Texas Winter Storm Share-Write-Discuss Process Activity

Texas just went through a pretty major winter storm event which kept students across the state home from school. Many of our students made wonderful and scary memories because of this event. Some of our students saw snow for the first time in their lives, but also lost power and may have been freezing and hungry in their homes. No matter what they experienced, our students will walk in our school doors (or Zoom or Google Meet screens) wanting to talk about their experiences. I believe we should most definitely allow students time and freedom to discuss and share their experiences… but at the same time… YIKES! We just lost 5 instructional days!!! How can we value our students, allow them to process and share, but not lose more time?!?! Play a quick game of Stand Up If… followed by a quick write and small group share. 15 minutes or less will allow ALL students to share, feel heard, and hear from other students.

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How I Self-published on Amazon for FREE

My son Jackson and I make up stories together all the time and recently, with a lot of research and some hard work, we turned one of our pretend stories into a real PUBLISHED book! Fred and Joe Go to Egypt is now available for purchase on Amazon in both paperback and kindle ebook! How did we do it? I’d love to share so that you, too, can self-publish for FREE on Amazon and I hope to share some tips and tricks I learned along the way to save you some time and energy on your publishing journey!

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Jamboard Templates, Tips, and Tricks!

Jamboard is a collaborative online whiteboard space with simple, easy-to-use tools. You can access Jamboard by going to jamboard.google.com. I am a little slow to jump on the Jamboard train, but now that I’ve played around, I see so much potential! I’d love to share a couple of templates I created as I explored the features Jamboard offers and then share some tips and tricks I discovered along the way to help you create your own!

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Making My Best Year Ever

In chatting with my fourth-grade daughter about New Year’s Resolutions and setting goals for the new year, I provided several prompts to help her think about what she wanted to do better, learn more about, remember, and improve on. In prompting her, I realized I needed to take time to reflect on these same prompts before setting goals for myself! When I told her that I wanted to be a better mom, wife, and principal, she was quick to tell me that I didn’t need to improve – I was already a grown up! This led to an awesome conversation where I got to share that as humans we are never done growing and learning and getting better and that I was definitely going to be thinking and reflecting and setting goals for improvement, too.

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Rainbow Doodle Backgrounds and Frames

I have a hard time stopping. Relaxing is difficult for me. I somehow feel guilt over not getting anything accomplished. I too often forget that REST should be on my to-do list. Doing something just for sheer enjoyment is good for me (and you) and SHOULD be thought of as an accomplishment for my well-being. Something I really enjoy doing is doodling and creating backgrounds and graphics for use in future google slides presentations. Over the last week, I spent time resting and relaxing as I doodled away on my iPad creating the following Rainbow Doodle backgrounds and Frames (some inspired by my children’s choices and suggestions):

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Thanksgiving Printable Games

I love the whole idea of Thanksgiving – that we should take time to reflect on our blessings and be grateful for the good things in our lives. I also love a great game! Combining those two loves… I have template for you with directions for TWO printable games – Thanksgiving Categories (think Scattergories with Thanksgiving prompts) and I’m Thankful For… which challenges players to think of something they are thankful for that goes with EVERY letter of the alphabet – with points for every unique answer!

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Fall-themed Mystery Prize and Points Template

A huge trend among our young students right now is collecting mystery reveal prizes. These are sometimes referred to as “blind bags”. These are a series of toys or figurines that kids buy without being able to tell which one they are going to get. Some are labeled as “Common” and others are “Rare” or “Ultra Rare” – which are, of course, highly coveted. I brainstormed with my daughter (who loves these mystery reveal prizes, by the way) how I might create a template that mirrors the excitement and fun of revealing a prize while practicing school work. I also wanted the template to be useful as both a DIGITAL template for online learners AS WELL AS a PRINTABLE for use without a computer. Here’s what we came up with:

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Easy ideas for keeping relationship building your top priority

Teaching during a pandemic has created A LOT of additional work for teachers. Many educators (including myself) have advised teachers to pick top priorities and choose to let other things go. One priority that teachers SHOULD NOT let go of is making time for building relationships with students. This is just so paramount! So how can educators keep building relationships a top priority when they are so incredibly pressed for time?? Here are some super fast and easy ideas that take ZERO prep time (cause I know you don’t have any to spare) for keeping what’s most important from getting pushed aside by other required tasks.

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