Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday, Friends!

Remember a little while back I about my desire to develop numeracy with my students.  Well, that is exactly what I've been and I have to say things are going well in my math class.  The kiddos are doing great with telling how they get an answer and our subitizing skills are progressing.

The 10 Frame Fill app is a super easy way to practice making tens with your students.  I use my iPad to show the ten frames to my guided math groups.  This is a wonderful warm-up activity for the groups.  As the students improve I plan to have a student lead this activity in our small group.

The cost of the app $0!  Now that is thrifty in my book.

Until later,

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Five for Friday

Three weeks into the school year and I finally think I can take time to breath!  I know you have felt the same way.  Thanks, Doodle Bugs for hosting Five for Friday (or Saturday)!

First, I'm finally so happy to be finished with my beginning of the year assessment.  Each year our teachers assess kids to see where they are after the summer lag.  It is a good thing but it does take time.

 While I've been pulling kids for the beginning of the year assessments, I've had the others working on lots of partner math activities.  A huge thank you to everyone who put out their freebies for the beginning of the year.

This has been a great time for the kiddos - they are working on learning but still getting the time to (hopefully) quietly visit with their friends.  They also can sit around on the floor while they are still getting used to sitting on chairs or at desks/tables.  This year for some reason my students really need the opportunity to sit around on the floor and stretch out. 

These snacks we so cute!  This little guy brought in the snacks with his grandma.  She said after a quick Pinterest search she decided to make this sweet treats.
 Pencil management, what is the perfect solution?  This year I've decided to put a huge stash in my supply cart.  Students can get a pencil whenever they need one.  No worries for me!  Right?  Wrong!!!  One student has found it necessary to snap the erasers off his pencils, then grab a new one, use it for the day, snap off the eraser and repeat the entire process.  This little guy has made it on my radar and I've had to talk with him about the eraser thing!  If I take him out of the equation, the system is running very smoothly.

Oh, I also have a stash of pencils that I sharpen and put in my sharp pencil container.  Students use these when their pencil is dull or broken.  In our classroom students can only sharpen their pencils right away in the morning or after lunch.

Here is picture of our first Cougar Family Meeting!  It took a huge family to get all the shirts tie dyed and ready to wear.  Our family meetings focus on our school's positive behavior program.  Second grade is purple and you can see the shirt turned out so nice! 

This month our first lesson was Be Proactive based on the 7 Habits of Happy Kids book.  When students have time with school counselor, she also focuses on the be proactive lesson.  As classroom teachers we talk about the same lesson with our kiddos.  So everyone in the school is hearing the same message throughout the month.  As part of the planning team for these events, it is my desire to have the messages become part of our school culture for years to come.

Happy weekend!  I hope you have a wonderful, restful couple of days.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday!

I'm here this week with a tip about managing classroom jobs.  In the past I would try to have a wide variety of jobs so everyone could have a job and everyone would work together.  I quickly (maybe five years) found out that I was doing all the reminding students they had jobs and telling them what to do.  It just wasn't working for me.

Fast forward to several years ago.  I decided that only two students (1 boy and 1 girl) would do all the jobs for the day. 

 Viola!!!  Stress reduced. 

Everyday I have two students do all the jobs in the classroom.  Every time I need something done they are my go to people.  At the end of the day, they are the ones that manage the clean up time and do the clean up if necessary.  They plug in the chromebooks and iPads, they pick up the little pieces of paper, and on and on.  You get the picture.  No more, "Who is the technology helper?" or "Who is the floor cleaner?" and on and on.

Here is a picture of my Be Helpful board.  I write all the names on the two rings and just flip through day after day.  So easy!

I would love to hear how you manage your classroom helpers.
Happy first day of fall!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

WOW!  Is it really Thursday again!  How can time fly by so quickly?  (I hear you, in 'teacher world' time is consumed by listening to kids tell you about aches and pains, forms, procedures, documentation, lesson planning, more documentation, and more and more ...)  Sorry to get to side tracked. 

I had some of these ice cream tubs sitting around and decided to pretty them up by mod podging scrap book paper on them.  I didn't really have a plan for them other than I didn't want to see the ice cream label anymore.

Cue light bulb moment - Turn one into my classroom first aid kit!  Each school year our school nurse gives us a plastic bag with band-aids and gloves.  Once in a while we will get other first aid supplies.  Most of these plastic bags went in the bottom drawer in my desk.  Anytime a student asked for a band-aid I had to get it for them.

Now that I have a first aid kit handy for the kiddos, they can get their own band-aid for all the little scratches.  The big stuff they still make a trip to the office for medical attention.  The first aid kit also in easy access for a substitute teacher (this is a big plus).

Since I have set out my little first aid kit, it has cut down on trips to my desk to get band-aids for the students and cut down on trips to the office for medical attention.  The kids just ask for a band-aid and they can get it independently.

This is a little change in my classroom that has saved me time!  Give it a try - I would love to hear how you manage band-aids.
Only one more day until the weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday, Friends!

I'm so glad that you stop in each week for a new idea for your classroom.  Many of the ideas utilize recycled items.  If you have been following this blog for awhile you know recycling items is high on my priority list.  While making use of items usually tossed in the trash, I work hard at not having a "junked up" look or feel in my classroom. 

This week I don't have an item to make or download.  Maybe many of you have played this game in your classroom.  This game is totally free and a fantastic way to fill those few minutes at the end of the day or your class just needs a change of activities.  Today was one of those days when the kiddos just needed to do something different.

I call the game Beep Beep.  One student stands at the front of the room with their eyes covered.  Teacher selects one student to hide behind a cabinet, a door, or whatever is available in your classroom.  The remaining students all switch places, they love this part!  The person at the front of the room turns around and tries, as quickly as possible, to identify the student hiding.  Once the student has had an incorrect guess or two, the hiding student says, "Beep, beep," in a funny voice.  Usually the guessing student will figure it out pretty quickly.  If not, have the hiding student say, "Hello, ___" in their funny voice. 

I've tried to guess the student behind the cabinet, it is not as easy as it seems. The kids get a kick out of seeing me struggle to figure out who is hiding.

Enjoy this great classroom activity with your kiddos.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

It's a great day!

Here is a super cheap word work activity for your students.

Plastic lid letters - my family and I have been saving lids for a little while.  It is always helpful to ask family and friends to give you their garbage.  Most people are happy to oblige!

Here's what you do... 
write vowels on some lids (I made 3 of each vowel) and write consonants on the other lids.  Channel your inner Wheel of Fortune contestant and make extra consonant lids for those letters.  I only made one q lid but I made multiple t lids.

To play/use...
Students can use the letters to spell various words from their spelling lists. Or when I need my kiddos to get outside (weather permitting) I use the letters to have spelling relay games.  Use whatever relay rules you would like.  Or sometimes I just toss the letter lids into the air and students only use the letters that are face up to correctly spell any word they are able to.

The lids are free, you're just reusing something you would thrown away so if the kids get a little rough with the letters no problems!  Start collecting your lids and make your unique set of letter lids!