Opposite Day Ideas for Your Classroom

Teacher Peach OPPOSITE DAYUp/down. Left/right. Open/closed. Yes/no. Yep, you guessed it. Opposite Day is upon us. January 25th is National Opposite Day. What are you doing in your classroom to celebrate this day?

Whether your whole school observes Opposite Day or you are just looking for fun activity or two to heat up your classroom in the middle of January, there are plenty of ideas out there to help. Teacher Peach did a bit of detective work to find some quick activities and worksheets that you can use help incorporate Opposite Day into your classroom. Check these out—or don’t, as we say in the land of oppo-speak!

Opposite Day Lesson Plans and Activities
When looking for activity ideas, Scholastic and PBS have some great resources. We found some sample activities from them as well as from a few other resources.

Free Printables from Around the Internet
With just a few clicks, you’re sure to find some easy Opposite Day printable worksheets and flash cards. These will save you a search.

Check Out These Teacher Peach Products
Once you’ve had your fun celebrating National Opposite Day, move on to setting up yourself and your classroom for Valentine’s Day. Check out Teacher Peach’s line of Valentine’s Day products. Treat yourself to something special to help complete your Valentine’s Day celebration. The Because It’s All About the Kids™ product line is one message that we’re sure has no opposite in your world. With teachers, it IS all about the kids, no matter what day it may be.

STAINLESS STEEL THERMAL BOTTLE  SPIRAL NOTEBOOK JOURNAL  INSULATED COOLER TOTE

Have a great Opposite Day on Monday. Share your action plan here!

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Keep Moving, We Shall!

Today is a special day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. There are so many moving and amazing quotations by Dr. King, as our recent PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotation campaign shows.

TP PQS Intelligence True Goal Education MLKTP PQS MLK Doing for Others  01-16-16_QUOTE-20_timecreativelyMLK_Page_1
TP PQS Worksheet MLK I Have a Dream

Dr. King’s Wisdom Made for Tough Choices
Narrowing down our choices to only several quotations by Dr. King was a tall order. We selected the quotations we did with teachers, students, and teachable moments in mind. We know that weaving in the wisdom of Dr. King is an important part of the January curriculum for many teachers.

Our goal with all PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotation campaigns is to provide quick, easy tools that teachers love and want to share with their students. As we worked with these choices, we explored different sequences, different timing, and different interpretations of each quotation. There were so many strong options, it was often tough to choose just one. However, when it came time to select the quotation for today—our last blog post of the campaign, the choice was easy. We had to end by continuing—to move forward!

Today’s quotation by Dr. King, reads:

“If you can’t fly, then RUN, if you can run, then WALK, if you can’t walk, then CRAWL, but whatever you do, KEEP MOVING!”

TP PQS MLK If You Can't

We Need to Keep Moving
There is so much to do for all of us. Not only in our own lives, in our own classrooms, and for our own families, but also for the larger communities of which we are a part. The challenges we face in the world illustrate that in some way, in some form, and in some manner, we must each keep moving. We each need to find ways to become an active part of the communities around us, in ways that work for us personally. We need to keep moving.

The Power of Small Moves
It may be as simple as making the time to attend a school meeting on a weekday morning when you are supposed to be at your desk at work, taking your child to a neighborhood production of a musical when it is below zero outside, or scrambling to find jars of glue at 7:30 on a Sunday morning to be sure the kids your child coaches can complete their craft project later in the morning. If these examples sound a bit too specific to be hypothetical, it’s because they aren’t. Each of these happened to me this past week. I realized while writing this that each of these examples represents a willingness to engage and keep moving.

I’m sharing these examples because they represent tiny steps. We can always find reasons not to keep moving. Of course, I needed to be at work, we didn’t order tickets so we needed to stand in line in the cold, and I really doubted I had the glue. But, doing it all anyway is important. We can always convince ourselves that our little moves don’t really matter. The truth is, however, they do. And they add up.

Going to that school meeting on Wednesday matters because I’m honoring a commitment and will likely be able to contribute just by being around the table with colleagues. Going to the musical matters because we are supporting the community on a day where attendance is bound to be down due to the cold. On a much more local level, my child will be able to take part in tomorrow’s lunch table discussion about the number of curtain calls. As for my early morning glue hunt? That definitely mattered because 21 little kids got to take home a sticky, delightful craft project to share with their families that underscored a learning concept. Tiny steps forward help us remember that ALL moving matters. Even small moves on the chessboard, for example, can have significant results—both the moves you make and moves you don’t.

Moving Isn’t Always Forward—at First
As teachers know only too well from the many different students that teachers strive to “move forward,” students, teaching, and learning processes are complex and definitely not linear. Moving implies a forward direction, but, sometimes we must take steps back to move forward. Even these backward steps, these reverse action moves, are moves—and they ultimately help us to course correct and move forward. So, moving matters and move we must.

Moving Through January
PQS Worksheet If You Can't MLKAs you move through these next two weeks in January in your classes, consider using this PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet that contains Dr. King’s quotation about moving forward. As you work with your students on bigger projects, this quotation can help them to recognize that not all moves need to be flight-worthy. They don’t even need to run all the time. Sometimes just a simple, crawling-forward move, like organizing index cards or reading one extra paragraph, is enough to unlock a student who may be stuck or overwhelmed by what seems like an enormous assignment.

PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet Idea
One way to use this worksheet with your students is to ask them to make four lists around this quotation worksheet. Title the lists: FLY, RUN, WALK, and CRAWL. Suggest to kids that they do not need to have something for every category and that their FLY item might be a sport they do well, etc. Tell them you want them to have lots more WALK and CRAWL items. They can then cross off the tasks as they move through them. Moving means progress!

Dream BIG to WIN BIG
As you head into this week, we have one more move for you to consider. Do you have an educational project that could benefit from a $100 contribution and a FREE Teacher Peach product? Want to DREAM one up? Enter Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative below.


Teacher Peach Granting Teacher GoalsCTA BUTTONS

Any educational project—large or small—is eligible if it helps kids learn, teachers teach, or just makes a tricky learning objective more engaging and exciting to learn—and teach! Through January 31st, you may enter 5 different projects from a single email address, by completing a separate application for each project. Winners will be announced starting February 1, 2016.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotations and Worksheets in honor of Dr. King’s birthday and that you’ll let us know how you used them in your classrooms. What are your next moves for January?

 

What You Do—and For Whom—MATTERS

TP PQS MLK Doing for Others

Urgency to Do for Others
Our most recent blog post was about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. The central PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotation in that post was by Dr. King and focused on creatively using time as well as the urgency with which most of us approach time. This weekend is one where many people will garner some extra time. A three-day weekend during which we may stop and celebrate the life and achievements of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., may mean a little less urgency for many.

As today’s central PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotation by Dr. King captures, however, we must always maintain a proper urgency when it comes to our outreach to, care for, and support of others. As you consider your lesson plans for the coming week, while the official celebration of Dr. King’s birthday will be behind you once school reconvenes, the life lessons for students remain at the forefront.

A Quotable Tote
Teacher Peach JUMBO TOTETeachers can easily answer Dr. King’s question in today’s central quotation, “What are you doing for others?” The list of what teachers do for students is endless. To teach is so much more than lessons and content, as Teacher Peach’s I Teach. Jumbo Tote Bag captures. The tote’s message reads, “Yes. I Teach. So, I inspire, manage, coach, engage, solve problems, listen, detect, explore, believe, care, worry, & always make time to laugh with my kids.™”1 Teachers do this with every action, decision, and suggestion—every day.

Quotations Worksheets About Helping Others
In addition to the central quotation of this blog post, Teacher Peach has chosen five other quotations about doing for others. We’ve created worksheets for all six quotations, including Dr. King’s. These freebie PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheets are for you to use in your lesson plans, share, post, pin, print, or simply enjoy.

Perhaps you might like to mix and match these to compare and contrast these in one of your upcoming lessons. Why not divide the class into small groups and ask each group to assess one quotation based on a CCSS objective that you may be covering in other aspects of your instruction? By adding your questions to these worksheets, you can easily customize them for your classes and lesson plans.

TP PQS Doing for Others MLK Quote1 TP PQS Dickens Quote No One Is Useless
TP PQS Angelou Quote Blessed TP PQS Gandhi Quote Service of Others
TP PQS Become Poor by Giving Anne Frank Quote TP PQS Napoleon Hill Succeed Quote

How Do You Do for Others? How Did These Quotations Do for You?
Share with Teacher Peach blog readers your thoughts about these quotations and how you might use them in your classroom. What combinations might you pair together? Dr. King and Maya Angelou? What about Charles Dickens and Anne Frank? These two tell very different stories with one very similar message. What do you think? How would you use these PeachQuotes Studios™ Quotations and Worksheets to inspire your students?

What about the I Teach. Jumbo Tote? Are there other words that you would add to the Teacher Peach message on the Yes, I Teach Jumbo Tote? We’re designing new totes for Teacher Appreciation Week. Share your ideas here!

Do You Have a Project to Help Your Students?
As you head into next week, we have one last question in this post. Do you have an educational project that could benefit from a $100 contribution and a FREE Teacher Peach product? Submit up to five different educational project ideas to Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative for a chance to be selected to receive a $100 contribution and a FREE Teacher Peach product.


Teacher Peach Granting Teacher GoalsCTA BUTTONS

Any educational project—large or small—is eligible if it helps kids learn, teachers teach, or just makes an objective exciting to learn—and teach! Through January 31st, you may enter 5 different projects from a single email address, by completing a separate application for each project. Winners will be announced starting February 1, 2016.

This initiative is a big part of what Teacher Peach is doing for others in February! That calls for a High 5!


1 The message on the I Teach, Jumbo Tote is wholly owned by Teacher Peach, LLC and is protected by copyright by this notice. © Teacher Peach, LLC. All rights reserved.

Big Dreams, Big Results

Dreams count. Dreams make a difference. Dreams help us reach for bigger, better results and spark us to believe we can—and will—achieve them. Big dreamers are very often big doers. Not only do students benefit from learning about the big dreams and big results of powerful leaders, they also benefit from understanding how their own dreams help build their confidence and achieve results. Teachers can deliver this lesson through both instruction and example.

Three Strong Quotes for Three January Trending Topics
As part of the PeachQuotes Studio™ series, “Dreams and More” Quotations, we’ve curated three different—and “DREAM-y”—January quotations for today’s blog post. These quotations are primed and ready to incorporate into your lessons as you wrap up this quarter and launch into third quarter of the school year.

During January, as part of the ongoing curriculum, many teachers are focusing on three topics: Martin Luther King’s birthday, Black History Month, and the benefits of goal setting for 2016. Below you’ll find a curated quotation worksheet for each of these trending topics.

Dreams are quite powerful. As you plan and move through your lessons in the coming weeks, take a look at and consider infusing one or more of these DREAM-y quotations. See our blog post, How to Use the PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheets, for more information on the strategy behind these worksheets and ideas for your classroom.

Martin Luther King’s Birthday PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream. On August 28, 1963, Dr. King spoke these powerful words:

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

We selected this familiar quotation because many teachers tell us they use this quotation in many different ways during January—and beyond. The worksheet layout is designed encourage students to go back into the text and deconstruct the quotation. Just write a quick direction and include a few of your own writing prompts—and go!

TP PQS Worksheet MLK I Have a Dream

Black History Month PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet
Oprah Winfrey inspires and motivates people in many walks of life. Many say it is because she possesses an ability to reach and relate to a universal audience. Not only do her words offer encouragement, they resonate in a common-sense manner as this example illustrates.

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”

—Oprah Winfrey

In this quotation, Oprah distilled a complex idea into a simple and understandable turn of phrase. Isn’t that exactly what teachers strive for when teaching students to capture the main idea, determine cause and effect, or dig into the text for evidence to support a point of view? Use this quotation and worksheet as an example or discussion starter. It’s an effective lesson addition: you’ll make a connection to a strong writing example and you can connect to a lesson on Black History Month, as well as building dreams, setting goals, and sticking to resolutions.

TP PQS Worksheet Winfrey Adventure Dreams

2016 Goal Setting PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet
Though Winter Break may seem long past, we are less than a dozen days into 2016. For many, the second quarter of the school year is quickly coming to a close. Students scramble to complete (or even find!) missing assignments while teachers read writing journals and other long-term assignments to wrap up a grading period.

If you’re about to begin a new grading period, this can be an excellent time to invite students to set goals for the balance of the school year. Reflecting on the first half of the year and setting goals for the second half can be a powerful activity to help your students make even greater progress.

Just like adults, students often confuse a set of goals with a to-do list. It can help students to begin with their dreams and break down those big ideas into measurable goals for the balance of the school year. Prompt kids with questions like, “How far do you think you’ll get on that by the end of third quarter?” or “What specific things will you need to do to get closer to your goal (of an A, of finishing your homework on time, or of not forgetting things for class)?”

We selected this quote about dreams by Walt Disney for the third PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet in this blog post for three reasons. First, most students know the name Disney, so you won’t need to spend time explaining what this author did. Second, Walt Disney set many goals and had many big dreams, examples of which are likely evident to your students from sweatshirts, TV shows, and top songs. Third, this particular belief of his was a simple, albeit enormous, one that will be easy for students to commit to memory and draw on always.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

—Walt Disney

In addition to the PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet for this quotation, we are also sharing a colorful freebie poster for your classroom or for you to post with assignments.

Why not print out the color poster a few times and post one on the door, another by the sink, and a third near the technology cart? After a few days, ask students if they noticed the quotation, what they think it means, and why they think you hung it up around the classroom. Then, use the worksheet provided to pose a question or two to help your students either reflect on past work, set goals for third quarter, or both.

TP PQS Walt Disney Dream It Do It

TP PQS Worksheet Disney Dream It Do It

For a refresher on how to set your own goals for 2016, re-read our back-to-school blog post about setting goals.

Dream BIG to WIN BIG
As you head into next week, we have one last question in this post. Do you have an educational project that could benefit from a $100 contribution and a FREE Teacher Peach product? Want to DREAM one up? Enter Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative below.

Teacher Peach Granting Teacher Goals

Any educational project—large or small—is eligible if it helps kids learn, teachers teach, or just makes a tricky learning objective more engaging and exciting to learn—and teach! Through January 31st, you may enter 5 different projects from a single email address, by completing a separate application for each project. Winners will be announced starting February 1, 2016.

We hope these three different, yet connected worksheets spark you full of ways to fold them into your lesson plans during January as you help your students focus on the work at hand, setting DREAM-y goals, and honoring Martin Luther King, and Black History Month. Let us know how you use these worksheets and put them into action in your classroom!

How to Use the PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheets

Have you been enjoying the PeachQuotes Studio™ Motivational Quotations? In addition to graphically designed quotations you can print, post, share, and pin, PeachQuotes Studio™ has now added companion worksheets for selected quotations! They’ll be embedded into many upcoming Teacher Peach blog posts. These PeachQuotes Studios™ Worksheets will also be included in our Motivational Quotes board on Pinterest. These worksheets have been designed to “customize and go” as this example shows. We also kept the pages light, to make them easy to copy without using much of your toner allotment.

TP PQS Worksheet Winfrey Adventure Dreams

 

Three Simple Steps
Each quotation takes up only a portion of the letter-sized page to leave room for both you and your students to work with the text. In just three simple steps, you can use these in your classroom. 

  1. Print out the worksheet.
  2. Add your own directions or ask a few CCSS questions and send your students “back into the text” for answers.
  3. Make copies or scan your document so you can share it with your students. The horizontal orientation makes these worksheets easy to project on the whiteboard, too.

Ways to Use PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheets
These worksheets make ideal “in-between” activities:

  • a great free write for early finishers
  • a quick brainstorming pre-write
  • a small group warm up
  • a compare-and-contrast primary source to pair with the lit selections you’re covering in your class

Quotations, by their very nature, are ideal examples to show students how much can be derived from such a short piece of text. Consider a prompt like this one shared by an intermediate-grades teacher:

“Wow. We’ve just spent 10 minutes talking, writing, comparing, and disagreeing about the one little sentence with just 9 words in it! Does this show you how rich words are? Just think about what we can learn from an entire paragraph, or story!”

Keep these quotations worksheets close by as you move through your teaching priorities. You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities you might find to weave them into your teachable moments.

You May Quote Us, Too!
You’ll see these worksheets during the month of January as we showcase goal setting, Martin Luther King’s birthday, and Black History Month. We hope you’ll try using at least a few of them during the month. Tell us any ideas you may have about ways we might make these even easier for you to customize for your classroom.

Speaking of ideas, do you have any ideas for projects? As you head into next week, we have one last question in this post.

Do you have an educational project that could benefit from a $100 contribution and a FREE Teacher Peach product?

Why not DREAM up one (or even 5!)? Enter Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative below.

Teacher Peach Granting Teacher Goals

Any educational project—large or small—is eligible if it helps kids learn, teachers teach, or just makes a tricky learning objective more engaging and exciting to learn—and teach! Through January 31st, you may enter 5 different projects from a single email address, by completing a separate application for each project. Winners will be announced starting February 1, 2016.

We hope you’ll enter your ideas and that these PeachQuotes Studios™ Worksheets will spark you full of even more, great classroom ideas. Share the ways you opt to fold them into your lesson plans to help your students focus on the work at hand, set DREAM-y goals, and honor Martin Luther King and Black History Month. Let us know how you put these worksheets in action in your classroom!

 

5 Teacher Tips for a Great Last Day Before Winter Break

This school week has likely felt twelve days long so far and it isn’t over yet! As teachers approach the finish line, there’s so much yet to complete before departing for some well-deserved time off. Earlier in the week Teacher Peach posted 5 tips for you to employ early in the week to ensure a smooth transition to and from Winter Break. In this blog, you’ll find 5 more tips for your last day before break. These tips will help you to efficiently button up your classroom and will also help to set yourself up for a successful relaunch after the new year!

Can you picture yourself on your Winter Break? It’s so close. Use these 5 tips to help you clear your school decks so you can begin to focus on holiday festivities and activities. Even though time is tight on these final few days and some of these details might feel like the last things you have time for right now, if you make time to complete these actions, you’ll more successfully and effectively relaunch after the new year. Knowing you’ve left your professional responsibilities and your classroom poised for 2016 will help you to relax and enjoy your entire winter break!

5 Tips for a Great Last Day Before Winter Break

  1. Organize and clean up the classroom for Winter Break cleaning.
    Clear your classroom and make major school Winter Break cleaning projects easy to accomplish in your classroom. Encourage your students to help by picking up reading pillows, milk crates, and other classroom fixtures that reside on the floor. This quick action will help the custodial team clean and vacuum reading rugs, wax the floor, and give your classroom a fresh and welcoming feeling when you return. Students love to help ready the room, so they can surely go beyond their normal habit of turning chairs over desks. Remind students to take home any out-of-season extra clothes from lockers, too.
  1. Ready your room for January: take down “heavy holiday” decorations now.
    While holiday decorations make for a very festive classroom now, you’ll react quite differently to candy canes and ornaments when you walk back into the room in January. If you’re hosting a class party, once it’s over, take just a few minutes to take down what we call “heavy holiday” decorations before you leave. Keep up the snowmen and penguins, just in case you can’t get to your January MLK makeover on the first day or two when you return. Even if you don’t have time to store the holiday items before you leave, just taking a few minutes to take down the “heavy holiday” items will feel wonderful when you renter your classroom.
  1. Send home this fun, quick text study activity.
    Teacher Peach The Meaning of Life
    Looking for something to send home with your students? Link winter break family time to some embedded learning with this quick activity that kids and family members will enjoy. Rich with important critical thinking skills, this quotation is bound to spark many family discussions. This thought-provoking quotation and worksheet features Picasso’s famous quote: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” To complete the activity, students explore what the quote means and interview family members for their interpretations. The activity also encourages students to discover their own “gift” as well as the “gifts” of family members—which can spark some excellent bonding conversations over the holidays.

Teacher Peach Winter Break WorksheetSome teachers offer extra credit, others make the assignment mandatory, and still others simply send it home. Some teachers attach it to an email to families or tuck it in their thank you notes for holiday gifts. Whatever way works best for you, this quotation helps kids to see that the gift that isn’t wrapped is the most important one of all. As your students settle in on the first few days back, discussing this quotation and the their findings is a great way to reignite your class in January. Both the quotation and worksheet are attached here, ready to go!

  1. Create a quick “Where We Left Off” list.
    In the tips for earlier this week, we suggested you create a “When We Return” folder to hold all work in progress, lesson plans, assignments, and any other items you’ll want to have handy when you walk back into your classroom in January. On the last two days before break, take a few minutes throughout both days to make a running list of where you stopped on various lesson plan priorities. You’ll be amazed at how valuable this list will be when you return. You can hit the ground running—and everything you’ll want to have will be in one folder.

One question often comes up about both the “When We Return” folder and the “Where We Left Off” list: Do you leave it on your desk or do you pop it in your briefcase?” The answer depends upon your personal planning style. Do you prep for your school week from home on Sunday night? If so, then take the folder home and tuck it away until the night before your return. If you tend to arrive at school early on Monday mornings to chart out your week’s lesson plans, then leaving the folder and list on your desk is the better answer for you. Either way, you’ll be able to jump right back—picking up where you and your student’s left off. Most of all, you’ll be rejuvenated, refreshed, and rested, because you were able to step away, enjoy your Winter Break, and be prepared well for your time away and smart re-entry.

  1. Power down your classroom—AND YOU!
    Be sure that all computers, electronics, lights, and other ON items are properly powered down. Check around once again for in-desk surprises from students like leftover snacks, old water bottles, etc. Unless student lockers have locks, it’s a good idea to do a quick check to lockers and scan for in-desk surprises like old snacks or forgotten water bottles or any party remnants. Invite your students to take responsibility in this task. Confirm that all class pets and plants get to their winter break guardians, as well. If you’re leaving plants in class, be sure that they are watered, placed by or away from windows, as needed, and make arrangements with custodial teams to check in on them. Some schools turn heating systems down over long breaks, so be sure you plan for this, as well.

Most importantly, before you leave your classroom for Winter Break, power down yourself wisely, too. Taking one last, quiet sweep across your classroom before turning off the light. This time, you’re not looking for tangible items. Take a moment to acknowledge the intangibles—think for at least a moment about the last time your classroom was this quiet. It was likely in August before school began.

Think about and recognize all that you’ve accomplished since school started! Look how far both you and your kids have come.

  • Are your kids are reading at higher levels than when you met them?
  • Are your students taking more responsibility for their learning?
  • What about that concept that they struggled with and finally mastered?

Bravo on all counts!

Take a moment to recap your professional accomplishments so far in this school year! You deserve this break. You’ve already made strides with your students. Of course, there’s more to do; there always will be. With a sense of the successes, you’ll be ready to relax and enjoy your own Winter Break.

What are you planning to do to acknowledge your incredible accomplishments during the 2015 portion of the 2015–2016 school year? We’d like to know. The team at Teacher Peach would also like to take this opportunity to extend our very best wishes for a terrific Winter Break to all of the really great teachers who work so hard to make a difference to the students and families with whom you work each day. Enjoy!