Grow Your Students' Math Skills from Home

Parents everywhere are being asked to step up and fill the teachers’ shoes right now...and they didn’t have a whole lot of time to figure out how to do that. My heart goes out to the parents, students, and teachers who are all working to navigate a new normal during this unprecedented time. I have a resource to share with you all that I think could help! 

At Home Learning Math Menus (see 3rd Grade here and 2nd Grade here) are the perfect way for parents to engage students deeply in the math content of their child’s grade, without having to spend much time learning how to ‘be the teacher’. They provide the best of both worlds!

3 Ways At Home Math Menus Make Math Practice Easy on Parents (and Teachers):

Easy to Implement

These math menus can be presented to students by simply displaying the menu on the computer screen, or printing out the individual menu pages. Each menu set comes with recording pages and worksheets for students to display their work on, but they are completely optional! All work can be done with supplies lying around the house, making it the perfect solution for busy families, and families who can't make regular runs to the store...which is all of us right now! The less standing in your way, the quicker you can get students started on the project of your choice.

Fun for Kids (and parents, too!)

With projects such as: Plan A Disney Vacation, Create a Board Game, Pizza Fractions, and Paper Airplanes...there is no way that kids will be bored, while practicing their standards very closely! These projects are the perfect thing for pulling siblings and parents into, making it a family project. School work that inspires family bonding is the best kind, in my opinion, because it keeps kids working. The more kids are engaged in fun, authentic math work during this time at home, the less of a gap they will see when they return to school.

All Domains Are Covered:

The at-home learning menus for both 2nd and 3rd grade in my store, have activities that cover each of the standard sets in the CCSS math standards. 2nd graders will practice place value, telling time, regrouping, and more, while 3rd graders will work on elapsed time, fractions, multiplication, and the rest of their skills for the year. This ensures that, if students complete a project or two from home each week, they will have practiced every standard for their grade level!

Whether you are a parent seeking some engaging math work for your 2nd or 3rd grader to participate in at home right now, or a teacher needing 6-8 weeks of math work for your students...these At Home Learning Menus are the perfect fit!

Check out my 2nd Grade At Home Learning Menus and 3rd Grade Menus to get your students engaged deeply with the math standards today!


3 Creative Ways for Kids to Respond to Reading At Home

One thing we’re all probably doing a bit more of these days is reading. Extra time at home means more time to catch up on good book, and to encourage our kids to read more than they normally do. Today, I wanted to share some creative ways to get students engaged with the texts they are reading. These are not your average response activities! 

Three Reading Response Activities Your Kids Have Never Seen Before:

Create a Theme Song
Have some students who are more musically inclined? After finishing a book, ask them to create a theme song for the book, as if it were a TV show. This can be as simple as just writing the lyrics, or they can add music if they have a favorite instrument! 

Character Emojis 
After finishing a book, ask students to make a chart of all of the major and minor characters. Then, ask them to scroll through the emojis keyboard on a phone or other device, and choose one emoji to assign to each character! They will draw the emojis on their chart, and then write about their reasoning for choosing each emoji. Their reasons should come from text evidence-things characters said or did throughout the story. 

Interview a Character
This activity digs deep into those inferencing skills! Students create an imaginary interview with their favorite character from the book they just read. They create questions based on evidence from the text (events that happened, conflict with other characters, the setting, etc.). Then, the students must pretend to be the characters, and answer the questions the way they think that character would answer them! This activity hits dozens of literacy standards at once!

These three ideas can get you started, but I have many more! My Reading Response Choice Boards give students engaging, unique response activities to do with texts from home, as early finisher activities, as projects in small groups, or however else you can think of using them! 

With distance learning in effect for many teachers and families at the moment, these choice boards can adapt to your teaching needs. You can email the choice boards to parents to print or project at home, and let students complete tasks with the paper and materials that they have at home, or you can post them in your digital classroom. For students without internet access at home, you can print and prep these choice boards as part of their ‘at home learning packets’ and include extra paper for finishing the tasks. Adapt the way these are used to best fit your teaching needs! 


Math Choice Boards for Distance Learning

How’s distance learning going for you? My mind has been racing for days now about how I can offer you resources that take a little work off of your plate, but remain highly purposeful for your students. Math Menus are a great way to keep your 2nd graders engaged with the standards, and I wanted to share a little more about them with you all today!

First, how could math menus make at-home learning easier on you, as a parent, or an educator?

They alleviate planning stress. 

We are high in demand and short on time right now. The idea of distance learning started immediately for some teachers, where others were given a week or so to prepare. It’s difficult to prepare for something you’ve never done before, so my hope is that these learning menus give you one ‘grab and go’ solution for your math planning! Every 2nd Grade domain is covered in these menus individually, as well as menus that review all skills. (There are 3rd Grade Menus to practice those standards, too!)

They make differentiation a little easier.

One of the biggest burdens of this time of digital learning is trying to plan for all of the different types of learners you have in your classroom...but from a distance. It’s difficult to make our lessons fit every child’s needs right now, and I believe that learning menus are a great way to help, because they provide choice for the families. You can assign menus to students based on the domain they need to practice, limit the number of boxes certain students must complete, or let them choose which project they want to complete. Each option differentiates the expectations for your different learners, easing the burden on the kids, their parents, and you!

They are engaging, and review things students have already learned. 

I think we’d all agree that parents are hoping for assignments that will keep their students engaged, at the moment. Many are working from home, or are working in fields (like health care or food service) that are requiring grueling hours and new demands. One of the best ways we can help our families is to give the students work that they can engage in independently, and that they want to do. With assignments like planning a Disney trip, creating pizza fractions, and making your own board game...students are going to love the work they’re being asked to do. And the parents won’t complain about that one bit!


  • Post the menus digitally in your virtual classroom and assign certain boxes for completion each week (or let students choose one to complete). Students can complete any of these tasks on plain paper, with whatever they already have at home. They can take pictures of their work to submit back to you!
  • Include the menus of your choice in an at-home packet for students who don’t have access to technology. You can include the printables that go with them or just the menus that you want students to work on in their time home. 
  • Privately email or message different boards and directions to students (or include different boards with some boxes blacked out) whom you want to practice certain domains separately. You can have one group working on addition and subtraction, another on measurement, and another reviewing all standards! These boards can work alongside the data you collected on your students this year!

    Check out my 2nd Grade At Home Learning Menus and 3rd Grade Menus to get your students engaged deeply with the math standards today!


Valentines Day Learning Activities for the Classroom

One of my FAVORITE things is incorporating the seasons and holidays into my classroom. Kids are so excited about them anyway, it's a great way to easily bring ENGAGEMENT to your curriculum! Obviously it has to be meaningful work and not just cutesy projects. So, here are 7 easy ideas for bringing Valentines Day into your classroom while maintaining rigor and real work.
These 7 Valentines Day activities for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students are perfect for keeping students engaged during February! Click the pin to find 7 different Valentines Day math and ELA activities that will keep students learning and challenged all month long. They'll love creating these monster valentine bags, writing kindness notes, the valentines choice board, Valentines Day PBL project, and MORE

Monster Valentine Bag

1. Build a Monster Valentine Bags

Do your students exchange valentines in your classroom? If so, you most likely have them build their own valentines bags. Why not take something that is normally just an art project and bring math into it?! Set up a store and have students buy pieces for their valentines bags. They will be so engaged they don't even realize how much math they are doing. 

Take it a step further - let them shop with manipulative coins, differentiate prices, or give them a budget! This takes a Valentines Day activity you were already planning on doing with your students, and brings it into your math block with a TON of rigor and math.

CLICK HERE to see the Monster Valentine Bag I love to use with my students. The menus are editable so you can change the prices so they are just right for your students.

Valentines Kindness Bunting

2. Spreading Love Bunting

I love taking the time in February to talk about kindness with students and strengthen that classroom community feeling. It's easy to take a few minutes to have a classroom meeting about ways to show kindness and love, and it puts it in students' minds first thing in the morning. Make an anchor chart or list as a class and hang it up for the month. Ask students to choose one things from the list each morning to do that day!

This quick printable bunting is a perfect way for students to write their own ways to spread love and kindness. It makes a fun classroom or hallway decoration for February that also reminds them to BE KIND!

Speaking of kindness...let your students practice friendly letter writing by writing notes of appreciation to classmates and staff members! You can let students choose someone to write to and have them draft a letter. Let students peer edit each others' letters before they write their final drafts. So. Many. Writing. Skills.

CLICK HERE to see my favorite Valentines - FOOD PUNS!! These are so fun and include writing papers, and they make the most adorable bulletin board. These will bring a smile to anyone who receives one!

Valentine Day Math Project PBL
I'm a big believer in incorporating PBL, or project based learning, into the classroom. I love letting students SEE how you can use your learning in the real world. This math project lets students plan a classroom valentines party - the food, decorations and entertainment. This is a thorough project that lets students work with differentiated menus and budgets to plan an EPIC Valentines Day party for their class.

Valentines Day Choice Board

5. Valentines Day Choice Board

Choice boards are a staple in my classroom - giving students' choice lets them take ownership of their learning and they are guaranteed to be more engaged when they have chosen what they're working on. I love using seasonal boards in my classroom because it brings some fun into our everyday routines, but all of the activities hit different math and ELA standards for a great spiral review and challenge. These are perfect early finisher activities for February!

This Valentines Day choice board is full of 9 no prep seasonal activities and printables that will keep your early finishers challenged all month long!

Valentines Day Writing Prompts
Do you have a writing center in your classroom? If not, you should! Letting students have daily writing time helps give them TONS of practice and exposure to different writing types. I love having seasonal prompts I can throw in my center to keep students excited to write. Mix in persuasive, narrative and informative writing so they get to interact with several types of writing.

THESE writing prompts have differentiated writing lines for students and print and go writing toppers that students can color when they're done with their writing!

Valentines Day Math Color by Code

7. Color by Code: Valentines Edition

Color by codes are one of my (and my students!) favorite morning work activities. I love them because they are FULL of practice, and one picture normally lasts students for several days or a full week. Students love them because they get to color, and it doesn't feel like just a worksheet. Also, I love letting students cut out the picture and mount it to black paper - I use them as seasonal decor by taping them to our classroom cabinets.

CLICK HERE for some Color by Code sheets that practice double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping!

These 7 Valentines Day activities for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students are perfect for keeping students engaged during February! Click the pin to find 7 different Valentines Day math and ELA activities that will keep students learning and challenged all month long. They'll love creating these monster valentine bags, writing kindness notes, the valentines choice board, Valentines Day PBL project, and MORE

Keeping students focused on learning during an exciting holiday can be challenging, so I hope you found some easy ways to incorporate the holiday into your curriculum! Leave a comment telling me how else you add in some Valentines Day fun to your classroom!


Introducing Research with a Guided Presidents Research Project

Presidents research project

Presidents Research Project.

Research projects can be difficult to implement in elementary classrooms, but they can provide so many benefits to young students. Not to mention, students LOVE getting to conduct research and showcase their findings. This presidents research project is a perfect activity for the month of February to celebrate Presidents Day, and can be used with any president!

Presidents research project and links

The KEYS to research projects for elementary students:

1. Guided research templates 

First, second and third graders need a template to guide them through research. This will help them learn what information to look for as they conduct a research project. These president research templates mix fill-in-the-blank information with open-ended questions.

2. Clickable Links

Prescreened websites, at the fingertips of students? Do I even need to say more?! Raise your hand if you've ever had a student stumble upon an award or inappropriate ad or photo...oops. Having clean and student-friendly sites ready for them is essential to kicking off a successful research project.

Presidents research project and timeline

Showcasing the research:

This is the part where you let students get creative with how they use their research. With this research project pack, I've included 3 options - you can mix and match them all, or even use this as a way to differentiate the project. Let them create a poster, a timeline or write and deliver an informational speech from the perspective of the president they chose. Take it a step further and have them present their work to their class or a small group. 

Presidents research project

One of my favorite parts of this project? It is essentially NO PREP for you. Just print and go...students can complete this during centers, computer lab time, an at home project, etc. Templates are included for every president, so you can let students choose their own or assign one to them!

If you try this project in your classroom, be sure to connect me with on Instagram and let me know how it went with your students!

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