June is the time to celebrate fathers and other special men in our lives. Check below for some activities and things that I have done with my students and some special cards that I have created for Father's Day.
This special bug kit was created for Dads to have handy when barbecuing. To find out how to create one of your own, check out this blog.
Wordles are a great way to make something cool for Dad. Just think of all the special words that describe Dad and then put them together to make word art. Here are some examples made by a couple of my students. I put them in glass frames from the dollar store. To find out more, click the image below.
Games are fun to play together. Here is a travel tic tac toe board that we made. To get the directions for your own diy board, click the image below.
Whatever the gift, it was always fun to make the wrapping paper to go with it. All you need is some newsprint and markers. This made every gift special.
Here are some Father's Day cards that I just created that can be printed as is in color or printed in black and white so that the children can color them and make them more personal. Click the image to see more.
Click the image below to get a free card for Dad and Grandpa.
Happy Father's Day to all the special men in your life.
It is that time of year when we celebrate our mothers. Sometimes, we have other special ladies in our lives that we want to celebrate as well. Here are some ideas and suggestions for creating a special day for that special lady.
I don't know about you, but I always appreciated the special gifts that my children made for me. I took a couple of pictures to share some with you. Of course, over the years there have been many others, but they have been carefully put away and I can't access them at the moment.
Candles and vases have always been popular. These ones are a little worse for wear, but they still grace the shelves as a reminder of my children.
A little paint and glitter can turn a simple picture frame into a work of art. This was done by my granddaughter.
Word art is another great way to create something special. Here are some samples.
As I thought back over my days of teaching, I remember doing so many special crafts and activities with my students. Unfortunately, I didn't keep pictures of them. Here are some of the ideas that you might be interested in trying.
A recipe book with special recipes from family members
A calendar with special photographs and dates
A small jewelry box made of popsicle sticks
A modge podge flower pot with a plant
A book of poems or special memories
A pencil holder made from a tin can with cinnamon sticks around the outside
This word art was created for a different purpose, but it could also work for this occasion. Just add a picture of Mom and a special word that is her power word. Mine is Believe, so this was the one I created.
Here are some booklets, certificates, and special coupons that I created. You can find them my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the images below to get them.
Special cards are also a hit for most moms. Here are a couple that I created today.
Here are some other products that I created a few years ago. Sometimes we have a special lady we want to honor. These writing papers, cards, and covers are also useful for them.
Click on the image below if you would like a sample card and writing sheet.
Hopefully these ideas and products will help you to celebrate your special day with a loved one.
Two years ago I wrote a post called Retirement Musing. As I was looking back at it today, I realized that some things have changed, but many things remain the same.
People often ask me how I am liking retirement, but I've realized, I don't know what retirement really is. I am technically retired, but I am still doing most of what I was doing before I retired. I am not living what most people consider a retirement lifestyle.
What does retirement mean to me?
Freedom to help family when needed
I am lucky to have the time to spend with my family and help out when needed. I often take trips down island to look after my grandchildren and do things for my kids and my mother-in-law.
Less reliance on the alarm clock
Although there are times when I do need to get up early and be places, this is not an everyday thing any more. I get up early on the mornings when I help out at school or I have rehearsals, but on other days I can get up when I feel like I am done sleeping.
Even when traveling, I don't have to leave early in the morning unless I have specific plans to do so.
Afternoon naps possible
When l was teaching, I would be so tired that I would want a nap when I got home, but life didn't allow time for that. Now that I am retired, if I feel like taking a nap, I do and I don't feel guilty about it either. A power nap gives me the energy I need to complete my other activities without feeling exhausted.
Time to do what I love
It is no secret that I love teaching. I enjoy working with children and seeing their faces light up when they get a concept or they finally understand something that made no sense to them. I love to play games with them and work with them in small groups. I love sharing who I am with them and learning about who they are outside of the classroom. Those connections are so precious.
Some future goals for my retirement years
Find a balance between commitments and me time
Although I enjoy teaching, and working with ukulele groups, sometimes I get so busy that I forget to find me time. I need to find the balance that will allow me to enjoy what I love doing and yet take care of me. Over the years, life has been so busy, that I haven't spent much time with friends. I need to change that.
Create more couple time
My husband and I have done many things together over the years, but usually for others and not just for us as a couple. We teach ukulele groups, we perform in ukulele groups, we have worked with choirs, taught over 30 years, taken groups on trips, and done things with our kids and grandkids. It is time for us to do things for the two of us. Last Christmas and again this Christmas, the kids gave us tickets to shows in Victoria. This is a start. We have also gone to a couple of performances nearby. It would be nice to take a trip somewhere as a couple instead of as leaders of a group. Hopefully this will be possible in the near future as well.
One of the reasons I retired was that many of my good friends were getting very sick, and some died before reaching the age of retirement. I decided that my health was more important than working until 65. My husband needed to retire early because of health issues. At the time, he fought it, but now he is thankful that he did because he has been able to continue to do what he loves and remain healthy at the same time. Health is more important than money. Working for full pension and then not being healthy enough to enjoy retirement is not the way to go. I am glad that we both are able to do so much still and I hope we will be around many more years to live life and make memories.
Well, there is my update. I wonder how it will change in the next couple of years. Maybe I will have to do a new update then.
Learning sight words can be key to becoming a fluent reader. Games make learning these words more fun. The same words can be used in many different ways that engage children if games are played. There are many themes that can be used as visuals to complement the words as well.
I love to use games to engage children in learning. They are excited to play and they reinforce language while doing so. There are many different activities that can be done with sets of sight words.
I have created many different themed sight word sets that focus on the 220 Dolch sight words. These sets have been a favorite choice for language centers over the years. Here are a few examples.
Chinese New Year is a great theme for sight word games as each year it is new because the animal changes. This is a set of Dolch sight words for each of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Both goat and sheep are included. These cards can also be used when studying animals or doing a unit on the farm as well.
These winter celebration games are great for Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, and Winter Sports. Bingo cards are also included that can be used with any of the themed sets. This allows for another level of game play.
We usually focus on the 220 Dolch sight words, but there are also Dolch nouns that are high frequency words as well. This is a spring themed set of these 95 nouns. It includes bingo cards as well.
For more themed sets, check out my TeachersPayTeachers store.
Christmas festivities are over and we have rung in the new year. Now it is time to get back to learning and the curriculum. This doesn't mean we have to take away the fun.
The New Year is a great time to incorporate winter celebrations into curriculum activities. There are so many different choices and events happening during the winter. There is Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, 100 Days of School, Valentines Day, and in some places in Canada, there is Family Day.
Kids enjoy games and activities that focus on celebrations and they are more likely to be engaged in the different activities. This translates into better focus on concepts and skills presented and therefore, hopefully better understanding and retention of them.
This sampler includes a few activities to get started with. You can find it as a preview here. There is an activity that can be used yearly around Chinese New Year to figure out ordinal numbers. There is also a hundred chart for using with different activities that require counting to 100 or looking for patterns when celebrating 100 Days at School.
Playing dice games is always fun to do, especially with holiday themed dice. Here is a probability page for keeping a tally of how many times different numbers are rolled.The worksheet has heart dice on it, but you can use regular dice to do the activity.
These are only some of the ideas that I have for math and winter. More math activities can be found in my Teacher Pay Teachers store. I also like to do language activities using sight word bingo, memory, language task card games, and phonics activities. There are several winter and holiday celebration activities in the literacy category or sight word category in my store.
Fall has returned for another season. It is the time of cooler days, changing colors, and special days. It is a great time to use fall themes for math activities.
When fall arrives, children begin thinking about Halloween. They get excited about costumes, trick-or-treating, and spooky activities. Here are some free activities to practice math skills while engaging them in Halloween fun. Click on the image above to get your free copies.
Thanksgiving is another special time in the fall. Here are some activities that use glyphs for graphing. They are fun because they involve creating pictures, but they are also very useful for classifying and comparing data. They can be checked out here.
Children love to play with dice. Here is a game of probability using fall and Halloween graphics to make it more interesting.
There are so many different ways to use fall themes to make math practice fun. How do you include fall themes in your math lessons?
One hundred years ago at 11:00 on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, (November 11, 1918), World War 1 ended. This was known as Armistice Day. Many countries observe this day as a day of remembrance for all of the people who fought for our freedom. In Canada, ceremonies are held all over the country. Over time, veterans of other wars have been included in the memorials.
It is important that we teach our children about this day and what it means. Many people have never experienced war and its devastation. We don't truly appreciate the freedom that was given to us because of the sacrifice of our veterans.
Many people treat November 11 as a day off. It is my hope that we can remind people to take a few moments to remember and thank our veterans.
The Marathon of Hope began many years ago when Terry Fox was a young man. He lost his leg to bone cancer when he was 18 years old. On April 12, 1980 he started his Marathon of Hope for cancer research.
He was determined to run across Canada and raise $1.00 for every Canadian. He began his run on the east coast by dipping his foot in the Atlantic Ocean.
Terry ran every day for about 42 km (26 miles). Imagine running a marathon distance every day. This is hard enough for someone with two strong legs, but Terry did it with a prosthesis on his one leg. He did this for 143 days.
Terry Fox was unable to finish his Marathon of Hope. On September 1, 1980 he had to stop because cancer appeared in his lungs. He returned to his home and began treatment for the cancer. He was determined to continue fighting. On June 28,1981 his battle ended. He was no longer with us, but his legacy continues on.
Every September cities across Canada and worldwide run in Terry's memory to continue his Marathon of Hope.
Click here to find out more about Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope.
Here are some free activities to use with your students if you do a Terry Fox run in your area. I know it is very important in our schools and children still learn about our Canadian hero. Click on the image above to get your copy.
Christmas is an special time for both children and adults. You can't help but feel the excitement in the air as December approaches. Christmas lights blink everywhere, Christmas music plays in the stores and on the radio, and the Christmas movies start to show up on the television.
There are so many opportunities to use this excitement and the feelings associated with Christmas in your classroom writing. For years I did Christmas writing with the senses. When I retired last year, I still had the chance to introduce this idea one more time when I was helping out in another teacher's classroom.
Here is my blog post about what we did.
When I wrote about the writing we did, I mentioned a special gift that we were creating, but I couldn't say anything more because a parent might see the post and it would spoil the surprise.
Here is more information about what we did and how it was special.
The teacher I was working with began by showing some different Christmas scenes. Each scene was going to be the topic of the verse that would be written.
We first generated ideas using my juicy details templates. We had used them for some other activities earlier in the year, so the children were familiar with them. We began as a group and then they went to their desks and selected the words that they wanted for their poems.
I have always found that using a framework for writing helps some of the struggling writers get started. Stronger, more confident writers develop more descriptive pieces of work and use it as a springboard for future work.
Using fancy paper for the final product is a great motivator for kids. I also find that they are more willing to do the writing and add to their work if they know that it is going to be typed up afterwards. (Those that have difficulty writing often write less if they know they have to do a re-write for publishing.)
Several times in the past, I used this idea of writing about Christmas using the senses as part of a bigger idea. Parents love to receive special gifts from their children that have been made by them. The poem was all written on one page and then put onto special paper. It was then placed on the back of the "stained glass" picture. This way, it could be shared each year as the kids grow. What better way to display it than to make it part of the Christmas decorations!
Instead of making a single page poem, this time, we made a special Christmas booklet with each verse on a separate page. A special note was written for each parent to add to the back of the "stained glass" picture instead of the poem. The booklet went along with the picture.
If you would like to make your own special "stained glass" decoration and poem keepsake, check out how we did it here.
Some of my teaching friends have also shared some holiday activities. See below to hop along and check them out.
As Christmas time quickly approaches, the children get more and more excited. It is hard for them to sometimes realize the passage of time until Christmas arrives. Here is a countdown poster that can be used to help them visualize when Christmas Eve will come. Click here or on the image to get your free copy.
Cross off the ornament that matches each day in December as it arrives. This can be used as a math activity as well by counting how many days have passed or how many days are left until Christmas.
Here is a booklet that can be created as a class booklet or individual student booklets. It is based on the song the 12 Days of Christmas. It is a great way to be creative about gifts to share or activities to do for 12 days at Christmas time.
I would love to see pictures of your booklets if you decide to do this activity. If you have any other suggestions for ways to use it, please let me know in the comments. Happy creating.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.
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