Teacher’s Brain

Are Virtual Field Trips Better Than Real Field Trips?

When it comes to field trips, many teachers find that they have a love-hate relationship with them. Are they fun? Of course! Do students love them? You betcha. Are they exhausting? Absolutely! Can they be stressful? Unfortunately, yes. 

We’ve all been there. We spend weeks preparing for a field trip. Plan the activity. Get it approved. Send out notices to parents and get permission forms signed. Collect any money necessary. Arrange transportation. Get parent volunteers. And that’s all before the field trip even starts! 

are virtual field trips better than real field trips?

During the pandemic, we were all forced to embrace digital-well- everything. We found ourselves figuring out online learning, Google Classroom, Boom Cards, distance learning activities, Zoom meetings, etc. It was a learning curve for sure, but it has changed so much about how we are able to teach, and that includes field trips! 

When it comes to field trips, many of us started doing virtual field trips for the first time and realized how much we loved them! 

So that begs the question: Are virtual field trips better than real field trips? 

They both have their pros and cons. In-person field trips are more immersive, but virtual field trips are great because they bring just as much fun and learning with way less stress, planning, and organizing on your part. 

How do you do a virtual field trip? 

Virtual field trips are so easy to do! You can find free virtual field trip tours on museum websites or you can go for a more interactive resource that includes the “tour” along with educational activities. For more on virtual field trips, check out my post on 5 Reasons To Take a Virtual Field Trip! 

What are some good virtual field trips? 

One of my favorite virtual field trips is my Virtual Zoo Trip! 

virtual field trip idea: zoo field trip

Use these interactive, editable Google Slides to easily have students copy and paste movable parts, learn about Zoo animals, facts, what to bring on a trip, and so much more! 

What is in this download?

28 Google Slides with titles, edit text boxes, directions, movable parts great for virtual or in-person teaching.

  • KWL Chart
  • Packing A Suitcase for the Trip
  • 1 Minute Take OFF Flight Video
  • 10-minute ZOO Field Trip Video (Car Ride to the Zoo, Animal Facts)
  • Sequencing Events, 3 Writing Prompts, Counting Objects (under 10), Labeling Parts, ZOO Counting Song, and Comprehension Questions
  • One extra slide for you to add anything you would like to the lesson. (videos or an assignment)
  • Home Connection Optional Assignment for students to build an animal habitat 
  • Black and white ink-saving Writing Pages and Home Connection Page for in-person teaching
virtual field trip resource preview

Your students will love this hands-on virtual field trip! Looking for more virtual fun? Check out my other virtual field trip resources here. 

What’s your favorite thing about virtual field trips? Let me know in the comments!

Earth Day Activities For Elementary Students

A very special and important holiday is quickly approaching- Earth Day! 

Earth Day 2022 is coming up on April 22nd, and it is the perfect time to teach students about our planet and the importance of conservation efforts. We need our planet and it is more important than ever to take whatever steps we can to improve our environment. 

So what can students do for Earth Day?

Earth day activities for kids pin image

To celebrate Earth Day in your classroom, it’s important that we start by explaining why this holiday is so important. When I was in the classroom, I would begin by teaching students about our planet and what it needs from us. I explained to them that no matter how small their actions are, they are making a difference. It’s a great way to inspire students to be an Earth hero!  

Here are some lessons and Earth Day activities for kids to learn about protecting our environment

  • Take a walk around the school or playground and pick up any trash. Take this as an opportunity to teach students how this harms our environment. 
  • Teach students why it is so important to always turn off water when you aren’t using it and making sure it is completely off
  • We need trees in order to have oxygen! Teach your students how they can care for the environment by planting a tree. This is a hands-on activity that has a big impact. 
  • Read books about protecting our planet and caring for the environment or watch movies and have a discussion about it after about how students can be more eco-friendly in their own lives.  
  • Teach students about the importance of recycling. Explain landfills and how recycling reusable materials can help our planet. Don’t forget to tell them about what materials can be recycled and how they can do it. You can help them practice by going around the school and identifying recyclable materials. 

Looking for virtual Earth Day activities? Take your recycling lesson to the next level with a virtual field trip!

earth day activities for kindergarten preview

This fun and engaging digital resource lets your students “visit” a recycling center! 

Use these interactive, editable Google Slides to easily have students copy and paste movable parts, learn about Earth Day, recycling, what to bring on a trip and so much more! This is perfect if you’re looking to do Earth Day activities at home while distance learning or in the classroom. 

earth day activities for kids resource preview

Here’s what’s included: 

  • KWL Chart
  • Packing A Suitcase for the Trip
  • 1 Minute Take OFF Flight Video
  • 7 minute Field Trip Video (Earth Day, Car Ride to different Recycling Centers, Train Ride)
  • Sequencing Events, 2 Writing Prompts, Counting Objects (under 10), Labeling Parts, Recycling Song, and Comprehension Questions
  • One extra slide for you to add anything you would like to the lesson. (videos or an assignment)
  • Home Connection Optional Assignment for students to build something with recycled materials. 
  • Black and white ink-saving Writing Pages and Home Connection Page for in-person teaching.

Easily share through Google Classroom to collect information or share from your computer to Zoom or Meets. Students move images, add text, and moving parts to get plenty of writing and computer practice!

Earth day activities for students resource preview

What are your favorite Earth Day activities for elementary? Let me know in the comments!



Digital Sight Word Puzzles for Practice

We know how important sight words are in those early grades. They are crucial to developing reading fluency and expanding reading comprehension. It’s also a nice little confidence boost for beginning readers when they come across words they know! 

To do this, we generally work on them in class and hand out our sight word lists for students to practice at home and they get them checked off as they master them. This is a simple and effective way to make sure your students are getting the practice they need! However, it’s not the most engaging or fun thing to do. 

How can we make sight word practice fun and engaging? 

I have lots of ideas on this topic including this cute and fun sight word teacher dress, sight word escape rooms, plus all of these fun, hands-on activities listed here.

You could say making sight word practice fun is a passion of mine! 

Today I wanted to share another sight word practice activity that is a unique and engaging way for kindergarten and first grade students to master those sight words. 

These digital Sight Word Puzzles are guaranteed to get your students excited to practice! 

sight word puzzles

Created using interactive Google Slides, students will get to solve a puzzle using picture clues. They’ll locate the sight words and write them in the text box. 

Two types are included 3×3 and 5×5 so you can differentiate and choose the difficulty level appropriate for your students. 

sight word puzzles

This resource comes with 11 unique puzzles for students to work through at once or spread out. Plus, it comes with a fun bonus puzzle for those who need a little extra work for a real challenge. 

I love this activity because it is completely digital. This means that it is perfect for students in the classroom or who are doing virtual school. So no matter the status of the pandemic or the weather, you can reach for these digital puzzles. 

Here’s what’s included

Eleven total puzzles. Ten puzzles are 3×3 (easy version) and ten are 5×5 (more difficult to put together.) One puzzle is the bonus challenge. It is 5×5 and has 12 sight words instead of 6. 

Students drag the puzzle pieces over the image area (picture cue) to solve the puzzle and see the sight words. Then, they will type the sight words into the corresponding area. When they are done you can have them send them back to you to check.

sight word puzzles

Wondering what sight words are used in this resource? 

I, like, the, and, see, we, a, to come, me, with, my, you, what, are, now, is, how, of, so, many, where find, this, from, came, on, will, be, into, that, your, who, go, for, here, they, soon, up, make, play, them, give, say, new, said, good, was, then, ate, could, she, all, over, her, when, some he, no, must, saw, down, there, day, too, take, off, put, saw, their, very, look, ask every, one, walk

Learn more about these sight word puzzles in my video here! 

What are your favorite ways to practice sight words? Let me know in the comments!

sight word puzzles


How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day In Your Classroom Online or In Person

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away! February is such a jam-packed month with lots of things to learn about. We get to celebrate Valentine’s Day (of course), Chinese New Year, and this year, the Winter Olympics! 

Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite Valentine’s Day traditions from when I was in the classroom. Valentine’s is one of my favorite days to celebrate because it’s so fun to show our love and appreciation for each other. I love seeing the little cards that students bring in for their friends and their teachers. 

Here are some fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in your elementary classroom

  1. Decorate your classroom. This one goes without saying but decorating your classroom or even just your classroom door for Valentine’s Day is so fun! A great place to find cute and festive decor on a budget is Dollar Tree. They have tons of heart-shaped banners and other decorations. 
  2. Have a Valentine’s Day party. This is a great time to break out the Valentine’s Day candy and activities. I love doing this escape room with my students. It is an activity that is guaranteed to get their engagement. Another very popular activity is the Love Monster Writing activity! 
  3. Exchange Valentine’s Day Cards. You can have your students decorate a paper bag or a shoebox with Valentine’s Day-themed supplies to collect their cards! This is such a fun way to get creative in the classroom and it’s so exciting to see what students come up with. 

If you are teaching online this year, don’t worry! You can still have tons of fun with your students, even digitally. 

Just host an online Valentine’s Day party! You can decorate your Google Slides with cute Valentine’s Day clip art. I created a digital Valentine’s Day escape room activity for teachers who need virtual activities that you can check out here.  

As for exchanging Valentine’s cards, I have you covered there too! 

This digital Valentine’s Day card resource was created with the needs of teachers who are doing virtual lessons in mind. 

celebrate Valentine's Day

These digital google slides make it easy for your students to personalize and move editable conversational hearts to give virtually or in person. There is even a name grid provided so students can keep track of who got one and how to spell classmates’ names!

celebrate Valentine's Day

Included with this resource you’ll get 27 Colorful Google Slides with premade titles, editable text boxes, directions, movable conversational heart parts, and a video tutorial that you can check out below.

You can delete slides you don’t want to send to students, add your own directions or images to the sides of the slides to personalize.

celebrate Valentine's Day

Are you celebrating in person or online this year? Let me know in the comments!