elementary elephant

…from my classroom to yours!

Spiced Up Spelling Word Activities

Each day of the week, I vary the activity that my students work on to learn their spelling words. It makes learning words more exciting than writing words 10 times each.

Spelling Words Activity 1Sort by # Sort words by the amount of letters in each word.  

Spelling Activity 2 – Writing Response – Read and answer questions that contain spelling words.

Spelling Activity 3 – Stamp your Spelling Words (I purchased these small cube letter stamps at Michaels, for $1!)

Spelling Activity 4 – Typing!  Type words into the following website:

Spelling Activity 5 – Flash Cards –Make flash cards on construction paper. Later, have a spelling bee!

Spelling Activity 6 – Word Illustrations – Draw a picture to match each word.

Spelling Activity 7 – Sentences Write a sentence with each spelling word.

In addition to the above activities, I have created and published the ELEMENTARY ELEPHANT Spelling Curriculum, aligned with the Common Core State Standards and using the Pearson 4th grade spelling words as a guide. The following link will take you to my TpT shop, where you can view more details and download it. You can also purchase the entire full year (34 week/9 month) Activity and Word List bundle, or you can sample it with Month 1 or Month 2. You my also like to know that the lists are modified, making them great for the Resource classroom, great for a review and also great for summer school, home school, RTI and tutoring.

spelling 1 year bundle cover image pink

They Learned Perimeter without Worksheets!

Perimeter is the space around a shape or room. We used cm cubes to measure a rectangle with the following dimensions= length 7, height 6. Students learned how to double each side, add them up, then add those numbers up to find the final answer. This was a fun math day!!     

My Ravishing Resource Room….in Pictures (Upper Elementary)


These are pictures of my upper elementary 4th/5th Resource classroom. Just so you know….I went from teaching Kindergarten to 4th/5th grade Resource this past school year. Previously, I taught special education students with learning disabilities, in grades PK-K.  Although this is my 14th year teaching, it is my first year teaching upper elementary students – and my first year “not” teaching in a self-contained classroom! So, I will share with you some things that I did right and some things that I already changed! Enjoy the tour….in pictures and in words! -Andrea (2014-15)

After reading “THE Classroom Management Book” by Wong and Wong,” I realized that I needed to visually display more of my rules, procedures and daily assignments. Even though my students are 4th/5th grade, they need to “see” in writing what I expect of them.

In December, I explained to my students that since we have been out of school for nearly one month, we all needed reminders of our class rules. So, I quizzed the students of our class rules and I had the students take turns repeating them back to me. I then listed each rule on chart paper. They felt so proud to have remembered each rule!








Below is the board my students see when they enter my classroom. They start each day with “Bell Work” or “Do Now” work. Sometimes I list the work on the board and sometimes I list the bell work on the Smart Board (depending on how much space I need!)

Rules and procedures are quite different. When a rule is broken, I give just 1 verbal warning/reminder. After that I issue a classroom “ticket.” Below are the “Procedure Posters” for starting and ending class. My students come to my room for either Math, Language Arts or Reading and they come in and out throughout the school day. With so many transitions, these procedure posters have been a great way to teach students how to behave when entering and leaving the room. At the beginning, the students had trouble learning it, because it took so many repetitions, but they got it by the end of one week and since then, each day has been smooth! Distractions and interruptions have lessened a great deal! (When a student doesn’t follow the procedure, I have him/her practice it over and over again. I don’t make it a big deal. I don’t embarrass him/her. If it is a constant problem, according to Wong & Wong, they suggest making it a rule and perhaps connecting a consequence to breaking the rule.)



The bulletin board above is where I placed the “Rules” and also the “Procedures” posters. The table is where most of my teaching takes place – mostly small group and one on one!

At the start of the school year, I did not really have a pencil policy. I just didn’t want to have a pencil battle with my students. I made available pencils for any student who needed them. However, by December, I had no pencils left! I also had a very old electric pencil sharpener that was left in the classroom for me. It took about 40 seconds to sharpen 1 pencil. So, I never allowed students to sharpen pencils before or during class. It was just too disruptive and time consuming! However, Mrs. Adkinson so willingly brought us a new one that sharpens each pencil within 10 seconds. My new pencil policy, as of December is now posted and it works so much better! (Thanks to Wong and Wong!) I also had to make a “no borrowing” policy because students were doing so and then blaming others for stealing.

Below is also my newest bathroom policy. After teaching lower grades for so many years, I was just so accustomed to sending a child to the restroom whenever they asked. Avoiding a restroom accident was always the goal of a Kindergarten teacher! However, it finally hit me that older students can “hold it” for longer and so I implemented the displayed chart. It has worked well!


When a student breaks a “Class Rule” as listed in the first picture in this post, they face the following consequences below.

Classroom Tickets – I started issuing classroom tickets, with each ticket= -$20 classroom cash. My students also have the opportunity to earn classroom cash in the following ways: Earn an A= +20, Earn a B +10, Complete homework on time=+20, Do not complete homework= -20, Turning in signed/graded papers=$20, Not turning in papers=-$20. At the end of each week, students are required to pay off their tickets. Once a month, on a specific Friday, students can use their classroom cash to shop in the class store! They loooove this special day! Prices range from $10 items up to $500 items!

behavior tickets                 You can download the behavior tickets for free. Just click on this link.


I took the blue posters away from above the board and added the “Consequence” posters, there. The desks are no longer lined up as shown in this picture. My classroom numbers increased and the desks are now in rows facing the Smart Board.


I made the pennant banner on my desk with scrapbook paper from Wal-Mart. I stapled it to thin 44 cent ribbon from Wal-Mart, also. My teacher sign and photo frames started as blank $1 wood from Michael’s. I painted each with acrylic paint. The bows are burlap.


I covered the filing cabinets with left over material. I covered the bulletin board behind my desk with the same material. I purchased the polka-dot material from Hobby Lobby.


I made my inspirational clouds with white felt by stuffing paper towels and scrap paper inside and then hot gluing it up. Then I painted the words on top. I hung each cloud with tulle. Each cloud says the following: “believe,” “dream,” “read,” “imagine,” “create.”


This is a silver platter from the Dollar Tree. I painted 3 coats of gold acrylic paint around the edges only. Then I hot glued green tulle to the back. The poem says: “Mirror mirror on the wall, look who’s in our room this fall! I’m so glad that it is you!” (-adapted by Andrea Chouhan)




All About the Author – Andrea!

I am a mom of 4 teenagers…ages 13, 15, 16 and 17! They inspire me! I grew up in Alabama and currently teach in Washington state.

I am the quiet teacher next door, until you enter my classroom! My classroom comes alive with reading adventures, projects, and small group learning. In my room, we make mistakes and we move on. We learn respect as we practice it. We talk about our challenges, make goals and reach them in small math and reading groups and also individually. My classroom changes from year to year, along with my students. I collaborate with my colleagues where we plan, cry and laugh! What adventures teachers have from day to day, right?!!

I’ve been blessed to teach a range of grade levels over my past 19 years of teaching, including Pre-K, Kindergarten, 2nd and 3rd grade, Sp.Ed-PK, Sp.Ed-K and Sp.Ed-4th/5th. My classroom for the past several years consists of K-5th grade students and I teach the following subjects: Reading, Writing and Math. Small groups rotate into my classroom and I go into classrooms to engage in inclusion.

So why did I make this site? In my spare time, I make curriculum, instead of flipping through workbooks and searching the web looking for exactly what my students need. 

Why make curriculum? Well, by my 3rd year teaching, I came up with a lesson plan template/guide/system that helped me in my organizing and teaching. I actually started liking writing lesson plans! So much…that I got my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction! I learned how to align lesson plans with state learning standards, curriculum, IEP goals and of course the Common Core State Standards. It may sound a ‘lil nerdy, but that’s my niche. And that’s why I am here! My years of “stuff” is no longer in file cabinets, hard drives and on jump drives, but is live and digital and online-blog style!

Welcome to Elementary Elephant, the newest K-5 teacher site!

This is a Curriculum centered website, housing teacher made lesson plans and activities. They range from grades K-5 and also include Pre-K and Special Education. Lessons are developed around either Common-Core, TX and/or AL standards. I absolutely love, love, love writing lesson plans. Call me crazy, but it’s my thing! I hope you enjoy the elementary elephant curriculum as much as my students have! Happy teaching! -Andrea

Although much of this site is under construction (since it was just born 2/7/15), it is not my 1st site. EVERYTHING kindergarten is completed at

Thanks for visiting ! -Andrea

Elephant logo by: FishScraps, Check out her TpT site:


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