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Monday, October 1, 2018

National Fire Protection Association Resources

This is a post sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and SparkySchoolhouse.org.
However, all of the opinions stated in this post are my own.

October is Fire Prevention Month and October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. It's time to start gathering resources to help teach all about fire safety and prevention. This all-important subject should never be skipped and ample time should always be set aside to make sure you cover all the important topics.

Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a ton of resources for educators and families? They have exclusive, instructive fire prevention week materials that will surely excite and engage all children. All of their resources and materials are geared towards preschool through primary elementary school-aged children. They have videos, apps, lesson plans, and more and they are all easy to find, fun to use, and will surely make a lasting impression on children.

So, where do you find all these goodies? The first place you need to visit is Sparky School House. Sparky School House is the NFPA's teacher portal for fire safety education. Here you will find music, videos, games, and lesson plans. Just choose your grade level and have fun exploring all the fun materials.

Here's a music video called NFPA Firefighters on Their Way.
It's really cute! It teaches kids about the job of a firefighter and the role they play as community helpers and does it in a very catchy way.



Here are some of the lesson plans you'll find.
(Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.)
You'll find a teacher guide to Teaching Fire Prevention Week, and a how-to and design template for students and families to create a home fire escape plan. There's even a parent letter you can send home, which is offered in English and Spanish. Children are asked to assist their parents in finding the smoke alarms in their home and to test them to be sure they are in good working condition.



Interested in web-based apps for your students?
You'll find two here and here!



Help Sparky the Fire Dog® practice his home fire escape plan before going to the carnival! It's interactive and exciting, even for adults! LOL! There are even spelling and math lesson plans you can download that correlate with the app!



Another fun place to visit is Sparky.org. This is the NFPA's site for kids to learn on their level through activities, videos, and web-based games. Here you'll find printables for all ages and grade levels. I'll highlight a few of my favorites...

Teach kids how to prevent wildfires!


Here's a great way for students to practice their ABC's!



Everyone loves to find hidden pictures!

You'll also find an interactive way to learn all about firetrucks!



And tons and tons of videos!



This video teaches children how to make a home fire escape plan.



Here's a peek at the apps students can play.
Two of them are web-based and the rest can be played on a device.



There's so much I could show you, but my post would be way too long! I encourage you to click on the links in my post and explore on your own. I know you'll be as excited as I was to find these treasures! Please share the links with your teacher friends so everyone can enjoy them.

You can find Sparky and the NFPA on social media...

NFPA on Twitter
Sparky_Fire_Dog on Twitter
theNFPA on Facebook
SparkyTheFireDog on Facebook
NFPAdotorg and #SparkytheFireDog on Instagram
NFPA on Pinterest

Happy Fire Prevention Month!




Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sight Word Fluency Activities to Maximize Learning!

Do you find you don't have enough time in the day to teach everything you planned?

Of course you do!

­čśôSadly, most of us do!

Resources that maximize learning are sometimes hard to come by, which is why I'm always motivated to create my own activities that integrate different subjects and/or cover many different skills.

Here are some brand new Pre-Primer and Primer Sight Word Fluency activities that do just that! And, they're fun to complete, which is an added bonus!


These sight word fluency activity sheets combine the following skills...

✅sight word fluency

✅decoding unknown words using picture clues

✅handwriting practice


Each sheet highlights one Pre-Primer or Primer sight word.

To complete, students...

✅Read and color the word.

✅Write the word four times.

✅Read three similar sentences, which contain the sight word, plus many other sight words, most of which were previously taught. The sentences also contain one unknown word, followed by a picture clue. Students use the picture to help decode the unknown word.

✅Write each sentence, using their best handwriting.

Lots of skills being practiced in these activity sheets!

I created them in color and in black and white. You can print a colored set to laminate or put in page protectors, for students to complete with dry erase markers.

Or, you can print a sheet for each student.

I also used the same words and sentences in these sight word fluency books.


Children love to create books, right? I created these activity sheets and books to complement each other, but they can also be used alone.

They can both be used for...

✅morning work

✅whole groups

✅small groups

✅independent work

✅centers

✅interventions

✅homework

They are low prep for you and high interest for students!

The books can be taken home and read to family and friends or kept in book boxes for repeat readings.

I think you'll love them too, but, if you want to try before you buy, you will find a free activity sheet and a free book when you download the previews. 

Click here or below to see the activity sheets!



Click here or below to see the sight word books!


Want them both in a MONEY SAVING BUNDLE?
Click here or below to see the bundle!

I hope you enjoy these activities as much as I do!

Don't use the Pre-Primer or Primer words in your classroom?
No worries! Click here or below to see the activity sheets aligned to Kindergarten Journeys.



And click here or below to see the books aligned to Kindergarten Journeys.



Want them both in a MONEY SAVING BUNDLE?
Click here or below to see the bundle!



And click here or below to see the Sight Word Fluency Activity Sheets for the First Hundred Fry Words.



And, click here or below to see the Sight Word Fluency Books for the First Hundred Fry Words.



And, finally, if you want them both in a MONEY SAVING BUNDLE, click here or below to see the bundle!



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mead Laminator Review and Giveaway

My laminator and I have been best friends for quite a few years and I definitely cannot live without it. Sadly, it stopped working a few weeks ago and I was just about to purchase a new one, when, out of the blue, Mead contacted me, asking me if I'd be interested in trying out one of their personal laminators. They just came out with a brand new line of affordable laminators for the back to school season. Well, of course, I jumped at the chance for three reasons:

1. I needed a new laminator.

2. I wanted a really good, durable laminator and Mead® is a name-brand I trust.

3. Mead® is allowing me to give away a brand new laminator to a lucky teacher!

So, needless to say, deciding to review the laminator was a no-brainer for me!


Disclosure: I received compensation and/or products in exchange for writing this review, however, all opinions are my own. 


My new laminator arrived recently, and I was very excited to start using it because I had just created a new game and it was waiting to be laminated. I received the Mead® 12.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator.

Mead® also makes a 9.5" HeatSeal® Thermal Laminator, and a 9.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator.



My first impression was that it was a well made, attractive looking, white and gray laminator. No need to put this one away when not in use! I love the size and the fact that it is very lightweight. 


Inside the box was an instruction manual and a few Mead® EZAlign™ 3 mil Thermal Lamination Pouches. You can also use 5 mil lamination pouches, but I find 3 mil is sturdy enough for even my youngest learners.

See the grid lines through the plastic? Those really come in handy when you're trying to laminate in a straight line. Once the sheet passes through the laminator, the lines disappear. Poof!


The laminator I chose has a maximum document width of 12 1/2", which is perfect for laminating letter sized documents.
 The laminator itself is 18 1/2" x 5 x 3".


It isn't very wide, so it doesn't take up a lot of desk space. 


The on/off switch is in the back, along with the switch for the 3 mil, 5 mil, and cold settings. The cold setting is for the cold adhesive or pressure-sensitive pouches (not included.) There is also a jam release lever to quickly clear jammed or misfed pouches.


So, let's see how well this baby works!

The laminator heated up in about three minutes, which is way faster than my old laminator. I once owned a laminator that took so long to heat up, I'd plug it in and do some chores around the house while it heated up. With this laminator, I don't have to do any chores! Woo-hoo!

The outside of the laminator didn't get very hot, so I was able to laminate on my table without worrying about damaging it. 

Once the green light came on, I was ready to start laminating some gameboards from my Spin-a-Word Family game.


The document passed through nicely...


and looked smooth and felt very sturdy, when it was finished laminating.
 No bubbles. No flaws.


Time to laminate some of the playing cards and the spinner!


See the grid lines below? It's so cool how they just disappear!


*Laminating Hint: Make sure that there is plenty of room behind the laminator for the newly laminated document to come out.
 Now that's a mistake you only make once! #guilty


Here are some of my laminated game pieces!




Have you ever laminated something and when you cut it out, the laminate peeled away? That is a laminating nightmare! Well, no worries here. Everything I cut out came out perfectly!


Who's ready to play Spin-a-Word Family?





I am incredibly pleased with my Mead® laminator and I'm sure we will be best friends for a long time!

Here's what I love best about it:

It's small and lightweight.
It's very attractive.
It heats up quickly.
The outside of the machine doesn't get very hot.
The sheets go through at a nice pace.
My laminated pieces are smooth and sturdy.
The laminate doesn't peel away when I cut out my pieces.

You can find the laminators on amazon.com or mead.com.

Mead® 9.5" HeatSeal® Thermal Laminator

Mead® 9.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator

Mead® 12.5" HeatSeal® Pro Thermal Laminator

You can also follow Mead® on facebook and instagram!

So, now that you've heard all about my new best friend, I'm sure you are ready to try and win a laminator of your very own. 

Actually, the lucky winner will also win a box of 50 Mead® EZAlign™ 3 mil Thermal Lamination Pouches. Not only do the pouches have the grid lines, but they can also be cut to size and the remaining laminate can be saved for future lamination needs!

Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below. There are lots of ways to enter. The more you choose, the greater your chances are of winning. Please enter with integrity. All entries will be verified before the winner is announced.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good news! Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade is also giving away a Mead® laminator! Head on over to her blog to enter her giveaway and double your chances of winning this great prize!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Let's Label, Draw, and Write the Whole Year Through!

Looking for a simple way to incorporate labeling, drawing, and writing in your kindergarten or first grade classroom all year long?

How about a way for you to integrate science and language arts all year long?

If you answered yes to these questions, keep reading!
If you answered no to these questions, keep reading! ;)


Integrating science and language arts has never been easier!

Let's Label, Draw, and Write is a series that encourages young learners to label, draw, and write about all kinds of animals and insects.

Students will label, draw, and write about...

Farm Animals
Zoo Animals
Forest Animals
Insects
Pets
Arctic Animals
Ocean Animals

Here's an in-depth look at what's included in this bundle!















As you can see, this resource will give your students a plethora of labeling, drawing, and writing activities during the entire school year. They are fun and engaging for the students and easy to prep for you!

Don't need the entire bundle?

No problem! You can purchase just the packs you need!











I hope you enjoy this resource as much as I do!

PS: If you grab the bundle now, you'll save 50%!
That's a HUGE discount!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard