Monday, February 22, 2016

Teaching Strategies - Daily, Weekly, Month Calendar Observances

Have you heard the saying that 'everyday is a holiday'? Actually it is!!  A fun way to get your school day off and running is to take 5 to 10 minutes to feature the holiday of the day.  There are many things you can do - and activity sheet  - a web based scavenger hunt - a costume day - a video---featuring that particular holiday.

Here's an example! Today is George Washington's birthday. Start out with trivia based fun facts.
What did George Washington eat for breakfast? Did he really have wooden teeth? What was his favorite food?  Here'a  good source to find those answers:

The Men on the Mountain activity is a good follow up to this discussion.

Find the activity at

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Another Teaching Tool - Fun With Acrostics

Acrostics are a great tool to use in broadening students thinking about a particular topic! Students write the letters of the assigned topic/word down the left side of a sheet of paper - one letter per line. Students then are asked to write about the topic incorporating the letters on each line in their description.

Let's take a look a specific example!

This activity focuses on pedestrian safety. The acrostic is in two formats - A 'complete the sentence' activity where students fill in the missing word and a blank sheet that allow students to be creative in writing their descriptions.

Find this activity at the KidZ Learning Connection Store:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Picture It! Write It! A Vocabulary Teaching Strategy

Most of us are visual learners. Most of us learn by doing something with the new topic - word - concept - idea. 

This tool is  great way for students to learn new vocabulary words. Here's how it works! Students draw a picture or write descriptive words about the topic. They then respond to the writing prompt using the picture or words to guide the writing. 

A simple, but effective visual learning tool!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Getting Ready for a New Week - Time Management Tips

Does your To Do  List everyday look like this??

I have to admit it ---I'm one of those 'list people." I start each day with a To Do List that includes things to do for work - things to do that relate to home projects---things to do for other people (cards, calls, etc.) and then I have a separate list for groceries!

How do I manage all my list(s)?  It's human nature to the easiest things first - and I do----but I allow myself a two hour window for that --and then tackle the hardest items from what's remaining on my list next. 

What about the things that don't get done?? They go on the next day's list - and are tackled first!

A final tip is to keep the number of items on your list to something that is manageable. It's humanly impossible to complete a list with 25 or more items!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Using Rubrics as a Teaching Strategy

Rubrics are an effective teaching and learning guide, as well as an assessment tool. Rubrics should always be the first thing that is provided to students when an assignment is given.  Students can then use the tool as a guide for their project or a writing assignment.  The rubrics I create all use criteria according to the letters of the word "SCORE."  This makes it easy for both students and teachers to remember!

Here's an example! Use this rubric for In Class Assignments.

Find the rubric at  Class Assignment Score Rubric

Friday, January 22, 2016

Teaching Strategies- A Math Magic Square Game

Games are a fun way to introduce a new topic, summarize a topic or check for understanding. 

Magic square games provide instant feedback as to correct answers, as each row and column should total to be the same number.  

This example uses Stranger Safety as the topic. Students read the sentences and then find the missing word in the table.  The sentence number is written in the square with the correct word. Once all sixteen sentences are completed in this manner, students total all rows and columns to come up with the 'magic number.'

Magic squares can made for 9, 16, 25 or more sentences.

Stranger Safety Magic Squares is a great way to teach math skills in combination with concepts any academic subject!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Picture It! Write It! Another Fun Teaching Strategy

What you see here is a picture of my four year old Grandson's hand.  "Grandma, I can draw my hand."  - and he did just that!  He uses a drawing tool toy that has provided hours of fun and learning!

We are first visual learners ---so the Picture It - Write It Strategy works well for younger ---and even older students.

The activity picture above is a more structured approach to introducing a topic.  Ask students to draw a picture of the topic - in this case a stranger. Their pictures can be shared and used to lead the discussion of stranger safety.  As a summary of learning, students can complete the 'A stranger is...." writing prompt.

Find many more stranger safety activities at the KidZ Learning Connection store!