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Winter Write About The Picture {editable}

So…..I started this resource a few years back when I needed something for my littlies who were struggling with writing. Unfortunately, I never got it finished at that time – no surprise! 

With my new goals for this year, I am revisiting all my ‘started, but never finished’ resources. Some ended up being trashed, but others, I felt, still had merit! 

On those ‘tiring, stressful, run out of ideas’ days when you just need someone to do it for you – this ‘grab and go’ resource should prove useful. I really needed some printable resources for my below grade writers, especially for evidence folders. These printables needed to be flexible, include differentiation, as well as the opportunity for these emerging writers to extend their sentences. They also needed to be well-structured, with a simple format that my students could cope with. 

I decided that writing about a picture would provide the scaffolding that my students needed. By making it seasonal, I hoped that my students would be a little more engaged.

Click on the image to find this resource!
My main goal was to enable my students to achieve some level of success with independent writing. 
Fast forward to the present and this is the finished result!
Click on the image to find this resource!
Students have been provided with a word bank to help with spelling and encourage ideas for writing. 

To begin to extend sentences, color words have been included. Students should first color the picture with the ‘best’ color, then use the finished colored picture to enable them to begin to write longer sentences. This is the core of this resource. 

Teaching Points:
  • Students will need some prior knowledge of what it means to extend a sentence and the role that adjectives can play in this 
  • Students should be encouraged to use as many colors as possible to color their pictures 

  1. Alternative handwriting lines 
  2. A second bordered page for students who wish to write at length 
  3. The photo section provides more difficult vocabulary and could lead more able writers towards a what happened next story writing style, should the teacher wish to lead them in this direction 
  4. An editable version of all content has been provided for the teacher to make vocabulary choices. Just type your chosen words in each box! 
This resource will work equally well as a ‘grab and go’ resource or as a small group activity where students are encouraged to verbalize their sentences first. 

For the next 48 hours this Winter Write About The Picture will be discounted by 50% - so don’t miss out! 

If you ever have time, I would love to know: 
  • how you have integrated these printables into your writing curriculum 
  • how your students responded 
  • successes achieved – my favorite bit! 
PS:  The file contains both a US version and a UK version.

Teacher Treat Tuesday

My first post of 2018 – a bit overdue, but it has taken me a little bit of time to get back into the swing of things! 

I hope everyone enjoyed their winter break – I definitely needed to relax!! My dear hubby surprised me with a May break on a Spanish island – so I think I have been rather spoiled! 

I have been thinking a lot about 2017 and know I need to make some major changes. Like many others, I do not have a good work/life balance, so I have been working on this since the new year to try and find a schedule that works for me. I am determined to try it for a month to see how it works out. At the moment, I am finding it hard to adjust, but I have never been good with change! One big upside is that my husband is very much enjoying the fruits of my new schedule – if he gets fed, he is happy – lol! 

I have identified lots of keywords I need to keep in mind for 2018, but the main one has to be CONSISTENCY – this is key for me in every area of my life! 

Personal goals are to lose weight and do more exercise – I bet many of you have these goals too! My health continues to be an issue, so I really need to be CONSISTENT! I have joined a weight loss class, although it is more about food optimization, have started to walk a little bit every day and the icing on the cake – hubby and I go swimming together once a week – this is big change for us!! 

Anyhow – that is my quick update! If you feel like it, leave me a comment about your goals for this year – I would love to hear from you! 

I am bringing back Teacher Treat Tuesday for 2018! For January, I am thinking any of the following freebies might be useful for you: 
  • Winter 
  • Martin Luther King 
  • 100th Day 
  • Digraphs 
  • Graphing 
  • CVCE words 
Can you add something to the list?  Speak soon!

Mindfulness for Teachers

Ours is an age of global markets, intense competition, and time scarcity. As a result, many of us feel overwhelmed, irritable, and worn-out. We are constantly looking for a work/life balance or the next trendy way to relax.

Just look at the popularity of cookery shows and books…cookery books used to be the star of the bookshelves, but coloring books for adults appear to have taken over that role…

But why?
While drawing between the lines was once reserved for children, coloring is now being used as a form of alternative therapy to help adults relieve stress and anxiety.

“As part of the American Psychological Association’s Mind/Body Health campaign, a survey revealed the impact stress is having on Americans’ physical and emotional health. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey of adults and young people ages 8 to 17."
Key findings:
"Most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress, with 44% reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years. Concerns about money, work and the economy top the list of most frequently cited sources of stress. Fears about job stability are on the rise, with 49% of respondents citing such fears as a source of stress — up from 44 percent last year.” 

It's no wonder we're on a desperate search to find some inner peace!

So…. is getting out your coloring pencils the new weapon of choice in this battle to live a less stressful daily life?

Coloring is a great way to introduce yourself to the concept of mindfulness. You just have to observe children coloring to see exactly how absorbing the activity is. The action of coloring requires the mind to focus on the present moment and this can make mindfulness more accessible to stressed adults.

Coloring can also provide us with a simple distraction to take our minds away from a stressful day. This unique experience for adults can transport us quickly back to our carefree, responsibility-free childhoods, thus bringing calm back to our current situation – it provides us with that little bit of healing escapism.

Slower breathing, concentration and eventual calmness come from the fact that we are absorbed in a simple activity – that stressful, fast pace is swapped for a gentler pace and a sense of inner peace. Once we are in the zone, we feel better about ourselves and in turn are better able to communicate with others.

Coloring is our route to mindfulness, which encourages us to live in the present moment, as well as connect and interact with others.

So, what do you think? Is this a way to help teachers de-stress from the daily rigors of classroom life? Is this something that could help you? Why not give it a go? Nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Let us share our gift with you today – stress free teachers mean happy students! 
Please come back and share your coloring with us – and tell us about your experiences – did it work for you?
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