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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Storing Stations

Teachers are always looking for ways to store things. I have had a few teachers ask how to store their math stations for the year. Here are a few ideas to help you get organized for the new year!
These storage tubs are my favorite! Several teacher in my building have gotten them through Donor's Choose.  After you have prepped and cut all of your stations, you can place them in these tubs.  
 The only drawback to this is they will take up some space.
 I use packing tape to keep the title on the top of the tub.
But when it is time to change out stations, just grab the tub you need and put the other one back on the shelf.  Click here for the boxes on Amazon. But don't forget, try!
I LOVE these envelopes! I use them A LOT :)
I use packing tape and tape the title page on the outside of the envelope. If I don't do this the kids pull it out with the other items, then we don't know what station it is!
I keep the pieces and recording sheets in the envelope along with what is needed for the station. 
Click here to get plastic envelopes on Amazon. 
One of my fellow teachers got these carts on Donor's Choose. They are great for so many things in the classroom. They are great for storing math stations. I put a small label on the front. Then the directions, pieces, and supplies in the drawer. 

Click here for the cart on Amazon.
If you are a teacher, you have binders everywhere! Grab some page protectors and put your stations in these when not in use. 

Here are the math stations:
These have 1 math station for every Common Core Math Standard in each grade level. All for less than $1 a station! 
The possibilities are endless!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Grinch Goo!

*1/2 Cup Liquid Starch
*1/2 Cup Water
*1/2 Cup Clear Glue (White glue will work but clear glue makes it more transparent for the hearts to show through.  I bought my clear glue on Amazon.)
*Green Food Coloring
*Red Confetti Hearts

1.  Combine the glue and water.  Stir until it is mixed well.
2.  Add a couple of drops of green food coloring and mix. Stir well.  (Add more drops if you want darker slime.)
3.  Add confetti hearts and stir.
4.  Slowly stir in the liquid starch and mix.

The slime will set up quickly.  I made two batches and it was more than enough for all of my students (18) to have about a half full condiment cup (which are 2 oz.).  

I let them play with the slime on sheets of wax paper so they didn't pick up pencil shavings and dirt in their Grinch Goo.  When we were done they put their lids on and took it home.

Here are a couple of free printable downloads to use with your Grinch Goo to link it to some learning standards!  Click here to download them FREE!


Next week we will be having a Reindeer Fuel day!  You can grab up that packet by clicking HERE!


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spiders, Bats, and Halloween... Oh My!

This past week, my students discovered spiders and enjoyed every minute of it!  We used Stephany Dillon's Spider Unit.  I think spiders are so cool..... but also super creepy!
These are some of my favorite spider books to read during spider week.
The Spider Unit was perfect for my kindergarten students learning about labeling.  This spider diagram was included in the unit!

I just love this time of the year.  There are so many nonfiction topics to teach!

Stephany also has a nonfiction Bat Unit.  I also have purchased it and plan to use it next week!

If you are looking for a fun Halloween emergent reader, check out this one in my store!

Happy Teaching,

Monday, October 17, 2016

Super Simple Sub Plans: Making Life Easier!

Nothing is worse than dragging yourself in before sunrise to do sub plans when you are sick (or you have a last minute emergency)!  So many teachers are guilty of forcing themselves through the day when they should have stayed home, simply because writing up lesson plans seems to be more hassle than just going in for the day.  

I created these lesson plan packets to help with those mornings.  These have been a life saver!  You can get them prepared ahead of time and then just pull them out that morning!

Step 1:  Create a space for your sub plans.  This space could be a filing cabinet drawer or a crate.

Step 2:  Purchase the books.  You can find all of these books at either Scholastic (points!) or on Amazon.  I purposely chose popular books or new books that would be easy to find and purchase.

Step 3:  Figure out your schedule for the coming year.  For each day, make up a schedule with your lunch, recess, special classes and arrival/dismissal procedures.   Divide your instructional time into "chunks" of teaching time.    Label each chunk of time as an "Activity #"  Here is an example of my really simple sub plans for Wednesday.  All of my "other" information that doesn't change (procedures for dismissal, discipline, emergencies)  so I keep a copy of that printed and in a binder where it is ready to go.

Step 4: Copy the materials that you feel best suit your classroom.  Label them with the activity number cards included in the packet.  

Step 5:  Place the materials, your lesson plan, and a copy of the book in the file.  When you need it most, this plan will be ready and copied for you!  Just pull it out for the sub and you are ready to go!

You can find sub plans for the popular books...

You can purchase Bundle #1 by clicking below.  Nine ready to go units for those days when you really need them!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tips for Looping with Your Class

I was able to loop with my students this past year from first to second.  I think most teachers would love to stay in their grade and their comfort zone, but that isn't always the case.  My loop was the best case scenario because I got to stay in the same room with the same awesome kiddos (minus and plus a handful).  Here are a few tips to pass along with those dealing the same scenario...

1.  Change just enough to make it new.  You don't want kiddos to not be excited about school because they are in the same room or with the same teacher.  However, one of the BIGGEST benefits of looping is being able to jump into teaching right away.  Change your theme, color scheme, labels, seating arrangement.... those fun "side" things about a classroom.  Don't change your rotation charts, your schedule, your procedures or your rules IF they worked for you and your students last year. 

2.  Did you have a difficult student you are dreading to see again?  If you did, greet that kiddo with open arms on that first day.  You might be the most stable person they have in their life and chances are they are relieved that they already know you.  Make them your unofficial assistant, co-teacher, or buddy.  You have the upper hand because now you know their strengths and their interests.  Set something up for them to be successful right off the bat.

3.  Don't be afraid to change some things up.  I added a nightly reading (20 min) in second grade and got rid of typical homework.  You aren't stuck with something because you did it the year before.  Be honest about why you are making the change.  Most times parents have seen the same issues and will be on board for the change!

4.  Pay attention to your classroom library.  I found that about 3/4 through the year my students weren't reading a lot of non-fiction text.  When I questioned them about it they were quick to tell me that they had read most of them (and I have a TON of books)!  Get together with other teachers who may be looping up or switching grades to add some new titles to your classroom library.

5.  Throw out your old topics (until the next year at least).  I had to come up with some new topics or themes to teach this past year.  Even though I knew how much I had spent on that dinosaur unit (eeekkk$), I had to put it on the back burner because we had covered that topic through and through.  This is also a great way to find new topics to teach and to push yourself to learn new things!

6.  When you loop with the same group of kiddos, you are bound to get some new kids added to your list to even the numbers out.  Make sure you pay special attention to these kiddos.  I paired these students immediately with some of my more outgoing students.  It is easy for these students to get lost when they are added to a group that has already built a bond.  Paying them extra attention and emphasizing their importance to the classroom will help them mix right in perfectly! 

7.  Don't get too comfortable!  I built a great relationship with my students and it was easy to let some things "slide".  These kiddos will eventually go on to a different teacher the following year... they can't stay with you forever!  Remember to reinforce that behavior and expectations are to make THEM better students, learners and citizens... not to please you as a teacher. 

8.  Be ready to let go.  This past last day of school was very hard... both on the students and on me.  As we prepare for the next school year I am literally dreading seeing "my students" on the first day go on to their new teachers.  It's very difficult to hand them over after spending two years with them.  However, this past year was probably the most rewarding both academically and personally.  Be prepared to be invested in your kiddos for the long haul!

Looping can be an awesome, time-saving, stress relieving experience!  You are building a bond that can last a lifetime!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

These stores are on sale (5/3 and 5/4)  for the teacher Appreciation Sale over at Teachers Pay Teachers!

An InLinkz Link-up