Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's going to be a Bright Year!

I went to the Dollar Tree today to find a little something for my kiddos when I meet them on Business Day in a couple of weeks. Some years I make cupcakes, last year I gave out a set of pencils, this year I found glow stick bracelets!

I'm sure my new Second Graders will be delighted to receive a bracelet to remind them that our year will be BRIGHT! To help out, I made a little note to put with each bracelet on their desks.

Mine was personalized, but I created some to share with you, too! They are FREE and will print 4 per page to save paper and ink. You can get them from my TpT site.

Here's a snapshot of what the printed out version looks like: 

Fair Warning: Be super careful when putting the tips on the end for attachment. I accidentally popped one! Also, in the pack if you get a clear one, it's NOT BROKEN... it's blue ;-) I learned that the hard way, too!

All ready for my new kiddos!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spelling Homework Ideas

One of my best sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers is the set of 6 Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe boards to help Spelling homework run a little more smoothly. My students used to have a notebook where they completed the same four activities every.single.week. and the kids complained, parents complained, I complained... it was all a lot of work! But the teacher in me knows that practice does make progress (maybe even perfect sometimes, in the world of spelling?) and kids NEED to learn those pesky words! What's a girl to do!? 

So the tic-tac-toe board came along and was a HUGE SUCCESS. My kids get the board on Friday and have until the next Friday (test day) to write their words 3 times each and complete 3 of the activities on the board. My kids have to do them in order (hence the tic-tac-toe) but for a kiddo that's really really struggling, any 3 might do! If I notice a pattern of a student not completing the ABC order then I might require that one sometimes. It's on all of the boards because it's so important to learn.

Today I want to show you some of the boards in action.

Here are the words written in taco seasoning before dinner one night! 

And another written with spaghetti noodles!

This parent wrote the words on popsicle sticks for an easy word sort for a kiddo!

Here one of my boys wrote his spelling words in shaving cream!

In a variation of this, a student wrote his words using shaving cream (His mom was like, "This took almost 2 cans! We aren't doing this again" and then when I explained how it's usually done she was SUPER embarrassed... in a really really funny kind of way!)

And here a student typed her words 3 times each and e-mailed them to me. She was so excited about getting to use her mom's e-mail!

If you haven't checked out my Tic-Tac-Toe Boards head over to TpT and be inspired!

Monday-Make-It: Storytown Writing Charts

Before I head back to school next week (Yes, Summer 2014 is officially over on Friday!) I wanted to share a quick file I created to help me teach writing this year.

Our district uses the Harcourt Storytown Reading Program, and I always struggle finding time for my kiddos to practice the writing skills I teach. So this year I'm setting aside a few minutes each week for them to focus on writing using the specific skill I've taught. To help out with this, I typed up all 24 anchor charts from the Teacher's guide (why, oh why do they not include these in the student books!?) to print and hang in my room as a glaring reminder to practice writing.

For the past 3 years, I've written these out by hand on our large chart paper and promised myself I would keep them neatly set aside for the next year and then something happens and I end up throwing them away. This year, I have an idea. A brilliant idea. I'm having them printed onto 18"x24" paper (Engineering Prints) from Staples and I'm going to laminate them and hang them neatly forever. And because KBfonts are SO much cuter than my own handwriting, it's going to make my room THAT.MUCH.MORE.ADORABLE. I can't wait!

To get your own set, go to my Tpt Store and download it. It's free. Just for you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Addition and Subtraction Math Facts

Hey there! As I've been filling out my lesson plan book for next year (Mine looks something like THIS from Erin Condren) I decided to go ahead and start working on a few things my kiddos will certainly need extra help with this upcoming school year. 

(For the record, at this point I'm writing on sticky notes in case my schedule changes and I don't have math first again this year... but fingers crossed I will!) 

So anyway, the kids always have a few weeks of easy-peasy-firstie-squeezy stuff like even/odd numbers and skip counting toward the beginning of the year. One thing I've noticed though, is that when we add and subtract to 20, most kids don't really go above 10+10 {Yes, I know that's technically 20 but what about 11+9? and 12+8!?!} So I created a set of flashcards/centers/workstation activities/whatever-you-want-to-call-them to help my students review basic facts ALL the way to 20. 
You can find it here at my TpT store

It comes with 48 addition problems and 48 subtraction problems, as well the answer cards (for matching activities) in both math cubes [unifix cubes] and 10-frames. I created the cards so that both sets {addition and subtraction} have the same 48 answers so you can use whichever answer cards best suit your group. I'm printing multiple copies of them so a) all of my kids can do this at the same time and b) some groups will use manipulatives in lieu of {or in addition to} the answer cards. I've also created a pretty awesome powerpoint on the different ways to teach adding and subtracting (along with a pre-assessment for each and a test!) but I'm going to wait and post it after I teach it, in case my guinea pigs students need extra help or the wording doesn't quite work on all of it. When that happens, you all will be the first to know!

Have a great week <3