Groundhog's Day Videos: Stories, Facts and Songs


Check out the videos below for quick links concerning hot topics around Groundhogs Day!
Stories
Peep and the big wide world: Bringing Spring
It is a cold and dreary spring until groundhog sees her shadow!

Wake Up Groundhog!

Double Trouble Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day!

Good Morning, Groundhog!

Who Will See Their Shadow This Year?

Go To Sleep, Groundhog!

Groundhogs Day

Substituted Groundhog

Groundhog Gets a Say

Grumpy Groundhog

Gretchen Groundhog

Facts

The History of Groundhogs Day

Groundhog Day Explained

The facts about groundhogs.

Fun Facts About Groundhogs!

How Are Shadows Formed?

Groundhog Day!
This video helps to explain why it is difficult to see groundhogs in February and
 how much wood they can move!

Groundhog Day Explained

The Weird History of Groundhogs Day

Songs
The Groundhogs Song

The Groundhog Song

Groundhogs Day Song for Kids

Happy Groundhogs Day
A song for young children.

The Groundhog Gallop

Groundhog Day - Feb 2

Groundhog Day 2015 Original Song
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Affordable and Engaging Building Toys and Provocations


Simple is best. My mom and my grandma always swore by it. Now I believe it!

Despite "knowing" this for my life (aka being told this) it has taken years for me to fully embrace a simplistic understanding of play. My children grew up with us not always ever getting the "latest and greatest" but they were never lacking a variety of toys, often colourful and plastic.

Mostly these experiences were thanks to great local thrift stores and a mom who was never willing to pay full price for anything! lol

Play

As I have delved deeper and deeper into understanding play, watched and learned along with them,

I have developed a deeper appreciation for simple items. I see the richer experiences and their imagination grow. As a result, I prefer open-ended activities which allow children to decide where to take their play.


My students have shown me their love for all things simple.

One of our biggest hits has simply been cardboard roads with real photos of our local community.

They can take any shape, design and students can add to their play in an unlimited way.


This is the aftermath of an afternoon of creative building. 

You can see a lake in the background, a green carpet as the zoo in the foreground and the "remains" of roads where there were different buildings from our community. There were six students who collaborated to make this. 

I wish I had a photo of what it actually looked like. It was amazing.

I printed each photo twice, put them back to back to each other and then laminated them together.

Super easy, affordable and relatable for the students in my class as it is relevant to their personal lives.

Ideas for pictures in your community to laminate:

aerial view of an airport
apartment buildings 
aquarium museums
bakery
banks
baseball field
car wash business
car dealerships
coffee shops
Costco
CN Tower
dollar store
farm
farmers market
fast food chains
fire station
football field
forest
gas stations
grocery stores
Home Depot
hotels or motels
ice rink
Lego store
movie theatres
Niagara Falls
park
pet stores
police station
race track
random houses in the community
restaurants
roundabout
aerial view of a ski hill
soccer fields
swimming pool
townhouses
train station
Toys R Us
zoo

No more worrying about which expensive toy is going to be the new "thing" in my classroom.

A simple gift for which I am grateful for!
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Learning 3D Figures in Kindergarten


I love exploring math through a wide variety of activities.

Here is a sampling of many activities I have done throughout the years and a collection of other ideas from teachers I work with.

Feel free to add any additional activities in the comments below!

Hide & Seek

Play a simple game where one shape is missing and hiding in the classroom. Can the children find it?

Name Change

Give students a sticker with a picture of a shape to wear for the day. That is their new name for the day!

Guess My Shape

Pair students together. One student has a label of a shape on their back and they can ask yes or no questions about the shape in order to guess what shape it is!

4 Corners - 3D Figure Edition

Post the 3D figures around the room. One student has their head down and the other students have 10 seconds to stand at a 3D figure. The student keeps their head down and calls out a 3D figure. All the students under the shape are out of the game and sit on the carpet. Then we have 10 seconds to rotate to a new 3D figure. The game is over when either one student is left or a small number. I love the following freebie for this game:



Touch & Feel in a Mystery Bag

One student picks a shape from a bag. Using their senses, they can either describe the shape with what they know about it or the other students can ask them questions to try to guess what figure it is!

What Do I Have? 

In this whole group game, you need enough figures so each child and yourself has one and place them in the center of the carpet. The teacher goes and takes one first and then the students do.

The teacher is the "fantastic figure" and students answer questions you pose for them. For instance, you may ask them, "How is your figure the same/different than mine?"

Show your figure.

Take turns, one student at a time, sharing how they are similar to your figure. (e.g., they both stack, they both roll, they both have two flat faces, it is a cylinder etc.)

Building Straws

What 3D figures can you make using building straws? Can you put multiple together to make something new?

Attribute Chart

Create a chart with students, looking and documenting the different attributes. This can be done as a whole group, small group or left out as a provocation to see who is interested.

Grocery Store

Students bring in empty, used containers from home to create a grocery store using a variety of 3D figures.

Musical Shapes

Put a 3D figure into a bag. Play music and pass the bag around. When the music stops, students name the shape or some attributes of the shape.

Shared Reading

I love using poems to reinforce knowledge of concepts. It makes learning fun! This is the link to the poem I use:


Magpie Poem

We have a bird puppet who hides 3D figures under a blanket.

We sing the following poem as the bird goes under the blanket to hide a 3D figure on the children.

 "A magpie came down my chimney one day. I wonder what he has taken away?"

After the poem is sung, the children have a chance to guess which object is missing! Add multiple shapes of different colours or sizes to change up the difficulty! We often have students who can easily figure out which shape is missing from a selection of 15 objects presented to them!

Environmental Shape Hunt

Look around the school with your classroom iPad and take pictures of objects around your school made up with different shapes. You can compare manmade vs nature outside. Print these images afterward and have a sorting activity with the images! You could even create a book with the images the students found.

Figure Face Match

Trace the faces of the shapes onto a large sheet of paper. Have students match the face to all the figures they can find!

3D Figure Puzzles

My students absolutely love puzzles. I have a variety of different puzzles of 3D figures with images of everyday objects. Students match the shapes of the objects and then create the puzzles. These can be out as a provocation or provided as an art activity for them to glue and take home. Click on the images below to view:


Play Dough Stamping

Explore 3D figures by stamping, comparing sizes, shapes and see if the students extend this activity into patterning!

Play Dough Moulds

Have 3D figures provided for students to see if they can copy them with play dough or to see if they can make a mold of it!

Building Challenge

Can you make a tower, bridge or a castle using the 3D shapes?

Beautiful Junk Community

Have students bring 3D objects of beautiful junk from home and make a community together with these items! Challenge students about how many community helper locations they can create.

Recycled Community

Use recycled objects to build a community (cereal boxes, tin cans etc). See if you can get an aerial photo of your community and see if students can replicate it!

Recycled Robots

Use recycled objects to build a robot. Host an art gallery when parents come to the classroom to show off their work. Share with learning buddies!



Mystery Item

Students can bring in a mystery item from home and the other students need to guess what the item is based upon simple questions about the shapes. For example, does it roll? Does it slide? Does it have six faces?

Straws & Pipe Cleaners

Add these to a provocation to see which shape the children can make on their own.


Toothpicks & Marshmallows

Make 3D figures using toothpicks and small marshmallows. These can topple easily so I often take pictures of what the kids have created and then let them eat it afterward!

Fruit Building

Cut up fresh fruit to make shapes. Let students be creative using fruit like bananas, apples, and grapes!

Plasticine & Straws

Make 3D figures with plasticine and straws!

Sugar Cube Building

Use sugar cubes and glue to build a structure! It usually takes overnight to dry properly. Make sure they are glued onto a piece of paper with each child's name so they don't get mixed up the next day!

Picture Provocations

Print out a variety of different photographs of various objects and buildings. Ask students what they see. Do you see 2D shapes or 3D figures? Which ones do you see?

Engineer Station

Have students test the various 3D figures provided on the table. Can the stack? Roll? Slide? Use a clipboard and a checklist to record answers or have students sort by what they are testing for.

Ramp Building - Does It Roll?

Provide an opportunity for students to create a variety of ramps, with a variety of lengths and angles, to test the shapes.

Making Predictions

If you have access to an overhead projector, place a 3D figure on it and have students predict which figure it is only knowing the shadow!

Show & Share

After learning the shapes for a long time, host a special 3D shape day for each shape you have learned! Students can bring something from home for each "special" day. For instance, on the sphere day students may bring in a ball, globe or marble! Then sort and compare objects.

This is a What Game

In a circle, the shape is passed one child at a time. The teacher passes the shape to child one and says,
Teacher: "*Name,* this is a cube!"
Student one: "A what?"
Teacher: "A cube!"
Student one: "Oh! A cube!"

Student one: "*Name,* this is a cube!"
Student two to student one: "A what?"
Student one to the teacher: "A what?"
Teacher: "A cube!"
Student one: "A cube!"
Student two: "Oh, a cube!"

Continue around the circle until everyone is participating in the round. The teacher can vary their voice each time and students copy. It can be a lot of fun!

Can you build it? A Barrier Game

Provide a station for two students with a divider in the middle. Each child needs the same shapes. One student creates a picture/structure with their figure and then they instruct the second child how to build it. See if they can use the correct names or have them describe the shapes without showing the figures and only using verbal directions!

Block Play

Explore 3D figures with building blocks or as a small building provocation. What can you build?

Snow Fun!

Use old recyclables or random objects to build and create in the snow (e.g., yogurt containers, apple sauce containers, funnels etc.).

For video ideas to help learn 3D figures, click on the image below to 
go to my blog post of online videos to use in your classroom!

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Anti-Bullying Videos and Books for Primary Teachers


I am always looking for quick handy resource lists for special occasions or hot topics that occur in my classroom.

I hope you find this list of anti-bullying videos and books to be helpful.

It's a great resource list for teachers looking for ideas for pink shirt day!

Videos
Invisible Isabelle
This is a children's book about bullying. She has a unique style and her friends bully her because of it. She changes her appearance so much to fit in that she becomes invisible.

Pickles and the Bully
What do you do when you are very smart and cannot talk to solve a bully problem?

Sesame Street: Don't Be a Bully
An engaging video which kids can relate too.

Don't Laugh at Me
This is a song about how special and unique everyone is.
Sockhead Smith: Anti-Bullying Song
This has a short lesson and song to hep make children aware of what bullying is and how to react when being bullied.

The Meanest Girl in Second Grade
Zoe wasn't just mean, she was REALLY mean to others. A good lesson in bullying.

McGruff: Anti-Bullying Film
McGruff is on the hunt to solve a mystery.
The Playground is for Everyone
These kids learn how to take a stand against a bully who doesn't want them to play on the playground and it is an important lesson in sharing.
Books
Goose On A Roof
Goose has low self esteem due to being bullied by the other geese.
Bad Astrid
Astrid is unpleasant to others. She eventually reveals why she isn't nice to her neighbor and a friendship is born. This is a great conversation starter for young learners.

Clara and the Bossy
A story of what can happen when a friend becomes bossy.
Eddie Longpants
This story is great for sharing a story of acceptance and will start a great discussion on teasing with your students.
Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl
Fancy Nancy faces a realistic problem and solution to a problem regarding a race. Teasing, bullying and sportsmanship are all covered in this simple book!

King of the Playground
Kevin faces a bully at school. After discussing it with his dad, he discovers a variety of strategies to solve his problem. 


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Books To Inspire Line Art


My favorite way of introducing any art concept is through a book. It provides meaning and a deeper understanding for students. I also love it when kids are given the opportunity to show what they know. They always prove to have amazing skill and talent beyond what we realize.

A Beautiful OOPS!
This book is the perfect book for children to realize that mistakes can be turned into something beautiful. 


10 Black Dots
This book is the perfect book for children to see circles all around them. Great for inspiring art and allowing children to use their own creativity as they pick how many dots they want to use in their own picture!


Not A Stick
What can a stick be turned into? Have students be creative and show their imagination using their artistic or creative building skills!


Not A Box
Clearly, it is not a box! Students will be inspired to turn a square into something inspirational.


Not A Box
Children will learn how we can change the look of a simple shape to create many different things!


 Not A Box
This book is fantastic for learning how similar shapes can make a variety of different creations! All inspired by a little wind! ;)


Ish
This is a story of children who learn that it is okay to make and create things "ish" like. This is one of my favourite artistic books to inspire creativity.


Scribble
This book explores how shapes learn how to get along with each other. It is a great book to use to explore creativity, imagination and friendship!


The Dot
A story of a girl who is frustrated creating art but then learns, as she goes through the learning pit, that she is artistic and creative. 

A Little Bit of OOMPH!
Turn something ordinary into something extraordinary with a little bit of "oomph!" It is a fun engaging books that kids will truly enjoy!



Do you have any other favourite books to inspire line art? Please feel free to list below or email me! I'd love to add to this list!
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Top Wish Listed Items


I am excited to be linking up with Diamond Moms Treasury for a link up of our most wish listed items! Check out some of my most wish listed items below and then head over to Diamond Moms Treasury to see some of the other wish listed in this linky.

These primary growth mindset posters are an excellent way to start discussions with students about how to have and/or develop a growth mindset! Great for class discussions and a way to make a positive impression on your students.

 We use a calming corner in our classroom to help students learn how to regulate their behaviour and their emotions. This has been an amazing tool to help students identify their emotions and refer to when needing strategies to help them calm down.

These growth mindset posters are perfect for Junior, Intermediate or Senior classes. Great for inspiring class discussions on growth and providing an inspirational classroom environment. 


This is quickly becoming my most popular product. Are you new to Kindergarten? This bundle might be perfect for you! There are lots of amazing resources to help you get your classroom started. It also includes a variety of assessment files for teachers in Ontario using The Kindergarten Program, 2016.

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Co-Created Class Schedule


Whenever possible, I am learning that my students like to use real photos of our day for our daily schedule.

I like a consistent look and was looking for something that provided lines and boundaries for my kids to be able to add their own text in a differentiated way.

I looked around and couldn't find what I was looking for, so I ended up creating my own! If you want real life photos and children to print the environmental print in your classroom, this may be something you are interested in. It looks great printed in color and in black and white.

One thing that I love about this schedule is that all of the schedules are the same size (4.5" * 11").

I can print off different pages for different students based on their writing skill level and if they need to trace letters, I know that other students will be able to read their writing!

There are three different schedules that I included in one product to allow for differentiation! Tracing allows my youngest students, who often are non printers, to be able to participate in creating our schedule. The blank option allows for students to print all the words based on their own printing ability.

1. Insert photos & trace wording


2. Professionally print photos & trace wording


3. Insert photos and students individualize wording


If you're interested in checking this schedule out, click on this image to check it out!




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