Creating and Using Digital Resources

I have had so many teachers, administrators, and TpT authors ask me "How do you create digital resources?"

The thing is, it isn't something I can explain right then. It is a process. I decided to make a step by step video of how to create digital resources. If you are interested in doing this for your students, or just for creating products...I hope you will find this video helpful! Also, below you will find my wording for my instruction page on my products. Feel free to tweak this and add it to your products as well!

Product Instruction Wording:

With this link, you can access a google document with the product.

1. You will need a google account for you and for your students.
2. Open the document from the link below.
3. At the top (in the center) click OPEN IN GOOGLE SLIDES.
4. Click FILE, RENAME. This will be your MASTER COPY. (Name it *activity* MASTER COPY.)
5. Make ANOTHER COPY, this will be the one you share with your students. (Name it *activity* CLASS COPY)
6. Use the SHARE button in the top right corner (blue button) to get the shareable link to send to your students.
7. Share the document with your students. 
8. Once they open the file, the must make a copy (click FILE, RENAME) so they can edit their document and not your master copy. (Name it *activity**student name*)

--insert link here--

This can also be used whole group. In that case, just make a master copy and then another to edit in front of the entire class. 

  • Start with an original product
  • Turn all slides into PNGs to protect clipart, fonts, etc.
  • Turn into Google Document through Google Drive
  • Add Google Drive Link to the product
  • Include instruction page for the teacher/buyer 

In addition to creating Digital Resources, you may have purchased some of mine. Feel free to watch this video to help you use digital resources in your classroom! The following video is a step by step tutorial of how to use the resources in your classroom!

I hope all of this has been beneficial for you! I am not a pro at videoing but I felt that was the best way to show you how to do this process! Please let me know if you have any questions!



Set the Stage to Engage

Short Post Alert! Lol.

Have you seen these stages teachers are having made for their classrooms? We all know it is a brilliant idea for student engagement! It also helps empower students to be confident and proud when sharing their work and using their voices! 

I love this saying on Brittany Root's (Miss 5th's) stage! 

What if you can't have one made though? What if you are looking for a quick solution? Well, I stumbled across @suzannes_plans on Instagram! She bought this Low Coffee Table from Amazon! Isn't this perfect? I'm in love! 


So, if you need a quick fix, grab this one! You can choose your color and it is Prime! 

I have been looking for a quick fix for this "stage" idea, and I think this is perfect! 

(Affiliate links are provided for your convenience.)


Pumpkin Volcano Science Experiment

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times....I love fall! All things fall. I decided to take another activity I had previously seen and modify it a bit to make it appropriate for fall! My kids and I did a Pumpkin Volcano! We had the best time and it worked perfectly! You won't believe how simple it is either!

Now, since this is a teaching blog, I am going to apply this to the classroom! I haven't done this with students yet, but I know it will be a hit when I do! So think with me for a moment. Get five small pumpkins and give each group in your classroom a small pumpkin at their table. If you are unable to do this outside, I would recommend putting the pumpkin in a storage container to contain the mess.

First, cut out the top of the pumpkin. Of course, I would recommend doing this before passing the pumpkins off to the students. :) Then, scoop out all of the goodies.



Next, gather the ingredients pictures below!

Scoop in the baking soda first. We used 1/2 a cup of each ingredient but the amount doesn't really matter. The order of the ingredients does matter though. :) I mean, that is Chemical Reactions 101 right?


After the baking soda, add in the dish soap. Dish soap can be omitted but does give it an awesome foamy, frothy look when the reaction happens!


Finally, get ready to have some fun! Add in the vinegar next and watch the reaction occur! I was allowing my kids to take turns so our first dose of vinegar only foamed a bit but the next dose was awesome! Take a look at the video to see! (Sorry it is vertical, I am new to YouTube.) lol. 

The kids obviously had so much fun! Allow the students to touch it, then talk about the chemical reaction that occured. Here is the explanation, feel free to read it to your students!

When you combine baking soda and vinegar a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide. The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. When they react together they form carbonic acid, which breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide, and creates fizzing as it escapes. 


After we did it once, we did it a few more times. Simply empty the pumpkin out and repeat the process. Each time, the same thing happened. We knew the chemical reaction would happen but we didn't know if it would still be as strong; it was.

Next time we do this, we will add food coloring! I am excited to see what purple, black or green might look like! And for those of you wondering, yes you can carve the pumpkin after this! It did not mess up the pumpkin!

All in all, the experiment was a huge success! The materials are cheap and the process is simple! I think as a teacher and a parent, we couldn't ask for a much better activity! 

Also, grab this free resource to use with your kids in the classroom! It pairs great with this and will allow you to see what they learned from the experiment. It also includes a materials page, the scientific explanation, and the process instructions!


Desk Fairy Treat Tag

Do your students keep their desks clean? Oh boy, this has been a pet peeve of mine for the longest time. I want my students to be neat and organized, but I want to encourage them to do so in a positive way. I mean, no one wants a nagging teacher about their desks! I wrote a blog post a while back, Avoid the Desk Mess Chaos and it was very popular! I soon understood that this was a common problem among teachers!

I have recently come across (well, saw a photo of) another great idea! I had to create my own because I couldn't find the original template online. It was just too cute to pass up!

Is that poem not the most adorable thing you have ever read? I just love it. I wish I could take credit, but I cannot! I also decided I would try my hand at printing on Post-Its to make this process even easier! I couldn't believe how easy it was to print on Post-Its! First, if you want to do this, you need to go read Mrs. D's Corner blog post about Printing on Post Its. She explains it best and better than I ever could! 

But, when it is done, it is beautiful! I just love it! 

I also included a set of cards in the printable too though! I know those are easier on school printers and with Astrobrights paper...they will look perfect!! 

Anyway, I know this was a short post but I hope you find this printable useful! Click the link below to grab it for free!


The Perfect Fall Non-Candy Treat!

I am always looking for ways to treat students that does not include candy. I'll be honest, it isn't easy to find creative things. I mean there is always a bag of pretzels or a cute craft but let's be honest, most of that is already packaged up and doesn't show a ton of thought.

Last year I tried my hand at crayon molds and they were a huge success! However, they took FOREVER (I did it wrong.) lol. So after baking them last year and realizing what a big moron I was...I tried again this year but took the easy route! Let me just say...perfection!

So, let me quickly fill you in on last year. The crayon molds turned out perfect but the prep was ridiculous. I thought you had to break up the crayons into tiny pieces. When I say tiny, I mean the tiniest pieces in the entire world. I am not sure if I saw that somewhere or dreamed it...but after I baked them I realized it didn't matter. I also thought you had to fill up the silicone mold to the very top. No, nope, no. 

Anyway, lesson learned. Let me take you through our process this year!

On Thursday, (yay Amazon Prime) I ordered this Pumpkin and Leaf Silicone Mold. Any pumpkin mold will do but I did not have any (last year I did ghosts and the tail was easily broken when I pulled them out.) I knew these would be better this year!

We had a ton of old crayons so my son and I started taking off the paper and breaking apart the crayons. I think this took a total of about 10 minutes, very simple this time. I did not break these into small pieces which made the process so much easier!

We also used almost all bright colors. I think there was an eggplant color mixed in but other than that...bright colors (these make the best mixtures!)

Notice these are not filled to the top or all filled the same amount. Guess what? It doesn't matter! :)

Next, we preheated the oven to 250 degrees and placed the molds in the oven for 15 minutes. 

Once they were done, we pulled them out and allowed them to cool for about 20 minutes. 

Not super pretty huh? In my head...I was thinking "Oh boy...those look terrible." Luckily, when I popped them out, the other side (the side that matters) was beautiful!

Silicone is awesome, you can just pop these out no trouble! I did not grease it or anything ahead of time!

Next, just pair them (the pumpkin ones) with these adorable Pumpkin Patch Printables!

Now, you don't have to do the leaf ones if you just want the pumpkin ones to go on the cards for students! I would just break up enough crayons so that when one batch is done, you can quickly throw another batch in. Regardless, it doesn't take long so doing a few batches won't be hard. 

I also love how the leaf ones turned out though! My kids loves coloring with those!

I hope you find this useful! It is great for students, you don't have to worry about allergies and the novelty of the treat is perfect! Also, remember it doesn't have to be for Halloween, it can just be a fall treat!

Happy Fall Y'all!


Make October Engaging!

First, 5 million views? My blog just reached 5 million views! Can you believe it? I sure can't. You guys and gals are amazing! When I started this blog, I just wanted to place to document my teaching it is so much more than that! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Now, on to my post! Six weeks of school has come and gone (well for most of us) and October is right around the corner! I cannot wait for cooler weather, leggings, boots, and sweaters!

October can be a little crazy in the classroom though! The weather changes, kids know Halloween (and a sugar high) is well on its way. They can get off task very easily! I mean even as teacher we are like...gimme allllll the candy, right?

Halloween Candy, Chocolates, Nuts, Sweet

Since October...and November and really even December can be, I wanted to share some of my favorite activities to do during October!

First, I try to make time each day for an October themed activity or game. Of course we are learning during these games but the kids love seeing the holiday or seasonal themed games.

These games are fun for the students, help reinforce their vocabulary skills and can be done in groups, partners, or as a whole class! Also, they are free (yahoo!) You can grab your copies here!

My student also LOVE reading these Halloween Poems! I place them in centers each year and have the students work on poetry fluency and strategies such as numbering lines, counting stanzas, reading with the punctuation, and using expression! They beg to come read them to me! It is adorable!


To go a little deeper, my students have always love doing reading passages that are themed around the month. I do not just pass out a passage though and tell them to be quiet and get busy. We make the passages fun. I always do one with them during the week. I use this as a time to model our strategies such as finding text evidence, isolating vocabulary terms, and rereading for understanding! We do a fiction passage and a non-fiction passage each week! 


We also use this time to practice our inferencing skills and writing skills! Each passage we complete has inference exercises and writing exercises. We might even whip out the chrome books and let them do the digital versions! 


The key is to make the reading passages fun! You can add in some fun Halloween erasers, reading trackers, or do some good ol' flashlight reading during these as well! Anything to spice up that reading time! If you want to grab these passages for your class, click here. 

Lastly, (well really first thing in the mornings) we love doing Wake Up Your Brain! This resource is completely paperless and has a clickable about easy to use! The students look at a picture on the projector then do what the assignment tells them to do! My students love this resource because they get to write their answers on their desks in dry erase markers! The discussion after they are finished is always great too! So many great (and different) ideas!

I hope these suggestions have helped give you some additional ideas on how to keep your students engaged through the month of October! Keeping those students focused will keep your our sanity intact!  

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