Classroom Freebies

Poetry Month: A Student Sestina

A sestina has six stanzas with six lines each and a final stanza with three lines.  Each of the lines ends with one of six words.

I wrote "A Student's Sestina" as a challenge.  I found six words from a newspaper article and composed this short story about a struggling student who would rather ride a skateboard than study.

To download a free printable copy of "A Student's Sestina," please visit this post at Artistry of Education.

Artistry of Education

Plural Nouns

Irregular plural nouns can be so confusing!  Students tend to need a lot of practice with them. This freebie may help! It will give your students practice changing  singular nouns that end in y and s into their plural forms. Click here on the image below to download if you think your students would benefit from it! If you would give some feedback after you download it, I would appreciate it! Thank you!

Contractions and Compound Words Freebie

Need a quick way for your littles to practice contractions and compound words?  Try this little freebie.

These quick and easy visual sheets make it easy for your students to put two words together to make a contraction or a compound word.  Just click HERE to download this freebie.  I'd love to know what you think.

Free Counting and Skip Counting Puzzles

Counting and Skip Counting are important skills for kids to master.
Puzzles make learning fun!
Here are 8 puzzles for you to use with your students. They are a combination of counting and skip counting.
Counting and Skip Counting Puzzles
These puzzles are located at my TpT shop. Click on the picture to go to my shop to download this file.

Have fun with math!


Dread Calling Parents??? Try This!

For a long time, I dreaded calling parents because I knew the calls upset the parents. I felt awkward in a dynamic where the parent was embarrassed and many times defensive. I dreaded those calls: when you don’t have good news for a parent, the calls just don’t feel very good. This changed when I became familiar with a concept —- you only have authority if you are under authority. That became the key to positive calls. Most of a teacher’s authority over a student, comes from the good manners and high expectations taught and reinforced in the home. When I had a misbehaving student whose behavior didn’t improve with the school’s discipline plan, I had a private conversation that went like this:

The only real authority I have comes from your parents. I’m just like you. . .  I’m under your parents’ authority. Because I am an adult, your parents expect me to do what is best for you. And what’s best for you is that I tell them how you are conducting yourself in class and your behavior is being influenced by people you want to impress.   Your parents will decide if you are meeting their expectations. If they decide you aren’t meeting their expectations, they can take away sugar, snacks, and preservatives, TV, your phone, your IPOD, your IPAD, your computer, after school activities, in short, the fun things in your life. I on the other hand, can only assign you to silent lunch.

This is a very calm and quiet message. (Some students delight in their power of frustrating a teacher till the teacher loses it. I’ve seen the videos.) The kids didn’t want me to make a phone call to their parents. It totally messed with the natural conflict between meeting parent expectations and the requirements of fitting in with the peer group. They could have one but not necessarily the other. The parents have the real power if they know how to use it.

My conversation with the student could also be linked with the student’s 1st day assignment Goals or Good Intentions (students had to have this every day in class). “How did today’s behaviors help you acquire the skills and character traits you need to accomplish your goals?   Besides, what you did may have felt good, but it didn’t do you any good. Your peers saw what you did; they may never say anything, but they are forming an opinion of your character.” (We don’t like to be judged, however we do like to judge others, talk about it with others, possibly take videos of such behavior and forward to BFFs, maybe even to YouTube.)

If a student continued to misbehave, a call was made to introduce myself and relate to the parent that any power I had as a teacher came from them. I was under their authority and their expectation for me was to do what was best for their child. What was best for their child was to let them know their child’s conduct etc. In other words, I was working for them.

Once I began to use this approach, I noticed several things:

  1. Parents weren’t defensive — I was their ally. It became a friendlier conversation. I was working for them to benefit their child. I wasn’t just an angry teacher who didn’t like their child.
  2. The child’s behavior was not just about being disrespectful to a teacher, the child was being disrespectful of the family’s expectations. Parents don’t like that; it’s now personal. The child’s 1st choice was to be cool with their peer group and set parent’s expectations aside. (One of the interesting teacher/parent dynamics is that parent’s don’t necessarily get upset with a child misbehaving in class, until they link that misbehavior with disrespect or disregard for their expectations/standards).
  3. We became partners working for a common goal. The dynamic changed.
  4. I didn’t dread making the phone calls; they became an opportunity to meet the parent and show my concern.
  5. Most calls ended with there will be a change, if there is not, you call me, text me or email me and I was thanked.

Tweet Writing Prompt Craft

The “…and that’s something to tweet about!” writing prompt craftivity is very versatile, as you can use it for back-to-school, (“I had a great summer!"), or at the end of the year (“I had a great year in school!") or anything else that's "worth tweeting about".

Since Mother's Day is just around the corner, I’ve also included a variety of writing prompt options suitable for Mother’s Day as well:
“My (mom, mum. mommy, mama, grandma) is special and that’s something to tweet about!”

There are blank wing and “hang tag” patterns, so that you can write in something else.

These pieces, along with the accordion-folded legs, add special 3D pizzazz.

explain why, by writing on the back of their bird.

Completed projects really turn out adorable and look sweet suspended from the ceiling.
Older students

Click on the link to zip on over to my Nursery Rhyme blog article, where the "Sweet Tweet" writing prompt craftivity is the featured FREEBIE. 

From Diane, over at

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas + Cards

May is coming and that means a month where we celebrate teachers!!  I've got some ideas of awesome gifts that the teachers in your life would love.  I've included free printable tags in two different sizes - smaller to go on a gift basket and the other a bit larger designed to hold a gift card.  Show your colleagues, teacher friends or your own children's teachers how much you love them! These would also make great end of the year gifts!
Free teacher appreciation cards and gift basket ideas

What Does Not Belong? A Fishing Game for Associations

Working on categories. associations or what does not belong?

What Does Not Belong? A Fishing Game for Associations. That's Fishy! by Speech Sprouts

This fun fishing game will have your children begging to play.  Attach a large paper clip to each colorful fish, dangle a magnet, and you are ready to go!

Each fish contains four pictures, including one that does not belong. How do the others go together? Can you name one more thing that belongs in that category?

 You will work on color sorting too, as your children place the colorful fish on the correct fishbowl. 

Head to Speech Sprouts to download this fun activity HERE. 

Poetry Month: Ode to a Video Game

An ode is a ten line poetry form that was used by many famous poets.  There is also a bit of personification as an ode can directly address an inanimate object.  

I wrote Ode to a Video Game to introduce this form to my students and possibly inspire them to write their own.

To download the poetry printable "Ode to a Video Game," please visit this post at Artistry of Education.

Artistry of Education

Mother's Day Mad Lib Writing

I love being able to help my students create a special gift for a loved one. These Mother's Day Mad Libs reinforce descriptive writing using C.S. Lewis' writing as the model. The result is a sweet keepsake for someone special in the student's life while also building good writing skills.

My class just finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I pulled a passage from the novel that provided a detailed character description. My students replaced key words from the passage with words of their own to create a new description about a person they know.

The idea can be adapted to any novel you are reading with your students, and the students could describe any special person in their life-- not just their mom.

We printed the descriptions and added small pictures. We folded a small pocket folder using cardstock, and the kids took the finished craftivity home as a gift.

To see more details and grab a copy of the Mother's Day Mad Lib activity page, CLICK HERE.

Superstar Antonyms Game for Small Groups

Do your kids  like the I Have Who Has style games? And do they need some antonym practice?  This free superstar themed game will help your students practice antonyms. You can easily use this game in a small group for extra practice; there are not enough cards for a full class to use. 

Click here or on the image below to download it. If you can take a moment and leave some feedback, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

Reading Strategy Task Cards!

These 24 reading strategy task cards feature six different reading strategies:
  • Author's purpose
  • Making Connections
  • Summarizing
  • Inference
  • Questioning
  • Predicting
Each card features a paragraph and a reading strategy challenge. Student answer sheet and answer key are included. Perfect for literacy centers!

Happy Teaching,
Rachel Lynette

"What's My Word" Vocabulary Game

Hi from The Classroom Nook!  

Get your students up, moving, AND learning with this fun vocabulary game!


All About My Mom - Mother's Day Free Printable

Anytime we get to do a writing activity that my kids actually like, it's a good day! 😊 These fun printables not only give your kids an opportunity to practice writing, but they also end up being a really cute keepsake for Mother's Day. 

Come on over to my blog HERE and grab this free download! 

What is your biggest classroom organization challenge?

What is Your Biggest Classroom Organization Challenge? 

Take this FREE Quiz to find your personalized results!