More in Category: Seasons and Holidays

Spring Bookmarks 2024

It’s time for another change of season in the classroom – time to put away those winter-themed decorations and activities and pull out the spring things! Whether you’re thinking spring colors, spring sports, spring weather, or spring holidays, it’s time! If you would like to add my new free spring bookmarks to your classroom assortment […]

Fifteen Favorite Holiday Reads

Some of the most wonderful (but often overlooked) things about the Christmas season are the stories, and the songs, and the poems, and the plays!  Here are some of my favorites that I think you might enjoy sharing with your students. This post is an update of an older one, Fifteen Favorite Stories, which I […]

Christmas Bookmarks 2023

At home, it’s already the time for holiday shopping, and at school the winter holiday season is arriving fast as well. Maybe you even spent part of last weekend planning holiday-themed activities for your classroom, pulling out last year’s December and January activities to see which ones you want to repeat this year and where […]

Back to School Bookmarks 2023 (Free)

Are the first days of school really just around the corner? Of course they are, and many of you are probably already getting your resources ready for back to school and the fall semester! Here’s a free set of back-to-school bookmarks to add to your collection of materials for that first week! You can download […]

Teachers’ Summer Tasks

Summer – while it is NOT the free time for teachers that so many people assume it is, it is the one time of year when a teacher can work in a relaxed way! What a rare opportunity – to be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and think for a while […]

Bookmarks, Spring 2023 (Free)

Spring Bookmarks 2023 (Free)

Happy spring! Here’s a set of spring bookmarks that I just finished putting together. If you would like a set to print and copy for your students, you can download a copy below. Bookmarks make such neat little prizes or gifts, and with four per page they don’t take a ton of printing. Print them […]

Spring Mix – Free Activity Sheets

Spring Mix is a set of three free reading activities with spring themes. The first one, Tulips, focuses on the cause and effect text structure. There is a short reading passage followed by a fill-in chart and a couple of questions. At the bottom of the page, kids will find two little puzzles (a rhyme and […]

Winter Holidays Activities

  For the winter holidays there is so much fun classroom stuff to choose from that sometimes finding just what you are looking for can be a daunting task.  Like many teachers, I changed some of my holiday activities each year, but also over the years, certain activities and resources became my favorites.   I’ve […]

Autumn Language Arts Lessons

  Language arts teachers have the luckiest of all the subject areas (at least in one way) because it’s so easy to incorporate fun seasonal themes and activities into language arts lessons.  Including a fun fall activity, a winter-themed novel, or spring vocabulary is a sure-fire way to bring some interest into a lesson that […]

Thirteen Spring Things for the Classroom

  Each year, when spring arrives, everyone, kids and teachers, are tired of the long winter, and it seems like time to perk up life inside the classroom with new activities.  Spring reading and writing activities, a spring snack, or a fun spring break – anything new and seasonal fits the bill here.   In […]

Forgotten Christmas Stories

Forgotten Christmas Stories

  “Piccola” is a Christmas story that is not well-known like A Christmas Carol  or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but is is a lovely story that has a great Christmas message, just as the well-known stories have.  It is an old story, so it is in the public domain, and you can read it for free at Project […]

Free Back to School Resources

Free Teaching Resources for Language Arts and Reading Back to School

  For many teachers, it’s about that time – time to start collecting materials, buying new supplies, searching for free resources, and sorting through old stuff to see what will will work for the upcoming year.  Back to school instruction may look different this year that it did last (in a way isn’t that how […]

Summer Review Activities

Summer Practice

  It’s that time of year – time to round up some simple, easy to use resources for kids to take home for summer practice.  Maybe your kids (or their parents) want some review work to take home.  Maybe you are required to send home some practice work to help students keep their skills current. […]

Little Celebrations in the CLassroom

Little Celebrations in the Classroom

  In language arts class, a reason to celebrate can be just what’s needed – to get things done!  As middle school and upper elementary teachers know so well, education is not a priority for kids at this level; having fun with friends, on the other hand, is.  So we are always on the lookout […]

Autumn Activity Sheets for Free

Autumn Activity Sheets for Free

  This Autumn Sampler is my freebie of the season.  It’s a set of three autumn-themed activity sheets with a little bit of reading, writing, and vocabulary practice on each one.  I call it a “sampler” since each activity is one little part from one of my larger resources, and this week just seemed like […]

Activities for Celebrating Banned Book Week

Near the end of September each year, schools, librarians, English and reading teachers, and students across the country celebrate Banned Book Week.  Kids may not know why we celebrate banned books – after all,”banned” sounds like a bad thing, right?  So starting with information about the event, which is all about freedom to share ideas […]

Back to School Activities

  My Back to School Packet contains a variety of fun activities for all types of lessons including interactive class  activities, quiet individual activities, and projects that can be displayed in the classroom. Check out the table of contents here:   The kids are coming soon!  So be ready with plenty of beginning of school, […]

Almost Summer Round-Up

Almost Summer Round-up

Over the past few years, I’ve posted a good many ideas for the end of the school year and summer.  Always, a favorite time of year!  So this time, I thought I’d look over what I have so far.  If you are looking for ideas for ending the year, summer practice, or summer planning, here’s […]

Summer Word List

Summer Word List

A seasonal word list, in this case a summer list, is one of those classroom tools that is useful to keep around for a variety of miscellaneous uses.  From designing interactive whole-class activities, to creating vocabulary sheets, building end-of-year centers, or playing impromptu games, a nice long list of summer-themed words has so many uses.  […]

Learning with the Mount RUshmore Presidents on Presidents' Day

Learning with the Mount Rushmore Presidents on Presidents’ Day

Today I wanted to share a few favorite lessons for Presidents’ Day.  There are so many free ones out there that I decided to choose just a few that looked especially interesting for middle school or upper elementary language arts teachers.  So I’m going with a theme of “the Mount Rushmore presidents,” and sharing one […]

Maratin Luther King Day in the Language Arts Classroom

Martin Luther King Day in the Language Arts Classroom

  Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a special holiday for many big reasons, but one smaller reason why I especially like this winter holiday is because it lends itself so well to activities in the language arts classroom.  Whether you teach kindergarten or college, or something in between, there is a wealth of great […]

Winter Holidays Word Lists

I just wanted to take a minute to post these two useful word lists for the winter holiday season.   Each one is a good list to have on hand as you plan Christmas games, vocabulary lessons, and other fun activities for the school days leading up to the winter holidays. Sights and Sounds of Christmas is […]

Christmas Story Studies

Christmas Story Studies, and a Holiday Freebie

For this holiday season, I’ve been working on two new resources – a set of story studies for seven classic Christmas stories and a free resource with three activity sheets for the winter holidays.     Christmas Story Studies for classic holiday stories includes story questions and two additional activity sheets for each of seven traditional stories.   […]

Celebrating Winter Holidays in the Classroom

The More the Merrier – Celebrating Winter Holidays in the Classroom

  What could be more fun than a winter holiday celebration? How about a celebration of nine winter holidays all together!  Of course each winter holiday has it’s own unique customs – traditions that grew out of years and years of celebrating events that are important in each culture.  But in the classroom it all […]

Fun Ideas for Autumn and Its Holidays

Fun Ideas for Autumn and Its Holidays

  There are so many fun things to do in the classroom in autumn, but sometimes it can be difficult to find just what you want when you are ready to use it.  A week or so ago, I posted some autumn ideas especially for language arts teachers, and here I’m collecting more autumn ideas, […]

Twenty-one posts for the beginning of the school language arts classroom

Here They Come! Back-to-School Posts for Middle Grade Language Arts Teachers

There’s so much to think about as the new school year approaches!  The classroom, kids, back to school activities – and that’s just the beginning!  Organizing and revamping plans to use throughout the year are always on teachers minds at this season too, because everything you can do now to get resources in order and […]

Making Your Language Arts Classroom Their Language Arts Classroom

Making Your Language Arts Classroom Their Language Arts Classroom

  Kids love a classroom that’s personalized with photos of themselves and name banners, but in the Language Arts classroom, you can take it a step further and really uses those beginning of the year days to help kids make your classroom their own personal reading and writing space.   As kids complete personal writings, […]

July Fourth Language Arts Activities

July Fourth Language Arts Activities for Kids Who Love to Draw

  My kids were always happy when a class activity involved drawing!  Drawing activities can be the perfect diversion for the day before a holiday.   Here are a couple of language arts drawing activities that would be perfect for any patriotic holiday such as Fourth of July, Veterans Day, or Memorial Day.  Actually, you could […]

How-to Reading Lesson with Bracelet Crafts

  Whether you’re teaching summer school, tutoring kids at home, or still in the classroom, it’s nice to incorporate a little summer fun with the academic work.  For kids (or teachers) who love to do crafts, this is the perfect opportunity to work on reading expository texts that explain the steps to a process.  And […]

Six Fun Activities for the Last Days of School

Six Fun Activities for the Last Days of School

  Finally!  The end of the year is approaching (for many teachers), the testing is done, and it’s time for a little fun.  In the last few days of school, class activities can finally focus more on the enjoyment of learning and less on reaching standards.  Here are some suggestions for activities that kids enjoy […]

As the End of the Year Approaches

  Maybe it’s too early to start writing your “lesson plan” for the last day of school, but that doesn’t mean that teachers (and kids) aren’t already thinking about it!  It’s never to early to daydream a little about the end of the school year – or to start stashing away great ideas for those […]

Anywhere But in School!

  It’s that time of year!  The kids are getting squirrely.  And even though it’s not the end of the year yet, the kids are acting like it is.  Another way to describe this time of year might be the season when teachers pull out everything from the old bag of tricks just to keep […]

Spring Word List

When you are planning spring activities, a word list can be a useful tool.  In case you could use a handy list, here’s one for spring.  Having middle-grade kids in mind, I’ve included some words that they’ll recognize from previous years as well as forms of those words that may be new to them and […]

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.     Groundhog pencil topper craft – This one is really cute.  Make it from yarn, paper, […]

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 snowflake directions

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 […]

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 in […]

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 […]

Ten Back to School Poems

I was looking for poems that would work great at the beginning of the school year with middle schoolers and upper elementary kids, and I’ve found some great ones!  Some are about starting back to school, and some are about perennial school topics. Some are funny, and some are serious.  If you’re looking for poems to […]

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, Grouping Strategies for the First Weeks of School, where you’ll find lots of great ideas from middle school teachers just for middle school […]

The Summer Slide

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 (You can download a copy below.):   Patriotic/Military Word List   appreciation veterans valor valiant memorial commemorate preservation patriot […]

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.  You can download the list below.   Vocabulary List biodegradable renewable carbon carbon footprint fossil fuel organic renewable non-renewable conserve conservation […]

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. Use them for holiday worksheets, vocabulary activities, writing prompts, hangman games, guessing games, word relays, centers, stations, student-made games, or whatever […]

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.  You can download the list below.   Winter Weather Words thundersnow […]

Classroom Management During the Holiday Madness

  Things can get crazy in the weeks before the holidays!  It’s a time when kids are anxious for something new, but needing their established routine more than ever too.  It’s a time when the tricks of the trade, and a few fresh ideas, really come in handy!     Sometimes, all it takes is […]

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 […]

Getting Into Your Classroom Library

    Now that school is in full swing and the newness of back-to-school has word off for the kids, it just might be time for an activity to drum up interest in some of the great resources that you already have at hand.  One activity that my kids always enjoyed at this time of […]

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.  (You can download the list below.)   amber aromas autumn bale bonfire bounty brisk carving chestnuts chilly chili cider cinnamon colony […]

Task Cards Designed for the Middle Grades, Including a FREEBIE

    These task cards are all designed specifically for the middle grades – four through seven.  There is more content per card than on the typical elementary school task cards, so kids still get to move around when you’re doing an activity, but they also will spend a few more minutes on each card […]

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, […]

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.  You can download the list here:  Christmas Characters Word List.  And if you prefer a more general list of Christmas words, there’s one of those […]

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.  You can download the list below.   Sights and Sounds of Christmas Word List Festive Cranberries Wreath Jingle Cheer Sleigh Bough Reindeer Fruitcake Turkey Icicles Memories Manger Straw Poinsettia Sugarplums Fireplace Candles […]