Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway!

I had the opportunity to write for Brooke's blog, "Teachable Moments" this weekend.  I think you will really like the classroom management tip I wrote about! :)  It's a strategy I learned at a workshop when I was a brand-new teacher, and it has worked wonders over the years!  Check out my classroom management tip by clicking on the big smiley face below! 


My first ever GIVEAWAY is off to a great start!  If you haven't signed up yet, check it out!  The lucky winner will receive a $25 Target gift card! Yay!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spelling Task Cards & a $25 Target Gift Card Giveaway!!


I just finished creating these fun spelling task cards!  They are absolutely perfect for literacy stations/centers.  I created 48 activities that will appeal to various learning styles!  My suggestion is to print, cut, and laminate.  Then decide on about FIVE tasks to start with.  Gather the materials your students will need, and then introduce these five activities to your kiddos.  DO NOT put all 48 activities into the station at once.  That's a mistake I would have made my first year of teaching, hehe.  :)  

Here are a few examples from the set:



If you like these spelling task cards, leave a comment and let me know!  One lucky blog follower will receive these spelling task cards for FREE!  Woohoo!  Just leave a comment and your e-mail address.  I'll choose one follower at random, and e-mail you the entire set.  Yay!

I'm doing my very first blog giveaway, and the prize is pretty AWESOME if I do say so myself! :)  I'm new to the blogging world, and I'm trying to gain a following.  You can entire to win a $25 TARGET GIFT CARD below!  Just follow the directions provided in the Rafflecopter.  There are three different ways to enter to win!  The contest closes October 27th so make sure you get signed up before then.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teachable Transition Times!

Most teachers are in their third, fourth, or fifth week of school already!  This is about the time where the kiddos start getting wiggly!  I try to find fun activities for transition times to help students get their squirming out.  Here is one of my favorite transition activities...

"The Skip Counting Game"
-Have students stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a large circle.  
-Choose a multiple to skip count by.  (Also choose the ending point!)  For example, we start with multiples of 10.  We skip count from 10 to 100.
-As a group, skip count together for review/practice.

-To start the game, choose a student to go first.  This student calls out the first multiple in the series.  Play progresses as the student standing next to the first person calls out the next multiple.  
-Play continues around the circle until a student miscalls a number.  When this happens, the student sits down on his/her bottom.  They are still in the circle, but NOT standing.  
-The student who calls out the stopping point number also sits down.  For example, when skip counting by 10s, the child that calls out "100" has to sit down.  The next player starts the series over at "10."
-As the students get better at skip counting, they pick up a real rhythm with their counting, and the game goes quickly!  
-The winner is the last player standing in the circle!  I usually give the winner a small treat or sticker.  

My students LOVE this game!  I use it when I have five extra minutes or when students have become restless during a lesson.  I announce the game by saying, "boys and girls- let's play the skip counting game."  At this time, every student drops what they are doing and comes to the carpet area SILENTLY!  They make a circle and prepare for the game without a word!  :)  It's a miracle, but it's a routine that we practiced the first week of school.  

My other rule for this game is that when students are "out," they must sit on their pockets!  It helps the game progress when the children who are out are sitting down completely.  :)  

When I'm teaching a new multiple, I project these posters on my large screen.  When we are practicing as a group, students can reference the poster.  It helps their brains make a connection between what they are saying and what they are seeing.  






I hang these posters in my calendar area or near the math center.
I also like to project these posters on my document camera when students are working independently or completing their math journal.  It's FUN to see students practicing their multiples "in their heads."  I can see students silently mouthing the numbers, and I know their little wheels are turning and working hard!  

I hope your students have as much fun with this game as mine do!  Let me know how it goes! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CURRENTLY & The Four Seasons

Hope everyone enjoyed the 3-day weekend!  I know I did!  =)
I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her "Currently" linky party.  
So much fun!  Check it out!


I just finished creating posters and activities for the four seasons!  Fall is just around the corner and this pack includes everything you need to teach your PreK-2nd grade students about fall, winter, spring, & summer! Check it out!  Download the PREVIEW at TPT!


A fun, colorful poster for each season:




 Photographs and clip art for each season.  After I cut and laminate all of the pictures, students will sort the pictures by season!



Graphic organizers/Thinking Maps for each season!
Here is an example of the Circle Map I made with my kiddos.  
If you are wondering about the initials...I always add student's initials to graphic organizers or anchor charts.  This gives students a little "credit" for their thinking and encourages ALL students to participate!

Challenging word searches!

 Recipes for class parties or whole group rewards!

The Four Seasons pack also includes sorting mats, seasonal writing prompts, and doodle pages!  You can download the entire pack at TheHappyTeacher's store.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tactile Sight Word Books

Sight words are an integral part of any reading program.  Emergent readers need exposure and practice with high frequency words.  I firmly believe in Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, and I found myself wondering how I could make sight words appeal to kinesthetic/ tactile learners. 

GLITTER GLUE WAS MY SAVING GRACE! 
I found these great index card notebooks/flip books on sale when I was doing my back to school shopping. 

 I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote my students' sight words in the flip book.  
Then I traced the words using glitter glue!  Pretty and practical!  



  Now the kiddos can use their finger to trace each sight word as they read it!  I usually partner my struggling readers up with a buddy.  The first reader traces and says each letter.  Their buddy reads the words, and the first reader repeats the word.  This helps students make a connection between the letters they are tracing with their fingers and the sight word.  It's great practice for both students, and I find that the helper LOVES playing "teacher."  :)  


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