Make Creative Writing Fun With Writing Prompt Spinners

Are you tired of your students complaining that they don’t have any good ideas for their creative writing journals? Are you tired of printing off one-use writing prompts that may work well, but aren’t handy when you’re in a hurry? Why not try writing prompt spinners during your lessons?

Simply provide students with a spinner and hand out paperclips. Students use their pencil and the paperclip to spin three times. The first spin gives them a character, the second gives them a setting, and the third will gives them a plot element to use in their story. Your students then use their creative license to write a fun story!

For example: a cowboy (spin 1), in a submarine (2), where someone is surprised (3). Might turn into a story about a startled cowboy who is beamed into a submarine full of surprised soldiers to broker an alien peace treaty.

There is a worksheet provided for students to write their stories, or you can choose to have students write their stories in their journals.

If you would like students to have their own personal spinner, a fun extension is to have them color a space once they have spun it. When creating future prompts, if they hit a colored space, they must re-spin. This process continues until the spinner is fully colored in, and eight stories have been written!

This product is a bundle of 8 spinners with the themes of Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fairytale, Science, Mystery, School, Fantasy, and Spooky. They can be purchased individually, however by buying as a bundle you save 50%.

Earth Day Interactive Notebook

Earth Day is just around the corner. It can be challenging to talk to students about the environment in a way that doesn’t discourage them. The lessons I created for this interactive notebook are designed with a variety of activities that help students explore key ideas surrounding how they can help the environment not just on a personal level, but as part of a community.

It includes:

  • A KWL Chart for students to track their learning and questions
  • Two reading passages and fold over responses:
    • Schoolyard Clean-Up: This fictional passage emphasizes the importance of community for helping the environment.
    • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!: non-fiction reading passage discussing the 3 R’s for reducing waste.
  • ‘I Can…’ Foldable Note
  • Reduce Reuse Recycle Foldable Note
  • ‘The Earth Is Everyone’s Home & Everyone’s Responsibility’: foldable note or bullitain board display exploring where positive environmental changes can be made.
  • Teaching guides for each activity and visual foldable instructions.

Solar System Expedition: An Immersive Space Explorers Unit

Welcome to Shuttle One! I hope you’re ready to pin on your badge and take your seat in the Captain’s chair as you and your students explore the solar system.
Space has always been one of my favorite topics to explore. It is such an awe inspiring subject to get students excited about learning, and I had so much fun designing this unit! There is nothing better than students that show up to class excited to learn more, and engaged in the subject material, it is my hope that this unit helps you bring out this passion through an immersive learning experience.

So what makes this unit different from any other? Each day students undertake a reader’s theatre ‘mission’ to learn about a specific planet, and complete a related note in their notebook. Each mission has 5 roles (Commander, Ground Control, Pilot, Copilot, and Science Officer) of different reading levels (noted in the teaching guide for each day). The reading levels do not correspand with the role, and switch every ‘mission’ so that students of all reading levels can feel like an equal part of the mission team! The mission information is supported by a fun related note. 
On the teacher’s side of things, each mission comes with a lesson guide and at least one recommended video incase you would like an additional resource to show students. The immrsive atmosphere is very important to me, so I have included a variety of ideas for creating an immersive classroom, from decorations, playing space scenes on the projector, and providing links to ‘space ship music’ to play while students work.

There is also a selection of supplemental resources you can use at your discretion. These resources include a book list, writing activities, bookmarks, extra foldable notes, and more. 

You can see a full preview and purchase this unit here. Be sure to say hi to any aliens you meet on your journey!


A Spooktacular Halloween Giveaway


I love Halloween! A time for carving pumpkins, spending evenings planning out costume ideas, and eating too many sweet treats shaped like (ew) eyeballs!

This is also a time of year when students are very antsy and distracted in the classroom. Well, if you can’t beat them, join in! Help curb the collective sugar high by meeting their excitement with fun and engaging Halloween themed activities.

I want to make this your best Halloween yet. So I’ve teamed up with 9 amazing teacher-authors to bring you a (cue creepy narration voice) SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY. Mwahahahaha.

Well, there’s actually nothing scary about this sweet event! Take a look at the 10 awesome Halloween products below that you could win, in addition to a $50 TPT Gift Card!

Enter using the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. The giveaway opens on October 18th and the winner will be chosen on October 22nd.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Fact and Opinion Scoot
Students reinforce their understanding of fact vs. opinion statements in this fun, fast paced activity. Students scoot from one card to the next as they determine whether the Halloween themed statement is a fact or an opinion.
Halloween Word Wall Words
Post these Halloween word wall words in your classroom to help encourage students with their writing either before or after Halloween as a reflection activity!
Parts Of Speech Silly Sentences
These task cards will have the children laughing and engaging in a fun activity as they practice using parts of speech.
Halloween Math Scavenger Hunt Task Card Bundle
Have some Halloween fun, all while consolidating some math skills with my Halloween Math Scavenger Hunt Task Cards! 3 hidden messages to be found.
Halloween Reading & Writing Activities
These Halloween themed activities include reading, writing and logic puzzlers.  It’s great for a day of excitement to keep your students busy between the costumes and candy.original-1479989-1







Halloween Centers
Have your kids got a case of the Halloween crazies? Engage and excite them with these Halloween Center activities!
Halloween Multiple Intelligence Stations
This resource includes 8 fun and engaging Multiple Intelligence Stations to help students celebrate Halloween. Each station is designed to let their strengths shine.









Frankenstein Activity Pack
This math and literacy pack includes a fun and spooky way to brush up on those tally skills by counting the scars on Frankenstein’s face. It also includes a writing component where students can haunt up your hallway with these Frankenstein page toppers!








Halloween Pattern Pack
This Halloween themed pack is filled with a variety of patterning activities. Centers, printables and more!

These low prep activities are perfect for getting your students into the Halloween mood! Thinking, writing, and creating are a breeze with this pack!original-1483904-1


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5 Spooktacular Halloween Books For Kids

5 Halloween Books

Halloween is a great time to engage reluctant readers with creepy crawly stories, tales of witches and goblins, and dress-up dramas.

Here are some of my favorite Halloween reads to add to your classroom library.

It’s Raining Bats & Frogs
When Delia the witch decides to change the rain… chaos ensues!

The Perfectly Imperfect Pumpkin
A great story about being unique.

I’m Trying To Love Spiders
Informational fun narrated by an arachnophobe!

Little Boo
The story about a little seed that can’t wait to grow up.

The Witches’ Supermarket
What happens when you accidentally wander into a supermarket for witches? A delightfully funny tale…

What are your favorite books to read at Halloween? Let me know in the comments below.

Pumpkin Fact vs. Opinion Scoot


Fall is here in full force! The leaves are turning, pumpkins are out on front stoops, and the classroom is aflutter learning about bats, spiders, leaves, and pumpkins!

One of my favorite fall units is pumpkins! I know many teachers choose to have a pumpkin thematic unit during the fall. Here are just a few of my favorite ideas for things you can do to learn about pumpkins as a class:

  • Hold a class survey to decide what to carve on your class pumpkin. Graph the results.
  • Count the number of seeds in a pumpkin. Compare two different pumpkins.
  • Make hypotheses about which pumpkin is heavier and weigh both to see.
  • Measure the circumfrence of pumpkins.
  • Make a jack-o-lantern mural using orange construction paper and traces of your students hands.
  • Learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin with a First, Next, Then, Last organizer from Nerissa Reddick.
  • Make baked pumpkin seeds for a yummy and healthy snack!
  • Take a class field trip to a pumpkin patch, either in person or by watching a video.

If you are looking for an activity to finish off your unit, try these fact vs. opinion pumpkin themed task cards, perfect for a game of scoot! Dots n Spots explains how she used these task cards on her blog.

original-1458042-1pumpkin fact and opinion scoot




It’s the first day of the new school year, and I shyly shuffle into class clutching my new pencils and a backpack that I don’t yet know where to put. It’s only been two months since I was last in school, but it feels like a lifetime- and there are so many things to worry about. Will the math be hard this year? Is Sara still my friend? Will I have to sit by the bully? What if I answer a question wrong? What if they laugh at me? Will my teacher be nice? What if I don’t belong?

All I want is to feel welcome.

But instead of a “Welcome” that feels like a reassuring presence and makes me excited for this new experience, I hear a terse robotic “Welcome”. One of a string of impersonal greetings to my fellow classmates and I, as we are handed a knowledge-gauging test disguised as a ‘fun’ worksheet, and told to find our designated seat, and sit quietly, sit quietly, sit quietly. 

I didn’t understand the instructions, but am too shy to ask the teacher. I ask my seatmate instead, but am berated for talking out of turn because “respectful communication is important in this classroom”.

I hand my worksheet into the wrong bin, and am publically reprimanded for not reading the sign that says ‘out’. The class laughs. I return to my seat with my face red and my heart pounding in my throat.

We play a getting to know you game. I don’t want to hold hands with these children, but “you need to participate”. By the end of the game I still don’t know anyone’s name, but my palms are sweaty and I want to cry.

The teacher calls me by a nickname I dislike. I correct her, but she continues using it. My classmates have now begun to use this nickname too.

I label my green folder Math and my blue folder Science. “Proper organization is important in this classroom”. I mixed up the colors.

There is a traffic light in the corner. If the class gets too loud it turns yellow. Every time it turns red we lose a minute of recess. I worry that if I cough it will turn red and my classmates will be mad at me, so I hold it in.

We are told that good behavior gets us tickets for a raffle. Sara gets a ticket. I don’t.

I have so many questions.

“I said put your hand down, you can ask questions later”.



I go home.

I wish I didn’t have to return tomorrow.


The first day back is stressful for any teacher. New students, new classroom, maybe a new grade or curriculum. But no matter if you teach Kindergarten or Grade 12, the first day of school is often one of the most intimidating and stressful experiences for students. There is a long to-do list that every teacher has for the first day. Beginning classroom management, setting out rules and procedures, seeing where your students are at academically… But be aware of your language, your demeanor, the energy you create in your classroom.

This is your most stressful day of the school year, consider it is for your students too.



This is a great video if you’d like some more food for thought about how students experience the school environment.

Effective Group DiscussionIf you’d like to talk about effective classroom discussion with your students, consider downloading my free interactive notebook

Best. Year. Ever.



Happy back to school season! It can be a stressful time of year as you prepare to welcome new students to your classroom, but I want this year to be your best teaching year ever! To help you out I’m giving away a $10 TpT gift certificate so that you can buy the product thats been sitting on your wishlist all summer long. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter! The giveaway will end on the 2nd so that you have time to purchase your product ON SALE during the TpT back to school sale.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Should I Purchase The Latest Classroom Decor Trend?

Every year when back to school season hits, social media is flooded with teachers sharing their ideas and purchases as they set up their classroom for the new year. And that’s great! Social media is a fantastic place to find new inspiration and bounce your own ideas off others. So what’s the problem?

Sometimes a trend will take social media by storm, and every teacher scrambles to get the latest and greatest decor item for their classroom. Milk crate chairs, bright pom pom accents, chevron carpets, even a certain color scheme can become trendy. This year the big trend seems to be lightboxes. Don’t get me wrong, many of these ideas are awesome and help to create a learning environment that both you and your students can enjoy. Classroom improvements like adaptive seating, or a new carpet for group time will always be beneficial. I only caution that sometimes these trends can become overwhelming. Back to school is stressful enough without worrying about whether your color scheme is trendy this year! Ask yourself a few questions before buying a new decor item for your classroom:

What is motivating me to make this purchase? Will it improve the learning environment for me or my students? Do I have the time and energy to impliment this in my classroom? Is the cost worth the benefit? Is there a way I could make this myself instead? Am I buying this because I need it, or just so I can take a picture for Instagram? Is this something I will throw out in a year, or does it have durability? Does this match my own design wishes for my classroom?

You can also consider these questions in a handy infographic form!

Should I Purchase The Latest Classroom Decore Trend?

These questions aren’t meant to make you feel bad for buying something that is trending, or to say that you shouldn’t buy trending items in the future. That lightbox you purchase might be the highlight of your classroom this year! It’s simply important to be clear and honest with yourself over why you are purchasing something, and to make sure its right for you and your students, so that you can save time, money, and energy this busy back to school season!

Election 2016 Resources For Teachers

Election Resources For Teachers

With all the media attention about the upcoming 2016 Election, now is the perfect time to get students engaged in critically understanding election coverage. This is a great opportunity for students to dialogue about citizenship, media, bias, and facts vs. opinions. Here are some great resources I’ve found for you to help your students understand election time this year.

Video: US Elections- How do they work?
The UK Parliament has put together a very good video explaining how US Elections work with great visuals.

Video: The Electoral College- does your vote count?
It can be difficult for students to understand why some states are constantly referred to as the ‘more important’ states. This video clearly explains the electoral college.

Website: Candidate Platforms
This website presents the platforms of each candidate in an easy to navigate way for students to compare and contrast.

Resource: Election Ballotoriginal-2656601-1
Busy Bee In Grade Three has provided a great freebie of classroom voting ballots if you would like to hold a vote in your classroom after learning about each candidate!

Resource: Analyze Political Ads In History
A through lesson plain is available here to guide students through an analysis of political ads, and specifically the use of children in political ads.

Resource: American Election Vocabulary Posters2016 Election Vocabulary Posters
While you dialogue with your students there is bound to be new vocabulary pop up. Use these half-size posters on a bulletin board to remind students of key terminology.

Website: Scholastic Election
Scholastic has created a website with many lesson plans, videos, and other information for students and teachers about the election. I especially recommend taking a look at their ‘Kid Reporter’ section.

Pinterest Board: Teaching Government     
For many more resources for not just the election, but other government topics, you might like to follow my ‘Teaching Government’ Pinterest board.