100th Day Celebration

     The 100 days of school are so much fun.  
     This is my family project. Parents help students glue 100 small items on a hat. Students get to wear it to school on the 100th day. Here is the letter that I send home. 
     Our fun project of the day is to make a necklace with 100 beads. Students group 10 beads of the same color and put them in the string. Then, they choose a different color and put 10 beads in the string. They continue alternating colors until they have 10 groups of 10.  They take these home at the end of the day to practice counting to 100 by counting each bead on the necklace. 

More ideas for the 100 days of school.
I like to prepare my students for the 100 Club. We practice counting to 100 every day. Those that can count to 100 make it into our 100 Club.  I simply take construction paper and write the words 100 club in the center.  When students are able to count to 100, they autograph it. I also give them a certificate for the 100 Club. Some students make it to the club before December. Many more make it in on the 100 days of school. I also have a 50’s Club. You can find the 100 Club Certificate in my free printables above. 
I incorporate the theme throughout the day. Here are a few ideas. 
1- Calendar time: When we use the 100’s chart for counting, we do 100 toe touches or jumping jacks. You can also do 10 groups of 10 different exercises. (10 toe touches, 10 jumping jacks, etc.)

2- Read Aloud: Read a book about the 100 days of school.

3- Shared reading and writing: I use a large writing tablet to write repetitive sentences. Each student finishes a sentence. For example; “I wish I had 100..” I write the student’s name at the end of each sentence. Then, we have fun reading it all together.

4- Reading Center: There are many emergent readers that you can use. You can find some on Mrs. Meacham’s website. 

5- Writing Center: You can use one of my free printables. These include: * I can write 100 words * If I had $100, I would buy… * My 100 Book

6- Art Center: Students can make a self-portrait of how they will look at 100 years old.

7- Math Center: There are just too many activities to name, but you can use one of my printables. These include using the 100 chart to: * write to 100 by 1′ write to 100 by 2’s * write to 100 by 5’s * write to 100 by 10’s. Also, draw 100 gumballs in the gumball machine. I also use a sentence strip where students practice counting to 100 by 10’s. I choose  a shape from the dye-cut machine and make enough for the entire class. I give a sentence strip and 10 shapes to each student. They write the numbers by 10’s on the shapes and glue them to the sentence strip in correct sequence.

     You can finish the day by releasing 100 balloons in the playground and going back inside to eat a cupcake. If you have enough time, the students can decorate their own. Just give everyone a cupcake on a plate, a bit of frosting, sprinkles and a craft stick. Students use the craft stick to put icing on the cupcake and top it off with sprinkes or an m&m.

This is a sample from my free printables.

Download my FREE activities.
While you are there, please leave me a comment if you like my activities.
 I always appreciate some positive feedback 😀

MLK Writing Paper

It is time to teach our students about the amazing speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. This speech can be a little difficult to understand, but there are many wonderful picture books that you can use with this thematic unit. I think that it is important to make lessons relevant to children. With that in mind, I have made two printables that you can use in your classroom. Click on the picture to get your free printables.

You can get the Spanish copy here.
These are the MLK printables that you can download now.

SAMPLE: Here’s a sample of the old version.

Make sure to also check out my Journal Prompts for beginning writers:


Reading Log

Reading logs are a great way to hold students accountable for their reading.  Students who read daily are able to improve fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills.

I made this monthly reading log that can be used by young readers. The teacher can circle the month before she makes class copies.  Students simply write the title of the book that was read each day.  Now, remember that early readers love to read the same book more than once.  There is no need to require Pre-K and Kindergarten students to read a different book each day.  The important thing is that they read for the fun of reading.

Some schools do not allow these younger students to take home books from the library and many parents do not have books at home.  This is why I love making class books. Many of them are predictable and thematic.

You can give each student a folder that can hold the reading log and a class book to take home. Just have fun and make it easy:)


Lidia R. Barbosa

The Polar Express

The Polar Express is a favorite Christmas holiday classic. This is a magical Christmas story by Chris Van Allsburg.

In this story, a little boy lies in bed waiting to hear the bells on Santa’s sleigh. He waits and waits, but does not hear the bells.  A friend had told him that Santa does not exist and that he would never hear those bells. All of a sudden, he hears an unexpected squeaking sound coming from outside his house.  The boy looks out the window and sees a steam engine in front of his house. The conductor invites him to board the Polar Express train.  This train is full of children in their pajamas. They are all traveling to the North Pole! The children were taken to the center of the city.  This is where the children had to wait to see who would receive the first gift of Christmas from Santa Claus.  To his surprise, Santa sat him on his lap and asked him what he wanted for Christmas.  The boy asked for a silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. A bell was taken from one of the reindeer and given to the boy. He put it in the pocket of his bathrobe.  When the children were back on the train, the boy noticed that his pocket had a hole and his bell was gone.  The children were taken back home.  On Christmas morning, the boy got an extra little present under the tree. It was the silver bell along with a note from Santa!  The little boy jingles the bell and hears a magical sound.  His parents do not hear the sound of the bell and think that the bell is broken.  Throughout the years, his friends stop hearing the bell.  The little boy never stopped believing in Santa and always heard the sound of the magical Christmas bell.

Click on the book above to see the video. The book is read by the author, Chris Van Allsburg.

Ideas for activities:

1. Students can dress up in their pajamas and drink hot chocolate the day that you read this story.

2. You can also have a silver bell waiting for the children when they return from recess, lunch or specials.
3. Hide little bells in the bucket of crayons.  When students reach in for crayons, they will hear the bells.

4. Retell the story through a reader’s theatre activity.
5. Line up the chairs and pretend that everyone is onboard a train. They will be departing from your classroom and traveling to the North Pole.

6. Locate your city on the map or a globe.  Now, locate the North Pole. Students can illustrate or write about how they would travel to get there.
7. Compare the weather in your city to the weather in the North Pole.

8. Make instant snow. Many students have never seen snow.  Just watch their eyes lit when you make all of this snow.  
You can buy it from the Steve Spangler science site. The kits start at $4.99 each.
Here are some free printables to go along with The Polar Express. Your students are sure to enjoy these fun activities and ideas provided in these books.  I hope that you enjoy them.  Just click on the image to get these.

Happy Holidays,
Lidia R. Barbosa

It’s a Sunny Day!

I am happy to receive this award from Mandy over at Cooperative Learning 365. Thank you for filling this new blog with Sunshine.

Here are the rules for accepting this award:
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10-12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.
These are my answers:
Favorite color? Pink
Favorite animal? Hmmm, bunnies are cute 🙂
Favorite number? 20
Favorite drink? Sprite
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Your passion? My family
Giving or getting presents? Giving
Favorite day? Saturday
Now I have to pass this Sunshine award to other blogs. There are many amazing blogs out there. Here are a few.
♥Lidia R. Barbosa
Kid’s Reading Activities

Holiday Freebies

Well, the holidays are here! Christmas time brings a lot of joy and excitement to everybody. How do you stay on track with teaching while making it fun? Rachel Lynette, from Minds in Bloom, has made this easy for you.  She has compiled a book of holiday freebies from TPT teachers.  There is a little something for every grade level.  50 teachers have contributed freebies to this book. Some of these teachers include Laura Candler, The Organized Classroom Blog and Deanna Jump. If you are looking for a freebie from me,♥make sure that you make it to the end of her book.  She has also included an extra surprise right there, at the end:) Click on the picture to grab your freebies.

♥ Lidia R. Barbosa
Kid’s Reading Activities

Print Rich Environment

Exposure to reading is very important in the early years of school. Creating a print rich environment (sites like Printivity might prove to be essential if you decide to print booklets for the lil ones) provides opportunities for students to recognize, read and even write these words. Posting words around the room becomes a valuable teaching resource. You will see how student’s reading and vocabulary skills will increase dramatically when the teacher uses this strategy appropriately. Read the list below to see if you supply a variation of print awareness in your classroom.

10 Ways to Create a Print Rich Environment
1. Use student name tags on desks. These tags help children recognize, read and write their own name and their classmate’s names. Make sure to update these desk tags when you change your seating chart.
2. Label classroom objects and furniture. Some examples are door, table, shelf and window. If you are teaching in a dual language classroom, make sure that you label the English word in blue and the Spanish word in red. The color coding goes along with Gomez and Gomez’s dual language models.
3. Classroom centers should also be labeled. This contributes to the feeling of an organized classroom. Parents, administrators and teacher substitutes who walk into your room will be able to find these areas easily. Make sure that the center signs/posters that you use to label your areas also match the center cards that you use in your pocket chart when assigning your daily center rotations.
4. Organize your classroom library center using book basket labels. First, you need to categorize your books. You can put them in groups by theme, subject, author, fiction, non-fiction, nursery rhymes, magazines, reading level, etc. Make sure to provide a visual picture along with the word category. This will help the younger readers find books of interest easier. It also decreases the time it takes for students to return their books to the appropriate book basket.
5. Pocket charts are a great way of displaying print. For example, you can write a poem or nursery rhyme on sentence strips and place them in a pocket chart. The students can read it together during circle time. During center time, the child can practice one to one correspondence by using a pointer to read that same poem.
6. Use large writing tablets for your shared writing activities. Keep this writing available, so that students may refer back to it to find letters, words, spaces, punctuation, etc.
7. Post your rules and procedures. This is a great visual reminder for students, but they will also begin to recognize and understand these words in context.
8. Criteria charts and rubrics are required by many districts. Visuals should be used whenever possible.
9. Word banks provide new vocabulary and concepts. You can incorporate these new words in your mini-lessons. Example: Use this vocabulary to teach beginning sounds, syllables, nouns, etc.
10. Post your class schedule. It will keep the students and you on track throughout the day.
-Lidia R. Barbosa
Kid’s Reading Activities