New Years Happy Planner Freebie

As mentioned in my scope yesterday, here’s my printable classic size Happy Planner freebie! Just click on the picture below.



Holidays Around the World – Part 3

So for the end to our study of holidays around the world, we visited 2 more places.


Ornaments made by some of my students.

First we visited the Scandinavian countries. Some make gingerbread cookies with their families. To represent this, the students used a cinnamon and apple sauce dough to make ornaments. They smelled amazing! Here are a couple of versions for the recipe:
apple cinnamon dough with glue

apple cinnamon dough without glue

I’ve always allowed the ornaments to air dry, turning them once or twice each day, but you can bake them for faster dry time.

Then, we visited Korea. The students were surprised by the many traditions we learned about including taking shoes off at the door and singing or playing a musical instrument before receiving a gift. We played yut nori, a game similar to Parcheesi. Instead of using dice, this game uses sticks. We used craft sticks to represent the real ones, which have a rounded side. Here’s a site with printable directions and game board or you can download the one I created here: yut-a-korean-game. Note: I used some images from Wikipedia to create my board.

Finally, the students explored their own holiday traditions. I wasn’t at school that day, but the activity used this free holiday traditions flip book on TPT from A Classroom for All Seasons – check out her post about this product. They were able to write about their family decorations, food, and traditions.

I have other activities and countries which I’ve used in the past, but chose not to use this year. They include Russia (nesting doll coloring activity) and England (Christmas crackers craft using toilet paper tubes). I’ve already started looking for next year’s activities and have some new books ordered to go along with them!

Holidays Around the World – Part 2


Yule log and poinsettia crafts from last week.

Let’s finish off week 1 of our holidays around the world!

Thursday – Germany

To celebrate our decorated Christmas tree from German tradition, we decorated foam trees (from Dollar Tree) with all sorts of decorations. The favorite seemed to be the small silver snowflakes and some glittered sticker shapes that also came from Dollar Tree.

Friday – Australia

This one wasn’t as exciting, but we did have a special presentation at school that day which took up much of our time. We colored some Australian Christmas themed bookmarks and students looked up some information about the holiday there. Both of those came from this FREEBIE in Teaching Treks TPT store.


For week 2, here’s where we’ve been!

Monday – Israel

To celebrate Hanukkah, students were given chocolate coins (“gelt”) and they played dreidel. I used the symbol sheet from Tools for Teachers by Laurah J’s Dreidel Math: Practicing Halves product which I laminated for repeated use. I purchased the dreidels here: Zion Judaica There are many kinds, but I purchased the larger bag of plastic colorful ones. Mine don’t have the English transliterations the new ones have.

Tuesday – Sweden

For this one, I took a little of a stretch for the craft. In reference to how the girls dress to represent St. Lucy, we made pipe cleaner and bead angel ornaments. This project does take some time and direction, but they come out so unique and pretty for each student! Here’s the blog where I found the directions: OT Mom Learning Activities Angels

In the 3rd and final part of this series, I’ll finish off the last few holidays we have studied!

Holidays Around the World

This week, my 3rd graders started learning about Christmas and related winter holidays as they are celebrated in other cultures around the world. Every couple of days, I’ll share what countries/holidays we study and the related craft or activities. I’ll provide links to them when possible.

Monday – Kwanzaa

This was an unfamiliar celebration for my students. We practiced some basic math facts to complete a color by number math kinara from NoodlzArt on free TPT.

Tuesday – France

In addition to enjoying Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and Strawberry Rolls as edible Buche de Noel, we made ornament Yule logs! The directions came from this preschool craft blog.

Tomorrow – Mexico

I provide several books about Las Posadas and we make paper poinsettias using a craft I have in my TPT store. Each one is unique and has a 3-D shape that looks great on bulletin boards. You can find the craft that includes photo directions by clicking the picture below.


Visit here this weekend when I share the celebrations we learned about at the end of the week!


Happy Planner – Teacher Edition for Documentation!


So you may know I’m all about the Happy Planners! I was really excited to get the teacher edition of their planner to use this school year. Here’s how I’ve been using my planner – not for actual lesson plans, but for documentation!




First, I moved the checklist tab and pages up to the front of my planner. I use it to track homework assignments. You could easily use it for a paper gradebook, but my school provides one that we have to use during the year.


Next came the monthly planning pages, which I decided to turn into daily documentation sheets for my 3rd and 4th graders. One side is for each class. I have an example of what I write on these pages below. It can be anything – absences, uniform problems, behavior, and even academics.


Now you’ll notice that I have things in a version of shorthand. This makes it super easy for me to document and move on to other important tasks. I made a cheat sheet of the “codes” for my planner and used washi tape to place it on the back of a dashboard. Washi makes it easy for me to print a new one if I need to add something to my codes.


This dashboard is actually from the set of 3 dashboards for the regular size Happy Planner. I loved how I could put the clear one in and have it not take up the entire page, but still allow me to quickly turn to the page for the current week.

How do you document things in your classroom? So far I’m finding this the best way I’ve ever used because it’s so convenient to just open, code and close my Happy Planner on the spot. I don’t find I’m forgetting to put things into writing the way I had with other systems..

TPT Bonus Sale and MEGA Giveaway!

I’ve been in school for about a week now after our 3 day cancellation for the massive rains and flooding here in Louisiana. However, there are many teachers that don’t start back until the end of August or after Labor Day. Thanks to TPT, you have another chance to get some things to start off your year on the right foot! The one day TPT bonus sale is tomorrow, Monday, August 22.

I’ve join a group of about 30 TPT sellers who are doing a MEGA giveaway! Hundreds in TPT gift cards along with other giftcards and a grand prize that includes a wooden chalkboard easel, chalk markers, and $125 to TPT!

Mega TPT Giveaway

If you want to earn some entries to this amazing giveaway, just click on the image above! Good luck!

5 Days ’til the Start of School!?!

Where has the summer gone??? It’s crazy to think the start of school for me is this Thursday! Granted, kids don’t start until the 9th, but still…

On Monday, I’ll be doing  a Periscope from my class so you can get a video view. As mentioned before, I had a few more areas of the classroom I wanted to share with you here on my blog.


I made a trip to Dollar Tree for a few more things I thought would be helpful. The square plastic box and the one in the package on the left are helping to organize and hide things on the shelf near where I do most of my teaching. I purchased 7 solar powered basic calculators and 7 timers for the students to use to check answers in their games and help time each other in small group tasks rather than me timing the entire class. The mints are for orientation and the seed packets (10 for $1) will go to my students when we study plants The round tub will hold a playground ball I bought at Five Below.

IMG_2122Here is my calendar which is a new one in black. The small purple containers in the previous picture can be seen here. I thought they would be great to hold the paint sticks I use for classroom library checkout. Only problem – they aren’t heavy enough to stay up. Solution – put inside another container. 🙂

The clocks show the times for recess, PE, and lunch but I don’t have them updated for the schedule this year.I’ll just move the hands which are attached by a brad.


IMG_2123These Sterilite drawers used to have wheels, but they’ve broken so I put them on my teacher desk in the corner of the class. No, I don’t use a teacher desk for me. It’s counter space and helps hold some library books on the brown shelf you can see. I keep manipulatives in the drawers. They’re labeled from my Hollywood theme and I just can’t bring myself to change them. Maybe next summer I’ll do some neutral labels for them.






IMG_2124 This storage cabinet in the corner by my window also serves as a birthday chart! It’s wasted space and because of the location, it’s not looked at very often. More library books are on the brown shelf and the tubs on top of the cubbies which house each student’s books.



So that’s my classroom. There are a few other little things, but I’ll share those when I scope on Monday. Be sure you follow me Southern Teacher (@sthrnteacher) on Periscope!