Summer Reading- When Lightning Comes in a Jar

When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco

Love, love, love this story.  Of course, I could say that about every book by Patricia Polacco.  But this book reminds me of summers growing up in the Midwest.  The days were long and after a day of biking and swimming we waited for the sun to go down and we could catch lightning bugs!


I read this book to my third graders almost every year when we were learning where writers get their ideas.  It's a great example of drawing from our own memories.  After hearing the story my kids were always bursting with tales about their own families and their summer adventures.

Here's a writing and craft activity you might enjoy doing with your class the next time you read this wonderful book.



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May Linky- Wrap it Up!

It’s almost here . . . the end of the school year!  

 End of Year ideas and link up

I'm linking up with Hello Sunshine to share a few ideas you can use to wrap up your school year. Click on the picture to access the links.

The three books I chose, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. Amos & Boris by William Steig and Wish by Rosanne Thong,  have themes about memories, friendship and wishes. That makes them perfect for this time in the school year.  To go with each book I've created an activity you can do in your classroom. Click on this image to download the activity packet.

 End of Year Activities--Crockett's Classroom

You can find even more ideas to Wrap it Up in your classroom on the Hello Sunshine blog.
 Hello Sunshine May Linky


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What Works, Teacher Appreciation Linky


No one appreciates teachers more than other teachers.  We know what you do and why you do it!  I'm sharing ideas that I hope will make your day a little easier.  Read on to learn more.  
Change up your behavior or reward system once in a while. 
Kids get bored with the same thing every day.  You don't have to change your class rules or expectations. But, you can change the reward.  A quick an easy way is to spell out the letters for recess on the board.  When they earn all the letters the class gets an extra recess! 
Save your daily schedules/agendas so you'll have a record of what happened every day of the year!

 Editable Agenda---Crockett's Classroom

Right now you probably display the schedule for the day somewhere on a white board.  On the white board you can erase the daily lessons/activities/events every day and write in new ones.  The problem with this is the agenda is gone at the end of each day!  But I have a way to keep your daily schedule/agenda.  This way it will serve as a record of the lesson objectives, activities, lessons, assignments and other important class information.
Here’s how. . .
  • Using PowerPoint type out a basic daily agenda. I find it easier to make each item a separate text box.  That way when you type in the reading objective or assignment you're dealing with just that one small area on the agenda.
  • Once you have the basic layout, duplicate that slide 5 times, one for each day of the week.  (My school was on a 6 day rotation for special classes so I made 6 slides.)
  • You can download my free agenda and simply change it to meet your needs. (Click on the image to download.)
 Editable Agenda--Crockett's Classroom

  • The text boxes can have the times, subjects, lessons, page numbers, due dates, etc.  At the bottom I like to keep a record of who is absent that day and a spot for class reminders.

Now, you’re all set!  I like to have the agenda up on the big screen as students walk in.  That way they’ll see the schedule for the day.


As we go through the day I type in brief notes to summarize what we did.  I also type in any assignments or projects with their due dates.

Here's the unique part of doing your agenda in this way.  At the end of the day save it with the day's date.  That way you can go back to that day at anytime to see what happened! In my files I have an agenda folder for each month.  I save the files by date into that month's folder.  Now I have a record for the whole year.

You can also print out that one page, hole punch it and keep it in a binder.  When a students returns after being absent they can look through the binder and easily see what he/she missed.

You can also save the agendas in a folder on Google Docs that you share with parents.  This is a great way to keep parents up to date.
My third secret came from an idea I saw on Pinterest, Clutter Jail. 
     I used to do something similar in my classroom, but this was so much cuter!  When students bring little toys, nick-nacks, or other things that clutter up their desk and distract them from their work, put the object in a Clutter Jail.  You can set the rules for when the student can get the item back.  Some things only need to spend one day in jail, as a warning.  But repeat offenders may need to spend more time.  I even had a few things that need a parent visit to get out of jail!

 Clutter Jail
Click on the image to read the original blog post.



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PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
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You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.






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