Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Incorporating Writing into Thanksgiving Activities

As a second grade teacher I think it'd be a crime not to include some sort of Thanksgiving art activity into my lessons, but I know my administrators wouldn't approve of a solely art based project taking up instructional time either. This is how "Turkeys in Disguise" was born!

This resource incorporates creative writing into an art project in the most fun and engaging way. The goal is to save the turkey's from all the hungry people on Thanksgiving by giving them a clever disguise. They must first complete a variety of brainstorming, organizing, and writing activities to plan exactly what they will do before creating their fun turkey costumes. 

Step 1: Brainstorming

Students will come up with  8 ideas of people, animals, or things they can disguise their turkey as. 

Step 2: Organizing Ideas

Students map out exactly what clothing they will create for their turkey. Encourage students to include accessories, jewelry, or props that could go with their turkey friend!

Step 3: My Turkey's Turkey Day Plan

Students create plans for what their turkeys will do with all his/her time off on Thanksgiving while he is under cover. It's so entertaining to read things like "My Firefighter Turkey went to the forrest to eat his sandwich between fires."

Step 4: Paragraph Time

Students get to transform their graphic organizers into paragraphs that they can present to the class with their finished turkeys! Have students write one paragraph about what it's disguise will look like and another about what the turkeys will do on their day off. There are 3 paragraph options for the different levels of readers/writers you may have in your class. The first is a blank page for higher level learners, the second has some sentence starters for students who need a little push, and the third has several fill in the blank sentences for students who struggle with creating their own. These leveled paragraphs are great for differentiating instruction! 

Step 5: Time for your Turkey Disguise!

Students finally get to put all that planning into action! Using their description of how their disguise will look, they can cut out their turkey and get decorating! I had my students use construction paper to create clothes for their turkeys, kind of like clothes for a paper doll, but you can always just have them color the costume on the turkey as well. 

This is an activity they will never forget, and you'll definitely get a kick out of what they create too! Just check out "Nelly the Turkey Nurse!" :) 

BONUS: Black and White Versions of EVERY PAGE included!
Ink is no longer an issue!

When you use this engaging and educational product in your class, please snap a picture and tag me in it on Instagram {link in the sidebar}. I love seeing these turkeys come to life! Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your time off from school, God knows you deserve it! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Can You Hear Me Now? YES!

This week was groundbreaking in my 2nd grade class, and I just had to share why with you! My donors choose project was funded and part of the goodies I ordered was a portable PA system with 2 wireless mics!

Now I know many of you are wondering why anyone would need a PA system for a single classroom?! God knows my voice is loud enough to be heard light years away, so why bother? The answer is in this picture below:

These are two of my students finally sharing their creative writing assignments with the class!! I couldn't believe how the simple change of presentation method made every student want to share their work. I'm talking everyone! Of course those kids who always want to share every single detail of their lives with anyone who'll listen were thrilled, but my shy students who barely speak above a whisper were excited too! And the best part, no more "What'd she say? I can't hear him! Speak up! Use your big voice!" With this little gem the whole class can hear whoever is presenting from the front to the back of the class with ease! 

I've seen such a change in my class in just the week we've had this system, and it couldn't have been easier to set up. The speaker is lightweight and comes already assembled, so all you have to do is put 2 AA batteries in the microphones and turn it on. This is a Pure Acoustics Wireless Portable PA System and it's on sale for $99! The sound quality is fantastic, and it connects to bluetooth too! Also, check out Donors Choose to get donations for this and other classroom supplies you need! Happy teaching! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mega Giveaway Part 2!

It's time for the 2nd round of giveaways on Teachers Pay Teachers Social Marketplace! Quick recap: after reaching 1000 followers, several collaborators on this awesome Facebook page are giving away 6 $25 TPT gift cards.  You know you want one :) This giveaway will only be open through November 5, so enter now!

The 3rd, and final, round of giveaways will be open November 5-7, so check back here for links then! CLICK THIS LINK to enter these giveaways, and be sure to follow Food For Taught on Instagram :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


As some of you may already know, I am a the featured teacher moderator on a the Teachers Pay Teachers Social Marketplace Facebook group. Well as of this week, this group has reached 1000 followers! With news like that we need to celebrate, so some amazing teachers and myself have collaborated to bring y'all 6 different giveaways! That's right, 6 chances to win a 25$ TPT gift card!

Click THIS LINK to enter giveaway 1 and THIS LINK to enter giveaway 2. These giveaways will run from November 1-3, so enter now and stay tuned for the next 2 giveaways November 3-5! Don't forget to follow Food for Taught on Instagram when you enter, and GOOD LUCK! ;)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Double Freebies for Columbus Day!

Today was a great day! I'd love to say it was great because I taught a fantastic, inspiring, life-changing lesson on Columbus, but alas, that would be a lie. Today was great because my school is one of the the lucky ones that has OFF on Columbus Day! Thanks Chris ;) So instead of sailing the ocean blue I sailed the wine aisle of the grocery store and worked on lesson plans binge watched Gilmore Girls.

What made the day even better is that we're starting to see a glimpse of fall weather down here in Louisiana! This combination of glorious happenings has put me in a great mood, so I've decided to have TWO flash freebies this week! Both avaliable until October 15th!

Number 1: As this first nine weeks comes to an and your students' desks are probably in need of a serious clean out-I know mine were! Just put a few of these Desk Fairy Labels and a treat in the desks that are tidy, and like magic, the rest of the desks will be spotless within the hour!

Number 2: This Changes Activity is a great way for students to assess how they have changed already throughout their lives. I love getting a glimpse into their minds to view how they see themselves now compared to how they saw themselves just a few short years ago. This activity goes great with any Social Studies unit on communities and changes, and is a part of my Communities Bundle.

I hope all you other lucky ducks who had today off had a fantastic day as well, and to the rest of my teacher friends who did not, don't worry only 29 teaching days till Thanksgiving break :)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Flash Freebie!

This week's Flash Freebie is a special one featuring a product from my last post. I decided to give away my Banana Fact Family Activity for free until October 7th! Watch your students take on fact families with ease with this engaging and educational activity. My seconds loved how they made our classroom tree look, and I loved how quickly they mastered this important skill. Grab it now!

Liven Up The Reading Corner

During my late night Pinterest sessions I'm always amazed by the size of the bulletin boards in some teachers' classrooms! My largest board is about 3 feet long, which is definitely not big enough to display very much student work. I decided to start displaying my assignments in more creative ways around the room to accommodate my spacing issue. Now my reading corner is bursting with color, and my 2nds love it! 

Instead of fact families on paper, I created these cute little banana fact families. I was shocked at how much more excited my students were to work on their math, and they look adorable hanging from my classroom palm tree. :)

After finishing their tests on Fridays, I usually have a writing or math activity for my students to work on while their classmates finish up. To give this week's assignment a little more pizazz I decided to make these creative writing fish. Students can write down all the things they would do if they were a fish, then cut them out and decorate them. My spelling word pirate ship is finally complete with these little guys jumping all around it!

Pirate cove is home to some more traditional work. Students created paragraphs about the story elements from our weekly text, and this dollar tree valence was the perfect border to add some extra flair! Now when the kiddos are reading in our library they can also enjoy perusing their classmates' work. I wonder what we'll add next week!