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Getting back to school this year is sure to be interesting. If you are going face to face or digital or a combination of the two, we are going to need to be prepared to be flexible! If last spring taught us anything is that our teaching situation can change over night. My district is going to start off digital then hopefully move to face to face. So building community over a virtual platform is going to be tricky. But it really should be our first priority. Our kids mental health is going to have to be number one. 

Keeping students engaged in the online curriculum and participating is going to be a challenge. Last spring, I saved Fridays for some fun activities and theme days were a super fun way to keep everyone engaged. 

Here is a quick little list of theme days for distance learning. Most of these require items that students will probably have around their house. The last thing you want is parents having to purchase anything special.

1) Beach Day or Luau Day:
2) Hat Day

3) Favorite Sports Jersey

4) PJ Day
5) Picnic Day

6) Pet Day
7) Camping Day

8) Pirate Day

9) Book Character Day

10) Grandparents Day (share about their grandparents or dressing up like old folks)

Teachers Pay Teachers has launched one of the BEST new features! I am so excited about how this is going to save teachers a ton of time this coming year.  We all are nervous about what this school year will bring...Will we be having face to face lessons? Will we be doing some or all of our instruction online? Either way, taking an existing resource and using it in a virtual environment is going to be so helpful!
Teachers Pay Teachers has been working on a solution to this very issue. This new tool will allow the buyer to take a PDF resource and add text boxes for answers and there is even a drawing tool and a highlighter. If a seller opts in to have their resources used with the Digital Activity tool, the buyer will be able to download the resource in the normal way and also add the digital layer. Then the teacher can assign directly to Google Classroom! 
Another awesome thing is that some sellers are enabling this tool and adding all the answer boxes for you! How easy is that?
I made a little video to help show you how it all works. I really hope this tool helps you in the coming school year.

After my first week of teaching on-line with second graders, I was a complete wreck! I couldn't keep track of who finished the work I was assigning. I had some things posted in Google Classroom, other assignments in our learning management system. It was a mess, and y'all when I can't get organized I can get so stressed out!

So I made a decision to stick with only Google Classroom (this may be hard for some as your district does not provide this or you "have to" use what your district tells you) either way, these templates might help you out.

I started a template of assignments for students. It made it so much easier to see what they needed to complete and for me to check the work. Also it helped avoid that super long list that starts accumulating in your Classwork Feed. (Don't get me started on this!)

I made a template and when students turn it in, then I can see what they have completed. So I am sharing these with you. I have created 17 different styles to fit your needs. I am going with a daily template like this one:
But I have also included weekly ones as well. All you need to do is copy the slides you want to use and make a new presentation. Need help with that? Click here for some super easy directions: here
Then add your own links and text boxes.

You can get all the FREE templates right HERE! Make sure you are signed into your Google Drive and this will force a copy for you!
Did I mention they are free? I really hope this helps alleviate some stress for you!


Since everything has gone "digital" and "distance learning" overnight, teachers have had to learn different programs and technology faster than the speed of light! These times are pushing us out of our comfort zones and for many teachers we are trying new things. This may be the positive out of this whole situation. I use Google Slides quite a bit and I know many districts are using Google Classroom as a way of assigning work to students. So the one question I am hearing is this: I have a huge file of Google Slides that I created or purchased, how can I share one slide at a time with my students?

Let me help you out with some easy to follow steps:

1. First open the file you want to pull slides from.

2. Then go to file>new>presentation

3. In your new presentation, you may have to change the slide size or orientation. This can be done under file>page setup

4. Go back to original presentation. Right click on the slide you want to copy. You can copy more than one (if they are all in a row) by holding down the shift bar.

5. Then go back into the new presentation and right click paste.

6. That is it, just make sure you name your new presentation with a name you will remember so you won't forget what it is.

Are you in need of great Google Slides to integrate into your online instruction? Here are a few things I have that might help you out:

I hope your digital teaching is going well, prayers for everyone to stay safe and healthy!


I love teaching measurement! It's so hands on and practical for the real world. Let's face it, you use measurement in every day life. Trying to hang a picture on the wall? You need to measure to see if its centered. Buying a new couch, you need to measure to see if it will fit in the room. Second graders love measuring and using rulers.

I have a few tried and true hands on activities that I have my students work on. These are great for measuring stations or small groups.

The first one takes a little prep but can be used over and over again. I take strips of colored paper and measure them in different lengths. I make sure they measure exactly to the inch. Then I glue them down on cardstock and laminate. I number each piece of cardstock . Then on the recording sheet students write the card number they are working on and the measurement for each color. Easy!
After students can measure correctly then they need to work on comparing measurements. I collect a bunch of objects from around my kitchen and the classroom. Students then have to measure each one and decide how much longer one object is to another. For example, how much longer is the straw then the spoon? This makes a great little assessment grade:
The hardest skill in the measurement standard is solving measurement word problems. Students not only have to use their strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems but they need to be able to determine the correct operation. Lots of exposure to the different types of problems and repetition is the key to mastering this skill. 

I have all these units for you in my store! Low prep and easy to implement.

If you're like me, you need to maximize your instructional time! We barely have time in our schedule for bathroom breaks and it just seems like we can't fit it all in. When my friends are eating snack we are using precious class time, now don't get me wrong....I feel that snack is important! You can teach them if they are hungry. It's just that snack time has turned into social time.

My team and I were talking about fact fluency and how to fit in time for practicing math facts and then I had a great idea. We need to take snack time and make it productive and fun! I made this slide to let them know it was practice time. I had all our flash cards ready in one basket. We also had to discuss practice and eating at the same time! I put a progress bar on the bottom of the slide. It is set for 10 minutes, so at the end of the 10 minutes all snacks are done and flash cards need to be put away.  Would like the powerpoint slide? Just click on the picture!

They absolutely loved our first Snacks and Facts day! When I asked how they thought it went, everyone said, "Can we do it again tomorrow!" I think that means it was a huge hit!

Teaching math can be hard these days! I have quite a few friends struggling with addition and subtraction with regrouping. I felt like we were getting two-digit and then we had to go to three digit and we got stuck.

Since we do not teach the standard algorithm in second grade, I teach all the strategies and students choose which strategy works for them. One of my go to strategies is the open number line. I love teaching this! I tell students a little story about the three bears, Papa Bear makes big hops, Mama Bear makes medium hops and Baby Bear makes little hops. Kids just love this, and it helps them remember how to count along the number line.

Here's a cute little freebie to help you teach this skill. Click the pic to snap it up!

One of the things I love about teaching is that I have the opportunity to make a fresh start every single year. What other professions offer this? I love that I can reflect on the previous year and make changes to things that didn't work. Or keep things that went great. If I had a rough year with my class, I know I am getting a whole new group with different personalities and behaviors. The awesome thing is our students get a fresh start as well. I have had quite a few students that had trouble in previous years but I was able to click with them and they had a great year.
At the beginning of every school year, I like to set some goals for myself. I reflect on what I would like to accomplish in my class with my teaching. Also, professional learning I would like to complete and I think about some personal goals. The first step in reaching goals is to actually write them down! By writing your goals down, you can hold yourself accountable and celebrate those goals that you achieve. I made these sheets to help me do exactly this!

You can get yours too! For free, just click the pic:
I included some great posters for you as well:

My wish is that you reach your goals and have a great school year!

One thing I do over the summer is get organized! Something that has been on my list for awhile is a family emergency binder....I realized that I pay all our bills and if anything happened to me, my husband would have no idea how to get into our accounts. I went on Pinterest (of course!) and all the emergency binders out there just didn't work for me. So I made my own! Even though this is not teaching related at all, I thought I would share it here,

A few tips:
This file is editable in powerpoint, so after you download it you will need open it in powerpoint to edit. You can delete any pages you won't need. I got all our important documents and information together before starting to put it together. I also got some page protectors to hold birth certificates and other important documents. 

Another really important thing to consider before you put this together is where you will keep it. A fire-proof safe is really the best place. But if you don't have a safe, then put it in a secure location. If mine was not in a safe I think I would not use the cover. That way it would not be evident what it was if someone came across it.  
Click the picture to get your copy!
I hope this helps you get a little more organized!

It's a huge deal to kids when they get to start learning their multiplication facts! It is the number one thing my second graders said they want to learn next year. After many years teaching third grade, I have learned a few tips and tricks to help students master those facts. 

I know this has been around a long time, but I still love the Multiplication Sundae. I give students a copy of the chart (below) and put it in a page protector in their agendas. When they pass a test, they color in the next step on the chart. We celebrate after most students have mastered their facts by having an Ice Cream Party.  Click the picture to get my FREE chart!
 I started making multiplication lanyards a few years ago and they work so well. I give each child a lanyard and the first set of facts. They choose which fact they want to concentrate that day and have it on top. Then when they are walking around the school or in class, people will stop them and ask them that fact. I love it when we are filing into music or art and the specials teacher stops each one to ask them their fact. It works awesome. Also, when I want to quickly practice with a student, they just bring their lanyard to me and pull out their cards.  Click the picture to download my FREE fact practice packet!
 Kids love computers so I've complied the best FREE and PAID websites for practice. My absolute favorite is Reflex but it is pretty expensive. They have educator grants, which is how I have been able to have my students get access to this awesome site. They are not accepting grant applications right now, but I would keep checking back Reflex Math Grants for when they open up the application process again.  If you download the picture you can click the links:
Kids love to play games, it just makes learning more fun! Whole class games like Around the World have been around forever. I have invented a great twist to this game called King of the Mountain. I have one student stand on something like a milk crate. That person starts out as King (or Queen) of the Mountain. Then the class lines up to challenge that person to become King of the Mountain. It is a fast paced game that kids just love!
Get your King of the Mountain power point here:
i know there are probably a ton more fun ways to practice multiplication facts. These are just a few of my favorites!

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