Don’t Eat Pete Board – St. Patrick’s Day

I’m pretty fond of this new Don’t Eat Pete board (updating my collection here!). I think it turned out nicely, so I wanted to share with you! Perfect for any St. Patrick’s Day party, this would work perfect with Lucky Charm cereal or rainbow Skittles for the treats!

Click here to download the PDF: Dont Eat Pete Board – St Patricks Day

Here’s how to play Don’t Eat Pete:

3 – 10 kids sit around the game board. The adult or moderator puts a small treat (M & M, chocolate chip, Cheerio, or whatever) on each number. The “guesser” leaves the area so they can’t see or hear what’s going on. Another person points to a number to choose “Pete”. The “guesser” comes back and starts taking the M & M’s (or whatever) off the board and gets to eat them. When the guesser touches “Pete”, everyone yells, “Don’t Eat Pete!!” and the guesser’s turn is over. The guesser eats the last one he got called out on to keep it sanitary!

Click here to see my other Don’t Eat Pete posts!

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Don’t Eat Pete – Most-Requested Kid Game in My Classroom!

This game has been a classic in my classroom, so it’s worth talking about again.  I have used Don’t Eat Pete for holiday parties for years.  I change the “game board” to fit the holiday with stickers or cutouts.  It takes about 5 minutes to make.  Get a colored piece of paper.  Mentally divide the paper in 9 squares – 3 rows and 3 columns.  Put a sticker or cutout in each “square”.  Number the stickers or cutouts 1 to 9.  Laminate it if you want it to last, or put it in a sheet protector.  Now you are ready to play.  3 – 10 kids sit around the game board.  The adult or moderator puts an M & M, chocolate chip, Cheerio, or whatever on each sticker. the “guesser” leaves the area.  Another person points to a number.  That number is “Pete”.  The “guesser” comes back and starts taking the M & M’s (or Cheerios, or whatever) off the board and gets to eat them.  When the guesser touches “Pete”, everyone yells, “Don’t Eat Pete” and the guesser’s turn is over.  The guesser eats the last one he got called out on to keep it sanitary!  My kids request this activity every party! My own kids at home have loved this too!
Here’s a photo of the Valentine’s Day one I have. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be crazy fancy or “Pinterest worthy” to be super fun.
Maybe I’ll try and make you some printable Don’t Eat Pete boards…

Paper Plate Heart Wreath Written Directions for Centers

The “paper plate wreath” as an art project has been around for decades. I found these directions in my mom’s teaching files from when she taught second grade thirty years ago (even before the internet and Pinterest!)  These easy to follow directions can be posted at a center when kids are done with work as incentive. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click here to download the PDF:  Paper Plate Heart Wreath – written directions for centers

I Have A Dream (Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity)

I love Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of peace. It is a huge overwhelming goal, but when each of us makes an effort to be kinder, we will see results. Use this page as a springboard to start a class discussion about making the world a better place in the areas we each have influence.

This one is a half sheet for younger grades. Click here to download: I Have a Dream – Half Sheet

This one is a full sheet for upper grades and middle school. We don’t often get to discuss behavior on social media (and many youth don’t get this discussion at home), so take this opportunity! Click here to download: I Have a Dream – Full Sheet

 

I’ve also done some anti-bullying activities! Click here to see my post about an awesome one!

 

What to Give Teachers for Christmas

I was recently approached by a friend (who’s got lots of kids in school and her husband is currently deployed, so she’s flying solo right now) who asked me what teachers really want from their students for Christmas. As we talked, we identified what resources people might or might not have (time, energy, money, creativity) that would factor into what gift they would give a teacher for Christmas. Our discussion seemed to end on the idea that teachers are people too so they don’t necessarily need a huge “Teachers Are the Best” T-shirt or a giant package of stickers.

I then asked my Facebook readership (mostly teachers) about this and they confirmed what I had discussed with my friend.  This main theme emerged from teachers: Treat us like regular people rather than teachers! (So, skip the “world’s best teacher” mug. She’s probably got a few of them already.)

I’ve combined those two ideas (varying resources from gift-givers and teachers being treated like regular people) and I’ve come up with some gift-giving advice for you:

 

If the resource you have is MONEY…

Give gift cards! Teachers love going out to eat, seeing a movie, adding to their personal music/media collection or splurging on something fun at the store. If you still want to give something teaching-related, my readers suggested a gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers. Unfortunately, gift cards don’t come on sale very often, so you probably won’t get a deal on them. But you will probably check it off your list the fastest by grabbing a gift card while you’re at the grocery store.

 

If the resource you have is TIME…

Spend time in your teacher’s classroom! I think I would die of joy if parents in my class had “gifted” me 2 hours of help in my classroom. Before, during, after school, it wouldn’t matter. I would ask them to help me grade/record papers, redo a bulletin board, sort supplies or books, or about a million other things. I think this could also apply to school things the teacher would otherwise have to bring home. For example, you could volunteer to take home some laminated things, cut them out for the teacher and then send them back to school with your student. Heck, one teacher friend of mine had a parent take home her electric pencil sharpener and the parent sharpened a hundred pencils for her at home! Unconventional gift, I know, but it saved my teacher friend so much time and sanity! This kind of gift might not cost much (maybe the cost of a babysitter?), but it will speak volumes about your appreciation!

 

If you want to save your teacher some time…

Give the teacher a prepaid car wash. You probably know how good it feels to have a clean car. And you probably also know the nagging feeling that you should just wash and vacuum out your dang car yourself, but you don’t have time (or energy)! Well, be the teacher’s hero and grab him a certificate for a car wash. It’s probably something they’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Practical, simple and something they can actually use!!

 

If you’ve got a bunch of teachers on your list…

Give baked goods! Do I really need to say more? I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like a delicious goodie! Homemade or store-bought, it’ll be delicious. Just make sure you know if the teacher has any food allergies! (And don’t worry about making your presentation “Pinterest-worthy”. Most teachers don’t have time to make everything super fancy, so they don’t expect others to either.)

 

If you’re low on time and money…

Write a heartfelt note. Yes, you the parent. Kids give teacher notes all the time, but parents rarely do. Write down a note of appreciation telling them what you admire and appreciate about them as an individual and as a teacher. Consider telling them how your child has grown since they’ve been in the teacher’s classroom. Have your child draw a picture or make their own card to go with it.

 

Merry Christmas and happy gifting!!

Halloween Stresses Teachers Out!

Accurate.

I couldn’t find who this picture belongs to, so if it’s yours, please email me so I can credit you! (square head teachers at gmail dot com)

“Snapshot of Fall Break” Graphic Organizer

Thank heavens for fall break! It can’t come soon enough and it never lasts long enough! At least you can have an easy way for everyone to share their fall break adventures with this easy printable! Have your students write or draw something to answer each prompt.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Fall Break

 

“Snapshot of Summer” Back to School Writing Activity

As an elementary school kid, I always looked forward to telling my classmates all the cool things I did during the summer. I also usually wanted to tell my teacher about my summer… and so did everyone else! Teachers can facilitate a mass “share your summer experience” activity with this simple (self explanatory!) page. Depending on your grade level, have your students draw or write about each of the 5 prompts.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Summer Break

Some students don’t have amazing vacation stories to tell, so I tried to include things that every kid can write/draw about (like “things I ate”) when I was creating this page.  Good luck on your first day!