Friday, September 22, 2017


Today is the first day of Fall, and in celebration I thought it might be a fun idea to have a giveaway! I haven't made a blog post in a very long time because I've been busy teaching full time, and I've gotten to the place where I've gone though all of the activities that I initially prepped for the back to school season and I'm starting to prep for some new Autumn activities, so I thought maybe some of you might be in the same boat? So let's celebrate Fall with a giveaway, and one of you will win a $10 TPT gift card to purchase some new Fall curriculum and a product of your choice from my store as well! 

All you have to do to enter is: comment with a creative Fall classroom activities or lesson idea, follow me on Facebook, TPT, or Pinterest. Find the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the page. 

But first! Here are some terrific Autumn themed products from my TPT store: 







Here is the giveaway! Don't forget to share with others! This giveaway ends on October 6th. 
Good luck everyone! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Back to School Sale and $25 TPT Gift Card!



Teachers Pay Teachers have announced the date of the annual Back to School Sale! On August 1 and 2nd you will enjoy 20% off your TPT purchases and if you use the discount code B2S2017 you will get an additional percentage off of your purchase at checkout! This is the perfect time to stock up on your back to school essentials such as: 

Teacher Binder













Student Portfolios













Formative Assessment Strategies













Nutrition and Healthy Living Resource Package















Social and Emotional Learning Strategies













In celebration of the Annual Back to School Sale I am having a $25 TPT Gift Card giveaway! In order to enter all you need to do is follow The Third Grade Zoo's TPT Store, Facebook, or Pinterest or comment on this post with a Back to School Tip to share with others! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck everyone! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Teaching kids about Resiliency

We all want the best for the kids we teach, and we all want each student to be able to reach their full potential. For the most part we as teachers have control over the lessons we teach and the classroom environment. We do not have control over what happens when the kids go home and issues such as poverty, trauma, and other factors in our student’s home lives. So what can we do? In my classroom I place a huge emphasis on teaching resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to recover, heal, or cope with trauma in our lives. We can teach resiliency in our classroom by using picture books! 

 My favourite picture books are: 


The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
-My mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook 
-Have you filled Your Bucket Today?: A Guide for Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
-Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
-When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children who live with Anxiety by Kari Dunn Buron
-You’ve got Dragons by Kathryn Cave 

When using picture books in my classroom I tend to use a place mat strategy where I give each student a piece of white paper and while I’m reading the story, I stop periodically and ask the students to write or draw their connections, predictions, questions, or observations based their learning and their personal experiences. 

Another strategy I sometimes use with picture books is to give the students play dough and have them create their connections to the story using the play dough.

Art is another medium that can be easily integrated into this heavy subject area, and it might be easier for students who have had traumatic experiences in their lives to express themselves more freely with art verses with writing. 

In my classroom I also explicitly teach students about emotions. We learn about the different emotions and different times that we may feel these emotions. We list emotion words, we write stories that include emotion words, and analyze different situations on emotion cards and how each person in the situation might feel and why based their body
language, facial expression, and other questions, we then role play and act out appropriate ways to react in different situations. I place a big emphasis on how it is okay to have emotions, and it is okay to talk about our emotions. Each of the resources mentioned can be found in my Social and Emotional Learning Unit. 



Another unit perfect for teaching about resiliency is my Friendship Unit. This unit is really an anti bullying unit, but instead of focusing on the bully, I believe it is best to focus on the positive and focus on how we can be better friends to ourselves and others. There are many activities includes in this unit including a kindness chain. This activity promotes kindness in the classroom by having students find ways to be kind to one another and writing down their kind deeds. This kind of
activity generates on ongoing culture of kindness in the classroom, is great for classroom meetings, and is a positive way for students to earn attention. Whats in my heart collage allows students to think about the people and things that they love and encourages students to be friends with themselves. The friendship bingo game has students talk to their classmates, ask them questions, find out commonalities. This unit is full of practical lesson ideas great for helping students be friends with themselves and others. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Insect Creations

This super fun activity was inspired by an craft  found on the Elmer's Glue website.  I found this craft was low key, but hands on, and it was the perfect activity for the second to last day of school for my class. I had my students plan and build their insects independently, but this activity would make a great group or partner activity, so feel free to adapt and use this activity to meet the needs of your group! 



My group is used to STEM activities and I always set up my STEM activities in the same way, and although this is really an arts and crafts activity, not a true STEM activity, I set this activity up with my group like I do with STEM activities. 

First, I let students know the goal of the activity. I let them know that this was a timed challenge and the goal was to invent and create an insect. We went over what an insect is and I placed an emphasis on the fact that insects all have 6 legs. Next, I showed the students the building materials that they had to work with which included:
styrofoam balls, straws, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, goggly eyes, pom poms, and glue. I had my students plan out their insect’s design on a piece of paper, and then they were given 15 minutes of building time.

 As you can see from the pictures provided my students were quite creative with their insects and they put lots of effort into their designs. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

An Elmer's Glue Craft: Caterpillar Pencil Toppers

I don’t know about your classrooms, but in my classroom the last few weeks of school are filled with fun Spring and end of the year activities. My
report cards are submitted, field trips are planned and being executed, and the end of year awards ceremony is coming up. I found the directions for these cute little pencil toppers on the Elmer’s Glue website under the Project Ideas tab. (This site has a ton of fantastic craft ideas! You should check it out!) The caterpillar pencil toppers were fun and relatively easy to do. I did a bunch of the prep ahead of time for the kids, so that craft time would run more smoothly and I set up my Educational
Assistant as the only person who was allowed to touch the hot glue gun! I would never trust my little ones to use a hot glue gun! I also told my students that we were using the ‘Elmer’s Xtreme White Glue’ I told them that this means that this type of glue holds better than regular white glue. And it also means that the glue gun is only going to used for the last part of the craft which is gluing the head of the caterpillar to the pencil, and the pipe cleaner antenna to the caterpillar’s head. This worked relatively well, and the glue gun was only used for the last steps. And the odd fix here and there (of course). 

What you need: 
-Coloured foam sheets
-White glue
-Goggly eyes 
-Pipe cleaners
-Pencils 
-Pom poms 
-Scissors
-A hole punch 

Directions: 
1. Cut out a piece of foam 1 inch wide by 6 inches long and then fold the length of foam accordion style 6 times, so that folds are 1 inch apart. 
2. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole in each of the 6 parts of the foam. 

3. Take a pom pom (for the caterpillar’s head) and glue it to one end of the foam length. 

4. Bend the pipe cleaner into a cute antenna  shape. 

5. Use Elmer’s white glue to attach 2 goggly eyes and a small pom pom nose.

6. Feed your foam caterpillar’s body through the pencil, so that the whole length is secured on the pencil and pushed up near the pencil eraser. 

7. Have an adult use a hot glue gun to help students attach their antenna to the top of their caterpillar’s head and also the back of the head of the caterpillar to the pencil. (The caterpillar’s head is quite heavy and a little floppy. It is best if you secure the head with the hot glue gun). 



My students had a blast using their creativity and creating these cute little creatures, and in my opinion they turned out really well! As mentioned before, I did do some prep including cutting out all of the foam pieces, folding the foam lengths, and using a hole punch to punch all of the holes. I then set up all of the crafting supplies on a large table and set up the glue gun at a different table. As students completed their pencil toppers they met my fabulous Educational Assistant for the finish up with the hot glue gun! 



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Magazine Finish the Drawing Art

I know this art activity has been blogged about a lot, but my students did such a great job with their art I wanted to brag! This activity is super easy, all you need is paper, pencil crayons, and old magazines. Students first go through the magazines and
choose photographs that they want to cut in half and draw the other half first with pencil and then colouring with pencil crayons. Most of my students chose pictures of animals, but a few chose landscapes. This activity would be perfect for a Teacher on Call or as a spring art
activity. It might also be a good activity to pair with a symmetry unit and have your students focus on finding photographs in their magazines that have symmetry



If you like this activity and are looking for other art activities make sure to check out my Elements of Art Unit! This unit includes posters, task cards, and activities for each of the 7 elements of art. 

Exploring Your Natural Environment At the End of the School Year

This year my class is finishing off the school year with our Exploring Our Natural Environment Unit. So far the unit has been very successful! I have at least one student everyday ask me if we are going to go outside to learn today! I am very lucky that my school is really close to a forested area and it is a very short walk to the beach, so I have taken full advantage of the community's natural surroundings and all of the learning that can come from this diverse environment. 


Everyone in my class has choose their inquiry project topic and has completed their inquiry project presentation pitches and are well on their way with their research. During their project pitches students presented their project ideas to the class and got valuable feedback from their peers. 

Before choosing our inquiry project topics, we first explored our natural surroundings with an outdoor scavenger hunt! 
The outdoor scavenger hunt ended up taking my class two days to complete, and my class loved it! They had a blast! My students worked in partners, and they took turns writing down the answers to the questions on the task cards on a their shared clipboard interactive notebook templates. Which can be found in my Exploring Our Local Environment Unit. 

My students were all actively engaged and were excited to share and compare their findings from
their hunt with their classmates. After our scavenger hunt, we then went back outdoors and narrowed in on one nature item to complete our ‘A Close Up Of…” magnifying glass activity. Examples of items that my students chose for this activity include: a pine cone, a blade of grass, a slug, a ladybug, a twig, and other items from our natural envirnment. 

In addition to working on our individual inquiry projects students also completed a variety of other graphic organizers and interactive notebook
templates that can be found in my Exploring Your Natural Environment Unit. Students completed a cute foldable where they listed living things that live near their community and also  completed a food chain for our natural surroundings.  My Students have enjoyed learning about our natural surroundings, getting outdoors to learn, and also choosing their own inquiry questions and getting to research a topic that they care about! My students choose great questions such as: How does the ocean keep itself clean? Why are owls nocturnal? Why do geese migrate and where do they go? Why do wolves live in packs? My students have shown passion towards their questions, and their projects are really coming along! I couldn't have asked for a better way to wrap up the end of the school year, and all of the templates, pacing calendars, self and teacher assessment pages that you and your students will need are all included in this fabulous unit!

Monday, May 8, 2017

TPT's Annual Teacher Appreciation Sale!


Teachers Pay Teachers and all of the teacher authors on TPT appreciate all of you teachers! And we would like to show our appreciation for all of the hard work that you teachers do! This year's site wide Teacher Appreciation Sale will be held on Tuesday May 9th - Wednesday May 10th. My store will be 20% off, and if you use the code THANKYOU17 to receive an additional 10% off, courtesy of TPT! 



Additionally, I am having a giveaway! To enter all you need to do is hop on over to The Third Grade Zoo's Facebook Page and tell me what resource from my TPT Store that you would love to win and you will be entered to win that resource and a $10 TPT Gift Card! 

Good Luck Everyone! 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Teaching about the Beach

One of my favourite units to teach is my Beach Unit which would of course include a field trip to one of our local beaches. Living here on the west coast we are lucky enough to be surrounding by beautiful rocky and sandy beaches which makes learning about the beach so much fun!  


My Beach Unit consists of 56 pages of games, activities, and worksheets which can be used in the classroom leading up to your beach trip and I have also included activities such as task cards which will keep your class busy while at the beach and a 5 senses booklet which will challenge your students to use their senses while at the beach.


All beach photos were taken in and around Tofino British Columbia.  


This beach unit also includes a variety of activities that will help your students gain a greater understanding a appreciation of the environment and the creatures that we share our beaches with. 

Included is a sea creatures matching game where students get to play a game similar to memory, where they take turns flipping over cards with the goal of matching the sea creature with the correct adaptation.This fun game can be played in pairs or as a solo "what do I do when I'm done?" activity.  


Classroom scavengers hunts are also always a fun way to learn new facts. My beach unit includes a fun set of posters each with a beach theme for you to hang around the room. Students can then explore the posters and find the answers to the questions on their question and answer fact foldable. Students can also use the scavenger hunt posters or do their own mini research projects to find 5 facts about a sea creature of their choosing to write about on their fact foldable. 


Check out this and other  fabulous resources in my TPT store!