Celebrating Easter in the Classroom

Hi friends! It's Haley from My Silly Firsties! I wanted to stop by and share a little bit of Easter fun we have had and things we will be doing for the rest of the week! :) I have babies of many different religions in my room so I definitely keep it very non-religious! We still have tons of fun though! 

First, we did a fun little skip counting activity! We are working hard skip counting by 2s and immediately I thought of bunny ears! We used Jennifer's directed drawing. First, I showed them how to do it once. Then I gave them a LONG sheet of butcher paper and let them go to town!

Then they skip counted above the bunnies to count the ears! It really helped solidify not counting each ear, but counting by 2s to make it more efficient!

We had state testing today and it was a LONG day for us. My babies had to be quiet and that just does NOT come natural to them, hahaha. I needed a fun "break" this afternoon that would still let them practice their writing! We did this precious craftivity from Cupcake and I'm so glad we did!! I barely ever do crafts where they just cut/glue but it was too cute to pass up. Plus, like I said, I just needed a break, haha!

 A few years ago, I made this simple little write the room freebie that you could easily print and use this week!

I also made these SUPER fun math and literacy centers! My sweeties LOVE them! I can't wait to use these this week! You can click the pictures to see it on TPT! :)

Here are some of my favorite Easter read-alouds!

And finally, if you want some more holiday ideas, be sure to follow my holiday board on Pinterest!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Easter! I'd love to know how you celebrate!

For the 'Pun' of it: Fun Ideas for Teaching About Puns!

Hello Friends!!  

I am excited to share the fun way my kids have been learning about different puns.  

They have been having a blast getting their own secret pun each day and creating a visual display for the literal and non-literal meanings behind each pun.

Puns can be found by simply searching google.  I found a great FREE resource that I used.  Check it out!

And here are some of the fun ways my kids have described these fun puns:

I hope you can have as much fun with your class as we have learning about puns!

Happy Teaching!
Jen Bengel

Who Wants to Go to VEGAS?!?!

 Have you ever been to VEGAS?!?!?!
Sparkling lights, amazing sights, and delicious bites...can't you just picture yourself in VEGAS?


Well Primary Chalkboard and SDE are giving you a chance to visit LAS VEGAS!

That's right!  Primary Chalkboard and SDE are giving away your choice of any SDE session in Vegas.

But that's not all, we're also giving away a $25 gift card to the Crystal Springs Bookstore, so you can have a little something to take home with you!

Still, that's not all!  Primary Chalkboard is also giving you $300 in cash to help pay for your transportation, room, food, or whatever expenses you have!

NOW can you "Picture Your Selfie" in VEGAS?

I'll bet you're asking yourself how can you enter to win this fabulous prize, right?

Well, here's how to do just that.

Each of us has a "tip" for visiting Las Vegas.  You simply visit and "like" each page below.
On each tip, you will find a card and on that card is a number.  Keep track of those numbers and add them together.  You will enter that on the Rafflecopter below.

You can also get an additional entry by posting a selfie on Instagram holding a sign telling us why you want to come to Vegas.   
Be sure to use #primarychalkboardsendmetovegas so it will count.

We hope we see YOU in VEGAS!


Teaching Kids about Bees- Freebie

Hello, Katie here form Teacher to the Core! Is there anything better than the Springtime? Yes, summer vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But for the moment the world is blossoming and so are our students!!!

 Bees are fascinating to children, thus making them the PERFECT material for reading, writing, close reading questions, and smart art!
Busy Bees Freebie From Teacher to the Core- Enjoy
The passage is about  a RR 16, Level H/I, and Grade level 2.0 with questions to test comprehension.  It’s a freebie for you!!! Enjoy my loves!
Download now new
If you would like to buy this unit it is on TpT. You can click {here}.

  TPT 3

No Worksheet Wednesday #4!

It's our final No Worksheet Wednesday!!!
We just want to say THANK YOU for participating in this fun linky all month!
Everyone learned so much and gathered so many wonderful ideas from all of the bloggers who participated. Although our linky party ends this week, we know that we will all continue to embed the thinking behind No Worksheet Wednesday into our classrooms EVERY day! :)

Link up below to share your fun-filled day of learning with us!

No Worksheet Wednesday #3!

It's No Worksheet Wednesday #3!
Let's keep these fabulous ideas going by linking up with us again this week!

If this is your first week joining us, make a vow not to use a single worksheet every Wednesday for the month of March.  (Remember, recording sheets that allow students to record their thinking are not worksheets. Writing paper and journals are a great way to embed authentic writing into your lessons without the need for a "worksheet.")

Each week, take pictures and blog about a couple activities you did for No Worksheet Wednesday. Share those pictures and activities on your blog and then link up with us on the Primary Chalkboard to share with others!  The linky party is below this post. 

Please be sure to grab the button at the top of this post and use it in your blog post. Link back to us in your post.  The linky button will be open from Wednesday morning at 6:00am EST  to 11:00pm EST on Tuesday.  Then, the next week's "party" will begin! 
The final linky party for will be held on Wednesday, March 25th!

Opinion Writing (Freebie) in the Primary Classroom

One of the things that I miss most about classroom teaching is teaching writing. I get to do a little bit of writing in my current position, but it's not as in depth as when I was a classroom teacher. Writing was always such a challenge to teach for various reasons, but I always enjoyed it. It always seemed like I would get super inspired during a writing lesson. I loved to watch the growth of my little firsties as the year progressed. You could always plan a writing lesson, but it would always take a turn because it's all about the students! They all have different needs, different strengths and skills. Every mini lesson or writing task would open my eyes to something new I needed to teach. For some reason, it equally excited and panicked me. Ha! 

Earlier this year a teacher at my school came to me asked for help with a writing assignment that she wanted to do for her class. She is an amazing writer and a phenomenal teacher, but this was a new grade level for her, so she wanted to take her idea and make sure she was teaching it in an age appropriate way. I was more than excited to help! 

Hopefully the format of this writing lesson will inspire you to think of another opinion writing project. :) For most of my opinion writing lessons, I followed these steps.  

The assignment: She wanted her kids to write her a persuasive letter, where they try to convince her to go on the field trip of their choice. Here's what we came up with:

She made her own chart using chart paper that showed the choices they had. (She had different choices but since it was so long ago, I couldn't remember them!) With this chart, you could brainstorm with the class things you would do on this field trip and what you could learn. That will help decide which is the best.

After doing that first chart, give your students time to talk. Yep. Talking time. Give it a little structure by instructing them to use the statements like, I think _________ would be the best field trip because... or We should go to ______________ because ______________. This individual student page with go to all the students, but first, I would make my own on chart paper. Explain each section. Use oral writing to model the format (almost like you are writing a paper in front of them but only with words.) Point to each section as you are speaking to where where you are at. Then give them time to talk again about possible reasons why they should go on their field trip. 

This is an optional extra to guide them before writing so they can put in transition words. Have them choose one transition word from each box. Those words would then be used before each reason. If you haven't done any lessons on transition words, you would need to spend more time on this part. :) Again, give them opportunities to practice their sentences by giving them talking time. Have them point to their own planning page as they add in the transition words. 

Now we are ready to write! This class used a letter format, so she had an additional lesson earlier about the parts of a letter.  

If you haven't gone over parts of a letter, you could use this format, which is more of an opinion writing page. (I would copy more lines on the other side obviously, so there was more room to write).

For those younger kids, I would use something like this:

You know I love rubrics! I create a rubric for each format above. Make sure your students see the rubric before they begin writing so they know what is expected. After filling out the rubric, talk to your students about goals. What is something that they can work on for next time? What is something that they did well? Keep track of these strengths and areas of growth. Provide time to talk with your students about how they can reach those goals. Then for the next assignment, refer back so you can remember what they are working on and how you can support them. :)

If there is one thing I want to take away from this, it's that writing is a process and not a worksheet. :) Trust me, I've been guilty in the past of just assigning writing and not truly teaching/modeling it. Aaaaand, once you are done with a writing assignment, you have really just begun! :)

Head on over to my blog if you want to pick up this sample lesson!