Saturday, September 20, 2014

Let's not lose them.

I think all teachers would agree that transportation is the number one biggest concern at the beginning of the school year.  Especially with kindergarteners.  Even though I check and double check and quadruple check how they're going home, there are always a few parents that I just can't reach or an 8 that could be a 3 when they write their child's bus number.

For the first day {okay, the 1st week} I hold my breath anytime there's an announcement after school.  Please don't say my name, please don't say my name, please don't say my name...whew!  Why am I sweating?!  But I've noticed a pattern - it's after those first few weeks that we start to relax and that's when simple mistakes can happen, regardless of how cute and Pinteresting your transportation chart is.

Enter good old fashioned masking tape.

How brilliant is that?!  When your kids put their backpacks on, you can see all of their numbers in one quick glance down the line.  We teach kids their bus slots (where they park on the lot) because sometimes busses break down & they have to send a replacement.  If your kids don't ride the bus, just write walk or van or AS (after school).

It doesn't mess up the backpacks so parents aren't upset.  It's super easy to change if they start going home a different way.  The kids don't play with them so they stay on for a long time AND it makes dismissal basically fool proof.  If your sub can't find your bus list, you're covered.  If you have to leave early & have another teacher take your kids to the bus, you're covered.  If you're just having one of those days where your mind can't form um...what are those things...oh, words...yeah, you're still covered!

So grab some masking tape and sharpie and don't lose your kids.  Because that probably wouldn't reflect well on your evaluation.  ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New year, new grade.

Little Miss Glamour is still going to Kindergarten...but I'm not stopping there!  I am going to teach a K-1 combo class this year with students from both grades in my classroom.  I'm going to teach both K & 1st grade curriculums.  I'll also be working with a group of ESL students like I did a few years ago.  And that's pretty much all that I know.  :)  There will be a lot of trial & error this year and probably some confusion but I'm also excited for some challenges and something new.

Most of all, I am hopeful that I will have a lot more to share with you.  It was hard to post last year due to a few, let's say...obstacles.

*I was trying to balance being mommy & teacher for the first time.
*I didn't want to mess up my manicure by typing.
*My feet grew during pregnancy & all of my free time was spent buying shoes.
*I didn't have much freedom to be creative in my lesson planning.
*My false eyelash glue was defective & the computer screen looked blurry.

Ok, so really only two of those are true.  But I'll let you work that out on your own.  ;)  Thanks for coming back, reading & learning with me.  Let's have some fun this year and come up with new and exciting things for our kids...what do you say?!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

{another} Back to School Sale!

You heard it right...Teachers Pay Teachers is adding an ADDITIONAL Back to School sale this year! So if you missed something in their annual August sale, you have one more chance to grab it at a discount on Wednesday, August 20th to start your school year off right.

They are offering 10% off with code BOOST plus E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G in my store will already be 20% off.  So for one day only, you can get all of my products for 28% off!!  Start making your wish lists now because this sale is only 3 days away!

If you haven't already, be sure to add my new monthly homework calendars to your wish list.  They're easy, fit to one page and incorporate math & literacy common core as well as general science and social studies concepts.  There's a parent letter, too, so the work is done for you.  Did I mention the motivation behind them was to make homework simple?!  Maybe my favorite thing I've ever made.  For my ownself.  ;)

My behavior clip chart is another big seller every year.  If you're looking for a new or different behavior system, I love the clip chart.  It rewards students who make great choices, students can move up & down throughout the day {i.e. fix their choices} and who am I kidding...the poster names & characters are just too cute.  :)

Also, thank you for your entries into the My Doctor and Me ABC giveaway!

The winner of Stephanie's book is Terry!  Congratulations and let us know how you're going to incorporate this book in your health unit!

The rest of you can get this cute book on Amazon in either an ebook or paperback copy.  Now to try & enjoy {not pout through} the rest of my last Sunday of the summer...  I need an emoticon that is half smiling & half sad.  Why has that not been created yet?  ;)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Doctor & Me {a new ABC book}

Top 5 reasons I love an alphabet book:

They're fun to read.
The kids pick up on the patterns & start to predict what comes next.
They teach letters & sound with alliteration and picture clues.
They're perfect to start a lesson when you want a spin off activity.
There are so so many out there...and now there's one more!  :)

How adorable is this alphabet book called My Doctor and Me ABC?!

The author, Stephanie Cox, is a doctor herself.  Plus, her daughter was in kindergarten last year so she knows exactly what our target audience {ie. the littles at your feet} need to know.  The book cleverly works in eating well & exercise as well making healthy choices like getting enough sleep and wearing sunscreen.  Look at these cute illustrations!

I plan to use this book multiple times throughout the year.  As I'm introducing the alphabet to my kindergarten students, it'll work perfectly with my other ABC books.  But we're all teaching a health unit, at least informally {wash your hands, cover your mouth, don't eat that}, and you can totally pull this back out again to highlight different lessons.  My Doctor and Me ABC is great for teaching  vocabulary, easing fears of children who are nervous to visit the doctor and just giving kids an overview of what they'll be experiencing as they get their regular checkups.

As a farewell to summer she has graciously agreed to let me give a copy away to one of you!  Just like this blog {via Google connect or Blog Lovin, whichever you prefer} & leave your email in a comment below!  The winner will be announced Sunday, August 17th.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Kindergarten Homework Calendars

Kindergarten homework calendars are up!  I posted a freebie for you guys last September but didn't want to roll out a whole year's worth of homework without testing it out myself.  With a little tweaking {not twerking} and the addition of the summer months {what what!} I can now present to you an entire year's worth of Kindergarten homework!!  :)

There are 2 parent letters included in the download.  Personally, I don't like to check homework often so I only have my kids bring their homework back once a month.  But there's also a letter asking them to bring it back every week if that's more your style.  The letter also asks parents to add nightly reading to their homework tasks because none of the activities should take very long.  I figured y'all would be okay with that.  I also went ahead and offered up your paper, pencils & crayons for families who don't have any.  Sorry for speaking for you, but again, I know how you awesome you guys are and I had a feeling you'd have no problem sharing supplies with your families who need it.

Since there was no way to know the calendar dates for every school, I included a task for EVERY day.  I plugged in some fun stuff during major holidays but also left the activities generic so if you have students who are Jehovah's Witnesses or don't celebrate certain holidays for other reasons they won't have to be exempt from any of the activities.  And if you really don't want to have any homework assigned over your break, just white out the activities before photocopying!!  ;)

So check it out!  Teachers Pay Teachers has everything 10% off through midnight tonight but since I didn't get it posted before the start of the sale, what do you say to an extension?  ;)  The full year of homework calendars will be 20% through Saturday, August 9th!  If you're looking for homework that makes your life easier {nothing extra needed} then download this packet, leave me some feedback on TpT & get your copier number ready to make a class set!

Enjoy the rest of your summer, friends!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blank EOY Awards {freebie}

It's almost the end of the year!!!  I truly think teaching is the only profession where you are equally happy to begin as to end.  Am I right or am I right?!  :)

Since I end up doing something different every year for our graduation/celebration/call it what you will, I'm always on the hunt for the right thing.  I couldn't find quite what I was looking for in certificates this year {or the prices were more than I was willing to pay for them} and I figured I wasn't the only one.

If you're in the same boat as me, I hope you can use these free certificates!  There are 4 backgrounds to choose from as well as 8 different kids, of various ethnicities.  You can add your own award title at the top and be as creative as you like...there are loads of ideas out there if you search.

The more I thought about it, you could really use these awards for all kinds of things!  Student of the Week, parent volunteers, student teachers finishing up their placement, character ed recognition, etc. Click either picture to get them at my TeachersPayTeachers store for free!  :)

And if you're looking for some easy time fillers as you look back over your current year and look ahead to what's next, remember to check out my EOY packet for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders!

*Please note that I am not criticizing anyone for their listing prices, as I sell products on TpT myself.  Every purchase is a personal choice of weighing cost vs. what you're getting from your purchase.  I totally support all sellers and am happy for everyone who is able to make a little money with their creations.*

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Crazy Pants

This game caught my attention for 2 reasons.  1) It was created by an audiologist and mother of a deaf child - I have always had a sweet spot for the hard of hearing. 2) When my kids are being nutters in the classroom I can often be heard saying "Calm it down, crazy pants!" which my students, of course, think is hilarious.

Crazy Pants is being marketed as a Bingo style listening game but after playing it with my students I've found so many other benefits from using it!  Each student has a game board with laundry hanging on 3 lines.  The caller picks a card and tells the picture/word, like "sock" or "gloves."  If the students have the article of clothing on their board, they cover it with a chip.  The first person to get 3 in a row wins!

A few other ideas that came to me as I played the game with my 5 and 6 year olds:

{give clues}
Instead of reading the word on the card, give the kids a clue such as "these keep your fingers warm" or "this goes over your socks in the rain."  We played the game this way and it helped keep my students' brains engaged and kept them thinking while we played.  It would also enable the game to be played without an adult, because student reading level wouldn't matter.

{ESL practice}
The game says it is for ages 3 and up.  Toddlers would definitely benefit from learning colors, names for articles of clothes and body parts by playing the game and hearing common language being used.  How much more would it also help your ESL students?!  One thing I've really learned about teaching students who don't speak English is that our curriculums assume they've had experiences or know basic vocabulary that's common for most kids.  But often...they don't.  Playing this game would give those students practice in using basic language and building their English language.

{sentence structure}
One thing I have to remind myself every year is to S-L-O-W down my writing instruction.  Once the kids know letters & sounds I'm ready to have them start labeling.  And somehow I immediately start requiring perfect sentences and stories and get frustrated with the unending, no-period, spaceless fragments that I get.  This game would be great practice for teaching structure...without requiring the writing component.  ;)  Before your kids put a chip on their board you can have them tell you a full sentence like "I have a red shirt" or "These are overalls."  Practice practice practice.

And if that isn't enough to get you interested, take it from the experts:

"I like that you have to listen to the clues." - Avery, age 6
"It's so fun when you say BINGO." - Kobi, age 5
"It's good because I have to guess what you're thinking in your brain." - Matthew, age 6
"Because it's so cool!" - Luca, 5 1/2

If you're a pre-K or kindergarten teacher {or know someone who is!}, then the best news is for you...Chatterbox has agreed to give Crazy Pants to a giveaway winner!  Just be a follower of my blog & like Chatterbox on Facebook to enter.  Comment below when you've done both.  Easy peasy!

The giveaway has now ended. Congratulations Ms. Powell! I'll email you the details. ;)
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