New Standards Report Cards

I had an 8:00 a.m. teachers meeting this morning. Boy, was my head spinning! It doesn’t take much these days.

One of our Directors of Assessment was showing us what our new standards based report cards will look like. Gone are the days of a one page report card. Gone are the days of letter grades. Gone are the days of averaging grades. This report card was at least 4 pages, if not 5 pages long. Each standard is listed on the card (now a document), and students are to be evaluated in each one.

I bet you can imagine what started running through my mind.  How do we keep track of all of this? That’s what I thought. We will not be implementing these report cards until the next school year, so we have one year to receive professional development using them.

Has anyone started using these report cards yet?

We have been using the standards for quite a while, but have never had to change our thinking, managing, assessments, all at one time. This is a huge undertaking, but a necessary one.

Let’s try and share ideas. I am just starting out, I hope some of you have had some experience and lead us in the right direction.

End of Year Activities

End of Year Activities

As the days are getting warmer, the end of year activities are bouncing around in my brain. Packing up the classroom, end of year records and files, meetings, planning for next year…..sound familiar? The sound of the ocean is calling, but so much to do before it is a reality.

I was thinking about what to do with my class this year. In the past I have had the children make their own yearbook just by stapling papers together, decorating the first page, then collecting their friends autographs. We usually have several days at the end of the year that are shortened days, and this makes a great activity for those days.

End of Year Activity- All About Me Lapbook

Of course we have field day, and signing shirts, too. So maybe I can do a lapbook of “All About Me.” I downloaded several examples, so I have to choose which one I will use. You can try looking for one at

There is a cute All About Me lapbook displayed at that was made by the blogger. It is cute and colorful. You could possibly copy some of their ideas.

I just found this site called Doodle Art Alley There are lots of printable pages of doodles. The page I put the link in is of famous quotes with about 50 different choices. On the right side of the site is a link at their page of End of the School Year Printables. Here are some examples of these doodles:

1240602_orig4351323_orig 7288734_orig 7535163_origHow great would these be in a memory book. There is even a doodle that says autographs. I hope you check it out. There are so many categories, you can find something!

Here is a great idea and end of year activity for your class to make their own class yearbook. When our children get their school pictures we receive back a sheet with all of the kids pictures so we can place them in their permanent record folder. This photo sheet has about 4 pictures of each child. You could place one photo of each child on a piece of copy paper. Photo copy this sheet of photos for each child. The children can then put copy paper together in a book form and they can cut and paste the photos of their classmates in the pages. They can also use it as an autograph book!!

The Movie, “Frozen” End of Year Activities

I have also been mulling over having a Frozen Day as an end of year activities. I figured that by the end of the year in June it would be so hot that watching the movie Frozen would be a welcome interlude. I also found a marshmallow launcher at a yard sale. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a snowball fight with marshmallows? Or target practice using the marshmallow launcher?

Here is a link to make your own marshmallow launcher with PVC pipes. It could be very simple to more complex.

end of year activities Marshmallow Launcher from PVC Pipes

Marshmallow Launcher from PVC Pipes

Here is a link for a Frozen Scavenger Hunt clues to download: Scavenger Hunt Clues

Here is a link for a Frozen Bunting Banner: Frozen Bunting Banner

How about pin the nose on olaf?

Or, dividing the class up into teams. Give each team a roll of toilet paper. The first team to make one of their team members into a snowman, wins. Have hats, scarves, etc. on hand to place on the human snowman.

I was at a shower one time and the game was melt the ice. A plastic baby was frozen in ice cubes and the first one to melt the cube to get the baby was the winner. What if a figure of a Frozen character was frozen in an ice cube. The child who melted their ice cube first to get the character first is the winner! Christof would love this game!

A cute snack is melted olaf- a cup with ranch dressing in the bottom, a carrot and pretzel sticks!

Blue Jello- after the jello is mixed, pour into a shallow baking dish. Cool. Cut into cubes.

In the winter, Scholastic had their Dollar Days Book Sale. They had children’s book for a dollar and more. I was thinking the theme of winter in June- following the Frozen Theme. I bought lots of sets of books for $1 each about snow or winter. There were Animal Ark, Cam Jansen, a couple more about animals, I just can’t remember exactly which ones. Sorry. So this week, I will have the children read the winter books, since it finally got to about 80 today.


What do you do for the end of the year activities? Please share….



Lapbook Examples

Lapbook Examples

As I am showing you about lapbooks and where to start, so I wanted to show you some very clever and amazing lapbooks. I can’t say that the ones I create with my children in school look absolutely fabulous, because they don’t. That is not my focus. I am using the lapbooks as assessment tools, so I concentrate on the content, not so much the visuals.

I found a site from 2 homeschool moms that have several free lapbooks. I chose this site because of the pictures of the finished lapbooks. Many times the creators of the lapbooks will give you a map or plan of how the mini books are placed on the folders. With this link you can see a completed plan along with free downloads of the mini books. This link will take you to a lapbook which is about Winter.

Winter Lapbook examples

Many times, as I am looking for ideas, looking at other lapbook examples helps. Inspiration comes from many places. As I search for lapbooks on a topic,  many different levels and age groups will appear. Since I am teaching 3rd grade, I probably won’t be using a lapbook created for a preschooler, or for a 6th grader. I look to see what is available. I try to find a creative way use different mini books. I always need to keep in mind what the objectives are of the unit I am studying.

Gigi Scrap Delights Blog has some fantastic scrapbook ideas to incorporate into the lapbooks. These lapbook examples are color coordinated, with a whole color palate. There are also some mini book templates.


<script async src=”//”></script>
<!– –>
<ins class=”adsbygoogle”
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Lapbook Mini Book Templates

In my last post I had shared a link to a website that had a plethera (lots and lots) of lapbooks. I hope you enjoyed looking around. I go back often to see what has been added since the last time I was there. Homeschool Helpers is a great place to start with anything to do with lapbooking. Homeschoolers are a sharing bunch! It is a daunting task to homeschool your children. Leaning on others can get you through many tough times.

Lapbook Mini Book Templates

Lapbook mini book templates are the mini books that are adhered to the folders which have been put together to make the lapbook. The template is the outline and folding directions. The mini books are the content of the lapbooks. There are so many different mini books you could use in your lapbook and making sure you don’t use the same mini book in a lapbook can get difficult. There are certain mini books that are so easy to prepare and easy for the children to respond to content, but, you need to make sure to not overuse these.

The following pictures will show you what the some of the templates look like.

template2J3 lapbook mini book template pyramidTriangle Book 41c2671bb70921dc5433eaa56bc6232dFlap Book

bpuzzle Puzzle Book  minibook-master-template-0024 Books

key_fan Fan Book 296c2707037846fb5ec9fd96c103fa16

template_bottomJtemplate_topJWindow Book

If you can picture these lapbook mini book templates in a lapbook, you are on your way to starting lapbooking. Here is a picture of a lapbook that has some of these lapbook mini book templates in it. lapbook mini book templates displayed in lapbookThese mini books can be printed on colored paper. They could also be left blank and the children can then decorate them. The idea is to put the content of the lapbook in the mini book. Some of the lapbook templates lend themselves to certain features of content.

Where can I find these lapbook mini book templates?

I would like to share a link today that has quite a few templates, printables, and ideas for lapbooks. There are the mini book designs that are pre-made for you. All you need to do is print them out! This is not the only place, however. But it is the best place to start. They have many templates available for downloading, even editable ones.

Editing Lapbook Mini Book Templates

Another thing you can do is add your own text on the template. Sometimes you may want to make sure you put the correct labels on the mini books. If the lapbook template is in a pdf. format, I use the copy tool, click and drag the tool around the template. It makes a copy and then I open my word processing program and paste the template in a document. Then you insert text boxes with your own content.

I have created a tutorial to help you with this endeavor. Here is the link.

I love weekends!

In between cleaning, napping, and doing what an adult is supposed to do on a weekend, I was busy surfing the web. I can’t help it… I am an addict of surfing! (Not really surfing in the ocean! Although, I do love being at the beach…..)

I usually start looking for lapbook stuff. I am going to share a link to a great site that is the BOMB for lapbooking:

If you are not sure what lapbooking is, if you need mini books templates, if you need information on a topic to make your own lapbooks, this is the site to see. All of their information is free, Free, FREE!!!!! It is the most amazing resource for lapbooks.

The site is organized so you can easily navigate through it. I would suggest you start with the Lapbook Resources section first. I just found that they posted mini book templates that are editable- you can put your own information on them! Guess what I will be downloading this afternoon!

The next step would be the actual lapbooks. There is a Master List of all lapbooks available. Just navigate to what interests you and have fun!

If you do visit the site, let me know what you think! It is lapbook heaven!!!

3rd Grade Lesson Plans – Brain Explosions!

How many times have I gotten an idea on the fly, about 2 minutes before the children enter the classroom? Those are the best lessons, for some reason. It doesn’t matter how long I spent planning those 3rd grade lesson plans, or that I had all the effective strategies of teaching in it. My brain explosion ideas are the best!!!!

How about you? Would you care to share some of those brain explosions?


Here are some of my 3rd grade lesson plans after a brain explosion.

Multiplication Baseball– can substitute addition or subtraction.

Set the 4 bases. Show students flash cards. I usually set a time limit to help with their fast facts. If the student answers correctly within the time they advance to first base. If they do not answer correctly or run out of time they get an out. It plays just like baseball. As the students move from base to base, when they get to home base they put a tally mark. Count the tallys at the end of each inning.


Candy Bar Graphs– using the children’s take from Halloween, have the children collect data about the most popular candy. They should tally chocolate, chewy, hard candy, etc. The next day the students can make a graph using MS Exel, or Google Sheets.





Has anyone ever used lap books in the classroom?

I believe they started with homeschoolers. I was surfing the web one day in August, just before school started, and saw a reference to lapbooks. I had never heard of them before. I had a very good friend homeschool her two children, but the subject of homeschooling lapbooks never came up. Of course, being so very curious, I clicked on the link, and was instantly hooked.

I loved the way the children were able to customize and make the lap books their own. The way they color the mini books, to the placement of the mini books on the base folder, the children are able to design and make the learning their own. I also loved the way the students could respond in their own words. After doing research on a topic, the students can respond to the topics in their own way.

lapbooks example

Ways to use lapbooks

There isn’t only one way to do lap books, and that is the beauty of them. Since the lapbooks started in homeschool situations, the students used them as they completed units of study. The students would identify a topic or unit they wanted to study. They would then do research to find out more about the topic. These units would either be in their curriculum, or a topic that they had much interest in. In my classroom, I use them as an assessment tool after we do a unit of study using our science and/or social studies books.

When my children were younger, I would have them do school work during the summer so they could keep their skills in tip top shape. We did lap books that summer. My youngest daughter chose to do a 4th of July lap book, and my oldest daughter chose to do note booking about mythology. They were able to do research online to complete their books. They end products were beautiful.

So I began putting together my own lap books for my second grade classroom. I tried a science unit first. I first searched for worksheets that may parallel the objectives in the Teachers’ Edition. If I couldn’t find one, I designed my own mini books. It was a fabulous learning experience for my students and children. That was 9 years ago.

What is your experience using lap books? Please share…..

Oh, Nooooooo! Not another blog!

Welcome to my corner of the Web!

I am in my 28th year of teaching! Wow!

My experience has been in elementary:

  • 11 years teaching first grade.
  • 7 years teaching second grade.
  • 6 years teaching technology.
  • 4 years teaching third grade.

I just wanted to begin sharing, along with my many colleagues on the World Wide Web. I have been searching and snagging for many years and have decided to give back. What could be more rewarding than to share, laugh, cry, exchange funny stories, etc., with colleagues all over the world. I truly am a newbie to the blog world, except to visit other blogs. I hope mine is as informative as others!

I invite your comments. I hope this can be very interactive.

1 2 3