With a Wintery Mix Coming Our Way, I'm Ready to Talk SNOW!

Do I love snow?  Not really...BUT...I absolutely do LOVE the first snowfall, which we are supposedly getting on Monday!! I love that snowed in feeling...looking out the window and catching a glimpse of the early morning sun encouraging the snow to sparkle and glisten like tiny diamonds all around.... the white snow dust that swirls across the landscape as the wind crackles!  YES! That part I LOVE!

There's one more...there is one thing that really excites me and that is perceiving the snow through the eyes of a child...the excitement and squeals of the snow falling.  Everyone running to the classroom windows to see the tiny bits of snow falling down from the clouds...that's what it is all about...they simply LOVE the snow!

So...Let's Talk SNOW...snow resources and activities to ignite that learning. 

⛄ Here's a Wintery Mix of Snow-Themed Ideas and Activities: 

⛄ Any Story written by Caralyn Buehner; especially her snowman series is worth reading to ignite your students' imagination and creativity!  My all time favorite is Snowmen at Night.

Everytime I read this story, I think of another idea of snowmen might just do at night and the ideas that students share amazes me everytime!

If you are looking for a way for your primary students to write creatively, this definitely fits the bill.

You can take a look at the complete resource here and see what you think!   

Here is what is included:  ⛄3 different sized circles to trace and cut to make a snowman. These can be used as tracers or simply run them off onto card stock, cut and glue. 

Various templates for hats, shirts, a tie, and bow     

⛄2 easy writing frames.

⛄1 longer writing frame for stronger writers with handwriting lines. 

⛄1 longer writing frame for stronger writers with only lines for writing. 

⛄1 planning sheet for jotting down ideas and a few extra writing ideas.

Beginning Middle and End frames for easier writing or just simply writing what the snowman may do for a rough draft and then writing a good copy to display. 

⛄I then add lots of beads, scraps, tissue, shape stickers, and all kinds of craft media materials to assist creativity. 

⛄An idea with an outline of directions for a lesson. 

⛄Sample craft. 

 ⛄  Want a Digital version of Snowmen at Night created for Google Slides™?  click here!

⛄ Have Some Fun with Snow Dough!

⛄  All kids love snow or at least most of them do...

If they have ever played in snow, they will remember the cold icy feeling of making a snowman, snow angel or snowball.

You can make snow dough with only 2 ingredients...YES...I did say 2.  Baking soda and water.  All you need is one cup of Baking soda and 1/4 cup of water and you will bring that cold snow right into your classroom.  

Here are a few ideas to use SNOW DOUGH in your classroom:

⛄Make it and simply let your kiddos play with it...this "snow" feels cold, which makes it even "cooler" to manipulate.  This is great for sensory needs and you can talk a little about Science!

⛄Create a snowman. Name the snowman and use a frame from the packet above or your own frame to write a story about your snowman.

Create a snow scene by adding small trucks, people, cars, houses etc.  Maybe even create a cooperative town!

There is another recipe for "SNOW" that I found the other day that is super fun "playing" with snow.

It is simply: 

1 cup of Baking Soda
1 cup of shaving cream
1 tablespoon of water...(we added a tad more baking soda and stirred until it was the right consistency.

Here is the result:


Have you tried writing sight words in the SNOW?  

We have...this  image is with a mat underneath, but if you know it will be snowing, get out there and have some fun with your sight words...if you are a homeschooler...what a fun way to learn your words!!! Even in school, walk outside and grab a tray of snow and get writing! OR simply use the recipe  above and start writing those words!

⛄What about Some Fun and Easy Science Experiments for Home or School?

These fun experiments for every month of the year from  igamemom are perfect!  These 10 Easy Snow Experiments are3 educational and fun for all ages!

⛄ You might also enjoy these ideas to make a snowy day a FUN DAY!   

⛄ Snowy Winter Station and Center Activities are Always a Great Idea

I  love creating centers/ work stations that fit the seasons and that students can rotate through in a week or two.
It gives me a chance to meet with Guided reading Groups or work one on one with students to meet individual needs of all students. Chatting about my ELA Centers/Stations is for another post, but if you are interested in some activities with a snowy theme, here are some that I used with much success!  It even includes a Reader's theater!

⛄ Snowy Winter Animal Research Reports is a great way to integrate winter and writing.  

Although the information included in this resource focusses on Polar Bears, Penguins and Reindeer, the worksheets to write the information are generic and can go beyond these winter animal.  See if this is something you might to use when the chill of winter passes through your classroom. \

⛄ Snowy Winter Writing Prompts

Encourage creative writing with prompts related to winter adventures, snowy days, winter holidays special days celebrated in January and more with these Seasonal Monthly Writing Prompts.  Here is one for January


Just imagine how excited your students or children will be when their classroom or house turns into a winter wonderland!

As the snowflakes dance and the chilly air wraps around us, these delightful winter activities and resources for primary learners promise endless joy and learning. From crafting snowflakes to a mix of winter writing, these experiences foster not just fun but also growth and discovery. 

Embrace the magic of winter and watch as these simple moments create lasting memories for all.

Let's make this winter a season of laughter, exploration, and endless delight for our young adventurers!

I hope these ideas bring a little "SNOW"shine your way!   Thanks for stopping by!

Jingle All the Way: Fun Writing Ideas for First Graders this December

Getting kids to focus on anything in December is a task in itself! 

They are preoccupied with thinking about their time off and you are busy trying to make school fun while balancing all your holiday shopping too.  I totally get how hard this season is which is why I created this easy no prep writing pack for December. 

Jingle All the Way: Creative Writing Prompts for First Graders
Make writing enjoyable for this crazy season with some engaging holiday themed writing prompts.  Here are some examples of the fun and festive writing prompts included for first graders:

🦌 If I Were a Reindeer ... 

This prompt allows children to imagine themselves as one of Santa's reindeer and write about their adventures. They can describe what they would do, where they would go, and how they would help Santa deliver presents.

🎄 My Favorite Holiday Tradition is...

This prompt encourages children to write about their favorite holiday tradition. They can describe what they do, who they do it with, and why it is special to them. This prompt not only helps children practice their writing skills but also allows them to reflect on the traditions that bring joy to their lives.

🎁 The Best Gift I Ever Received was...

Children can write about the best gift they have ever received during the holiday season. They can describe what the gift was, who gave it to them, and why it was so special. This prompt allows children to express gratitude and appreciation for the gifts they have received.
In my no prep writing bundle you will find over 40 different writing prompts and activities for a complete December writing journal.    

🕎  My Favorite Holiday is...

Students can write about their favorite holiday and share holidays and customs that their families celebrate that may be different or the same as their peers.   This encourages opportunities for students to write about Hanukkah, Los Posadas, Diwali and many other holidays celebrated.

These are just a few samples of the prompts that are included in this amazing writing resource.

Do you know how many special days are recognized during the month of December? I didn't think so. I didn't either until I started researching National Holidays for my December Writing Pack.   Here are just a few of the days your students can write about in December!

In addition to creative writing prompts and writing frames to celebrate special days, there are prompts to write memos, lists, thank you notes and friendly letters.

And...to make a bit easier for you and your kiddos, we've included ideas for writing lists, memos, thank you notes and friendly letters right at your fingertips!!!

We are not done YET...These Festive Writing Activities for First and Second Graders to Celebrate the Holiday Season is JUST the beginning!

HERE are several festive writing activities and suggestions that are not included in the December Writing packet that first and second grades can engage in to celebrate the holiday season. 

🎉 Creating Holiday Cards    

First graders can create their own holiday cards for their family and friends. They can write personalized messages inside the cards, expressing their love and holiday wishes. This activity not only allows children to practice their writing skills but also encourages them to spread joy and cheer to others. Check out all the ideas here from Lake Mac Family Life Digital Magazine

✏️ Writing Letters to Santa

Writing letters to Santa is a classic holiday activity that first graders can enjoy. They can write about their wishes, dreams, and what they have been good at throughout the year. This activity not only helps children practice their writing skills but also encourages them to think about others and express their desires in a thoughtful manner.

📝 Keeping a Holiday Journal

First graders can keep a holiday journal where they can write about their daily experiences, thoughts, and feelings during the holiday season. They can document their favorite moments, activities, and traditions. This activity not only helps children improve their writing skills but also allows them to reflect on the joy and excitement of the holiday season.

In my December journal that is print and go you will find letter writing activities in there already done for you!  Take a look here

Tips for Encouraging First Graders to Write during the Holiday Season

Keeping first graders engaged in writing during the holiday season can be challenging, as they may be distracted by the festivities and excitement around them. 

Here are some tips for encouraging first graders to write during the holiday season:

⏰ Set aside dedicated writing time

Create a schedule that includes dedicated writing time for first graders. This can be done at home or in the classroom. By setting aside specific time for writing, children will understand that it is an important activity that needs to be prioritized.

😊 Incorporate fun holiday-themed prompts

Use these creative writing prompts that are related to the holiday season. This will make writing more enjoyable for first graders as they can express their thoughts and ideas in a festive context. By incorporating holiday themes into their writing assignments, children will be more motivated to write.

⭐️ Provide positive reinforcement and feedback

Encourage first graders by providing positive reinforcement and feedback on their writing. Celebrate their achievements and improvements, and provide constructive feedback to help them grow as writers. By acknowledging their efforts, children will feel motivated to continue writing and improving their skills.

Make your life easier too by downloading my December journal writing pack that includes letter writing activities, explanatory writing prompts, and everything else fun and seasonal that your kids will love! December Writing Prompts

I hope you find these ideas helpful to encourage your students and children to WRITE ON and ON and ON!

Happy Holidays!

Wow! I blinked and it was almost November....where did October go annnnnnddddd everyone is forgetting November because Michael's had Thanksgiving items for 50% off and the entire store was decorated for December Holidays on October 15th same for Home Goods!!!

I can't even think about December yet...November just about to start...this is cray cray!!

With that being said, I want to quickly give you some fun days in November you can celebrate at home or with your students. I am not including Thanksgiving because that is a well known holiday!

So...Here we go!  6 Fun Days to Celebrate in November!

1.  Did you Know that November 8th is STEM/STEAM DAY? 

Everyday activities at home or in school can be fun and transformed into STEM challenges with the right questions to motivate STEM thinking!

Use of the correct questioning technique can encourage your kiddos to think outside the box, which is exactly what is needed with STEM activities.
  • Ask questions that require more than one-word answers, which allows for students to think deeper to answer and promotes higher order thinking.
  • Ask questions that focus on processes and reasoning, not solutions.
  • Ask “why” questions that require examples and reasons as the justification and make sure studentes explain their thinking.

I found these great Stem activities at THE STEM Laboratory. Check them out to celebrate STEM DAY!

2.  I am pretty sure that most of your classrooms have a set or 2 of Dominoes.  Guess what?  November 10th is Domino Day!

AND......I am willing to guess that you might have more than 2 sets depending on the Math program your district uses...am I right?

I am sure your brain is bursting with ideas for Domino Day, but just incase your brain is fried from teaching all week, here are a few ideas:

I thought this was a bit different in that the sums are provided and the kiddos have to find the part/part that equals the sum to complete the puzzle or game.

This Domino resource is exactly one of the ways that I used Dominoes in my classroom to learn math facts. The Kiddos loved it and it became a popular choice activity after our "Have to" math was completed!  

Another fun idea might be to play dominoes exactly the way the kids love to play them and we all know what that is...simply line them up and knock them down. You might even want to time them and see if they can arrange the dominoes in a different way to beat the clock or who has the longest run of dominoes knock down. Here is a fun one I found that is just fun to watch!

Any way you decide to celebrate Domino Day will be fun for everyone...oh and before I forget, here is a Wikipedia about dominoes. You can pick out a few ideas to share with your kiddos: Dominoes


Have you met Domino Dominic and Domino Dominique? You haven't?  Well let me introduce this couple to you NOW! This would be a great Domino Day Craft after teaching domino fact families or part- part -whole with dominos!  

This fun craft also includes poster to teach or reteach how to find domino sums using the PART-PART-TOTAL concept.

This is one you will not want to miss!

3.  Veteran's Day is celebrated on November 11th!  Why not teach your students about the meaning of Veteran's Day? 
Need a video that explains Veteran's Day?  Here You GO!

Here is a cute and easy idea for your little learners or not so little learners:
Tissue paper crumbled flag and a cute poem you can copy to use.

For the flags simply use white
8 1/2 x 11 cardstock.  If you are doing these with an older class, you can create the flag with the correct amount of stripes, but with 5 or 6 year olds, I would just worry about making sure there are red stripes with white between them.

The blue tissue won't really matter as long as it looks proportional. Older children can try to fit 50 stars, which are simply small silver sticky stars.
The poem is an easy one that is written in kid friendly language.  You might want to use it as a morning message and look for rhyming words, 1-2 or 3 syllable words and any skill you are working on with your class.

This is a great anchor chart for Veteran's Day that really summarizes the day!

4.  We can't forget World Kindness Day on November 13th!

Teaching kids kindness is so important for building community and character education.
I firmly believe that we should celebrate kindness every single day of our lives.  
Here is a post that I that I thought would be perfect to share with you here:  

I know I said I would not mention Thanksgiving since it is an obvious day in November to celebrate BUT...this is a great activity to use for your family and classroom family to understand and show Gratitude. 

Teaching gratitude has many social and emotional benefits; such as, encouraging well-being, supporting optimism and positivity, building confidence, encourages empathy, supports giving to others, reduces materialism and stress. It supports children in being thankful for what they have and to be less materialistic.

This Gratitude Thanksgiving activity will support your children in their journey to understanding and showing gratitude.


5. OOPS! I almost forgot about Button Day! 

Yes in 1938 November 16th was set aside as National Button Day to celebrate those who collected buttons. Here is a cute craft with some math and ELA ideas to have a little fun with buttons!
So there you have it...a few awesome days with educational ideas to integrate into your daily learning to bring a little fun back into learning.

So, there you have it...a few days to celebrate in November to bring some fun activities into your classroom...ENJOY!

Please comment and share your November activity ideas!

Spread kindness like confetti.  There is power in kindness.  A little kindness goes a long way.  These are all so true.  But lately my experiences have been a bit different.

A bit ago, as I walked into Wawa, which, for those who do not live in the Delaware Valley, is an awesome convenience store that has everything from great coffee and soup to nuts and breakfast sandwiches to name a few things,  I saw an older gentleman running toward me as I was about to open the door. 

He was wearing an US Navy baseball cap and said, "No, let me get that door for you!"  I looked a bit bewildered because I had nothing but my pocket book on my shoulder and by no means did I need any help whatsoever, but I replied,"Sure, Thank you! Now aren't you kind." He limped into the store and wore a smile from ear to ear and I...well...I wallowed for a while in his kindness and began to reminisce to "the old days" when doors were held and opened for others and people...well...people seemed to expect that these actions were simply what you did without even thinking about it!

I grabbed my coffee and juggled my purse as I threw the change into it and walked behind a man who opened the door to exit and well...he just looked straight ahead, unaware of me behind him, and simply let the door swing back at me...good thing I had the change in my purse and had a free hand or I would probably have a broken nose...well that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point.

"POOF" in 2 minutes I went from experiencing a simple kind gesture to a who cares if the door slams into a person attitude and then I had a revelation (soft inspirational music please).

In my opinion, kindness is becoming a lost social grace.  With Covid, masks, social distancing and more, it seems as though kindness has taken a back seat.

I am not saying that no one shows kindness, because they do...but what I am saying is we need to demonstrate kind actions everyday not just when our schools and neighborhoods decide to have a "pay it forward" or a "100 Acts of Kindness Week."  It reminds me of Mother's Day...we should be celebrating our moms everyday...not just one day a year...I know, I know...actually it is nice to have a special day where we celebrate kindness for moms or dads and especially teachers...BUT...it is important to demonstrate love, kindness and consideration every single day!

I am sure by now you are wondering where I am going with this, but just give me a few more seconds...my point is..

I think that Kindness is one of the most important behaviors that we can teach  our children and students.

 I want it and I am sure you want it too...I mean everyone wants their students and children to be kind and show kindness in school and at home. At times it can be a difficult task, especially in a world where children are exposed to so much more than years ago.

In order to be kind it is necessary to ignite thought patterns that encourage children to think beyond themselves and to think about others. Purposeful acts of kindness that encourage a strong foundation to embed positive lifelong character traits.

It is almost like stepping into the shoes of others to understand how they might feel. When children read a book, we ask them to imagine how a character might feel in a certain situation or even how they might feel if they were to experience what is happening in the story.  This is a form of empathy and a way to teach children how others might feel in different situations.  So it is important to give children opportunities to use real life situations.  For example, if they see a classmate crying, what would they do? A reminder to treat others the way they would want to be treated! YES..."The Golden Rule!"

So, here are 5 Ideas to Create a Culture of Kindness in your Primary Classroom That Will Make you SMILE!

1. Role Model and Practice Kindness:  You know the saying:  "Children Learn What They Live"...so if "Children Live with Kindness and Consideration, They Learn Respect."

We need to model kindness and consideration so our students will understand kindness and how to be kind.  We need to be aware of the words WE use when dealing with our students and our tone of voice. We need to USE those "Magic Words"or polite words..please, thank you, May I, Can I, etc.

I have created a resource entitled:  Social Skills Manners Be Polite and Use Those Magic Words.  This resource will encourage your students or children to remember these words with posters and situational task cards to reinforce how to be polite and kind!

Another way to model kindness is as your students come into the classroom, greet them at the door to make them feel special. This small kind gesture will stay with them the entire day!
If children feel good about themselves, they will be calmer, more positive and ready to learn not to mention if you demonstrate this small act of kindness, you will see your students being kind to each other throughout the day!

2. Morning Meetings:  

As soon as everyone is ready and all morning jobs are completed, provide a morning meeting where everyone joins in a circle on the rug and classmates greet each other in different ways.  They can pass a smile, shake hands to welcome their neighbor, elbow shake, butterfly greet or any ideas that you might think of for students to greet each other.  

You can also encourage a Compliment Greeting where each student gives a compliment to the person sitting next to them as they greet each other.  If you choose to do this, I always make sure that we compliment kind gestures or actions,
"Jimmy sat with me at lunch or Kelly shared her book with me" and not simply,"I like Johnny or I like Chrissy's dress!"

A morning meeting provides a positive time for students to interact get to know each other better and when you nod or shake a hand and say, “Good Morning, Jake. I am really glad you are here today,” it sets a positive tone for your class and supports expected behaviors throughout the school day as well as supporting kindness, consideration for others and respect for each other.

A Morning Meeting consists of a Greeting, quick Game, Sharing Time and a Class Message, which all provide a positive way to start the day and encourage positive classroom behavior. 

3. Teach about Kindness and What it is and Means:  

There are many resources out there and on Teachers Pay Teachers that have great ideas on how to encourage kindness and a plethora of books.

Here are a few books you may want to consider when teaching about kindness:
🌟  What Does It Mean to Be Kind? (Rana Diorio)
🌟  Kindness Counts (Brian Smith)
🌟  Kindness is Cooler Mrs. Ruler (Margery Cuyler)
🌟 Small Acts of Kindness (James R. Vollbracht)
🌟 Hey Little Ant (Phil and Hannah Hoose

Perhaps you may want to think about using my most recent resource:  I am Kind      

This extensive resource, jammed packed with many activities and ideas, will support your students and/or children to understand and be aware of ways to spread kindness.  I cannot think of a better time than NOW to empower your students to demonstrate kindness and be kind to others!  You know the quote, "One Day OR Day One...YOU CHOOSE!"

4. "Talking Turtle" a Spot to Talk and Work Out Problems:  

I had a turtle, which was an old sandbox I found at a garage sale...don't you just LOVE garage sales?  I mean they are right up there with Dollar Stores and the Target Dollar Spot as well as Wednesday trash days...I have been known to find some great FREE deals walking around the neighborhood...you know the old saying "Someone's Junk is another's Treasure" or something like that!  Any way you can use anything even just 2 pillows in a corner or a table with a few chairs in the back of the room.  

The main idea is to provide a spot where your students or children can talk out their problems independently in a nonthreatening considerate way giving each person a chance to talk and then coming up with a common solution on which everyone agrees. I can hear you right now...how long do you let them talk? What if they never come up with a solution and yadda, yadda, yadda! 

I place a poster with steps to solve problems and how to fix what you have broken in a kind and considerate way so everyone can feel good with the solution...I have to admit that sometimes it can go a bit long, but the upside is...they are learning how to take responsibility for their actions and how to solve problems...I may just have to write another post on "Talking Turtle" or a "conflict Corner as others call it.

5. Kindness Jar All Year Long:  

Have a Compliment or Kindness Jar during February or any month, for that matter.  I always placed the "jar" on a counter where it was easily accessible so children were able to write compliments about a classmate.  At the end of the day, I would simply pull a few out and read them to the class. This was also done during our morning meeting.  The jar I used was decorated with hearts to symbol kindness and I simply had a pencil/pen and heart-shaped sticky notes or paper next to the jar for students to write their compliments. If you notice that not everyone is getting a compliment, be sure to add some of your own so there is always smile!
Here is one I made for Kindergarten that was created from a clear flexible plastic container.
Any container or basket will work!

So...there you have it...5 Ideas to Create a Culture of Kindness in your Classroom...I hope you are smiling...I promised these ideas would make you smile and I never go back on my promises and after all...Kindness is a friendly smile!