Pandemic Teaching: YOU CAN DO THIS!

07 July 2020
Teaching during a pandemic is no joke.  That abrupt shift to distance learning this spring still has me reeling a bit.  And as I look ahead to August and all of the unknowns that come along with going back to school there is a part of me that wants to cower and hide in a corner.  #anxiousteachermama. I have to do some serious self-encouragement lest my worries get the best of me.  This image is literally my desktop background right now, haha!


Despite my fears, there is also a part of me that wants to stand up straight, take whatever the heck is thrown at me, and do my VERY BEST for my future students.  While I am sure it will not be easy by any means, teachers have so many innate qualities that can bolster us up at a time such as this: courage, resourcefulness, commitment, determination, and love, to name a few.  You've got this!

In an attempt to make things easier for myself (and hopefully a few others!) when I step back into the classroom, I created this brand new resource:



Pandemic Hygiene in the Classroom
has just what you need to help your little learners feel more comfortable with the extra hygiene practices that may be in place.  Is anyone else freaking out about managing a room full of little mask-wearers who are supposed to wash their hands almost constantly?  I was too, so I created some specific things to help myself out with that. This download is PACKED full of teaching resources to help encourage good classroom hygiene and a happy, healthy school year!  Take a look!

This book, "My School and the Pandemic" will help your students connect with and understand how COVID-19 is affecting their school and their world.  There are four version: full color, black/white, mini, and a digital version (I see you, distance learning) via Google Slides.

     

Here is a quick flip-through of all of the pages:


My district and school are still ironing out the details for keeping our schools and classrooms extra sanitary, but one thing I do know....everyone will be washing their hands A LOT.  Like twelve times a day.  Don't get me wrong, I am all about being extra cautious and clean, but it makes me a little bit dizzy to think about how to facilitate this with 30 six year-olds.  Cue the posters and printables!

     


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Here's my little classroom sink area set up just now:


And our hand-sanitizing station:



And, to be perfectly honest, I am even more nervous about mask wearing in the classroom.  There is just so much potential for problems and chaos, haha!  But we'll figure it out (that's what we do best!) and hopefully some of these resources will help!

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Yep, I'm definitely giving out those "Mask Hero" badges for my stalwart mask wearers!  I will probably have to give one to myself as well, ha! Hopefully that way we will all be motivated. This pocket chart will also facilitate a great discussion about the do's and don't's when it comes to masks.


After all of the mask management stuff we'll definitely want to have some fun with this word scramble, design-a-mask page, and mini-book!

     


This packet also has some cute and versatile hygiene posters that you can display in your classroom.  Some of them are unique to this time (like mask wearing and social distancing), but many of them can be used even after the pandemic...like reminders to cough into your elbow, wash your hands frequently, or brush your teeth before school.

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As a fun little bonus this packet also includes FREE access to my two pandemic-themed decks of Boom Cards!  New to Boom Cards?  They are the BEST!  You can read more about them HERE.

 


It is my sincere hope that this resource can be helpful to you, teacher friend!  These times are unprecedented and I am convinced that we need to lean one one another to get through.  Teaching during a pandemic?  You can totally do it!  Happy Teaching!


Trolls Boom Cards and a FREEBIE!

22 May 2020
Thank goodness for Friday.  While there are definitely some elements of distance learning that I am embracing and enjoying, I'm also feeling pretty burned out.  Fortunately, we only have a few more days of school!  Hurray for summer!

Okay, where are all of my troll lovers at?! Today I am sharing the most adorable new deck of troll-themed Boom Cards AND, to celebrate it finally being Friday, a FREE troll-themed set of printable ten frames!


With this deck of 35 Boom Cards your students will really be able to practice effectively with ten frames as they complete a variety of multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and fill-in-the-blank responses.  New to the wonderful world of Boom Cards?  Check out my post about them HERE.  Or, try it out for yourself with the free PLAYABLE PREVIEW right HERE.


       



After your kiddos work on the Boom Cards you could whip out this FREE set of printable ten frames! These cute troll-themed ten frames are sure to delight your little learners!  You can use the little mushroom markers I included OR get creative with pom-poms, dollar spot erasers, and more!  I've included both full-color versions AND black/white versions to suit your printing needs.  Just print, laminate, cut, and you are ready to go!


A few more ideas for use:
- math centers
- intervention work
- whole-group teaching
- counting practice (I'm doing this with my preschooler today!)

Click on this image to download!


Thanks for being here, troll lovers, and happy Friday!

Ten Reasons You Should Use Boom Cards

15 May 2020
Thank you for joining me as I share my Boom Cards obsession with you!  If you are here for the FREE deck, just go ahead and scroll right on down to the bottom!


In March, like so many of you, I pretty much became a virtual teacher overnight.  I have to admit, it did not come easy at first.  I felt completely overwhelmed and frustrated by the unknowns, the changes, and the constantly shifting expectations.  Honestly, I felt a bit like I'd been thrust into a whole new career.  And...I really missed those kids.

After a few weeks of working through all of that anxiety I figured out a couple of tricks, what worked and what didn't, and I can honestly say that I am embracing this unique experience.  I still really do miss those kids though!

The most useful resource I discovered is, hands down, Boom Learning.  It took me a little bit of exploring to figure things out, but now I absolutely LOVE using decks of Boom Cards with my students.  And I fully intend to keep using them, throughout the remainder of our distance learning AND for the rest of forever in my actual classroom.  Here are my top ten reasons you should be converted too!


1. They are digital.
Sending a deck of Boom Cards to your students requires no paper, no copies, no cutting, no laminating, an infinitesimal amount of prep (like clicking on 2 things), and hardly any time at all.

2. You can use them every year.
You buy a deck once (and most of them are inexpensive) and it is yours to use for the rest of forever.  With every single class you have.  Nothing new to prep each year...just push it out virtually to your new crop of students and you're good to go!

3. They are self-checking and give you instant data.
This one is suuuupper compelling to me.  As soon as a child finishes a deck you will have access to a variety of information: how long it took them, how accurate they were, which cards they struggled with, and more!  And because a deck is usually focused on one specific skill this data is very refined and just the thing you need to specifically inform your teaching of that child!

4.  You can use them for FREE!
First of all, there are a lot of free decks (like the one at the bottom of this post).  And any of your decks can be used with the Fast Play option, in which you will receive a link to send to your students.  You won't be able to get the instant data component unless you upgrade your account, but it is a very modest fee and, in my opinion COMPLETELY worth it!

5. You can preview the actual product before you buy.
Okay, have you ever bought something on Teachers Pay Teachers, downloaded the file, and immediately regretted your purchase?  I LOVE me some TPT, but occasionally it can be difficult to get an accurate idea of what your spending your hard-earned money on.  With Boom Cards you can access playable previews of the first four cards for absolutely any deck your are looking into!  Try a playable preview HERE

6. Easy way to differentiate.
We've all had them.  A handful of kids who just need a little extra practice in one area.  Enter Boom Cards.  Once you have a deck you can assign it to that group or to individuals as needed.  And there are so many decks tailor-made for so many specific needs.

7. They are versatile!
Need a deck that teaches adjectives?  What about ten frames?  How about sink or float? You really can find almost anything you are looking for and so many decks are being added each day!

8. You can customize the decks.
You can hide cards you don't want to send to students.  You can select the number of cards in play.  You can require students to play multiple times, and more!  Boom Learning keeps adding great features that allow you to customize and really meet the needs of your individual learners!

9.  Effective use of technology in your classroom or for distance learning.
One of my teaching pet peeves is being required to demonstrate certain instructional strategies in an observed lesson...when it may not even lend itself to that lesson.  Boom Cards are an effective use of technology in your physical or virtual classroom.  They can be used on a variety of devices (tablets, Smartboards, etc.) and on a variety of platforms (Google Classroom, Seesaw, etc!)

10.  They are engaging and FUN!
Now that I think about it, this should probably be the number ONE reason to use Boom Cards!  Students absolutely LOVE them...and parents too!  During this whole distance learning experience I have received wonderful feedback from parents about how much their child enjoys learning and practicing with Boom Cards.  When parents, child, and teacher are all happy with something, it is something worth keeping!

Have I persuaded you yet?  Go ahead and give it a try!  You can get a free deck HERE, check out my Boom Store or grab a deck through Teachers Pay Teachers.  Happy Teaching!





Miss You Postcards for Distance Learning!

21 April 2020
If you are anything like me, you are missing your students BIG TIME right now.  This whole distance learning situation still feels a bit bizarre to me, haha, and I am missing those daily one-on-one connections with my students.

To help my little friends know that I am thinking about them I created these cute little postcards.  I still feel excited when I check the mailbox and there is a real, hand-written letter or card from a loved one.  I can just imagine the smiles that these postcards will bring to my students!  



I started with one design in mind and then it sort of spiraled out of control, haha.  I have quite a few sets posted and I even bundled them all up into one discounted package for you if you'd like to get them all.  Click on any of the pictures to check out the listing for that set.  Happy postcard-writing!








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