Sunday, June 30, 2013

Missing Numbers and a Freebie!

I have been planning to create some new centers this summer to use in my classroom that go along with the common core standards and with our EnVision math program. I created my first one today that I think is especially important because our students are assessed on missing numbers for Aimsweb as well. This is an easy center activity or small group activity. Simply laminate and cut strips apart and have students use dry erase markers. The worksheets can be copied and used as worksheets or you can save on paper by placing them in a page protector and having students use a dry erase marker with it.

The Hunt for the Missing Numbers
I hope you all have started following me on bloglovin by now...tomorrow is the end of Google Reader as we all know. :(  If you haven't followed me yet, you can click on the button on the left hand side. And because I love all of you...I am adding a missing number freebie for you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'm Bloglovin!

Thanks to everyone who has been posting about the end of Google Reader as of July 1st. I would have been SO depressed if I woke up one day and all the blogs that I follow were just GONE!!  So, today  I joined Bloglovin and made the easy switch. Really it is SO simple!! Just create your account and import the blogs you already follow from Google Reader and everything is good to go! If you currently follow me please be sure to transfer my blog over to your new Bloglovin account. If you are new to my page and want to follow me, please click on the Follow Me at Bloglovin button on the top left of my page! Thanks!!

Join the bloglovin hop!!
Teaching is a Gift


Monday, June 17, 2013

Ten Pin Linky Party: Classroom Decor

I am linking up with Ashley from Just Reed to show you my ten favorite pins from Pinterest that I have pinned for Classroom Décor. :) I am totally addicted to Pinterest so it will take some picking and choosing. LOL

1. Objective Wall
I have to post student-friendly "I can" statements each day to match my objectives for reading and math. I like the way this one is taped off with a space for each subject. I am thinking of using the subjects of Reading, Math, Writing, and our Character Goal.

I don't think that I have room for this in my classroom unless I rearrange a lot but I absolutely LOVE this idea!! Instead of toys I would put books in the baskets and make this my library area. :)

I wish that I had thought of this myself! I have these chair pockets from when I taught Kindergarten and had a much smaller class size. I don't have enough for my whole class now with having 27 students but I could use them at my guided reading table and put a dry erase board, marker, eraser, etc. in there for easy access.
If I don't go with idea 3, then I like this idea for my guided reading table. I used 2 of these circles for my daily objectives this year, but sometimes they don't erase that well. That would be my only drawback.
5. Math Tubs
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of the way she organized her math tubs. :) If only I had an unlimited amount of money to spend in my classroom! lol
Love the colors with the white wicker chair and the lanterns just top it all off!
I love the organization of this teacher area and it looks so sharp too!
I really wanted to find some cubes like this last year but I couldn't find cute ones. And the ones I did find were just too pricey for me. :(
I love the look of this area also.
Would love to have matching, colorful tables like these and the bookshelf along the wall too!
So, there you have it! 10 of my favorite classroom décor pins. Please head on over to Just Reed's to link up and share some of your favorite pins. :) And if you want to follow me on Pinterest, feel free to click the link on the side of my page!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Classroom Management

I am linking up with Leigh from The Applicious Teacher to talk about classroom management. This is a subject we all want to know more about. Wondering what is really working for others in their classroom because your system isn't working anymore? Or maybe you are just looking for some new ideas? Well, this is the linky party for you!


I have tried many different management ideas in my 7 years of teaching because we all know what works with one class may not work with another. During my last two years of first grade, I have used 2 different ideas and loved them both. So, if I loved one why try something new? Well, I like to change it up because sometimes I get bored but also because my second system involved technology and I thought that would make it even more awesome.

My first year in First grade (2011-2012), I used the clip chart. This was all the rave on the Proteacher Message boards. I used to spend my whole summer on that website before I found all you wonderful bloggers!

I found the clipchart idea at this website and it even gives you a free e-book to explain more about it. You can order a clipchart from them and it is made from a nice vinyl that is awesome once you get it to unroll and lay flat. Or you can simply make it from different colors of construction paper and laminate it. This is what I chose to do when I first gave it a try. Then our PBIS team bought the vinyl ones for anyone who wanted them because they were working so well in our school.


Here is the basic idea of the set up and you use the clothespins with it.
So, to use it each student has their own clothespin that starts on green every day. If they make smart choices they can clip up to good day, great day, or outstanding. If they make poor choices they clip down to think about it, teacher' s choice of consequence, or parent contact. For me parent contact would depend on the reason they ended up at the bottom. It might be a note or call home or it could be as bad as a detention or office referral. Throughout the day there is a steady flow of movement. Just because the student moves down to think about it doesn't mean they can't turn their day around and end up at the top of the chart. The only time I told my students they could no longer move was if they made it to the "sticky pink bubble gum". If my students did something to end up there then they were stuck until the next day. Otherwise if they made it to purple I would be encouraging them to make smart choices and get their day turned around. Same thing with the top. Once you make it to the top you have to hold steady with your outstanding day or you can move back down the ladder. The kids really bought into it and it worked well. Here is why...
You have to tie some kind of reward to the chart. Sometimes the simple act of moving to outstanding is enough for a child. But in my school, most of the kids need something tangible. The year I used it they would earn so many reds for extra recess, computer time, or a prize from the prize box. If they had any pinks or purples for the week they missed out. But there was always next week to work harder. If they made it to red each time they would get a good note home. I made them on business cards from Vistaprint and could easily send them home at the end of the day. I also would just jot a quick note on post its but that takes much longer!
Here is one of them that I made at Vistaprint and ordered when you could get 250 free.
This coming year I am going back to the clipchart and see how it goes. The Kindergarten classes used them this year, so I am thinking that keeping the kids on the same system might make for an easier transition. So, we will see...
Now this past year, I tried something different that I also loved. It was Class Dojo. It was free and easy and the kids loved the avatars! I used it with the same idea in mind of rewards based on points. The students who had at least 4 points at the end of the day got the good note home card and also got to put a sticker on a sticker chart. Once they earned 5 stickers they got a piece of candy from the candy jar. Then when they filled up their chart they got a prize like a pencil or bookmark and also a positive referral to the office for a treat. Points could be earned and lost the same as the clip chart moves your clip both up and down.
If you want to know more in depth about this program, visit my previous post about it here.
One thing I really like about this program is that it keeps track of the data for you which I will miss with my clip chart. I could see my whole class' percentage of positive behavior for the day, week, month. Or I could also view an individual student's percentage as well. Also, on Friday it would email parents with a report automatically if you input their email addresses. :) Bad thing with my school was that I only had a minimal amount of parents who had email that actually checked it. Also, we had an issue with our internet towards the end of the year so I couldn't easily access it from my laptop and had to keep track on paper. I really did like that I could access it from my iPhone wherever we went but the app doesn't always sync with the classroom like it should. I'm sure it is a simple bug that they will work out. Overall, I was really happy with the program and the kids like it too.
I am thinking of using the clip chart maybe first semester and then guiding them into class dojo after Christmas break if we need to change it up a bit. I will have to see what this new little group is like to decide.
Well, I hope you will head on over to The Applicious Teacher to link up so we can here more ideas of what classroom management works for you! And be sure to check back for the following week's ideas as well!
Happy Sunday!!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Amazing Giveaway!!

As I have been discovering tons of new blogs out there with all the giveaways going on, I stumbled upon an amazing giveaway that you won't want to miss! I have been hearing all the hype about the Erin Condren planners and when I went to the website to check it out, I too was excited to have one. But, I cannot get myself to spend that kind of money on a teacher planner. I might break down before the end of the summer but I can already hear my husband saying you spent how much?!? on what?!? Well, I'm hoping to be the lucky winner over at Pencils Books and Dirty Looks as she has her 1 year Blogiversary and is offering an awesome give away! Head on over to her blog and check it out!!



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Let's Talk Schedules!

I am so excited to join this linky party to discuss how we all do different things in our schedules throughout the day. Kelli at Castles and Crayons is hosting an awesome linky party called

and each week we will be discussing different aspects of our schedule. It will start next Monday, June 10th so be sure to head on over and link up to be a part of the party!! :)