Every so often, teachers reach out to me for enrichment activities for reading, math, science, or social studies. This is an activity I put together for 1st grade students and is modeled after Jerry Palotta's Who Would Win series. The grade level is 1:1 (one device per student) Chromebooks, so I designed this in Google Slides. The final page will have a Blabberize (Chatterpix could be an alternative if you have iOS devices, where the winning animal explains why they won the battle. A few resources students will use for this project are PebbleGo, Bookflix, TrueFlix, and Kiddle.
If you would like a copy of the Google Slides file, please let me know.
I also created a graphic organizer where students can record their findings.
We are always looking for ways to recognize students, and our Building Leadership Team was recently talking about wanting to celebrate when students are kind. I was excited to use Canva to design kindness cards, but started by searching online to see if there were any free options. There's no sense in recreating the wheel if something is already available. Luckily, thanks to Scholastic, this was the case! Scholastic's Kindness Cards were exactly what we were looking for. I did create an additional page to print on the back of each card, which will allow staff members to write a message noting the kind act. Each Monday, students receiving the kindness cards will be announced over the intercom, allowing the school community to recognize the work and action of the students.
I encourage you to visit Scholastic's website and download your own copy of the Kindness Cards. If you would like a copy of the back page I created, let me know!
In a continuing effort to expand PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) in our building, I created the student recognition card shown below. The idea came from a similar card that another elementary building is using, I simply created one that would work for our students and staff. The plan is for a staff member to recognize a student showing either the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Manners, or Safety) or a Growth Mindset by filling out the card. To increase the home/school connection, both the staff member and the principal will write a comment and the card will be sent home.
The card was made using Canva.
My building uses Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS), and I am on our Tier I and Tier II team. We have students follow the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Manners, and Safety). Our school district's mascot is a Ram, so the acronym was created to go along with the mascot. I have already created Classroom Tickets and Student Awards, and was shown an example of VIP seating tickets for school assemblies and knew I could design something similar for our building! I used Canva, one of my go-to creation sites, to create the ticket.
We hold monthly PBIS assemblies, and our plan is to hand out a few VIP tickets prior to the assembly. This will be another way to recognize students who are demonstrating the RAMS Way.
During a recent Building Leadership Team meeting, we discussed ways to recognize students, specifically how we can celebrate students who show grit and perseverance. These students may not necessarily get recognized for academic performance or proficiency, deserve to be recognized for their growth and determination.
I used Canva to create the award certificates and look forward to seeing them used by teachers and staff.
Through my literacy consulting work, I frequently get asked by educators around the country for insights on how they can receive funding to implement a literacy initiative or project. While I will continue to respond individually to educators who reach out via email or this website's contact form, I wanted to share some highlights here.
Having worked in rural, Title I, and suburban districts, I understand the need for literacy funding and have written and received several grants allowing me to impact literacy development. My hope is the information below helps educators begin their grant writing journey. Be sure to check with your school district and administrator before applying for grant funding as some districts may have an internal process and checkpoints you must follow.
Funding Sources (not an exhaustive list):
If you have additional questions or need for consulting services, feel free to reach out using the contact form.
Best of luck!
Are there grant programs you would like to see added to this list? If so, add a comment and/or complete the contact form and I will add them.
A PLC (Professional Learning Community) in my building was looking for an engaging way for students needing extra reading practice to get support from adults in our building. To support this, I created monthly "Read Around the Building" pages students can use to celebrate how often they are reading to adults in our building.
Reading practice might include trade books, sight word 5x5 lists, poetry, short passages, or anything else the teacher finds appropriate for each student.
If you would like a copy of any, or all, of these pages, let me know.
My building has been working on building student number sense, and specifically using Number Talks. Number Talks are the work of Ann Dominick and Sherry Parrish and have hand signals that students use as they mentally solve problems. To support classroom implementation, I created the posters shown below. I also used these posters as I modeled number talk lessons in K-5 classrooms.
During a recent book talk to a 4th grade classroom, I shared one of my favorite books. I also used my new Merge Cube. I had been looking for ways teachers can incorporate Merge Cubes and augmented reality into their classrooms, and the book talk was a great way to start! I created a template on Google Slides and then imported the png files into CoSpaces. The process was easy and students loved seeing the Merge Cube.
If you would like a copy of my Book Talk Summary template, or need support in using Merge Cubes in your classroom or school, please let me know!
I have used Skype in the Classroom for years and love the opportunities it provides teachers and learners. Recently, I came across Skype in the Classroom's 2018-2019 calendar. Each month has a specific focus and I love that February will be focused on literacy!
You can even download Classroom Bingo cards for your students to keep track of their experiences!
A few ways I have used Skype to connect students with other classrooms (Mystery Skype, Mystery Number, Mystery Reader, Poetry Slam), to bring in authors (Caroline Starr Rose, Irene Latham, Jonathan London); experts (Rick Swartz); and special guests (Scott Hamilton, Al Roker, Willie Geist, Jonathan Tait, and several other Olympians); and support a building-wide book study (Dave Burgess). If you haven't used Skype in the Classroom, I highly recommend you give it a try! By taking time to breakdown the walls of your classroom, you'll be providing students with learning opportunities and authentic audiences.
If you would like support, don't hesitate to reach out.