Wednesday, December 30, 2015

B-I-N-G-O - Bingo!!! Using Bingo as a Teaching Strategy

The countdown is on! Holiday break is almost over! Here's another teaching tool to put in your arsenal for the first week back. As I mentioned earlier ----  During the next several weeks, I will focus on teaching strategies that combine everyday health and safety topics with academic learning.  I'll provide templates with ideas for using them in the classroom, as well as a basic overview of what the strategy is and why it works! Here's strategy #2!


This strategy asks students to read the definition and match the corresponding word from the word bank. A fun way to introduce new vocabulary---or to dig deeper into a particular topic. This bingo game sample focuses on Germ Prevention. 

Find the activity on the KidZ Learning Connection Store: 

Lesson Procedure: 

This lesson can be an individual, small group, or large group activity. 

1. Introduce the lesson by telling students that by practicing germ prevention safety practices we can stay healthy and well.  
2.  Ask them to write and/or list things they do to prevent germs. List their responses on the white/smartboard. 
3. Ask students to complete the Germ Buster Bingo game.  You can set criteria for bingo using the usual bingo rules. This activity lends itself well to Blackout Bingo where students complete all questions. If time is limited, students groups can complete individual letter columns and share their responses with the large group. 
4. Use the books and/or video below as a follow up activity.

Books and Videos:

The Berenstain Bears Come Clean for School:  



Monday, December 28, 2015

Energize Your Classroom Learning With Different Teaching Strategies

The holidays are almost over ...and school will be back in full swing soon. What do you do to energize your classroom and make learning fun and relevant during the long winter months?  During the next several weeks, I will focus on teaching strategies that combine everyday health and safety topics with academic learning.  I'll provide templates with ideas for using them in the classroom, as well as a basic overview of what the strategy is and why it works! Let's get started!!

ABC Brainstorming - ABC Summarizing

This strategy asks students to write what they know or brainstrom about a specific topic according to letters of the alphabet. This strategy extends as well as guides thinking.  Let's look at an example!

Find the activity at:

Lesson Procedure: 

This lesson can be an individual, small group, or large group activity. 

1. Introduce the lesson by telling students that  eating fruits and vegetables help us to grow and stay healthy.  
2.  Ask them to write or draw a picture of a fruit or  vegetable for each letter of the alphabet. 
3. Have them then go back and circle the fruits and veggies they  have eaten in the last five days.  
4. Ask students to share if they ate  two or more fruits or vegetables each day.

Books and Videos:

The Berenstain Bears And Too Much Junk Food:  



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Holiday Reminder----

On a day where my "to do" list is longer than the hours in the day----I'm making time to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Hope you do too!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Teachers Pay Teachers Side Kick!

Here's a picture of my Teachers Pay Teachers writing partner!  She would really prefer to do the writing!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Memories

Here's another Christmas display that incorporates treasured items inherited from my parents, new items --and Christmas fun!

The Santa was an item purchased while on a business trip in Florida several years ago.  The Fenton pitcher and glasses where a part of the household decor when growing up. I found a small tree - for a good price - added some matching Christmas balls--all for under $10.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Get Up and Get Moving!

At this time of year - it's important for kids --and all of us to stay active and not give in to the urge to become "couch potatoes"!   Use this poster as a reminder for your students of important fitness goals.

Find the poster at the KidZ Learning Connection Store -

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Merry Little Christmas - and Memories!

This year I'm trying to use what we have for decorations and blending it with the knick knacks in the house. I took a 3 tiered serving tray - added some green pine springs - and old ornaments- and have a new type of memory tree!  A "cost-free' decoration idea--and lots of fun creating it!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy December! Happy Holidays!

Here we go on the fast path to Christmas!  The decorating is done---but baking and shopping aren't!  I had so much fun decorating this year. The older I get---the more I cherish memories. Our Christmas decorating this year has a lot of 'memory centers.' Here is one of the them. The vintage Santa is probably older than I am!  It's one of the decorations I inherited from Mom and Dad.  The Christmas balls are a gift from my sister and the copper boiler is a treasured find at an auction my husband and I attended years ago.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Countdown Is On!

Only a few days until Thanksgiving ---and there is tons to do!  My 'to do'
 list is very long----but what fun!  The turkey is thawing in the fridge. I always worry each year about thawing, stuffing and cooking the bird safety.  Here's some good info I found.

It's Turkey Time: Safely Prepare Your Thanksgiving Meal

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Over the River and Through the Woods.....

It's that time of year when we all get in cars and travel somewhere for the holidays.  Officer Oren's poster for passenger safety is a good reminder of important safety habits for kids.  A great idea for a 10 minute filler before the holidays!

Find the poster at:  KidZ Learning Connection

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Safety Signs Bingo

I don't know about you---but one of my biggest worries when my son was small was his safety when walking to and from school or when riding his bicycle.  This activity gives students practice in reading safety signs - an important aspect of both pedestrian and bicycle safety!

Find this free activity at the KidZ Learning Connection Store -

Monday, November 16, 2015

Discovery and Experiential Learning

Here's pictures of a fun weekend at the Butterfly House and Aquarium with our grandson Jackson!
He definitely is the "nature" multiple intelligence--and is fascinated by animals, plants and insects. These pictures show the life cycle of a butterfly---the museum room where butterfly's fly free---and the bubble inside an aquarium that let's kids get "up close and personal" with the fish. We also were able to touch the stingray, sharks (small:) and starfish!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Stranger Safety

One of the focus safety areas for KidZ Learning Connection is stranger safety. We have activities for grades K-3---and are continually adding new resources on this important topic!  Here's the latest! This poster will be one in a series of community helpers with "Try 5" rules for safety.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Playground Safety - Rules and Practice

Injuries on the playground are a key concern for schools.  Use these tools to introduce and review playground safety rules and practices.

Playground Safety Task/Decision Cards

Please let me know how these activities worked for you! Email me at Marsha

Monday, November 9, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

All About Thanksgiving Activity Bundle

Just finished----hot off the press!  Check out the Thanksgiving workbook for grades K-3. Twenty six pages of math, English, social studies, science and health activities that tell the story of the Mayflower, Pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving.  Find it at  the KidZ Learning Connection Store.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Am Thankful For.... Family and Family Fun

Do you every take time to go back through pictures on your cell phone? Take a few minutes today to do that----I went back over pictures from the past two months----A great reminder of how much we have to be thankful for. I'm starting a November "I Am Thankful for...." blog post---granted a little late.  Here's my first!

I am thankful for family and family fun!  Here's my sister and one of my grandsons enjoying our outdoor pool area - actually it's a dog kennel repurposed!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thanksgiving History

Here's a fun activity to start off the month of November! Turkey Trott Bingo provides an overview of the history of Thanksgiving. The activity is probably best suited for grades 3 and 4.

Find the bingo game at -

Happy November!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween is Over - On to Thanksgiving!

Missed posting this yesterday! I'm hoping that everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!

The treats are gone!  The cake is dessert for dinner with family tonight!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Eating a Healthy Breakfast

Here's a picture of my grandson Jackson eating breakfast after a "sleep over' with us! I've also included an activity that you may want to use as 'morning work' with you class! Find the activity on the KidZ Learning Connection TPT store!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Fun to Start the Week!

Here's 2 free ideas to start Halloween Week fun!  The first idea is a bundle of free activities that you can use in English language arts classes this week. The kids will love the Halloween Word Work activities!

The second picture is one that requires a little explaining!  My grandson wanted to hang our Halloween Ball from the island light!  

This might be something you would like to make for you class for a Halloween treat. It's fun, easy, and cost effective. I purchased a styrofoam ball, a bag of Dum Dum suckers, some orange ribbon ---and put my grandson Jackson to work.  The suckers make a cute ball---or pumpkin when inserted into the ball. Finish off your product with a large orange  ribbon---and you have a ready made treat!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Halloween ---and Stranger Safety

With Halloween just around the corner----and with Halloween scavenger hunts and hikes going on already, it's a good time to review safety rules with kids.  Use this stranger safety checklist as a quick and easy introduction to the 'do's and don'ts' of stranger safety. Find it on the KidZ Learning Connection TPT page!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More Halloween Fun!

Just had to share this picture of my husband and grandson creating a "haunted" Halloween backyard!

Also ---check out the Halloween freebie activity on the KidZ Learning Connection store (

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pet Safety Practices

Just had to share a picture of our favorite mascot here at East Dakota!  Chewie comes to work everyday is a 'student' at the Career Academy.

I've also attached the cover page of a pet safety activity that you can find in the KidZ Learning Connection Store.  Topics are important ones for kids of all ages to remember!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bat Bash - Planning a Halloween Party

Use this fun Halloween graphic organizer (free too!!) for your students to plan a real----or pretend Halloween party!  Find it at

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bullying Prevention Month - Friend or Not?????

Friends or Not??  This is a question all of us -no matter what age ask ourselves.  Are we sometimes hurt by things our friends say or do? Do we do things that affect people the same way? The activity causes us to stop and think about how our actions and words affect others  The "Friends or Not" activity is targeted to grades 2-5---but can be used for middle and high school levels as well.

Students are asked to read the sentences  and then assign themselves a plus or minus value or each sentence.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fire Prevention Week

This week is Fire Prevention Week --a good time to review basic fire safety practices and procedures both in school and at home.  

This 4 page activity booklet provides basic information in a fun and easy to read format.  The activities are targeted to grades 1 through 3, however the Fire Prevention Safety Star checklist can be used with kindergarten and fourth grade students too.

Here's  a brief look at the activities!

1. Firefighter Writing Prompts. Students are asked to write sentences by looking at the pictures and responding to sentence starters.

2.  Magic Math - Safety Star Burn Breakers.  Students match sentence numbers to star words and then add rows and columns to come up with the 'magic' number.

3.  Firefighter Job Description. Students complete multiple choice questions centered around the topic of firefighter job duties.

4.  Firefighter Safety Star - A Self Checklist. Students respond to basic safety rules written n a question format.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bullying Prevention Month - Am I Good Friend Checklist

Am I A Good Friend Checklist
October is Bullying Prevention Month. A good place to start this month is for us---and our students---to look at ourselves first.  This basic checklist provides simple things that all of us can do and should be doing to be a good friend to others.   

How do you rate? Are you a good listener?  Are you forgiving --or do you hold a grudge? Can you be trusted ---or do you share things told to you in confidence?  Do you make enough time for your friends?

I know I can do better----and am going to work on it this month!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

National Fall Foliage Week!

This is a picture taken a week ago at Roughlock Falls near Spearfish, South Dakota!  I just had to share this picture -----as the scenery in this area ---and really all over the state this time of year is really something!

Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather to take your students ---or your kids ---on a nature hike. Turn it into a scavenger hunt by giving them a list of things to look for - different kinds of leaves, trees, rocks, animals, insects.......and fun!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Halloween Fun!

Your first thought is that Halloween is over a month away---this is way too early!  I agree!  It seems like we rush the seasons and holidays so much that by the time it gets here - we're tired of looking at the decoration!

I thought it would be fun to create a booklet of learning activities that could be used starting now and continuing though Halloween - so here it is!!!

The ABC Halloween activity booklet has one learning activity for every letter of the alphabet. The  activities meet English language arts, math, science, social studies, health or safety standards. Check out this fun book at the KidZ Learning Connection Store - and best of all - it's free today!! (

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Teaching Health - Fitting It In!

How do you find the time fit health education in to your already packed day???  I've been working in the education field for almost 30 years--from working in schools to writing curriculum to managing statewide programs.  I know how busy you are!

My areas of expertise are in the business education, health, safety and career subject areas. KidZ Learning Connection was formed for the purposed of providing you with quick and easy health and safety resources that can be integrated into just about every subject ---or that can be used at those times during the day when you need a meaningful learning activity that will only take a few minutes.  Here's an example of something that may work! 

Farm Fun:  Milk Math

This activity teaches basic information about cows and milk though the lens of math! Use this as a mini-lesson right after lunch. 

1. Introduce the topic by asking students:
a.  "How many of you drank milk with your lunch today?"
b. "Why is it important to drink milk?"
c.  "What food group does milk belong to?"

2. Ask students to solve the math problems individually or as a large group. This would be a great Smartboard acrivity!

3. Ask students to share information from the worksheet that surprised them.

4. Ask students to share other information about cows and milk.

5. Challenge students to drink a glass of milk with each meal.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Fun Weekend!!

Just had to share!!!  We had such a great weekend celebrating my sister's birthday!  We stayed at a campground in the Black Hills and spent time touring, riding the Hill City Train, swimming, having a campfire---and just being together!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September is All American Breakfast Month!

Breakfast is one of my most favorite meals. There's nothing better than coffee---Belgium waffles - or eggs, toast, hash browns and coffee to start the day out right.  Most often though, my breakfast consists of two granola bars---and lots of coffee!

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It's important for kids to have something to eat in the morning before they head off to school. Who can learn on an empty stomach??

Here an activity that you might find useful in your classroom---or for planning and working with your kids at home!

The activity uses the MyPlate food groups and asks students to classify the breakfast food pictures according to their correct food group.

Optional Classroom Activity:

1. Ask students to fill in the plate by drawing or writing what that had for breakfast.
2. Lead a class discussion on the topic of healthy foods.  Ask students to rate if their breakfast was healthy or not healthy.
3. Continue the discussion by asking student to share what they could change to make their meal a healthy one.

Find this activity at: 

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Kids on the Bus!

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week!  With school just starting----safety for kids riding the bus is on our minds.  

This activity leads students through bus safety rules while drawing a picture. A fun way to learn these important rules!!

Find the activity at

Sunday, September 13, 2015


A little off topic.......but it's so hard to concentrate on work-related things today.  I lost a good friend this week - a person who left us way too soon---and left a huge impact on those who knew her.  Lisa dedicated her life to special needs kids--to her family---and to her close friends.  Her entire life was spent putting others first....and doing thoughtful things for others. She and I worked in the same building for many years, so we had a chance to visit daily and do things outside the office together too.  I marveled at her ability to be constantly on the go----and never appear rattled.  I will miss her greatly and feel honored to be called her friend. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Try 5 Health and Safety Bundles/Units

KidZ Learning Connection features a series of "Try 5" units on many health and safety topics---with many more to come!

The "Try 5" series all follow the same format - a self check with 5 statements dealing with major aspects of the topic. Students answer "yes or no" to each statement and then select one of the five statements to work on for improvement.  Activities are provided that address each of the five statements. A total unit---that includes fun learning activities.

Here's an sample of the "Try 5: Stranger Safety" checklist.  Find the learning packets for grade K-1 and 2-3 that go with the checklist at KidZ Learning Connection:

Let me know what you think!!!!  Should lesson plans be added for each unit too??

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Apple Crisp Marathon

One of the things I like best about this time of year is all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are ready to harvest for the the pantry and freezer.  We had our annual 'apple crisp marathon' last night.  We ended up with 12 tins in the freezer----all in the space of 90 minutes.  My husband is always roped in to peeling the apples - which is 75% of the work. We make a good team. Here's the recipe I always use - straight from Betty Crocker (  The apple crisp can be baked right from the freezer ---or thawed first.  The cooking time needs to be adjusted if the crisp is frozen!


medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
cup packed brown sugar
cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
cup butter or margarine, softened
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cream or Ice cream, if desired


  • 1 Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
  • 2 Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
  • 3 Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Off and Running to a New School Year!

With Labor Day over and past---we are now off and running into a new school year as well as a change of seasons!  We had a hail storm yesterday that was a surprise--and not a welcome one. It's now time to do the drill of getting the vehicles and house looked at and getting started on repairs.

A big part of the school day for kids is recess! I have created some playground safety resources that ask students use their critical thinking and decision making skills to stay safe and still have fun on the playground.  Find the activities at the KidZ Learning Connection Store at

Playground Safety Decision Cards
This activity provides students with practice in making decisions. The task cards present twelve different playground safety scenarios. Students are asked to view and/or read the cards and then decide if the situation describes a 'safe' or 'sorry' action. Students should provide reasons for their answers. The cards can be used in individual, small and/or large group activities. The cards can be used as a writing exercise. Students may role play the situations described on the cards 
For another activity on playground safety, check out 
Safety KidZ: Playground Safety Star Rules

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Feeling of Fall

I'm sitting here this morning --drinking my coffee--and catching up on the news! A feeling of fall is definitely in the air!  School is back in swing in most schools---and some will be starting next week.  Many kids are and will be riding the school bus.  Here's an activity that  is a good review of bus safety rules! Find the activity at

School Bus Safety Checklist

Friday, September 4, 2015

Welcome to KidZ Learning Connection

Welcome to the KidZ Learning Connection blog!  I am new to blogging----but am excited to learn and to share resources, ideas and tools for your classroom and also your home!  I have a wide variety of interests - ranging from health to safety to social studies - to career education.  I also love home decorating  and cooking, so I will share some of those things with you too!  Take a look at what we're about on the KidZ Learning Teachers Pay Teachers Store -

I'll be back soon!