Seller Spotlight Sunday: Smart Teaching

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 Adele Keaton from Smart Teaching!

Hello - I am Adele Keaton, and it is exciting to be in the spotlight this week with Nikki at Teaching Autism.  My store is Smart Teaching.  I have been teaching elementary students since 1999.  I have taught bilingual, English language learners, and students of lower economic status in grades K-5. Most of my experience has been in first grade.  I have worked in English and Spanish as a classroom teacher, an interventionist, and a curriculum coach.

My logo is a tree made up of a student and teacher.  The red circle signifies the Spanish language and the blue stands for English.  When my students are proficient in both languages, they are bilingual.  This is represented by the purple circles that make up the outline of the tree.

My goal is to make teachers' lives easier while making learning fun for students.  One of my favorite ways to do this is to get students excited about coming into the classroom in the morning.

Each morning my students read a message written to them by one of the monthly visitors.  I have a stuffed squirrel to go along with this month's messages.  The squirrel shows up in a different spot in the classroom each morning.   My students look for the squirrel and read the message she has written.  There are mistakes in the messages.  The students correct the mistakes.  They love reading what she has to say.  They also write back to the squirrel a couple of times throughout the month.  If you would like to try this activity with your students, click on the square above for your FREE copy!


If your students enjoy learning with Scamper the squirrel, there is a message set available for every month of the school year. Each monthly package contains a message for every school day of the month. If you don't have a stuffed animal, a "flat" copy of the visitor is included for you to print out and move around your classroom.  There is an answer key, stationery to write back to Scamper, an editable PowerPoint version and packet for you to make for each of your students to correct. Using the editable PowerPoint version, you can add student and staff names. You can also add mistakes to the messages that you are frequently seeing in your students' work. New this year is a take home book.


After the visitor has been in your classroom for a month, they get to go home with each of your students.  The students each write about what happens during the visit.  The children bring back the sheet they have filled out.  You can then make the sheets into a class book with the cover and ending pages provided in the monthly package.


This summer, I am busy getting my resources ready for my Spanish classroom next year.  The activities that were available in Spanish at my Smart Teaching Store have now been moved to my new store - Spanish Supplies.  Having the resources separated by language makes it much easier for teachers to find what they need.  Please stop over if you are looking for materials in Spanish.

I am looking forward to having the visitors in my classroom again this year. Having the visitors travel between my students' homes is new for this year.  I look forward to seeing what the children write about the visitors' adventures in their homes!

Happy New School Year!


Meet the Teacher!

A lot of my followers have been asking me about Meet the Teacher resources. However, because where I'm from we don't really do stuff like this, I have no idea where to start, what to include, what to leave out etc. 

So.. I decided to put a little blog post up, include my favourite Meet the Teacher resources that I've come across but also to open a link at the bottom of this blog post for other Education Professionals can add their links to resources that they have for Meet the Teacher night... I still find it crazy that you all have this night, but what an awesome idea!

If you see something you like and want to find out more about, just click on the image to be re-directed to the original source!

First of all.. 

Wish Lists 
(Click the image to be re-directed to the original source to find out how you can get these!)

I still find it crazy that you all have wish lists and parents actually buy you stuff for your classroom from the wish lists! I mean, don't get me wrong it's a great idea - but how did that come about!? I love seeing the differences in the way our countries do stuff! Anyway, if I were to do Meet the Teacher night and have  a chance at these wish lists I would pounce on these gorgeous cupcakes! It's my understanding that parents take one and they buy what's on the cupcake. They are adorable! 

Up next..
Student Info Flip Books
(Can you believe this is just $1???!!!)

Ok, so this was never actually created for Meet the Teacher night, but after a lot of feedback, it seems that it was actually a great hit for it! This flip book is editable so you can change it to suit your needs and find out exactly the information that you need throughout your School year. 

Each page does come ready made with answers to fill in but these are optional and can be changed.

And finally....
Back to School Brochure
(Remember to click the image to be re-directed to find out more on this resource and how you can get it!)

So, this resource is absolutely adorable and if I were to have to use something like this, this would be up there with the top downloads. It's editable so you can easily change all the different bits to make them relevant for you and your classroom. Plus, how professional are you going to look with these?!?!?

So - do you have 'Meet the Teacher' night? Or do you have some great resources to share that others can use for Meet the Teacher? Just share them below! 


Olympic Torch Cones

Ok, these are not the easiest thing in the World to make - despite how easy they look! You're going to need a lot of patience and maybe a practice run a we found out. But they came out awesome in the end!

You will need:
  • Wafer cones
  • Icing sugar/powder
  • Butter
  • Small cup
  • Piping Bag
Ok, so first you need to make a very thick buttercream icing, then put it into a piping bag. Grab one of the cones and place it standing up in either a small cup or become creative and make holes in a cardboard box etc to get it to stand up. 

Pipe the icing in the shape of a swirl to get it looking like a torch/flames. This is when it has to be really thick so that it stays up. Place into the fridge to help it cool and set quicker. And you're done!


Seller Spotlight Sunday: Julie Davis

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 Julie Davis!

Hey guys! I am Julie from Big Ideas For Little Hands! I have been teaching Kindergarten for 10 years. Wow! I can't believe it has been that long already! Time flies when you are having fun and I absolutely love Kindergarten!

In Kindergarten, we try to move as much throughout the day as we can. It is hard for those little ones to sit still too long and we should not expect them to either. I also try to do as many hands-on learning activities as I can throughout the day. A few years ago, when I moved to a different school, I was told that we were required to teach Social Studies and Science standards but we had no materials to tech it with. I knew that I had to find a fun, interactive way to teach these standards. These is what led me to creating Flippy Flaps. My kids have learned so much through these activities and it also provides a folder that they can look back on throughout the year to remember their learning.

I teach thematically so I made these lessons based on the themes of the week and including various Social Studies and Science standards throughout each of the lessons. They all follow a similar format so that students can begin to independently complete some of the activities. I model how to do each activity with the students and we complete part together and part independently. We also do not complete the entire Flippy Flap in one day. I break it into 5 parts and we will work on an activity each day. By Friday, the students will have a completed Flippy Flap to remember all they learned.

Let's look at one close up. One of the favorite topics of all of my kids is Insects. There is just something about those creepy crawly bugs that the students love! You can also incorporate Insects into many Science standards.

Here is the cover and the back. We usually work on the cover throughout the week. Whenever the students finish early, they are able to cut out the pieces, color them, and glue them. This is not something that they need to watch me model so we do this part during extra time. The graph on the back is generally a Friday activity that we do together. We go around the room answering the question while each student colors in the appropriate square on their own graph.

The inside is where the majority of the learning takes place. We always start with the middle section on Mondays. We make a class chart about what insects can do, what insects have, and what insects are. Then the students will pick one or two examples from our chart to write under each flap. We then complete labeling an insect and talking about how each part is important to the insect. 

Throughout the week we will complete the other activities such as the life cycle of an insect, listing adjectives to describe an insect, sort picture cards to determine if it is or is not an insect, picture cards of insects, and writing all about insects. These are all completed together as a class and I model each activity.

My students have fallen in love with these Flippy Flaps and beg to do them weekly. You can find them all in my custom category in my shop here.

Here is a link to the insect Flippy Flap for you to check out for your classroom. There are even more in the shop and it is still growing so stop by and check them out! Your kids will love them too!

I also have a fun Back to School Flippy Flap Freebie that you can check out below. Click on the picture to grab a copy to use in your classroom.

You can visit my blog for some more great ideas. I would love to have you stop by and visit!



Olympic Ring Cup Painting

If you're ever worried your child(ren) may get bored of painting with a paintbrush, now is a great time to introduce painting with cups!

You will need:
  • Plastic cup
  • Paintbrush
  • Red, green, yellow, black, blue liquid paints
  • Paint palette
  • Paintbrush
  • White card/paper
First, you're going to want to pour each of the colour paints into the different pots on the paint palette.

Get your card/paper ready on the table, get your paintbrush and choose your first colour (I recommend going in order so that you'll know where to place the rings etc). Use the paintbrush to paint the lining of the top of the cup (the open top part of the cup where you would drink from NOT the bottom). Once covered in paint, place it onto the card/paper to make a circle.

Continue repeating the above with the different colours until you have made the Olympic Rings!


Spotlight Seller Sunday: Denise's Designs

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 Denise Hawkins from Denise's Designs!

Hi, my name is Denise from Denise’s Designs! I am getting ready to start my eleventh year of teaching. I taught 5th for three years, 1st for five years, and 2nd for three years.  One thing I always strive for with my students is to make my lessons fun and engaging. When I started creating items for my classroom, one of the most important things was for me to make them hands-on and interactive.

     One of my favorite ways to accomplish this is through the use of games. A favorite game of ours is Ten More, Ten Less Slides and Steps. Ten More, Ten Less has become such an important skill for students to master but it is one my students struggle with. I wanted a way they could practice independently and continue to work on so they could become successful with it.

                  Another way to make learning fun is through the use of interactive notebooks, they are becoming a favorite of mine. I have been working on creating notebooks for Sentence Boo-Boos which is my version of sentence editing. As I have gone back to edit these products I am adding a place to identify parts of speech. We all know how important it is for students to catch spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors and these notebooks provide an engaging way to do so. I created a Sentence Boo-Boo for you to try for free, free, free. 

     These interactive notebooks are a great way for me to get my students editing, writing, and learning all while they are enjoying working. My students enjoy them so much I am busy creating many more ways to incorporate them into our day! Be on the lookout for upcoming notebooks!

I was very blessed to be able to attend the ILA (International Literacy Association) Conference in Boston this past weekend! I was able to hear some amazing speakers and once again be inspired to do what I love and be the best at it that I can be! So I am off to learn, read, and seek new ideas for my classroom. The first day is quickly approaching!

     Thank you Nikki for this terrific opportunity to blog at Teaching Autism! I hope this finds all of you making the most of each day whether you are teaching or enjoying a much needed summer break!



National Shark Awareness Day

If you follow my blog you're probably thinking that I'm getting far too obsessed with these fun National Day's than is healthy, but I'm just loving the randomness of some of them to be honest, it's hard not to post every day laughing at some of them, so I'm trying to pick ones that really stand out to me that can be linked into class to provide fun learning opportunities for your students - or even at home! 

So, when I stumbled upon 'National Shark Awareness Day' I just knew that it would be full of amazing learning opportunities for our kiddos. I think it's safe to say that most children these days are terrified of sharks - heck, even most adults are! But, one of the main reasons is because all we ever hear about sharks are the bad stuff - we never hear the good stuff!

As always, please click the images to be redirected to the original source to find out more about the activity and how to implement it into your classroom/home.

First, let's start with a bit of a fun fact..

I think the majority of people have probably seen the photo do the rounds on social media about a scuba diver swimming next to a shark. The photo describes a 'murderer' but in more subtle words and how the other 'person' in the picture is a shark. It's all about people trying to teach us that sharks are not the biggest killers in the World. There's a lot more to learn about sharks than be scared of them killing!

If you have young children who love learning through songs, then we have the perfect song for you - literally both kids and staff love this song in our class and you'll often hear us humming it throughout the day! You can find it here or watch below.

It's a bit of a fun, animated video all about baby shark, mummy shark, daddy shark, grandma shark etc. Your kids will love it and it's a great way to introduce the theme of sharks into your classroom!

 Shark Awareness Day will provide a great opportunity for you and your students to discuss what would happen if sharks were to become extinct?

Like anything else in the World, if Sharks were to disappear there would be repercussions and these may not be for the better. As the image above shows, stingrays would over populate which will affect shellfish populations - this will have a real effect on us and it's a great way to discuss the important role that sharks play in the World. 

Children just love getting arty/crafty - they love it even more when they get to parade around in their masterpieces when it's finished, so these shark hats are a great way to get your students engaged in your shark topic.

It's pretty well known that children learn best when they're having fun - so what's more fun that feeding fish to a shark? This game is a great way to practice lots of different skills with your students - plus they can even help out creating it with you! 

There are so many amazing children books around these days, there's pretty much something for every topic that you could imagine! Just looking at books stores only there were hundreds of shark books to choose from, so I went to goo old Pinterest - there were loads of teacher recommended books on here to use for Shark Week and this one looked like it would be lots of fun! The reviews suggest that this book is pretty similar to the story of the 3 Little Pigs - just with sharks and fish - it's sure to be engaging for your students! 

While browsing through the previous blog post, I also came across this book - it also looks lots of fun! 

If your students/children love to watch movies - this will be a great hit during Shark Week! It's a fun, engaging movie that your students will love! Lenny the shark is a vegetarian and wants to be friends with other fish - a great watch for sure!

How do you celebrate Shark Awareness Day or Shark Week?


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