Four Ways to Use Sheet Protectors in the Classroom

One of the supplies I always have on hand in the classroom is sheet protectors. They are durable, affordable, versatile, and easy to use which is a win-win situation in my book. Here are four ways I have used them in my classroom.

Sheet protectors are the perfect way to provide repeated practice for students while keeping your copy numbers low. If you use cardstock paper or place papers back-to-back, the sheet protector becomes more durable. I rarely have to replace them during the school year! I often put math games and spelling worksheets inside.

 Sheet protectors are an easy way to put posters on display that can easily be changed out all year long. Once they are attached to a bulletin board or wall, you can insert your classroom goals, student art work, inspirational quotes, reading skills for a focus wall, and more! You can even insert your classroom store poster where the date can be changed on a regular basis.

When I started teaching in the primary grades, I began collecting work samples throughout the year to be placed in a portfolio. This was a binder filled with student work that demonstrated growth throughout the school year along with photos to remember special events and activities. Sheet protectors were the easiest way to add student photos, bulky projects, and art pieces to the binder without punching holes through them.

I have been fortunate to work in a school where whiteboards are provided for every student to use. If you don't have whiteboards and need an inexpensive way to make a class set quickly, you should definitely look into sheet protectors. By inserting cardstock paper, you can instantly create a 2-sided work space for students. These are also smaller and quieter than whiteboards!

You can find sheet protectors in just about any store that sells school or office supplies. I've tried several brands, but I keep coming back for these ones.
Avery Premium Heavyweight Sheet Protectors

What are your favorite ways to use sheet protectors in the classroom?

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The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger

If you're looking for an entertaining book to read to your students before Thanksgiving, you need to check out The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger! This story focuses on three turkeys who hear that Farmer Joe is looking for a special Thanksgiving turkey. The turkeys each want to prove that they should be picked, so they organize a series of contests and games to pick the winner. Will it be a happy Thanksgiving for everyone?

This was always a favorite November read aloud in my second grade classroom and today I want to share a few activities that go along with the book.

Before reading, I like to introduce some vocabulary words my students will hear. Then we dive right into the story. As we come across a vocabulary word, we use the context clues and discuss the meaning of the words.
Later in the week I check for understanding with a vocabulary matching activity.

After our first read of the story, we discuss the story elements and record them on a graphic organizer. Then we usually glue these pages into our reading response journals which become a yearlong record of our reading activities.

After a second read, we dive a bit deeper into comprehension and use questions to guide our understanding of the text. Some of the questions are text-based and some are more open-ended and allow for more classroom discussions. Sometimes I will have students answer the questions in written form if we have time.

To incorporate writing and art with the text, I like to do a directed drawing of a turkey and then let them choose a written response. I have included several writing prompt cards, but students could also use one of the comprehension questions, too.

You can find all of the activities mentioned above and more in this book companion

P.S. - If you don't have a copy of the book, you might enjoy this video:

Happy Reading!

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Creepy Carrots Retelling Activity

If you're planning to read Creepy Carrots to your students this year, you'll want to check out this activity for retelling the story!

For this activity, you will need a copy of the book Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. If you aren't familiar with the story, here's the scoop:
Jasper Rabbit loves carrots. And he can take the fattest, crispiest carrots from the Crackenhopper Field anytime he wants. That is, until they start following him home...

After printing out all of the templates on the suggested colors, have your students cut out the pieces they will need.

Glue the eyes above the mouth and the stem behind the top of the carrot. There are three options for the eyes to give the carrots different expressions. If your students want to add more details, they can cut out black rectangles for eyebrows and white squares for teeth.

Now it's time to make a little garden pocket for your carrots. Take a piece of brown construction paper or cardstock and fold it in half hamburger style. Staple (or tape) the sides so the opening is at the top. Glue the Creepy Carrots title onto the front of the pocket. Insert the carrots into the pocket so the stems are sticking out the top. 

After reading the story and practicing the retell orally several times, students are ready to put their retell in writing. As students pull out each carrot, they can write each part of the retell on the back of the carrot. Then students can partner up and practice retelling the story using their carrot craft!

You will also find templates for retelling using a Beginning-Middle-End format as well as graphic organizers that are perfect for practicing the retell whole group before beginning the craft.

You can find all of these resources in this FREE mini book companion.

If you liked this craft, you might enjoy these picture book packs.

Happy Reading!
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