Categories: Distance Learning

6 Engaging Digital Activities For “The Five Little Pumpkins”

I still remember the best Halloween ever from when I was a kid. Candy littered the classroom as my teacher listened to the song “The Five Little Pumpkins.” We eagerly started on our crafts. Gluing Pumpkins down with popsicle sticks and talking about all of the candy and houses we were going to visit that night.

I don’t know about you, but as a kid I LOVED Halloween! There was always something so magical about dressing up for a day and eating as much candy until your stomach hurt. 

However, as a teacher, I have come to appreciate all of the fun activities and the patience that adults have during this time of year.

It has been my goal to create an amazing Halloween (and holidays in general) experience for my students. 

When I found out that we would be doing Halloween through Distance Learning or Hybrid this year, I was panicked.  All of my typical go-to activities for Halloween had to be adapted this year.

Hence I wanted to share these Top 6 “The Five Little Pumpkins” Digital activities. That way you can spend more time with your students on Halloween and less time prepping! 

Overall, “Five Little Pumpkins” is such a classic story. And my kids love the adapted “Pete the Cat and the Five Little Pumpkins.” Besides, there are so many great activities for primary students (especially Kindergarten) that compliments the story. 

Therefore, here are my Top 7 Digital Activities for the “5 Little Pumpkins” (Pete the Cat version or not) that you can do while Distance Learning.

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Categories: TPT Sellers

Amazing Fall Activities For Distance Learning

Awwww, Fall! That amazing time of year! Full of pumpkin spice, gloves, boots, the crunch of leaves, and all of the amazing Fall Activities.

 This is by far one of my favorite times of the year! I know what a cliche thing to say. 

But it is true! I love fall and all of the amazing colors and cool weather. 

If you’re anything like me, I love doing special Fall Activities. When I found out I would still be Distance Learning or doing the Hybrid Model during the Fall, I got worried. 

I was dreading having to enjoy this time with my students behind my screen. However, I’ve learned to accept the Distance Learning/Hybrid phase and to just go with the flow!

Just like I had mentioned in my Blog “New Teachers and Distance Learning,” now is a time to be flexible. 

That’s why I decided to come up with Fall Activities that you can do while Distance Learning, Hybrid, or just teaching in person.

Because no one is going to take this magical time of year from me. Am I right?

So here are my Top 5 Fall Activities to do with your students regardless of which phase your school is in. 

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Categories: Distance Learning

Top 10 ClassDojo Rewards That will Transform Distance Learning

Ever since my school has been Distance Learning, we have been utilizing ClassDojo now more than ever. 

In fact, I don’t know how I would have gotten through Distance Learning this far without ClassDojo. 

If you haven’t checked it out yet, ClassDojo is an amazing tool to communicate with parents, while assigning work to students digitally. This can be a lifesaver, especially while Distance Learning.

After figuring out “How I Could Use ClassDojo Effectively While Distance Learning,” I found that there was a lot more work to be done. I was using ClassDojo for about 2 weeks when I realized something was missing.

I was not using ClassDojo to its’ full potential. 

My problem was that I was rewarding points to my class. But there wasn’t really a reason to. My students weren’t as enthused about the points because there was no reward for them to work towards. 

This is when I decided I needed to make a change so that my students would be more engaged with the resource. So I tried to make a reward system.

But then I realized that all of the rewards I had made in the past would have to be adapted to Distance Learning.

I couldn’t throw things like Pizza Parties. I had to get creative. And if you are anything like me, trying to be a reward system in the midst of this chaos can be a little daunting. That’s why I wanted to share these 10 ClassDojo Rewards for Distance Learning. 

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Categories: New Teachers, Teacher Self-Care

30-Day Self-Care Challenge For Teachers

With September right around the corner (and 4 weeks into this Distance Learning adventure) I find myself tired and needing some extra self-love. While I love and enjoy my job, this year I have felt overwhelmed by the amounts of learning required to be an effective teacher. What’s worse is I feel like I’ve been so busy, that I have been neglecting myself. 

In general, I feel like teachers care so much about others, that they often neglect themselves. That is why I was very happy to discover that September is National Self-Care Awareness Month! Excited, I decided to look for some 30 Day Self Care Teacher Challenges that would put my Self-Love to the test this month.

However, I soon realized that there were not a whole lot of 30 Day Challenges for Teachers. Hence I decided to make my own! 

If you have read “3 Things to Consider While Distance Learning As A New Teacher” you might recall how I mentioned the importance of Self-Care. Especially for new teachers or teachers going through Distance Learning. We are learning so much this year as a community, that it’s no surprise that teachers can expect early burnout this year.

That’s why I think this month is a great opportunity to prioritize your well-being and to put Self-Care at the top of your list. But first, let’s look into why Self-Care is important. 

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Free 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Teachers for preventing Burnout and Practicing Self-Love and Care. Perfect for New Teachers, Back to School and Distance Learning.
#teacher #30daychallenge #selfcare @thepresentteacher

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    Why is Self-Care Important

    I personally always struggled with the idea of Self-Care from the beginning of my Teaching Career. As a new teacher, I always felt that Self-Care meant putting myself first meant that I was selfish.

    The longer I teach, however, the more I realize how important Self-Care is. Here are some important reasons why you should practice Self-Care:

    • When we don’t practice Self-Care it shows. 
      • We may feel more tired and less enthusiastic about work.
      • We may become fatigued and dreading helping others.
      • There may also be a lack of motivation in general in your work life and personal life.
      • Our students may notice we are less patient or emotionally aligned with ourselves. 
    • We can’t help others as effectively when we are burnt out.
    • When we practice Self-Care we build our Self-Esteem and Confidence as people in general and as teachers.
    • Self-Care Prevents burnout.
    • It allows us more room to be Present in the moment and more effective. 

    I feel a huge difference when I am practicing Self-Care or not. When I practice Self-Care, I feel more happy and excited about what we are accomplishing. However, if I have been neglecting myself I often feel more frazzled and stressed.

    It’s important to be able to identify your state of mind because, as many of us know, our students often feed off of our state. For instance, if we are enthused about something, our students will be too!

    On the other hand, if we are stressed and just trying to get through the day, our students will feel that way too. 

    If you notice that you seem a little extra stressed lately, incorporating a little Self-Care into your routine can go a long way. I created this Challenge because I want to give back to the community I so deeply adore. And remind us that it is okay to put yourself first sometimes.

    30 Day Self-Care Teacher Challenge for Distance Learning

    How the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Educators Works:

    For this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge, I decided to break it up into 4 parts: mind, body, soul, and connection. 

    Mind– For this section, I decided to incorporate things that are mentally rewarding for our Self. This may include: reading a book, taking a mental break, making goals, etc.

    Body– This section is focused on our physical health. This may include healthy meals, exercise, sleep, etc.

    Soul– As far as the soul section, I wanted to incorporate things that would appeal to our inner self in a rewarding way. This includes lists of positive things, positive goals, self-love, gratefulness, etc.

    Connection– By nature, humans are social beings. That is why it is so important to incorporate that social aspect. I also know that when we reach out positively to others we may feel more positive about our inner self. This section might include: writing a positive note or email, spending time with a colleague, doing a random act of kindness for a peer, writing/giving positive feedback to a student, etc. 

    Now let’s talk about what you will be doing in this challenge.

    DISCLAIMER: I wrote this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge with Distance Learning in mind. You can participate if you are working from home.

    What You Will Be Doing:

    Without further ado, Here is break down of each day so you know exactly what to do:

    Day 1- Fill out the “30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Teachers Reflection Page.” This allows you to figure out how you are feeling before the challenge and what your goal is throughout the challenge.

    Day 2- Write down or say 3 reasons WHY you are a great teacher.

    Day 3- Go for a walk on your Lunch/Prep or sometime throughout the day. 

    Day 4- Write a note (or email if you are distance learning) thanking a staff member for something.

    Day 5- Don’t bring or Do any work after school today. Give yourself a mental break!

    Day 6- Write or say 5 things you are grateful for as a teacher.

    Day 7- Drink AT LEAST 2 Bottles of water.

    Day 8- Send a positive note home (Email or Message if you are Distance Learning) with a student today.

    Day 9- Write about (or talk about) 1 positive thing that happened during school today.

    Day 10- Read a book for 10 minutes sometime throughout the day. 

    Day 11- Make 3 goals that you want to accomplish at school.

    Day 12- Organize a part of your classroom or home office.

    Day 13- Do something nice for a coworker. (This can be sending an email, helping them with something, or bringing something.)

    Day 14- Get Dressed up today! 

    Day 15- Buy or make yourself your favorite drink today!

    30 Day Self-Care Teacher Challenge for Distance Learning @thepresentteacher

    Day 16- Plan out next week in your planner. (What you are going to teach or what goals you have.)

    Day 17- Listen to your favorite music during Prep/Lunch.

    Day 18- Write down 1 thing you learned today.

    Day 19- 10 Minutes of Quiet Time during Lunch/Prep.

    Day 20- Compliment/write a note or email to a support staff member. (Secretary, cook, custodian, etc.)

    Day 21- Do a morning or afternoon workout.

    Day 22- Bring a healthy lunch to work.

    Day 23- Write one thing you want to work on as a teacher.

    Day 24- Tidy up your desk or counters. 

    Day 25- Make your favorite treat and have it with lunch.

    Day 26- Wear your favorite outfit to work.

    Day 27- Send an email to a coworker to thank them for something.

    Day 28- Organize a cabinet that is cluttered.

    Day 29- Write 1 thing you learned about yourself this month.

    Day 30- YOU DID IT! Reflect on how you feel after the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge.

    Get Access to this 30 Day Self-Care Teacher Challenge!

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      Let Me Know What you Think!

      I am so excited to take this journey with you! Want to do this Challenge with someone or share your progress? Tag me on Instagram @thepresentteacher or use #30DayTeacherChallenge.

      I look forward to seeing all Self-Love next month. Follow me on Instagram to get daily updates on how my 30-Day Self-Care Challenge is going!

      What do you do for Self-Care? Anything that I missed that other teachers should be doing? Comment your thoughts in the section below.

      Happy Teaching!

      The Present Teacher

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      Categories: Distance Learning, New Teachers

      Distance Learning As A New Teacher

      Distance Learning can be hard, especially as a New Teacher. I still remember the day I found out we were going to start the year Distance Learning: 

      I was scared.

      Back then, I was scared that I was going to fail. That my students would learn nothing. Or that I would not be enough. I feared Failure. Eventually, I realized something that made me change my mind. And it gave me the drive to do better.

      We are all scared.

      I started to think of the Veteran teachers who had been teaching for years. And how they were now terrified because they didn’t know about Google Drive. 

      I also thought about those New Teachers who came into this year with high hopes of their first year. Only to find out that what they had learned in College would not apply this year.

      So I prepared.

      I stayed up late and made as many resources as I could that would help other teachers. And I researched ClassDojo and came up with ways to use it for Distance Learning. After that, I set up a training for my school to better prepare them for the months to come.

      That was 4 weeks ago. 

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      Categories: Distance Learning

      Spectacular Distance Learning Ideas For “The Kissing Hand”

      The First Day of School is such an exciting time! Students are coming into the classroom for the first time, they get to meet new faces and build brand new relationships.

       I had no idea how much of this I would miss when they announced that we would start the school year 100% virtual. 

      After I got my classroom ready to go with all of my decorations, I was puzzled how I was going to start the school year. For the past couple of years, I had always started the School Year with “The Kissing Hand.” 

      However, when I searched Teachers Pay Teachers for resources, I was dismayed to find little digital resources for the 1st day of school. I didn’t want to miss out on an amazing First Day with my Kindergartners, yet I didn’t have the resources I needed to be successful. 

      That’s when I decided to create my own “The Kissing Hand” First Day of School Activities. If you’re having a hard time finding resources for “The Kissing Hand,” I created a list of activities to do while Distance Learning.

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