Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Lollipop Tree

Do you have a lollipop tree?  My dear hubby made these very cute lollipop trees for me (and 3 of my teacher friends)!  

This is my twist on the compliment jars.  I use it as a class incentive.  When the entire class receives a compliment from someone else or from me they earn a lollipop.  If the class is doing something inappropriate, I take a lollipop from the tree.  When we earn one lollipop for each student, we have a lollipop party!  In case you are wondering, a lollipop party is simply everyone gets to enjoy a lollipop during a fun story or short video. 

This class incentive works great!  I usually use dum-dum lollipops and try to have the class earn parties frequently.  It is amazing how quickly the class gets back on track when I simply remove one lollipop.  The key is to reward them pretty frequently, especially at first.  

I hate to admit this, but I have been very lax about using the terrific tool recently and I am sad to say my class behavior is quickly sliding down hill.  I am going to reward, reward, reward tomorrow and hope we can get back on track!

This is like so many of the great ideas, they only work when you use them and are consistent!  I find myself juggling so many things and unfortunately some things drop.  So tomorrow I am picking it back up.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

March is Coming

Hi, I am Teresa and I am addicted to Candy Crush Saga! 

Oh my goodness, I have wasted so much time this weekend with this silly game.  I know I am wasting time and have so much to do, but I can't stop!!!  I have been working on this post all day in between Candy Crush sessions.  If you have not tried this app, DO NOT DO IT!  (at least I warned you)  OK now to the actual information you really came for!

It is hard to believe February is over this week and March is coming in full speed ahead!!!  With March comes one of my favorite themes, Dr. Seuss!  I love how excited the kids get when they can read one of these books all by themselves.  I have so many great things that go along with this theme, but the copyright issues prevent many of them from being posted on TpT.  I will try and share what I can with you directly though my blog, so follow me or check back often.

The first thing I would like to share with you is a Cat in the Hat color by number 120 chart activity.  First the students find 10 less, 10 more, 1 less and 1 more of a list of numbers.  (I use this sheet as a quick assessment too.)  Then they color in the list of numbers to reveal a surprise.  There are even a few challenge questions for the kids.  So grab a copy here.

I am going to link this post up with Manic Mondays (at midnight tonight) on www.classroomfreebies.com .  Make sure to check it out several times during the day.  I am sure there will be some great freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tech Tip and Happy Birthday George Washington!

Happy Friday!  I was making this George Washington writing graphic organizer and writing paper to use with my class and thought I would share a tip with you too.  

Did you ever wonder how to get an exact color match of a graphic you have?  
I always want my text or background colors to match exactly.  On the picture above, I want the background color to match the jacket color.  Well there is a super easy way (with mac) to do this.

When formatting the color of an object, select the More Colors... option at the bottom of the color selection drawer.

 When it comes up select the crayon box.  Then click on the magnifying glass and your cursor will turn into a magnifying class.  Hover over the color on your document you are trying to match with this magnifying glass and click it.  The color will appear in the selection rectangle, and then click OK.  It is really that easy, a perfect match!

Now in honor of my favorite day Friday and Old George's Birthday, here is a freebie for you.  Click here to grab this graphic organizer and writing paper.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why I Love Teaching and Get Organized!

Today one of my kids helped me realize why I love teaching!  She was so excited to show me how she could read a page from her first chapter book ever!  I was so proud of her!  I let her borrow my Junie B chapter book to take home a continue reading it.  She treasured it so much!  It made my day.

Then after lunch this same little girl made me smile again!  I didn't go to the lunch room with the kids today, and was a little hungry.  I asked the kids what they were serving in the lunchroom today.  My sweet little girl replies "Great Big Chicken Nuggets!  You can even make a chicken nugget sandwich  with them!"  To translate for you, they were serving chicken sandwiches.

This is why I do what I do!

Do you need help getting organized?  (Goodness knows I do!) Love great tips and information?  My friend Charity Preston from The Organized Classroom and Classroom Freebies Too just launched a new digital magazine!  It is full of great information.  I love the article on taming the paper monster and digital file organization.  It also has a DIY project, organizational challenge and even a quick dinner recipe even I can make!  I would like to invite you to check out the inaugural issue free!

The Organized Classroom Magazine

Courtesy of Preston Education Publishing, The Organized Classroom Magazine is a must-have resource for every K-8 educator! Filled with tips, tricks, and inspiration for how to keep your classroom running smoothly and with style!  All issues are enabled for printing and downloading, as well as available for mobile devices for reading on the go or in the teacher’s lounge.  Printed hard copies are available for an additional cost for the printing, which are perfect for a school professional development library resource.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Fun Valentine's Day

We had a great Valentine's Day!  I had Valentine's Day related activities at all of the Super Six centers.  The kids enjoyed them and it was still routine enough to stop them from going off the deep end.  My hubby delivered roses to me in class and the students loved meeting the Mr. Eric they hear so much about. Here are some pics from our fun filled day.
 The students made adorable fish with hearts.  The had so much fun just making a craft for fun!  It seems with all of the added rigor in First Grade there is very little time for crafts and fun.  Well today we took time out and had a little fun!
 We made very cute heart sun catchers with this foam craft kit.  I loved how my teaching partner described them!

"These things are just like IKEA furniture, cheap and cute but a pain to put together!"

 A few fun word work activities!  ABC order and a word search!  We even used red pens to do them!
 We made our own ice cream sundaes for and extra sweet treat!  I think there were more toppings than ice cream in most bowls!
 For our math we had a sweetheart of a time!  With this worksheet (click here to grab it free) we practiced ten frames, place value, tally marks, addition, odd/even and missing part.  It was even fun!  Then we turned the paper over and used the hearts to "read it, write it, eat it!"

With all of this fun, I want to know what the kids liked best.  So I made this writing paper for the students to let me know what their favorite part of the day was.  Click here and get your copy!

Happy Valentine's Day!  I sure hope the kids don't eat candy for breakfast tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born 204 years ago in a log cabin in Kentucky.  I love teaching about Abraham Lincoln almost as much as the students love learning all about him.  I use this lesson to teach many things to the kids.  It is great for learning about timelines and introducing biographies.  We also compare and contrast life then and now.  The unpleasant history of slavery is also discussed.  My favorite book for this it "The Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln".  It is perfect for K-2 students.
After learning about the life of Lincoln, we write about what we learned.  This is the graphic organizer we use.  I also talked about chronological order and how important it is when telling a story that makes sense.  You can grab this organizer and matching writing paper here.

The students did a fabulous job writing.  We then writing craftivity to display their writings.  My hall way looks amazing now!

I hope your writing turns out as awesome as mine!  The kids even had fun doing it!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday!!!! and a Freebie!

It is Monday, and what a Monday it was! 

I woke up with my oldest kid sick with a fever.  Luckily she could stay home by herself for the morning.  I had to take a 1/2 day sub for the afternoon and bring her to the doctor for antibiotics. 

My dear hubby was out of town this morning.  He usually wakes us up and more importantly makes the coffee.  So I rush around to make it out of the house in time to stop by Dunkin' Donuts for a morning treat.  Well apparently in my rush to get out the door, I left my purse at home!!!  So I had to tell the somewhat annoyed, usually cheerful person at the window that I left my purse and couldn't get the amazing iced coffee she was holding in her hand or the munchkins my little munchkin in the backseat ordered.  My daughter was crying and I felt like crying.  Leaving that coffee at the drive thru was so hard!

I made it to school, with no coffee, but the morning went pretty well.  I had a great lesson about greater than and less than.  I introduced the kiddos to my very hungry alligator who always eats the biggest number.  As a Florida Gator fan it always make me smile to teach my kids the Gator Chomp!  (I know many people not from Florida will not get this, but Go Gators!  Chomp Chomp!) 

Speaking of the Chomp... I am enjoying teaching about Dental Health.  My writing is turning out great.  Here is what it looked like last year.  The toothbrush is the graphic organizer.

You can grab my mini-unit here.  Chomp Chomp!

Bee Mine with this color by word.  What could be better?  Learning and coloring fun!  Grab your copy here!  (It goes very well Storytown Lesson 20)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I "Mustache" You a Question...

I "Mustache" Will You Be My Valentine?  I made these adorable cards with my students last year for them to give to their parents.  It was so much fun and turned out adorable!

To start, you need pictures of your students with a mustache.  This is super easy with the help of an iPad, iPod or iPhone.  Download the free app Mustache Me.  The kids (or you) take a "head shot" picture on the iPad.  Then students pick their favorite mustache and position it.  Save the pictures and print one out for each child.  (I also save these pictures for my end of the year video.  They are always good for a few good laughs.)

Then add the adorable pictures to one of the following cards.  You can either print the card, or print the pieces to add to your own card or frame.  Click here to grab the file and have fun!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed this freebie, and check out even more great freebies featured on Classroom Freebies Manic Monday and Classroom Freebies Too!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

More Funtastic February

February is such a fun filled month with so much to cover.  A little while ago I started a Funtastic February Linky.  I have had so much fun finding and meeting other people this way.  I have also found some great ideas.  If you haven't checked it out lately, check it out!
Funtastic February

Have you linked up a blog post already but have another great one?  Link up again!  Here is my latest February Fun.

A Fabulous February Feature
My students love these beginning book reports.  The best part is that they are completely ready to go home and they are perfect for K-2 kids to complete.  They can do the work on their own and they don't turn into expensive parent projects.  This months project is a Famous American Biography report.  You can pick it up at my TpT store or Teacher's Notebook store.

A Fantastic February Freebie
Here is a fantastic Sweetheart Math activity.  Click here to grab it and pick up some Sweethearts to enjoy this activity with your little sweethearts!

and A Funny
  My funny today is a very corny joke, a little bathroom humor for you!  What did one John say to the other?  "Are you OK?  You look flushed."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ah Ha Moment!

I was teaching math today and had an Ah Ha (why didn't I think of this sooner) moment.  I'm sure many of you already do this, but maybe there is someone out there like me. 

My problem:  How to give extra instruction to those kids who need it without boring the other kids to death?  I needed a way to determine who isn't "getting it" before the quiz or test.

My solution:  After teaching the main math lesson with the kids on the floor, I did review or practice problems on the smartboard.  If the student answered the problem correctly, I had them pick up their independent practice worksheet and return to their desk to begin work.  If the student couldn't answer the problem, I had them stay on the floor with me and wait for another turn.  (Little did they know they were listening and learning while they waited.)  At the end, I had a hand-full of students who still weren't getting it with me on the floor.  I was able to try another approach with this group while the others were working on their own at their seats.

I don't know why I haven't been doing this sooner.  This quick, informal assessment really helped drive my instruction and I got immediate results.  I didn't have to grade it, enter it in a grade book or graph it! 

I love to do "ticket out the door" quick checks.  I keep various stacks flash cards by the door or ask a question about a lesson I have just taught.  This information I get is great, but we are on the way out the door so I don't have time to continue the lesson with those who need it.

Have you had any Ah Ha teaching moments lately?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

100th Day Pics & a Freebie!

I survived the 100th day and we had a lot of fun at school on this day.  Here are a few pictures from our very busy day.

We started the morning with a special snack.  (I apologize for the picture you have to turn your head to see.)  

 The students (at least a few of them) came to school dressed as if they were 100 years old!
 One of our Super 6 Centers was building with 100 cups.  This is always one of their favorite activities.
 We put together 100 piece puzzles.
The students wrote about what they would buy if they had $100.  If only you could really buy a new car for $100!

What was your classes favorite 100th day activity or what are you planning?

A lovely FREEBIE for you!  Numbers I Know by Heart Flashcards Games.  These flashcards are designed to help students recognize numbers quickly, without counting.  The cards include numerals and 10 frames for numbers 1-20.  I have also included directions for several flashcard games we play in class.

I also have just added a digital flashcards version of these along with a 10 frames work mat.  There are two versions of the digital flashcards PowerPoint (manual and automatic advance).  Click here for TpT or TN store.

Looking for some other great freebies?  Make sure to check out Classroom Freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Super Sale Sunday!

As I am sure you all know, it is Super Sale Sunday!!!  Most shops (including me) at Teachers pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook are having an amazing sale!  I have been busy buying my wishlist items!  I especially stocked up on some fun clip-art!

Yesterday was packed with house work (my least favorite thing in the entire world!) spending time with my girls (my favorite thing in the whole world!) and working super late on my computer while watching Season 2 of Downton Abbey (my latest addiction.)  When I finally went to bed last night at 1:45 a.m. with my iPad and earbuds finishing an episode of Downton Abbey I think my hubby thought I had completely lost it!

I did finish up my February Beginning Book Report.

You can grab this today at my TpT or TN store. Even better it is on sale for Super Bowl Sale Sunday!

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