Wednesday, April 1

3 Tips to Engaging Online Read Alouds


Distance learning has caused many hurdles for teachers. One such hurdle is doing a class read aloud. How are we supposed to read to our kids? How are we supposed to keep them engaged in a story when we are not in class together? I have complied my top three tips to help keep your kiddos engaged in read alouds while we are participating in distance learning.

Zoom Backgrounds 

Did you know you can transport into the book your reading? Well not really, but with the help of the online platform Zoom, you can videotape yourself reading with any background of your choice! How neat would it be for students to see you reading Harry Potter in front of Hogwarts with wizards flying behind you? Are you reading about mummies in Egypt? Why not do your read aloud from a pharaohs tomb? You can use both; standard images or moving video clips to replace your background. The possibilities are endless! Here is a video to teach you how to change your background on Zoom.  Click Here.

Facebook Live 

The next way you can keep your students engaged in online read alouds is through Facebook live. Facebook live is an amazing way to engage and keep connected with your kiddos while we are distance learning. If you have a closed class Facebook page you can “go live” which means your students can see, hear, and respond to you in real time. This is wonderful because it allows you to pause and ask students questions about the story, similar to how you would do a read aloud in your own classroom. To learn more about Facebook live for your students click HERE.

Video Recordings with Drawings

Not interested in doing a live read aloud? Don’t sweat it! You can still keep your students engaged in your read aloud while we are practicing distance learning. Simply record yourself reading the next chapter in your book, then ask students to draw/ illustrate what they hear happening in the story. After, have them share the pictures with you digitally. This is a fun and simple way to keep your students engaged in a read aloud while distance learning.

Wednesday, March 18

How To Continue Building Student Relationships While on a School Break


“How was your gymnastics meet this weekend?” “Did you level up on your video game last night?” “Yes I did listen to that song you told me about!” “How is your dog doing?”
Wait, what am I reading? Is this a conversation between friends? Nope, this is a list of questions I asked my students last week. I make a point to really get to know my students, their likes and interests, so they know I care about them. I talk to them about what's happening in their lives because I value building student relationships above everything else. As a teacher I know building student relationships is a key component to student success. I want my students to feel loved and valued, and building relationships with them is the key. I work hard at building great relationships with my students while they are in the classroom with me, but how do I continue building student relationships when I am away from my kiddos, like on spring break? Read more to learn how I continue building student relationships while on a school breaks.

Building Student Relationships with a Class Facebook Page

Keeping in touch with your students when they are away from the classroom is so important. When you reach out to them while on a school break it shows them how much you really care. One way you can work on building student relationships while on a school break is to start a class Facebook page! I know some of you may be thinking, talk to my students on Facebook? No way! However, I have to tell you that I have had a closed class Facebook page for the past four years and I love it! For one thing, it is a great tool for parent communication. Additionally, it is an excellent way to stay in touch and continue building student relationships while you are away from school! How? You can link videos your students would enjoy watching, post a class poll, post pictures of your pets, share class notes/ information, and so much more!  HERE is a video link you can watch if you are interested in setting up your own class Facebook page to help you continue building student relationships. P.S. I tried my first ever Facebook live with my students today and they loved it!

 Building Student Relationships with a Google Classroom

Google classroom is another great tool to help you continue building student relationships while on a school break! You can create a classroom space on google and invite your students to join you. Here you can ask fun questions, daily emotion check ins, create polls, and so much more! Now of course you can use Google classroom for great educational purposes and online learning opportunities, but were not talking about that right now. If you want to start using Google Classroom to help you continue building student relationships, check out THIS link.

Building Student Relationships Through Writing Letters


As we all know, not all students have access to technology while they are at home? So how are you going to continue building relationships with those kiddos, write them a letter! I love the internet as much as the next girl, but there is something special about getting a snail mail letter from someone. Take a minute while you're on break and write your students a letter, you will be surprised how much it means to them. When I send home letters over summer and winter breaks, I always have kiddos write back or tell me at school how much they loved getting a letter from me. If you want to write your students a letter over break, click HERE to download this free template!

Want to learn more about building student relationships? Read my blog post about the Happy Teacher Challenge and get some great tips to build student relationships! Click HERE!

Saturday, March 14

100+ FREE Resources for At Home Learning


At home learning here we come! Oh my stars, how is it even possible that we are having this conversation? I never imagined that when we started this school year we would be switching to at home learning, but here we are. Unfortunately in the current circumstances, many educators are finding themselves scrambling to find resources they can send home with their students. Many districts have opted to close schools for a few weeks and adopt an at home learning model. In an effort to help minimize the stress swirling around our teacher brains right now, I have compiled a list of over 100 FREE resources both teachers and parents can use for at home learning activities. I hope this list is helpful in making the best out of our current situation. I’ve got my positive pants on and I know we can get through this!

Grades K-2
Grades 3-4
Grades 5-8
Special Education
Reading Resources
· (with email subscription)

Place Value Game
Fact Practice

Word Work
Digital Learning
March Themed
Youtube Channels
· (writing lessons)
· (Math lessons and songs)
· (math lessons)
· (educational videos for kids)
· (educational songs for kids)

· (art lessons for kids)

Looking to boost your teacher happiness? Download my Free E-book! Just click the download button below! It will make great reading while school is shut down.