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Catholic Rosary Lapbooks

Last week was our lesson on Mary during our religious education class.  We like to use this week to learn a little bit more about the Rosary and how we can pray to Mary.  Last year, we used our Walkable Rosary, which was a hit.  This year we wanted to create a resource tool that taught them (and hopefully their parents too) how to pray the Rosary. I designed a lapbook that included the prayers, directions and mysteries that they would need in order to pray a complete Rosary.  While we know this was pretty advanced for our first graders, we were hoping it would be an introduction to our students and more of a tool for the whole family to use.  

This lapbook is an awesome tool to teach Catholic kids how to pray the Rosary.

Some FAQs about Task Cards

Do you use task cards in your classroom?  Do you know what they are?  It is so easy to get confused with all the terminology coming out about current trends in the classrooms.  Sometimes, I'll look into a current trend and realize I used it in my classroom, but called it something different.  Brag tags, tasks cards, interactive notebooks, STEM...just a few of the current trends in education that you may call something different in your classroom.  Let's take a look at task cards today so I can help you see what they are, how they are used and hopefully give you some ideas of how you could use them in your classroom.
How to use task cards.  Frequently asked questions all about task cards.  Plus 2 free sets!

Classroom Library Book Awards

One of my favorite activities to do in my classroom with my second graders each year was a book award based on the books in our classroom library.  I liked to do this in March as a way to celebrate March is Reading Month but this would also be a great end of the year activity or voting season activity.  It got my students excited about reading and rereading some of our favorite titles.  It encouraged students to try a new book so that they could make the best decision when it came time to vote.

Great idea for using your classroom library to create book awards for some of your favorite books.

Zoo Themed STEM Activity

STEM activities are so popular  these days and my girls love to create and build so I knew it was time to work on a STEM project!  I made them a Zoo Themed STEM Challenge so that they could work on building and designing some of the buildings and places we've seen at the zoo.  It was so easy to prep and used only things we already had on hand.  That's a win right there!  They had so much fun designing different habitats for their animals.
Free STEM challenges with a zoo theme.  Fun for preschool or elementary aged kids.

Zoo Themed Picture Books

Even though it is still chilly here, it is actually one of my favorite times to visit the zoo.  The zoo is less crowded before the craziness of spring field trips begins and the animals are often more active than they are in the hot summer months.  At our zoo, many animals are inside during the winter so we can see them up close!  Here are some of our favorite zoo picture books to build excitement for a trip to the zoo.
10 zoo themed picture books!  Perfect for getting ready for a trip to the zoo.

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1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle is a great counting book for beginning readers.  I just love his unique illustrations!  Perfect for little ones to practice counting animals on the train.  


Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann was hands down one of my daughter's favorite books when she was younger.  Even though there is no text (which drove my husband nuts), children loving using the picture clues to figure out what is happening in the story.  I love listening to their creativity as they start to tell the story of the animals who take the key from the zookeeper and let all the animals out of the zoo.  


Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire features a spotted leopard that can do tricks with his spots.  He tries to convince the kids that he should be in the zoo based on all the tricks he can do.  The rhyming and repetition in this book make it a fun read.


Wild About Books by Judy Sierra is a fun story about a librarian who drives her bookmobile into the zoo by mistake.  She introduces the animals to reading and then sets about finding the perfect books for each of the zoo animals based on their habitats and interests.  


The View at the Zoo by Kathleen Bostrom is a great book for children learning to identify animals or if you are planning (or just finished) a trip to the zoo.  It goes through lots of the animals you often see in the zoo, as the zookeeper tries to get them all up and ready for the day's visitors.  


Z is for Zookeeper by Marie and Roland Smith is a zoo themed alphabet book that highlights the job of a zookeeper.  I am a sucker for a good alphabet book and have several in this series.  I like these books because they are great for a variety of ages.  There is short text on the page for younger readers or a read aloud, but then there is longer text in a smaller font that gives additional facts and background information for children who want it.  


Animal Strike at the Zoo. It's True by Karma Wilson is a funny twist on a zoo story because all of the animals go on strike.  The animals each make demands (a lot like Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type).  The zookeeper is trying to keep the peace and then a little girl who is visiting for the first time bursts into tears and the animals realize how important their jobs actually are.  


Twas the Day Before Zoo Day by Catherine Ipcizade is a story that many children will connect to because it is written in the form of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  In this version, the zookeepers are trying to get the animals ready for a school group to come visit.  This would be a great read before a zoo field trip to make predictions of what is actually happening at the zoo.  


If Anything Ever Goes Wrong at the Zoo by Mary Jean Hendrick is about a girl who visits the zoo every week and tells the zookeepers that if anything goes wrong, the animals can go to her house.  One day there is a storm and flooding and the zookeepers take her up on her offer.  The watercolor illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful!


Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is an animal lift the flap book that is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.  It is great for predicting and using picture clues to guess each animal.   

Rainbow Cutting Collage

My 5 year old has been all about rainbows lately.  Ever since she learned the order of the colors, she has been drawing them non stop.  I figured a rainbow craft (that was also a fine motor activity) would be perfect for her current interests and tie in nicely with St. Patrick's Day.  And like most activities, this one did not go as planned.  My 5 year old wasn't really into it and didn't even want to do it (maybe not the best timing after she had been at preschool all day) until she saw her little sister get into it.  Miss Independent 3 Year Old TOTALLY rocked this rainbow cutting collage activity.  I knew she loved scissors and knew how to cut from using our fine motor cutting box, but I was shocked with how well she did with this activity.    
Rainbow cutting craft that is perfect for working on fine motor skills and color identification.  Cute for St. Patrick's day but can really be used any time of the year.

Sticky Note Number Sequencing

Some days you just need a no prep, high engagement activity, am I right?  Enter printing on post it notes!  When you want to do a quick activity but don't want to take the time to print, laminate, cut and tape, just print on a sticky note.  Easy peasy!  If you've never printed on Post It Notes before there are several tutorials out there such as THIS ONE from First Grade Stripes or THIS ONE from The Inspired Apple both of which have cute freebies to go along with their tutorials.  I printed some shamrock coins with the numbers 1-20 on them so my daughter could practice some seasonal number sequencing practice.

Sticky notes to practice number sequencing.  An easy, low prep activity to practice counting with a fun St. Patrick's Day coin theme.  FREE templates included.

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