How to Keep Your Sanity When You Have a "Latte" Kids Out Sick

© Prettygrafik
Welcome - we're glad you are here!  We've made a couple of freebies for you to help lessen the work involved when students are out sick. 

 Have your students missed a LATTE of school due to colds, strep, and flu?  Has your family been able to stay healthy?  We have been hit so hard by the seasonal flu and strep going around!  We've had about 75% of our students out at some point during January and February—and not just for a day or two!  Most have missed four or more days, so we hope to celebrate having perfect attendance once again soon, let me tell you!

Does this sound like your class?  Want to know a little secret?  There's something we hate more than strep, the flu, or colds.  Are you ready?

Make.  Up.  Work.  Uggh!!

It's a pain to get it pulled together, and it's a royal pain to go through it all when it comes back.  Here is a little trick that lessens the pain a bit: color code the pages so parents know what is a higher priority to complete.  You could code them using a highlighter in this manner:

  • yellow - must do, high priority (mustard, get it?)
  • red/pink - catch up when you can, not high priority (ketchup or catsup, get it?) 
Another option is to color code the work according to what goes where when it is returned; just code the assignments by drawing a line with a highlighter at the top of the page: 
  • blue for any work that needs to be handed back to another teacher (for example, a small group teacher or math teacher, if you switch classes)
  • green for go (check quickly and send home)
  • pink for stop (take time to grade)
  • yellow for wait (if it's part of a bigger project and needs to be put away in a special place)
© Jessica Sawyer Designs
As much as we hate it, make up work is as much a part of this cold and flu season as Clorox Wipes, Kleenex, and hand sanitizer.

DONUT worry, we're here to help!  Today we're also sharing a simple page to help record assignments for absent students, and it's FREE.  You could even use the color coding strategies above on the boxes on this page.  And you might have guessed, we've used a donut and latte theme to make it at least a little fun for those poor sick students.  (Here's another tip—train your students to help with getting work out for missing classmates when they pull out their own materials.  They can even fill in the work on the recording sheet if you'd like them to.)

Some schools don't send home make up work, and if that's your situation, use this resource to keep a record of what students have missed and need to work on when they return.

Speaking of returning students, we definitely need to celebrate those days when we have all students in class.  We've created a few fun and festive PERFECT ATTENDANCE posters for you to use on your door or in your classroom to celebrate when everyone is present.  We've included several spring-y options as well as black/white options for those with limited color printing capability.

Use this link to grab your posters!

Enjoy—and good luck keeping your family and your class healthy!

Join Us for a Rockin' New Year

Just in time for the New Year - we've teamed up with some amazing teacher-authors for TWO ROCKIN' opportunities!  We are so blessed to have awesome friends along this incredible teacher-author journey, and we'd like to be sure you are a part of these rockin' opportunities, too.

These are both offered for a limited time, so click the links below to find some great bargains AND to sign up for a chance to win one of TWO Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards!  Take 2018 out in grand style and welcome 2019 with a bang!

Click here for  a Rafflecopter giveaway -- enter for your chance to WIN one of two TPT gift cards - $250 or $225!

Search #Ringin2019 on Teachers Pay Teachers to find some pretty sweet DOLLAR DEALS - only December 30-31!  We promise you will find something (or LOTS) to love!  We've already loaded our own cart—don't delay, do this today!  We're offering one of our bestsellers, our January Scattergories, and a soon-to-be-favorite, part of our new writing-paper-bulletin-board-ready-series, our January Writing Papers.

Happy New Year to you - wishing you continued success and much love, peace, and joy in the New Year!  Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

~ It All Started with Flubber

How to Use Wonderings to Drive Student Learning

In this post, we looked at having a place for students to record their wonderings and questions—whether it is in students' individual journals or in a public place, such as in a curiosity corner or on a wonder wall in your classroom.  Recording our wonderings has the dual purpose of giving voice to our kids' curiosity—AND giving us a place to "park" our wonders so we can come back to these musings to delve in more fully when time permits.

As promised, this is Part 2 of What to Do with Wonders - and we've created a print-and-go resource to allow your students a place to record their wonderings.  Our intent is to help you see how we use this in our classrooms AND give you some ideas to make the next steps easy-peasie! 

We let our kids jot down their questions and post them on our Wonder Wall in our classroom.  Okay, it's really just a locker door that was bare anyway and needed something on it, so it's a perfect place to park our questions until we have research time or project time to explore them more fully.  You can allow each student a specific place for wonders, or segment the space by subject area, or just allow random postings.  Students love that all posts are public, so anyone can select a "wonder" that strikes his or her fancy. 

So your students are recording and sharing their wonders—now what?  Where do we steer kids to find out more?
  • Google - of course - or try these kid-oriented search engines:  
    • Our kids love Kiddle.  
    • Safe Search Kids is another one - and includes safe searches for images!
    • KidRex - is another option for a child-safe search engine that is very kid-friendly. 
Some sites are geared specifically toward curating interesting topics or answering kids questions firsthand.  Here are just three of our favorites:
  • Wonderopolis - If you don't know about Wonderopolis, you will want to check it out!  It's a great site to use with students—a place where curiosity and imagination lead to discovery and learning.  
    • Hey, teachers:  in addition to the daily Wonders, there is also the Wonder Ground, a place for teachers to go for lesson ideas. 
    • For those who work run summer camps or work with summer school or homeschool kids, Camp Wonderopolis is an online "camp" filled with STEM and Maker opportunities for camps, summer programs, and families.  
  • The Kid Should See This - Dubbed as "Smart videos for curious minds of all ages," some of the many topics include animals, DIY, nature, animation, food, science, technology, music, and art.   These are billed as not-for-kids-but-perfect-for-kids, and are curated by Rion Nakaya and her 7- and 10-year old kids!
  • Mystery Doug - This site is hands-down our kids' favorite.  Kids can post questions and may be featured on a future episode.  Loads of learning happens here, I can attest to that!

Did you know there are also many kid-friendly podcasts?  These interesting forays into science, technology, history and more can spark many questions.  Here are just two:
  • Dream Big Podcast - Wow, a podcast by a kid for kids, that also has guest hosts who are specialists in many different areas - this is one to check out with your kids, for sure!
  • Tumble Science for Kids - This is really for your entire family, trust us!  Not sure a podcast is for your child (or for you)?  Check out the episodes on the science of poop, or cracking the code of firefly lights—they will light a fire in your students or kids!
{As a side-note, some state tests now have a section that tests listening comprehension.  These podcasts give us a way to practice just that skill.  As teachers, we can listen first and make a short comprehension assessment to see how well our kids listened and understood what they heard.}

Please share these sites with your students, families, and colleagues for high engagement learning that will have students falling deeper into the "rabbit hole" as their questions lead to more questions, and answers lead to more wonderings!

If you need some resources to set up a Wonder Wall, please check out our store for our  50-page Wonder Wall resource!  And be sure to let us know about any fun sites we neglected to mention for student inquiry!