Super Bowl STEAM Stations

Hey y'all! The Super Bowl will be here before you know it and as much as I NEVER follow sports, I do love to watch the big game.

I also love to go all out on the Friday before the Super Bowl as a way of building community with my students. We do football things, eat chips and dip (let's be real, it's queso my Texas people!), and talk about how they decide who goes to the Super Bowl. Lots of teachable moments!

First, we graph out who we think will win. (There's also a graph asking who will watch and who isn't.)

Then, students go through a series of stations where they learn about what the Super Bowl is, write an opinion paper about who will win (or their favorite part #commercials), and create a trophy, a team logo, and a football.

Then, when stations are finished. students get pipe cleaners to make goals posts out of and a paper strip to fold into a football. We set up our own tournament in our classroom to see who can flick their football through the goal posts the most times in a row.

Does it get loud? Of course. Do the kids enjoy it? For sure. Do they learn a ton about building and physics? Absolutely! #paperfootballsforthewin

This could be spread out over the course of the week, but I prefer to do this in one fun-filled day. It pairs perfectly with a room transformation #bethewildcard and some salty, sporty snacks. You can pick up a copy of your own here. And it requires so few supplies, that it's easy to prep on a whim. :) 

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more amazing resources coming soon! 

Stay sweet,

Supplying Your STEM Stations on a Budget

Hey y'all! I have had some questions lately about how to supply STEAM stations or maker spaces on a budget. There are so many amazing activities out there and budget should not be the deciding factor on whether or not your kids get to do them. Here's what I use to get these supplies on a dime:

1. The school's supply closet
This is the first place I check. Our school has a stash of things like construction paper, index cards, chart paper, markers, etc. We also have a supply drawer of things in our break room that people have left like popsicle sticks, paper cups, droppers, straws, etc. These little supply stashes have definitely  helped out in a pinch.

2. STEM kits
Our school purchased STEM kits at the beginning of the year. They're full of clay, tin foil, paper sacks, and other supplies. Ask your coach or admin if your district has any of these. They have been a significant source of supplies for our school.

3. Dollar Tree
If you don't have access to STEM kits or a supply closet, Dollar Tree has almost everything you need for a fantastic STEAM lesson or maker space. I can almost always find popsicle sticks, index cards, tin foil, fuzzy pom poms, and more. I usually get storage containers for supplies here as well.

4. Bullseye's Playground
I keep an eye out in the Target dollar spot all year long for things like blocks, erasers, straws, and anything else I might be able to use. The supplies are usually $1 and last at least a couple of uses.

5. Scavenger hunts
We save things like toilet paper rolls and mismatched socks all year long. I keep a lookout for supplies in clearance sections of just about every store we go into. (Even my own kids head straight for the clearance section when we enter stores.) Trader Joe's is very generous in donating paper sacks for classrooms.

6. Parent requests
The night before one activity, I realized I was completely out of plastic spoons. I was done for the night so I sent a Class Dojo message to my parents asking if anyone had any extra plastic spoons. We now have enough spoons to last us the rest of the school year. Ask and you shall receive. You can even send out a wish list of STEM supplies to your parents a couple times a year.

7. Hobby Lobby/ Michaels
This is usually my last stop for supplies. While I LOVE Hobby Lobby and Michaels and could shop there all day, I don't want to spend all my money on classroom supplies. Thankfully, the things I typically purchase there are fairly inexpensive. I can grab a package of jumbo popsicle sticks or a few packages of pipe cleaners or scrapbook paper once or twice a year and we're good. (These are also great things to add to your parent supply requests.)

These are just some of the ways that I find supplies on the cheap. Occasionally, I order from Amazon, but most supplies are pretty accessible in these places. What other places would you add? Let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for more resources coming soon.

Stay sweet,

February Read Alouds


February Picture Books for the Classroom

Hey y'all! We made it through the holidays and we're in the downhill swing. The rest of the year is going to fly by. But first, let's enjoy the little things. February is the sweetest month of year and the time for some of my favorite read alouds. Here they are in no particular order:
This post contains affiliate links. 

1. Love
This is one of my absolute favorite read alouds. Unfortunately, I can't get through it without crying. It's a super sweet message about what love is and how you can find it in the simple things in life. Total tear jerker.

2. Love Monster
This sweet book is all about loving people for who they are. Monster looks everywhere for love, and finally finds someone who loves him just the way he is.

A new twist to an old tradition. Groundhog is tired of the same old question, so he decides to take a spa day instead. This hilarious book is sure to have your students excited about Groundhog Day. 

This fun fiction book is full of facts about groundhogs. It reads as a picture book, but your students will learn all kinds of things about groundhogs. And it's perfect for teaching perspective and point of view. 

Learn all about Presidents' Day with simple picture book. The class puts on a play for the holiday and informs readers all about the presidents honored on this day. 

This book is great year round, but I especially like if for our black history unit. It's perfect for teaching students to respect each other as well as themselves, and to celebrate each persons' strengths. (It's also great for testing season when tension and anxiety are high!)

7. Hidden Figures
An excellent addition to your book collection, Hidden Figures illustrates how four black women made history at NASA during a time of segregation. Many of us read books about the civil rights movement and black history during February, but this book offers a  slightly different perspective. Written in story form, this nonfiction book will have your students asking questions and talking deeply about the text and history.

8. Mae Among the Stars
Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman in space. This inspiring true story about her journey to become an astronaut will encourage your students to follow their dreams while also teaching them about a remarkable woman in black history.

What are your favorite read alouds for February? Let me know in the comments. And I hope you found a new favorite or two, also. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Stay cozy,

Adding 3 Digit Numbers

Hey y'all! This is the final unit in the 2nd Grad Math Unit Bundle and I am so excited that this unit is finally finished! This 3-digit addition and subtraction unit is 4 weeks long and includes everything you need--including lesson plans, student direction cards, task cards, games, and recording sheets. 

On each Monday, the class meets together for a whole group lesson. The first week reviews place value, comparing numbers to 1,000, and writing the numbers in standard, word, and expanded form.  Weeks 2-4 cover adding and subtracting 3-digit numbers with and without regrouping.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, students visit a series of stations in order to practice their new skills. My students absolutely love this time of our day. They develop independence and strengthen student discourse.

While students are at stations, I am visiting with each of them and checking for understanding. This is kind of like having individualized guided math groups spread out all over the room. But the bonus is that I can meet with any student at anytime and address misconceptions before they become ingrained.

On Fridays, we come together for another whole group lesson. We share out any Ah-ha! moments from the week and strategies we used for solving different problems. This is also the time for students to really show you what they know.

I absolutely love having math stations in our classroom and I know you will, too. The students become so much more independent with this setup and really start to own their learning. For more information on how I run math groups, you can check out this post and this post.

For your own copy of this unit, you can check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. Stay tuned for more great resources coming soon and have a wonderful week!

Stay sweet,

Creating Resources for Teachers Pay Teachers

Hey, y'all. Are you being pulled to start creating for Teachers Pay Teachers? Are you not quite sure where to begin? I think I have the answer!

When I started selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, I didn't know all the tips and tricks to make things flow easier. But I have created a course to make things easier for anyone else to get started on their own TPT journey, without having to recreate the wheel.

When I started, there were so many things I didn't know anything about and I wanted to make it easier for anyone else beginning this journey.

I've covered things like creating your logo, setting up a sellers account, getting started creating with Power Point, how to flatten your images to stay within the clip artists terms of use, how to use the dashboard on TPT and all the other data sources, marketing basics, and where to turn for more information.

If you're thinking about getting started with selling on Teachers Pay Teachers and want to shorten your learning curve, then check out my easy to follow beginners course here.

It took me forever to learn the ins and outs of things. I wish I had had a getting started course to help me hit the ground running.

Head on over to the Goal Getters course page to find out more. If you have any questions, please ask! I'm happy to help. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous week!

Stay sweet,