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Simple Steps on How to Implement STEM in Your Classroom

Hey there, 

    I know you have been hearing about it for some time, or maybe you have tried a STEM project in your classroom before, but STEM is all the rage and it is here to stay for a very good reason. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I am going to share some Simple Steps on How to Implement STEM in Your Classroom

So what is all the hype about? This thoughtful approach to learning the different curriculum has many benefits to students. 

  • Children who learn STEM concepts throughout their educational journey are more prepared for professional expectations in this technology heavy world. 
  • STEM education builds resilience, problem solving skills and growth mindset. Throughout the process students will see the benefits of failure and how it helps their approaches and creativity to develop. 
  • STEM education teaches real world skills. Learning a new skill and being able to apply it immediately in a variety of scenarios is extremely motivating to students. 
  • STEM education promotes teamwork and brings it to a whole new level. Kids with different abilities, unique backgrounds and experiences all come together and have valuable contributions.  

    So... maybe you're still a bit scared. Maybe it seems overwhelming, chaotic and unorganized... Well, I got past all that and I know you can too! Prepare yourself to be involved in what could be one of your favorite teaching experiences as an educator. STEM lessons have brought my students, own children and I so much joy! Have an open mind and be flexible with how things will go. It might feel loud, and it can get messy but just listen in to their conversations and watch their creativity in full swing. It is so worth it! 

Teaching Text Evidence with the book "Blizzard"

  Have you ever been working in a small group or administering a test and students raise their hands to ask, “what does this mean to provide text evidence?” I always tell my students, “that’s how we prove our answer. Text evidence is our proof.” Then I realized, after repeating this over and over, I need to take the time to really explore and teach text evidence directly.   

  There are so many important skills that our kids need to learn in respect to reading comprehension such as retell, author’s purpose, main idea, sequencing, summarizing, theme, characters traits, etc. When reflecting and responding to the questions surrounding these skills students are always asked to provide text evidence to support their claims.

   In order, for us to expect thorough responses we need to create an understanding of what text evidence really means, the vocabulary to respond effectively and time to practice these foundational skills. 

  I decided to create a series of resources on text evidence, featuring mini-lessons, skill practice and application as well as various other extensions surrounding the skill and theme. 



My Mini Lesson

  I think teaching text evidence with both nonfiction and fiction is important. For this mini-lesson I chose the realistic fiction text “Blizzard” by John Rocco. It’s a fun story based on the author’s experiences, through a child’s lens, during the blizzard of 1978.

  Before the lesson begins, I make sure I have my mentor posters displayed and typically a copy next to me that I can refer at the carpet or on the document camera. Some of my favorite mentor posters are included in my text evidence free resource. I also suggest going through the book ahead of time to select some questions you could ask the kids. I would select 5 questions. 

  When you gather with your students, remind them that they will be given questions in which they need to not only answer but be able to prove their answer is right by using text evidence

  I provide questions before I read, especially when I am reading for a specific purpose of comprehension. You can post the questions on the board or on simple sticky notes at the carpet so kids can see. Read the story. Assign a student, groups or partners to specific questions. Have them use one of the sentence starters (included in the freebie) to answer the question using text evidence. 

  Distribute sticky notes to write answers to place under questions on board or have groups just share out. Remind the group/students of what they are responsible for answering. Make sure they know that they will have to provide evidence or proof of when they saw that in the story. I suggest rereading the text so kids can look for those page numbers or specific phrases. 

  Once you have practiced this with your students you can distribute the Text Evidence RACE (Respond, Answer, Cite, Explain) worksheet (provided in freebie) to practice formally responding with text evidence. I would choose one question, and all go through the worksheet together as a class, so students can polish up their responses with support and confidence. Make sure to have the Text Evidence Sentence Starter Poster displayed as a tool for students to use.

  It’s so easy to assume that kids understand these skills or justify briefly touching on their meaning but taking extra time to teach these skills explicitly will pay off, saving you time in the long run, as well as and increasing student confidence and performance. 

  Click on the image below to download this free resource which is a glimpse into my Guided Reading with a Purpose series on Text Evidence with a festive snow theme. 



This FREEBIE is a part of the resource "Blizzard" and also featured in my Text Evidence Bundle with a fun snow theme. Click on either image below to check them out.  



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How to Teach about Equality, Diversity and Compassion in an Engaging Way ❤

Hey there friends, 

    Are you looking for ways to teach about equality, diversity and compassion in an engaging way that resonates with your young students? These conversations and lessons breed confidence and worth in our students and help them own their identity and love who they are. Being culturally responsive inside and outside our classroom will increase our students trust and relationship with us and also provide them with effective tools to use when faced with adversity. 

When I want to talk to students about important and possibly sensitive topics I have a few approaches that I take, that lead to successful conversations. 

  1. I like to talk in a community circle or group on the carpet. I like getting down with my kiddos on the floor. I think when we are grouped together as one, it feels more comfortable and kids are more apt to share, communicate, and ask what is on their minds.
  2. I also try to share a personal experience on the topic. When that doesn't lend itself, I share my feelings, hopes, worries, frustrations, with my perspective. When doing this it is important to not portray your feelings as the right way, but as an opinion... your unique perspective based on your personal experiences. Make sure to let kiddos know that their views, ideas and questions may differ from yours. 
  3. I like to use mentor texts or educational videos as a foundation to inspire conversations, as well as to bring up questions. The goal of  teaching about equality, diversity and compassion is to engage students in these important conversations and to keep those conversations going, so they can lead to action. 
  4. I also allow myself to be emotional. There are topics that I cannot simply shut down the way I feel and I believe that is ok. In my experience this has helped my students to connect with me and to realize that it's an important topic that stirs up emotions in people.  
  5. Last, but not least. There is no wrong time to talk about equality, diversity and showing compassion for others. As I said above, the more we talk, the more these words become a part of our everyday language and then these words can be transformed into positive action.   


    These are some of the resources that I have used that not only speak to equality, diversity and compassion, but also hit on the learning standards of central message, author's purpose, lesson, moral, retell and text connections. These resources have conversation starters, comprehension activities, parent connection support, as well as mentor posters, mini-lesson ideas and other fun extensions for writing and art. 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO CHECK 
OUT THESE RESOURCES IN MY STORE.












Again, these are my ideas on how to teach about equality, diversity and compassion in an engaging way. I am always open to hear other's ideas and perspectives. That is truly how we grow as educators, learners and leaders. 

Have a great week, 






Looking for Creative Digital and Print Resources this Winter?

Hey there! 

Are you feeling festive, looking for something fun, you know that disguised learning? I have a few resources you might be inspired by! Many teachers have been using these resources during in person, hybrid and full digital learning! 

Here are a few of my fun winter favorites!

This build a digital gingerbread house is sure to be a hit! Kids choose from 15 different backgrounds and over 130 different candies and accessories organized and ready to make their own unique gingerbread house.

Inspire writing, review setting or just have fun! Available in Google and SeeSaw.

Click on the Image to check out this resource up close!




These STEM and Book Companion bundles are a BLAST! Kids adore them and so do I. Who wouldn't love seeing their students fully engaged and having great discussions while thinking outside the box?

These STEM resources come with easy to implement materials and graphic organizers, simple instructions, minimal material needed and the are very family friendly.

Click on one of the images to see the resource up close and to read other educators' very happy reviews! 






These morning messages are definitely one of my most popular resources. Teachers love how they help start the morning or subject block. They help to create predictable, yet fun routines!

They are available for the whole year in both print, Google and PowerPoint.

Click on the images to see the resource up close! 



Teach your kiddos about Multicultural holidays from around the world with this resource packed with options of delivery to help you differentiate and adapt to your time and needs. 

Click on any of the images to check out this very loved resource. 




Teach your kiddos about Multicultural holidays from around the world with this resource packed with options of delivery to help you differentiate and adapt to your time and needs. 

Click on any of the images to check out this very loved resource. 




Never hesitate to reach out with questions, suggestions or requests. I hope you have a great December and happy shopping!



How I Eased My Distance Learning Anxiety

Hey there! 

If you are anything like me the upcoming school year has you a bit overwhelmed or frazzled. There are so many unknowns in many aspects of our life right now. Have you been  trying to figure out how you will be teaching this coming school year or how you will deliver the learning effectively? I was too, but Instead of spiraling and getting nowhere, I decided to take charge of what I can control. What I feel confident in is knowing what students need and my ability to meet those needs in a variety of ways. I suppose digital teaching will be added to our tool bags. 

I do know that no matter if students are learning from home or school , I want to deliver thorough, organized content to students so we can start building consistency the first week. The solution I found was creating a second grade daily lesson plans and activities unit  designed for use in Google or  for paper pencil. I created 5 individual sets of Google slides (80+ pages each) to make your way through instruction each day with ease and have been grouping them by week. 

The subjects covered in theses slides are Word Work, Spelling, Grammar, Writing, Reading Comprehension (you choose which story you want to read, but I do make suggestions), and Math instruction. All lesson are based on the Common Core State Standards so you are meeting grade level expectations.

In addition, I have included all of the worksheets for your students. You can print them and send them home each week or use them in the classroomIf you are only digital, no worries, they are on Google as well.

Each week has summary of what's included as well as a standards based alignment guide, and detailed lesson delivery suggestions. 

In the morning, I would share and complete the slides with my students. Then, after the morning meeting, students can complete their classwork for the day. You can use screen share on Google Meets or whatever platform you are using. If there is something you don't want to teach, simply delete the slides pertaining to that instruction. You can of course supplement your own curriculum where you want, but won't need to with this standards based design.

Teaching in SEESAW?  I have included all of the files as a png image so you can easily upload them to Seesaw. Due to the size of these units, they DO NOT come pre loaded. It will be up to you to add them to your lessons.

Here is another glimpse of what is included in each week:

  • Daily Google Slides that can be used in person or over a video conference.
  • All of the worksheets to be printed if at home or in person.
  • YouTube links to other helpful videos for instruction
  • Each day comes with typed lesson plans on how I suggest to share with students.
  • Flexibility to go between in person and at home instruction.
  • Standards based mapped out.

From my 13 plus years of teaching I have found that consistency is huge in how my students perform.  If they are presented information the same way either in school or at home, it will be easier for all of us involved, students, parents and of course us as teachers. This is why I created each week to have very similar if not identical structure with different information. This predictability will be huge, especially in a year of uncertainty. 

If this sounds like something that would be helpful to you, WEEK 1 is DONEWEEK 2 is available here!

Here are some things to note...

  • I will have the first 4 weeks done each month before September. (Each week will be available weeks in advance moving forward. 
  • I will be bundling them every 4 weeks
  • If you want to buy them week by week and get the bundle price, make sure you are following me on TPT. I offer the bundle price the 1st 24 hours. You can follow me by clicking HERE
  • The curriculum map is subject to change. I will post updated changes to the file on TpT if there are any.


Want to know more? Try the first day for free by clicking HERE!


To check out the weeks already completed click below on the images.


I wish you the best of luck as we move into this uncharted territory. I hope that this helps you to ease the anxiety of distance learning this year. Remember we got this! 


Kacie 

An End of the Year Student Gift that is Sure to Make an Impact

Hey friends, 
Looking for the perfect end of the year gift for your students and families? Or simply want to celebrate the ending of a crazy school year in a memorable way that honors your time together with your kiddos? These slideshow templates are the perfect end of the year student gift that is sure to make an impact. 
Memory slideshows are something I have done for my past 14 years of teaching and it’s one of my favorite things to do. The kids and their families love it and it’s something they will always cherish because it’s so meaningful. After the abrupt end of the year I wanted to help classrooms end on a positive note by showcasing all the happy memories experienced throughout the school year. 
I decided to combine all my editable templates and get them into PowerPoint and Google Slides so other teachers could create these priceless slideshow keepsakes with their students too. 
  • There are now over 90 unique frames that are set and ready to go for you in both PowerPoint and Google Slides as well as 170 blank frames for you to customize!
  • I also included clipart & pre-made phrases for you to customize blank slides.
  • You can even add music in PowerPoint slideshows!

Click on any of the links below to see these digital end of year slideshow templates up close
Each Slide has a clean, eye-catching frame with transparent centers for easy insert of photos. No more cropping to perfect sizes, simply send photos to back and you have a beautiful slide ready to be presented or printed. Want to add more text, simply add a text box and type away! I have included instructional videos if you need them on how to edit .
You can even print with black and white templates to send a physical copy to your students. 
I know the ending of this school year isn't like we planned. I am hoping the option of an end of the year slideshow will help your kiddos and their families have a positive sense of closure and smile when they look book at all your fun memories! Click on the links above to check out an end of the year student gift that is sure to make an impact

Let me know if you have any questions. I am always happy to help! 





Engage Your Students in Literacy with Free Author Study Activities

Hey friends! 
Are you looking for engaging digital resources to send to your students or to do with your own children? I was too, especially during these uncertain times. So, I collaborated with a fellow educator and friend, Megan Mitchell from First Grade Roars to create FREE digital author study resources for some of our favorite authors. We are hoping to Engage Your Students in Literacy with Free Author Study Activities.
Each author study has a variety of guided reading comprehension activities and other unique extensions tailored to the book. Bonus, there is no need to own the book because each resource has a link to listen to the story as well as a link to explore their website full of other engaging activities. 
We know that the stress level is high, and the expectations might be unclear, but we know one thing to be true, that we want to continue supporting our students. 
We hope that by providing these free digital author study units you will not only be able to continue supporting your students with engaging resources, but that we are also able to ease and avoid any unneeded stress. 
 Click on the image below to access all the FREE digital author study resources we have created. 


If you are looking for additional digital resources to help you connect with and support students check out these other engaging resources available in Google format & Printable PDF. 
These are some of my favorite digital resources currently in my store. 

This packed learning bundle for May has morning meeting messages, math practice, writing prompts & templates, paired reading passages & motivational challenge journal.
Available in Google Slides, Forms, and printable PDF. 
These easy to use digital morning messages are a great way to start distance learning meetings, focus instruction and offer fun ways to interact with students.
Available in Google Slides and printable PDF. 
I love this resource! These digital penpal templates with and without prompts help writers of all abilities connect with friends and family that they are missing! Available in Google Slides and printable PDF.
  
These resources have nonfiction passages, writing templates, graphic organizers and other fun extensions to get your kiddos excited about  snakes!These resources have nonfiction passages, writing templates, graphic organizers and other fun extensions to get your kiddos excited about dinosaurs! There are 8 dinosaurs and a bonus file included in this engaging bundle.
Create a memorable keepsake for students and families with these end of the year  slideshow templates. These templates are bright, customizable and easy to use! Available in PowerPoint and Google Slides.
We hope these free distance learning resources help to make your teacher life easier. We got this!