Sunday, 28 February 2021

St. Patrick's Day Lucky Me Art

Are you looking for an eye catching display for St. Patrick's Day?

This St. Patrick's Day art and writing project will have everyone stopping to take a look.
This project is also a great way to get your students reflecting on their life and all they have to be lucky for. 

You will need at least 2 work periods to complete the entire project. 

1.) For the first period, I read them a mentor text (see below) and we talk about the great things, people, moments they have had in their lives. This leads to the writing activity (see below for free templates)

While students are busy writing about all the things they are lucky for, I take the pictures of their hands.

Tip: When taking the pictures of their hands have them put hands on top of a white background (I use poster board) and also have a sticky note with their name on it off to the side of the picture (it will be cropped out).

Before day 2 you will have to print out your photos in black and white. See the free download for tips and templates. 

2.) This part can be done on the same day at students put together their picture, writing, and shamrock. If you have never used oil or chalk pastels before you will want to teach your students how to blend the color by doing a darker outline and then dragging the color towards the middle of the shamrock. 

I have them cut out the shamrock shape AFTER they have blended their color so they don't get any of the pastel on their desk. It will not matter if they go outside the lines because it is going to be cut out. 

Once the shamrocks are colored and cut out, bend the petals up so that it gives the shamrock some dimension and it doesn't lie flat on the hands photo.

Glue the shamrock on to the photo. 

Have students glue or staple their finished writing paper on the photo paper. I had students glue them just below the photo. 

I also trimmed all the writing papers so there were no extra lines after what they had written. 

FREE Templates and Tips:

To help you out with this project and make prep much quicker I have created a pdf file with photo taking/editing and printing tips along with templates of the writing paper and shamrocks. 

The writing paper comes with intermediate and primary lines so you can use it no matter what grade you teach!

Mentor Text Idea:

I love using picture books as mentor texts for both Writing and Art and a few years back I found the perfect one for this project. It is called Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman (aff. link). It is a folktale about how Fiona tries to bring the luck back to Ireland after a leprechaun king takes it away. 

I would wish you luck with this St. Patrick's Day art and writing project but I know you will rock it!


If you are looking for more St. Patrick's Day activities, check out these FREE differentiated alphabetical order worksheets. Included is a link to get a Google Slides option.  

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Using Attendance Questions to Make Connections

Why Attendance Time is Our Most Valuable Time

Taking attendance is a valuable part of my day and it is something that students look forward to. In my classroom we go beyond just having students respond with "Here" and we use this time as a way to build classroom connections. 
Building a strong classroom community using attendance questions Terri's Teaching Treasures

Everyday an attendance question is asked where students get to share a small part of themselves. The questions allow students to share who they are, what is important to them, and how they are doing/feeling.

The questions are always safe and easy to answer because I don't want them to get anxious or dread having to answer. 

Questions can be as simple as:
  • "What is your favorite type of pizza?"
  • "How many pets do you have?"
  • "What is one special talent you have?"
By asking attendance questions students start to see the similarities and differences they have with their peers. It is always great to hear the reactions when 2 students, who normally don't hang out, start talking about how they both like a certain video game or how they also put mustard on their hot dog. 

Who Asks the Questions?

At the beginning of the year I am the one asking all the attendance questions. Once I feel that my students have become more comfortable with each other and are at ease talking in front of the class, I have a student ask the questions for the week. 

As part of my classroom jobs there is a mayor (they say Mayor of Browne Town ... lol) who is responsible for taking attendance and asking a daily question. This (and gym helpers) is the job that they are most excited about and cannot wait to do. 

The mayor can come up with a question by themselves (which they usually do) or they can pick a question from a list provided (see below for the list).

A Cherished Part of Our Day

With all the changes that have had to be made to our daily routines because of COVID, this is one thing that I would not give up. 
taking attendance can build student connections Terri's Teaching Treasures

Sure, I could have cut this out and had attendance time only take a minute or two but then we would lose the easiest way to start building a classroom community and foster connections among classmates. 

If you are not currently asking attendance questions, I highly recommend giving it a try. Do it for a couple weeks and see how it changes your students' interactions with one another. 

I have used this strategy to help foster a positive, caring classroom community with every grade I have taught. If you have been part of the Terri's Teaching Treasures community for a while now you may remember that I have taught Grades One through Seven.  

A Free List of Questions!

To help you get started here is a free pdf with a list of 100 attendance questions. Use it to get started or have it handy for students if they are the ones asking the questions. 
printable attendance questions for free Terri's Teaching Treasures
I keep this list in our attendance binder so it can easily be accessed by students or guest teachers. 

I have left some space on the last page so that you can add your own questions as you think of them. 

Click on the above picture or right HERE to get your free copy today. 


How to foster student connections using attendance questions Terri's Teaching Treasures

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Free Back To School Word Search

Are you looking for FREE ways to engage your students at the beginning of the school year?

Some much is going on at the beginning of a new school year. Setting up routines, going over expectations, gathering information, and so much more. 
Free back to school word search sitting on a desk with school supplies. Terri's Teaching Treasures
All of these bring moments where you need to have your students working on an engaging activity that frees you up to gather paperwork, organize supplies, or even chat one-on-one with students.

One of the ways I like to engage my students at back to school time is to challenge them with a MEGA word search!

Yes, you read that right a MEGA word search. This free word search has 100 school related words. 

hand highlighting words on back to school word search. 100 words are in the free word search

Don't students get overwhelmed with so many words to find?

Absolutely not. I turn this one page activity into a challenge. Who doesn't love a challenge?

My students always love a challenge so I turn this into a competition by setting a timer and seeing who can find the most words in 20 minutes (or however much time I need). Of course the time can be adjusted for your students. 

If I remember, I will write the winning number “some where safe” so I have the option of giving them the challenge to beat last year's class winner. This is a real motivator! 

Still need more motivation?

Ok, I have you covered. My students also LOVE to spot words that are not on the given word list. They always get so excited to share with me the words they have found. For this reason I threw in a few extra words.

See if your students mention any of these words to you. The list is on the teaching tips page included in the download. 

Want Printing Options?

I have designed this back to school word search to print on 11"x17" ledger paper (because who doesn't enjoy a giant word search) but it can easily be resized. 

In the downloaded file I have tips on how you can alter the printing sizes base don your students' needs. 

Going Digital?

If you are looking for a FREE digital activity, I've added that also. Included in the download is a link to get a Google Slides copy of the word search.
ipad with free word search from Terri's Teaching Treasures
The Google Slide has been set up with all the instructions and movable elements that are needed to make this an interactive experience for your students. 

Students can complete this at school, at home, or anywhere with Internet access. Any device that can access Google Slides or Google Classroom can be used ! 

laptop with free back to school word search from Terri's Teaching Treasures
The Google Slides file can be sent to individual students or sent to a group of them if you want multiple students working on the same word search. 

You have waited long enough!

Click to get your FREE copy now! 


P.S. I would love to hear if your student found any of the extra words. Let me know in the comments :) 

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Free 2020-2021 School Calendar

Are you starting to plan for Back to School?

The summer is the time that I start getting organized for the upcoming school year. The very first thing I do is print off a school year calendar and start planning when I will teach what, based on the school year events/holidays. 
2020 to 2021 school year calendar image. Free from Terri's Teaching Treasures.

I am still waiting to hear what our school year will look like, but the process will be the same for me regardless if we are starting full back or distance learning. 

There are definitely some concepts I don't want to cover (like division or anything with regrouping) when it is a busy time in the school and my students are not completely focused. Because of this I put all known holidays/big events in the calendar and then I start planning. 

Where do I find my calendar templates?

I've got you covered! Every year I update my calendar to print off and I am giving it to you all for FREE! Yup, FREE! Check it out now. 
Large space calendar picture with flair pens. Free 2020 - 2021 school year calendar from Terri's Teaching Treasures

Each page has a full month and the spaces are large enough to add lots of text! The calendars go from August 2020 to July 2021.

Each page also has a clip art image that is small enough not to use all your computer ink, but big enough to add some flair to your month.

Other ways to use the calendar:

  • Use it for yourself to take to staff  or team meetings and schedule all your events and meetings.
  • Attach it to your classroom newsletter with important events filled in.
  • Fill it out with daily homework tasks for students.
  • Students can use it to record their daily home reading.
  • Display it in the hallway as a place for parents to sign up to volunteer in the classroom.
  • Use as a student behavior chart.
Free 2020 - 2021 School Year Calendar. Image of all the included months from Terri's Teaching Treasures

 This calendar was invaluable this past year when it came to planning for my at-home work packages and pick up / drop off days.

We were only to focus on Reading, Writing, Math, and Physical Health so I printed off a calendar for each of those areas. This made it very easy for me to plan what I was sending home and when. 

The spaces were large enough that I could plan all my different reading groups or math groups on one calendar/subject.

There are many ways to use a calendar in a classroom. Let me know in the comments if you use them in any other way.

How do I get a copy?

Click on any picture or here to get your FREE copy. Just print them out and you are ready to go. 
Horizontal image of free school year calendar. Free calendar from Terri's Teaching Treasures perfect for any elementary classroom.

Happy planning! 
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Vertical pinterest image of free school year calendars from Terri's Teaching Treasures. Click to get free calendar.

Don't need it right now? Pin it to save it for later :)

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Free Physical Health Choice Boards

Are you wanting to add physical health to your distance learning plans?

With so many students spending so much time on the computer as part of their at home learning, it is important to motivate them to keep being active. 

This was my answer. I will let students choose what they want to do everyday and I will give them lots of suggestions.

What is included?

There are 3 pre-made physical health choice boards and 3 editable boards. The editable ones are great for adding activities you know your students will love to do.

Some of the activities included in the pre-made cards are:
  • Jumping jack, push ups, sit ups, burpees, mountain climbers, star jumps, etc...
  • Make an obstacle course in your back yard.
  • Play outside for 20 minutes.
  • Blow up a balloon and keep it in the air for as long as possible.
  • Animal movements: Frog hops, galloping, snake slithers, etc.
  • Go for a family walk or bike ride.
  • Use your body to form letters and spell your name.
  • Put on music and dance like no one is watching
  • And MANY more!

Who would like the distance learning choice boards?

The activities will engage and excite any student from Kindergarten to Grade 5 as well as those who are home schooled.
No matter what your distance learning plan looks like these can be added. The choice boards can either be printed and added to a home work packet or you can add them to your Google Classroom.

What is the cost to get these?


Where can you find them?

You can get your FREE copy by clicking on any of the pictures or right here.

If you are looking for more activities to add to your distance learning work packets, these FREE literacy graphic organizers work with any picture book (physical book or online book).'s%20Teaching%20Treasures&utm_campaign=Story%20Connections%20TTT%20PE%20Post

If you are looking for some DIGITAL RESOURCES check these out!

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Monday, 16 March 2020

Tips for Organizing Listening to Reading Materials

For years I struggled to organize my listening to reading materials. I never remembered to change out the books. Books and cd players were getting wrecked. Students had to listen to the same books over and over again because I didn't have many books. 
It took a few years of struggle and many organizational tries to finally find a system that works. Now I am going to share it with you all. 

How students access listening to reading materials

I have stored all my books in one basket and students could pick their book. This didn't work because students were constantly getting up and picking new books. 

I have put books a few books in plastic storage bags so students could take a bag of books to their spot. This didn't work because I was always having to replace the bags when they got ripped. This was a waste of money and time. 

Then I was in a colleagues classroom and saw they had their books in plastic containers. This was the answer! I know store my books in these super sturdy containers. 
I can no longer find these exact containers but I use very similar ones for my math centers that I will use to replace these. Here are some links (affiliate) to check out the containers on Amazon:

Transitioning to the plastic containers was also a work in progress. At the beginning I put as many books as possible in each container. My thinking was then I wouldn't have to change the books as often.  Keep reading to see why this wasn't the best idea. 

A note about the cd player storage. I use to have all the cd players in one basket and students chose a container of books and grabbed a cd player. Well I am sure you can guess what happened. They would balance the cd player on the book container and inevitably the cd player would be dropped on the floor. I was having to replace so many cd players. 

After a couple years...yes years, of replacing cd player I had to change it up. Now the cd player goes IN the container with the books. Each container now holds 4-5 books and a cd player. 
So far this seems to be the best way to have students easily pick a container with enough books to listen to and one where I don't have to keep replacing cd players. 

If you have an even better/more effective way please let me know in the comments because I am open to change. 

How I store the books

Storing the books has also been a struggle for me but I am happy to say that I have FINALLY found a solution.

I use to keep all my books stored in a cupboard but then I would forget which ones I have put out or even to change them.

No more! I know store them in large storage bags labelled for each month. 
 I have sorted all my books so that any holiday books are in the appropriate month's bag and then spread out my chapter books. The monthly bags are now stored in the cupboard where they can be easily accessed. 
At the beginning of each month I switch out the books. It has become such a quick process now and student know they will get to read new books each month. 

My goal is to have 16 books in each bag (I am getting close) so that I will have enough for 4 books in each container. 

The chapter books stay in the containers for a couple months if students are still reading them. The last person to have a sticky note with there name on it, in the book, will let me know when they are finished reading the book and then I will take it out. 

The bags I use are from Dollarama but you can use any extra large bags. Here is a link to Dollarama so you can see them in greater detail. 

Where I find all my books

I have been collecting books with cds for many years and I am still on the look for more (so I can get 16 for each month). 

Here are a few places I have found books with cds:

  • Scholastic book orders
  • second hand stores
  • teachers selling/giving away stuff when they retire
  • Walmart (I am not sure if they still have them but they use to have 2 books & cds for $10)
  • garage sales
  • I have put ISO ads on local FaceBook buy and sell groups.
  • A friend sold Barefoot books so I bought some there. These are my students' favourite ones. 
  • parent donations
  • Amazon 

Where I find my cd players

I was getting my cd players at Walmart but they no longer carry them in my town so I have had to look elsewhere. 

I have had some success asking for them on local Facebook buy and sell groups but when those are not available, I get them from Amazon. 

Here is the one I get on Amazon (affiliate links):

I use to have to replace the cd players all the time because students were dropping them as they carried them to their listening spot. Since I have changed to the cd players being in the container with the books, I have not had to replace any of them!

If you do not have portable cd players in your classroom, you could also use desktop computers or laptops to play the cds.

Alternatives to hard copy books and cds

If you do not have access to books with cds or you want a digital alternative, you can access stories online at:
  • Storyline Online - Video clips of celebrities reading a picture book. 
  • Epic Books - You can sign your students up for their own account so they can access books online anytime. 
  • Just Books Read Aloud - Hundreds of picture books read out loud. No membership required. 
  • Vooks - With this you would have to give your students your login information because there is no student accounts. BONUS- Educators get the first year FREE!
  • Tumblebooks - A paid membership for your class or school.
If you have found other online read aloud sites, please leave a comment below so I can add it to the list :) 


Sunday, 15 December 2019

Free Christmas Multiplication Activities's%20Teaching%20Treasures&utm_campaign=TTT%20Free%20Christmas%20Multiplication%20ActivitiesThose crazy weeks before the Christmas break are upon us and if you are like me you are trying to find activities that will hold your students interest. 

Multiplication facts are a skill that students will need to practice over and over again. I try to bring practice pages into all my seasonal activities to help with engagement. These Christmas themed multiplication pages are perfect for engaging your students the weeks before Christmas.

What will you get in your FREE download?

Included in this FREE multiplication product are 3 different activities. Activities 1 & 2 are multiplication riddles where students answer multiplication facts to solve the riddle. The 3rd activity has students sorting multiplication facts and putting them on the naughty or nice list!'s%20Teaching%20Treasures&utm_campaign=TTT%20Free%20Christmas%20Multiplication%20Activities
I promise you that your students will love these activities.

Ways to use the pages:

  1. Put them in math centers and have students rotate through the activities for 3 days worth of prep.
  2. Use as whole class activities which will also cover 3 days worth of prep!
  3. Have a class challenge. Have students work individually or in a small group to see who can complete the pages first.

Teacher tip:

If you are putting the pages in  your math centers and do not want to keep photocopying pages, just copy one page and put it in a sheet protector. Students can write on them using whiteboard markers and then erase when they are done! Of course this will only work with the riddle pages. Include a copy of the answer sheet and students will be able to mark their own work!

For the multiplication sort, you can photocopy on card stock and pre-cut the facts. They can go in a math center where students will not glue the facts onto the page but rather just lay them on top. If you include the answer key in the center, students will be able to check their own answers.

How to get a FREE copy

All you have to do to get your FREE copy today is click on any of the pictures or right here!'s%20Teaching%20Treasures&utm_campaign=TTT%20Free%20Christmas%20Multiplication%20Activities

Are you looking for more Christmas activities?

If you teach 1-3rd grade here is a link to a FREE Christmas Syllable Sort Activity.
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