Category Archives: Teacher Resources

11 Ways to Spot a Leprechaun & Activity Ideas

st. patricks day class activity

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Share these fun leprechaun facts with students and pair them with activities to get their creative minds going.

Leprechaun Facts
Would you like to meet a leprechaun? First, you have to find one. Here are some facts about leprechauns that may help. But be careful! Leprechauns like to play tricks on people.

1) Leprechauns are fairies
2) They are old men with beards
3) They are about two feet tall
4) Their job is to make shoes
5) They have pots of gold coins
6) They hide their pots of gold at the ends of rainbows
7) They can be grumpy
8) They wear hats and green clothes
9) They wear shoes with buckles
10) They live in the woods
11) They can do magic

Activity Ideas

Drawing: Use the facts above to draw a picture of a leprechaun. Make sure your picture shows where he lives. Show the leprechaun doing his work.

Writing Prompt: If I met a leprechaun and had three wishes, I would wish for.

Speaking & Listening: Have students listen to Irish Folk Music and Instruments and discuss the different types on instruments.

Shamrock Word Families Activity: Add a St. Patrick’s day twist to this classic fluency activity

Shamrock Potato Print Stamps: All you need is a potato, cookie cutter & paint for this fun art activity

For more St. Patrick’s Day and holiday activities, see Celebrating Holidays: Reading, Writing & Hands-on Activities

Interactive Notebooks & Trivia Assessment

Hey all!  It’s Staci from Let’s Teach Something Blog back again. This time, I’m here to show you how I help my students anchor their learning using interactive notebooks and a trivia assessment game.

Interactive Notebooks

Creating Interactive Notebooks

Let me give you a picture of what my teaching looks like. My 2nd graders have 2 interactive notebooks: one math, one reading.  When I introduce a new skill, we always put it in our notebook to anchor our learning.  The students are encouraged to look back in their interactive notebooks if they are unsure of what a skill should look like.  It’s an amazing learning tool that I’ve just started using this year, and I love, love, love it.  I’ve been creating pages as I go, so it’s a work in progress!

Trivia Assessment

Classroom Trivia Game

We’ve become masters at creating reference material for ourselves in our notebooks…and lots of it!  I needed a formative assessment to see how my students understand concepts of these different math and reading skills.  A test of this magnitude would be very time consuming!  So, I decided we were just going to play a good ‘ol fashioned Jeopardy-style trivia game.

To create the trivia game, I used letters from Sassy Circle Letters Pack, wrote some questions on the backs of them, and hung them on my whiteboard, and the game was ready to go.  I also have some student buzzers that help identify which team rang in first.  The students love the game, and ask for it often!

Here’s a twist to the trivia game:  I sometimes put blank letters at centers before and asked the students to come up with a question and then at the end of the week, we put them altogether for a Jeopardy trivia game mash-up.  This alternative really gets the kids invested in creating QUALITY questions!  The rule:  if it’s your own question, you are not allowed to answer it!

Need more teaching tips? Here are 5 Best Practices for Teaching Math and see some great center ideas here.

6 Poem Types & Free Activity

Poem Types & Free Activity from Teacher Created Resources

Poetry is a special type of writing that is usually written in verse. By discovering the uniqueness of each type of poem, students can better appreciate and comprehend what they read and write. Help your students practice writing and sharpen their creativity skills by trying out these 6 poem types in the classroom.


A Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, usually about nature. The first line has five syllables, the second line has several syllables, and the third line has five. Here is an example of a haiku:

When you write haiku-5 syllables
Remember, freeze a moment,-7 syllables
Let it live in words-5 syllables


A limerick is a five-line poem with a rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b-a. Some think that the limerick began in Limerick, Ireland. Others are certain that Shakespeare originated the limerick. However it began, the limerick always has a humorous tone. Limericks became very popular when Edward Lear wrote two books, The Book of Nonsense and More Nonsense. You can tap your foot while you read a limerick and notice the beat. Lear writes limericks in the older form, which uses the same word at the end of the first and the last lines. Here is an example of a limerick by Edward Lear:

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the flea, “Let us fly!”
Said the fly, “Let us flee!”
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.


A cinquain is a structured, five line poem. It always follows this pattern:
Line one-A one word title (noun)
Line two-Two words that describe the title (adjectives)
Line three-Three words that show the action of the title (verbs)
Line four-Four words that express a feeling about the title (phrase)
Line five-One word that is another word for the title (synonym)
Here is an example of a cinquain:

Round, Soft
Humming, Baking, Loving
Her lap’s for me


A clerihew is a short, usually humorous, and light poem about a famous person whose name makes up the first line. It was invented by Edmund Clerihew. The form for this poem is two couplets (four lines with the rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b). Here is an example of a clerihew:

Sir James Jeans
Always says what he means;
He is really perfectly serious
About the Universe being Mysterious

Animal Poem

Pick an animal to write a poem about and think of words that rhyme. Start by writing a list of words that rhyme with your animal. Here is an example of an animal poem:

My cat is fat
And sat on my hat
It’s flat!

Roses-are Red Greeting Poem

Write your own version of the classic poem, Roses are red, violets are blue. You can make a poem greeting card by writing your own variation of this poem for someone you love.

Free Poem Activity 2331 Teacher Created Resources

Rose are red,  
Violets are blue,
Believe it or not,
I made this for you!




Want to create a Valentine’s Day poem for someone special? Download the free Roses-are-Red Poem Greeting Card activity from the Free Monthly Activities Page.


See more poetry books and resources here.

Formative Assessment Based on Marzano Scales

Formative Assessment using Marzano Scales - Teacher Created Resources

Formative Assessment is critical for teachers to understand the areas their students comprehend, and the areas that need more work. It also helps students have a clear idea of learning goals. I use the Marzano Scales to check for understanding in my classroom. I decided this year that I was going to use the Marzano Scales predominately to access my students’ understanding of the weekly phonics skills.

Up until I had these Polka Dot Magetic Labels, I did frequent heart checks with my students. I would tell my students the learning goal for the week and articulate the specific target goals for each score. Then, my students would hold up 1, 2, 3, or 4 fingers to show their understanding. I created a “Showing my Understanding” anchor chart.

Marzano Scales

1 meant “I am just starting to learn this and I don’t understand it yet.”
2 meant “I am beginning to understand, but I still need a little help.”
3 meant “I understand this well and I can do it on my own.”
4 meant “I understand this so well, that I can teach it to others.”

Formative Assessment using Marzano Scale - Teacher Created Resources

This was working well, but once I saw these magnetic labels, I knew they would make the perfect formative assessment tool for monitoring learning goals and showing my students’ understanding. I paired the magnetic labels with my anchor charts and wrote a phonics goal on the whiteboard each week.

I labeled each magnet with my students’ names. After I articulate each target goal, my students place their magnet under the score that best describes their understanding ability at that moment in time. My target goals are very specific to the skill being taught, so my students know exactly where they score.

I love how the magnetic labels and anchor chart is very accessible to the children, as it allows them to move their magnet when they feel they are ready to move to the next score. The children enjoy being in charge of their learning and monitoring themselves as the week goes on. This display makes it very easy for me to help me monitor formative assessment, track my students’ progress, give extra help, if needed, and celebrate success.

Lori is the author of Teaching with Love and Laughter Blog. To see more creative learning ideas, visit Teaching with Love and Laughter. If you are looking for more formative assessment ideas, check out our formative assessment resources here.