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How to Show Kindness

One of the crazy things about teaching is having all of your lesson plans set for the week - and then changing them last minute. One of the best pieces of advice I have received in my first year of teaching is to remember that I am not just teaching students, but I'm teaching our future - six year olds who need guidance, and need to be taught how to treat others.

So - two weeks ago I had all of my writing lesson plans set. How to Make Hot Chocolate, How to Make S'mores...etc. All fun, and engaging lessons to keep my students interested. But on Monday night I came home and decided to forget all of it.

My students needed a BIG lesson on kindness. 




I sat down Monday night and hopped onto Pinterest to find read-alouds that would help me teach kindness! I found a great list over on Proud to be Primary's blog (thank you!!).

Tuesday morning we read the book Recess Queen, by Alexis O'Neill. My students loved talking about Mean Jean (hello, character traits!!) and how she did/didn't show kindness. 


After reading this, I sent my writers on their way to sketch out their "How to Show Kindness" writing. They used this template to draw their ideas. They were so excited, and had so many different ideas. Some of my students really surprised me!!


After that, they wrote their 'sloppy copy'! Then, they were ready to publish. I let them pick from these three templates. 





For my English Language Learners I included a word bank for them to use as a reference. 


Their final kindness papers were TOO cute! I have received so many compliments on them after putting them in the hallway. It's so amazing to view kindness through 6 year old eyes. 

How do you encourage kindness in your classroom!? 

Grab this writing pack here!


I would love to show a little kindness to you! Would you like a $25 TpT gift card?! Here's how to enter below!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  
Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)

Co-hosts:   An Apple for the TeacherIt's a Teacher ThingCalling All DucklingskelseynhayesScience from the SouthClassroom Cheer by Emily, and Jewel's School Gems.

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 2/27/17 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!




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Dear Student Teachers | Advice from Mentor Teachers

Student teaching was a crazy, amazing, exciting, stressful, exhausting, eye-opening, life-changing time where I learned A LOT! I remember being nervous to meet my mentor teacher and my students.

But - I will tell you that I had an AMAZING mentor teacher. She valued my ideas, allowed me to learn along with her, and always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. She taught me to always focus on what was best for the students, and to treat them as individuals who are all capable, valuable, and deserving.

Here's some advice from teachers about starting your student teaching journey...



You will learn more during student teaching than all your college classes combined. And my favorite piece of advice from a mentor of mine that I'll pass on...on days you think you're the best teacher in the world, you're not. On days you think you're the worst teacher in the world, you're not. Keep striving to be better and grow from your mistakes--we all make them! - Foreman Fun

Go beyond what is expected of you. When you are given the option to go home or stay at school and help with extra curricular activities or meet with parents, always stay at school! It shows that you are dedicated and a hard worker, you will be respected for that. - Mrs. Hartig's Classroom | Mrs. Harting's Classroom TPT Store


My advice to student teachers is to set one night per week as a "no homework" night for yourself.  During my internship I was exhausted all of the time.  I finally decided to create a no work night and every Tuesday my goal was to be in bed between 8-9 pm.  This required me to have some work completed ahead of time, but it also energized me for the middle of the week.  I always woke up on Wednesdays feeling refreshed. - Madame H

My advice to student teachers is to stay hungry.  Learn from those who have been in the game for a while and show Humility and Gratitude.  This, coupled with a hard work ethic will get you noticed and get you into a position where people will want to help you achieve whatever you are looking to accomplish. ( Be it getting a job, a letter of recommendation for grad school or whatever). - Science Health and PE Materials

My advice to student teachers would be to have an open mind and soak up the energy of the campus you are assigned to.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  You were placed in a classroom with a cooperating teacher that knows you are there to learn.  You are not expected to be perfect.  No teacher is…no matter what they say.  Be open and forthcoming with your cooperating teacher about what you want to try doing in the classroom and what advice he/she can give you to make it a success.   Most importantly, have fun because teaching is  such a unique experience! - Literacy Treasures | Literacy Treasures TPT Store

My biggest advice would be to stay on top of your lesson planning and plan as much in advance for those observations! If you are anything like I was, I was completing my internship while finishing up my special ed minor with going to 2-3 hour classes at night after a full day of interning! I would also highly suggest that you ask the principal of the school that you are interning at to observe one of your lesson (even if its just for 15-30 mins). Then ask for a write up of the observation for you to include in your teaching portfolio! My internships were at two different schools through out the course of a year. The first school I was at, I asked the principal to observe me and low and behold he stayed for an hour and a half through the whole ELA afternoon! So plan for that too! However, at my second school I did not ask the principal to observe me because I already thought I had a great addition to my portfolio. However, that principal was quite upset that I  did not ask him to come in and observe me...who would have thought! So my advice, ask them both! Lastly, stay of top of that teaching portfolio and save EVERYTHiNG! I got mine done as quickly as possible so that I didn't have to spend my senior spring break working on my portfolio! Hope the advice helps! Best of luck and you will do great! Best Wishes, Colby at Special Inspirations, TPT

My advice to student teachers is to stay hungry.  Learn from those who have been in the game for a while and show Humility and Gratitude.  This, coupled with a hard work ethic will get you noticed and get you into a position where people will want to help you achieve whatever you are looking to accomplish. ( Be it getting a job, a letter of recommendation for grad school or whatever) - Science Health and PE Materials

Teach, observe, and reflect. I currently have a student teacher. We have worked out somewhat of a pattern. She teaches one class. I teach the same class later on in the day. Then, she reflects on differences, similarities, what worked, what didn't, and best practices. - Heather, Science From the South

My best advice (as a recent student teacher)!? Be open-minded each day, and put forth your best effort! Your students will trust you and want to work hard for you if they know you are 100% invested in them. Have fun and remember to be yourself! AND! STAY ORGANIZED! Student teaching with college courses can be crazy! You will save yourself lots of stress if you know where things are when you need them. 

This student teaching binder will help you keep everything in one place!




Best wishes as you join one of the most rewarding professions!


Do you have advice to add? Leave it in the comments or email me at classroomcheer@gmail.com to be added to this post! Pin the image below to reference this advice later!




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Reader's Response Post Cards

People say that writing letters is a lost art..but in my first grade classroom my students LOVE writing letters! That is one of their options in the writing station and they love writing to their friends, parents, and to me!

So, I came up with Reader's Response Post Cards. These post cards are an easy way to differentiate their reader's responses.



How do I use them? Well, as with anything in first grade, I first modeled, modeled, modeled! We used them as a whole group read aloud response for a few weeks. I would share students' post cards with the class to brag on their excellent work!

THEN! The real magic came when students were able to begin using these post cards independently. I now have students complete these in my Read to Self rotation, as well as an exit ticket from the guided reading table.


They LOVE  that they are writing to somebody they care about! It's so fun to watch them turn it into our "mailbox" (from my favorite, the Target Dollar Spot!). They really have taken ownership of their work with this fun and engaging way of showing their comprehension skills.

Ready to turn your students into engaged letter writers?! Check out this product in my store! It comes with many options to mix and match the front AND backs of your post cards!


Thanks for stopping by!

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Spreading Cheer - BLOG LAUNCH!

I am just SO excited to welcome y'all to my new blog!!

Kassie did a GREAT job with the design. She worked quickly and paid attention to every detail. She perfectly created exactly what I had in mind. Thank you, Kassie!!
If you are looking for somebody to update your blog, you can contact her HERE!

As a first year teacher, there are a lot of things I want to get better at. I know these things will take time, but one that I am really trying to be intentional with this spring is SPREADING CHEER to the families of my students. I spend all day with 21 precious first graders, and I want their parents to be able to celebrate the great things they do each day when they get home! So, I came up with a solution!

Quick and easy positive notes to send home!



Aren't they fun!? I just love AstroBrights paper!

My hope is that by having these notes handy, I will be able to quickly jot down some quick notes for a few friends (because let's be real...21 notes each day just won't happen!!), and send them on their way!

Grab these fun notes here, for free!



I am so excited to start this blogging journey. My hope is that as I share my classroom experiences, products, and life with you, we will be spreading cheer and happiness to classrooms around the world!

I would love to hear what you think about the new blog design and these positive notes in the comments!
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Place Value Craftivity

It is COLD here in Texas! We went back to school this week and hit the ground running! I was so proud of my firsties and their excitement to pick up right where we left off in December.

A teacher and student's favorite words: SNOW DAY! We didn't have one today, so we brought the snowflakes into our room!

I created a place value craftivity to bring the snowflakes and excitement into our classroom! (You can find it HERE). It was perfect timing too! It started snowing this afternoon and we loved watching it through our windows while we worked.


I sent the kids off to stations (their favorite) and pulled a few kiddos at a time to make their snowflake! First I let them build it with the base ten blocks. Then, they had to count their number out and tell me how many tens and ones they needed to put their snowflake on paper. 

My favorite part about this activity were the conversations that we were able to have about the numbers! Of course, I had a few girls who wanted their snowflakes to be so pretty, and they decorated it with TONS of ones! That led us to the academic conversation of what happens once we have a group of ten ones, which was awesome! They settled for snowflakes with just 9 ones :)


When I made this crafitivity I had my students in mind. I know that some students are ready to talk about the value of the numbers, where as some students are still just becoming comfortable with identifying tens and ones. I differentiated the writing portion and it worked out perfectly!

I can't wait to add this to my math tubs as my students become more independent with the concepts. A dry erase pocket and some base 10 blocks...endless snowflakes! 

Click the picture below to grab this craftivity on SALE for the weekend!


Thanks for stopping by! Do you have any place value craftivities that you love to use?? 

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