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January Favorites! Art Projects, Dramatic Play, How-To Writing, 100th Day, New Years... and more!

Hey, there!  Looking for some great resources to use in your classroom as we kick off the new year?  Here's a run down of all my favorites:

New Year's Project:

This one is PERFECT for a fun writing & art project to do the first week you get back to school!  It makes a wonderful hallway display and keepsake.  Lots of options and extras are included!

Dramatic Play: Fitness Center and/or Hot Cocoa & Ice Skating!

These are both SO CUTE to see your kids using their imaginations with!  For each one, you only need a few props (like maybe a few very light hand weights and a mat borrowed from your school gym... or paper plates to use as "skates" and some plastic cups for pretend cocoa) and the kids will take it from there!  Dramatic play is always the most popular option for my kids at choice time. :)

The Mitten by Jan Brett

This bundle has it ALL: reading, writing, math, art, retelling, games, finger plays, a class book, vocabulary, & more!  I love teaching all of this, but I currently have it printed out and put in an envelope for my emergency sub plans!!!  It would fill DAYS upon DAYS ...and be so fun for the guest teacher and kids if I ever need to be out.  

Penguin Directed Drawing & Animal Research

These are both a MUST-DO for me in January!  This is a bundle, but you can also purchase them separately. I like to have "Penguin Week" and do the 5-day research project M-F and conclude with some "Fun Friday Art."

Animal Research: 

Kids each get a little packet and do some quick K/1 appropriate VERY AUTHENTIC writing practice (one page per day and topics are: diagram, habitat, food, babies -eek! so cute!-, & fun facts.). As we wrap up the writing (only takes 5-10 minutes max), then we watch a few teacher-approved YouTube video clips (1-3 min each) that make everything we learned about that day literally COME TO LIFE!!!  Write about how baby penguins hatch from the eggs... and then see it happen!!  Write about how penguins "fly" underwater and shoot up onto the ice... and then witness it with your own eyes! Animal research is one of my kid's favorite things!  We try to learn about a new animal at least every other week.

Directed Drawing: 

This comes with two unique features:

✏️ Print and Go, "Perfect Start" Paper (has special starting points already lightly printed on it to ensure ALL artists get off to a perfect start!)

✏️A gorgeous, full color show that guides everyone step-by-step through the drawing process. You get detailed photos, clear explanations worded in ways that kids understand, tips and reassurance for artists, and loads of creative variations so all YOU have to do is flip through this show and read what it says aloud, one page at a time. Super simple to teach!

More Animal Research!

If you and your class end up loving the animal research as much as my class & I do, these are also perfect for January- March!


This is the time of year we usually get into How-To writing! Need books, papers, writing ideas, and easy-to-follow, super thoughtful lesson plans?  

My team usually feels like this is the time of year our kiddos need a little extra CVC writing practice so we've added these pages into their journals.  Simple & cheap!  Great for homework, small groups, or whole class!

100th Day

Is your 100th Day in January or February?  Either way, you'll LOVE this bundle!  It includes THE BEST ART PROJECT OF ALL TIME, several cute class books, & a word search.  If you don't already have this, you probably need it. :)

I hope that little roundup of January resources was helpful!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wear It, Say It, LEARN IT!πŸ‘‹πŸΌ Oh, hey there!  I'm just a constant friendly reminder of how to make the "-ing" sound today! πŸ˜† I had the kids all tell me what it says before they went on a break and several times throughout the day when it made sense (like talking about writing and vocab words). Try it out!! I got a 4-pack of name badges for just a few dollars on Amazon and typed up a ton of cards to fit perfectly - letters, sounds, sight words, numbers, shapes, tallies, ten frames, math facts, etc. Grab it in my store if you want to save time / just print what you want... or make your own! ❤️πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

Distance Learning Tips and Tricks

Teacher friends! Are you distance teaching this school year? If so, you NEED to check out this website.  
I created it just for you! 

I'm here to help you: 
✅Set up your space in a way that makes sense and works well for you and the kids 
✅Manage your classroom online 
✅Keep class FUN & engaging 
✅Grow relationships with your students 
✅Explore helpful tools (especially for Zoom, but may be similar on other platforms) 
✅Troubleshoot the most common technical issues 

I originally created this site to help teachers in my district who were transitioning to 100% distance teaching. I’ve been doing it all school year so needless to say- I learned a LOT in the couple months “head start” I got. 

Their response was so overwhelmingly thankful and amazed that I knew I had to share it with YOU, too!

So here I am, just sharing my experiences & ideas in hopes that it will save you time & help you stress less about this new "adventure" of distance teaching. Please CLICK HERE to check it out & share, share, share this with all your other distance teaching friends! 

The TOP FREE Google Fonts You Need in Your Collection!

Hello, my fellow font lovers!
Just popping in to make sure you know there are THOUSANDS of FREE fonts on Google you can use in any of the Google apps!  Sorting through them all can be a bit overwhelming, so I wanted to save you some precious time & share all my FAVORITES with you!  They're organized into 3 groups: BOLD, easy-to-read, & fun!
 Once you're in a Google app (Google Slides, Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.), just open your font menu and click on "More Fonts" at the top.  You can search for any of these by name!  Have fun!  Hope that helps!

TOP 5 Teacher Favorites for Back to School!

HEY, Teachers!  Ever wonder what's HOT with other teachers?  Here are the TOP 5 most popular resources in my TPT store this back to school season!  Check them out and see if there's anything you need!

1. 36 Awesome Activities & Games to Use on Zoom or Google Meet   {click here}  This one was a lifeline for me during distance learning this Spring and really helped me get all my class Zoom meetings planned out in advance.  SO MANY fun ideas here you'll love trying with your new class!!!  BONUS: It also includes a huge editable collection of "expectation slides" you can use to teach your students how we do things online. Yes, please!   

2. Editable Weekly Newsletters in Google Slides {click here} 145 GORGEOUS options you can personalize and make your own.  100% of the boxes and text are EDITABLE.  Perfect for communicating with families.  Easy to print or send digitally.  Teachers are LOVING THIS!!! 

3. Self Portrait Directed Drawing {click here} Definitely my all-time favorite art project to use in person or online.  If you' don't already have this, you need it in your teaching life!  It comes with a step-by-step PDF show that guides you and your class through exactly what to do.  You will be SHOCKED how much these end up looking exactly like your students!  1,700+ 5 star reviews tell you it's the real deal!   

4.  Distance Learning Organization Kit
 {click here}. I literally used this EVERYDAY during distance learning. It includes daily and weekly lesson plan templates, super cute morning meeting slides, and pages and pages of tips and tricks for getting organized and sharing lessons in a kid-friendly, simple format.  Want to see some of it in action? Here's a quick video! 

5. BRAND NEW! The Ultimate Digital Math Activity Bundle {click here} We literally spent all Summer making these and you guys... they are SO fun! They feel much more like an exciting game or wild scavenger hunt than any kind of work, but they're definitely an awesome way to practice math skills!  15 fun themed games are included and they all come with QR codes, optional recording pages, and directions for how to share them easily online or in class.  Perfect for whatever format your teaching takes this year!  

The #1 organizational tool you need for distance learning, hybrid, in person ... or all three!

Hey, teacher friends!  Want to get organized with your student assessments no matter what format our teaching and learning takes this year? You're going to want to see this!

Some quick background: I've been using and loving Data Notebooks for YEARS in my classroom. Basically each student had a folder for tracking their assessments and growth.  It included graphs and kid-friendly visuals so the kids could see what they knew, what they were working on, how they were making progress, and what their goals were for the end of the year!  Not only that, it kept me super organized and it was PERFECT for parent teacher conferences - we'd literally just chat and flip through their data notebooks!  Here's a 2 minute peek at how they looked if you're curious and want to just skim through this visual, but


So... with all the uncertainty this year, I was wondering how I could still incorporate data notebooks if my class shifts between in person and online learning or does all one of the other.  It took a little investigating, but I'm SUPER EXCITED to announce ..... 
YOU CAN DO DATA NOTEBOOKS DIGITALLY!  And not only that- it's EASY & they're actually more beautiful and organized than ever! πŸŽ‰  We can still use them in person on my iPad, but now we can share our screens over Zoom or Google Meet and use them that way, too!  

All you need is:
  • This Data Notebook resource (includes simple step-by-step instructions and over 200 pages of assessment options!)
  • The Noteability app (which you will surely love for MORE than just data notebooks- it's super slick)
  • Your chosen technology: Mac, iPad, or iPhone (sorry, Noteability only works with iOS and Mac right now)
Here's my step-by-step video tutorial on how easy it is to create and use your digital data notebooks.  Check it out and let me know what you think or lmk if you have any questions!
I'm SO excited about this and hope it was helpful for you in figuring out how you'll stay organized this school year!  It's going to be awesome.  😎

Teaching from Home? 5 Sanity-Saving Tips You NEED to Try!

Hi!  If you're reading this, I'm guessing you're bravely diving into the world of distance learning!  Me, tooooo! There's definitely a learning curve to all this new-ness, isn't there?!  So that's why I'm here: to share some of the things that are SAVING MY LIFE right now! I hope it makes your life a little easier, too.  Let's go!


If you haven't done much on Google Drive yet, THIS IS YOUR TIME TO TRY IT OUT!  Do you have other people at your school you can share ideas and plans with?  Google Drive is a game changer because you can all be looking at a document or presentation at the same time, editing it in real time while you're on a Zoom call together ...or you can add your links and ideas anytime and know that everyone from your team will be able to see and access it.  It's the ultimate way to share the load of distance learning... and that leads me to tip #2...


I really hope you have a team or at least one like-minded colleague that will share ideas and work with you (if not though, keep reading because I have ideas for you, too...).  For example, my kindergarten team is sending out 3-4 short video lessons per day to our students (I'll show you what that looks like in a sec).  At first we thought we'd all do our own videos, but we pretty quickly realized that would be SO. Much. Work!  If you're up for that, hey- more power to you, but when I go to our Google Drive and just grab the link for each day's math or writing lesson from my friend, I almost want to cry because I'm SO RELIEVED to not be doing this all alone.  What a gift to be able to share.

If you're feeling alone though, I want to encourage you that you can find some teacher friends to support you on TPT and also on various Facebook groups.  For example, my school is using Seesaw as our content sharing platform and there is a "Seesaw Teachers" Facebook group that is overflowing with knowledge and helpful info to get each other through this time.  Whatever YOU are using (any specific curriculum or platform or grade level) search for it on Facebook, and chances are there is a group there ready to answer your questions.  Also- check the group's search feature because your good question may have already been asked and answered!  If you're on Seesaw like me, be sure to check out the "activities library" for TONS of FREE activities you can use with your class.  We're all in this together.  πŸ’•


It really helps me visualize everything when I have two main templates that are editable in Google Slides : a weekly AND a daily template.

  •  Here's the scoop on the weekly template:

You could use this in so many efficient ways:
  1. Get Yourself and Your Team Organized: It can help you see what’s coming up this week.  If you’re sharing with teammates, you can even share it over Google Slides so you can all edit and add links!
  2. A Weekly Newsletter: It can give parents, students, and/or administration an overview of your week.  You could make it as detailed or general as you wish. Personally, I send it out Sunday evenings to parents so they can have a quick peek at what is coming up.   It says basic things like “Writing Journal, page 1” or “Math Lesson about more and less.” You could add learning targets, links, and more, but mine is just a simple week-at-a-glance with no links because I want them to get the links from my daily slide and not work ahead. 
  3. A Guide for Students: You could also share this with your students and, depending on their age, it might be a really efficient way to give them their weekly assignments.  I’m staying away from this because I think it would overwhelm and confuse my kindergarteners, but YOU know your students best!

  • Now here's the scoop on the DAILY template:

This is how my students get each day's lessons. They just click on each picture and it zips them over to a video or site. SIMPLE. CLEAR. BEAUTIFUL.

I send my students a one-page PDF (like the example here- you choose the stickers and arrange them any way you wish) each morning that contains the day's 3-4 lessons represented as picture stickers. Each picture is linked to a video so that when kids click on the picture, they can follow the directions in the video and before they know it- their schoolwork for the day is done!  YAY! πŸŽ‰

You can create/edit everything in Google Slides and downloaded as a PDF ...and if you're saying, "Wait- HOW do I do that?! And how do I link the stickers to a video?!" I promise it's all super easy and I'm giving out simple step-by-step details if you need them!  You can do it and I'll help you!

The stickers though! 😍They make me soooo happy! There are almost 100 of them so most everything you'd want is there, but you also get blank, editable ones in case you need to add anything.


Okay, not really (how did we sign up for THIS?!), but I do have a list of my TOP 10 secrets for creating awesome teaching videos at home (...even if you don't feel like a YouTube star)!  You can read all about it HERE!


If you're still searching for a way to deliver and share content with your students, I will tell you I've been using Seesaw for years and I love it - in both my face-to-face AND distance learning classroom.  It's kid-friendly (remember, I teach 5 year olds, so if they can figure it out, most kids can!) and parents love it, too.  The student work journal is the perfect place to post links to your daily (or weekly) lessons for kids.  

As I mentioned earlier, Seesaw also has a huge free library where teachers can share activities.  They also have a "Blog" feature I'm using for my students to do "Show and Tell."  Students can post pictures or videos (everything has to be teacher approved before it actually hits the blog) and they can comment on each other's posts (these also require teacher approval, which I love.).  I'm a huge Seesaw fan.  And remember- if you have any questions, their Facebook page is awesome.

I hope these TOP 5 tips help save you tons of time and sanity during distance learning!  πŸ’– We're in this together!