As teachers we all know the constant struggle with our kiddos being HOOKED to their electronics. Every time we ask them to give us a sentence with their vocabulary word, they just have to relate it to the latest video game. #TheStruggleisReal

Motivating Our Kids to Play in their Backyard
The makers of OFF!® Repellents have launched 'The Never Starting Tales'-- a collection of reinterpreted fairy tales that get kids thinking about how moving the story setting from outside to inside stops the adventure altogether. These FREE online storybooks help kiddos understand the importance of detaching from their electronics and taking the fun to their backyard.

The full-color digital storybooks are aimed at kindergarten through third grade students. However, they can be used across grade levels to get their true message across. Students can watch and listen to the e-books online, complete with “turn the page” animation. The books can also be downloaded as PDF files to devices, which can be added to digital libraries.

Never Starting Tales during Digital Learning
The best part about the Never Starting Tales is that they can be incorporated during our virtual learning! My kiddos look forward to hearing a new story every week during our Zoom morning meetings! The OFF!®  Never Starting Tales website offers FREE ELA and STEAM lesson plans to correspond with the books. These lesson plans are perfect for virtual learning and can be easily used by teachers and parents.

This week, we’ll be reading ‘The Never Starting Tale of The Three Little Pigs’ through our online learning platform. The kiddos will be taking part in their first virtual STEM! They will head to their backyard to find twigs, leaves, rocks, and anything else they can find! Then, they’re going to create a house out of the materials they found. They will test their houses by pouring ‘weather’ over the roofs. (water, ice, etc.)

Teaching Theme with the Never Starting Tales

Teachers: The Never Starting Tales are the perfect stories to help us reinforce theme! Each story has a lesson at the end--- the character misses out on all of the adventure because he/she decides to play indoors.
When we were in the classroom back in March, I decided to use 'The Never Starting Tale of Hercules' to analyze the lesson the character learns at the end of the story. As we listened to the story, the students wrote down three important events. At the end, we discussed how these events tied into each other. 

Turn & Talk: The students turned to a partner and came up with some possible themes or 'lessons' that were learned from the story.

Turn & Talk-Virtual Breakout Rooms: Since we’ve currently moved on to digital learning, I’ve been using breakout rooms on our virtual platform to allow students the opportunity to work in groups and have discussions. 

Persuasive Writing Prompt
Afterwards, we discussed different 'superpowers' that might be great to have when we are playing in the backyard. Invisibility to help us during Hide and Seek? Super speed when we're playing Tag? 

The kiddos worked with a partner to brainstorm how these superpowers might be useful or important. They wrote a short piece explaining why their superpower was the best kind. Once we were all done, they shared their powers with the class. Since we are working on improving our sentences and overall structure of a paragraph--- this was perfect! The kiddos had so much fun coming up with their own superpowers! 

 Involving Parents

I shared the link to the Never Starting Tales with my classroom parents via our messaging app. Students were assigned to listen to 'The Never Starting Tale of Cinderella' with their parents and created a bucket list of outdoor activities. 

They were so eager to share their list with the class the next day!

If you're looking for a fun way to engage your kiddos while secretly hinting 'hey, maybe you should drop your tablet and play in the backyard...'
 then these Never Starting Tales, brought to you by the makers of OFF! ® Repellents will surely do the job. I would love to hear how you incorporate these tales in your classroom! Make sure to comment below or tag me @SweetToothTeaching to share all of the ideas!

Post sponsored by the makers of OFF Repellents

Learn More: Check out The Never Starting Tales website to learn more!

Fractions has got to be the most challenging topic for my third graders to understand. It also happens to be my favorite unit to teach.This year, I decided to do a classroom transformation to wrap up our fraction unit and review all of the third grade standards right before our unit assessment. It was definitely a day my kiddos will never forget.
Of course I had to bring the 'Sweet Tooth' side of me to life with this transformation. I'm talking all things ICE CREAM. 

How I set up for our Fraction Shop Day:

NOTE: I used a lot of ice cream themed props I bought at Target over the summer.

Classroom Walls: I covered the walls with butcher paper. The giant ice cream cones were also made out of butcher paper.
Confetti Tablecloths
Inflatable Ice Cream Cones
Ice Cream Cone Garland
+ Diner Hats


This post contains affiliated links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Fraction Day Setup:

I created 5 stations in the classroom. Each station consisted of a different activity to help reinforce the fraction standards we had already learned. I divided the class into 5 groups. Each group started at a different math station. They were given about 15-20 minutes to complete each station. Once the time was up, they cleaned up the station and rotated to the next one.

Station Recording Sheets: I created a booklet for each student with all of the recording sheets for each station stapled together. This was such a great way to help my kiddos stay organized throughout each transition without losing any recording sheets!

Here is a sneak peek inside some of the stations that I used for our fraction shop day.

Third Grade Math Standards Targeted: 3.NF.A.1, 3.NF.A.2, 3.NF.A.3, 3.NF.A.3.D

Station 1: Build Your Own Fraction Ice Cream

This activity is designed to review fractions of a whole. Students practiced using the terms ‘numerator’ and ‘denominator’ when creating fractions.

This station was a HIT. The kiddos got to wear ice cream themed aprons that I found at Target over the summer and made their own ice cream sundaes! They picked a task card from a pile and used the pieces to build their ice cream.Once the kiddos had created a recipe, they showed their partner their ice cream sundae. Without looking at the recipe card, their partner had to identify each fraction of ingredients.
EX: “Your sundae has 1/3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 2/3 strawberry ice cream, and 3/3 sprinkles.”

Station 2: True or False Fraction Comparisons

Students broke down fractions to determine whether the fraction comparisons were true or false.
Kiddos picked a card from a pile and determined whether the comparison was true or false. If the comparison was false, they rewrote the comparison on the response sheet using the correct symbol.

Station 3: Fraction Board Game

Students answered questions about parts of a whole, parts of a group, and comparing fractions to move across the game board.
I used this station as a guided math center. Since the questions on the task cards were aligned with their test, I really wanted to make sure they understood each concept.

Station 4: Fraction Face-Off Game

Students compared fractions with different numerators and denominators. They practiced using the <,>, and = symbols when comparing two fractions.
This one was also a class favorite. (Anything involving competition is always a favorite.)
Each team flipped a card over at the same time. The kiddos determined which team had the larger fraction. The team with the larger fraction kept both cards. At the end of the game, the team with the most cards was the winning team.

Station 5: Fractions on a Number Line

At this station, students practiced identifying fractions on a number line. They used the little ice cream cone pieces to move or 'jump' across the number line to help them better understand the fractions.
Ice Cream Day was definitely one in the books! Of course we had to wrap up the day by making some REAL ice cream sundaes!   

Want to try out fraction ice cream day in your class? You can grab the FREE Frosty's Lab mat to help your kiddos model fractions.

If you would like to host your very own fraction day or check out the other activities inside the pack, click HERE!


I've gotten tons of questions about Buddy- our class mascot, so I figured i'd share a little bit about him! 
Just to clarify, Buddy the mascot is not a real pet. 😂 I bought him at Ikea, but you can find the same one on Amazon.
Click here to get yourself a Buddy Mascot.
My students know how obsessed I am with my real dog, Buddy. I have a photo of Buddy posted on my Teacher Corner and I introduced him as our class mascot on the first day of school.
I decided to get a stuffed animal version of Buddy and use him as a class incentive. Every Friday, one kiddo gets chosen to take Buddy home and spend time with him over the weekend. 
If I catch a kiddo being extra good during the week, they may earn a Mascot Raffle Ticket. This enters them into the drawing on Friday to see who gets to take the class mascot home. 
Kiddos are able to earn multiple raffle tickets throughout the week. The more tickets they earn, the higher the chance! 

I also let kiddos take him home when it's their birthday. Sometimes i'll just decide who takes him home based on my teacher judgement. You decide what works best for your class!
Buddy hangs out in the library during the school day. The kiddos are allowed to grab him whenever they're reading a book. Buddy LOVES hearing stories-- he especially likes the suspense that chapter books leave at the end of each chapter. (Catch my drift? 😉) 

So, when they do take Buddy home they know they have to read to him or he'll end up getting homesick.

They log their adventures in the "Mascot Journal". They can write all about their weekend with Buddy or make up a fictional story about 'Buddy's Adventures'.

You can grab all of the mascot resources for FREE by clicking below! I have also included a simple 'Mascot Template' which can be used for any class mascot. (Doesn't have to be a dog!)

My students are in third grade and they are obsessed with our mascot. I hope your students enjoy this incentive as much as mine do! Classroom Management #win !

The holidays are officially over and it's back to school time. #cuethetears Yes, going back to work is definitely bitter sweet. I'm going to miss the comfort of just hanging out at home. However, I miss my kiddos and am ready to plan out all the winter activities for the month of January. 
Since I live in South Florida and winter isn't really a 'thing' here, I try my very best to include winter-related activities throughout the month of January and February. 
Today i'm sharing 10 winter freebies with you all! 

1.Winter Multiplication Memory by Games 4 Gains
Your kiddos will practice their fours and fives facts by matching the equation with its array and product.

Differentiate your winter-themed centers with these mini books and activities geared towards k-3rd grade. 

3. Common & Proper Noun Snowflake Sort by Sweet Tooth Teaching
 Noun Matching Game
Add this common and proper noun snowflake matching game to your grammar or word work center!
4. Winter Writing Prompt Calendar by Write Shop
Use these creative daily writing prompts for morning work, early finishers, or homework! 
5. Number Representation Snowman by The Stem Laboratory
 Number Representation Snowmen
Print and laminate these colorful snowmen and use as a math center game! 

6. Sneezy the Snowman Readaloud Kit by The Teacher Bag 
Use these engaging printable with 'Sneezy the Snowman' read aloud. 
7. Race to the Snowman Chart Game by Around the Kampfire
 Free Winter Math Center

Spice up your math centers with these fun number charts! They can be used to practice skip counting, addition, subtractions, or patterns.
8. Addition & Subtraction Math Center by Lucky Little Learners
 Winter Math Center
Have students solve each addition and subtraction equation and decide whether the sum/difference is true or false. Perfect addition to your math centers!

 Snowman Writing Prompts & Craft
Spark some creativity with these adorable snowman writing prompts!

Create any math or literacy game you wish with these editable board game templates! (Tons of other templates available on the site)

I hope these winter freebies are useful! 💛
Back to Top