Stay tuned as I share more ideas that become activities and products from my experiences with kids.
I love to create teaching materials, but since I retired, sometimes it is hard to come up with the ideas. I have found that the best way to get motivated, is to engage with children and find things that would be helpful for them and fun for them to do.
When I teach a concept, I like to have a practical application to go along with it. I tutor two girls, and right now we are learning about the kitchen and cooking. I decided that it would be fun to actually try following a French recipe to make some cookies. The girls really enjoyed making the cookies and they remember a lot of the vocabulary because they could make connections to the activity.
I created this booklet after we did the cooking. I took pictures as they were cooking and I put them into the booklet. They were excited to see the pictures and read the booklet. I followed up the lesson by looking at some French recipe books. We reviewed the vocabulary and then talked about doing another cooking lesson in the future.
The next lesson, we looked at the different items that can be found in the kitchen. We then did some games with the task cards.
They are going to do some more cooking when we have a longer session. The deal is that they need to be able to identify the different items in the kitchen and follow the instructions in French. They are very excited about this.
As is becoming a habit, I have made an English version for each of these products.
Stay tuned as I share more ideas that become activities and products from my experiences with kids.
It is hard to believe that it is almost time for the winter games to begin again. Every time I think about them I remember the excitement we felt when they were held in Vancouver in 2010. It was such a special time for those of us who live in British Columbia.
My students were so engaged and felt connected to the athletes and their accomplishments. We would listen to the theme song I Believe and this became our song in class. As some of you may know, "believe" is my power word and it comes up often as I am constantly coming across things with the word on them.
It is times like this that I miss having my own class. There are so many things I would love to do with my students. During the last winter games, I created some activities that could be used to make writing and Math time winter game focused. I would certainly be doing some of them in the next few weeks if I had the opportunity.
Here are some task card templates that can be used to create your own questions, games, or activities. I hope you find them helpful as we watch the athletes compete to represent the various countries.
I know this will be an exciting time for people all around the world as they cheer on their athletes. It is a time when we focus on the good in the world. It is a time to unite instead of divide. I hope for more caring and kindness towards one another, not just during the games but everyday.
I love teaching guided reading and I continue to do so even though I am retired. I volunteer a couple of mornings a week and I work with 6 different groups. Some groups are still working on sounds and cvc activities. Others are working on beginning chapter books and reading for deeper meaning and understanding. I enjoy being able to take them beyond the basic story and I often incorporate other activities.
Lately I have also been tutoring some children in French. I have found it to be very similar to teaching beginning reading. I have been busy creating activities and resources that introduce basic language and concepts using themes. I am thrilled to see how quickly they are grasping the ideas.
I went into my grandson's grade 1/2 class last week and I got to work with small groups using one of the themed task cards. It was so much fun. I also helped out with a reading group. Again, it was refreshing to see that the language didn't matter. The process was the same and the kids engaged in a similar manner. I am not certain why I didn't think about that sooner. I guess it is because I was so focused on teaching reading in my own class that I didn't think about how it worked in other situations.
Differentiation is important. I found that some groups were better able to do the activities than others as some of the children were reading and other were not quite there yet. I was able to make modifications to the games to allow for both groups to be successful. I look forward to going back again soon.
Once I finished creating simple emergent readers and the thematic visual task cards, I started to translate them into English. They will be fun to use with my guided reading groups as well. I am surprised that I didn't think of making them in English first, followed by a French translation. I guess it is because the inspiration came from a need for materials.
I am proud of my new products. If you are interested in checking them out, you can find them here. Just click on the images below.
Using games and activities that are fun will help to engage children and they will learn skills without realizing that they are learning. It is wonderful to see them taking risks and challenges and enjoying learning.
I have always tried to include games in my guided reading lessons and my literacy blocks. Children can often get frustrated if they are working hard at learning to decode or make meaning of what they are reading. Using games to focus on some of the skills relieves some of that stress and allows them to practice the skills in a fun environment.
I use lots of different boxed games, but I also use task cards and other games that I have created. The ones that I have made are specific for what I might be covering in groups. I have many different themes for my sight words so that they are always fun to use because they are linked to different holidays, or special times.
Here are some other types of activities that I have used with my students. Depending on the abilities and the needs, I have made the materials simple for learning letter sounds and names and more difficult for learning about figurative language and parts of speech. I have also created activities for the interactive whiteboard. Bingo games that go with various topics are also fun to create.
If you are interested in checking out some of these products or other literacy activities that I have created, click here.
I volunteer at school and work with several guided reading groups. I create games and activities for them. Another retired teacher volunteers as well. She asked me to make up some game boards for her. You can check them out here.
Here is a free sample from the set of game boards. Click the image below to get your copy.
I have fun creating games and I love seeing the children react when a new game is presented to them. But more importantly, I am excited to see them learning skills that they were struggling with. It is so thrilling to see them applying the skills to their reading and writing lessons.
I would love to hear how you use games in your classroom to teach skills.
It is time for the big TPT storewide sale so it is time to let people know. Some other teachers and I are sharing some of our top wish listed items. This is a great time to grab them as our stores are on sale and you get an added discount from TPT. Check below for my 4 top items. Don't forget to read until the end to get the links for other teacher authors so you can check out their products as well.
I love creating projects with my students. When I was teaching grade one and two, Creating a Community was one of my favorites. It was amazing to see the different communities develop as we moved throughout the unit. I especially enjoyed seeing how they made connections to the communities around them and how they had been developed. The pride that shone through as they shared with their family during our celebrations made if all very special. To learn more about this project, click on the picture.
Space is a popular subject for children. It is always fun to see them share as they begin to research and discover the wonders of the solar system. This project is a great way for them to share their understanding of what they have learned and it lends itself to many different styles of presentation so children can share in a way that works for them. It is always a highlight of the year when they look back.
No two projects are ever the same. Each one has it own uniqueness and value. Check it out here or click on the image.
Children are always surprised to learn about what life was like for their ancestors and they sometimes find it hard to imagine that their communities were ever undeveloped and different from what they see now. This is a great way to find out more about what life was like a long time ago. One of my favorite moments was taking my class to the local museum for a slideshow presentation of what our community used to look like when it was first settled. The children were so surprised to learn that much of downtown was under water and that children had to go to school by rowboat. They also got to visit the log cabin display and the float house display.
This is not the same scenario for every community, but each community does have it own special history that the children can learn about. Check it out here or click on the image.
This product is for Canadian teachers or those learning about Canada and its symbols. It is a great way for primary children to recognize symbols that are common to our country. Click here or on the image to check it out.
Check out all of my resources at a glance by clicking on the Resources button at the top of my blog.
Here are the links to some other teacher authors. Check out their most wishlisted products by clicking on the logos below.
You can also check out some of our Canadian authors who are on the Eh Team for great Canadian teaching resources. Happy shopping!
Children love to play with money and they get very excited when they have the opportunity to use it for activities. This makes it a great tool for teaching many different math skills as well as life lessons. Here are several money products that I have used with my students to help them better understand how money is used.
One of the first things we want them to be able to do is recognize currency and the value of each coin or bill. They need to be able to count money and figure out how much money is needed for various purchases. These products focus on counting coins and deciding what coins are needed to make different amounts.
Once children are able to count money, they need to be able to produce the correct amounts in order to make purchases. They also need to know how to count change when they overpay so they are able to manage their money as they use it in the real world.
Money is also a great tool for learning how to do regrouping. I often taught my students that they were going to the bank when they needed more ones or tens or when they had too many and had to trade them in for larger amounts. They would actually use the coins to do the math transactions and this helped them to better understand the concept of regrouping.
Word problems can be difficult for children because not only do they need to do the math, they need to understand what the words mean in order to do the math questions. Using money as manipulatives can sometimes help with making sense of the problems. These word problems are some examples of things that children could encounter in real life.
This is one of my favorite units. It was created with my students. It started out as a simple activity and grew to be one of our most memorable moments that year. We created a spring fundraiser to raise money for a special field trip. We made many different things to sell. It was a perfect way to put into practice the skills we had worked on during the unit. (It works well for both Canadian and American money.)
We recently stopped using the penny in Canada. This created some confusion for businesses, so it was necessary to begin rounding up or down when making change. I created this product to address this situation.
This is a set of task cards that helps children to identify and count coins and match them up with the written form of the money amounts.
Here are my Canadian money products all in one place.
For three years before I retired, my class collected Pennies for Presents to help buy gifts for needy families at Christmas time. This was a wonderful way to give to others, but the added bonus was learning how to count money as we kept an on-going tally of what was collected each day. You can read about it here.
I hope that you find some of these ideas helpful for teaching about money in your classroom.
In Canada, Thanksgiving comes in early October. This is a time for thinking about others and for being grateful for all the blessings we have. I feel that it is important to focus on giving rather than receiving, and this is a good start to preparing for the Christmas season that will be upon us before we know it.
I love to use themes when presenting Math and Language concepts because they allow for many connections in real life. Real life connections are necessary if we want our students to be able to apply what they learn and find it meaningful.
Here is a sample math and language activity that I created using Thanksgiving as the theme. Click on the image to get a copy.
If you would like to try some other
Fall/Thanksgiving activities, check out
my Fall/Thanksgiving bundle.
We are in the middle of summer, and sports are happening all around us. It is fun to use a sports theme when learning as well. I have created these activities to provide opportunities for children to have fun while they are learning. You can check them out by clicking here or on the image. Each activity is available individually as well.
Here is a free template for you to use so you can personalize your cards to meet whatever curriculum you would like to focus on. Just click on the image to get your copy.
I created these activities because they represent being team players. I believe that it is important to focus on being good team players, so I wrote a blog about it. You can check it out here.
The concept of time is a huge one for children. Younger children often ask questions such as "How much longer until we get there?" Days, weeks, months, and years are chunks of time that they struggle to grasp when they are little. How many times have you had to say things like: "We will see them in 4 more sleeps."
Birthdays come and within weeks they are already talking about who they will invite to their next birthday party. A year is such a long time away for little ones. It is important to provide some kind of markers to help them better understand the passage of time.
Calendars are great to use because children can see the days and mark them off as they pass. Holidays and special days are often used as markers as well because there tends to be something happening each month. If these special days are on the calendar, they can count the days until they come.
Children are intrigued with time and they enjoy playing games that use time. I know that one of the favorites for my students was What Time Is It Mr Wolf? They would squeal and laugh as they ran away at dinner time.
Learning to tell time needs to be done sequentially as well so that it is easier to understand and apply to daily life. Using a schedule for routines and activities can be a great place to start introducing more specific time concepts. As they become more familiar with what happens when, and about how long it lasts, they will be able to better understand more specific concepts of time and how the clock works.
Starting with general times such as times of the school day will help them to apply times to real life. Putting up visuals with the time beside them will also help.
It is important to make sure that both analog and digital time are part of the exposure to clocks as both are still used in our daily experiences. Of course, it is easier for most children to read a digital clock, so it means that they will need to practice more with analog clocks to become proficient at reading them. Using manipulatives to actually move the hands of the clock will help to imprint the concepts.
It will still be confusing for many children, but with continued practice and exposure to telling time and seeing the time written out or displayed, they will eventually become more able to use it effectively.
The confusion will disappear and the questions will become less frequent.
I have put together some sets of task cards to help with telling time. There are 3 sets of clocks with times on them and there is a set of clock templates. These are available as a bundle here or as individual products as well. Click on the image to learn more.
Routines and schedules are important for many people. They help to avoid the unexpected by knowing what is happening in advance. They also provide for some consistency. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be some times when there are changes, but those changes will be better handled if there is preparation ahead of time.
I have created a set of task cards to help with organizing these routines and activities. Included in this package are cards with the most common daily routines and school subjects. There is also a blank card for adding the unexpected. Each card has a visual of the activity as well as the words below it. There is also a blank clock face and digital frame so that the times can be added that work with the various schedules or routines.
Here are some samples from the package.
I have also created separate packages for home routines and school activities. Click on the images to see more.
This is a sampler of routine cards and schedule cards. If you like what you see, check out the full version.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 8, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.
Follow me on Instagram