Tuesday, November 23

Skittles Math: Counting, Sorting, and Graphing Skittles

Once upon a time... almost thirty years ago...I was a student teacher in a first grade classroom. My mentor teacher and I sat down together and came up with a fun math lesson using Skittles. I don't know where she got the idea from, but the students in the class loved it! Our lesson included reviewing color words, sorting and counting Skittles by color, and how to make and read a simple bar graph. Keep reading for a quick rundown of the activities we used in our math lesson and for a free printable for you to download!

Minilesson + printable. Children practice counting and sorting objects, recognizing basic colors & making bar graphs with this Skittles math activity.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, November 19

Native American - Indigenous Immune Boosting Pine and Cedar Tea

Winter is here... and so is cough and cold season! As teachers, we are exposed to all of the germs our students bring into the classroom. What is a teacher to do? 

In today's guest post, Stevie Rae is sharing her recipe for a traditional, immune-boosting tea that many Indigenous people drink during this time of year. This tea is loaded with vitamins and other nutrients that can help ward off and/or lessen the severity of some illnesses. The ingredients for this tea can be purchased online or at local health food stores. If you are confident in your foraging skills, you may be able to find some of these ingredients in your own backyard. Keep reading to learn more!

Learn about the immune boosting qualities of this traditional Native American - Indigenous white pine and cedar tea. Recipe included in this post.

Legal Disclaimer: This recipe is for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Do not drink this tea if you have known allergies to any of the ingredients. Consult your healthcare professional if you are on prescription medications that may interact with any of these ingredients. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Wednesday, November 17

Minecraft Math: Thanksgiving Pixel Art

I love Minecraft pixel art. Back in September, I wrote a blog post about the advantages of having children create pixel art while playing Minecraft, described how creating pixel art can strengthen their math skills, and shared directions for making three Halloween pumpkin designs. In today's post, I'm sharing the directions you need to make this Thanksgiving turkey pixel art in Minecraft. Keep reading for details!

Children can build this Thanksgiving turkey pixel art in Minecraft by following a pattern on a graph. Minecraft math, STEM, technology activity. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Hector, A Dog’s Story by Renata Kaminska

Last June, author Renata Kaminska released her first children's book Hector, A Dog's StoryHector, A Dog's Story is a moving children's book that takes place during World War II and is told from the perspective and point of view of a family's pet. When one of Hector's owners dies, readers witness the grieving process Hector goes through and how he learns to find happiness again.

In today's guest post, Renata Kaminska writes about her children's book Hector, A Dog's Story, how dogs can affect children's development, and how having a dog can foster empathy in children. Keep reading to learn more!

Hector, A Dog’s Story by Renata Kaminska is a chapter book told from the perspective of a little dog whose owner passes away during World War II.

This is a guest post written by Renata Kaminska, author of Hector, A Dog’s Story. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Saturday, November 13

A Dinosaur Made Me Spill: A Water Cycle Adventure by Carla Mae Jansen

The water cycle is one of my favorite science units to teach to my second and third graders. There are lots of fun STEM experiments and children's books to make learning about the water cycle exciting. Carla Mae Jansen is in the process of publishing her new children's book about the water cycle... A Dinosaur Made Me Spill... that would be a fun addition to the unit. Its release is planned for this upcoming summer (2022). In today's guest post, author Carla Mae Jansen writes about A Dinosaur Made Me Spill, how she came up with the idea for the book, and how you can preorder it on Kickstarter. Keep reading to learn more!

Help your students learn about the water cycle with A Dinosaur Made Me Spill, an educational science story by Carla Mae Jansen. 2nd and 3rd grade.

This is a guest post written by Carla Mae Jansen, author of A Dinosaur Made Me Spill. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
  

Thursday, November 11

Planet Power! Explore the World's Renewable Energy

By the time children reach third and fourth grade, they traditionally start learning about different types of energy. Some of the ones they learn about are:

🍎 kinetic energy
🍎 potential energy
🍎 light energy
🍎 sound energy
🍎 heat energy
🍎 thermal energy
🍎 electrical energy
🍎 mechanical energy

However... times are changing and more and more schools and homeschool families are introducing types of renewable energy. What is renewable energy? How many different types of renewable energy are there? How can renewable energy help us? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more!

Learn about different types of renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, wave, tidal, geothermal) and the children's book Planet Power by Stacy P. Clark

The inspiration for this blog post came from the children's book Planet Power by Stacy P. Clark. Planet Power is a nonfiction children's book about six types of renewable energy... hydropower, solar power, wind power, tidal power, geothermal power, and wave power.
 
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post. 

Tuesday, November 9

Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-At-Home Handbook for Parents by Lisa Forsythe

Back in March, I wrote a blog post about Crackle and Pop! Bible Science Experiments by Hanna Holwerda. Crackle and Pop! is a fun collection of STEM and science activities that parents and teachers could use with their students. In today's guest post, author Lisa Forsythe tells us about her new book Simple Activities for Toddlers. Simple Activities for Toddlers is another fun collection of activities parents and teachers need to know about. It is packed full of crafts, games, STEM activities, and other fun ideas. Keep reading to learn about Simple Activities for Toddlers and how it can be a tremendous resource for parents... and teachers... of our littlest learners!

Simple Activities fSimple Activities for Toddlers by Lisa Forsythe is a terrific resource for parents & teachers of toddlers and preschoolers. Games, crafts, STEM & moreor Toddlers: A Practical Play-At-Home Handbook for Parents by Lisa Forsythe

This is a guest post written by Lisa Forsythe, author of Simple Activities for Toddlers. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, October 26

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

We Are Water Protectors... written by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade... is a children's book inspired by the Indigenous-led environmental protests that have been held across the United States. In 2021, this book received the Caldecott Medal for its illustrations. We Are Water Protectors is a historically significant book, not only because it shines a light on the environmental protests happening, but also because Michaela Goade is the first Indigenous illustrator to win a Caldecott Medal. Keep reading to learn more about We Are Water Protectors and for three social studies minilessons you can use in your classroom.

Learn about the book We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom. Blog post includes language arts and social studies minilessons. #waterislife #representationmatters

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Monday, October 18

Why You and Your Students Should Go Outside and Take Nature Walks

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post called 15 Reasons Why Children Need Recess. In that post, I described several of the reasons why children feel like they need outside recess. Many of the children talked about relieving stress, getting exercise, releasing energy, and being able to relax for a bit. In today's guest post by Djew Bennis, Djew explains the benefits of taking your students outside for nature walks to listen to the sounds of nature. She also gives suggestions about integrating nature walks... also referred to as listening walks... with different subject areas. Keep reading to learn more!

Reasons why teachers and students should go outside for nature walks.  Physical activity, observation skills, communing with nature, and more.

The following is a guest post written by Djew Bennis. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
  

Monday, October 11

Pumpkin Balloon Globes

Making pumpkin balloon globes is a fun enrichment activity for your map skills and geography lessons. (It's also a fun way to sneak in a bit of Halloween fun without actually celebrating Halloween.) With minimal materials, your students will be able to create a pumpkin balloon globe that will help them remember where the prime meridian, International Date Line, the North Pole, and the South Pole are and help them remember what lines of longitude are. Keep reading to learn how to integrate making pumpkin balloon globes into your social studies lessons.

Pumpkin balloon globe craft to teach prime meridian, International Date Line, North Pole, South Pole, & lines of longitude. Geography. Social Studies.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, October 7

Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier

Since the mid-1980s, the week between the second and third Saturdays in June has been designated as National Dairy Goat Awareness Week. This week was started in order to educate the American people about the potential of dairy goats and their products. Many communities have festivals during this time in which people can taste foods made with goat milk and meat, try their hands at milking goats, visit goats at petting zoos, learn how to take care of goats, etc. Former President Ronald Reagan himself praised dairy goats for their ability to efficiently convert a wide variety of vegetation into nutritious milk and meat. Yes, goats are great at producing milk and meat. But... I would be at fault if I didn’t tell you about something else that goats can do... goats can change the world.

Learn about the children's book Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier and how one small goat made a huge impact on a child's life. Based on a true story.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, September 28

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

Winter is almost here in the northern hemisphere and many children are learning about animals and animal adaptations such as migration and hibernation. I recently discovered a book that works really well for an integrated science + art + language arts lesson. It’s called Over and Under the Snow and is written by Kate Messner. It’s an excellent book for teaching about hibernation, which animals hibernate, and which ones don't. Keep reading to learn more!

Learn about animal hibernation with this integrated science, reading, and art activity inspired by the book Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Sunday, September 26

How to Use Minecraft to Teach Creative Writing to Kids

Several days ago, I wrote a blog post about making Halloween pixel art in Minecraft. A few weeks before that, I described how to practice finding the area of objects in Minecraft. In this blog post, I'm going to write about how you can use Minecraft during your language arts lessons as an inspiration for creative writing. Keep reading to learn more!

Children practice their writing skills with this Minecraft inspired journal writing lesson plan. Creative writing, technology, Minecraft learning, ELA

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, September 20

Asha Loves Science: Over in the Meadow by Najla Ahmad

When I was a child, I loved listening to the original Over in the Meadow poem. My kindergarten teacher had a felt storyboard set for the poem and I remember feeling giddy whenever she brought it out. In today's guest post, Najla Ahmad talks about her children's book Asha Loves Science: Over in the Meadow... a fun, multicultural twist of that old poem. In Najla Ahmad's version of Over in the Meadow, children learn fun facts about animals and a little bit of Urdu... the national language of Pakistan and 22 states in India. Keep reading to learn more!

Children can learn fun facts about animals in English and Urdu/Hindi in the children's book Asha Loves Science: Over in the Meadow by Najla Ahmad.

This is a guest post by Najla Ahmad that first appeared on my blog in 2016. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, September 16

Five Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.

Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an average of 450 speeches per year? When we ask our students about Martin Luther King, Jr. and which of his speeches they are most familiar with, the vast majority of them will say I Have a Dream. I Have a Dream may be his most famous speech... but it's definitely not his only. Keep reading to learn about five of his other significant speeches. Excerpts from each speech are included.

Children can learn about and listen to five speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream, I've Been to the Mountaintop, What Is Your Life's Blueprint, The Other America, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, and Remaining Awake

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Saturday, September 11

Minecraft Math Halloween Pixel Art

Anybody who knows me will be able to tell you about my love for the game Minecraft. In a previous post, I wrote about how you can use Minecraft to teach finding the area of an object in math. With Halloween right around the corner, I’d like to share another fun STEAM activity with you in today's post… how to use math and technology skills to create Halloween pictures in Minecraft. In the Minecraft community, these types of pictures are called pixel art. But in the classroom, teachers often refer to them as graph art.

Kids practice their geometry and other math skills when they create Halloween pixel art designs in Minecraft. STEM and STEAM activity. Minecraft math.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, September 10

What's an Og? by Mary Barry

Learning about letters and the sounds they make... phonics/phonetics... are important parts of learning how to read.  Engaging children in wordplay with rhyming words is one strategy parents and teachers can use to help their students become more proficient in reading.  In today's guest post, children's author Mary Barry talks about her recently released children's book called What's an Og?... a book full of wordplay and rhymes for the /og/ sound. Keep reading to learn about What's an Og? and how Mary Barry came up with her idea for the story!

Children will learn to read and practice words with the /og/ sound while reading What's an Og by Mary Barry. Phonics. Rhyming book. Preprimer/Primer.

This is a guest post by Mary Barry. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Tuesday, September 7

How to Upcycle and Reuse Old Books to Make Beautiful Bookmarks

Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Have you ever wondered what to do with your old, well-loved books that are falling apart?  Instead of tossing them into a trash bin and sending them to a landfill, upcycle and reuse them into something useful.  In today's guest post, veteran librarian and homeschooling mom Shecki Bernard shares with us one way to upcycle and reuse old books to create beautiful bookmarks for your students and children to use.  Keep reading to learn more!

Don't throw your old books away. Upcycle & reuse them to make new bookmarks with your students. All you need are some watercolor paints & old books.

This is a guest post by Shecki Bernard. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post. 

Sunday, September 5

13 Halloween Treats for Your Class Party

Trick or treat!  Every year, children look forward to their Halloween parties at school.  Traditionally, children bring Halloween candy to school to share with their friends, get to wear their Halloween costumes, and march throughout the school in a Halloween parade.  Good times!  

A round up of 13 Halloween party snacks for kids. Ghost lollipops, apple mummies, candy spiders, clementine pumpkins, free printables, and more!

The Halloween snacks featured in this round-up would be perfect for a Halloween party at school.  They were created by moms and teachers from all over the internet and are made from fresh fruit and/or prepackaged items.  These treats can be made at home or as a Halloween craft at school.  There are lots of tasty treats in this post, so let's dive right in!

Thursday, September 2

Helping Children Make Friends

I recently read an online article from Parenting Science called How to Help Kids Make Friends by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.  This article describes strategies parents can use to help their children develop positive relationships. Although Dr. Dewar wrote this article with parents in mind, many of the strategies can be utilized by teachers in the classroom as well.  Keep reading to learn more!

Summary of the article How to Help Kids Make Friends by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. 12 strategies for parents and teachers to help children form friendships.




This is an updated version of an article I wrote in 2015. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Wednesday, September 1

Helping Preschool Students Identify and Express Their Emotions

Sometimes little children have difficulty managing large emotions. They don't always have words to describe how they are feeling or why they are feeling a certain way. Children may also need guidance about appropriate ways to express their feelings.  

Yes, it's OK to be mad... but it's not OK to throw toys when you are mad... what can you do instead?  

Tatiana Green is a preschool teacher at Alphabet Kids Preschool. In today's guest post, Tatiana Green shares her thoughts about the importance of talking to children in preschool about their feelings. Keep reading to see what she has to say!

The importance of teaching children how to identify their feelings and emotions and how to express them appropriately. Preschool children and teachers

The following post was written by Tatiana Green. This post originally appeared in the Homeschool Whisperer Facebook group. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, August 24

Three Important Children's Learning Styles

As parents and teachers, we want our students to do well in school and to feel confident about themselves and what they are learning.  One of the most important things we can do to help our students is to identify what their individual learning styles are.  In today's guest post, educator Djew Bennis introduces three main learning styles and encourages us to reflect on what our learning styles may be.  Keep reading to learn more!

Descriptions of three learning styles among children: visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic and tactile learners. Preschool to third grade. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post written by Djew Bennis. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Saturday, August 21

Minecraft Math Find the Area

With Minecraft being the rage among children... and adults... of all ages, teachers are wondering how they can tap into the excitement and use Minecraft as a teaching tool. Believe it or not, Minecraft can be used to teach math skills such as finding the area, volume, and perimeter of shapes. 

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m not going to teach you how to play Minecraft. There are many resources online and books you can read to learn how to play it. Rather, I’m going to show you how to use Minecraft to introduce finding the area to your young students.

Practice finding the area of an object with this Minecraft Math activity. Kids can count blocks, use arrays, or use length x width to find the area.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, August 20

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman

When I first starting teaching many years ago, studying Japan was a major component of the second-grade social studies curriculum I needed to teach. We would spend roughly a month learning about Japanese history, geography, and culture. At the end of the unit, my students and I would read How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman together, go to the Japanese restaurant nearby, and learn how to eat with chopsticks. Good times!

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman. A little girl tells the story of how her parents met, fell in love, and learned how to eat.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, August 19

If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff

If you’ve read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and enjoyed it, then you need to read her book If You Give a Moose a Muffin. If You Give a Moose a Muffin is about a hungry moose who wants a snack.  Once he gets his muffins, a whole chain of events gets set into motion, and the story ends where it began.  If You Give a Moose a Muffin is a good example of a circle story.  What is a circle story?  How can you use this book to teach circle stories to your students?  Keep reading to find out!

A circle story craft for If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff. Sequence of events. Cause-effect. Story circle. Circular story plot.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Wednesday, August 18

Top Five Science Materials in Your Junk Drawer

Once upon a time many moons ago, I posted an article called The Top 5 Science Materials to Keep in Your Kitchen. Science materials don't need to be high-tech or expensive. Check out these top five science materials you probably have in your junk drawer right now.

Use the paper clips, coins, batteries, rubber bands, and old candy in your junk drawer for some awesome STEM experiments and science experiments!

This is an updated version of a post I wrote in 2014.  
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, August 17

15 Reasons Why Children Need Recess

In February 2014, The Learning Network conducted an interesting survey about recess in schools. They asked children in middle school and high school... 13 years old and older... to read an article called The Students Who Lose Recess Are the Ones Who Need It the Most by Jessica Lahley. After reading the article, the children were asked to respond to some questions and give their opinions.  These are their responses in their own words.  Read on to see what these children had to say!

Children were asked to read an article about recess & answer questions about it. Do they think they need recess? Yes, they do! Read their reasons why!

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2014. The article published by The Learning Network was updated in 2019. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, August 16

Mermaid Math: Counting, Colors, and Patterns

Earlier this year, I wrote about the children's book The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam by Kirk Kirkpatrick... a book about a mermaid and her fish friend who work together to solve a problem and come up with a fun solution for it.  This mermaid math activity was inspired by The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam and can be used to teach a variety of math skills:

🍎 counting verbally
🍎 identifying colors
🍎 identifying and creating patterns
🍎 understanding one-to-one correspondence
🍎 discovering basic concepts of addition and subtracting
🍎 and more

You can use this mermaid activity while working with students one-on-one, in a math center, as a busy bag, or when students finish their work early.  Keep reading to learn more about this mermaid math activity and for three simple ways you can use it with your students!

Students in preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten can practice their math skills with Mermaid Math activity. Counting, colors, patterning, etc.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, August 12

Five Fun Facts About Dandelions

Dandelions are plants that people often take for granted.  Children love them and call them flowers.  Some grown-ups despise them and call them weeds. Regardless of we feel about dandelions, they play an important role in our ecosystem. Here are five fun facts about dandelions you can share with the children you work with.

Five fun facts about dandelions. Where do dandelions come from? Are dandelions edible? What animals eat dandelions? Do bees like dandelions? And more!

Wednesday, August 11

Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Cooking with kids is a terrific way to teach a variety of math and reading skills in a hands-on, enjoyable, and meaningful way.  It may not always be practical to cook with students in the classroom, but it's worth a try if you can.  Many homeschooling families already find ways to integrate cooking into their lessons.  By working together to follow a recipe, your students and children can practice the following skills:

  • reading for information
  • following directions
  • following a sequence
  • fractions
  • units of measurement
  • problem-solving
  • making observations

A round-up of kid friendly Rosh Hashanah recipes.  Recipes include honey and apple cookies, pancakes, muffins, bread, ice cream, and even popsicles!

The Rosh Hashanah recipes featured in today's round-up were created by moms and foodies from all over the internet. If you see a recipe in this post that you'd like to try, click on its link to see the ingredients, directions, photos, and handy tidbits. There are lots of delicious recipes in this post, so let's dive right in! Shana Tova!

Tuesday, August 10

The Adventures of Little Miss History by Barbara Ann Mojica

I recently learned about The Adventures of Little Miss History... a children's book series by Barbara Ann Mojica.  Little Miss History is a middle school student who travels around the world to learn as much as she can.  In today's guest post, Barbara Ann Mojica introduces us to Little Miss History and tells us more about the books in her series.  Keep reading!

Learn about the children's book series The Adventures of Little Miss History by Barbara Ann Mojica. Books include Battleship Iowa and Mount Vernon.

The following is a guest post written by Barbara Ann Mojica. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Sunday, August 8

Straw Bridge STEM Challenge

Building bridges out of straws is a popular STEM challenge among elementary school teachers and a HUGE favorite among students.  In this straw bridge STEM activity, your students will be handed a bundle of straws, a pair of scissors, and a roll of clear tape.  Their objective... to design and construct a bridge that can span a distance of one foot and bear a reasonable amount of weight without collapsing.  Can it be done?  If so, who will build the strongest bridge in your class?

Straw Bridge STEM Challenge: Who Built the Strongest Bridge?

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, August 6

The Smiley Girl by Emmanuel Ndayishimiye and Ornella Ngabire

The Smiley Girl by Emmanuel Ndayishimiye and Ornella Ngabire is a children's book about a little girl named Cindy who keeps track of her daily acts of kindness toward others in a special calendar she created. She calls her calendar a kindness calendar.  In today's guest post, author Ornella Ngabire writes about The Smiley Girl and describes what kindness calendars are and how you can use these kindness calendars at home or at school. Keep reading to learn more!
 
Learn about random acts of kindness and kindness calendars with The Smiley Girl by Emmanuel Ndayishimiye and Ornella Ngabire. Children's book. PreK-3. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post written by Ornella Ngabire. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Monday, August 2

Back to School Red Apple Crafts for Kids

Apples have been a powerful symbol of knowledge and education for hundreds of years.  Did you know that in the 1700s and 1800s poor families would give bushels of apples to teachers to pay for their children's education?  It's true.  Since then, apples and schools have always gone together.  It's also why we say an apple for the teacher.

The apple crafts featured in this round-up were created by moms and teachers from all over the internet. If you see a craft in this post that you'd like to try at home or at school, click on its link and head to its original website for material lists, directions, photos, etc. There are lots of cute activities in this post, so let's dive right in!

A round up of 15 red apple crafts for kids. Crafts include: Paper plate apples. Handprint apples. Quilling apples. Tissue paper apples. Apple picture frames. PreK-3rd grade.

Sunday, August 1

Fun Facts About Sloths

Last week, I wrote a blog post about Slothee Wants Coffee, a children's book by Nikki Pezzopane and Cameron Fica.  In Slothee Wants Coffee, a sloth named Slothee traveled the world in search of the perfect cup of coffee.  Today's blog post is full of fun facts about sloths like Slothee.  Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating... and absolutely adorable... animals!

Learn fun facts about sloths, what sloths eat and drink, where sloths live, how sloths protect themselves, and sloths' conservation status.
This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.

Thursday, July 29

Where Does Coffee Come From?

If you were to ask a child where coffee comes from, you might get an answer like Starbucks, Dunkin,' or... my personal favorite place... Tim Hortons.  But... if you were to follow up that question and ask where the coffee comes before it gets to Starbucks, Dunkin', or Tim Hortons... you may get a blank stare.  Have you ever wondered where coffee comes from?  Keep reading to find out!

Learn where coffee comes from with the children's book Slothee Wants Coffee by Nikki Pezzopane and Cameron Fica. Geography minilesson included.

The inspiration for this blog post came from the children's book Slothee Wants Coffee by Nikki Pezzopane and her son Cameron Fica.  Slothee Wants Coffee is about a sloth named Slothee who travels the world in search of the perfect cup of coffee.  

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, July 26

Fun Facts About Mountain Lions and P22

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee MoralThe Cat That Changed America tells a fictionalized account of the mountain lion P22 that lives in Griffith Park in downtown Los Angeles.  Even though P22 is a bit of a celebrity in the Los Angeles area, people outside of Los Angeles were surprised to learn there really is a mountain lion living in the middle of the city!  They wanted to learn more about P22 and mountain lions in general.  In this blog post, I'll be sharing five fun facts about mountain lions and relating them to P22.  Keep reading to learn more!

Five fun facts about mountain lions and P22, the mountain lion that lives in Griffith Park, downtown Los Angeles, California. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Sunday, July 25

How to Make Seed Paper Hearts

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about Love Grows Love, a children's book by Lauren Fischer.  Love Grows Love teaches children about emotions and empathy.  Making seed paper is a fun craft that can be used as a follow-up enrichment activity to reading Love Grows Love, as a standalone craft for Earth Day, or as a part of your science lessons about seeds and plants.  

Be warned... making seed paper is is a deceptively simple activity.  It's fun, has very few steps to follow, and won't cost much when you buy the supplies at the store.  Sounds great, yes?  Making seed paper in the classroom, however, can be messy and a time-consuming process.  It can take several days from start to finish to make seed paper.  This craft isn't for everyone.  Keep reading to learn what you will need to make seed paper and the directions.  Then let us know in the comments if you think you might give this craft a try!

Learn how to make seed paper from tissue paper, white glue, seeds, and glitter. Fun Earth Day activity or addition to your science lessons about seeds

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, July 23

Back-to-School Crafts for Kids

It's almost time to head back to school!  Celebrate the beginning of the school year with some of the crafts in this post.  The crafts featured in this round-up were created by moms and teachers from all over the internet.  If you see a craft in this post that you'd like to try, click on its link and head to its original website for material lists, directions, photos, etc.  There are lots of cute activities in this post, so let's dive right in!

A round up of 10 children's back-to-school crafts. Apples, pencils, school buses, photo props. Preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade.

Wednesday, July 21

15 Children's Books for the First Day of School

Are you looking for some children's books to read with your students during the first week of school?  Here is a collection of 15 of my favorite back-to-school books you should check out.  Some of these are classics I read with my students back in the 90s.  Others are 'new favorites' I recently discovered.  

15 children's books to read at the beginning of the school year. Back-to-school. Preschool, preK, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, July 20

Pumpkin Life Cycle STEM Activity

Autumn is the perfect time of year to learn about pumpkin life cycles.  You can find pumpkins at farmer's markets, grocery stores, and roadside stands.  And... you can even find them in coffees, teas, bread, pies, soups, muffins, and more!  Since pumpkins seem to be everywhere and in everything during this time of year, it makes sense to incorporate pumpkin life cycles into your science lessons in the fall instead of waiting until spring when other plant concepts are taught. Keep reading to learn about a fascinating pumpkin life cycle STEM activity and popular children's book you can use as a part of your science lessons!

Decomposing Pumpkins Science and STEM Experiment: A STEM and science experiment inspired by the children's book Pumpkin Jack. Learn about the pumpkin life cycles/decomposition. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
All photos in this post are used with the permission of Blakeley Kantor.

Monday, July 19

Grouchy Goose by Betina Baptist

Grouchy Goose by Betina Baptist is a children's book about two geese... Grouchy Goose and Gossipy Goose... who learn about manners, making good choices, and friendship.  In today's guest post, Betina Baptist describes the inspiration for Grouchy Goose and how you can integrate it into your lessons about emotions and facial expressions.  Keep reading to learn more! 

Learn about emotions, facial expressions, & friendship with the children's book Grouchy Goose by Betina Baptist. Guest post. Minilesson. Animal story.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
The following is a guest post written by Betina Baptist. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Sunday, July 18

Managing Test Anxiety

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about helping children with generalized anxiety and worry.  In that post, I described the symptoms of childhood anxiety that parents and teachers need to be aware of and keep an eye on.  Today's guest post by college student Allyson Gott talks about one of the specific causes of anxiety in children... test anxiety.  Test anxiety is something that used to be associated with high school and college, but now more and more students in elementary school are feeling it too.  Keep reading to learn more about test anxiety and for some simple strategies you can use to help your students at home and at school.

Managing Test Taking Anxiety: Learn about test anxiety in children. Post includes strategies to use at home or school to help children manage stress. Guest post by Allyson Gott. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post written by Allyson Gott. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Friday, July 16

Talking to Children About Race

It’s normal and natural for children to observe and point out differences. It’s our responsibility to help them celebrate these differences and understand how they may affect our lives.
-Alanna Ekua Nzoma, M.D., University of Michigan Health

Aditi Wardhan Singh is an avid writer and has written several books for children and adults.  She is known for writing the Sparkling Me series of books for children and Raising the Global Mindset and Strong Roots Have No Fear for parents and teachers.  Aditi Wardhan Singh is passionate about multicultural education and promoting mindfulness, empathy, and community.  In today's guest post, Aditi Wardhan Singh writes about strategies parents and teachers can use when talking to children about race.  She also gives us a quick peek at her children's book How Our Skin Sparkles.  Enjoy!


Author Aditi Wardhan Singh provides strategies parents and teachers can use while talking about race with children. Guest post. Mindfulness. Empathy.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
The following is a guest post written by Aditi Wardhan Singh. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.
 

Wednesday, July 14

It Smells Like Tuesday by Amy Provinzono-Thomas

Children's author Amy Provinzono-Thomas released her first children's book It Smells Like Tuesday a couple of months ago. It Smells Like Tuesday is a fantasy book about a little boy who takes his favorite scents and bottles them up so he can smell them whenever he wants to remember something special. In this guest post, Amy Provinzono-Thomas tells us more about her new book and shares some of her favorite illustrations with us. Enjoy!
 
Learn more about the children's book It Smells Like Tuesday by Amy Provinzono-Thomas in this guest post by the author.  Fiction. Grades K-2nd.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
The following is a guest post written by Amy Provinzono-Thomas. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  

Tuesday, July 13

School is More Than a Building by Kelley Donner

Are you looking for a new children's book to read to your students during the first week of school? A book to make them feel positive about coming back to school? A book to make them feel like a valued member of the school community? Children's author and illustrator Kelley Donner published her children's book School is More Than a Building in May and it would be an excellent read for that first week. In this blog post, Kelley Donner writes about her new book, where the inspiration for the book came from, and the resources you can download to go with it. Keep reading to learn more about School is More Than a Building!

School is More Than a Building by Kelley Donner

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
This is a guest post written by Kelley Donner. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Monday, July 12

How to Grow Radishes from Scraps

Children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade learn about the parts of plants and food that come from plants.  They learn about the roots, stems, leaves, seeds, and flowers and the function of each of these parts.  Quite often children... and sometimes adults... are surprised to find out that the radishes we eat don't just come from a plant... they are actually a part of the plant!  This quick blog post will give you the directions you need to plant a radish in the classroom and watch it transform into a full plant.

Learn how to grow radishes from scraps at home or in the classroom. You only need a radish, toothpicks, a glass and some water. #kellysclassroomonline

Tuesday, July 6

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Summertime is here and lots of families are getting excited about going camping.  Some families will camp in tents.  Some will camp in RVs.  And... some brave families will camp under the stars.  Fun times for all!  

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd is a wordless book about a child who goes camping, wanders around in the dark, and gets lost.  Oh no!  How will the child get back to the tent?  Keep reading to find out what happens to the child, to learn more about Flashlight and the importance of wordless books, and to find the directions for a fun, book-inspired art activity!

Art enrichment activity. Create a nighttime scene inspired by the wordless book Flashlight by Lizi Boyd. Camping theme. Story elements. Illustrations.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2014.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, July 5

10 Children's Books About Residential Schools

Conversations have been happening in homes and classrooms across Canada and the United States since the remains of 215 Indigenous children buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School were found.  At the time of this post, nearly 1,000 bodies have been found and that number is expected to rise as the grounds of more residential schools in Canada and the United States get searched.  Parents and teachers are finding themselves fielding some hard questions from their children...  Why were these children taken from their homes?  Why were they forced to go to these schools?  Why were they treated so badly there?  Why didn't they all get to go home?

Explaining that Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and put into residential schools where they were abused and prohibited from speaking their languages or expressing their culture requires both delicacy and honesty, according to experts.

Listed below are 10 children's books and Youtube videos written specifically to help children answer some of these difficult questions.  Many of these books are written by residential school survivors or their descendants.  All of these books were written before 2021... long before the remains of the original 215 children were found.

A compilation of children's books about Indigenous Residential Schools in the United States and Canada. Native American. First Nations. #ownvoices

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, July 1

The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White

I usually write about books and activities for early childhood and early elementary students, but every once in a while I find a book for the upper elementary grades that teachers and parents should know about.  The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White is one of them.  The Hoopstar is a realistic fiction children's book inspired by real life.  It is about a 12-year-old girl named Brylane who loves to play basketball.  On the basketball court, she is confident and fearless... a true champion!  But on the inside, there is something making Brylane feel less confident, something most of the people around her don't know about...  she has dyslexia.  What is dyslexia?  How does it affect Brylane's life?  How does Brylane overcome having dyslexia to achieve her dreams?  Keep reading to learn about dyslexia and to learn more about The Hoopstar!

The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White: Learn about dyslexia and character traits with The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White. A girl has dyslexia but it doesn't stop her from doing well at school and from playing basketball! #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Friday, June 25

Pepper and Soap STEM Experiment

Are you looking for an activity to show children why it's important to use soap when they wash their hands?  This pepper + soap STEM experiment is a favorite among early childhood and elementary school teachers and shows children exactly why they need to use soap.  It requires very few materials and... chances are... you already have them in your kitchen.  Keep reading to learn more!

Pepper and Soap STEM Experiment: This pepper and soap STEM + science experiment teaches young children the importance of using soap while washing their hands. #kellysclassroomonline

Tuesday, June 22

Fun Facts About Sled Dogs

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about Run Like a Sled Dog and Black Bear Goes to Washington by Denise Lawson.  (Run Like a Sled Dog and Black Bear Goes to Washington are two children's books inspired by a retired sled dog that Denise Lawson adopted.)  That particular post generated some interest in my readers to learn more about the lives of sled dogs.  What are sled dogs like?  What do sled dogs eat?  How do sled dogs manage in the Arctic cold?  Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and to learn more about these magnificent creatures!

Learn about types of sled dogs, what they eat, how they adapted to living in the Arctic and famous sled dogs. Free animal research printable included.

Sunday, June 20

The Brave Butterfly Gratitude Journal Product Review

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post about Abby Cadet... the young author who wrote and published Living in Two Homes Is Tough when she was 9 years old. Since then, she has written a second children's book and has released a series of gratitude journals for children. (Pretty amazing, yes?)  Today's blog post is a product review of one of Abby Cadet's gratitude journals that can be used at home or at school.  Keep reading to learn more!

The Brave Butterfly Gratitude Journal for Kids by Cindy and Abby Cadet #kellysclassroomonline

This is an unpaid review of a Brave Butterfly Gratitude Journal. I was given a promotional journal in exchange for my HONEST review.  To learn more about product reviews, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.