Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Planning for all Things Christmas!

Christmas is almost here!

Oh how the weeks have crept up. One minute it's September and the next we are planing all things Christmas! 

I have to say that I love this time of year.  The anticipation of Christmas with family and friends, relaxing and chilling out is very exciting to me.  I love Christmas decorations, cards, wrapping paper oh and the food!  I love Christmas!

I've even started putting up decorations early this year because I wanted more time to enjoy them!  I think I'm organized but that last minute rush, always gets me!  How about you? 


It pays to be organized, so I gathered a few Christmas ideas and resources for your December in the classroom. 

Here is a mixed bag of crafts, resources and freebies to help you get organized and plan out all things Christmas. 

First off, I want to share some of my holiday Pinterest boards with you. 
You are on Pinterest, aren't you? 

You might like my Christmas Craft board



or our K-2 Holiday and Seasonal Ideas and Resources board or



our Christmas for the Classroom board.



Here are some downloads from my Teachers Pay Teachers store that will save you a bunch of time this Christmas.  

Christmas resources including loads of freebies from Clever Classrrom

I have over 30 Christmas themed resources in my store! Ah, did I say I love Christmas? 


All About My Christmas Craftivity and Printables

All About My Christmas Craftivity and Printables  fun printables for December for K-1

Christmas Coloring Pages plus 25 ways to use them December printables for Pre-K-2 grades

Christmas Coloring Pages plus 25 ways to use them December printables for Pre-K-2 grades

Christmas Printables for any Word List great or centers and daily five in December

Christmas Printables for any Word List great or centers and daily five in December

Christmas Book Bin Labels and Book Lists for Classroom Library

Christmas I can Make a Sentence Play Dough Mats, Vocab. Cards + Record Sheets

Christmas I can Make a Sentence Play Dough Mats, Vocab. Cards + Record Sheets

Christmas I can Make a Sentence Play Dough Mats, Vocab. Cards + Record Sheets


Christmas Vocabulary Pack a truck load of vocabulary resources for December centers

Christmas Handwriting Cards Center Activity Polka Dot Theme

I also love, love, love craft so mixing craft and Christmas is super exciting!

Here are some ideas that you could do with your students this year. 

Tin Foil Angels Christmas tree decorations craft for kids

Click on each image to see the blog post about it. 

A simple hand made Christmas decoration to place on the tree

Christmas group Hand Print tree on calico material


Here are some Christmas freebies that you might also like to download from Clever Classroom's Teachers Pay Teacher's store. 

This is my gift to you this Christmas!

Thanks for all of your support and interaction.

I hope my ideas and resources, posts and pins have helped you in some way this year.  

I am so grateful for everyone who has had something to do with Clever Classroom this year. 

From my family to yours, "Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a healthy and happy New Year".  

FREE Christmas book list with 540 book titles, this is a keeper, must download!

Free from Clever Classroom: Christmas Themed Days of the Week to decorate your classroom this December


Free Christmas card templates for kids this December

For even more resources, click the image below. 

Clever Classroom's Christmas resources 34 downloads, many freebies

Clever Classroom Home

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Do you Praise Intelligence or Effort?



How do you praise your students?  What language do you use to praise children?   What is your perspective when you praise?

Do you Praise Intelligence or Effort?


All praise is good right?  Really think about the way in which your praise students.

For me, I like to praise the children when they are fulfilling expectations, I also need to micro praise those children who need acknowledgement at very small steps of the process.  I have always praised students at different steps of a given process. Heck, I praise students all the time.  I would often say, "I like the way you......".   However, I do praise children for their intelligence as well.  I more often use it as a way to give them a feeling of achievement and worthiness so they have the pre-sets to move forward.   But is this counter-productive?   Is this actually doing more damage than I plan?  

After watching this video, I know it will change and also refine the way I will interact with students. 

Do you Praise Intelligence or Effort? Clever Classroom
How does this impact how you praise? 

Watch this video based on a study by Carol Dweck and her colleges and leave a comment below. 


After watching this video, I wanted to compile a set of prompts to help keep on track.   I hope they help you too!   I would like to build on these praise comments.  So be sure to include your own prompt in the comments on this post. 

Do you Praise Intelligence or Effort? Clever Classroom

So here are some ideas for some effort and process orientated praise that you could use. 


I noticed that you went back to....

You have really grown at ..... 

The steps you took must have really helped you...

I see that you have been trying so hard at ...

You are becoming more confident at ....

Go on you for taking on such a hard task ...

You are taking on harder tasks and that must make you feel confident. 

I like the way that you ....

You must have tried really hard at this. 

I see that you are giving that a go, great thinking.

You remembered to use the procedure for ....

It must feel good to follow those steps you have taken. 

What a brilliant way to approach the task. 

I noticed you are thinking through the steps we discussed. 

You were confident with the task and I know you will be with the next step. 

I am watching the way you're approaching this and I think your effort is outstanding. 



Please feel free to comment below, I would love to add some of your ideas too. 

Thanks for dropping by!


 Clever Classroom Home



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

8 Ideas to use with any Word List

Having resource ideas to use for any word list makes planning very easy.  
I have collected a bunch of my activities that you could use with any word list like sight words, spelling words, HFW, book, vocabulary, math, personal or interest lists. 

This approach will save you planning time and your students will enjoy the range of ways they can learn their words. 

8 Ideas to use with any word list
Clipart in header image above by Kari Bolt and Fonts by Kimberly Geswein Fonts

Here is a round-up of ideas and resources (free and for purchase) that you can use with any word list.

Click on any of the images to see more. 



I wanted to make something that was a little bit exciting and a little bit of revision.  My Christmas Printables for any Word List was born! 

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List


Click here to read more about this download. 

2. Interactive Tic-Tac-Toe Center for any Word List

Interactive Tic-Tac-Toe Center for any Word List

Laminate some colored pages and either write on them with a whiteboard marker or have children write two words.  Play it like tic-tac-toe but have students read the word as they place it down. 

Click here to read more. 

3. Bottle Cap Center Games for Any Word List Bundled

Bottle Cap Games Bundle for Centers TpT

A bundle of bottle cap games in one file that keeps on growing!
Our Bottle Cap Center Games for any Word List BUNDLE file has been one of our top sellers for over a year. 

Click here to read more. 

4. Non-Traditional Homework Ideas: a free download

Non Traditional Homework Ideas and a FREE Handout from Clever Classroom's blog

Non Traditional Homework Ideas and a FREE Handout from Clever Classroom's blog

I have always worked at schools where homework is compulsory and the school policy doesn't leave much space for anything else. Until school policy changes, let's shake things up a bit. 

If you're like me and also dislike planning for traditional homework, then you might find this post helpful!

This list (free) can be used with any word list that you are focusing on with your students. 

Click here to read more and download your freebie full of homework ideas. 

5. Printables for any Word List

Printables for any Word List Clever Classroom

I love the idea of having ready to go printables that will work for any list and that can be used in a number of ways.

This set of printables will come in handy for any kind of word list that you use; sight words, spelling words, vocabulary words, math words and more.

It caters for a range of learning styles as there are hands-on, math and arty ways to use the pages.  Not to mention it is perfect for word work and guided reading centers. 

Click here to read more. 


6. I Spy Sight Words Reading Activity with a FREEBIE

I Spy Sight Words Reading Activity with a FREEBIE Clever Classroom

I believe that the acquisition of reading skills and strategies can be strengthened by the notion that children should read anything and everything. 

I know from experience that a print rich environment is important for the emergent reader but providing them with a varied source of written language will set them up to achieve also.

I've developed a kind of scavenger hunt sight word activity using a variety of reading sources.

Click here to read more and download your freebie to go with this center idea. 




Bottle Cap Reading and Writing Centers x 5 for any word list

Bottle Cap Reading and Writing Centers x 5 for any word list - includes a black and white version.

There are 5 different ways to learn about your own custom word list.

Click here to read more about this download. 





8. Bottle Cap Box Word Centers x 5 {for any word list}




This resource a fun way for children to learn words that you are focusing on in your class. The five activities are idea for your word work centers.

Each language center has an instruction card and a choice of two record sheets, one for grade one (bigger boxes to write in) and one for grades two and three (smaller boxes and more of them).

Click here to read more.


Tip:  I always have teachers asking me how I collect bottle tops.  The quickest way to do this is to hold a classroom table competition.  You could also have staff, parents friends and family collect them too!


Resources seen in this post:




I hope these ideas and resources help you and your students learn and revise focus words.



Thanks for dropping by!








Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas Printables

It's almost Christmas which means it's time to organize all of your fun Christmas ideas. 

What will you be doing in your classroom this year? 

I am a sucker for art and craft Christmas projects (see links below). 

I always plan to implement a bunch of ideas and never have the time!  You should see my Christmas for the Classroom Pinterest board!

I know that over the years my students loved all things Christmas including worksheets.  Sometimes they come in handy when assessing, as a literacy center, or even a fast finisher's activity.  

I wanted to make something that was a little bit exciting and a little bit of revision.  My Christmas Printables for any Word List was born! 

Christmas Printables for any Word List

My Printables for any Word list is such a versatile resources that I knew I had to make one just for Christmas! 

Printables for any Word List

Printables for any Word List


So here's what I came up with!

Christmas Printables for any Word List


Christmas Printables for any Word List

Most pages are differentiated by adding the number of words you want the student to work with.

Use your printables for any word list you want your students to revise.

Christmas Printables for any Word List
 Using sight words and HFW with the Christmas Printables. 
Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

You could print pages back to back or two to a page.

Christmas Printables for any Word List

I have designed these worksheets for Kindergarten and first grade but they could be suitable for some grade two students who may be struggling or need the revision. 

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Use the printables for your word work centers, guided
reading groups, interventions, morning work, substitute
lessons, challenged second graders or fast finishers.

Compile pages as a booklet for your student to complete in the last weeks of school before Christmas. 
Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List


Christmas Printables for any Word List


Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

The download includes forty literacy and ten math printables. 

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Christmas Printables for any Word List

Just print and go!

Click the image to download the free preview file or even add it to your wishlist. 
Christmas Printables for any Word List


You might also like our:

Tin Foil Christmas Angels

A Handmade Gift to put on the Christmas Tree

Group Hand Print Christmas Tree

All About My Christmas Craftivity and Printables