This Months Top 5 Pinterest Finds

If you have read previous blog posts, you'll probably come to realise that I love Pinterest - as do many other teachers. If you've never tried it, seriously, you need to. It's like a huge catalogue of pretty much anything you can imagine. The main thing I use it for is ideas for the classroom - especially the displays! 

Every now and again I share some of my Pinterest finds on Instagram which always attracts a lot of attention from fellow professionals in the Education Profession. So, each month, I'm going to share 'My Top 5 Pinterest Finds' with links back to the original source so you can find out more about the idea and how you can put it into practice in your classroom! 

Just click the image to be re-directed to the original source.

1. Summer Countdown Door Display

Ok, so it's real hard watching everyone break up for their Summer Holidays over in America - especially when we still have until the end of July here in the UK! But, I seen this door display and just fell in love with it - each of the students could make their own little fish and then have the countdown which can be changed everyday! The only problem is - I don't know who would be more excited in our class - the pupils or the staff! Summer is almost here!

2. DIY Calm Down Jars 

It's only when you really want to purchase some of these for class do you realise that they cost an arm and a leg! They are crazy prices! So what better way than to make them yourself at an affordable price! Plus, you won't feel too bad if they get broken! Calm Down Jars aren't just for Spec Ed classes - they can be used in any class! All children should be able to access some calm down/sensory jars.

3. Kinder Graduate Photo Frame

Can I just say, it's only been through meeting fab teachers through TpT that I've realised - Kindergarten Graduation is actually a thing!!! One of our students this year is actually being transitioned back into a STF - leaving our Spec Ed School! We're constantly nosing at all the fab Kinder Graduation stuff to get ideas for how we can celebrate his last day with us!

4. Olympic Cones

As you know, the Summer Olympics are fast approaching - we have been busy in class making all sorts of fun Olympic themed recipes in our Cookery sessions. These are great for mini Olympic torches - plus they'll be super yummy too - your kids will thank you! 

5. Superhero Display

As our year starts to come to a close we are busy looking for some great ideas to decorate the class with next year. Superheroes are very popular in our class with the kiddos - we found this Hulk display and thought it would just be perfect! Plus it's a great way for our children to show off their work each week too!

Check back next month for some more Pinterest Finds!


Olympics: Brazil Footprints

This week we have been having lots of fun experimenting with out feet! As our current topic is the Olympics this year, we decided to make some Brazil Flags - using our feet! 

We painted the children's feet green, got them to stand on the paper and then cut out a piece of the Brazil flag and stick it in the middle - it may not look much but the children absolutely loved doing it and it was a great excuse for us to do some more footprint painting! 


Party Blower Frog: The Frog Olympics

Our theme of 'The Frog Olympics' this term has been so much fun! The kids have had a ball taking part in all the different activities themed around the frogs and their Olympics as well as our Summer Olympics.

One of their favourite crafts was these frog party blowers. They were so much fun to make - albeit a bit tricky, they were definitely worth it for how much the children loved wearing them as masks!

What you will need: 
  • Paper plate
  • Green paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue - Pritt Stick
  • Black marker pen
  • Party blower
  • Pair of googly eyes
  • Scissors
First, fold your paper plate in half. Once folded, open it back up full so that you can see the crease of the halfway mark. 

Next, paint the paper plate green, you can do this in lots of different ways, we usually mix up different shades of green paint for students to paint with.

Once painted, leave to dry.

Once dry, fold the paper plate in half once more to make the folded crease more apparent, open the plate full again and lay flat. Just above the halfway crease draw two circles - these will be the frogs eyes. Simply cut out around the eyes - do not cut off any of the plate, just cut out above/around the eyes so that they will stick out.

Fold the plate in half again, once folded this time, the eyes should stick up. 

Stick on the two googly eyes.

Use a black marker pen to draw a mouth. 

Using scissors, carefully make a small hole in the mouth then push through the party blower. 

Once completed, you can either leave standing (the plate folded in half will help to keep it up) or use as a mask (this was what our kiddos loved doing!)



Seller Spotlight Sunday: Third Grade Giggles

Welcome to my Seller Spotlight Sunday.
Every Sunday on my blog there is a guest post from another fabulous TpT Seller. They will be sharing one free resource from their store, one paid resource from their store and something that they have been up to that week or similar! 

So, don't forget to check back every Sunday or sign up for my email list to get notifications of new sellers!

Up this week is Jeanine Schneider from Third Grade Giggles!

Third Grade Giggles is on social media:
Pinterest: 3rd Grade Giggles
Instagram: @Third_Grade_Giggles
Facebook: Third Grade Giggles
Teachers Pay Teachers: Third Grade Giggles

I am so excited to be a part of Nikki’s blog here at Teaching Autism! My name is Jeanine and I have been a third grade teacher for 16 years. I hold a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in educational technology, and am a certified Reading Teacher, too.  I am also so lucky to teach in a “HOTS” public school, where the philosophy of education is that children learn through the arts. This philosophy is evident in my classroom, as students are always engaged in hands on learning, where creativity is encouraged and highly valued. Above all, I believe children (and teachers) should have fun at school and enjoy learning!

I create products that require critical thinking from students with fun, creative, and engaging activities. As a third grade teacher for years, I always found it difficult to find age appropriate activities for my students. Products and activities created for K-3 were too simple for my students, yet products created for 3-5 were too difficult. Because of this, I began creating challenging products for third graders in all areas of reading, writing, and math. I also have a line of holiday packs with a strong non-fiction reading emphasis. The activities that I create are challenging, engaging, and fun.

As the school year winds down, I am already prepping for next year! I am excited to say that I am changing grade levels and moving on up to teach fifth graders! This week I am cleaning out my closets and packing up my “stuff”…16 years worth of “stuff”.  As I sift through my cabinets and shelves I am not only cleaning, but taking a walk down memory lane. I love finding little notes from students, parents, and colleagues from over a decade ago. It is a reminder that what we do as teachers is so important and truly touches many, many lives. I am extra emotional leaving my classroom as I pack my room since I am the only teacher to have taught in room 242. A few years after I started teaching, my school moved to a new building. It was a wonderful experience to kick off the learning in my room as the first teacher. After ten years as the only teacher in that classroom, I decided to leave my mark on the future teachers and students of room 242 by creating a teacher time capsule. This time capsule is simple, yet great way, for me to say goodbye to the classroom that has helped me to create so many happy memories.  A quick reflection form, picture, and small gift for the next teacher are inside my time capsule box. You can start this fun tradition too, by grabbing this freebie in my shop. Even if you are not leaving your room yet, it is a great way to reflect on your years as a teacher.


Although I am very excited about moving grade levels, there is a lot to learn and so right now I am knee deep in learning new curriculum. To help get ready for back to school and a new grade level, I have been working on some engaging new products that are perfect for back to school season! These Science and Math Practices Posters and Activities Pack include posters to encourage the new science and math standards and stem learning. Engaging group activities and vocabulary learning encourage student discourse about what is expected and how they can put them into action in their own learning. Students collaborate, write, ad illustrate all about being scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Perfect for displaying in the classroom during back to school season, or anytime! I am excited to use these on my bulletin boards in September! Also included are small size informational sheets for students to glue into their math and science notebooks as a reference tool to use all school year long! This is available as a bundle, and sold separately, as well.



I hope that you are as excited about the upcoming school year as I am! Thank you so much Nikki, for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit about what is going on in the world of Third Grade Giggles! 
Happy Summer!

Father's Day Craft: I love HANGIN' with Dad

Can you believe it's almost Father's Day again? It's not too late - if you haven't bought your Dad a card yet - or even from your kids to their Dad yet, then don't panic - you can make these cute cards super quick and easy now!

This card is seriously the cutest thing ever, it's so easy to make and you hardly need anything at all! But the best thing about it is how personal it is - using your kid(s)/student(s) fingerprints!

Just follow the simple directions below to find out how you can make this great craft!

You will need:
  • White card
  • Print out of : I love hangin' with you Dad (or students write it on top, however you prefer)
  • Brown piece of felt/card/material to use as the branch
  • Brown paint
  • Brown marker pen
  • Googly eyes
You will need to:
  • Fold the card in half (portrait)
  • Stick down the branch halfway down the card
  • Use the child's fingerprint to dip into brown paint and place just under the branch
  • Once the paint has dried, use the brown marker pen to draw noses, tail, arms and legs
  • Add googly eyes to the monkey
  • Stick down the title on top of the card or write it.



Father's Day: Dad's 'STACHE'

Are you looking for a simple, fairly cheap gift to make with your students to celebrate Father's Day? If so, these sweet jars are going to be perfect for you and your students to make! - Plus they can be made super quick so you still have time to get them made ready for Sunday!

What you will need:
  • 1 glass mason jar (or similar) - 69p each from local bargain store!
  • 1 print out label for 'Dad's Stache'
  • Candy to fill the jar with
What you will need to do:
  • Put sweets/chocolate into the jar
  • Attach the label to the front of the jar or thread it on the string.

It's seriously as simple as those two quick steps! 


Father's Day: Best Dad I Ever SAW

Father's Day is almost here! Have you made something with your students yet to send home ready to celebrate Father's Day?

If the answer is no - how about this for a quick crafty activity that looks great when completed - plus you'll probably have all the resources needed already in your classroom (or School!).

What you will need:
  • Paper Plate
  • Gold Paint
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Print out of words
  • Black card
  • Grey card
  • Green card
  • (or white card and paint grey, black, green when needed for parts etc.)

What do you need to do:
  • Paint the paper plate gold and leave to dry.
  • Print out the words: Best Dad I Ever Saw! and cut them out individually - stick these onto the paper plate once dry.
  • Cut out a shape of a saw - using grey and black card to make up the two different parts or just on a white piece of card and paint/colour in grey and black where needed.
  • Cut out a green circle on the card or use white card again, cut into circle and paint green.
  • Stick the green circle into the centre of the paper plate.
  • Stick the saw onto the paper plate.
  • Hole punch a hole at the top of the plate. 
  • Thread some ribbon through the hole and tie together to make a hanger.
And that's it! A quick and easy craft activity to send home to Dad that looks great!


Father's Day: One in a Minion

We have been having so much fun painting our feet lately - so it was so much fun to be able to add it into our Father's Day crafts. This one in a minion craft is so quick and easy to put together - minus the washing of feet. Plus, it's great if you've not gotten around to making anything with your class yet. You can even mount it on different colour card (blue?) when it's finished for it to stand out more.

Here's some quick instructions on how you can make this craft:

What you will need: 
  • White card/paper
  • Blue card
  • Yellow paint
  • Blue paint
  • 2 x paintbrush
  • Wet wipes 
  • Black marker pen
  • Print out for middle piece ( just design something similar - students could do this independently on the computer if they are capable or you could even just write it on there!)
  • Googly eyes - 1 large, 2 small
What you will need to do:
  • Paint the top part of the students foot yellow and the bottom part blue
  • Place the students foot down onto the paper, make sure it's flat down so that the white card picks all the paint up
  • Leave to dry
  • Once dry, stick on the googly eyes - 1 large googly eye on one foot and 2 small googly eyes on the other foot. Use black marker pen to draw around the eyes, add some hair and a mouth
  • Stick the middle piece down
  • Once all parts are dry, back onto blue card to make it stand out (if you wish).

Happy Father's Day!


Frog Hats: The Frog Olympics

So, as some of you may know, this term we have been working on our topic 'The Frog Olympics.' It's a great little story that ties in perfect with the Olympics taking place this Summer. 

As part of our topic, we have been doing some Olympic crafts but also some frog crafts. These frog hats were so much fun to make, and the children loved putting the tongues on and having the frogs stick them out!

What you will need: 

  • Green card
  • Pair of googley eyes
  • Red card/paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue - Pritt stick
  • Black marker
Now comes the tricky part, it's not too hard an activity but your children may need some support in putting it altogether. We started off by drawing a quick sketch out of a frog shape and following it around in a headband shape. 

If you're worried about trying to draw the shape of a frog, simply print out a template of a frog and use this to draw around onto the green card.

Next, cut out a strip of red card/paper and roll it up into a tight ball. 

Get the students to stick the eyes on top of the frog. Draw a mouth with the black marker pen and then stick on the tongue using the glue. 

Once all dry, simply measure the hat around the child's head, cut it to the correct length and then staple it together!



Seller Spotlight Sunday: Momma with a Teaching Mission

Welcome to my Seller Spotlight Sunday.
Every Sunday on my blog there is a guest post from another fabulous TpT Seller. They will be sharing one free resource from their store, one paid resource from their store and something that they have been up to that week or similar! 

So, don't forget to check back every Sunday or sign up for my email list to get notifications of new sellers!

Up this week is Melanie Ebersole from Momma with a Teaching Mission!

My name is Melanie and I am the teacher-author over at Momma with a Teaching Mission. I am a first grade teacher in Western Maryland. I am finishing up my 3rd year teaching and just about tenured!! WOOHOO! 

I am also the mom to 4 fabulous kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. Their ages range from 11, 8, 6, 2. As you can imagine, I'm a little busy ;) 

I teach in a school where all the students (K-5) are flexibly grouped. This means they are with students that are on their level. Students are not tracked or aren't 'stuck' within one group; as they show growth and progress they are moved into a different class that meets their needs. Students also have 2 different teachers, one for reading/writing/social studies and one for math/science. I teach the lower end of first grade students and I teach reading/writing/social studies. The year prior to starting these flexible groupings, our first grade was completely departmentalized, and you can read more about departmentalizing by clicking HERE.

I don't know about you, but as for me, our last day is June 8th! So in preparation of sending my kiddos off on summer break, I created a pack of resources for them, including 40 printables to help students review the skillls needed in math and literacy for entering 2nd grade! You can find this resource by clicking on the image below!

My last week of school, my kiddos and I spent reflecting. One of my favorite resources, not only because it features Melonheadz cutie kiddos, but also because it's free, is Task Cards to reflect on the year

This works for ages K-5. You can set up SCOOT and have the kiddos get up and move around the room to answer the questions. You can have an open discussion with students. You can do a few questions a day. You can have the students write about their reflective answers! You can make it work for you!!

Visit me on TpT, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest! Happy Summer :D

Olympic Rings: Toilet Rolls

Toilet rolls are the one thing everyone always seems to have loads of. Especially when all the staff fetch in their empty ones to gather a collection - it's great for art resources! If you don't have a collection, start now then start researching some fun art activities you can use them for!

Today, we're sticking with the Olympics theme and it's Olympic Rings made out of toilet rolls!

This activity is actually a real nice, quick and easy one. It's not too fussy so students can do pretty much all of it independently or with little support! (Of course, this differs per individual student abilities).

So, you will need:

  • Different colour paints - preferably in colours of the Olympic rings.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Glue - PVA.
  • Toilet rolls x 5.
First, paint each of the toilet rolls a different colour, leave them to dry. 

Once dry, place them in the order of colours of the rings (a quick google search will help you out). Place the bottom 3 colours on the table first, glue in between each of them and stick them together (i.e glue the sides of the blue and black to sit them next to each other, same with black and red etc.) 

Next, put some glue on the bottom of the top 2 rings, stick them down onto the rings below.

You're finished!



Math Tip Monday; End of Year Wrap Up

Ok, this seems really strange. I'm writing about end of year wrap up when we still have 6 more weeks left in School! Actually, it makes me a bit pouty and jealous of all you lot who are at the end of the School year! LOL!

So, anyway, back to the topic, I am linking up again for Math Tip Monday. This is the final one in the collection and is all about wrapping up for the end of year. 

I want to give my sincere thanks to the two fabulous ladies who took the time and energy to put all this together for all of us to take part in such a fabulous linky. I'm sure all of us have gotten so many fab, new and exciting ideas that we can use to put into action in our class for Math! I mean, let's face it - Math is not everyones favourite cup of tea!

So, one of the things to talk about is favourite lessons from the year. This is hard but I think it's going to have to be our weekly number of the week activities. The children absolutely loved learning a different number each week, they would use number stamps to stamp with the number, colour in the number page, count out different numbers of objects to make that number and also lots of fun, cut and stick activities i.e ; 6 sizzling sausages in the saucepan. It meant they were always engaged and enjoying - plus each week was something totally different. We would do a different activity each day for the number of the week. There's also some GREAT videos on youtube on number of the week to start a session with or as part of your morning/afternoon greeting sessions! :) 

And the final thing I'm going to talk about is what we would keep/change for next year. We would definitely keep the number of the week as mentioned above, we also love to do the counting sentence building books with the students where they have to count how many objets they see then build a sentence using the prompts with it i.e 'I see 5 birds' - this is great for building not only their math but also their literacy work! What we might change is the amount of time we spend. The number of the week tasks went down a storm and the kiddos loved them, but we weren't sure how they would go down so didn't want to overpower them with too much, next year we are going to add some extra activities for each number to spend a little more time on them :)

I hope you've had a great School year and get to enjoy your last few days/weeks/month cooling down and spending some time with your students before going off on Summer break!

What was your favourite math activity that you did this year with your students? 

Don't forget to check out all the other fabulous teacher bloggers who have shared their end of year wrap up too! 



Seller Spotlight Sunday: Mickey's Place

Welcome to my Seller Spotlight Sunday.
Every Sunday on my blog there is a guest post from another fabulous TpT Seller. They will be sharing one free resource from their store, one paid resource from their store and something that they have been up to that week or similar! 

So, don't forget to check back every Sunday or sign up for my email list to get notifications of new sellers!

Up this week is Michele Strayer from Mickey's Place!

Hi!  My name is Mickey from Mickey’s Place.  I live in beautiful Roanoke, VA, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I am a retired teacher of 44 years!   During those years, I taught grades one thru five, predominately in first grade.  My true love!  I was fortunate to be a National Board Certified Teacher, Early Childhood Generalist, I was trained as a facilitator by the AIMS Education Foundation: Activities Integrating Math and Science, and I was an adjunct professor for the University of Virginia, teaching hands-on classes for elementary teachers in math and science.  I had a busy life with teaching and raising two daughters.  Then I retired!  What next?  That is when I realized I wanted to continue to share my knowledge with other teachers, and Teachers Pay Teachers was the way to go.
 When I began teaching in 1969, we had no materials or resources, and had to make our own.  So that is the Theme/Focus for my store.  I am concentrating on providing products/ games that are differentiated, all inclusive, and can be used over many years.  It is so hard to have the time to keep students busy to practice skills, while having another group with you. All of my activities can be used as a whole class, small group, with a partner, or individually.
 My first set I created practices the skill of alphabetical order.  Students manipulate train sets to practice their skills. Here is a sample of my pre-primer set.  I begin with sets of three sorts, all the way to sorting by five trains.

  As you can see on the next picture it shows the nine sets I completed.  It is definitely a winner to use year after year. Plus, now they are in bundles, a great savings for you!

I also decided to try some grammar sorts and began with nouns, and then added one for Pre-K students too, using only pictures.
       With June being here, I have a Number Sense set for each month.  They all have a new theme, and again can be used as a game, or in a center. The theme for June is the garden.

Later this summer, I hope to begin a series on number sense, and easy ways to teach this skill.  Please stop by and visit.      
                  For our friends in the southern hemisphere, you are approaching winter, so you might be interested in some of my winter activities for reading comprehension.  Here are just two.

  I hope you stop by Mickey’s Place to see many of my other learning games for pre-K thru fourth grade.  If you have a request for a skill you need to teach, let me know.  I would love to create an activity for it.
   A special thank you to Nikki for allowing me to be a guest on your blog this week!   
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