Friday, August 30, 2013

2 Classroom Ideas From This Week

I was looking back at my posts and realized I haven't shared anything since Tuesday.  I'm definitely back in school mode!  Anyone else so busy they haven't been blogging?

Today I'm sharing two ideas I used in my classroom this week.

#1:  Helper of the Day
I'm all about keeping things as easy as possible.  This year I decided to not have jobs and instead have a helper of the day.  
All the kids decorated name cards.  I put them on a ring and hung it on the board. I change it every morning.

#2 Curriculum Night/Open House
We had our Cuuriculum Night on Thursday.  Most of the parents came for my 45 minute presentation.  Here is a picture of a student's desk.
The part I wanted to share was the index card.  I tell the parents to use it for any questions they have for me.  I collect them and respond to them in a group email.  This year ZERO parents had a question. Fine with me!

Hope you are ready to enjoy a three day weekend!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Being A Good Classmate - Book, Chart and Freebie

Have you started school yet?
How is it going?
We've officially been in class a week
and we are slowly getting into the routine.
Some other teachers and I were discussing
how we always forget the time it takes
to get the kids to act "just right."
I'm trying a little something new this year.
I started by reading
It's a reminder that everything you say
and do affects others.
Then we made a chart together.

Lately I've been referring to the chart.
If someone is interrupting, not following a rule, etc.,
I ask them if they are being a good classmate.
I found myself saying more than I wanted
to during the day, so I'm going to try something.
I had seen these on Pinterest.
The teacher just placed them on a student's
desk when they needed a little reminder.
I wanted my cards to go along with our chart,
so I made some new ones.
Click on them to download them for free.
Have you tried any new classroom management
strategies so far this year?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Math About Me - Freebie

I wrote about this math activity on Friday.
Check out my post here.
The idea got pinned a bunch,
so I decided to set it up as
a freebie in my TpT store.
Feel free to head on over
and download it now.
It's great for the start of the school year.
Have a great week!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday - Back to School Thoughts and Activities

Oh my gosh!
I'm so tired!
You would never guess that we
only had 3 days of school.
At least it's Friday,
so I can share my
1.  We started school and I really missed my two girls.
I'm glad I have the weekend to spend some time with them.
2.  I found a fun idea on Pinterest
and used it during one of our first math lessons.
The kids created some "Math About Me."

They filled in the sheet with math
that was all about them.
Of course we did brainstorm some ideas
 beforehand and I also shared a few examples.
I used it as a bit of an assessment so I had some
idea of ability levels.
For each question, they could give their answer
as a number or an equation.
Example: How many people are in your family?
They could answer 4 or write an equation
that equaled 4.  2X2, 4+0, 2+2, etc.
They really did a nice job on this activity.

It's a FREEBIE in my TpT store.
3.  Speaking of Pinterest, have you checked out
the new teacher boards?
If you haven't, be sure to click here and start following!
I've found so many great ideas.
I love the boards because people are not sharing products,
but ideas only!
4.  Transition Idea
I call it, "When I Say..."
I tell the kids,
"When I say hippopotamus, go and get in line."
Then I say words such as
The first time I do this,
all the kids start moving with the first word I say.
They quickly learn that they have to listen.
You can use any word.
I like trying to think of funny words.
5.  Look at this cute gift
a student gave me on the first day.
Yes, those are all Dum Dum suckers.
I would like to share them
and eat a few, but it looks so cute!
Are you back at school yet?
How is it going?
Don't forget to head over and link up for

Click on the button and link up your post about
a healthy eating tip, recipe or product.
Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

If you need a good this post!

It's Thursday!
I made it through two full days of school.
One more to go.
Tonight we had the yearly Ice Cream Social.
It's always the evening of the second day of school.
The PTA provides ice cream
and they have all the yearly activity sign-ups
for the parents.
The best part is we (the teachers)
get to stay at school from 6-7,
stand around,
and talk to all the kids and parents
that come our way.
It is nice to meet the parents
and I love seeing old students.
But some parents want to
talk about their child,
and problems their kid has,
and the homework I will be giving,
and what they practiced over the summer,
and how last year went....
I just want to go home and relax.
 I came home and saw a friend of mine
sent this video.
I was cracking up.
What would you add to the video?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Win, Loss and a Thing of Cost - Back to School Edition

Oh my goodness!!
The kids are coming today!
To celebrate, I'm sharing a
and a Thing of Cost.
We actually had a great speaker at our
Institute Day.
When does that ever happen?
His message was just a great reminder
of how important it is to build
relationships with our kids.
When they go home on the first day of school
and their parents ask them, "How was your first day?"
The answer we do NOT want them to give is...
I'm hoping to make the day GREAT!
A part of me wishes I had a few more days to get ready.
This is the start of my 14th year,
so I know I'll be fine.
I'm trying a 30 day trial of this online lesson planner.
The cost comes after the trial,
but it's only $12 for a year.
So far I love it.
I can quickly type in my plans.
I can access them at home and at school.
Each subject is color coded.
It's been pretty easy to use.
I'll let you know in a few weeks how I feel about it.
Does anyone use an electronic plan book?
Come and join Matt at Digital: Divide and Conquer
and my self for A Win, Loss and a Thing of Cost.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School Read Aloud & Writing Activity

I'm almost ready for school to start on Wednesday.
Tuesday is meetings with a little time
in our classrooms.
I wanted to quickly share a read aloud I'll
be using with my class this year.
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
by Mark Teague
It's a rhyming story about a kid
reading his back to school essay.
The essay starts out realistically.
Then he tells about being captured by cowboys
and what he experiences with them.
After we read the story,
I'm going to give my class a chance to tell
about their summer.
We will use this sheet as a guide.
They will write their story in the bottom spaces
and draw pictures in the top.
I will be giving them the option of writing
about a real event or a make believe one.
Have you ever read this story to your class?
What activities did you use with it?

Math Vocabulary

Today is my last day of summer break.
We have Institute Day tomorrow
and the kids come on Wednesday.
I should be finishing up my plans,
but I needed a break so I'm here typing this post.
My district is starting the math CCSS this year.
One thing we are all expected to have is
a math vocabulary board.
Here is a picture of mine.
It's not the best pictures, but you get the idea.
Last year I learned a trick from another teacher,
use a glue gun.
I hot glued all the letters so there are no staples.
Also, all the edges will stay flat on the board.
As we learn new words, I will be putting them up on the board.
I want my kids to keep using the words,
so I created some math vocabulary review
activities for them.

Each card has four words
and the kids need to figure out which word
doesn't belong and tell us why.
I did this last year and the kids saw it as a game
and not math review.
The great part is there can be more
than one answer.
Most of the cards were created with a specific
answer in mind, but any answer works
as long as the kids give a logical reason.
Another review activity I made is

Again, I used these often last year.
I usually copied them back to back,
so we completed two questions.
They are quick reviews and
it gives the kids a chance to use
their math vocab.
Both items are currently on sale.
Thank you to Krista Wallden for this cute button.
What are some fun ways you review math vocabulary
with your class? 




Saturday, August 17, 2013

Healthy Habits, Happy Teachers - A Linky Party

It's a new school year
and we all have so many ideas
and goals for our kids.

But it's also important that
we take care of ourselves.
That is why I decided to 
host a linky party.
Come on over and share
one or more healthy tips,
recipes or even products
you think we could use.
Breakfast is such an important meal.
One way I make sure my family
has a healthy start to the day
is by making these baked oatmeal muffins.
I make them on the weekend and just freeze them.
Take a few out the night before and
they are ready to eat by morning.
Mine don't have cranberries.
I usually add blueberries and bananas.

Next is lunch.
The biggest tip I can give is
pack your lunch the night before.
You are less likely to scramble around
in the morning and just throw anything in your bag.

Dinner is always a tough one for me.
After working all day,
I go and pick up my two little girls.
Once we get home, I have to cook dinner.
One thing that really helped me out last
year was freezing and preparing some meals on the weekend.

I use this link all the time for "Dump" chicken.
Basically, you put the chicken, seasoning, sauces, etc.
in a bag and freeze it.
Then when you need a meal,
take it out and bake it.
The prep work is already done.

So there you have a few of my tips.
I would love to hear your ideas.
Add the button to your post and link
back to here.
I'll keep the link open for a month,
so come back if you find other ideas.
Font on button created by Khrys Bosland

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tips and Tricks - Teacher Week 2013

Drink lots of coffee!
Okay, that may not work for everyone.
Here are a few tips/tricks that you may
find useful in your classroom.
#1:  Get a good joke book.
At random times during the week,
tell your kids a joke.
It gets everyone laughing
and is a nice little break.
#2:  Play Rock, Paper, Scissors.
This idea was a brain break
that I've seen shared in a few places.
I play teacher against the whole class.
I'll stand at the front of the room facing my class
and away we go.
My kids LOVE this!
Do some of them change their choice
so they can beat me?
Sure, but it's just for fun.
WARNING:  It can get loud!
#3:  Have students give a 2-word summary
about their weekend.
I use this activity on Monday and Friday.
The students get a chance to give a 2-word summary
about what they did/plan to do on the weekend.
I actually read about this as a way
to work on main idea.
We discuss that we need to be able
to figure out the activity from the two words.
Good example:  Grandma's house or birthday party
Bad example:  had fun or did stuff.
What are some tips you can share with us?
Be sure to link up so we can hear them!

Also, be sure to come back on Saturday for my link up:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's A Sale!

I'm sure you have heard
that TpT is having their big
Back to School Sale!
 August 18-19
You can save up to 28%
on your purchases.
I can't wait to start shopping!
We don't start school until Wednesday,
so I'll have some time to organize
my new items.
In the meantime,
I'm linking up to share
some wish-list items.
You get to share the top 2 wishlisted items in your store.
Then tell us 1 of your personal wishlisted items.

Created by SunnyDays
I can't wait to see your list
so then I can add more to mine!

Classroom Management - Taming the Wild

I love that title:
Taming the Wild!
It makes me laugh.
How many times have you heard,
"I don't know how you control that many kids!"
I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin'
to share some classroom management strategies.
#1:  Have your students line up in number order.
I tried this method last year and it worked great.
No one needs to run in order to get to the front
of the line and no one can always try
to be at the back.
Kids usually are not standing by their friends
so there is less talking in the halls.
I still have a line leader
and the numbers continue from that person.
For example: Student #5 is the line leader.
#6-25 come next.
Then #1-4 follow them.
The kids didn't always like this, but oh well!
#2:  Put magnets on the student name tags.
Then you can place the name tags on the front
or side of a desk.
Also, if a student goes to the washroom,
they can put their nametag on the board.
You will always know who is out of the room.
#3:  Make a checklist of names for turning in work.
This is what mine looked like last year.
I was able to cut the lists apart
and write the assignment at the top.
As a student turned in that work,
they checked off their name.
The list always stayed at the top of the paper pile.
It was great because I could quickly
glance at the list and see who needed to turn in their work.
Have you tried something similar in your classroom?
Be sure to link up and share your ideas!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Win, Loss and a Thing of Cost - Back to School Edition

It's Wednesday again!
I hope you will join Matt at Digital: Divide and Conquer
and myself for another edition of...
One of my teammates will be on maternity leave
for the first 8 weeks of school.
Yesterday we found out who the sub will be.
Even though we will miss our friend,
we are really excited about the sub that was hired.
This is my last Wednesday on vacation.
No need to explain.
I've made three different sets of task cards
for you to use at the beginning of the year.
Here I am showing you the full bundle,
but I'm also selling each set on their own.
You can place the cards around the room
and let the students fill in their responses on the sheet provided.
Another option is to have a card of the day.
You can also use the cards as time fillers
the first few weeks of school.
Right now, the cards are 25% off at my Teacher's Notebook store.
The sale ends on the 8/18.
The cards can also be found at my TpT store.
I'd love to give the bundle away for free to one of my followers.
Comment below and I will pick a winner on Thursday morning.
Tell me the name of a song that you turn up
loud when you hear it, but would not
admit to others that you love the song.
I'll share first...
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.
Congrats Ursula!  Check your email for my task cards.
Don't forget to link up with your
Win, Loss and Thing of Cost.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Huge Sale at Teacher's Notebook

It's back to school time!
Everywhere we look,
there is another sale.
Teacher's Notebook has joined in on the fun!
They have a Build-A-Bundle promotion going on right now.
Over 3400 items are listed at 50% off
when you purchase at least $20 worth of items.
That would be $40 at regular price.
You can search by grade level, subject, etc.
Then you get to build your own bundle.
I will go ahead a promote a few of my items if I may.

If a whole bundle doesn't work for you,
be sure to check out my store.
Everything is 25% off.
Enjoy your Tuesday!