Fun with Conversation Hearts {Unit and Freebie}

A few years ago, I created this fun unit to use for a themed day on Valentine's Day.  This past week, I started prepping the file for my maternity sub.  I just love the unit.  It has activities for each content area and the kids love the hands on activities.

This year Target is selling this cute set of heart books in a package of 8 books for $3.  I picked up a couple to glue in the heart shaped unit. The book is a little smaller than the ones last year so I adjusted my print settings.  You can print at full size and it will be okay.  The example shown has been printed at a shrink setting of 85%.

To ensure my sub knows how to complete the activities, I completed a book myself for an example.  Here's the preview images...

If you're interested in the unit for $2, click the cover graphic below.  You will need a little time to prep.  I will say, you can simple print and staple.  It doesn't have to be cut and glued in the books but my kiddos love making them each year.

I also have an excellent book companion for the story, Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch that I love using with my kiddos each year. Discounted 50% off through Feb 1st, 2020.

And, if you're looking for a cute freebie, I have one that aligns with the story When an Elephant Falls in Love. However, you don't need the book to complete this reproducible activity.

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100th Day of Fun

This Wednesday is our 100th Day of School.  I'm thrilled for the kids but sad for myself.  I love all the themed activities you can do with the kiddos and dressing up with them just makes me giggle. 

This year I'm on maternity but my sub is planning to dress up with the kids.  I can't wait to see pictures of their little outfits. 

Keeping with our normal schedule, I modified the activities to fit the allotted time. I've planned a full themed day with most activities as previously paid units and freebies I've acquired from TpT over the past 11 years.  I will link all pictures to their owner so you can check them out. Some are paid and others are freebies.

8:30-8:45 My kiddos enter the room and begin working on their morning work each day.  Our activity for the day will be a 100th Day ABC Order.

Paid Unit

8:45-9:15 Our entire team switches kids based on their direct level of instruction to work within the SIPPs program.  Since this is an intervention based measure, we won't complete 100 day activities during this time.

9:15-9:45 Our iReady lab time is required by the school/district.  This is also an intervention based measure so we won't complete 100 day activities at this time.

9:45-10:15 For our reading block, we will be working with the story 100th Day Worries.  To follow up, we will complete this response.

Paid Unit

10:15-10:45 At this time each day, we go to centers.  I won't change this block due to our title one teachers who service for intervention reading groups.  We will proceed with our normal rotation of centers and guided reading.

10:48-11:18 Lunch

11:20-12:00 Students will complete 100 Day Math Center Rotations.  During this time, they will begin with a specific activity and move a different center as it comes available. 

 Free Unit

 Free Unit

Paid Unit 

Free Unit


Free Download

For early finishers, students will work on their math scrolls. I started our annual math club, math scrolls a few weeks ago.  The kids are scrolling to a 1000, one hundred at a time.  A 100 chart is stapled to a paper towel roll.  The kids will complete the corresponding numbers written at the top (ex 1-100, 101-200, etc). Once they complete 100, they turn in the scroll.  If the numbers are written correctly (not inverted or backwards), they will receive a new 100 the following day to complete.  If they are incorrect, I will record their mistake and the kids will redo the 100 the following day.  Each correctly completed chart will get their popsicle stick moved to the next 100 pouch.

Free Download

12:00-12:30 Recess
12:30-1:00 Specials

1:00-1:30 Students will complete two different writing and illustrating activities.  I always get a giggle out of what they come up with.

Paid Unit 

This file was free when I downloaded but not now.  Sorry!
I linked a similar file for free.

1:30-2:00 Each day my kiddos complete a rotation of phonics centers.  I won't cancel this block of time because it aligns with their spelling and sight words for the week.

2:00-2:15 Planners

2:15-2:45 Students will read the current Scholastic Magazine with content on the 100th Day.  They will also be provided a 100 Day booklet to complete while preparing for dismissal.

Free Unit

2:45 Dismissal

The kiddos will love the activities and a break from our regular lessons for the week.  I hope you find a resource you might like.  As stated earlier, this is a collection of activities I've acquired over 11 years being on TpT.  I didn't go out and buy and download them all at once.  There are many creative resources available but I didn't wanted to overwhelm my maternity sub with resources that involved a lot of prep for the entire day.  Happy Teaching Friends!

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Chinese NY {Freebie}

Hi Friends,

I wanted to drop in and share a free resource for Chinese NY.  I went out on maternity a week ago and wanted to create something but being 37 weeks swollen wasn't allowing me to.  I search TpT and found a great resource for my sub to complete with my class.  I know this comes a day late, but you can always pin the content, link to the TpT and download the file, and save the videos for next year.

I broke up the resource over the four day week since we were out Monday for the holiday.  Each day we read a book and discussed the traditions.  This came at a perfect time because we've been working on compare and contrast.  The kids were able to discuss how their celebration of the new year was different from ours in the US.

Here's the resources cover from Stories and Songs in Second.  If you click the graphic below, it will take you to the file.

Tuesday we began our discussion with what the kids know about Chinese NYs.  I work in a title one school with very little background knowledge so I pulled up a little video from my favorite website, Brainpopjr.  I pay for the monthly subscription.  It's minimum amount yet worth every penny.  However, they show a weekly video for free and last week's video was about Lunar NY.  If you link now by clicking the graphic, it's still available for free.

Once the kids had a little background knowledge, they discussed some new learning.  Then we read a book.  I'm embedding a video of the different books I shared last week so you can hear and see them before deciding if you might like to add them to your collection.

After our story, we discussed the symbol of dragons with the freebie.  This allowed us to have some time to focus on additional phonics from our SIPPs lessons and choral reading.  We colored the image and glued into our journal.

Wednesday we repeated our lesson.  We started with a discussion about Chinese NYs and what they knew or could add to what they know.  Then read another book.

After our story, we discussed the symbol of paper lanterns with the freebie.  This allowed us to have some time to focus on additional phonics from our SIPPs lessons and choral reading.  We colored the image and glued into our journal.

As with Wednesday, we repeated our mini lesson and added to what we already know before reading a new story.

After our story, we discussed the symbol of gold coins and envelopes with the freebie.  This allowed us to have some time to focus on additional phonics from our SIPPs lessons and choral reading.  We colored the image and glued into our journal.

Friday was a repeat of the week with this story...

After our story, we discussed the symbol of firecrackers with the freebie.  This allowed us to have some time to focus on additional phonics from our SIPPs lessons and choral reading.  We colored the image and glued into our journal.

I know the kids loved the resource and scooped up a bit of new learning this week.  We had a huge week of writing with our Martin Luther King Biographies so I wanted to ensure they had an easier time with their social studies lessons.  Hope you find the resources helpful.  Happy Teaching!

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Bats {Freebie Investigations}

If you teach primary grades in October, you know it's a busy month.  We have many topics that thematically are exciting for the kids.  However, finding a 30 minute block of time between required subjects and pacing guides can be a tight squeeze.

October starts with fire safety and pumpkins. If you toss in bats, owls, spiders or even nocturnal animals, you are narrowing the timeline.  How about Red Ribbon Week? As the month comes to a close it's all things witches, monsters, ghost and goblins ...And that's to say, if your timeline is like mine with the 50th day of school then the squeeze is definitely real.  Even though it's a busy month, it's also one of the most engaging and exciting months to teach.  Our students are acclimated to our classroom setting, rituals, and routines.  They're gaining confidence and willing to read and write on these exciting topics. This week I will squeeze a few themed lessons in for bats during our reading and/or science block.

 Last year my kids worked on the following activities and gushed about them.  Here's a peek of the freebie file...

Students collaborate in six different groups cutting 100 mosquitos each for a classroom display.  You can hear the collective sigh when the kids see how many mosquitos a bat can eat in an hour.  It's a powerful display!

These are the two stories I used during the week to compare fiction and non fiction.  There are many other texts but these are personally my favorite!

Here are a few charts and a reproducible that I used with my class after reading Stellaluna and Fly Guy Bats.

We created our first diagram.  I bought a bat skeleton from Target for very cheap and a human skeleton from The Dollar Tree. We held the two and compared them.  Then we worked to identify the bones.

Oscar and the Bat is a perfect book to expose students to sound and discuss echolocation.  The kids are truly amazed by the sounds they hear once they complete the hands on investigation.  The rest of the kids are sitting watching the reaction waiting to know what is being heard.  This little nugget said it's like "Star Wars" his my ears.  LOL.

As my little nugget wrote in his response, the momma bats can find their pups by scent.  For this investigation,  I poured drops of different extract scents on cotton balls and passed them out to the class.  We have class numbers so I secretly placed them on the cup.  While they were working on a task, I placed a cotton ball on their desk so they never saw the numbers.  I also wrote a letter on the bottom of the cup and on the matching bottle of extract so I knew what student had each of the different scents.  The kids had to use their sense of smell to find their bat family.

If you are interested in this freebie file, click the cover image above and it will take you to the file.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my kiddos did!

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