Sunday, November 1, 2015

Creative Bloom Ball Reports

Okay I'll admit it, I LOVE creative hands on projects! I've blogged about it before!  Why? Because growing up,  my teachers always assigned the same kind of book reports and projects, which never included creative activities. It was always "read the book and write a report about it". BORING! 

When I became a teacher, I swore I'd NEVER assign a book report or project that was strictly a two or three page written report. 

Yes, a report should have written parts, so teachers can determine if students understand how to apply reading strategies and comprehend what they read. A combination written and hands on project allows students, like I was, to not only write, but to also do hands on, creative projects that demonstrate their talents.

Some of the creative projects students can do include:

drawings, illustrations
build models
comic strips, cartoons
wood carvings
original computer generated pictures
mini books
design costumes for book characters
write music or lyrics for songs
use unusual materials to design posters (yarn, glitter, aluminum foil, etc)
And the list goes on and on and on!

Over the years, I developed my Bloom Ball report project that requires students to draw illustrations on templates and glue them together. I had searched for templates on the Web, but never found any that worked, so I designed my own. 

The first Bloom Ball report students should do, is the biography report. This fun report give students the opportunity to "talk" about themselves and highlight certain times of their lives. I always do this report at the beginning of the year, so students can get to know each other. It's a perfect time have them work in small groups so they can talk among themselves while they write, draw, cut and paste!

Once the balls are completed, they can be hung from the ceiling where they can stay, as a permanent display all year round! 
I love teachers' comments about them that can be read below the description on my store page. 

The book report part of the project, involves designing the templates based on a book that involves Common Core aligned written parts, combined with art work

Included is everything needed to create colorful displays for your classroom
 while encouraging higher level thinking. 
Students will have fun working in groups to create their reports. 

There are instructions/rubrics for a fiction book report as well as a bio report.
Templates included are two sizes, in black and white and in color. 
Detailed instructions demonstrate how to put these displays together. 
Use for ELA, science and social studies reports.
 High school teachers are using them for literature reports, science and history reports! 
I suggest playing some soft background music as the kids work on these reports. 
It creates a nice atmosphere for learning!
Best for grades 4 and up. 

Teachers grades 4 - 11 are using this packet.
Easy instructions with visuals!

photo of Bloom Ball Reports, PDF, Ruth S.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bloom Ball Reports

Click on the arrows to see my other lessons! 

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hands on projects!  
As I've said in many of my posts, we have to really encourage creativity in our
classrooms these days, even if it means a ten minute group brainstorming, problem solving
topic that makes the kids THINK. 
I know that with all the mandated test preparation it's often difficult to break away 
it's important that students remember their teachers and school experiences
for reasons other than just preparing for tests!

THESE are the things kids remember. Interactive, creative, collaborative, fun projects! 

photo of Bloom Ball Reports, PDF, ready to print student worksheets, Ruth S.

My poster of the new Bloom verbiage that's included in the packet. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015


It's that time of year again!!

 Teachers Pay Teachers! 
Use the promo code
for more discounts when you 
check out! 
Everything in my store will be on sale,
starting August 3rd! 
The sale lasts through August 4th!

Click on the cover to go to my store.  

photo of Back to School Sale, August 3 and 4th 2015,  Teachers Pay Teachers, Ruth S.

I LOVE sharing my teaching resources because I know I save teachers, time!
This summer I've been working on some new resources and updating others. 

Below is the cover of  my newest resource. I LOVE Polar bears! Who doesn't? :)

There is an informational, two page article, about the lives of polar bears in the Arctic regions and how they survive the harsh conditions. There are questions with answers and many creative, fun polar bear activities! 

I was my state's representative on the Weekly Reader National Teacher Advisory Board, for 12 years, I worked with other state representatives to discuss and develop nonfiction science and social studies articles. My students had the opportunity to read and critique articles before they were published in the student magazine! They were very excited to be part of the process!

That's when I fell in love with nonfiction, informational text and decided to develop my 
own line of nonfiction resources. 

When you're in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, look for the first packet I created about the cheetah. It's FREE!! 

If you'd l like to be notified about when I post more, follow me on TpT! :)
Click on the cover to see more. 

How can a teacher possibly teach a historical story without providing students with background information? When I first started reading Number the Stars with my students,  I had no idea how little they knew about World War II. 
I wrote an informational article about the War and included questions with answers for the packet of activities. This 78 page packet has everything you need and more! 

Also included are maps of Europe and Denmark with questions and answers. 

To see more click on the cover and view the preview of this very popular resource. 

photo of Number the Stars, PDF, Teachers Pay, Ruth S.

Have a GREAT new school year! 


Our two dachshunds are getting ready for football season! Jeffrey already made a touchdown!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Langston Hughes "DREAMS"

This packet has been revised. If you already have it, please download it again!
Langston Hughes' poem "Dreams" seems like a simple poem, but it teaches powerful lessons about life. 
This packet can be used to Celebrate Black History Month and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday! 
It can also be used to encourage your students to "follow their dreams" as they write about and design a Dream tee shirt! 

photo of Langston Hughes "Dream", poetry, English Language Arts, Ruth S. TeachersPayTeachers

Design A Game Book Report

It's that time of year again! Testing is almost over! 

I want to share a book report that I've done with my students for a number of years. It's been  a HUGE hit with not only my students, but their parents, as well.

We all know that kids love to play games, so I decided to design a game book report. I wanted to convince my students that they should read books that are a different genre. Many of them tend to read only one genre and it's usually realistic fiction. I also wanted to get parents involved in some way. That's when I decided to add a "bonus points" feature because the majority of my students love to earn bonus points.

I decided to title it, "Design A Game" book report.  Really original title eh? :)

The parent involvement is easy! All they have to do is play the game with their kids and sign the letter I send home, stating they played the game with their kids. A whopping five points can be earned for a total of 105 points if everything else is done correctly. 

The way you introduce it to your students is fun. Pass out the "Congratulations" slips to them and watch them sit up and take notice. It's an announcement that they've been chosen, by a book publishing company, to design a game based on a book.  Just this little slip of paper and its message, makes them feel important.

The kids have to design a game board that has questions or statements about the book they're reading. Then we have a game day where they all play each others' games and learn about new books. It's amazing how many comments you'll hear as they play the games like, "I really really want to read this book!"  "I never thought I'd like historical fiction, but this one sounds really good."  

The kids talk about the project with their friends and tell them about a new book they want to read. The word spreads and pretty soon, you'll see your students reading new books of different genre. 

Everything you need is in the packet. Parent letter, student rubric, how-to game instructions and more. 

photo of Design A Game Book Report, PDF, book reports, games, Common Core, Language Arts, Ruth S.

Have fun!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Brown Bag It Healthy Foods

This is a great Earth Day or nutrition/healthy foods activity. Discuss healthy foods with your students and what choices they should make in order to fill up a bag lunch.  Show them how to read food labels and what to look for that's nutritional and what's not good to consume.  Working in small groups they can makes list of the foods on the mini poster or draw pictures of them.  Ask them to save cereal boxes and to bring them to school to compare the ingredients. The possibilities are endless! This is a free download.

photo Brown Bag It Free Pdf, dairy products, fruits, grains, healthy foods, meats, nutrition, vegetables,


Wednesday, February 25, 2015


It's that time of year again. 
TeachersPayTeachers is having a sale, today

February 25, 2015

I love the name of the sale


Just think about it. Teachers really ARE heroes 

We devote our lives to our students 
We motivate them to reach for the stars  
We inspire them to be the best they can be 
We encourage them to make a difference 
We help them when they don't understand 
We praise them and applaud their accomplishments 
We're sad, when they're sad 
We cry inside when they're hurting 
We encourage them to think creatively 
We applaud their talents 
We listen to them 
We smile and laugh with them 
We cheer when "they get it" 
We set the bar high and are consistent with our expectations 
Our profession is admirable but 
we don't often stop to think about the impact 
we have on our students 

Everything in my store is on sale for you 
who make a difference 
in students' 

Give yourself a pat on the back, every morning.

Thanks for stopping by!

photo of TeachersPayTeachers Teachers are Heroes sale, Ruth S.,
Click on the image to see my sale. 
Use the promo code HEROES at check out, to receive
another discount!