Are we using too much technology in our classrooms?  Some probably think we aren't using enough, but I wonder if we're missing interaction with our kids for the sake of using multiple devices in the classroom.   Don't get me wrong, I think there is a time and place for everything, including technology. There are some outstanding programs in use. Programs that engage and teach students. But we can't lose sight of the importance of human interaction. Of teachers, teaching kids. Of listening and learning from the inflection in a voice what is really being said. 


It's too easy to write and read emails. But we lose the nuances of communication on the written page. Now, that's rich coming from me. I actually prefer email in some cases. I think email provides a great paper trail.  I think letters are a fantastic way of phrasing your words in just the right way. They let you erase the mistakes before they words have been said.  A chance to correct.  But teaching social interaction is equally as important. 

I see so many using technology just to use technology.  They have to incorporate it into the lesson so they stick in a video or chat link or digitized document.  I've been there. And done that. And not been so proud of it.  I was left wondering if there maybe wasn't a better way.  Had I just been checking off a requirement?  Or was I really using technology to enhance my lesson?   In some cases, I'll never know. In others, I knew the minutes I observed my students interaction. Or lack of it. They were going through the motions, but not really diving in.   

This doesn't mean that I'll abandon all uses of technology, but it does mean that I'll rethink how and when I use it. 



For Now: 
Nonfiction Task Card




For Later: 


Santa's Helpers Boom Cards!



If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   




      Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com

Your letter of resignation was accepted. You put the last items into a cardboard box and took one final look around the room. Your room. Your home away from home.  You turned off the light and stepped into the hallway.  You never imagined that the walk to your car would be so long. Or so lonely.   Maybe you've been planning this day for years. Maybe you haven't.  Maybe you've looked forward to your retirement years. Maybe you haven't.  Regardless of the planning or yearning, the day has arrived and you are ending a chapter in your life.

Starting a new season of your life might not be easy. If you've always identified yourself as a teacher and you suddenly find yourself without a classroom, it might be a little hard to swallow.   If you feel like you've vanished into thin air and no one notices you anymore, you might be struggling.   If you offer suggestions to your teacher friends and they ignore you, the frustration can grow.  You may not be in the classroom, but you still have something to say. Something to offer.

To be honest, I never gave this much thought until I observed how two dear people were treated by their former work places. They were older and retired. And forgotten.  I observed first hand the hurt.  They understood that time wasn't standing still for them. They knew there were new trends with which they were unfamiliar.  They got it. But they still had excellent observations and suggestions. And no one was listening because no one took the time to hear them or see them.

It breaks my heart. And, it makes me mad.  I see people that they've helped over the years, brush them off.  I've heard them say that they don't matter any more because they don't have a purpose. No one needs them any more.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The young ones may have an inside track on the latest technology,  the not-yet-ready-for-the-pasture crowd may still have an edge on the latest in education, and the up-and-coming may still have many years to rise, but they don't have it all or know it all. There is still a need to listen and respect the voice of experience.

Include retired friends in week-end or summer lunches. Call or text them. Ask them for suggestions, ideas, help. Don't let the resource of retired educators slip through your grasp. Utilize their knowledge and skills.  Let them know that they made a difference. Let them know they are not forgotten.

Something for Thanksgiving...
Thanksgiving Mini Unit

Something from my Faith- based category...
Christmas Customs 



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If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   




      Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com






Never thought I'd be subbing in a kindergarten room. Not in a million years. And, certainly, not loving it.   Guess what they say about never saying never is right.

It's odd, really. You would think that I'd want to stay in familiar territory. Stay with the big kids.  Middle school. Nope. That's where we'd both be wrong.  I guess I had enough of hormones and smart mouths. I replaced them with high pitched voices that can't pronounce things right and grubby little fingers that love to hold your hand. And it was worth it.

I'm not saying there is a lot of difference between kindergarten and middle school. Not so much.   But little kids can be fun. They make me laugh.  They make a mistake and they laugh.  They spill the entire contents of their art box? Oh, well. That's life. And a hundred little fingers reach out to help their buddy retrieve all of his colors.   In fact, they think everything is funny.  From farting to picking their nose.

Now, why would I think it's funny?  It's really gross. And stinky. But their expressions are so priceless. And innocent. They say what they mean. They say what they are thinking. They live in the moment.  Next year is too far away.  They find wonder in everything.  From an ant in the grass to someone's new hair bow.  Snacks are the best thing that ever happened to anybody. And someone who's crying needs a hug.

Life is simple. There are few complications. Their world is big and bright and shiny.  And if it isn't... then it's my job to put some polish on their gray world.

It's Turkey Time!! 
Quick little nonfiction lesson

Great unit: before or after Thanksgiving!




If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   




      Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com

I just read an article by someone I am sure is very nice and very well intentioned. Someone who thinks they know just what a teacher should do and just what makes a good teacher. But....  it made me angry.   I get so tired of reading what makes a good teacher and what good teachers should or shouldn't do.  By people that have never taught. Never spent one day in a classroom full of kids that need more than immediate feedback or candy rewards. By people that think having a child or being a child qualifies them to determine what makes a good teacher.

This article had three examples of teachers that shouldn't be teachers. I guarantee you that on any given day every teacher has found themselves in at least one of those scenarios.

Take for example the complaint that a good teacher will always give immediate written feedback on every lesson.  Someone who doesn't provide this shouldn't be in the classroom.  Really?   So every assignment must be graded and have meaningful comments written on it?  Yes, I'll agree that most assignments should have feedback.  But in order for that to happen to every assignment some things are going to have to change. My class size can't soar past 20 students. The usual 32 isn't conducive to building relationships and spending time giving them, not only written feedback, but also verbal feedback.  Having a minimum requirement of taking two (or preferably ) more grades per week will also have to disappear.  In order for learning to take place, students have to practice.  Then they have to have time  to correct their mistakes. Learn from them.  Parents might not see all of the rough drafts that  a student did for practice.  Just because you don't see a written comment on every lesson that doesn't mean that learning isn't taking place.

Ever have a bad day? Apparently the person writing the article doesn't. It's nice to know that there is someone out there that has never been frustrated with another human. Someone who has never said a harsh or unkind word to someone else. Someone who never loses their patience.  That's awesome. But that's not how most of the world react. We have a splitting headache and the little darling tugging on our arm pushes us over the edge.  We were up all night with a sick child and the loud, demanding student gets on our last nerve. We're human. It happens. We aren't proud of ourselves. In fact, we're harder on ourselves than the person who wrote the article.

What do you think of the last indicator of a bad teacher?  Someone who gives kids an assignment then allows them to have free time if they finish it before class ends.  Wow! That should be punishable by death. That should never happen.  Quick! Get out the handcuffs. We've got to lock up this no-good teacher.  You mean to tell me that you've never had a moment where you wrapped up a great lesson. Kids were engaged. They were on track. They mastered the content. So you did the 'unthinkable' and allowed them some down-time. A few free minutes to talk, draw, read...

Teachers do not manage numbers. They manage people. Kids.  They're human. Most have families of their own. Or fur babies. There are some bad apples. Teachers who teach for the wrong reasons. Teachers that never have a kind word. Teachers that don't prepare any lessons or provide any feedback.  But just because a teacher has a bad day it doesn't make them a bad teacher. Sometimes we could all use some understanding. And a little grace.


It's not too late....


Halloween flip books

It's not too early.....



Thanksgiving Nonfiction Lesson


 If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   




      Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com











Beware of the crazy season.  It starts in mid-October and ends when school resumes in January.  You'll easily recognize it by the pumpkins and poinsettia displays. Retailers call it Hallowthanksmas.  I call it crazy.  It happens between October and January, there is little time for catching your breath. Forget about finding your mind.  School days go by in a blur of frenzied activities, parties, and hyper kids.

There seems to be little time for quality instruction with parties and concerts, and assemblies.  Keeping focus and competing with costume comparisons is virtually impossible.  Writing Christmas list becomes the writing lesson.  Planning classroom parties takes precedence over lesson planning.

How do you survive and keep your kids engaged in quality lessons?  Don't try to fight the system. It is what it is. There have always been holiday concerts and parties. There are always kids physically exhausted and mentally wired after Halloween. There always will be.  Thanksgiving vacation will always cause a ripple of excitement. Kids will always be wide-eyed thinking about Christmas.

Make the best of the situation.   Find resources (or create them) that play into the holiday spirit.  Quality resources that provide review or reinforcement of skills.  Limit how many new concepts/standards you teach (I know there isn't enough time).  Focus on reinforcing skills you've previously taught.

Enjoy the holiday season. Count your blessings.  Breath. It happens once a year. Every year.  You survived last year. You'll survive this year. You've got this.



Keep learning going during the "crazy days" with these fun resources.  Take a look!


Nonfiction Sunflower Folktales

Spooky Fiction Collection

16 nonfiction Task Cards!


Because life is crazy busy, I'll only be posting in a few groups each week.  If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy



This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com
How do you keep teachers happy?  Is it giving them donuts in the break room?  Or what about a treat with their pay stub?  Or maybe it is pizza delivery on parent-teacher conference night? 
While all of these would be appreciated, they aren't the key to keeping teachers happy.  Keeping teachers happy is pretty simple.  It goes beyond the "treat with respect and professionalism" that should be a given.  

1.  Give teachers an option on school calendars.  Let them have a couple of options to choose from and then go with the majority vote.   Let them have a say-so on whether or not they will have a week off in the spring or long week-ends.  Let them decide which week is the best for parent conferences.  Yes, I know that some things are set in stone and cannot be changed, but giving teachers an opportunity to have a little input goes a long way. 

2. Jeans day.  Or days.  There is something about getting up and grabbing a pair of jeans and pulling on a school shirt that puts a spring in your step. Maybe it's the tennis shoes. Maybe it is the fact that you are more comfortable and aren't going to worry, as much,  about getting on the floor and getting dirty.  You feel a little more in touch with your students.  Jeans just seem to make the day get off to a good start. 

3.  Using PD time wisely. Don't waste time. Make it meaningful and useful. Not fluff.  No one likes to waste time.  And don't bleed into personal time.  When the clock strikes quitting time, end the meeting.  At that point, nothing anyone says in a meeting is more important than picking up your child or getting home to start supper. 

4. Smaller class sizes.  That matters. A lot.  It may mean hiring a couple more staff members, but it is well worth it.  Teachers will love you forever.  Smaller class sizes usually (not always) mean less discipline issues, more opportunity for forming relationships, and more engagement in lessons.   I could go on and on about the importance of keeping class size small, but just trust me on this. One of the biggest complaint teachers have is..... large class sizes.  

5.   Listen. Really listen. To the good and the bad. Without forming judgements or getting upset. Teachers are human. We need to vent.   Someone who won't judge us when we're down. Someone who doesn't try to advise or facilitate.  Someone who gives our ideas a moment or two to shine (or maybe is willing to let us try them).  Just a listening ear. 

Keeping teachers happy is pretty simple.  Little things that say a lot.  And you know what they say about happy teachers???   A happy teacher has happy students and is less likely to look for better opportunities. 


Something for everyone! 
Word Problems for younger students

Unit for Upper Elementary and Secondary

Nonfiction task cards for elementary

Because life is crazy busy, I'll only be posting in a few groups each week.  If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy



This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com
I've always been a fan of mental health days.  Those days when you just cannot face another human, big or small. Those days when you've heard all the jokes and can't paste a smile on. Those days when a few more hours of sleep sound heavenly.

Mental health days can help prevent illness. Really. No joke.  When you get tired, physically and emotionally, your system is run down and susceptible to catching every germ that flies your way.  Your body is too tired to fight.  A day of mental health and rest can restore you and prepare you to face the crud.

Mental health days are awesome for getting caught up.  You have tons to grade, millions of lessons to plan, thousands of emails to respond to.... at least it feels that way.  You have no idea how you'll possibly fit one more thing into your week-end.  Your to-do list is miles long.  You stay up late (which only perpetuates the problem) to try to get caught up, or you can't sleep thinking about it.  Might as well stay home. Throw in a load of laundry, grab a hot cup of coffee and dig in.  You'll feel better when you've made a dent in the pile.

Mental health days do not compound the problem.  "But, I have to write sub plans." Yes, you do.  But will it really hurt your kids to have practice and review activities for one day?  Stuff that is easy to plan and easy for a substitute to do.  It doesn't even have to be graded (assuming it's paper) by you. Have your kids grade it. They can learn a little about taking responsibility and ownership of their grades by grading their papers.  They don't have to count for a grade, but they can provide you with some additional information about the skills your kids need to work on.  You aren't losing a day of educational instruction.

A mental health day doesn't mean a wasted day. Just the opposite. A day to rest. A day to refresh. A day for you, so you can be your best for them.

October and November are perfect for learning more about the Native Americans that helped build our nation.

Chief Seattle's Words of Wisdom

Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims

Because life is crazy busy, I'll only be posting in a few groups each week, starting next week. 
If you're not following my blog by email, you can catch it weekly by following my facebook page, Chocolate 4 Teachers or my Pinterest Blog Board.   



      Privacy Policy


This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze (this blog is run by blogger, a Google company so Google analytics are used to provide me with general statistics about my blog readership) and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.  This blog is published on Facebook and Pinterest sites. This blog is not responsible for their use of cookies. If you wish to turn off the use of cookies you may do so at any time through your specific browser settings.  If you sign up to receive the blog by email, your email will not be added to any other mailing list or sold.  It is simply used to send the blog post to your inbox. No purchases may be made from this website. In order to purchase my resources you must visit the hosting website.   I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on August 1, 2019. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at kimberlyfrencken@gmail.com
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