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Title 1- Mrs. S. Stebbins

Description: Image result for wreck it journalWreck It!

When your child is feeling stressed, anxious, or just needs an outlet for creative energy, a fun and unique experience could be a “Wreck It Journal”. These journals can be easily created/tailored to each student’s interests for free, purchased online, or found and printed with a quick Google search.

Image result for wreck it journal


Below is a link to free printable pages and ideas to help create your own!



Ideas for Creation:

“Color The Page Entirely”- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/83527768062887836/

“Fill This Page with Circles”- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/83527768062948773/

“Poke Holes in This Page Using a Pencil”- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/83527768062844837/

“Copy One Word Over and Over Again”- https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=wreck+this+journal+write+one+word+over+and+over+again&safe=strict&es_sm=119&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=qtbrVMfuO-GzmAWTq4CgDQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1258&bih=630&gws_rd=ssl#gws_rd=ssl&imgrc=Wk-tr4Cr5gOQSM:

“Sew This Page”- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/79657487135542981/

“Color Outside of the Lines”- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/79657487135408089/                 

Image result for wreck it journal


Image result for wreck it journal



Science Sparks!


What better way to engage students during the long winter months, than with cool science experiments! The website Science Sparks (linked above) has wonderful experiments and STEM challenges that can easily be recreated at home. Science inquiries are a great way to extend learning, grow the brain, explore new topics, and develop a well-rounded understanding. Listed below are winter-themed activities for students of all ages.

Christmas Candy Experiments:

-These experiments involve marshmallows, candy canes, skittles, and more!


Christmas in the Kitchen Science Experiments:

-Some of these experiments require cooking (apple sauce) and building (gingerbread houses)! There are also experiments for growing sugar crystals, making slime, and making fizzing solutions.


Santa STEM Challenges:

-These challenges incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math all in one! They are a great well-rounded way for kids to explore different concepts and show that they know(of what they have learned).




-the celebration of something in a joyful and exuberant way

The holiday season is fast upon us and, with this joyous time of year, excitement is in the air for many! How do we contain this excitement (or foster it) and keep things fun for kids at the same time? Check out the links below for some festive ideas.

35+ Magical Christmas Activities for Kids to Plan This Year

-This resource is packed full of indoor activities, outdoor activities, volunteer activities and so much more!


28 Best Christmas Games for Kids (They’ll Want to Play for Hours)

-This resource includes many DIY games and crafty projects.


101 Holiday Activities for Kids

-This resource includes activities for building, creating, writing, cooking, and exercising. It also includes activities for different winter holidays (not just Christmas)!


Aside from different activities, reading and sharing stories is another way to contain (and foster) this excitement too! Listed below are some holiday stories that could become a new favorite in your home. There are books that talk about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

·        “The Crayons’ Christmas”- Drew Daywalt

·        “The Shortest Day”- Susan Cooper

·        “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins”- Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman

·        “Seven Spools of Thread”- Angela Shelf Medearis

·        “Christmas Tapestry”- Patricia Polacco


Reading a story to your child/children each night is a great way to spend time together and improve listening and reading skills. For students in grades K-2, enjoying a picture book or two before bed would allow them time to rest and relax. It would also expose them to new vocabulary words and the skill of making predictions. For students in grades 3-8, reading/listening to pieces of a longer novel each night would help students develop their comprehension skills and inference skills. Reading pieces of a longer story multiple nights in a row also allows students to practice the skill of recall (remembering details, characters, and plot over a length of time).

Listed below are reading suggestions for this month! They are grouped by K-2 interest and 3-8 interest/reading level.

“Turkey Trouble”

By Wendi Silvano

 “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

By Charles M. Schulz

“Balloons Over Broadway”

By Melissa Sweet



“Shadow Children” 7 Book-Series

By Margaret Peterson Haddix

4th Grade Reading Level

“Children of Exile”

 By Margaret Peterson Haddix

5th Grade Reading Level

“Mighty Jack”

By Ben Hatke



As I mentioned above, reading with your child/children is very beneficial for the development of both small and large children alike. It helps create connections, builds imaginations, and increases vocabulary.  For more information on the importance of reading with children and different strategies to use, check out the links listed below. Happy Reading!






With school officially back in full swing, challenges and frustrations are bound to show up from time to time. After all, EVERY student has struggles at some point in their educational career. One area that can be a struggle for students, especially after returning from a long summer break, is reading. Below are some links to help students strengthen their confidence with reading and become more fluent.

Sight Words




Sight words, words frequently used in books and other forms of communication, are words that students are encouraged to learn automatically without the use of decoding. They are considered mastered when a student can recognize them in print within a few seconds. There are many games and activities that you can do with your child to help them remember these words. There are also multiple lists (broken down by grade-level and parts of speech). One method I found beneficial for students at school is simply writing one word on a notecard. Creating stacks of notecards allows students to flip through them quickly to see if they know the words. Having words they know mixed in with words they have yet to master allows them to feel successful and allow for practice at the same time.

The links above give more detail on what sight words are, different lists for children of various reading levels, and games that can make practicing more fun. I truly believe that, when a student has a strong foundation in sight words, they feel more confident with their reading and become more fluent with their reading. Sight words can be found everywhere (not just in school books): menus, street signs, maps, grocery stores, newspapers, websites, etc. The faster that children learn to recognize these words, the more they will be able to absorb and learn.

Reading Comprehension




When a child reads, they may struggle to understand what they actually read about; they may be able to recognize and decode a multitude of words, but understanding the main ideas and/or making connections could be difficult. How do we help students develop their reading comprehension? READ, DISCUSS, READ, DISCUSS, READ, and DISCUSS! Understanding what is going on in a story, article, or other printed material can be practiced by reading with others and talking about it along the way. What’s going on right now? What just happened? Who is the main character? Who is talking? Where is this story taking place? 

The links above provide ideas on how to practice reading comprehension with you child and prompting questions to ask. If this is not your child’s favorite skill to practice, reading comprehension can also be turned into a game. Inflatable balls, old games (like Jenga), and flashcards can all be transformed to make reading comprehension more enjoyable. Remember, the more fun you make these activities, the more kids will want to practice with you and the more they will learn.

Reading Materials



When it comes to reading, kids do not just have to practice with books. There are many types of materials that can be used to help students become more confident and fluent with reading.

  • Magazines

  • Comics

  • Newspapers

  • Brochures

  • Catalogs

  • Recipes

  • Dictionary and Thesaurus

  • Play Scripts

  • Road Signs and Maps

  • Food Packaging (Cereal Boxes)

  • Blogs and Websites

  • Menus

  • Closed Captions on TV and Movies

Reading is reading regardless of where the words are found!

Sam Stebbins,
Sep 13, 2017, 8:33 AM