Springtime Learning: Engaging Activities for the Elementary Classroom

Earth Day and Spring Ideas for elementary classes

As the flowers bloom and the birds chirp, it's time to infuse your classroom with the spirit of spring! With the arrival of this vibrant season, elementary teachers have so many opportunities to engage young minds while celebrating the beauty of nature and fostering essential skills. From art projects to math activities and everything in between, here are some delightful spring-themed activities to enrich your curriculum and keep your students excited about learning.

spring art ideas

Embrace the sunny vibes of spring with sunflower directed drawings! Guiding students through the steps of drawing a bright and cheerful sunflower not only encourages creativity but also helps develop their fine motor skills. Plus, it's a wonderful way to incorporate elements of nature into your art curriculum. Read the blog post for more details: Sunflower Directed Drawings

math basic facts

Combine the freshness of spring with essential math skills through engaging math crafts. From creating flower patterns to modeling addition and subtraction skills, these hands-on activities make learning math fun and tangible for young learners. Ready to learn more? Grab your freebie craft here

second grade grammar and math worksheets

For busy teachers seeking convenient resources, no-prep worksheets offer a quick and effective way to reinforce grammar and math concepts. With spring-themed worksheets featuring engaging puzzles to enhance vocabulary, review skills and helping them work independently or in small groups, they will  keep your students engaged while reviewing essential skills. Get more details here.

Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day by engaging students in activities that promote environmental awareness and stewardship. From planting seeds in biodegradable pots to conducting nature scavenger hunts, these activities encourage students to appreciate and protect our planet while learning about ecology and sustainability.

Incorporate technology into your spring curriculum with Boom Learning activities that offer interactive and engaging learning experiences. Whether practicing grammar skills with digital flashcards or reviewing fact and opinion skills, these activities cater to diverse learning styles and preferences.

Directed Drawings for Spring

Add a touch of whimsy to your art lessons with pop art bunny drawings! Inspired by the colorful aesthetic of pop art, these adorable bunnies provide a creative outlet for students to experiment with shape, color, and pattern while celebrating the joy of springtime.

science integration

Take a multidisciplinary approach to learning with spring paper bag books that cover a range of topics, including Earth Day facts, the life cycle of a chicken, the water cycle, and different types of clouds. By integrating reading, writing, and science content into a single project, students gain a deeper understanding of seasonal themes and concepts.

Incorporating these spring activities into your lesson plans can breathe new life into your classroom and ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity in your students. Whether exploring the beauty of nature through art, reinforcing academic skills through hands-on projects, or fostering environmental consciousness through themed activities, there's something for every teacher and student to enjoy as we welcome the arrival of spring. Let the learning blossom!


10 Delightful February Read-Aloud Books

February books for the elementary classroom

February is a month full of love, history, and celebration! This makes it the perfect time to find all those special read aloud books and get your students excited to learn! Let's gather our eager learners and take them on a journey through these ten delightful read-aloud books, each with its unique charm and valuable lessons. All the books below come with an affiliate link to Amazon.

February Read Alouds

Groundhog's Day Off by Robb Pearlman
Summary: What if the groundhog decided to take a vacation from his annual duties? This hilarious tale follows Groundhog as he takes a much-needed day off, causing quite the commotion in the town.

Reason to Love it: Groundhog's Day Off brings humor and a fresh perspective to the traditional Groundhog Day concept. This story will keep your students engaged while teaching them the importance of taking breaks and enjoying life's simple pleasures.

February Read Alouds

Summary: Mr. Hatch lives a lonely life until one day he receives a mysterious package with a note that reads, "Somebody loves you." This heartwarming story unfolds as Mr. Hatch discovers the true power of kindness and community.

Reason to Love it: This touching tale highlights the significance of compassion and the positive impact small acts of kindness can have on someone's life. It offers an excellent opportunity for discussions about empathy, friendship, and spreading love.

February Read Aloud books

Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers by Karen B. Winnick
Summary: This fascinating historical fiction revolves around an eleven-year-old girl who writes a letter to Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he grow whiskers. To her surprise, she receives a response from the President himself!

Reason to Love it: Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers blends history and fiction, making it a compelling read for children. It introduces them to the power of ideas and how young voices can have a meaningful impact on the world.

February Read Aloud books

 A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger
Summary: The Crankensteins are back, and this time, they're not feeling the love on Valentine's Day! Join them on their comical quest to find something to love amidst the mushy holiday.

Reason to Love it: This fun and quirky book offer a lighthearted take on Valentine's Day, perfect for relieving any holiday-induced stress. It emphasizes finding joy in unexpected places and showcases the importance of embracing one's uniqueness.

February read aloud books

George Washington's Teeth by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora
Summary: Discover the quirky story behind George Washington's false teeth, made from various materials like hippo ivory and horse teeth.

Reason to Love it: This historically accurate yet amusing account of a significant figure's dental journey will have children giggling while learning about American history and how myths can develop.

February read aloud books

The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine
Summary: This story follows the adventures of a young boy who discovers a magic wok capable of providing endless food. However, he learns the importance of sharing when the wok vanishes.

Reason to Love it: This culturally rich tale introduces students to Chinese traditions and values while imparting a valuable lesson about the rewards of selflessness and community spirit.

February books for the elementary classroom

Valensteins by Ethan Long
Summary: The town of Frightsville dreads Valentine's Day, especially when the Valensteins (Frankenstein's monster-like creatures) appear. But one brave girl is determined to show them the true meaning of the holiday.

Reason to Love it: This story cleverly combines a spooky theme with a heartwarming message about acceptance, friendship, and the power of love to conquer fear. It's a fantastic way to celebrate both Valentine's Day and individuality.

February books to read in the elementary classroom

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Summary: Dragons love tacos, but there's one thing they can't handle – spicy salsa! Follow along as a boy hosts a taco party for dragons and navigates this fiery predicament.

Reason to Love it: This story is a whimsical and entertaining story that sparks children's imagination. Its humorous plot teaches them about consequences and the importance of paying attention to detail.

books about presidents

Summary: Delight in the hilarious tale of President Taft getting stuck in his bathtub and the various comical attempts to rescue him.

Reason to Love it: This historical fiction injects humor into the life of a former president, bringing history to life for young readers. It also reminds children that everyone, including notable figures, has their quirks and funny moments.

February books

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
Summary: When Grace learns there has never been a female president, she decides to run for school president to pave the way for future female leaders.

Reason to Love it: Grace for President empowers young readers by showing strong, determined female characters and encouraging them to dream big. It's a wonderful book to inspire discussions about leadership, equality, and making a difference.

Happy reading and enjoy the adventure of storytelling with your students this February!


Winter Read Alouds For the Elementary Classroom

Winter books for the elementary class

As winter approaches and the weather turns frigid, it's the perfect time to gather your elementary students for some cozy read-aloud sessions. I have put together some of my favorite winter books all in one place for you. I hope you find some inspiration to add to your classroom library and to share with your students. All the books below come with an affiliate link to Amazon.

favorite winter books for elementary classrooms
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Reasons I love this book: This book promotes problem-solving skills, introduces the concept of sequencing, and teaches the importance of kindness and sharing.

Synopsis:  This book is a classic winter tale that combines beautiful illustrations with a heartwarming story. The artwork takes readers on a journey as a lost mitten becomes home to a growing number of woodland animals.

favorite winter read alouds
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Reasons I love this book: This book celebrates curiosity, scientific exploration, and the beauty of the natural world. It's a great opportunity to introduce children to the wonders of science and inspire them to observe the world around them.

Synopsis: This is the true story of Wilson Bentley, a man fascinated by snowflakes. Through his perseverance and love for nature, Bentley becomes the first person to photograph snowflakes. 

favorite winter read alouds
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
Reasons I love this book: This book encourages problem-solving, resilience, and the value of creative thinking.

Synopsis: This story weaves a hilarious tale of a snowman who just can't stop sneezing. As Sneezy tries various remedies to stay cold, young readers will enjoy the snowman's silly adventures and cheer for his clever solution. 

favorite winter read aloud books for elementary students
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Reasons I love this book: It's a perfect read-aloud choice for nurturing children's appreciation for nature and descriptive writing with vivid imagery and the five senses.

Synopsis: The poetic language in this story beautifully captures the quiet and magical moments of a snow-covered winter landscape. 

favorite winter read alouds
Reasons I love this book: This book enhances sequencing skills, engages with rhyming patterns, and guarantees giggles throughout the read-aloud session.

Synopsis: This story adds a humorous twist to the beloved rhyme. As the old lady devours various winter items, the story builds anticipation and creates opportunities for children to predict what might happen next. 

winter read aloud books in the primary classroom
The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson
Reasons I love this book: It nurtures children's curiosity about the natural world and encourages scientific inquiry.

Synopsis: This book introduces young readers to the science behind snowflakes. Filled with captivating close-up photographs of real snow crystals, this book explores the formation and intricate shapes of snowflakes. 

marshmallow read aloud book
Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins
Reasons I love this book: This book celebrates individuality, the joy of embracing new experiences, and teaches children to be true to themselves.

Synopsis: This delightful story challenges traditional winter expectations. It features a brave, marshmallow-loving character who decides to enjoy the snowy outdoors instead of hiding indoors. 

favorite winter snowmen books
How to Catch a Snowman by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton
Reasons I love this book: It encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and promotes teamwork among students as they brainstorm their own clever ideas for catching the snowman.

Synopsis: With its catchy rhymes and playful illustrations, the story takes students on an imaginative adventure as children devise creative traps to catch a mischievous snowman. 

winter books for the classroom
Reasons I love this book: This book offers opportunities for discussion about animal adaptations, seasons, and the importance of rest.

Synopsis: The story explores the theme of hibernation through a whimsical and humorous narrative. It introduces children to various animals and their unique ways of preparing for winter slumber. 

Winter read-aloud sessions are a perfect way to captivate and engage elementary students during the chilly months. Happy reading!


Winter Read Alouds

Collaborative Learning: Student Groupings Made Simple

how to create student pairs

How many times have you taught a lesson where students need to form a group or pair up with one another and you hold your breath because you just aren't sure how this is going to work? Usually students pair up with their bestie, don't even move from their seat, or argue with one another. As a student, my stomach would drop when my teacher would say, "Find a partner." Can you relate? In this  post, you will learn why student groupings are important, a few easy and effective ways to make student groupings, and ways to use student groupings to enhance the learning in your classroom.


1. Diverse Perspectives: Partnering or grouping students diversifies the range of perspectives that contribute to discussions and problem-solving. This exposure to different viewpoints allows students to learn from one another's unique insights.

2. Collaborative Skills: Collaboration is a skill that extends far beyond the classroom. By working together on tasks and activities, students develop essential skills like communication, compromise, and teamwork that are invaluable in their future.

3. Peer Teaching: When students collaborate, they often teach each other in informal ways. This strengthens their understanding of the material as they explain concepts to their peers, reinforcing their own learning while building confidence.

4. Increased Engagement: Collaborative activities break the monotony of traditional teaching methods. Students become more engaged as they actively participate, share ideas, and contribute to their peers' learning experiences.

5. Sense of Belonging: Partnering or grouping students creates a supportive environment where they can connect with their peers. This sense of belonging enhances their overall well-being and encourages them to express their thoughts and opinions without fear.


1. Group students randomly.

2. Pair students who have things in common, but may not realize it yet.

3. Combine students who have mastered concepts with students who are still struggling.

4. Pair a patient student with student with behavior concerns.

5. Pair struggling students together to practice reading or math fluency.


Using partner cards or student grouping cards is the perfect way to eliminate the chaos when creating collaborative groups. You can pre-plan groups OR you can randomly hand out picture cards and have them find their partner or group.

student grouping cards

1. Pre-planned Groups: To use this strategy, make a list and hand out one of the picture cards to each pair or group of students. It appears "random" to the students, but you have strategically grouped them!

2. Random Groups: Looking for something less structured? Randomly hand out a picture card to each student and watch them pair up. This method allow students to work together who may not normally choose one another, yields itself to collaboration, and provides structure when grouping students. 

Student Grouping Cards

These picture grouping cards are perfect to create pairs, groups of 3, 4, 5, or 6 students. Each card has a large picture, written word, and small picture of the pairings and comes with answer posters. These cards can be laminated and/or glued onto popsicle sticks to make it easy for students to hold. All of these tools are part of the Student Grouping Cards resource.

Incorporating student partnerships and groups into your classroom doesn't have to be complicated. Collaboration is a crucial life skill and as educators it is our job to help our students learn the skills to do it successfully. I hope these tips and tricks help you to effectively utilize groupings in a meaningful way into your classroom. 


12 Diverse December Read Alouds for the Classroom

December holiday diverse books

As teachers, one of the most effective ways to foster a love for reading and engage young minds is through read-aloud sessions. Sharing captivating stories with your elementary students not only develops their literacy skills but also sparks their imagination and curiosity. To help you create a culturally inclusive reading experience, I have carefully selected 12 diverse read-aloud books that are sure to captivate your students. All the books below come with an affiliate link to Amazon.

Holiday read alouds
Reasons I love this book: This delightful tale follows Hershel as he outwits a group of mischievous goblins to save Hanukkah. It introduces students to Jewish traditions and values while celebrating courage and cleverness.

Christmas holiday book
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
Reasons I love this book: Ever wonder how Santa became the iconic figure we know today? This humorous book takes young readers on a journey through Santa's amusing job interviews, offering a fresh perspective on the beloved holiday character.

December read aloud book
Reasons I love this book: Join Olive, the adorable and mischievous dog, as she embarks on an adventure to help Santa save Christmas. This heartwarming story promotes teamwork, friendship, and the power of believing in oneself.

Christmas holiday book
The Crayons' Christmas by Drew Daywalt
Reasons I love this book: This colorful and imaginative book brings back our favorite crayons as they embark on a holiday adventure. With its vibrant illustrations and witty storytelling, it encourages creativity and individuality.

Mooseltoe holiday book
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
Reasons I love this book: Follow Moose as he hilariously prepares for Christmas in this delightful rhyming story. It teaches children the importance of family, planning, and the joy of giving.

December holiday book
Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger
Reasons I love this book: A twist on the classic Little Red Riding Hood, this enchanting tale features a determined little red sleigh on a quest to help Santa. It highlights the values of perseverance and the power of dreams.

Hispanic holiday read aloud book
T'was Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Reasons I love this book: Celebrate the Hispanic traditions of Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) with this rhythmic bilingual book. It introduces cultural diversity and the magic of Christmas in a multicultural setting.

Holiday culturally diverse book
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Reasons I love this book: This is a holiday favorite in my classroom. This heartwarming story explores the Mexican American tradition of making tamales during the holiday season. It weaves in themes of family, honesty, and the joy of coming together.

Christmas around the world read aloud
Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola
Reasons I love this book: Discover the Italian legend of Old Befana, an old woman who delivers gifts to children on Epiphany Eve. This beautifully illustrated book celebrates kindness, forgiveness, and the spirit of giving.

December holiday read aloud
Reasons I love this book: For families celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah, this book offers a delightful blend of both traditions. It emphasizes the richness of cultural diversity and the importance of love and unity.

culturally diverse holiday book
Happy All-idays by Cindy Jin
Reasons I love this book: A great way to learn about a variety of holiday cultural celebrations all in one read aloud! This book does a great job capturing the importance of each holiday from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more!

culturally diverse Christmas read loud book
The Real Santa by Nancy Redd
Reasons I love this book: This story beautifully depicts a young Black boy determined to stay up all night to see what Santa looks like. The story celebrates identity, family and holiday traditions. It is a great way for students to connect with one another about similar feelings they may have about the holiday.

These 12 read-aloud books are an excellent addition to your classroom library, as they combine captivating storytelling with valuable lessons and diverse cultural experiences. Whether it's learning about different holiday traditions, exploring the power of friendship and perseverance, or celebrating cultural diversity, these books offer valuable experiences that will resonate with your students. Happy reading!