Response Forms will assist you with getting your students to think about text by asking what the text says, what it means, and how it inspires them.  Reading Comprehension is a problem area with many students. Although students may sound fluent as they orally read the text to you, they may not fully understand the underlying message the text is trying to convey. This is a pain point for many teachers. 

I have struggled with getting students to dive deeper into the meaning of the books they read. I put together this set of Reading Forms with this in mind. I've used many of these forms in my own classroom and found success. I've just started my own professional email list to share educational tips, news, and FREEBIES. As a special way of saying thank you for following my newsletter, you can get this supportive set of 30 Reading Response Forms for FREE! See the link down below. 

 I've used these forms in a variety of ways. You could display a form using your document camera and mark up the student responses on your whiteboard to record their responses as you guide the discussion about the text.  Teachers can open this up in Easel and assign a particular form through Google Classroom. You could also use Easel to mark up students' responses using your document camera during a whole group lesson. If you are interested in the Easel version, you can purchase this here. The most popular way is just to print out the form you need and assign it to your class. These sheets are differentiated. Some students may simply draw their responses and others are ready to put their thoughts down on paper using inventive spelling or standard spelling as their skills further develop. 

Here are just a few pages of images to get the gist of what you will receive. 


As you can see there is a wide selection to choose from. Students can respond to texts to make predictions, sequence events, main ideas, make inferences, develop vocabulary, and make connections to the text. Mapping things out using a story map is so helpful in deepening comprehension. 


I hope this set is helpful in deepening comprehension with your students.
 I look forward to sharing more helpful hints with you in my newsletter. 


Drive Deeper Reading Comprehension

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