Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday Steal: 50% OFF Black History Month Biographies

Saturdays are wonderful in my book - family time, big breakfasts, long walks, reading for fun. etc. How do you normally spend your Saturdays?

And Saturdays have gotten a little sweeter since my friend Linsday from "Primary Polka Dots" started hosting a fun "Saturday Steal" event. Each Saturday a group of sellers choose a product and put it on sale for one day only.

Here's my special Saturday Steal deal for today:

To simplify your lesson planning, I've got a FUN & ENGAGING packet chocked-full of print-and-go
teacher-friendly activities for your upper elementary students:
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.
When studying specific people during Black History Month,
I always shared with my students the rationale behind the people that I chose. I wanted them to study people of character.
Those who lived their lives with purpose.
Those who stood up for what was right. 

This "Heart for Justice" packet stemmed from my desire to honor those who championed equal rights and helped to better the world around them. Teach your students about what JUSTICE means - and how much some were willing to sacrifice to make justice a reality.

This mega packet is everything you need to teach your students during Black History Month (February) - simply print and go! 
Full answer keys and classroom samples are included.

This packet focuses on 5 note-worthy African Americans:
Harriet Tubman
Booker T. Washington
Rosa Parks
Jackie Robinson
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The packet includes five activities for your study of each person:
*One-page biography
*Note-taking Graphic Organizer
*Interactive Notebook Foldables
*Compare & Contrast Writing Prompt, Graphic Organizer, and Essay Paper
*“They Had a Heart for Justice” Craftivity/Bulletin Board Display

Here's a photo preview of all that's included:
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.
If you're interested in the unit, but want to check it out before you purchase, you can download my FREE SAMPLER - it includes all of the activities in the packet that pertain to Harriet Tubman, an African American who demonstrated her HEART for JUSTICE:
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.If you download this free sampler, please leave feedback :)
And if you like what you see, you can purchase the full unit
which includes all of the activities for four other note-worthy African Americans:

Search #saturdaysteal on Instagram for more awesome deals and steals! :)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentine's Day PINspiration

Happy Friday, friends!
Today I'm linking up with Angela from "Southern Fried Teachin'" to share some of my favorite Pinterest finds this week. 
I decided to focus on Valentine's Day to help you prep for this upcoming fun and festive holiday!
Looking for some ideas for Valentine's Day? This blog post is chocked full of ideas: crafts, recipes, decor, gift ideas, and more! Get inspired to have a fun and festive Valentine's Day. Blog post by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey

Bible-themed Valentines:
Looking for a great way to share the love of Jesus this Valentine's Day? These FREE Valentine Scripture printables are perfect! They are simple, witty, and use easy-to-find items! Sounds like a win-win-win to me! Perfect for teachers to give to their students or kids to pass out to their friends.
Cupid Floats
Your kiddos will LOVE drinking these special "Cupid Floats" on Valentine's Day
Heart-Shaped Animal Crafts
This pin has tons of cute ideas for animals you can create - out of hearts! Fun and festive, this is a cute activity for school or home - or both! :)
Crayon Wax Pressed Hearts
Ok.
This is so cool.
What a fun way to use up old crayon bits - shave the broken pieces and place them between two pieces of wax paper. Then, using an iron, melt the crayon pieces into one large sheet. Once the crayon sheet is dry, you can trace and cut out different size hearts. How cool does it look with the light coming through the window?
Valentine - You Float my Boat
Choosing something to give my husband is always so tough. I love this idea, though - and plan to make the basket for my husband this year. We can enjoy root beer floats (one of his favorites!) and watch an action flick - now that's true love! :)

Looking for more Valentine's Day pins?
Check out my "Joy in Valentine's Day" Pinterest board:
Find "Joy in the Journey" of celebrating Valentine's Day! This board is chocked-full of free ideas, activity suggestions, crafts, recipes, home decor, etc. to help you celebrate Valentine's Day.

And while you're there, I'd love for you to follow me on Pinterest:

 I'm always on the lookout for Valentine's Day ideas - from crafts to food to decor, etc.! If you've found a Valentine's Day themed pin recently, I'd love to see it! Leave the URL in the comments.

Also, you can pop by Angela's Blog - "Southern Fried Teachin'" 
for more PINspiration! :) 
Southern Fried Teachin'

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Love is - Bible-Based Valentine's Day Activities

What is love? 
In today's society, it is very hard for students to define as it has too often been de-valued on television, in movies, and on the internet. The true characteristics of love need to be revisited and what better time to do it than Valentine's Day?
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
In our classroom, we discussed the word love and made an anchor chart, differentiating what the world says it is vs. what we know true love to be. And by true love, we clarified that we didn't necessarily mean mushy-gushy feelings (insert squeals and groans here), but pure love, love that lasts, God's love.
We completed these fun interactive notebook foldables to help us remember what we've learned: 
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey. 
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
We also focused on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a as our weekly memory verse.
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
We read this cute kid-friendly book about what it means to love someone:
We watched this video every day for a week to help us remember the verse

The next day, I got the kiddos up and moving around as we put our knowledge to the test!
I taped these cards all over the classroom and sent the students hunting. They each had a tracking sheet where they recorded each card under the correct column: Love IS or Love IS NOT
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
Then we brainstormed ways that we could share this precious ending love of God with others. Each student got a template to fill in and color.
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
They look awesome as a bulletin board in the hallway!

You can find all of these FUN & ENGAGING activities in this kid-tested, teacher-approved print-and-go packet.
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
Whether you're using this at home with your kids, in a Sunday School classroom, or in a Christian school setting - you'll be planting God's truth in the heart of young people. In a society that says "love is anything you want it to be" we need parents and teachers who will stand up for what God says love is, as defined in the Bible.

Here's a preview of everything that's included in the packet:
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
Looking for more Christian activities? 
Click the tab at the top of my blog for more God-honoring products.
Looking for FUN & ENGAGING Bible products for your home, Sunday School, or Christian school classroom? Check out these student-tested, teacher-approved packets! created by Jessica Lawler.

Also, I'd love for you to follow me on Pinterest - I have a whole board dedicated to quality Christian resources for the home or school classroom.

If you've found this blog post to be helpful, please pin this image on Pinterest:
Valentine’s Day – or the Day of Love – is coming up! Today’s culture tells students that love is a temporary feeling that changes with our mood. It’s often based on behavior or how it makes us feel. But that’s not how God describes love. Engage your students with a discussion of what biblical love looks like. Blog post full of ideas, print-and-go activities, videos, and book suggestions. Resources created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey.
Do you have any other ideas for teaching students about LOVE as God sees it? I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Black History Month Biographies {for Upper Elementary}

Black History Month {February} is right around the corner!
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.
To get you ready and to simplify your lesson planning, I've got a FUN & ENGAGING packet chocked-full of print-and-go
teacher-friendly activities for your upper elementary students:
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.
When studying specific people during Black History Month,
I always shared with my students the rationale behind the people that I chose. I wanted them to study people of character.
Those who lived their lives with purpose.
Those who stood up for what was right. 

This "Heart for Justice" packet stemmed from my desire to honor those who championed equal rights and helped to better the world around them. Teach your students about what JUSTICE means - and how much some were willing to sacrifice to make justice a reality.

This mega packet is everything you need to teach your students during Black History Month (February) - simply print and go! 
Full answer keys and classroom samples are included.

This packet focuses on 5 note-worthy African Americans:
Harriet Tubman
Booker T. Washington
Rosa Parks
Jackie Robinson
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The packet includes five activities for your study of each person:
*One-page biography
*Note-taking Graphic Organizer
*Interactive Notebook Foldables
*Compare & Contrast Writing Prompt, Graphic Organizer, and Essay Paper
*“They Had a Heart for Justice” Craftivity/Bulletin Board Display

Here's a photo preview of all that's included:
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.
If you're interested in the unit, but want to check it out before you purchase, you can download my FREE SAMPLER - it includes all of the activities in the packet that pertain to Harriet Tubman, an African American who demonstrated her HEART for JUSTICE:
Blog post filled with engaging and interactive Black History Month activities. Challenge your upper elem. students as they read 5 biographies of African Americans who stood up for justice. Packet includes Black History reading comprehension, graphic organizers, and creativity bulletin board display. Full answer keys are included. Resource created by Jessica Lawler.
If you download this free sampler, please leave feedback :)

And if you like what you see, you can purchase the full unit
which includes all of the activities for four other note-worthy African Americans:


If you're looking for more resources specifically about Dr. Martin Luther King, you can check out my 55-page, print-and-go MLK MEGA Packet.

Do you have a favorite activity that you use in your classroom during Black History Month? Or what about a children's book that captures the heart of an African American champion? I'd love to hear about it - please share in the comments section below.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Birthday Celebration GIVEAWAY!

Big news! 
Today's my birthday!
Woohoo!

I'm off for a fun-filled day of 2 different play dates mommy time/adult conversation and then I'll be celebrating with my best guys at Outback tonight! Bring on the cheese fries! :)

While I'm celebrating with my in-person buds, I wanted to do something special for you, my blogosphere buds!

So I've planned a little GIVEAWAY for you!
To thank you all for your continued support of my blog and my TPT store, as well as your sweet comments and e-mails, I'd love to give one special someone $27 to spend in my TPT store!

You can peruse my store and start planning what you'll spend $27 on by clicking here:

For your chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Celebrate Compliment Day by Teaching Your Child the Value of Kind Words


Mark Twain once said, 
“I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

As parents and teachers, we have the power to speak life into those around us.  
Whose life will you brighten with a compliment today?
National Compliment Day is celebrated every year on January 24th.  On that day, people around the country intentionally go out of their way to compliment their family members, friends, classmates, coworkers, etc. It’s amazing how a genuine compliment can encourage and uplift someone. 
I challenge you to compliment five people on January 24th – and then enjoy the sparkle in their eye and the extra bounce in their step. You have the power to make someone’s day!
Not sure where to start? Here are 3 activities you can use in your home or classroom to celebrate National Compliment Day.

1) Write Notes

“A handwritten note takes time but shows that they’re worth the effort.” ~Julia Joy
1
Give your students the opportunity to write notes of appreciation to someone. It’s a worthwhile exercise, as it will ask the children to intentionally focus on someone’s strengths and help to practice the art of giving a genuine compliment.          
You can download these FREE print-and-go note templates from my Educents store.

2) Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud is a wonderful book that teaches kids the importance of spreading kindness through both words and actions.
2
Here’s the synopsis: Everyone in the world has an imaginary bucket that they carry around. All day long people are either filing it or dipping into it with their words and actions. When you “fill” someone’s bucket (by doing or saying something kind and generous), then your bucket gets filled too. However, when you “dip” into someone’s bucket (by hurting their feelings, excluding them, hurting them physically, etc.) then you empty your bucket as well.
This book is written for a younger audience, but even my 5th graders loved it. They understood the concept and know that I hold them responsible for their words and actions.
buckets
We created a bulletin board with our “buckets” on it and intentionally filled one another’s buckets with “water” (aka blue beads) when we spoke kindly, complimented one another, shared, helped a struggling friend, etc.
There are a ton of resources available to supplement this great book. 

3) We TREASURE Our Classmates

I usually do this activity around St. Patrick’s Day – but it would be perfect for National Compliment Day as well! Each student drew the name of a classmate and was given a gold coin. On that coin, they wrote three kind adjectives to encourage that classmate: 
And then we thought we would make one for our Principal – just to brighten his day :)
3He loved it!

This National Compliment Day, challenge your students – and yourself! – to be on the lookout for people who could use a compliment. Then, hopefully, the art of giving compliments will become a lifelong habit.

Friday, January 22, 2016

FREE Activities for Opposite Day (Jan. 25th)

Good-bye teachers!
Sad similar night no one!

While that may read like a bunch of gibberish - it isn't! I'm practicing for National Opposite Day! :)
You see, that's how I greet my kiddos every year on Opposite Day - which happens every year on January 25th. So what I'm really saying to them is:

Hello students!
Happy Opposite Day everyone!

Get it? :)

As a 5th grade teacher, one of my goals was to engage my students to such a degree that they wanted to come to school each day. One way of maximizing student engagement without compromising learning time was creating packets that capitalized on their interests and let them have FUN while developing and practicing important skills.

Here is one of those packets:
National Opposite Day (yes, it is a real thing) is coming up! This year it's Monday, January 25th. Carve out some extra time to have {structured} fun with your students. It will be a day they won't soon forget! This *FREE* packet includes a poster to hang on your door as well as some ideas for celebrating Opposite Day in the classroom/home.

It also includes 5 activity pages that will stretch their imaginations while reviewing important skills.
1."My Opposite Age" asks students to imagine that the numbers in their age have been switched!  They must write a journal entry about what their life is now like – and include a picture!. (For example if they are 06 years old, they pretend that they’re 60! If they’re 12 years old, they pretend they’re now 21.) Note: If they’re 11 years old, they can choose to be 1 or 110 :)
2. "Antonyms are Amazing" gives students practical experience with opposites - antonyms!
3. "An Opposite Adventure" tells a strange story - the students must read it and switch out the underlined words for their opposites - and re-write the story so it makes sense.
 4. "A Day of Opposites" is a creative writing prompt that asks students to write about a day they have in which EVERYTHING is OPPOSITE
And finally, 5. "Opposite Learning" gives kiddos some practice with basic skills - but with an OPPOSITE twist :)
This was good practice, even for my 5th graders - they were a little rusty on their alphabet and basic math facts. It's good to brush up every now and again :)

You can download this packet for FREE here:


If you use this packet and enjoy it, please leave feedback! Also - if you take any pictures of your students' work from this packet, I'd love to feature you on my blog! Please e-mail me at joyinthejourneyteaching@yahoo.com - and I'll send you a FREE product as a thank-you! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Martin Luther King Day STEALS!

Today I'm blogging over at Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals!
If you haven't followed that blog yet - check it out! Each day an awesome seller features one of their products and puts it on sale for $1 for a limited time.

Today I've got a Dollar Steal to share with you!
For this week only - my well-loved poster packet of Martin's Big Words will be on sale for only $1!

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport is an incredibly inspiring story about the courage, sacrifice demonstrated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
You can check this book out of your local library or click here to purchase it on Amazon: Martin's Big Words - Amazon

This packet is a supplement to your reading of the book and includes 10 print-and-go ink-friendly posters of important and poignant quotes from the story. 
Also included is a student activity page to extend your students' learning.

Click here to visit my TpT store and snag this packet for only $1!

Looking for more Martin Luther King Day activities?
This packet is included in my MLK MEGA Packet:
Make lesson planning a breeze with this ready-to-use packet that will inform, challenge, and edify your students as you learn about Dr. King's legacy and the lasting impact he made on our world.

You can purchase this 55-page MEGA packet (which includes the Martin's Big Words poster set) for only $5.  Click here to check it out: MLK MEGA Packet

Happy Tuesday, friends!