The HappyEdugator

The HappyEdugator
People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

It's the End of the Year! Eight Tips to Keep Everyone Happy!

Yay! Most teachers are counting down the days until the end when they wave the yellow buses good-bye, and parents are looking forward to having the kids home for the summer. While teachers are winding down, parents are looking for fun ideas of things to do with the kiddos. So starting June 1, I will be posting all about fun kids crafts and games that families can do that won't break the budget. I am very excited about this, since I just love doing fun activities and I have lots to share! Make sure you follow me if you are looking for fun things to do with your kids this summer!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, teachers are just trying to hold it together and keep their sanity as the kids grow more and more restless. Many schools have field days during the last week, but due to some inclement weather in some parts of the country, a lot of kids are going to have to spend time indoors. Here are eight tips for teachers to try during the last week to help keep everyone happy. 

1. Try something new. Now is the time to try a new approach, a new idea, or a new lesson you have never tried before. Testing is over, evaluations are finished, and the kids need a change of pace. If you read about it, saw it on Pinterest, heard about it from a colleague...now is the perfect time to see if you and the kids enjoy it.
2. Go deeper. You have spent 7 - 8 months building a foundation for your students, but maybe you just didn't go as deep as you wanted to. Now is the time to delve in, build upon what they know, and go deeper into your topic. Perhaps use this time to make a global or communtiy connection that will help solidify their learning and give students an understanding of how their learning is important in the real world. Use technology to connect with other students and other places. 
3. Explore the next level. You can go deeper, but you can also go higher. Jump to the next level. Introduce terms and concepts that build upon what they have learned and build a bridge to what students will study next year in their next grade level. 
4. Listen and connect. This is a good time to really connect with those students that may have needed more personalized attention from you. Target a few students you feel you would like to have a better rapport with, and then ask good questions and really listen to them. It may make all the difference in their lives if they leave with a positive attitude about education. 
5. Put students in charge. Allow your students to take the lead and explore, discover, and examine what interests them. Using a differentiated menu plan is an excellent way to let their natural curiosity help them finish the year strong. 
6. Get physical. If the weather allows it, take them outside. Even if it is just to read quietly under a tree. The fresh air will do them good, and the walk outside will be a refreshing change. Play an outdoor game, take a nature walk, use sidewalk chalk for artwork, fly a kite you made in math class, or fly paper airplanes in science and measure how far they fly. Engage your students with your subject in a new and energizing way. If you can't go outside, get physical and take brain breaks in the classroom. 
7. Keep focus. It is tempting to get off course and just coast until the end of the year. Try to keep your focus on your learning goals, 
8. Take time to energize. Don't be afraid to take some time in the evening to relax. At this time of year, it is easy to just burn out. Enjoy your family and come in each day refreshed and ready to engage in a spectacular end to your year and finish strong. 

Here are some activities available in my TPT store that you might like:

Grade 4 and up - 


End of the Year I Am Poem: Make a Poet T - Shirt Craftivity


Grades 4 - 8


End of the Year Math Activity PowerPoint - Imaginary Vacation

Grades 7 - 12


End of the Year Superlative Questions: Most Likely To...

Grades 3 - 6


End of the Year - Summer Jumbled Words PowerPoint Game


Grades  4 - 8 ELA - 


End of the Year Assignment Menu

Not Grade Specific - 


Memory Book

Stop by my store for more fun activities...like a quick Summer wordsearch or a Memorial Day word scramble. Just print and go:


As always, friends, I also have a freebie to share with you...I have been doodling again. :)


Insects Clip Art

Best wishes for success always, and finish strong!

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator










Monday, May 4, 2015

Earth Day, Teacher Appreciation, Mother's Day!


Latin America - All About Latin America PowerPoint

I have been absent lately due to some medical issues, which has slowed me down. I haven't been up to posting anything for the last couple of weeks, so I missed Earth Day. I have lots of Earth Day resources available in my TPT store, but if you want some fun time fillers, try my Earth Day WordSearch or my Earth Day Crossword Puzzle. Kids enjoy doing them after Earth Day, too!

So, tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, and to celebrate, I usually show my students the Mexican portion of my Latin America - All About Latin America PowerPoint.

I have never spent much time on Cinco de Mayo, honestly, because I am always pressed for time teaching the standards! Aren't you? But it is a nice little break, and my students love it and get some great nonfiction reading time!

More importantly, to me, it's National Teacher Appreciation Day! Yay! Everyone should appreciate the awesome work that teachers do! My husband had to help me at school one year. When I had a procedure done on my foot, he wheeled me around in a wheelchair for a month (yes, I have a great man behind me). He told me that he was not aware of how little time I had to plan lessons...amazed at how much time I spent in meetings, conferences, etc. He couldn't believe I had no time to go to the bathroom, until he experienced it himself! Thank you teachers, for doing an often, these days anyway, thankless job.

TPT recognizes teachers, too, and so tomorrow they are having their end of the year Teacher Appreciation Sale, which runs May 5 -6. Just put in the coupon code ThankYou at checkout to take an additional 10% off your order. My store will be on sale all week, and 20% off during the sale, so stop by and get your wishlisted items or get a head start on Back to School.



On Sunday, we honor our mothers. One activity my students enjoyed was making Mother's Day cards using their mother's names and making acrostic poems using proverbs..or words of wisdom from generations of mothers! If you think this would be a fun activity, check out my Mother's Day Proverbs- What Did Your Mother Tell You? PowerPoint.  Works great for upper elementary and middle grades.

Mother's Day Proverbs - What Did Your Mother Tell You? PowerPoint

Here are some other fun ideas for things to make and do with your students for Mother's Day:

1. Make a Mother's Day Gift - a flower pot for mom with adjectives that describe her. Includes templates and a list of great adjetives to describe MOM. K - 3

Mother's Day Gift

2. Write a Mother's Day Verb poem! Best for Middle grades.

Mother's Day Verb Poem
3. Create a Mother's Day Coupon Book Not grade specific. 

Mother's Day Coupon Book

4. Sing some Mother's Day Songs.  Pre-K - 3

Mother's Day Songs


Mother's Day -  My Mom is the Best Craftivity

6. Use a Mother's Day Activity Pack  One of my older products, but still very useful and fun. Not grade specific

Mother's Day Activity Pack

7. Learn about the History of Mother's Day. Best for grades 4 - 8

Mother's Day History Fill-In

I hope you enjoy some of these Mother's Day activities, and remember to make this Mother's Day special for your mother, too.  And of course, as I always try to have in each post,


Mother's Day Free

Best wishes for success always! Have a great week! -~ Deborah