More in Category: Seasons and Holidays

Spring Language Arts Resources for Middle Grades

  Thinking about spring?  To start off the new season, how about a few fresh activities for your classroom.  Here are the details about the spring resources available from Classroom in the Middle – task cards for short engaging group or individual assignments, a spring-themed PowerPoint for vocabulary review, and a PowerPoint with five kinds […]

Classroom Ideas for More Saint Patrick’s Day Fun

  Today, I though I would write about some more fun ideas for Saint Patrick’s Day that I’ve saved in my Pinterest collection.   They’re mostly on my Winter board (even though it’s starting to seem more like spring here).   I got the idea for the little doorknob hanger in the image above from […]

Figurative Language Lesson for Valentine’s Day

  Sometimes it can be difficult to find examples of figurative speech that are designed to appeal to kids.  But not on Valentine’s Day!  Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to introduce  or review figurative language with some of those silly Valentine’s Day sayings that are loaded with metaphors, similes, and more!   I especially […]

Fun Classroom Activities for the Winter Months

The big winter holidays are over, and regardless of what prediction Punxatawney Phil makes on Groundhog Day, plenty of teachers have long winter weeks ahead in the classroom – weeks where the kids and the teachers are dreaming of snow holidays!  In case you could use a few suggestions for some fun classroom activities, I’ve […]

Groundhog Day Treats and Activities

  It’s almost Groundhog Day!  Here are a few of my favorite finds for the day.   The Punxatawney Groundhog Club – Punxatawney Phil’s official website straight from Gobbler’s Knob, PA.  It includes a section especially for teachers.   All about shadows – These science lessons from NEA are all about shadows – might be […]

LOTS of Inauguration Day Freebies at #kindnessnation

  Bring out some positive spirit in your classroom with a selection of these MANY Inauguration Day FREEBIES.  No politics, just positive topics that teachers are seeing a need for this election season.  Look through all of the free choices on TPT at #kindnessnation.   Here are some of the topics considered: -Understanding our Branches […]

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, I thought I would share some favorite links.  These include videos, informational text, and fun activities. Hope you find something that you can use with your kids!   Montgomery Bus Boycott – Informational text with historical photos about the Montgomery Bus Boycott from Sheppard Software, this article includes […]

Paper Snowflakes – Easy Directions

  Are you thinking of incorporating a little snowflake-making into an activity after the holidays?  Here are simple directions that you can use with most any type of paper.  Any size paper will work, but for kids a sheet of printer paper is a good size.  Start by cutting down the sheet of paper to […]

Free Christmas Riddles Activity

  Do you need a short, fun activity for the last week before the holiday break? Here is a holiday word puzzle activity that you can download for free.  It’s all about Christmas riddles – first some PowerPoint slides to do with the whole class, and then a student activity page with more riddles for […]

Fifteen Favorite Holiday Reads

    It’s that time of year – the time that I always started thinking about which of the many great Christmas stories, poems, plays, and informational texts I wanted to read with my class for the holiday season.  This year, I’ve put together a list of fifteen favorites, some classics and some new, some […]

Fun Activities with an Autumn Word List

  Last fall, I posted an autumn word list, an alphabetical list of about 70 words that could be useful in a variety of autumn themed activities.  This time, I thought I would update a little with some ideas for using those words in a variety of autumn activities.  I’ll add the list again below. […]

Halloween Stories Middle Graders Will Love!

  Half-Minute Horrors, a collection of really short stories by renowned authors including Lemony Snicket, Jerry Spinelli, James Patterson, and many others is a book of short stories that kids will love, especially at Halloween time.  The stories are very short, a half-page to maybe two pages, and some of them are in graphic novel […]

Autumn Resources

Are you looking for autumn themed resources to add to you classroom stash?  Here are the selections available from Classroom in the Middle.  Check out the task cards, vocabulary practice, and informational text.  You can click on any of the cover images below too see a complete description and the preview pages.  And before you […]

The 2016 Election in Language Arts

  Once every four years, language arts teachers get this great opportunity to use tons of interesting and very current new text in their English classroom.  It’s called the presidential election.  There is so much out there – some strictly informational text, and lot of it persuasive text!  The only problem is that there’s so […]

Back to School Poetry

I’ve been looking for poems that would work great at the beginning of the school, and here’s what I’ve found.  Some are about school, and some are about perennial middle school topics. Some are funny, and some are serious.  Check these out and see if some of them might work for your class, or if […]

Starting the Day . . . Starting the Year . . .

  Recently, I read a lovely picture book – The Way to Start a Day, by Byrd Baylor, and I thought it would be a great one to use at the beginning of the school year.  The Way to Start a Day begins with the narrator talking about greeting the morning with songs that she creates on […]

Grouping Strategies

  Types of Groups, Grouping Strategies, Classroom Charts, and Group Practice – For ideas about getting your groups ready to go, check out this guest post that I wrote for Middle School Mob, where you’ll find lots of great ideas from middle school teachers just for middle school kids!

August Pinterest Picks

  Procedures, rules, organization, materials, forms, getting to know your kids, helping your kids get to know you!  Any way you look at it there’s a lot to do on the first day or so of school.  Here are a few ideas from my Pinterest collection that I thought might be helpful.  Click on each […]

July Pinterest Picks

In thinking ahead to the coming school year, I decided to make my July Pinterest picks a round-up of icebreaker activities.  Most teachers, I suppose, use one or a few of these to get the ball rolling at the beginning of the school, so here is a selection that I’ve saved on Pinterest.  Click on […]

End of Year Activities

  Kids will have fun winding up the year with these end-of-year activities designed especially for middle-grade students.  The package includes printable activities and the Word Puzzles PowerPoint; each is also available separately.   The activity set includes: An end-of-year booklet for students to to write and draw about their memories of the year including friends, […]

June Pinterest Picks

  My Pinterest picks for June are all about activities to close out the school year and summer review activities.  Click on each image to see the original post.       Autograph Beach Balls – These beach balls were one of the suggestions for end-of-year student gifts from the Your Teacher’s Aide blog.  A […]

Summer Review Resources

For summer review, I have the following choices available in my store.  Here is what is included in each resource: Summer Stay in Practice Packet – Reading The Reading Packet contains ten pages of practice. It includes: six one-page reading review lessons – Each of the six one-page lessons begins with a vocabulary warm-up. For the lessons, […]


    Did you ever spend time racking your brains trying to come up with a new, fun activity for your kids – only to realize that they would be just as happy shooting paper balls at the trash can?  Trashball was a perennial favorite of many of the boys in my classes.  And, luckily […]

What to Do About the Summer Slide?

    The summer slide, of course, is that step backwards in their literacy skills that kids take during the summer while they are enjoying a break from school and having fun in the sun, but there are a number of ways to combat this phenomenon.  Some kids enjoy reading during the summer and keep […]

Memorial Day Word List

    Could you use a nice, long vocabulary list for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and other patriotic holidays?  This list of over 75 terms was designed with middle grade kids in mind.  Here it is:   Patriotic/Military Word List   appreciation veterans valor valiant memorial commemorate preservation patriot loyalty homeland patriotism alliance democratic republican […]

Pinterest Picks for May

My Pinterest picks for May are all about activities that will hold kids’ interest in these weeks between testing and the end of school. Some are fun activities that you can only do at this time of year when things are finally slowing down just a bit.  Some are end-of-the-year wrap-up or keepsake projects.  Click […]

Earth Day Vocabulary List with Lesson Activity Ideas

  Here is my updated and expanded list of vocabulary words that might be useful for Earth Day puzzles, games, or other activities – along with a few suggestions for activities using the word list.   Vocabulary List biodegradable renewable carbon carbon footprint fossil fuel organic renewable non-renewable conserve conservation ecology ecosystem habitat resources watershed wetlands […]

Spring Challenges

    Classroom in the Middle is joining this Spring into Learning Blog Hop with this idea for a classroom challenge (and a FREEBIE!).   With all of the energy and restlessness that kids seem to generate each spring, and with testing right around the corner, spring can definitely be a time of challenges in […]

Saint Patrick’s Day Word List

  Do you need a word list for your Saint Patrick’s Day activities, games, or puzzles?  Here is a list of around 40 words and terms related to Saint Patrick’s Day and all things Irish –   Celtic Celtic cross Gaelic shillelagh Saint Patrick St. Paddy patron saint snakes leprechaun wee mischief shenanigans foolishness hooligan […]

Saint Patrick’s Day Fun

The Saint Patrick’s Day craziness is almost here.  Kid’s wearing everything and anything green and pinching anyone who dares not to wear green!  Might as well go with the flow, enjoy the fun, and plan some classroom activities with a St. Paddy’s Day theme!  I’ve saved some favorites on Pinterest, and posted two of them […]

Ancient Art Ideas from Saint Valentine

  Tired of the same old Valentine’s Day crafts?  Kids do love the cut-and paste fun of Valentine’s Day projects, but once they are in the middle grades, kids are ready for something a little different.  This year, how about a project that reflects the ancient origins of Valentine’s Day?  I got this idea from […]

Winter’s Not Over Yet!

The big winter holidays are mostly over, but luckily it’s February which means there are more winter holidays to come!  And in many places, lots more winter too!  So where do you go from here with winter-themed lessons?  Here are some ideas for new activities and topics for the rest of winter.     Books […]

Activities for Celebrating Dr. King Day

    It can take a lot of time to search out a few simple, free activities that you can use to celebrate a holiday in your classroom! That’s why I thought I’d share a few that might be helpful when you get ready to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Here are some […]

Winter Weather Words

Need some fresh winter words for vocabulary or puzzle activities?  Here is a list of about 50 winter weather words that might work well for middle grade kids.  The words relate to cold weather, snow, activities on snow and ice, and cold-weather clothing.       thundersnow blustery flurry slush hoarfrost rime sleet freezing rain […]

Classroom Management During the Holiday Madness

  Things can get crazy in the weeks before the holidays!  It’s a time when the tricks of the trade, and a few fresh ideas, really come in handy!   Sometimes, all it takes is a small change to a familiar classroom routine.  Maybe a new way of grouping kids, for example.  For lots of […]

Fun Classroom Stuff for the Winter Holidays

The winter holiday season is a traditional time for treats and fun crafts in the classroom, and at home with your own kids too!  It’s a fun time to browse through holiday ideas and choose a few that you will enjoy doing with your kids this year.  Each year, I seem to find some new […]

Having Fun with Autumn Activities, and Still Getting Things Done

I’m blogging over at What I Have Learned today.  Thank you to Jessica for the chance to be a part of this interesting website!  Check out my guest post, “Having Fun with Autumn Activities, and Still Getting Things Done,” for autumn holiday activities that you can incorporate into your regular instruction to have fun with […]

Autumn Word Bank

    Need a list of vocabulary words to keep handy for autumn and autumn holidays?  Use it for word games, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, whatever you could use a seasonal word list for. amber aromas autumn bale bonfire bounty brisk carving chestnuts chilly chili cider cinnamon colony cornstalk cornucopia costume cranberry crisp crunching family […]

Seasonal and Holiday Finds

Lately, I’ve been updating my Pinterest page, especially the seasonal and holiday boards.  I now have one board for each season, with holiday pins included on those boards.  (A good excuse to make some new holiday-themed board covers!)  Anyway, I thought I would choose one interesting pin from each board to feature. Click on the […]

Best Foot Forward

Why not do a back-to-school activity that doubles as a classroom display.  Kids will love decorating their own shoe for this shoe mobile, and you’ll have a unique mobile to display in your room when they’re finished!  It’s a back-to-school FREEBIE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.     Best Foot Forward contains these two […]

Back to School Word Puzzles

Word Puzzles make a great introductory activity for a Language Arts class.  They are fun, they get the kids involved, and they also get the kids interested in words!  That’s what this Back to School PowerPoint presentation is all about-five kinds of word puzzles to get the kids interacting and thinking about words right from the […]

Classroom Management Ideas for a Fresh Start

    Once again, I’ve been sifting through my Pinterest finds -this time in search of interesting ideas for classroom management.  I’ve saved a lot of ideas on my Classroom Management Pinterest board, but here are a few that look especially interesting.   50 Fun Call and Response Ideas  – Call and Responses are simple patterns, […]

Summer Projects

Summer project ideas – some for teachers  to get a head start on next school year, and some for your own kids to enjoy at the same time.  Check out my guest post on Minds in Bloom.    

Groundhog Day Treats and Activities

    Here are some ideas for Groundhog Day treats and activities  that I’ve collected on my Pinterest Winter Holidays Board.   Groundhog pencil topper craft – This one is really cute.  Make it from yarn, paper, and tiny beads for the eyes and nose.   Groundhog cookies –  These are no-bake cookies with little groundhogs […]

Christmas Characters Word List

For a little variety in your Christmas word finds, games, and other puzzles, try this word list – it’s all characters, and a few authors, from well-known holiday stories.  And if you prefer a more general list of Christmas words, there’s one of those too – it’s called Sights and Sounds of Christmas and it’s […]

Sights and Sounds of Christmas Word List

Here is a list of Christmas words that might come in handy as you make your own holiday games and activities. Festive Cranberries Wreath Jingle Cheer Sleigh Bough Reindeer Fruitcake Turkey Icicles Memories Manger Straw Poinsettia Sugarplums Fireplace Candles Carolers December Greenery Traditions Hooves Rooftop Polar Joyous Bells Tinsel Garland Wondrous Nativity Creche Greetings Holly […]