Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Kids Activity: Monster Gloves

Today is a sick day.  My little one is home from school and even though she isn't feeling well she still wants to play.  One of her favorite YouTube channels is A for Adley and in a recent video the family made Monster Gloves.  So we made our own today.  

Perfect quick little craft and now she can play and relax.  Grace made her own mouths and I glued googly eyes where ever she wanted.  This is a great way to reuse old gloves.  These colorful googly eyes are $1.97 a package at Walmart.  

A for Adley Monster Hands Video

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Educational Resource: Learner Support Surveys

Feedback from your students is a very important piece in lesson planning.  Students who are not mastering the subject content need additional support and are not ready to move on to new material.  Formal and informal assessments help determine mastery, but it is important to communicate with each student to determine how they are feeling about what they are learning.  

I created three different learner support surveys to use when I was in the classroom teaching.  These surveys were very helpful!  I used them to determine who needed remediation on a concept before testing, creating study group partners, and to choose topics to focus on when conducting whole group reviews.

Surveys allowed me to collect individual information from each student in a timely manner.  I also received more information from the student than I would have by asking in person.  Especially from students who were shy, had social anxiety, or were still mastering the English language.  

Download a collection of Learner Support Surveys below!  The download includes a homework survey, test prep survey, and unit review survey.  Enjoy!

Teachers Pay Teachers

Friday, February 5, 2021

Educational Resource: African Folktales Lesson Plan

New Teacher Pay Teachers resource!!!  African Folktales is an engaging lesson plan for students with several activities including whole group folktale evaluation, individual / small group folktale evaluation, and creating / presenting a folktale.  Check out the sneak peaks below and then head over to TPT to get your copy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Black History Month Resource Round-up

Black history is an undeniable part of American history, it is definitely a highlight to delve a little deeper during Black History Month.  I scoured the internet searching for some of the best activities, books, videos, etc. so you don't have to.  Check out my recommendations below and pick your favorites!  


Living Color History! Black History Figure Coloring Pages

These are a fun and simple way to introduce students to African-Americans they may not have learned about.


Did you know there are some very well-known works of art crafted by little known Black Artists? Isn't it time to change that? These Black History Art Projects introduce students to less known famous black Americans.

Hidden Figures STEM and Coding Activities

If you decide to read the book Hidden Figures be sure to check out the activities here.

Mae Jemison’s Space Shuttle Black History Month Craft



Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Egg Cracking Activity
Today’s activity is the perfect conversation starter for discussing equality in our society — but in a fun, engaging way that is appropriate for preschoolers.

Rosa Parks lesson plan with free printable bus book

Use this lesson plan about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott to introduce your children to Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement in America. It includes discussion questions and a free printable you can use to create a Rosa Parks Bus Book.

20 Anti-racism activities for kids


(see link below)


(See link below)

Virtual Tour 

(See link below)

Black History Book Recommendations

Black history is an undeniable part of American history, it is definitely a highlight to delve a little deeper during Black History Month.  I selected a few books for the month.

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

Have you heard of the story of Henry Box Brown?  I have a lesson plan (somewhere) based on his story.  If you have older children they may enjoy learning about how he was shipped to freedom in a box.  

This book reminded me of that story and it introduces the struggles of slavery in a way young ones can understand.  

Amazon Description
A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.

Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.

One man's passion for knowledge leads to a change that impacts so many.  Not only do your little ones get to learn about Arturo Schomburg and his love for books and knowledge, it also shows how one person can start something small and end up impacting the world.

Amazon Description
Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

Astronauts usually get all the fame when it comes to space, but the real work is done by those behind the scenes.  If your littles love space and science definitely give this book a chance.  

Amazon Description

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers! 

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good.

They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as "colored computers," and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

"Finally, the extraordinary lives of four African American women who helped NASA put the first men in space is available for picture book readers," proclaims Brightly in their article "18 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018." "Will inspire girls and boys alike to love math, believe in themselves, and reach for the stars.

Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids

If you are interested in science, you will definitely find an inspiring story.

Amazon Description
Learn about amazing Black women in science―15 fascinating biographies for kids 9 to 12

Throughout history, Black women have blazed trails across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Black Women in Science brings something special to black history books for kids, celebrating incredible Black women in STEM who have used their brains, bravery, and ambition to beat the odds.

Black Women in Science stands out amongst other Black history books for kids―featuring 15 powerful stories of fearless female scientists that advanced their STEM fields and fought to build a legacy. Through the triumphs of these amazing women, you’ll find remarkable role models.

Black Women in Science goes where Black history books for kids have never gone before, including:

  • Above and beyond―Soar over adversity with Mae Jemison, Annie Easley, and Bessie Coleman.
  • Part of the solution―Discover the power of mathematics with Katherine Johnson and Gladys West.
  • The doctor is in―Explore a life of healing with Mamie Phipps Clark, Jane Cooke Wright, and many more.

Find the inspiration to blaze your own trail in Black Women in Science―maybe your adventure will be the next chapter in Black history books for kids.

Who knew the first female firefighter was also black!  OK maybe you did, but I didn't.  Honestly, I sometimes forget about how a profession was all male and there was a first female for each one.  
Amazon Description
This legendary tale introduces young readers to Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City's Fire Company 11, who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. One winter day in 1818, when many of the firefighting volunteers are sick with influenza and a small wooden house is ablaze, Molly jumps into action and helps stop the blaze, proudly earning the nickname Volunteer Number 11. Relying on historic records and pictures and working closely with firefighting experts, Dianne Ochiltree and artist Kathleen Kemly not only bring this spunky and little-known heroine to life but also show how fires were fought in early America.

Amazon Description



This beautifully illustrated New York Times bestseller introduces readers of all ages to 40 women who changed the world.

An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come.

Baby Young, Gifted, and Black: With a Mirror!

How adorable is this baby book and it even has a mirror.  
Amazon Description
Introduce your baby to Black excellence with this lyrical board-book edition of Young, Gifted and Black. Includes a mirror at the back so young dreamers can see themselves next to their heroes.

Meet icons of color from past and present in this baby board book celebration of inspirational achievement. A collection of positive, yet simple, affirmations to encourage the next generation. Highlighting the talent of Black leaders and changemakers from around the world, young dreamers will develop confidence, self-assurance, and self-belief.
Created in the spirit of Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers like Zadie Smith and athletes like Serena Williams. Jamia Wilson has carefully curated this range of Black icons and the book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colorful and celebratory illustrations.
All children deserve to see themselves represented positively in the books they read.

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X

When I was teaching middle school, my students were really interested in learning about Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Unit.  If I were adapting the unit for younger children this book would be excellent to include.  Actually middle schoolers would still probably enjoy a read aloud in class.  
Amazon Description
Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice.

Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance.

Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

Virtual Tour: National Museum of African American History & Culture

Museums are really moving towards offering more and more content online.  Which is a wonderful resource that many do not realize is available.  The National Museum of African American History & Culture's (NMAAHC) website is a wealth of information and you would be hard pressed not to find something interesting to learn more about.  

Black history has been sadly neglected in education in the past and educators frequently look outside the textbook for resources.  The most effective way to teach black history is to incorporate it throughout the year corresponding with your curriculum.  February is Black History month and in celebration,  NMAAHC is offering a few special events and programs in addition to their regular resources.  

You can check that out here.  --> Celebrating Black History Month

Virtual visitors can explore the museums collections and view each item in the collection as well as all the details describing the piece.  To learn even more about these collections visit the Collection Stories section of the site.  Staff share their own interpretations of the collection as well the perspectives of others.  These collection stories are fascinating and draw virtual visitors into the stories of the people behind the item.  Additional digital resources are available as well in the Digital Resource guide including exhibits, publications, and videos. 

NMAAHC offers many virtual events each month for all ages and many of them are FREE.  To view the upcoming events and reserve your spot visit Upcoming Events.

If you are looking for resources specifically geared towards educating children check out the extensive educators section.  Resources include free virtual learning labs, an interactive art program, and STEM events.  

There is also a dedicated section devoted to Talking About Race with children.  Including explanations of why it is important and why your children will benefit from the conversations as well as resources for doing so.  These resources include videos, reading materials, and lesson plans.

The NMAAHC website is a must visit and someday I hope to be able to visit the museum in person.  What resource are you most interested in learning more about?