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Thanking parents for a wonderful year!

Great ideas to make your students' parents feel appreciated.  We love this day more than most, because it's a time to show our love to our parents.  The kids are so proud of all the items they've created.  It's truly a wonderful way to say, THANK YOU!!

We Sure Appreciate YOU!

So, every year we invite our moms and dads to our classroom to say, "THANK YOU" for a wonderful school year.  We started off just moms, and then when my youngest son was in first grade, he asked why we didn't invite dads. So, the tradition changed, and I'm so glad it did!

We decorate our sweet little classroom, and have two different times for parents to come.  Students create a book for mom and a book for dad.  We also do a small craft for mom (the flower with their cute little thumb prints as bees) and we (I) create a video of our year together for dad.  I always make extra DVDs for families that are no longer together, so that mom will get one as well. Obviously the DVD is treasured for many, many years.  I show a shortened version (about 8 minutes) during our Appreciation Day, but I give them the extended version (usually about 30-45 minutes long).  


The parents come in and the students direct them to their spot. Then they read their special little book to their mom and then their dad.  The poster board (on their chair) is full of their writings throughout the year.  Usually the students decorate this on the first few days of school, as a time filler, but this year I'm waiting until a few weeks before our appreciation day.  I think they will come out a little better now that they've had a school year to grow and take pride in their work. Yep - just a little OCD.  Students also serve their parents punch and snacks (usually mini-muffins), while parents enjoy our school-year video.  **Show the video several times to the students before this day - or else they will be shouting out something about every.SINGLE.picture. (Learned that the hard way! :)  They just can't contain their excitement.

Last year we did flowers, but this year we are going to do a candle inside the mason jar with their thumb prints in yellow.  We will attach a saying, "You light up my life".  


Here's the craftivity that we create as well. (I'll put the link to TPT once product is complete with new clip art.)  This year my mom and dad faces will look a little different.  I have a new clip artist that is creating a mom and dad specifically for this product.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  Suggestion:  Always read the final written product (even though you've read the "sloppy copies" many times!)  One of my students decided to change up the wording on their final copy.  Need I say more?

Here's the new craftivity for this year.  A sweet friend designed these faces for me.  I'm working on the instructions, and then I'll post to TPT.  (Click on the picture to see it in my store.) Here's the real reason we've decided to switch
images - check out dad's teeth.  I didn't realize that until the child's mom brought it to my attention many years later.  The student that did the above is now in 7th grade, and I had her little brother last year. (That's when mom commented on the teeth... YIKES!)  


Here's our 5-page booklet.  Many moons ago we did a 10-page book.  HAHA!  I still laugh when I think about that.  We are now down to 5 pages, and I'm sure a few co-workers would like it to be The Best 3 things! ;)  Even though this book takes a while to do, I know that this is a keepsake for many years to come.  I still have mine.  Anyway - this booklet has a cover, then a poem for the inside cover (A poem for a girl to give to dad, a poem for a girl to give to mom, a poem for a boy to give to mom, and a poem for a boy to give to dad).  There's also a back cover that has some funny things to write about mom and dad.  (height, favorite foods, weight...) Yep, weight is on there, and that's always priceless!!

Anyway - I hope you've enjoyed my little SHOW-N-TELL Appreciation Day Celebration!  You can click on the picture to see these two products in my store! (Five page booklet and craftivity are sold separately!) 

Spot that Word Games

It's all about the GAME!

So, seriously... do you want to find the most addictive game to play in your classroom, that has the kiddos learning the entire time?  If so, you seriously might want to try out my Spot that Word games.  Ya'll - I've never seen anything like it!!  All of the first graders absolutely LOVE playing this game!

How do you play?

  • Put the deck of cards in the middle (face down)
  • Each kid picks one card 
  • Turn the top card in the middle over
  • Each kid tries to find their one word match with the middle card (the coolest thing ever... each card has ONE match with every other card)
  • The player who says their match first takes the middle card and their card and puts it to the side.
  • That player takes another card (the other players keep their card)
  • Flip the middle card and do it again.
  • When the deck is gone - players count to see how many cards they accumulated
  • That player wins
  • Shake hands
  • Play again!

What comes in the deck?

  • There are 55 cards in the deck (but... dun dun dun... even if you (the kiddos) lose one, the game can still be played... I know, right???
  • There are two different decks in each set (one A set and one B set)
  • You can actually split up the deck and just play with any amount of cards - the game still works!

Here's a SAMPLE for you to print and play!  Let me know if you like it!!
Image Map


Image Map

Interactive Math Powerpoints


So, how do you make things interactive?  How do you keep your kiddos engaged?   I've found that variety always helps in a classroom, because all kids are different, and different things keep students on task.

I've created a year-long math product that hits most of our first grade standards, and also uses different ways to keep the kids engaged.

If you are a "loner" and like to do things on your own during centers, then my interactive powerpoints are just the thing!  If you like to play games and are a bit competitive, then my game version is the way to go.  If you like to be with others, but you don't really want the competitive aspect, then my task-card version might suit you just fine!

If you are at your "wits end" for setting up center activities... check out my interactive powerpoints. These powerpoints can be displayed on your Activboard, and students can rotate through as one of their centers.  All you do is press play and the center is ready to go!  If you don't mind a bit of set up on the back end, then you might want to check out my task card/game version as well.  It will surely be a hit during center time!

Check out my FREEBIE here!

Right now I am growing this bundle, so if you like what you see, you might want to purchase the growing bundle to get the best price!

Career Day!

Career Day!  

So, the tried and true question... What do you want to be when you grow up?  Students might get stumped on all kinds of writing prompts, but this one seems to be such an easy thing for them to write about.  They all know at the prime age of 6 EXACTLY what they want to be when they grow up.  I wish it was that easy when they are 18!  Anyway... We started this activity when we moved away from students wearing costumes to school for Halloween.  We changed the name to Career Day, and now teachers and students dress accordingly.  

Writing Activity

So, with this writing activity, students not only write about why they are choosing that career, they also write about what they will need to do that particular job, and then label some of the items needed.  It ends up looking great on a bulletin board or hanging from the ceiling.  

I honestly think this is one of my favorite activities!!  Here's the link to my Career Day activity.  One of my kindergarten co-workers asked for a Community Workers set, so I created that as well.  

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