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The Perfect Whole-Class Collaboration Activity for Teaching: Team Work, Goal Setting, & Grit

The Big Scribb Elephant Challenge

Written by Karina Bolier | @MsBolier

Click Here to Follow Karina on Instagram 

I was so excited when I found Teaching on Lemon Lane. I loved all of the resources I saw on her website, but I was especially excited about The Big Scribb Elephant Challenge. I knew that this would be perfect for my 7th graders. This activity is a great team-building activity perfect for those first few weeks of school or when returning from a break. 

Set-Up

The set up was super easy because when you download the resource it comes with basically everything you’ll need. I printed out all of the papers and then had my TA cut them in half for me. I also had my TA cut out a bunch of the blank squares (each class needs 13 blank squares for the mural). I made sure to keep each set of squares separate so that I knew I had all of them for each class. I cleared a space on my whiteboard for my students to be able to hang up their squares. When the students walk into my class they always grab the papers I have for them by the door. Each student took one paper to start with. There are 51 squares that need to be drawn and I don’t have 50 students so I knew some students would need to do more than one.

Instructions

The only instructions I gave my students was that they needed to copy the picture on their paper onto the square as best as they could. I told them that all of their squares together were going to create a picture so the better job they did making their drawing match the drawing on their paper, the better the overall picture would look. Before they began drawing I told them to write the number and letter of their drawing on the BACK of where the square is so that when they cut it out they would still remember what number and letter it was. I explained that the number told them what row the square was in and the letter told them what column their square was in.  I explained they should first draw it in pencil. Then they could go over it in black marker so that we could see it better on the board. Lastly, they needed to cut out the square and go find its place on the board. If they finished and there were more papers left to do in the basket, they were to go get another one and complete it. I also told them that they got 13 blank squares to finish off their picture.

Procedure

I simply observed as they all worked to get their squares on the board. I had both magnets and tape that they could use to put the squares up. Most classes used the magnets because they were easier to move the squares or turn them to be right. As they worked, they were predicting what they thought the picture would be. No one came close to guessing it correctly until at least half the squares were up. It was cool to see some students were stepping up and being leaders. They would help direct people to where their squares went on the board. In some classes I had students label the numbers down the side and the letters across the top so that people wouldn’t be as confused. 

After they completed the picture of the elephant they were all proud. But I asked them to think about what they could do to make it even better. I asked them what could they do to make the picture of the elephant more clear? How could they change just their square(s) to help the overall picture? And then I told them they needed to decide as a class what they wanted to do. It was really hard to not help them come to a class decision but I wanted to see if they could do it on their own. 

Two of my classes really struggled to come to an agreement. No one could make a decision.  Eventually, each person just took their own square and did whatever they wanted to it. When they put them all back up on the board, it definitely changed the way the elephant looked, but it was not unified.

In my other 2 classes, they were able to finally come to a class decision about how they were going to color it. But one of those classes wasn’t very clear about how they were coloring it. They just said they wanted to color the background red and orange. Some students were confused about what part of their square was the background and what part was the elephant so they colored theirs wrong. Overall though, it looked good.

 My last class really impressed me because they decided to color the elephant rainbow. But they were very clear about how they would make that happen. One student wrote on the board what color each row of the elephant should be colored so that the elephant would turnout rainbow. There were also students helping other students to make sure they colored the right part of their square. When they were finished with their elephant they were SO proud. They even wanted to take pictures of it.

Discussion

In all of my classes, we would end with a class discussion. I asked them “Why do think I would have you do this activity?” Answers would vary but some were, teamwork, communication, collaboration, organization, and to show that each person needs to do their part. We talked about how every person had to do their part to make the picture– and not only that but that every person had to do their part well. The better they each did their part, the better the overall picture turned out.

I also asked each class “What went well?”, and “What do you think you could have done differently?” It was amazing that THEY could do the teaching. They were able to self-reflect and realize what could have been better. We also talked about leaders.  I asked them “What makes a good leader?” and we discussed that. Every class took something a little different away from the activity, but it was exactly what they needed.

I hope this activity will help them as we start our group projects next week!

Karina’s Reflection

If I were to do anything differently I would print the papers on cardstock so that they are more sturdy. That was my original plan but had forgotten before it was too late. It still turned out fine! Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything because it went so well! All of my students enjoyed it and all of them learned something from it. I would definitely recommend this resource to any teacher who is looking for their students to communicate, problem-solve, and work together!

The Big Scribb is a FREE activity exclusive to members of On Lemon Lane. Not a member? Not a problem, sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon-Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Click Here to Try The Big Scribb in Your Classroom

The Big Scribb is a FREE activity exclusive to members of On Lemon Lane. Not a member? Not a problem, sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon-Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Like this? Keep Reading to Check Out another FREE Grit and Growth Mindset Challenge

Don’t forget to check out my NITTY GRITTY Classroom Challenges!

Learn the Nitty Gritty about these Best-Selling Grit & Growth Mindset Challenges:

If you plan to use these challenges throughout the school year, purchasing the bundle is your best choice and gives you the best value. This product includes access to over 60 pages and 35  DIGITAL and Printable Activities. You can also purchase the challenges individually, see descriptions for more information.

Click Here to Purchase the BUNDLE: All of the following paid activities are included

 

The Nitty Gritty

1. The Nitty Gritty Triangle Challenge: (Digital & Printable)

Click Here to Purchase The Nitty Gritty Triangle Activity 1:

Students will complete the Magic Math Triangle, where all digits along the perimeter of the triangle must add up to the given magic sum. There are two triangles with 4 possible magic sums totaling 8 activities! There is a signature section where you can require the student to get a signature from you, a classmate, or their own before moving on. ANSWER KEY is included! Take each challenge a step further and see if the students can find multiple solutions per magic number Triangle. Great for critical and higher-level thinking. This activity requires a minimum of 20 minutes per triangle. By no means will a student finish all 4 triangle challenges, unless you stretch the challenges out.

2. The Nitty Gritty Tangle Challenge: (Printable)

Click Here to Purchase The Nitty Gritty Tangle Activity 2

The Nitty Gritty Tangle is a great way to challenge younger students or start off on a lighter note. Don’t be fooled. These mazes are not for the faint of heart. There are a total of 7 mazes that are scaffolded to build confidence, while still facilitating a challenge.

3. The Nitty Gritty Puzzler Challenge: (Digital & Printable)

Click Here to Purchase The Nitty Gritty Puzzler Activity 3

The Puzzler, is named appropriately. This challenge includes 4 different puzzles and trust me, your students will struggle to complete them. Remember these activities are intended to cause frustration, disappointment, in order to better explain Grit and Growth Mindset. These puzzles are fun and will cause excitement and strain as students work to solve them. Two of the puzzles allow students to actually cut out the pieces to be manipulated. Great for that kinesthetic experience! Another however strictly requires only mental computation, this component truly causes a strain.

4. The Nitty Gritty Confuzzler Challenge: (Digital & Printable)

The Nitty Gritty Confuzzler Activity 4

The Confuzzler is SO fun and SO hard. I guarantee failure on this one. The best part is the answers are right in front of you and they become SO obvious once you finally know it! The Confuzzler includes 4 different types of word puzzles made up of: Rebuses, (Rebus), anagrams, pangrams, brainteasers, matchstick, logic puzzles and more! Give these time to marinate. The worst thing you can do is give the answers too quickly. In fact, you could try your hand at these along with the students!

5. The Nitty Gritty Scribbler Challenge: (Printable )

One of these activities will work as a digital product, however, it works best as a printable 😀

The Nitty Gritty Scribbler Activity 5

The Nitty Gritty Scribbler includes over 28 pages such as:

  • Tricky Triple Diamond Sketch Puzzle
  • Impossible Envelope Brain Teaser Sketch Puzzle
  • Scattered Grid Puzzle Page
  • Distorted Grid Drawing Pages
  • Symmetry Drawing Pages
  • Grid Method Drawing Pages
  • Extreme Dot to Dot
  • Grit Detailed Coloring Pages
  • Growth Mindset Coloring Pages
  • + MORE

The Following activities are Free Activities or include a Free Sample

These are available to members of On Lemon Lane! In order to access any of the Free Downloads, you will need to be logged into your account. 

Not a member? Not a problem, sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon-Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Already a member? Click Here to Sign-In

6. The Nitty Gritty Thingamajig Challenge: FREE To Members of On Lemon Lane

The Nitty Gritty Thingamajig is a fun bunch of challenges with a more kinesthetic vibe! From folding origami to solving the Impossible Paper Trick! I’ve also included links to videos of my other favorite paper puzzles and tricks that all require a few supplies to complete, all of which can be found around the classroom! As an added bonus, the Nitty Gritty Thingamajig also includes intricate coloring pages that you or your students can edit the Growth Mindset Quote the print and color!

ALL OF THIS is available FREE to you!

In order to access these FREE challenges of the Free Downloads, you will need to be logged into your account. 

Not a member? Not a problem, sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon-Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Already a member? Click Here to Sign-In

Click Here to Download The Nitty Gritty Thingamagig Challenge

 

7. The Nitty Gritty Bewilderer Activity 7: FREE SAMPLE available To Members of On Lemon Lane (Digital & Printable)

Ancient Chinese Legend tells of a turtle with a curious pattern found on his shell. It wasn’t until someone looked closer that they realized the pattern was in fact a magic square! A magic square is filled with consecutive numbers in a way that the sum of each row, column, and diagonal all add up to the same number. Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin without the help of a calculator, even created a 16 x 16 magic square over 200 years ago! He is quoted saying, “[it] is the most magically magical of any magic square ever made by any magician.” The Nitty Gritty Bewliderer allows students to dive deep into these magical shapes all while practicing Grit and developing a Growth Mindset! This Activity includes both DIGITAL and Printable activities! 

Click Here to Purchase the Full Version of the Nitty Gritty Bewilderer 

As discussed previously, I’ve created a free sample of this challenge for you and your class! The Free Sample is made up of two challenges based on the 3 x 3 Magic Square. This puzzle can be assigned as either a digital or printable! Click on the link below to check out the FREE Sample of the Nitty Gritty Bewilderer Challenge #7

Click Here to have this FREE Sample sent straight to your inbox!

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I love the idea that the best way we can remember September 11 and #neverforget is to remember the love, and unity that was felt September 12th, and to strive to live that way each day.
On September 12th we were one nation under God.
Indivisible.
Seeking justice for all.
Love this beautiful depiction by @paigepayne_creations see her thoughts on September 12th below.
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“ And on September 12th, we all came together. We were one. My family was living in Scotland when 9/11 happened. It was everywhere, all over the news. In school the day after, we had a long moment of silence in remembrance of those who were lost. We continued to have an annual moment of silence every year after that. It was incredible that even thousands and thousands of miles apart, we were mourning with those that mourned. We were one. At that time, we all displayed what we are capable of. Even in the face of incomprehensible tragedy, humans are capable of immense love. Capable of setting aside differences and coming together as one. As we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of lives the were lost that day, let us also strive to be more like how we were on September 12, 2001. Full of love, understanding, and compassion for each other. “

This painting is inspired by a beautiful photo taken by @masseya ❤️

#911 #911memorial #9eleven #911remembrance #thetwintowers #neverforget #neverforgotten #unity #love
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💡🚨PSA:🚨💡
ATTENTION ALL TEACHER FRIENDS
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Tag your #teachertribe and every #firstyearteacher below for this important reminder:
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As you set up your classroom for the new school year, and start divvying out materials… Do no forget to set aside 2-4 new student kits.
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Just like @adifferentiatedclass (shown in picture) I made sets using Gallon ziplocks.
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If you are in a developing community with new housing I recommend a minimum of 4 bags 🙀
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What to include:
🍋Name-tag/Desk-plate
🍋If you adhere the plates to the desk, have a segment of what you use in the pack.
🍋Welcome Treat (same one you’ve given to each student at the open house/back to school...etc.
🍋Whatever else you’ve set aside for students that begin on the first day of school.
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📣📣📣There will likely come a day when without warning you will be notified you have a new student, and the student will start THAT DAY. Save yourself and your poor new student the stress of frantically trying to get everything set up, by preparing NOW.
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Veteran teachers what else do you include in your new student kits?? Share in the comments below⬇️⬇️⬇️
📸: @adifferentiatedclass
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How satisfying/ beautiful 😻 is this #classroomorganization tip by @the_organized_classroom
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Use paint swatches as a visual to help students sort supplies! Keep this is mind as you set up your classroom for the school year!
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HELP ME BRAINSTORM:
What’s a brilliant #teacherhack you’ve tried or seen done with paint swatches??? Comment below 👇
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I’ll leave mine in the comments!
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Guys… I had a baby 🥰 Almost 10 months ago 😳 I STRUGGLE to consistently show up on this platform, but know how happy I am that you are here!
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There are a lot of new faces around here so I thought we should take the time to get to know each other!
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PLEASE comment below with what we have in common, or something we will never see eye to eye with 😜
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A few things to know about me😬
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🍋 My name is Tara, I’m the creator behind @teachingonlemonlane
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🍋 Lemon was my maiden name and my love for all things lemon runs deep.
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🍋 I’m a fresh lemonade connoisseur, and will not touch store bought/ from the tap.
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🍋 My patronus is a wolf 🐺 #potterhead
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🍋 A piece of my heart will always be in #5thgrade and New Orleans
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🍋 I’m a novice flower gardener and LOVE to experiment with different blooms.
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🍋 Ben and I will celebrate our 10 year this year and have 3 kiddos under 5 💀
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🍋 Go Red Sox ⚾️
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🍋#bucketlist item: New Zealand, Hobbiton, ride the #nevisswing 😳
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🍋 Teaching item(s) I can’t live without…Binder clips😎 You should see what I can #macgyver with a couple clips… also, flair pens. #cliché 🤓
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YOUR TURN: Tell me something about you in the comments!
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To my dear teacher friends still in school, I've got a FREE Father’s Day project I think you will love! Those of you are home with kiddos of your own, consider this fun activity for your Father’s Day Celebration! This is a great #endofyearproject that doubles as a #fathersdaygift 💛🍋💛
This product is available in both a printable and digital version that’s completely editable through Google. If you have a student or child interested in Digital Design, this is a fun way to introduce and experiment with different design tools. Because there are so many different types of situations and circumstances when it comes to a father the words father or dad are never actually used. Which makes this the perfect card to give to any figure that has taken on that important role. Whomever that is, they should be celebrated!
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Need #bulletinboardideas for March.... I’ve got you👊 like almost all of my Bulletin Board Kits, they center around student work and are made up of EASY TO CUT, Editable 🙊, ready to print and assemble slides!
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Make sure to check out the Lucky Because Bulletin Board BUNDLE get ALL this for only $3.99☘️☘️☘️☘️ The Clover craft is the PERFECT craft for tomorrow!
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If you’ve followed me for long you know I love all things March and Irish ☘️ it’s in my blood 🙃
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My love of March shows in my resources, of all the months to have the most projects... March (of all the months???) is at the top of the list!
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I just added this CELTIC KNOT inspired Lucky Clover Craft and it turned out so fun! Use either the DIGITAL version and insert pictures into the leaves that represent why you’re lucky, or pick from one of the 18 different top layer options to create a beautiful clover like the one shown above! If you do go this route make sure to check out the EDITABLE bulletin board kit to really put these beauties on display!
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Do you love March? Why or why not? Drop a comment below 💛💛
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Selection Sunday and PI Day falling on the same day... Somebody pinch me. Two of my very favorites because of the projects you can start in your classroom 😍 Take for instance my March Math Madness PBL
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Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning 💛🏀💛
Students are separated into the 4 divisions then work together to put together a new starting 5 from players in their division. #dreamteam Each round their individual players are awards point values for how they played. At the end of each round students will calculate their team’s total points and decide which dream team comes out victorious! There are some really great opportunities to see Math in action. There’s opportunity for measurement conversion, converting fractions to decimals, ordering decimals, ratios, mean-median-mode, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals...etc. This is quickly becoming another tried and true favorite in the classroom!
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Also if you think your too late to the table, the only thing you are late for is brackets! The dream team activity can be started before any round! Second round would actually be ideal 👊🏻👊🏻 LOTS of FREEBIE extensions for this product that can stand on their own! Head to the website for more details!
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The most beautiful illustration by @paigepayne_creations Keep reading for some of the most powerful quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King’s powerful, “I have a Dream,” speech:
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“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”
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“I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
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“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
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“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
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“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.”
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“When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
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🎉🎉VISION BOARD G.I.V.E.A.W.A.Y
YOU GUYS!!! This one turned out better than I expected 😍😍😍 EVERYONE NEEDS A VISION BOARD.
🍋 TEACHERS
🍋 STUDENTS
🍋....EVERYONE
This became more and more apparent as I created this product and researched the value in having one. Due to it’s late debut in the #goalsetting season you can snag it at 50% off (the lowest price it will EVER be).
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In a nutshell, you and your students will create a digital vision board that will act as a daily reminder when you set it as your computer, tablet, or smart phone’s new wallpaper or lock screen! I’ve created 26 EASY to use templates that create completely customizable and BEAUTIFUL designs, along with over 150 moveable “stickers” to make something truly eye catching (one of the requirements of an effective vision board) If that weren’t enough, I wanted to make sure you had the support materials to provide a really complete and educational project. So I’ve also included over 30 support activities, video tutorials, and extensions. Students will learns about vision boards, what makes them effective, the elements of a wellness, their circle of control, SMART goal setting.... and MORE! I know you are going to love this and so will your students. Even more, I know this has the potential to make a difference and lead to growth, and that is pretty satisfying. I’ve been working hard on this beauty and I NEED to get it in some classrooms!
Want this pretty little thing for you and a #teacherfriend for FREE???
🍋Like this post
🍋Tag a Teacher Friend
🍋Comment one thing you would put on YOUR Vision Board
🍋Share this post to your story for EXTRA Juju
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Each year our family gives a favorite Christmas book to some of our loved ones. (I wish I was able to get my hands on more of them!😭) With the passing of author Tomie dePaola, it seemed appropriate to give one of his. Reading this book, THIS year, made me cry. I struggled to make it through as it highlighted my weaknesses and put into words what I've been trying to set aside and not deal with. Last year I had great intentions of celebrating a more Christ centered Christmas, December arrived and again my intentions remained only that. Reading this story struck a cord in my soul. I'm old Befana. There may only be a few days left until Christmas, but I'm going to be intentional with them. On that note, I'll be taking a break from social and working to reground myself with the foundation that matters, and refocus my attention on Him. Love you all, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
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Head to my story for a swipe up of a reading of, ”The Legend of Old Befana, ” by the late Tomie dePaola
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Excerpt from a personal post 💛 Thank you all for your patience as we welcome the newest member of our little family🍓
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2020 the Year of the Poppies
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“... You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I'm no good at it, and again my good intentions out do any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms. One of my favorite flowers is a poppy. I think there is so much to be said about and learned from these flowers. From the alien-like tubers you plant, to the fury foliage it produces, one would NEVER think that something so weed-like could ever produce such a gorgeous sight... And then... It does. Is that not life? Is that not 2020? This year has been hard for everyone, especially for some that I love the most, and yet despite everything, there has been beauty.

I truly believe that some of life’s most beautiful moments are produced after the hard or ugly. Is that not the Gospel and Hope found in Christ? Through His Grace the hard and ugly things we go through can actually be the source of something really beautiful, something better than we could have imagined, even a better version of ourself? 2020 has been hard, it’s still hard. But because of that hardness I’ve seen growth and light and beauty that I never would have expected. From repaired and renewed relationships, to a new focus on family and what’s really important, to things working out when they shouldn’t, to a beautiful new addition to our family... The increase is through Him. I think for me 2020 will always be the year of the poppies.
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EEK! You guys, I’m SO excited about this one🍋😍🍋 Introducing the Morning Meeting you NEED in your classroom. This one does it ALL.

🍋Digital Daily Attendance
🍋SEL Learning & Awareness
🍋Grit & 🌱 Mindset Challenges
🍋Daily Interaction & Connection
🍋Build Classroom Community
🍋Improve Organization
🍋Daily Challenges & Class Games
🍋Set-Up Routines & Structure
🍋100% Paperless
🍋100% Virtual Classroom Ready
🍋100% Any Classroom Ready
🍋EDITABLE
➕➕➕SO MUCH MORE➕➕➕
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I’m SO sure you’re going to LOVE it, I’m giving ALL of the August slides away for FREE! If you want more information on how and when you can download ALL of August, comment below! Don’t forget to spread the love by tagging a teacher friend that NEEDS this!
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Guys. I don’t even know where to begin.... Except be on the lookout for this fun little DIGITAL project to be added today!
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🍋Students come up with a One Word Goal for the school year/ first term...
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🍋Students then create a “quilt” piece of their 1 Word, using figurative language and pictures to illustrate.
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🍋Students will then upload their piece to a COLLABORATIVE Class “quilt”
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🍋You can then use this Collaborative Class “Quilt” to create a DIGITAL Bulletin Board for your Virtual Classrooms, OR print it off and assemble in your actual classroom!
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🍋More details coming soon! Comment below if you have a Virtual classroom you would like to try this out with!
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