Wednesday, 18 March 2015

March 2015 Freebies!

Who doesn't love freebies?

We have a few fun freebies this month to promote our Emotion's Package, The Ultimate Classroom & Behaviour Management Package, and Learning Goals & Success Criteria Posters.

Emotions Package

Emotions Package

This is a cute, fun, 1 month (20 school days) program (30 - 45 minutes per day) that helps teach children how to understand their emotions and to make better choices. It uses the fun Little Monster's crew to implement a series of fun activities from a make your own monster art project to word searches, mazes, and more. It incorporates fun journaling and drama activities to help students become familiar with what triggers them, how this makes them feel, actions they can take to get away from the situation, and how to consistently make better choices and monitor their feelings.

This package extends beyond the 20 days, as you will continue to use the Emotions Scale and Feelings Journals for the rest of the year. The Mind Maps will also serve as a reference throughout the year. You might want to revisit the Mind Maps in the future and evaluate with your students how well their plans are working and if they would like to make any amendments.

FREEBIE from the Emotion's Package:

Flash Me Your Feelings

Flash Me Your Feelings

These handy little cards can be cut out, pasted on Bristol board, and laminated. Students keep them with them and every once in awhile, educators can simply ask them to flash them a card. The student will choose the card that matches their feelings. This is great for allowing educators to be aware of potential issues.


RED - I’m angry and losing control
ORANGE - I’m upset about something
YELLOW - I’m sad or frustrated
BLUE - I’m confused, bored, or indifferent
GREEN - I’m happy

The Ultimate Classroom & Behaviour Management Package

Classroom Management PackageThis classroom and behaviour management package will supply you with the resources to set up your entire classroom to prepare your students for success. This package contains resources for individual student use and whole class use. All of our packages contain differentiated versions of each assignment to cater to all of your students' abilities.

(Please click on the links for further details)

- Day Plan / Visual Schedule / First - Then Chart
- Awards & Certificates
(awards for positive reinforcement, certificates of success, Kindergarten graduation diplomas)
- Groups & Stations
- Learning Goals & Success Criteria Posters
- Name Cards & Sign In Cards
- Special Helper Chart, Cards, & Calendar
- Sticker Charts
(daily & weekly charts)
- Voice Level Poster
- Washroom / Drink Sign Out

FREEBIE from The Ultimate Classroom & Behaviour Management Package

Name Cards & Sign In Sheets

Name Cards & Sign In Sheets

These Little Monster themed name cards and sign in sheets an be used for Kindergarten sign in, to label seats and desks, and to label cubbies for coats and backpacks. These are also great for taping to desks when supply teachers enter your classroom, so they can easily call on students without already knowing their names.

They include single line options for when students are just learning to write their names and the differentiated double lined version for when students are writing their first and last names. The double version also gives the teacher the opportunity to write the student's name on the first line and the student writes their name on the second line.

Learning Goals & Success Criteria Posters

Learning Goals
Have your students be a part of the learning process by visually posting their learning goals in the classroom and having them brainstorm success criteria with you.

All of our resources feature the cute Little Monster theme. These adorable little characters make learning fun.

We suggest using our posters for:

-Ongoing assignments such as journal writing (so students can review on a daily basis)
-Large assignments to help students self assess along the way (it's effective to describe their learning in incremental steps)
-Covering the duration of an instructional period, so they know what they are expected to be able to do by the end
-Use where students need a clear understanding of what they are learning (these posters are great for clearing up confusion about what students are learning; the goal is to co-create clear and precise examples of what students are learning)
-Self-assessment (checklists are great for this)

Learn step-by-step how to create learning goals and success criteria.

FREEBIE from the Learning Goals & Success Criteria Posters.

Learning Goals & Success Criteria Graphic Organizer

Graphic Organizer - Learning Goals & Success Criteria

This useful learning goals and success criteria graphic organizer helps teachers to organize the curriculum guidelines and break them down into meaningful learning goals that can be further broken down into success criteria (co-create with students).

Have a fantastic week of teaching.  Our  students are currently enjoying their March Break and our awesome teachers are hopefully taking a much deserved break, but let's be honest, they're probably working.

Other Things This Teacher is Working On

Blog - Practical Parenting Guidelines for Managing Challenging Behaviours

Blog - The Life of a Supply Teacher - Classroom Management, Activities, & Resources

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Classroom & Behaviour Management in Gym Class

Managing Gym Class

Do you fear your students' behaviour when you know you are about to teach gym class?  They might be awesome or they might be screaming and running around and completely out of control.

What can you do to ensure a stress-free gym class?

I personally love gym class.  It's fun and I love to participate with the kids.  But I've had my share of chaotic gym classes, so let me share some tips that I use on a regular basis.

  • Prompt your students to come up with appropriate behaviours (when they make the rules, they are more likely to follow them)
  • Ask how you walk down to the gym
  • Ask what the warm up routine is
  • Say: Do we run around the gym screaming?
  • What do we do after we run 5 laps?  (usually they sit on the black circle or black line to wait for instructions)
  • Use a whistle to save your voice (1 whistle = start activity; 2 whistles = stop and look at me; 3 whistles means stop and go to the black line for instructions)

This is an important step.  If your students see that you follow through on your initial expectations (straight, quiet line), then they are more likely to leave the silliness for recess.  When we are walking, I give one reminder to those who talk and then send them to the end of the line.  If I have a group of line talkers, I take the entire class back to where we started and we try it again.  I often talk about putting our finger on our lip to remind us that we don't want to disturb other classes when we are in the hall.


You are bound to have a couple of students who forget the rules once they reach the gym.  They'll start screaming as they run their laps or being completely silly.  I give one reminder of the rules and let them know that if it continues, they will have to sit on the bench until they are ready to conduct themselves appropriately.

You are also likely to have a couple of students who claim they can't participate due to injuries.  Sometimes this is true, but usually it isn't.  If I know a student is full of it, I just state that until I receive a letter from their parents, they are to participate in all school subjects, including gym.  If I'm not sure about possible injuries, then I let them sit out.  Those who try to join back in later during the fun time, owe me a warm up.  I usually tell them that they have to run the length of the gym a couple of times, give me 10 push ups and 10-20 crunches.  Sometimes I'll add or sub in jumping jacks or burpies.


For younger students, I love to go on a bear walk.  We walk in a circle and come across things like tall grass that we have to brush out of our way, mud that we have to trek through, trees that we have to swing through, a river that requires us to jump across rocks, and finally a cave that we have to tip toe through.  I suggest writing the order down on a piece of paper so you don't forget.  After quietly stepping through the cave, we reach our hand out and lightly touch a furry creature with 2 glowing eyes.  I ask them what they think it is.  They love to yell, "A bear!"  We run the opposite way and quickly reverse our way through the barriers and eventually lock ourselves in the house (I usually have them run to a corner of the gym).  I'll quietly say, "Phew, we made it."  The culmination of this activity ensures that I have them in one location and they are quietly listening for our next activity.


Kids love to share their ideas, so I always look for quiet hands to show us a stretch.  I remind them that I only choose people who have a quiet hand in the air.  I love getting student ideas and then I like to add in a couple of yoga stretches.  One that I often do is stretching up like a pencil, then I tell them we are one of those cool bendy pencils and we stretch from left to right and front and back.  


One of the busiest classes I ever had, was quickly organized by a game of Octopus.  This class had students running in every direction.  I told them that I was almost ready to choose an octopus, but I was looking for someone who was standing quietly in front of the wall (choose a short wall).  I take some time to say, "Hmmm, let me see.  Who is standing nice and tall with their finger on their lips?"  They're dying to be chosen, so they try so hard to meet your expectations.  While I have their attention, I quickly explain the rules and then choose 2 octopi.  I like that this game allows for some busy running around, but then it collects all of the students at one end of the gym.  I don't let them run to the other end until they show me that they are ready.

Instructions for Octopus
  1. Choose 2 octopi, they have to chase the fish (all the other students)
  2. You are safe when you are against the wall
  3.  When I say, "Fish, cross my ocean," they can run to the other side
  4. If a fish gets caught by the octopus, they become seaweed (talk about how seaweed has roots, so it can't move, but  water flows, so their leaves (arms) can wave around)
  5. If seaweed touches a fish, the fish becomes seaweed 
  6. Fish must stop where they are touched and become seaweed in that spot 
  7. The last 2 people are either the winners or become the octopi if you play again

 I absolutely love relay races.  The kids work together for a common goal, they cheer each other on, and they have a fantastic time doing it.

Here are my rules for successful relay races:
  •  I usually have 4 teams.  I show the students where each number will line up and then count and point the students off from 1-4.  This usually ensures fair teams, as similar students generally sit together, so it separates ability equally between the teams
  • When students are lined up and sitting quietly with their teams, I give my instructions
  1. I model what the first person will do.  I usually start with running to the other side, doing 5 jumping jacks, running back, and high fiving the next person in line.  The next person cannot go until they receive their high five.  The first person sits at the end of the line
  2. Each team member does the same thing as the first person
  3. When your entire team is sitting, then you have completed the race
  4. If one team has an extra student, I have the first 2 people run at the same time (having the other teams run the first person twice causes too much confusion) 
  5. After the first race, I take suggestions from people who are sitting quietly with their hand up for the activities for the next race
 The best race we ever came up with was with students from grades 3-6.  They spun around 10 times, ran to the other end, did 5 burpies, then crab walked back.  It was super fun, the kids were completely engaged, the team building was incredible, and we even had other teachers walk into the gym in amazement at how great the students were working together.  This was one of the most fun gym classes I have ever had the opportunity to facilitate.


If you have an exceptionally rowdy class that you need to settle down, try playing a game of Silent Speed Ball.  It's great for simmering down a loud, busy bunch, especially just before transitioning into a nice, quiet, straight line for walking through the halls again.

Have fun with your gym classes and if you have an extra challenging class, remember that you don't have to stay in the gym.  If they aren't showing you that they deserve to be in the gym, then don't keep them there.  Safety and making good choices come first.  You can simply walk them back to class and have some quiet time.  Talk about why you returned to class early and what your expectations are for next time.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

What are Learning Goals and Success Criteria?

Learning Goals & Success Criteria

What are learning goals and success criteria?

Learning Goals PosterLEARNING GOALS: 

These come from the curriculum documents.  They describe what students are expected to know, understand, and be able to accomplish when an instructional period is complete, whether that be a lesson, unit, or course.


These are the specific ways of obtaining the learning goals.  They are concrete examples of what the learning goal looks like.  These are the specifics that we are looking for when assessing and evaluating students.  Success criteria enhance the ability of students to perform self and peer assessments.  The important thing to remember is that this is written in kid language and is created with the students.

Why do we co-create the success criteria with our students?

It's important to make learning relevant to your students.  They need to feel like they are taking an active part in their learning.  Creating success criteria with your students helps them to really understand what successful learning looks like and what their teacher is looking for.

How do I go about creating learning goals and success criteria?

  STEP 1:  
  • Review the overall expectations
  • Choose a specific expectation to focus on

  STEP 2: 
  • The specific expectation becomes your learning goal, but you need to write it in language that your students will understand 
  • Record your learning goal on a poster that you will display in your classroom

This is not displayed to the students, but is relevant in creating the learning goal and success criteria.

3. Use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively

Use punctuation to help communicate their intended meaning, with a focus on the use of: a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence; a period, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end

  STEP 3: 
  • Display the poster in your classroom and present it to your students
  • Talk about the learning goal and brainstorm ways for your students to show that they understand the learning goal
  • Record these ways of showing that they understand the learning goal in kid language (these are the success criteria) 


LEARNING GOAL: I CAN use punctuation correctly in my sentences.

  • I use capital letters at the beginning of my sentence
  • I use a period at the end of my sentence
  • I use a question mark at the end of a question
  • I use an exclamation mark to show excitement  

Checklist Learning Goals and Success Criteria Poster 

  STEP 4: 
  • Introduce the activity that will allow your students to learn about the learning goal and show what they know
  • Give students the opportunity to self-assess using their success criteria 

Learning Goals and Success Criteria Form for Teachers
**FREEBIE** from Little Monsters Classroom

  • Make a habit of using learning goals and success criteria with your students
  • Encourage students to take charge of their learning and to constantly self-assess by asking themselves if they are completing the success criteria that they helped to develop
  • Keep track of the curriculum expectations that you are covering and the learning goals and success criteria that you and your students co-created
  • Post your learning goals and success criteria posters around the classroom for future reference
  • Create and post posters for ongoing activities (daily writing and reading activities) so that students are always able to self-assess

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Week of Holiday Fun - 5 Holiday Activities

Super Fun Holiday Activities

Free Holiday Activity 
Woohoo, to start us off, here is another FREEBIE from Little Monster's Classroom.  

This activity is a great one to post on a bulletin board when parents come to the school for the annual Christmas concert.  My son's grade 1 class did something similar to this last year and the student responses were so adorable.  We just loved reading what our kids and all their friends wished for.

I thought that this activity could start with a brainstorming session about their holiday wishes, then open up an interesting discussion about people in the community and those who are less fortunate.  You could talk about toy drives, the food bank, winter coat drives, and more.  

This activity is a free sample from the Week of Holiday Fun package.  It has 5 different activities that incorporate a variety of cross-curricular printables, including Art, Language, Math, and Social Studies.  

Many of the activities in here are definitely bulletin board worthy.  The cute snowman craft, the abstract tree decorating craft, and the unique snowflake craft are all great activities for decorating the halls and classroom.

The tree decorating activity would make a great Math lesson.  It has 2 pages of shapes that students can colour and cut out.  It would definitely make a good lesson for following instructions.  You could have students do things like, colour the triangle green or colour the smallest polygon brown.  You can also talk about numbers and counting.  You can ask them to paste 5 stars onto their tree or 8 dots.  You can also incorporate patterning.  Have them colour the striped image with a colour pattern, then cut it into strips and paste them onto their tree.


The snowman craft is a fun art activity, but Math can also be incorporated into this activity as well.  There are fun patterns in the bottom corner to ignite ideas for patterns that students can draw onto the different sections of the scarf.  

Students also have to be aware of pasting this craft in order.  They start with the big ball for the base, then the arms go under the second ball, and the scarf goes under the last ball for the head.

This is a different take on the traditional snowflake activity.  These snowflake templates come in different shapes (square, circle, and hexagon) and have fun designs in them (dots, stripes, and elegant swirls).

Students can have fun colouring the designs before they cut out the shape, fold, and make little cut out shapes in their design.

Students probably make snowflakes every year to decorate the classroom, so it's nice to change it up a little bit.

Last, but not least, is the gift tag art project.  This is a nice activity because it allows students to think
about the people they love and create a thoughtful gift tag for those people.

There are 4 shapes for the gift tags and several holiday themed images that they can choose from to colour and add to their designs. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Fun Art & Language Activity

Little Monster's Art & Language Activity

Little Monster's Classroom Book Cover 
This is the introductory activity to Little Monster's Classroom.  It's super adorable and seriously fun.  I even had fun making little monsters with the kids.  The best part is that it's FREE!  Who doesn't like free stuff?

It starts off with a cute little comic style story about Little Monster and his friends and all the things they like to do at school.  They talk about center time, so the story is definitely geared for Kindergarten to probably grade 2.  I know some classes still have some language and math centers in grade 2, so it's still appropriate.  The story ends with Little Monster telling the class that they have a new student in their class and it's YOU!  Definitely a great lead up into the art and language activity.  

**Note, if you use this activity for older classes, just omit the story.

Monster Body Parts Their next task is to create their own little Monsters.  It has the cutest little monster parts that kids can colour and cut out or even trace.  There's a body page and a page with eyes, mouths, and accessories.  I'm loving the super hero cape and top hat.  Definitely makes for an ultra spiffy, super hero monster.

I was supplying in a 3/4 and 5/6 class not that long ago and I brought this activity for when we had some extra free-time.  The kids loved it.  I didn't read the story.  I just told them we were doing a fun art activity.  I didn't have them cut out the parts, as I only had one page available.  So, they students just looked at the monster parts and used it for inspiration to draw their own.  They added their own twists to the designs and were super creative.  Their monsters were fantastic.  There were a couple of kids that didn't feel as confident in their drawing skills, so they simply traced some of the features off of the examples page.

Profile Card
When they were done drawing their monsters, I told them that we needed to make a profile card for them, kind of like the ones you see on the back of hockey cards (we have some serious hockey fans in this class).  They thought that was a great idea.  It definitely made the writing portion more enjoyable.  

Since the monsters are their monster selves, all of the questions really pertained to them.  Come to think of it, this would be a great activity for the beginning of the year when you are getting to know your students.  It's also a great introduction to the Little Monster clan if you are planning to use the Classroom Management Resources.

Enjoy this freebie and if you want the full version of this activity with all of the differentiated versions of the art and language portion of the activity, you can purchase it in Little Monster's Classroom.  It includes 14 differentiated monster fact cards that you can post around the classroom and 4 different differentiated versions of the art and writing activity.

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Ultimate Classroom Management & Behaviour Management Package

The Ultimate Management Package

Classroom Management Package
Here's another fun filled package from
Little Monster's Classroom.  This is the ultimate resource for Kindergarten to Grade 2 classrooms with 160 pages of extremely useful posters, worksheets, printables, sticker charts, and more.  It's full of great resources for the whole class and individual student use.  We love it!

We're really excited that the 67 page Emotions Package is included in this kit.  It's an entire month's worth of fun activities to teach students to self regulate and it's also a great resource for anti-bullying initiatives.  Each lesson is about 30-45 minutes of activities, worksheets, drama exercises, fun journaling worksheets that incorporate a fun art activity, and more.

I am a super frugal person, so this set definitely makes my day.  It incorporates a ton of resources and saves me money.  I can use these items all year round, which makes them a great investment.

This set includes everything you need for a successful classroom:
Certificate for the Classroom 
- Day Plan / Visual Schedule / First - Then Chart
- Awards & Certificates
(awards for positive reinforcement, certificates of success, Kindergarten graduation diplomas)
- Groups & Stations
- Learning Goals & Success Criteria Posters
- Name Cards & Sign In Cards
- Special Helper Chart, Cards, & Calendar
- Sticker Charts
(daily & weekly charts)
- Voice Level Poster
- Washroom / Drink Sign Out

Follow the links to discover all the details for each section of this package.  I hope you and your students enjoy it! 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Emotions Chart - Self Regulation

Emotions Chart

Emotions Chart - Self Regulation Tool
Little Monster's Classroom offers some fun and cute activities for kids.  This set includes a months worth of activities to help students recognize their emotions, triggers, and positive solutions.

This great scale allows students to monitor how they are feeling.  They simply move a paperclip along the scale to indicate their feelings to themselves, a teacher, or others in the classroom.  The cute little monsters just make us laugh.  It definitely puts a fun spin on self regulation.

The set comes with tons of fun activities to help kids learn about their emotions.  From mazes to crossword puzzles to word searches and super cute make your own monster activities, kids will definitely be engaged.

Feelings Journal
We love the journals.  How fun is it to make a little monster to show how you are feeling before doing the written portion?  And it comes with all the little monster parts.  You can choose your eyes, mouths, bodies, and even fun little accessories.  I have to say, even I'm tempted to do this activity.

This work set is so much fun that you could easily do it with your entire class to encourage empathy.  It's great for Safe and Inclusive Schools and encouraging anti-bullying behaviour.

There's even an entire set of matching Little Monster classroom management tools and activities.  Graphic organizers and all sorts of classroom resources.  Try it for yourself.