Friday, 7 October 2016

Five for Friday - October 7th

Finally, I'm back with a post that's NOT about Explore Tubs. Were you getting sick of them? I hope you at least got some fun ideas or freebies to try with your class! :) I had a lot of fun planning them.

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly Five for Friday linky. Here are a few things I've been up to the past little while...

Well for starters, when August rolled around and everyone was setting up their classrooms and getting ready for the new school year, I was welcoming our baby boy, Jackson Cole. He was born on August 3rd. He just turned two months this week and is such a bundle of joy! Even if I'm not getting as much sleep as I would like and am usually covered in some sort of bodily fluid... I still love him! ;) I get to have Zoe at home with me too, which is fun, but it definitely keeps me busy! But I get to take her to preschool, gymnastics, and have lots of fun times with her! She is enjoying being a big sister and helping me out whenever she can!

Of course my teacher brain never shuts off, so I've been trying to harness some of my teacherness into my home life. One of my projects was to organize (and label of course) some of Zoe's toy bins. They have actually stayed organized and it helps us with clean up time and searching for toys!

And I've also been letting her play with some of my math manipulatives. These jungle counters from Learning Resources were a big hit. And after she spent a good hour playing with some dry beans daddy harvested from his garden, I knew she would just love a sensory bin. I had some left over split peas, rocks, and blue jewels from some bins I made for school, so I threw them in a tub with some containers and the jungle animals. She just loves it! It makes a mess, but it also keeps her quiet and focused for a bit. I'll take that over clean house any day.

Another home/school purchase I made were these Tiggly sets for the iPad. They are interactive tools that you use on the iPad with their corresponding apps. There is a shapes kit, number kit, and words kit. I'll use the shape one at home with Zoe, and will take the other two to school next year. They are pretty fun to use and bring iPad learning to another level!

I've been doing a bit of thinking/planning on how I want to run my classroom net year. I know I want to incorporate a lot of flexible seating into my classroom and more inquiry/play opportunities. I really struggle with fitting enough play time into our school day. I totally see the value in play, but for me I want to try to tie it into their learning and the curriculum as much as I can.

I want to set up a dramatic play centre in my first grade garden. I did a "Pizza Parlour" last year during some of our free time/explorations time and the students had a blast! We incorporated some math with money and writing by taking orders. I thought I could change up the centre each month and connect it to our theme for the month. Here's a look at my monthly theme plans. If you download the PDF by clicking here or on either picture, it contains links to my journals and explore tub posts.


The first centre I want to set up will be a movie theatre. I want to use the movie "Inside Out" to connect to our Social Studies unit of "I Belong". It is the perfect movie to talk about feelings, groups we belong to, conflict resolution, and friendship/family. I'm thinking of setting up a movie theatre with a puppet theatre, so students can create their own "movies". We'll also incorporate counting/addition with money to buy tickets and snacks. They can do some writing with the movie tickets and movie reviews. It's all planned out in my head, but I'll have to take pictures when it's all set up next September! 

I found a few goodies to use in my movie theatre dramatic play centre from The Dollar Tree. Unfortunately those candy boxes were full, so I had to eat them so I could use the empty boxes. ;)

But then I was at Walmart the other day in the toy department and saw this WONDERFUL GOODNESS OF A TOY PACK! It's a Movie Theatre Snack Set! It has hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, candy, slurpees... even 3D glasses and movie tickets! How perfect! And it was only $14! I found it online at but not Check your local stores to see if they have it!

You can follow my Pinterest Board to see some of the ideas I have pinned for dramatic play.

And of course I try to sneak in some time to work on TeachersPayTeachers stuff. I had a lot of requests to do a Grade 2 Interactive Social Studies unit. It's been a lot more detailed, so I'm rolling out the units slowly over the course of the year. The first cluster, all about our local community, is up and available here. The second cluster will be finished next month. I have to fit in computer time during naps and after bedtime, so I don't get things done as much as I would like. That's ok... sometimes snuggles and playing picnic take priority over work! :)

I've also fit in a few other TpT projects, such as some Social Studies and Health games/activities, some more Chalkboard & Brights decor items, and a request for some French vocabulary cards. These are all available in my store.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends. Enjoy your three-day weekend and some turkey! We've got friend and family gatherings all weekend, so I'm sure it will be a delicious, fun-filled weekend for us. :) See ya next time!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Social Studies Explore Tubs - Community

Here are the theme topics that we study each month:

December - Social Studies: Christmas Around the World
January - Science: Five Senses
February - Social Studies: Canada
March - Health: Nutrition
April - Science: Objects & Materials and
Health - Dental Health
May - Social Studies: Community
June - Science: Living Things

This is my last post on Explore Tubs! In May, we study our community, community helpers, and mapping. We usually go on a community field trip too! Last year we went to a nursery, a pasta factory, a newspaper, a gym, and an arts council. It was so much fun! Here is a look at the Explore Tubs we played with during this Social Studies unit:

*Community Books: Follow That Map, Looking at Maps and Globes, Me on the Map, Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do, Whose Hat is This?, Mapping Penny's WorldThere's a Map on My Lap!, All Through My Town, Community Helpers from A to Z, Community Helpers 8-Book Set

*Community Helper Playdough Mats {by me on TpT}
*Play-Doh {from Amazon}

*Community Helpers Picture Sort {by me on TpT}

*Map Making Kit {from Differentiation Station Creation on TpT}
*Melissa & Doug Wooden Vehicles & Traffic Signs {from Scholar's Choice}
*Printable Roads, Lakes, etc. {freebie from me here}

*Small Foam Globes {from Dollarama or Michaels}
*Land or Water? Tally Mark Chart {freebie from me here}: Laminate. Students can play by themselves or with a partner. They throw the ball, catch it, and see where their right thumb lands. They make a tally mark if it lands on land or water.
*Dry Erase Markers

*Community Helpers Matching Puzzles {from Scholar's Choice}

*Community Helper Board Game {by me on TpT}

You can read more about my other Explore Tubs here:

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Health Explore Tubs - Dental Health

Here are the theme topics that we study each month:

December - Social Studies: Christmas Around the World
January - Science: Five Senses
February - Social Studies: Canada
March - Health: Nutrition
April - Science: Objects & Materials and
Health - Dental Health

April is Dental Health month! We spend a couple of weeks talking about keeping our teeth clean and healthy. This transitions perfectly into our community helpers unit in May! Here are some simple Explore Tub ideas for our Dental Health study:

*Happy and Sad Tooth Sort {freebie by me here}

*Dental Health Board Game {by me on TpT}

*White Unifix Cubes or Wooden Cubes Painted White
*Number Cube and Plus or Minus Cube: Use foam or wooden cubes and write three plus signs and three minus signs on one cube and the numbers 1-6 on the other cube.
*Mouth Game Board {freebie by me here}: Students start with an empty mouth board. They roll the two cubes and either add or take away teeth based on the plus or minus sign.

*Play-Doh Doctor Drill 'n Fill Set {from Amazon}

*Guess Who? Smile Edition Matching Game: Take close up pictures of students' heads. On one card crop just the mouth with the words "Guess Who?" and on the other card put the student's name and picture. Students can practice matching up the smiles! 

*Dental Health Bingo {by me on TpT}
*Unifix Cubes or Bingo Chips

You can read more about my other Explore Tubs here:

Monday, 19 September 2016

Health Explore Tubs - Nutrition

Here are the theme topics that we study each month:

December - Social Studies: Christmas Around the World
January - Science: Five Senses
February - Social Studies: Canada
March - Health: Nutrition

March is Nutrition Month, so we talk about eating healthy, healthy lifestyles, and the four food groups. Here are some fun Explore Tubs to go with our unit:

*Healthy Helpings: A MyPlate Game {from Learning Resources}

*Healthy Foods Board Game {by me on TpT}

*Food Groups Picture Sort {by me on TpT}

*Play-Doh Meal Makin' Kitchen {from Toys R Us}
*Plate Mat {freebie from me here}
*Play-Doh {from Amazon}

*MyPlate Sorting Boxes {from Oriental Trading}

*Healthy Choices Bingo {from me on TpT}
*cubes or bingo chips

You can read more about my other Explore Tubs here:

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Social Studies Explore Tubs - Christmas Around the World {with freebies}

I'm back with another Explore Tub post. Sorry, if you're getting sick of these. I only have a few more to share! ;) I have a few fun Christmas freebies for you here though, so stick around! Here are the theme topics that we study each month:

December - Social Studies: Christmas Around the World

In December, I teach a Christmas Around the World unit using my Scrapbook & Craft pack. This unit recently got an update--8 additional countries (including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Diwali!).

I wanted to come up with some fun Explore Tubs for Christmas time to keep my students engaged until the last possible second before Christmas Break! So although these tubs are not exactly Christmas Around the World related, they are Christmas-y and they are a lot of fun! There's a few STEM-type challenges thrown in for them too. Check them out below:

*Christmas Around the World books: A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, Dashing Through the Snow, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada, Santa is Coming to Canada, Christmas Is..., Carter's Christmas, The Legend of the Poinsettia, Kevin's Kwanzaa, Caleb's Hanukkah, Babushka, Wombat Divine, Diary of a Christmas Wombat

*Christmas Play-Doh Mats {freebie from me here}
*Christmas Cookie Cutters {from Amazon}
*Play-Doh {from Amazon} --> I'll probably make some homemade gingerbread smelling playdough. Check out these Christmas playdough recipes from Kleinworth & Co.

*The Elf on the Shelf Find It Game {from Amazon}
*Question Cards {freebie from me here}: Students choose a card and have to try to find the object inside the game tube.

*Random Christmas STEM Challenge Supplies {from Michaels, Dollar Store, etc.}: straws, popsicle sticks, pom poms, Play-Doh, washi tape, mini solo cups
*Christmas Tree Building Challenge Design Sheet {freebie from me here}: Students have to design and build a Christmas tree using the various materials in the bin.

*Santa Claus Floor Puzzle {from Scholastic many years ago}
*The Elf on the Shelf Floor Puzzle {from Amazon}

*LEGO {from Amazon}
*Examples of Christmas LEGO Creations {images found from Google}

*Pattern Blocks {from Amazon}
*December Pattern Blocks Activities {from Katie Mense on TpT}

You can read more about my other Explore Tubs here:

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Health Explore Tubs - Safety

The second theme topic I cover in October is Safety. We talk about playground safety, bus safety, and fire safety! I use activities from my Interactive Health Journal, my School Bus Safety Unit, and my Fire Safety Unit. Check these out on TpT:


This theme only covers a couple of weeks, so the Explore Tubs will be easy to prep and use. Here's a look at the safety tubs!

*Safety Books: No Dragons for Tea, Stop, Drop, and Roll, Sparky the Fire Dog, Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill, Let's Meet a Firefighter, A Day in the Life of a Firefighter, Fire! Fire!, The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck, Staying Safe on the School Bus, Staying Safe on the School Bus, Safety Dave and Daisy Ride the Bus, Safety on the Playground, Staying Safe on the Playground, Please Play Safe!

*Bus Safety Game {from my School Bus Safety Pack}
*Fire Safety Game {from my Fire Safety Pack}
*game markers

*Melissa & Doug Giant Fire Truck Floor Puzzle {from Amazon}
*School Bus Floor Puzzle {from Scholastic many years ago}

*Bus Safety Cover Up Game {from my School Bus Safety Pack}: Also available in colour.
*Fire Safety Cover Up Game {from my Fire Safety Pack}: Also available in colour.
*Do-A-Dot Markers {from Amazon}

*Fire Safety Playdough Mats {from -- need a membership to access}
*Play-Doh {from Amazon}
*Play-Doh Town Fire Truck {from Amazon}
*Play-Doh Town Firehouse {from Amazon}

*Hot or Not Sorting Activity {freebie from me here}
*Stop, Drop, Roll Cards {freebie from me here}: Students can practice putting the cards in order and practice their stop, drop, and roll!

*Fire Safety Bingo {from me on TpT}
*cubes of bingo chips

You can read more about my other Explore Tubs here: