Monthly Archives: August 2016


Just have to share my new resources about America's 50 states. There are five different resources rolled into one big bundle. Kids will learn about the states of our great country.  They will become familiar with the map of the United States, develop a sense of spatial awareness of regions of the United States, identify states by their shape when presented outside of a US map, learn the state capitals, and use organizers to complete a state report.

The five separate resources, all included in the bundle, and described below, are also offered individually.

The bundle contains everything you need to teach a unit about  America's 50 states including diversified approaches to the subject matter with ideas for differentiation.

The Atlas


All 50 states, with their capitals clearly labeled, are depicted on individual pages. Students use classroom wall maps or the internet to find other large cities and large bodies of water for each state and label their own maps.  The teacher must choose the objectives to be achieved: 1) use these pages  to form one class atlas or individual ones for each student,  2) complete pages for individual states to include in state reports.

The United States Map Puzzle


Each of the 50 large puzzle pieces need to be identified, labeled and placed onto a large piece of paper to for a wall-sized (20" x 30") map of the US.  This is an activity that will work well working in small groups.  Kids can look at the shape of the states given to their group and try to identify them. The teacher can differentiate by giving more able learners states like Missouri and Ohio that can easily be confused with a few other states when they are no longer part of the whole map.  Less able learners can contribute by working on states such as Texas, Florida, California and New York. They are easily identifiable.

Four-Piece State Facts Puzzles


Kids assemble 50 four-piece puzzles using the clues on each puzzle piece. Clues include a picture of the state, large cities, the state's nickname and its abbreviation. Pictures of the states are presented in color. There is an additional set presented in black and white.

States and Capitals


A map of the United States has the states labeled only with numbers. Kids identify each state and  its capital city on the student's response sheet.


Teachers can also implement a reverse activity and make cards with the names of states and their capitals by cutting up the answer sheet.  The cards are  placed in a bag  and pulled  out one at a time. The card is read aloud. Kids need to find the number of the state on the map.


 Researching America's 50 Great States


This page is for general information about the state.

Kids will need to use the internet to find out who holds office in the state they are researching.


When research work is completed, kids can design a flag with information they have learned. This student is drawing a picture of New Mexico's state bug.  She also learned that New Mexico was the 47th state admitted to the Union. When she finishers her flag, it will be posted on the wall with others to create a long banner of states.


When I was making these resources, I intended for them to enrich your class studies of America's states. Now that the entire bundle is completed, I realize that they can also used independently in your classroom to develop a particular skill or you can choose to use any combination of activities to suit your needs.  My  hope is that these resources will help you to save time and have less stress.  Everything is done for you with the exception of some cutting and the students do most of that!

Less work for the teacher, more fun for the kids and greater organization for everyone!

Kathleen in 8 Apples

Post Divider #1


show and tell tuesday

I am linking up with Forever in Fifth Grade's Show and Tell Tuesday linky for August.  Teacher-bloggers share their favorite pictures of things they have been doing through the month. Check it out and find out what the  bloggers you know have been up to.

Greenport Boat

We traveled out to Greenport on the eastern tip of Long Island's north fork to have lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Really enjoying this summer!  It was a beautiful day!

show and tell tuesday 2


Love my flower garden! It's been so hot here and there's been no real rain in weeks.  Even with a sprinkler system I need to constantly check to be sure they have enough water. Of course, the weeds are having no problem!  Ugh!

show and tell tuesday 3

Welcome back to another school year!

How valuable is a beginning of the year informal assessment?

I love informal assessments! I learned a long time ago how valuable it can be to get an early assessment of my new students' abilities.  The first day of school for most Long Island schools is usually a Wednesday. I used those three days of the first week to welcome students, make them feel comfortable, and learn as much about them as I could. Because I did not want to accept what last year's teacher said as gospel, I wanted to to conduct my own assessment of my students' academic and behavioral abilities. Every year, before school started, I used a large (5x8) index card to document information about each student. On that card I wrote their name, and a few notes, such as any services they were supposed to receive and mainstream classes they would attend.  During those first three days, I conducted lots of observations/informal assessments to learn about my new students. Then I wrote notes on my index cards about what I learned.





The assessment you administer should require students to do tasks they should already know and maybe a question or two they probably don't know. Sometimes you are surprised at the results!

Write any observations on their cards.  If you have a rubric, highlight the appropriate comments and file it with the assessment sheets in each student's folder you keep on file in your classroom.   Besides academic skills, what else did you learn that can be noted on the student's card?   Behavioral observations should be noted too. Was the student's work neat or messy? Did the student's equipment appear to be organized or was it all over the place? Was the student able to stay on task or did he need prompts to focus?  This is the beginning of documenting your observations about your new students.  As the year goes on, continue to write notes on these cards whenever you observe new things. Of course, every note should be dated.

These notes are a valuable resource for you when preparing for parent-teacher conferences.  At the time you think you will never forget, but the classroom is a fast moving place where sometimes days, and yes weeks, just seem to run together. When you contact a parent, via note, email, phone or an in-person conference, note the type of conference, the date and a brief description of what was discussed.  Your cards will provide you with documentation about what happened and when. More than once, the notes on my cards helped me through a situation where I was being questioned. When a parent says "no one ever told me that," you will be able to remind them of a phone conversation you had on October 3rd.  Also, reviewing these notes means you will not forget to mention something to a parent that they should know and that you want to share.  Hopefully, you will be reporting how much their child has improved! This method of informal assessment is easy, effective and takes only a few minutes to make a note when something is observed.



You can create your own informal assessment or you can try the one I just created.  It is quick and easy to administer. This assessment is for multiplication and division only. Problems start with the times tables and get progressively harder. Can the student multiply a one-digit number by a two-digit number without renaming? Can the student multiply a one-digit number by a two-digit number with renaming? Can the student multiply a two-digit number by a two-digit number?  You get the idea.  There is a separate division sheet, also with progressively harder problems.  Highlighting appropriate comments on the rubric, that is included, makes note taking easy and the information can be transferred to your cards later.

Less work for the teacher, more fun for students and great organization for everyone!


Wishing you a great school year!

I would appreciate your comments about informal assessments!


Kathleen in 8 Apples

Post Divider #1

1 Comment

August 2016 $75 Giveaway 1August 2016 $75 Giveaway 2


Once again I have joined Kelly Malloy and other fabulous teacher-authors to co-host our awesome monthly giveaway with a very practical prize, a $75 TpT gift card. Wouldn't winning that prize be a great start to a new school year? Imagine all the resources and clip art you could buy with that! The contest starts today so be sure to enter often to increase your chances of winning!  I wish you good luck!!

Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher
Co-hosts: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),  A Plus Kids,  Teaching SuperkidsPeas in a PodEmbellished EducationLattes and LunchroomsKB3TeachDancing into FirstTeaching Ideas For Those Who Love TeachingThe Chocolate TeacherMs K MathKnowledge MobileMrs. RoltgenElementary Antics,  CrazyCharizmaCarla HoffThird Grade GigglesMickey's PlaceRissa HannekenActivity TailorKamp Kindergarten,  Reading and Writing RedheadPlanet Happy SmilesA View Into My ClassroomMomma With A Teaching MissionSara RuckerThe Literacy GardenPam's PlaceHeart 2 Heart TeachingMrs Humphries ClassSliding Into 1stGrowing Grade by GradeJackie CrewsLife As I Know ItSarah GriffinTeacher Treasure HunterGlistening Gems, and A Classroom for All Seasons.
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 8/13/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
Kathleen in 8 Apples
Post Divider #1


Main Pick 3 Graphic August
It's been a beautiful hot, lazy summer. So nice to have that carefree feeling to have lunch with friends, to read some books just for pure enjoyment and have the time to catch up with the kids!   For some of us summer vacation is already over and for others it is quickly coming to an end and teachers are beginning to think about getting ready for the start of another school year.  For this month's linky I have found some inspiring pins to create a warm welcoming classroom atmosphere. Enjoy!
Slide1 (1)
Selfies-School Kids
Love these "students!" They are great fun for your kids to create and will give your classroom an awesome looking presentation at meet-the-teacher night.  You can do a whole-body trace of each student's body or make a template of the head and shoulders and allow each kid to makeup his/her own face and shirt. Be sure to use heavier paper so the "students" appear to sit up straight.
Slide2 (1)
 Sneakers with summer message


Sneakers are always the rage! Make a template. Let kids trace it and decorate a cool pair of sneakers! Get some shoe laces at the dollar store or use yarn and add to the project. Kids can write about where they've been walking while on the vacation.

 Slide3 (1)
Welcome Back
I just love the idea of creating a "photo booth" in the classroom. You need a few props to create that fun Back To School look.  This picture clearly shows the few things necessary. I love the sign for kids to hold. No one will ever forget when this picture was taken!  The pictures will make a great display for your classroom in the beginning of the year!  At the end of the year do it again with a new sign. It will be fun to compare.
You might also like to make new photo booths at holiday time with different props. Let the kids make some cool signs, such as "I love snowmen."  "Santa, let me explain." The kids will have lots of funny things to say!  Great fun for your holiday party!  Appropriate for all grades! Middle school and high school too!


Check out my Pinterest feed for more great ideas for July. Feel free to peruse my boards to find more awesome summer ideas.

Visit A Plus Kids' profile on Pinterest.

Visit the other participating blogs for more creative ideas and leave comments everywhere to tell bloggers what you think. If you have an interesting activity for July, a recipe, or a July anything-at-all pin,  feel free to link up and share. Have fun! Have a wonderful summer!


Kathleen in 8 ApplesPost Divider #1



show and tell tuesday

July was such a great month and a beautiful, busy start to the summer!  Two really special things happened. I was lucky to be able to attend the TpT conference again this year.  It was great meeting up with some teacher-authors that I met during the last two conferences in Las Vegas. The second great thing was my son's family was able to visit on Long Island for a week and I was able to grab some fun time with granddaughters--all for myself.


show and tell tuesday 1


Kathleen (Long Island), Kelly (Nevada), Minnie (Florida),

Mercedes (California), and Chandra (North Carolina)

Here's a few members of our little group that met over the last two years in Las Vegas. We are all from different states but have been supporting each other ever since.  Here we are at this year's TpT conference in Orlando having breakfast with Minnie Mouse who was happy to pose with us.


show and tell tuesday 2


Here I am with Donald Duck who is just so cute! Love him!

show and tell tuesday 3


We had a great table at the Cool Kids Meet and Greet. It was lots of fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  Goofy was an extra special guest. We were also lucky to have two members of Team TpT, Jodi and Talya, at our table. The Cool Kids Meet and Greet  was bigger and better than ever this year. Lots and lots of cool swag!

show and tell tuesday 4

Girls2016PicsWhat a fun time taking my three granddaughters shopping for new outfits! They had a blast trying on different outfits until they finally settled on final choices. The girls on each end, Alexa and Abby, are sisters and live out-of-state.   They are cousins to Mia, the girl in the middle.  Love these girls! Can't wait to do it again!

Kathleen in 8 Apples







Post Divider #1