Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who's That Blogger?

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??
                                              ....Play a game?
                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 


The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....
That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!
Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post,,,
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Friday, August 16, 2013

It's Back to School Time...That means a Sale!

It's back to school time which means a Teachers Pay Teachers Sale!  It's just in time for me to head back to school on Monday with the students starting on Thursday.  Here's a peek at some of the items that will be on sale in my shop:

The Common Core posters are my best sellers.  They are available for grades 1-5 in various themes.  These will make posting "I Can" statements a snap. 

The adding three numbers pack contains many activities and games to help your students become fluent at adding three single digit numbers.  Check out my time pack as well.  

The two products that go best, hand in hand, are a set of counting frames and the counting frame flash cards.  See my post all about using them in the classroom here.  Use the same code, BTS13 in my blog store to get 15% off your order of counting frames. 

Thanks to Christina of 
Bunting Books and Bainbridge
For this fun Sale Linky Party

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Tour - It's Almost Done

I've been posting a few pictures as I've been working on my classroom over the last few weeks.  Well, it's nearly done.  Just a few minor things to do, but if they don't get done before the first day, no one will know (except me). I'll do some posts about some of the aspects more in depth next week.

Classroom View.  Everything's on the desks, ready to go. 

Starting at the door.  Class jobs, attendance and hall passes. See my post about the attendance board here

Other side of the door.  The crate is for turning in work, a wall calendar and community supplies.  Students receive a set of colored pencils, 3 regular pencils, 3 cap erasers, an expo marker and a felt eraser to keep in their pencil pouch a their desk.  Glue, scissors, markers and crayons are in the community totes.  Lined paper and rulers are on top of the shelf. 

White board and doc. camera.  Still need headings for the vocabulary and spelling columns on the board. The divider is black Washi tape.  Same thing I used on the attendance board. The left side of the board has my schedule and class behavior system.  The post about the map is here

Guided reading corner.  A kidney table sits just outside the picture.  My IKEA shelf for organization and dry-erase pockets to write each groups reading assignments on. 

My desk.  A few odds and ends still out to take care of.  I'm loving my new teacher tool-box (under the monitor) and the lined sticky note pad stuck to the closet side.  The shoe organizer is holding calculators.

Class library organized with labels from Ladybugs Teacher Files.  Boxes on top are the students book boxes with reading response journals, guided reading books and class library books to be housed in them. There's another shelf on the backside.

My "Helper"

Reading texts ready to grab when needed.  Students have a larger set of cubbies for their coats and backpacks.

On their desks: Binder, shower board dry erase board, student planner, two spiral notebooks (one for math and one for science, reading is kept in their book boxes.), pencil pouch. 
On each item, except the white board, I put a label with a number corresponding to the students' class number.  During open house the day before the first day of school, I ask students to write their names in the space to the right of the number.  This helps everyone keep track of items more easily.  

Now to take the rest of this week to plan curriculum.  I report back to school for contract on Monday, with students starting on Thursday.  Yikes!

How's your classroom preparation coming?  Share with us in the comments. 

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet the Teacher

I'm very excited to participate in Teacher Week '13 brought to us by Blog Hoppin'.  A fun new post each day this week on various topics to celebrate back to school.

Today is all about "Meet the Teacher". I'm going to share some ideas for a Meet the Teacher or Back to School Night with your parents and students and then tell you a little about me.

My school has an open house the afternoon before the first day of school and then a back to school night after about one week of school.  During the open house, I usually have a way for students to become familiar with the classroom, a treat for greeting me, and any paperwork that parents need before school.  In first grade, I had a bit of a treasure hunt for students.  A note at the front door told them their class number and to find their desk, then on their desk was a clue or picture for them to find in the room and then another at that item and so on.  For fifth grade, I just wrote a letter to students and numbered their tasks of finding their number and desk, putting their name on all their materials, sharpening their pencils (with my new sharpener from classroom friendly supplies. See this post to grab a direction sheet for your students.)  And I did these fun little treats for them, an idea from my teammate.  The Pop Rocks were 3/$1 at my local dollar store. (This is also my Monday Made It.)

So, when students come on the morning of the first day, all of their supplies are ready and we can start the day right away.  Students are also familiar with the classroom and a few of the procedures as well.

For the parents, I give them homework this first night.  Yup, parents get the first homework of the school year.  The students think it's fun that parents have homework and enjoy that they don't.  Parents like the homework because it's all about setting up communication with me.  Here's a PDF version of the homework I give.  Feel free to re-write and adjust for your needs, this is just my example so you have an idea of what I ask of parents.  It works out so well and parents appreciate knowing that I value communication with them so much. With the homework, parents will receive a little treat too.  I'll post a picture when they're done, but they will be those apple caramel suckers with this little tag.  I'll explain why we went with suckers instead of apples when I have a picture and post about it.

I also give parents my disclosure document.  I loved the idea I saw a couple of years ago about doing it in the format of an ABC book.  If you know the origination of the idea, please share.  You can get the copy of what I did for my classroom here.  Again, feel free to re-work and do for yourself if you like the idea.

There's also a suggested supply list.  Utah provides all necessary supplies for students (no wonder we can't afford other things like salaries or smaller class sizes) so, I include a list of items that are useful to have around like tissues, lysol wipes and zip bags.  Here's my list if that's helpful to you.

Finally, I have parents fill out a quick information form and questionnaire.  I have access to their contact information in our district system, but I like having this on hand and I like the extra information it gives me. Again, here's my version, feel free to use it or do one similar that suites your needs.

P.S. If you find any typos in my documents, don't tell me, I already sent them off to the district printing, YIKES!  (If you do find one, I really would like to know before a parent points it out.)

I'll post about my back to school night in a week or so when I have that figured out myself. ;)

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know some about me and hopefully you'll learn some new things.  I'm a wife to a very supportive hubby.  We celebrated 13 years of marriage at the end of July. He has taken care of our children and home while I've worked for hours in my classroom.  He also helps me make the counting frames I sell.  He also does all the laundry and helps around the house in every other way too.  He's also a teacher.  He teaches students in Jr. High keyboarding and business skills.  He doesn't spend near the time I do prepping a room and planning curriculum. ;) We have three children who I think are just the most darling kids, both in looks and personalities.

It would be appreciated if you didn't pin or share this picture.

When I started blogging, I taught first grade.  Last year I was an instructional coach focused on K-3 literacy.  I'm coming back to the classroom this fall and will be teaching 5th grade.  I really am excited to go back to where I started.  I taught 5th grade my first year of teaching and from there went to 3rd grade then to 1st. Getting back into the classroom has also been inspirational for my blog, and I have loved sharing my classroom with you as I've been working on it. I'm more excited to begin sharing my lessons and learning from you as well.

One of my hobbies is sewing and crafting.  I sell fabric, and the items I make at Dilly Dabbles Designs and during the summer and one Saturday a month I work at a fabric shop. 

What do you have students or parents do on "Meet the Teacher" night? Let us know in the comments.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Classroom Management Idea ~ Using the 50 States

I like to do incentives/rewards for classroom behavior that are both individual and group.  My team has been doing this method of class incentives for a long time, dating back to when I was on the team in 2005.  I'm returning to the 5th grade team this fall and they are still using this.  So, it must be good. ;)

Our S.S. curriculum is U.S. history and geography, so this ties in very well.  Each time the class receives a top score from their specialists teacher, they may put a state up on the map. They may also receive a state for working quietly and cooperatively during an independent work time or for great behavior at an assembly or in the hall.  When all the states have been placed on the map, the class receives a prize.

My district has a very nice in-house printing facility and I just sent them a standard 8.5x11 states map and they blew it up to poster size and laminated it for me.  I also colored the same map image, sent it in and received a nice colored, laminated poster from them.  So, I didn't have to color in all that large space.  I cut out the colored map.  Then I placed sticky back Velcro on the outline map.  I put the opposing Velcro side on top so the sticky side was out.  Then I lined up the colored piece and pressed it on.  This way, the Velcro pieces line up and the colored piece is in the right spot when it is attached.

Making sure the Velcro is lined up. 

I'm starting my class off with the states I have lived in to give them a head start at the beginning of the year. 

All the pieces are kept in a basket on the desk I have under the B.board.  The picture below shows the map on the board and the desk underneath.  Our class expectations will go on the wall to the right and the prize will be posted above the map. 

For the prizes, I do several things.  I sometimes make it a mystery and don't tell the students what it is until they win it.  This usually works best after students have had a few prizes so they know what types of things might be expected.  Often times, we choose as a class.  Tables work together to come up with one or two ideas, we share them out as a class and then vote on them.  My parameters are that they usually need to be free and something that can be done at school.  Some of the things we've done include:

Bring your own game - Students bring their own board games or cards games and play for about an hour one afternoon.
Bring your electronic device - Students can bring their electronic gaming systems or music devices to play/listen to.
Play Kickball - My students usually love kickball and enjoy having an afternoon out playing it.
Read in the Gym - Bring blankets and pillows and spread out all over the gym to read
Watch a movie - We are able to watch anything with a G rating or our media center also has a good selection of movies.  I usually try to tie this in with content or watching a movie based on a book we have read.
Extra recess - Adding in a morning recess one day.  We usually just have lunch time and a 15 minute afternoon recess.

Food Parties - I usually save the food parties for my mystery incentives:
     Root-beer Float Party
     Hot Chocolate and a Story or Movie Party
     Pizza Party
     Soda Pop or Popsicle Party (each child receives a can of Shasta soda or a Popsicle and consumes it outside)

**For any of the incentives, be sure to set parameters, especially when students are bringing items from home.**

What is your whole-class management/incentive system?

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Utah Blogger Meet-up

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet up with other Utah Teacher Bloggers.  It was so much fun to meet some of the people I interact with online.

It was the first meet-up I've attended. So excited to put some faces to names. I'm on the back row, far left in the red top in the big group photo. Thanks to What the Teacher WantsThe Teacher Wife - Creative Teaching Resources and Melonheadz Illustrating for planning it and to all those who donated prizes and their time. It was fun to also meet in person Terri from Kinder Kapers Krystal from Good Enough Teacher and Jaque from Mommy & Me Creations along with several other great bloggers I made new connections with. 

Here are some more pictures: 

The ladies who made it all possible ~ Thanks!

Me and Terri

Terri made the darling magnet buttons and these crafty pens for everyone too!

What a fun afternoon with good company and good food.

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