Not Your Mother's Color by Code

Color by Code for Reading Skills

Hey, y'all! My students have been loving our color by code activities lately. These aren't your typical color by code, though. These are SPECIAL!

Most color by code activities have limited depth of knowledge. Students simply color the matching sight word or solve a simple addition or subtraction problem. Those activities are great and are important in their own way, but these are a little different.

With the author's purpose code page, students read the description of a text and have to decide if the author is trying to entertain the reader, persuade them, or inform them about something. We did the first few together as a whole group, then students paired off to complete the page. There were some really great conversations about the descriptions and great justifications of answers.

With the story elements page, students decide if the piece describes a character, a setting, or a plot. This one is a little easier than the one above, making it just right for end of first grade and most of second grade.

We've done several of these in class and they are always a hit. (I mean cheering and everything!) If you'd like to check out the science and social studies options as well, just click here.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to keep an eye out for more amazing resources coming soon. I've been adding things to the shop pretty often, so you never know when you might find something new. Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon.

Stay sweet,

Even More Color by Code for Science

Color By Code in Science

Hey y'all! How are you loving the science color by codes so far? If you missed my last post about them, you can check them out here

These aren't your normal color by code pages. Each piece has a description in it and students have to decide which attribute the piece is describing. 

For instance, with the plants color by code, each piece describes a different part of a plant. Students have to decide if it's describing a seed, stem, leaf, root, or flower. 

With the force and motion page, students read the piece and decide if the action is an example of a push or a pull. 

With the continents and oceans page, students read the name and decide if it's naming a continent or an ocean. 

My students have been loving these and they are have intense conversations about them. Not only are they discussing what each piece means, they are defending their answers pretty solidly. #teacherwin

For more science (and social studies) color by code activities, visit my TpT store here. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more great resources coming soon! Have a great weekend!

Stay sweet,

Mindfulness Books for the Classroom

Ten Mindfulness Books for the Classroom

Hey, y'all. I don't know about you, but I am loving this self-care and mindfulness movement. Taking time to breathe in our classroom and to be present in the moment has had a huge, positive impact on student learning and attentiveness. One of the ways I teach these skills is through read alouds and mindfulness practice. A great place for you as the teacher to start is by reading the book, "Happy Teachers Change the World." It was a game-changer for me as far as bringing mindfulness and a calm atmosphere into the classroom. 

Several other books have helped me out on this journey. These are the ten go-to books we use in our classroom to help us center ourselves and refocus.
This post contains affiliate links. 

1. I am Peace
I am Peace is a wonderful book about finding peace within yourself. When things are hectic and seem out of control, you can find your peace within you. And it's illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, making it just beautiful.

2. I am Enough
I am Enough is more about loving who you are enjoying what makes you special. I include it in this series because appreciating yourself goes hand in hand with recognizing your emotions and respecting your feelings and emotions.

3. Breathe Like a Bear
This one isn't a direct read aloud. It's more of a collection of meditations or mindfulness exercises for the class to perform together. With activities like blowing the candle carefully (don't let your flame go out!) or cooling off your hot chocolate slowly, your students will love practicing breathing exercises and focusing on their bodies.

4. Listening to My Body
This is a great book to start your mindfulness journey with your class. When students learn to listen to their bodies, the mindfulness techniques illustrated in each of these books makes a bigger impact. Listening to My Body goes over several of the ways students can tune in to how they are feeling and how those feelings impact the rest of them.

5. My Magic Breath
Taking time to breathe creates a calming effect in your classroom. My Magic Breath will have your students focusing on their breath and calming themselves throughout the day. The beautiful illustrations will captivate your audience as well.

6. Breathe and Be
This beautifully illustrated book is full of exercises to quiet the mind and focus on the here and now. Even the pictures make me want to enjoy the outdoors and leave the rest of the world behind.

7. What Does it Mean to Be Present
This book is exactly what it sounds like. Being present doesn't mean showing up to class, giving gifts, or sharing your project with the class. Being present is focusing on what is happening here and now. The simple strategies in this book are just right to help little learners gain focus and direction in the classroom.

8. Puppy Mind
Sometimes our minds can feel like active little puppies, always curious and wandering when we're not paying attention. Noticing these things is the first step in being able to change things for the better. This book helps the littlest learners become aware of this issue and gives them strategies for calming their puppy minds down.

9. A World of Pausabilities
Pausing and focusing on the here and now can be challenging for small children. Taking the time to teach these skills makes a world of difference in students' well-being. This book teaches exercises to help students pause and focus on how they are feeling in the moment.

10. Ishi
This simple picture book features a rock as the main character. This book touches on kindness, compassion, and empathy.

What other books do you use to teach mindfulness to your little learners? I'd love to know! Drop a line in the comments if you have any great titles to add to this list. 

Thanks for stopping by and and I hope you found some new favorites. Have a great week and stay sweet. 

Using Color by Code in Science

Using Color by Code in Science

Hey, y'all! How are you loving science stations so far this year? We got off to a rough start this year (too much freedom too soon), but we're getting back on track.

Sometimes, though, we have an extra day in our scope and sequence for each science or social studies topic or the kids really just need to do some seat work but still need to be on topic. So...I started this collection of color by codes for each of our science units.

For instance, with the five senses page, students read the description (or you read it together as a class depending on their reading skills) and students decide which of their five senses they'd use for each description.

For states of matter, students simply read the noun and decide which state of matter it is. And with changing matter, students read the description and decide which state of matter the object changed too. 

My students really enjoyed the communities color by code page. They read the words in each piece and decide if that describes an urban, suburban, or rural community. (Or, as one of my littles described it, an "Earl" community. :) ) 

Landforms is one of those topics that can be covered in both science and social studies. This color by code asks students to decide if the word is a landform or water body.

With Earth's changes, students read the description and decide if the change is something that would happen slowly or quickly. It includes vocabulary words like erosion, deposition, and weathering, and partners up well with this changing Earth STEAM unit.

Pretty neat right? So when your admin comes in and asks why are they "just doing a coloring page," you can show them the higher level of thinking involved in each of these.

More resources like this will be coming out over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for them. If there's a certain topic you'd like to see sooner, just drop me a note in comments. :)

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

Stay sweet,