Friday, June 29, 2012

Holy Heat Wave Sale

Wow! It's a scorcher again today! I spent yesterday floating on my air mattress at beautiful Stony Creek beach, which was the perfect place to be with the temperature reaching 100 degrees. That is rare for this part of Michigan! I just got back from a morning walk and decided to keep cool inside today since I'm a little sunburned, blogging, posting and maybe running errands. Maybe you've decided to do the same. I know many of you have temperatures in the triple digits too!

If you can't head to the beach or pool (oh how I wish I had a pool...), it's the perfect time to stay inside and browse for some items on sale, right?

I'm having a Holy Heat Wave Sale today through July 3rd so come and grab some of your favorite items from my shops!

Stay Cool!

While out doing errands, I bought this at Home Depot for the registers in the upper level of my home. It works great! You just put it on top of your register and plug it in! What a difference!

It's the Register Booster Equalizer EQ2

Stay Cool!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Behavior Management Thoughts and a Freebie

Wouldn't it be dreamy if all students did exactly what they needed to do, made good, kind choices and respected the learning environment? 

In years past, I have used a token economy, rewards, praise, incentives, special tickets, coupons and more.... the popular red, yellow, green color changing cards in a pocket chart and table cards and points, marbles in a jar, the traffic light reporting system and all sorts of plans and combinations of plans. Last year I found this cute We Show Great Bee-havior chart by Really Good Stuff and decided to try that out. 

I loved the fact that the bees were magnetic, that it was cute and it worked out perfectly on my whiteboard. I was excited too that the colors went with my traffic light take home card and chant for the end of the day:

Red on Top
Green below
Red says stop
Green says go
Yellow says wait
Even if you're late

 I wrote each student's name on the bee with a marker as recommended and all went well for a few days....

A side note;
I have a thing with displaying names on a behavior system. The counselor in me wants to protect the self-image of all of my little ones. Even if it is posted in an inconspicuous place, everyone in class knows every bee that was moved. A few students who had difficulty on a regular basis almost seemed to relish in the attention of moving their bee. 

 But in a matter of time, the names began to rub off anyway. I really did not want to have to purchase replacement magnets year after year, so avoided writing on them with a sharpie. Instead, we had nameless bees and the students were required to take responsibility for remembering which color they were on at the end of the day. This worked out pretty well and my little ones were very honest, so that part was not an issue.

Once their bee had moved, I struggled with the decision to let the children bargain, as they tried to do, for a chance to improve and move their bee back to green. (I am thinking that they may have been able to do this in kindergarten). Part of me thinks that in real life, the choices we make, good or bad, have consequences. We do not always have the opportunity to make amends, especially when our choices affect or hurt others and the damage is done. Everyone needs to stop and think about those consequences before acting and that is something that has to be learned.  The problem with not allowing my students to move back was that some "frequent fliers" lost motivation to make better choices and "gave up" for the day. I hated to see that happen and then created a separate plan for those children. 

 I still would highly recommend the chart to anyone who loves their red, green, yellow behavior system! 

After doing some reading and research, I've decided that I like the philosophy on behavior management offered by Rick Morris and want to give it a try. I think my second graders next year will like it too! You can read more about the clip chart behavior system at his site:

The only downside I can see is that many students will be moving clips up or down throughout the day and that takes the focus of some students away from the task at hand as they are watching others at the chart. We will have to see how that goes.

I made a clip chart for my room similar to the one Rick recommends. I've added it as freebie on Teachers Notebook. You can grab it there if you'd like to get in on the clip chart system! 

The last last line is for students to reflect on choices made during the week and to set goals for themselves. I am a firm believer in learning from mistakes:)

***I'd appreciate it if you could take a minute to rate it if you like it!

It coordinates with my new Classroom Decor Set~ Classroom Colorful Swirls and Curls! This is the one I'm leaning toward...

Here is one that I made to match the polka dot owls set:

I found some cute ideas for decorating the clothespins that I thought I'd share! I think we'll have a clip decorating day at the start of the year. Each child can decorate their clothespin however they like. They will know which one is their own, without a public display of names. Eventually, I will know the owners of the clips I need to know! Names may go on the back side just in case!

It would be easy to glue a doodad or two on them and make them more special! I'll start with colored clothespins and go from there! 

These images are from the public domain.

 If you are using a clip chart, I'd love to hear how it has been working out in your classroom as well as any helpful hints you'd like to share!!

Enjoy the freebie!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Classroom Chic Giveaway and Classroom Cute

I am so excited because this summer, I will get to move into and set up a new room!  I am going for an entirely new look and want to move away from the primary colors I have had for so long. So, I've been playing around with some theme sets and working on several to see which one will look best with the storage items, posters, pocket charts, lamps, and furniture that I have spent a bundle on over the years in the name of cuteness. I'd like to give it all away and start over but that's not about to happen so, I've got to see what works best with what I have. Most importantly, to work around the glider from my baby's room (the baby is heading off to high school next year :)) which is now the cozy corner and focal point for gathering in the room! 

 I love the simple look of black and white with some brights here and there. This is my new Classroom Chic Set in black and teal. I am having a Giveaway on Teachers Notebook. If you like it, here's the link to enter to win it:

I saw that Creative Teaching Press just came out with a whole new line of black and white borders and accessories that would be perfect for my bulletin board wall. Yes, an entire wall that takes three days to cover in fabric, add borders to and decorate, so I'll have to love it for a long time! I'll be walking into Joanne's with my printables in hand matching fabric colors! 

Here's theme idea #2 in my Classroom Cute Set-Polka Dot Owls (our school mascot):   

Coming soon to the collection: Classroom Colorful, a coordinating polka dot owl clip chart for behavior management and new CAFE posters so check back to see what's new! 

I'd love to hear about your classroom theme, or ones you've seen that you might like to have:) so leave me a comment and a link to see it if you can!  Have a lovely week!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

SmartBoard Calendar Math~ Back to School, Sale and a Freebie

It's not even been a week that we've been out of school and I'm already anxious to begin creating items for next year! I'm super excited now because I just found out that I'll be moving back to second grade! I will miss teaching first grade but love the second grade curriculum and the fact that second graders are more independent. A plus is that I'll be working with a fun team of teachers that I have worked with before!I will have to say goodbye to my First Grade Gallery blog...

In the next month, I will have my custom blog up and running! I am very happy with the elements that I selected and can't wait to see what the designer can do with them. I will let you know where to find me when the time comes!

This is my latest creation that I think is just too cute and I hope you will too! Those of you who have worked with SMART Notebook files know that it can be very time-consuming to create activities but so worth it because the kids are wildy motivated to use the SMARTboard! There are fun links to other sites in this file and I animated some of the pages to include cutting paper sounds for ordering months and days and glue drop sounds when they are put into place. If you have favorite songs for calendar time, directions for how to add those to the page are also included!

Here's a link to Calendar Math on Teachers Notebook:

I'm running a sale on Teachers Notebook! Grab what you like at 20% off!

Free Common Core binder covers for Math and ELA are available too and remember to download doodle journal paper preview freebies on TPT!

My students had a great time making their Father's Day Scrapbooks! I wish I would have taken a picture of the inside pages of their books because they are all so different and creative! I recruited Moms to help out and it went very well! I'm sure the Dads will love receiving them today!

 If you missed my previous post, here is a link to the item:

Enjoy your special day with Dad!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Doodle Border Papers for Daily Five and a Freebie

I've been thinking ahead to next year and changing things up a bit. I just created these fun writing papers that I plan to use for Work on Writing during Daily Five. I thought they would make for fun journal or class book pages too! You can download the previews at my shop at Teachers Pay Teachers for a fun doodle freebie!


On another note, today was the last day of school and the kids had a blast with shaving cream on their desks. Rather than a free for all of flying foam, I decided to make this a structured activity and I was pleased with how well it went. Each child was given a pretty generous squirt of the stuff and, like clouds, asked to imagine what it looked like. Next they were allowed to touch it with one finger. We shared describing words as a class. Next, one hand went in, then two....they could hardly stand the wait! Then the fun part~spreading it all out and drawing pictures and writing in it! It was a super fun activity and more controlled than usual which made for better clean up afterward. Note to self to do it that way again next year!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Berry Thankful Freebie and Volunteer Gift Idea

This is the last week of school! I'm wrapping up loose ends and thinking of ways to thanks to the many people who have helped with our very busy classroom!

While grocery shopping at Kroger, I spotted these berry strainer/storage bowls and thought they would make a unique and useful gift. They had them in red, bright green, purple and yellow. I filled them with dark chocolate and raspberry Dove candies! You can download the tag freebie at my TPT shop to use with your own creative gift idea!

I am getting organized as I clean up for the end of the year too. If I don't do it now, it may never happen! I will be trying to organize all of my resources, templates and project ideas into monthly storage boxes and binders. These are available at my shops as well.

Tomorrow is the big class picnic. We are having a water balloon toss and yearbook signing too. Report cards are done, data entered, records finished, classroom almost all packed up. Three more days. I think I can, I think I can....