Thanksgiving lesson: write a how-to paper on preparing a Thanksgiving feast

ThanksgivingFeastThanksgiving is the season for giving thanks…but your students have written thanks-themed pieces every year.  Why not try something different?  Challenge your students to write a paper on how to make  Thanksgiving dinner.  The results will be hilarious, and the piece will become a family favorite for years to come.

Plan for your students to spend at least an hour on this project.  They’ll want to brainstorm (as a class), write, then decorate their paper.  It’s really important that you have students do this project on a paper they decorate.  One, it makes a better Thanksgiving souvenir.  Two, decorating the paper makes kids want to spend a little more time on their writing.

You’ll probably need to brainstorm as a class.  Have the kids list common Thanksgiving dishes.  Don’t let them crowd source tips on how to make the dinner.  You don’t want a practical child ruining a family’s fun.  You want parents cackling as they read naive tips on how to prepare a feast.  (Heat the oven to 1000 degrees, cook the turkey in the microwave, etc.)

You can make this project simple or complex.  The simple version is to focus on preparing the turkey.  That’s good for kindergarten-first grade.  Older kids should tackle the whole feast.  That way, they’ll have more opportunities to write something unintentionally hilarious.

This writing assignment is perfect for a buddy-class project.  Older kids can help younger kids type the assignment, or older kids can do the writing or help with spelling.

Click here for printable Thanksgiving stationery.  Click here for Thanksgiving stationery files.  (Perfect for the computer lab with your buddy class.)

Other ClassAntics posts about Thanksgiving:

Let Scholastic Help You Teach the First Thanksgiving

The Mouse on the Mayflower

FREE Worksheet for the Movie The Mouse on the Mayflower

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Posted in Food,Holidays,Writing by Corey Green @ Nov 20, 2017


Halloween tip for parents of kids who can’t eat candy: buy it back!

Halloween can be a rough time for kids who can’t eat candy.  (Possible reasons: food allergies, diabetes, etc.)  Trick-or-treating is just so tempting, and it’s a bummer to go through the activity but not be able to eat the spoils.  Missing out on trick-or-treating to avoid the temptation sounds even worse.  Here’s one way to handle it: do a candy buyback.

Remember how fun it was to come home from trick-or-treating and show off the plunder? Well, a candy-free kid may not be able to eat it, but he could still have a good time.  Parents can arrange a set price per piece of candy, or make it a math lesson by assigning different values to different types.  The child could spend Halloween night counting his riches.  The next day, he could spend the candy money on something fun.

I overheard this one day at a crosswalk in Washington, DC.   I must admit that I followed the two conversationalists (dads) until I heard the whole tip.  It’s a good one, and I hope it helps someone this year.

The tip is so quick and simple.  I thought the post could use a little more.  Here is’s Bet You Didn’t Know: Halloween.  It’s a well-produced short about the history of the holiday.  I believe it is totally school-appropriate.  Enjoy!

You might enjoy these other Halloween posts at ClassAntics:

New Orleans Halloween: teach a Fall Festival lesson about the culture of New Orleans.  Includes a FREE powerpoint of New Orleans cultural symbols and landmarks, book recommendations, and music tips.

A good way to organize a Halloween Party: learn how to create a party for your whole grade level by setting up a rotation.  Each teacher need only prepare one activity.

Do any of your students opt out of celebrating Halloween or other holidays?  Read how to accommodate that student in a pleasant way in the post Buddy Up to Help Students Who Don’t Celebrate Holidays or Birthdays.

Make it a theme day with Halloween Math Worksheets.

Write spooky Halloween stories using a sensory word bank

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Posted in Food,Holidays,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Nov 6, 2017


Back to school: watch out for kids that don’t have a lunch

lunchsandwichSome students are at risk of going hungry during the first days of the school year.  Kids who might qualify for a free or reduced price lunch may not be in the program yet, and they might not have anything to eat.  As a teacher, you can save the day by watching out for these kids.

Walk with your students to lunch during the first days of school.  Stay and watch them go through the lunch line and/or take a seat at the table.  You might notice a student who has neither a hot nor a cold lunch.  Or you might notice a student who gets to the front of the lunch line and is confused when asked for payment.  You can swoop in and save the day.

How you save the day depends on a lot of things.  In one situation, I just paid a student’s account for a few weeks until the school sorted out the situation.  (I did it on the quiet; the student and parent did not know.)  The student was an English Language Learner and the parent was new to the country.  It took a while to explain that there was a program in place and to enroll the child.

You might also be able to speak with the cafeteria manager, social worker or principal.  Someone is going to help make sure that the child gets a lunch.  You will be glad that you noticed the problem and were able to make a difference in a child’s daily life.

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Posted in Back to School,Classroom Management,First Year Teachers,Food,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Aug 29, 2016


Make tasty school lunches for kids (or teachers) with Laura Fuentes’ cookbook and Momables meal plans

HomemadeLunchesParents, get tips for making healthy school lunches from Momables!  Teachers, these recipes make great lunches for you and your family. has recipes, meal plans, and products.  The recipes were developed by creator Laura Fuentes in conjunction with dozens of moms, a chef and a nutritionist. The idea is to create delicious, fresh foods that kids will actually eat.

Momables has a nice collection of free recipes, but the good stuff comes with a subscription.  Then you’ll have access to meal plans and recipes.  The recipes are single serve, so it’s easy to figure the appropriate amount to make for your needs.  You can try Momables for a free week.  After that, you pay $8 a month or $79 for a year.  Momables has a regular plan and a grain-free plan for kids with allergies or special dietary needs.

An easy way to try Momables without the plan is to buy (or borrow from the library) a great cookbook from Momables creator Laura Fuentes.  It’s called The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet: Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal Ideas.  It has tips on stocking your fridge and pantry to streamline lunch making.  There are organizational feedback charts that let you track your kids’ reaction to each recipe.  The recipes are delicious and cover hot and cold lunches.  There are soups, snacks, riffs on sandwiches, desserts–it’s great!

As much as possible, try to involve your kids in planning and making school lunches.  Kids will value them more, eat lunch rather than trade, and learn valuable cooking and planning skills.

Other ClassAntics posts about school lunch:

Back to school: watch out for kids that don’t have a lunch

Mix It Up At Lunch Day: October 30

How Lunch Money Works

Help your child fill up at school lunch

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Posted in Food,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Dec 15, 2014


What it’s like to be an elementary school teacher – Part 4

A National Board Certified Teacher explains what an educator’s life is really like. The series is a value-added collection of Best ClassAntics Posts EVER! Each post explains something about a teacher’s life and links to ClassAntics posts with relevant teaching tips.

Part Four: Lunch doesn’t just happen

Managing a class is like herding cats. At no time is this cliché more applicable than lunchtime. We have to convince thirty children to finish their lessons, put away materials, clean up the classroom, and locate lunch supplies. Then we have to maneuver this group to the cafeteria and get everyone settled in. Some teachers have lunchtime duty; others grab a quick bathroom break, then scarf down a sandwich while doing errands and prepping afternoon lessons.

The setup for lunchtime begins in the morning, with a streamlined procedure for students to indicate the lunch they will eat today. (The cafeteria needs the lunch count so workers can prep the food.) Teachers have to organize lunch money from a variety of sources and make sure everyone’s account is current.  Otherwise, kids end up with a crummy cafeteria emergency lunch and are in a foul mood all afternoon.

Before we take the class to lunch, we convince everyone to wash their hands. Some teachers do a bathroom break; others do some variation of a hand sanitizer Squirt Procedure. We sneak in a little learning by having kids Sing Multiplication Songs During Transitions. (We can review at least four times tables in the time it takes to sanitize the class’s hands.)

Kids don’t want to keep track of their lunch box while they’re playing at after-lunch recess, so many schools have a lunch bucket to hold each class’s lunchbox collection. Our class found that The Lunch Wagon is easier to maneuver and much more fun.

Teachers really care about their kids and spend a lot of time attending to their basic needs. Nourishment is an important need, and we spend some time teaching kids how to fill up at school lunch. (Hungry kids appreciate knowing that eating their protein first is the smart way to fill up.)

Lunchtime isn’t the only time teachers manage food for thirty kids. We develop systems for dealing with birthday treats and hope parents will heed our Tips for Sending Treats to Class. We have rules and procedures to deal with Water Containers at School.

Fun fact: Lunch is an important part of the school day—but did you know it can promote diversity and build school community? The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Mix it Up at Lunch Day has been doing just that for ten years.

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Posted in Classroom Management,Food,Tips for Teachers,What it's like to be a teacher by Corey Green @ Feb 18, 2013


Super Bowl Guacamole: Eva Longoria’s Best-ever Recipe

For years, I have read magazine interviews in which actress Eva Longoria* mentions that she makes the world’s best guacamole.  This month she was kind enough to share her recipe with Self magazine—just in time for the Super Bowl**!  Eva Longoria’s guacamole will go very well with chili.

Try it and you’ll see: it really is the best ever!  I live in the Southwest, so I know a thing or two about guacamole.  Every year, students make guacamole and salsa for the class for their “How-to” presentations.

Best Guacamole EVER!

6 ripe avocados, diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 medium Serrano pepper, finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp kosher salt

Mix all ingredients.  That’s it!

If you like the recipe, check out Eva Longoria’s new cookbook, Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends

*of Desperate Housewives fame.  I have seen some of Eva’s movies.  I really liked Over Her Dead Body—Eva is very funny as a bride who dies on her wedding day—and haunts her fiancé when he falls for a psychic.

**Funny story: one year I asked a routine question while teaching third grade math and a boy raised his hand.  Instead of answering, he blurted out, “Okay, who do you like: the Saints or the Colts?  It took me forever to calm the class down.  I asked the boy to write a paragraph about why you don’t poll the class about football during math.

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Posted in Food,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Feb 1, 2012


Keep spare treats for kids with allergies

This is another one of those tips that will involve spending your money.  In a nutshell: keep spare treats for kids with allergies.  Common allergies are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and gluten or wheat.

Keeping spare treats it is helpful when parents bring in birthday treats or refreshments for classroom parties.  Sometimes parents will arrange this with you in advance, sometimes they won’t.  Often, parents will ask about avoiding allergens for a treat they plan to bring—but if you have several students with varied allergies, a parent may find it very difficult to avoid all those troublesome ingredients.  In many cases, parents don’t realize how complicated this can be unless their own children have allergies.

Keeping alternate treats helps you avoid complications and disappointments.  Other teachers and the nurse sometimes ask me if the allergic child’s parents have sent an alternate treats.   I just take care of it myself so it doesn’t become another admin responsibility.  Plus, if you have treats always available, you can head off disappointments and even tears during what should be a moment of celebration.

Here are a few ideas for treats that avoid various allergens:  Skittles, Rice Krispie Treats, Little Debbie Cakes (those that avoid tree nuts or peanuts), lollipops, and hard candies.  You can check ingredients lists easily—the potential allergens are listed at the bottom of the nutrition information section.  I always stay on the safe side and don’t buy treats processed at a plant that works with peanuts or tree nuts for students who are allergic to those foods.  Often, I have a nice fresh piece of fruit available, but I can’t always guarantee that.   (It just depends what goodies are in my lunch that day!)

If I’m ever out of stock and a treat shows up that I know a child can’t eat, I just arrange for someone to cover my class while I take the child to the teachers’ lounge to pick an alternate treat out of a vending machine.

This is just another example of how being a teacher can become expensive.  However, I think you will be glad to have these spare treats on hand.  Kids with allergies have problems enough, and they will really appreciate when you go the extra mile for them.

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Posted in Classroom Management,Classroom setup,Food,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Oct 27, 2011


School Garden

Our school acquired a garden through an Eagle project.  It was a wonderful contribution to our school.

Building the garden was one thing (the Eagle Scout candidate led that effort).

Planting the garden was another thing entirely.  I had extremely limited gardening experience and no idea how to begin.  I wasn’t sure what supplies we needed, how many plants, or even how much topsoil to buy.

Awesome parents to the rescue!  A parent whose family owned a nursery helped us plant the garden.

The garden was so incredibly exciting that it permeated our class culture.

My students and I knew the garden would make learning come alive, but that didn’t prepare us for the exciting reality.   Every aspect of the project was an adventure.  We got in the green thumb mood by watching John Denver sing “The Garden Song” with the Muppets.

We made academic preparations for their garden by studying the life cycle of a plant and learning about the vegetables they would grow.  We relished every step in creating and tending to the garden.  To third graders, pulling out weeds so we could lay the topsoil was thrilling.  Did you know an entire class of third graders can fit into one of those garden boxes and weed it, all at the same time?  That was a moment I’ll never forget.

Before we planted the garden, most of my students’ experience with vegetables was limited to tagging along at the grocery store and making “icky” faces when forced to eat those awful organic substances.  After planting our garden, my students were asking for more vegetables at home and closely monitoring the status of their garden.  Students were enchanted when our garden attracted dozens of bees happily buzzing to and fro, just like in storybooks.  The kids launched an aphid control campaign to capture ladybugs from our soccer field and transport them to the garden.

The garden has sparked a feeling of community among my students.  They manage their own garden club and have written dozens of just-for-fun reports about plants, vegetables and garden bugs.  My third graders consider themselves emissaries of the school garden and enthusiastically share their knowledge with younger students.  The excitement when we harvested for two separate salad parties was almost more than they could bear.

We created awesome class books to thank the Eagle Scout who created the garden for us, the family who helped us, and the nursery that donated plants and materials.  The kids worked harder on those books than any class book we ever created.  Their gratitude was just so immense.

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Posted in Food,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Oct 7, 2011


The Edible Schoolyard from Chez Panisse Foundation

bookAlice Waters, the famous chef who pioneered the fresh food and local food movement, is ready to change how students think about food.

Many schools like to plant a garden.  Even better: an edible schoolyard!

The Edible Schoolyard is a one-acre garden and kitchen classroom at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. It is a project of the Chez Panisse Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by chef and author Alice Waters.

The Edible Schoolyard is different from other school gardens, and not just because of the partnership with a world-famous chef.  The Edible Schoolyard began as a cover crop with once-monthly student participation, but now it is a whole acre, and each student participates in 12-30 sessions, depending on grade level.  Students enjoy eating from the Edible Schoolyard, but the project does not aim to supply the entire school with lunch each day.  For that, look to Alice Waters’ School Lunch Initiative.

In 2004, the Chez Panisse Foundation partnered with Berkeley Unified School District to change what the students eat at school and how they learn about food.  After three years, they have transformed the school lunch program.  The students now enjoy fresh, healthy, local foods made from scratch, with seasonal ingredients.  You can read about their success at School Lunch Reform. Be sure to click and read about their accomplishments and lessons learned.

Edible Schoolyard has an affiliate program with a few model Edible Schoolyards around the country.  You can read about the program and maybe even sign up for a workshop.

If you are ever in Berkeley, visit Chez Panisse and the lunch eatery, Chez Panisse Café.  It’s best if you can make a reservation—people book a month in advance.

During summer vacation, my family and I realized we were “in the neighborhood,” so to speak. We walked in to Chez Panisse and the place was packed.  The most gracious manager in the world, Renee, invited us to wait for a cancellation.  Lunch was worth the wait!  The ingredients were fresh and flavorful, the recipes inventive.  I had a strawberry sherbet packed with more strawberry flavor than I ever thought possible.

You can bring Alice Waters to your home with her cookbooks:

The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea
…and many titles with recipes from Chez Panisse

Celebrate Chez Panisse’s 40th anniversary the weekend of August 26 and 27thThere will be multiple events in the Berkeley area, mostly fundraisers aimed at increasing awareness of Edible Schoolyard.  If you can’t make it to Berkeley, perhaps you can attend one of the Eating for Education dinners at restaurants around the country.

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Posted in Education Policy and Reform,Food by Corey Green @ Aug 22, 2011


A Stack a Day Habit

I have noticed that the longer the Great Recession goes on, the hungrier my students get.  Free school breakfast and lunch are great, but students still want snacks.

Our lunchtime is quite late, and everyone gets hungry mid-morning.  Classroom snack time is nice—but not if only some kids have snacks.  On any given day, about a quarter to a third of my class remembers to bring a snack—mostly the students who bring their lunch to school.  I feel bad for the kids who don’t have snacks.

I buy Saltines to keep in the classroom.  They’re a perfect snack—tasty but not very exciting.  I buy the Ralston brand, which doesn’t have any trace of peanut.  I can usually buy a box for $1.50 or less.   That’s four stacks, and my class runs a stack-a-day habit, so I’m paying less than $2 a week to feed a good portion of my class.

I have a hard-and-fast rule: a serving size is 4 crackers, and you can only have crackers if you didn’t bring a snack.  The students enforce this, and are actually grateful for the crackers each and every day.  (It’s nice that they don’t take it for granted.)

I know it costs money, but I swear that my classroom is running better since I started supplying Saltines every day, not just for random snacks here and there.  The kids focus well for the remaining time until lunch.  You can buy the crackers yourself or ask parents to donate them.  Other good and cheap snacks are raisins, graham crackers, and string cheese.  Those packages of peanut butter crackers are nice if you don’t have a peanut allergy, but little kids don’t need 6 crackers.  Tell them to share with a buddy.

The crackers are also nice for “curing” classroom ailments.  Sometimes, I can treat an upset stomach by suggesting the student have some water and a cracker or two.

…My students and their stack a day habit.  Next year, they’re going to need a Saltine patch!

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Posted in Classroom Management,Food,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Feb 14, 2011


Squirt Procedure

Hand washing is an important way to stop the spread of germs, but organizing 30 children to wash up before lunch is a nightmare.  It takes forever and it’s messy.  The sink area would be flooded, I swear!

Our class has developed a quick-and-easy hand sanitizer procedure that I hope will help your class.

We form two number-order lines: students 1-14 and 15-30.  Two students are assigned the job of squirting.  We never vary who does the job.  (See my post for an explanation of the efficiency of assigning yearlong jobs.)

One squirter takes one line; the second squirter takes the other.  The students hold out their hands to receive the squirt.  We are all washed up in about 30 seconds, or the time it takes to sing one of my multiplication songs.  (See my post for advice on singing during transitions.)

I don’t have actual data, but I have noticed that my class doesn’t have plagues of flu and strep throat the way other classes seem to.  We haven’t had one of those weeks where half the class is absent.  (Knock on wood.)

I attribute it to our hand washing procedure.  I hope it works for you!

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Posted in Classroom Management,Food,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Feb 11, 2011


Tips for Sending Treats to Class

Here are some tips to remember whenever you’re sending treats to the classroom—for your child’s birthday or for a party.

1.  Tell the teacher ahead of time.  I don’t mind being surprised, but it is nice to know in advance when the treat is coming.  It helps the teacher leave some leeway in the day’s lesson plans—or plan for a treat that has special serving requirements.  (See tip # 2)

2.  Plan how the treat will be served.  The treat should be easy to serve.  Imagine yourself in the teacher’s place, with 30 excited kids waiting eagerly for the treat.  In the classroom, something so simple as distributing individually wrapped treats can lead to chaos, especially when the packaging is challenging to open.  Cutting cakes, plating food, adding whipped cream or toppings, providing utensils and napkins are all examples of how serving treats can  get difficult very quickly.

3.  Send in everything needed to serve the treat.  Plates, napkins, eating and serving utensils… think about it!

4.  The kids don’t expect drinks.  They love them, but are not expecting it.  The teacher will appreciate individual drinks, such as juice boxes or Capri Sun.  Serving drinks in cups can be difficult and messy.

5.  You can bring the treat in yourself and help serve, but check with the teacher ahead of time.  If you just come in, you might find that the class is busy with something that can’t be interrupted, such as a test.  You might find the classroom is empty because the children have gone to lunch, or a special class such as PE or Art that is held elsewhere on campus.

6.  Your treat should probably be store-bought.  Many school districts have a policy requiring this.  It limits liability for everyone and makes it easy to check ingredients.

7.  Check the ingredients.  It’s smart to avoid nuts and especially peanuts, because many classes these days have someone with a nut allergy.  Be sure to check if the product was made in a facility that processes nuts.

8.  Check the number of servings per container.  Be careful with this!  I once bought a first day of school treat for my class—Little Debbie cakes, 10 per box.  Turns out it was packed in five twin-wrapped packages, and we had to split them.  The kids were nice about it, but it wasn’t what I intended and I felt bad.

9.  Find out if your child’s school has a no-sweets policy that is strictly enforced.  If so, there are many alternatives.  Kids enjoy fresh vegetables and dips.  You can buy apple slices in individual bags.  Fruit snacks are good.  Kids love those packaged cheese and crackers that let them spread the cheese on a cracker with little plastic sticks.  Kids are also really into Go-gurt and crushable yogurt.

10.  Send in extra treats.  You never know if your child’s class will have a new student, or students visiting from another class.  (It happens for a variety of reasons—the class might have a small group from another classroom because the school couldn’t find a sub, or a student helper might happen to be there when the treat is served.)  If there are extra treats, your child can bring them home or visit other classrooms and give the extras to teachers.  Kids love to do this!

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Posted in Classroom Management,First Year Teachers,Food,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Nov 3, 2010


Water Containers at School

Nowadays, it is very common for kids to bring a container of water or bottled water to school.  I think this is a great improvement from my school days, when you got three seconds at the drinking fountain after recess.  Kids need water to keep their bodies and brains healthy.

Here are a few tips for parents and teachers about bottled water at school

1.  It’s fine to buy bottles of water, but bringing your own container can be cheaper and more eco-friendly.  Many lunchboxes come with containers for drinks, and kids are starting to use the steel bottles, too.  Don’t reuse store-bought plastic bottles over and over.

2.  Send in fluoridated water if you can.  If your tap water at home is fluoridated, that’s what you should be giving your kids for school.  Then you’re helping them have healthy teeth in addition to healthy bodies and brains.  Just chill the water in the fridge overnight or use a bottle-sized cold pack.

3.  Many parents send kids to school with a frozen bottle of water.  DON’T!  The ice block is heavy, and has the capacity to be dangerous if it lands on someone’s foot.  Plus, the water never melts in time, and the bottles sweat all over everything.

4.  Send plain water.  Nothing with food coloring is allowed.  It’s not great when something like that spills at home, and it’s worse when it spills in the classroom.  It’s a huge mess for the custodians, and the carpet might even need shampooing.  Plus, the spill creates an extremely fun distracting disturbance that detracts from learning.

5.  Send in a clean sock to wrap around the water bottle.  This keeps it from sweating all over the desk.  Bonus points if you can find a really cute stock instead of just Dad’s old athletic sock  (but that will do).

6.  Make sure kids  know just how disgusting it is to drink from a water bottle that you brought in yesterday or the day before.  When I find half-empty store-bought water bottles in the classroom at the end of the day, I dump the water and recycle the bottles.  Otherwise, the kids will just keep drinking from them, and that will make them sick.  If your child forgets to bring home her reusable water bottle, give her another one for the next day.  It’s much safer that way.

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Posted in Classroom Management,Food,Tips for Parents,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Oct 16, 2010


Give kids a snack on the first day of school

Party!Everyone’s internal clock is off on the first day of school.  The teacher is exhausted from setting up the classroom.  The kids probably had trouble falling asleep—and waking up this morning.  Lunch isn’t for hours.

This is why I like to serve a snack on the first of school.  Make it nutritious, such as crackers,  cheese, veggie sticks or even dry whole-grain cereal.  Serve a drink if your budget and time constraints allow.  Milk is an economical and nutritious option.  Juice boxes are easy to serve.  Because you won’t know much about your students, make your snack peanut-free, or have a peanut-free snack on hand in case a student has allergies.

Snack time is a good time to practice for birthday treats.  I randomly select a student to be the birthday kid.  That student selects a few helpers, and we rehearse the distribution of birthday treats.  Students should be quiet while the treat is distributed.  No one can eat until everyone has been served, we have sung “Happy Birthday,” and the birthday child has taken the first bite.

This is a nice way to fuel young bodies and practice a procedure.  Plus, the kids think you are awesome!

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Posted in Back to School,Classroom Management,Classroom setup,First Year Teachers,Food,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Aug 20, 2010


The Emergency Party Supply

Party!My class is famous for our parties.  We love to celebrate our accomplishments!

Sometimes, we all agree an accomplishment must be celebrated right away.  The Emergency Party Supply idea began when I realized that our classroom parties attracted donations from parents in excess of what we could use in one day.  I saved the non-perishables for another day.  My students coined the phrase “Emergency Party” and an institution was born.

The Emergency Party Supply grows throughout the school year.  When we are ready to celebrate a big accomplishment, like everyone learning their math facts or the class winning the district writing contest, we are ready.  Some of our parties may last only ten minutes, but the impact of a celebration lasts a long time.

The Emergency Party Supply can also be helpful on days when everybody is hungry.  I offer snacks on standardized testing days.   I also offer snacks before a field trip — lunch time often gets delayed on those days.  Another “hungry day” is the first day back in school after a long break.  When the kids are accustomed to a different schedule, they can get very hungry before lunchtime.  The kids appreciate a snack so they can continue learning.

The Emergency Party Supply is a good source of small celebrations during the last few days of the school year.  I do not save Emergency Party Supply food from one school year to the next and I never give expired foods to my students.

Parents, ask whether donations of nonperishable snacks for the whole class are welcomed.

Special considerations: Some schools may have restrictions on bringing food items into a classroom.   There may be food allergies in the class.  Check the “sell by” or “use by” date of any food you might donate.  Check with the teacher to see if perishables can be safely stored during the day.

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Posted in Classroom Management,Classroom setup,Food,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Nov 30, 2009