Hi! I’m Sally from Elementary Matters. I’ve been teaching about a hundred years. OK, it’s only been since 1977, but that was a very long time ago! To give you an idea, when I started teaching, the term “Instructional Media” referred to felt boards, record players, and very archaic overhead projectors. (One per school!) I ran off papers on a hand powered ditto machine.
Since back in those days, I’ve taught every grade from Preschool through eighth grade, with the exception of fourth. (I don’t know why I skipped 4th!) Most of my experience has been in the primary grades, and I have settled into second grade for the last 15 years.
The world of teaching has come a long way since then. Some of it is good. (More research on what works! More opportunities for collaboration, especially through the internet!) Some of it, not so good. (Too much testing! Too much pressure!) Personally, I’m absolutely fascinated by all the brain research that’s out there these days. We know more about how learning happens than we ever did before, and we keep finding out more day by day. Interestingly, some of the things figured out by teachers in my beginning years are the same things neuroscientists are finding today: Kids need to move, kids need a variety of learning activities, music, art, and fun are valuable to learning, and practice will bring the knowledge to the long term memory. (If you have visited my blog, you’ll know I have a passion for the brain!)
Classroom Freebies has been a great resource for exactly that: finding the best materials that will best suit the needs of those kids!
It’s been a tough decision for me to find one freebie to share, since these freebies are such an important part of my classroom! I settled on a couple that I used a year ago from Rachel Lynette of Minds in Bloom. I LOVE Rachel’s stuff because she always makes the kids THINK! In the days of Standardized Testing, it’s something the kids can’t get enough of!
Christmas Mad Libs is a great way to practice those parts of speech, and have a few giggles as well! (Brain Research tells us laughing is healthy!)
Christmas Would You Rather… Questions are awesome! It forces the children to make a decision and share evidence to back up their opinion! (Shades of Common Core?) Plus, they’re fun! I’ve found these are great to leave with a substitute… good times for everyone involved!
Honestly, I’ll recommend any of Rachel’s stuff… especially her amazing Task Cards!
Happy 5 Million to Classroom Freebies! Here’s to 5 million more!
Sally from Elementary Matters.