June 21, 2020

Step By Step Plan For Organizing A Pet Show

I can still remember how proud I felt when I saw that blue first place ribbon on my hampster's cage. The annual pet show at my elementary school was a time to show off our critters. Parents and guardians would arrive with our pets while we waited anxiously in our classrooms for our turn to go outside and look around. One year someone brought a horse!

A pet show can be planned for your school, grade level, or your own class. If you will be the project planner, here are some steps that you may want to consider:

1. Get approvals from your administration, board, and local officials.

It's better to ask about what you need to do in order to be safe and compliant.

2. Decide on a day and time. 

Plan a rain date.

3. Have a conversation with the school nurse and special education staff.

Ask what suggestions they have to make the experience accessible to all children.

4. Form a committee.

A committee will allow you to delegate the remaining responsibilities.

5. Email colleagues with a save the date and general information. 


6. Notify parents about the event.

Parents need to be informed about how students can participate. This notice should include requirements such as proof of rabies vaccine, parent accompaniment, leashes, cages, etc.
Have students prepare their own letter home inviting parents and guardians to bring pets.

7. Make a sign-up sheet or schedule for visiting the pet show.


8. Make a map of the pet show area.


9. Make and print out certificates. 

Certificates are included in the resource below!

10. Obtain tables, cones, shade tents, and other equipment.


11. Obtain extra water to have on hand for pets.


12. Set up a check-in station for when pets arrive.


13. Assign a staff member to take pictures.


14. Set up a voting system if students are voting for a favorite pet.


15. Enjoy the pet show!




16. Announce winners and distribute awards.


17. Thank all who made the event possible!

 pet-show

Need some of the details taken care of? Grab this Pet Show Planning Guide for only $2.00!
This resource is also useful for planning a Stuffed Animal Pet Show as an alternative to live pets. It includes a printable checklist of the steps above and award certificates for both a live pet show and a stuffed animal pet show. This is a great end of the year activity!

June 6, 2020

Make Math Practice a Habit

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell refers often to the 10,000 hour rule. This rule implies that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything. Although there are critics, most would agree that if we look closely at experts in many fields, we find that there were stepping stones along the way in the form of significant units of time spent practicing.


For students, practicing math daily can help with the retention of foundation skills even as new skills are introduced. In particular, many students seem to need significant practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division algorithms. Practice can be assigned for morning work, warm-ups, take-home practice, distance learning packets, tutoring, or extra help.

Practice can take the form of copying problems off the board into a notebook, worksheets, or digital practice. Copying problems off the board will help with eye-hand coordination. Worksheets can save teachers time and offer an answer key. Finally, there are plenty of websites that offer quick practice in the form of games and interactive learning.

If you have students practice by copying a few problems off the board or by solving problems on worksheets each day, you could give students time to explain how several problems are solved. The process of explaining will further help students retain how to complete the algorithms. It is important that students who are struggling and more confident students be given the opportunity to explain how to solve the problems. Of course, the teacher would offer support to any struggling student to make sure they were confident enough to present a solution to the class.

These 3 printable resources each provide 20 days of practice. With these worksheets, students solve just 4 problems each day, and there is plenty of space to show work. These sets of worksheets can be alternated with writing problems on the board and digital practice for variety.
 Math Practice

Daily Math Practice Fall Theme
Daily Math Practice Winter Theme
Daily Math Practice Spring Theme


Do you provide daily math practice to your students? Feel free to share your own ideas in the space below!