Thursday, August 14, 2014

KETCHUP folder

When students are out sick, it's hard to keep track of work they miss.  The "Ketchup Folder" is a tool that helps me manage the chaos.
Place a "Ketchup" folder on a student's desk in the morning when you notice they are absent.  When you hand out assignments, simply slide one in to the folder.  (*Assign a student to do this.  They love to help!*)
I chose YELLOW folders because they stand out in the classroom since my take-home folders are always green.  This helps me see the folder, especially when they turn it back in with their completed assignments.  Download the template for FREE by visiting my TpT store!
Side note...I usually make and laminate about TEN of these folders at the beginning of the year.  Inevitably, some of the folders will get "lost" or you will have multiple kiddos absent on the same day.
Hope you like this classroom management idea!  Leave me some love in the comments if you do.  :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

CuRrEnTlY aUgUsT!

It's been a few months, but I'm linking back up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for Currently August!  
So after working on my Currently post, I found the perfect hostess gifts for my girls.  What do you think?  I found them in the home section at Nordstrom.
 Super cute polka dot gift bags from Target!  
Need some fresh printables and activities to use the 1st week of school?  

Pick up these goodies during the TpT Back to School Sale...28% off...WOOHOO.

Last but not least...I have to share the AMAZING sign my cousin made for Baby Jack's nursery.  I can't even explain how awesome it is, so I'll just show you a few pics...
So in love with Baby Jack's NAUTICAL NURSERY.  :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday

This is my 1st time linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday linky party!  Doodle Bugs Teaching may have the cutest blog design I've EVER seen.  #perfection
I had a field day at Target this week, buying all their Back to School goodies.  Check out my loot!  Are these markers, Sharpies, and jumbo crayons not perfect for ANCHOR CHARTS?  I'm thinking this would be the perfect B2S teacher gift!!
My little man has been sick all week with an awful ear infection, so we've spent lots of cuddle time together at home.  He's 15 months, and he's so enthralled by Baby Einstein!  
I've been working really hard to finish Baby Jack's nursery.  His theme is "nautical," and his colors are navy, white, and grey.  We have a few things left to hang (name sign over his crib) and a few pictures, and then it will be ready for little man #2!  Eek!  
{The pics look super dark, but it's just cloudy outside...}
I've been a busy little Blogger this month, and I've posted bunches of FREEBIES that will help prepare you for your new bunch of babes in August.  Go check 'em out.  
What's cuter than baby clothes?  Nothing.  Baby Jack is going to by stylin'.  
Had a blast linking up with Doodle Bugs!  Have a fabulous weekend!  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rainbow Names!

Do you know what kids are DYING to do on the first day of school?  They are dying to use their brand spankin' new school supplies that Mom & Dad just bought them, but it's so important for me to teach my students HOW to use their supplies before I let them loose.  "Rainbow Names" is a fun and easy way to teach your students your expectations for using their supplies, as well as letting them actually use them.  :)  
To prepare, cut strips of heavy duty white card stock, and write each child's name using a black Sharpie.  That's it!  It will take you less than five minutes to prepare.  Woohoo!  Kiddos simply use their markers (or crayons) and trace around their name.  Easy breezy.
On the first day of school, before letting kids use their supplies, I take the time to MODEL how I expect students to use their school supplies.  We discuss the importance of taking care of their markers/crayons/etc. because they need to last all year!  I talk about doing your best work and being proud of your work.  I encourage kiddos to take their time on the work and not rush.  Then, I show examples of finished products that look AWESOME and others that look messy/rushed/yucky.  The visuals really help the students make connections to what I'm talking about.  Then, I let the kids show me their very best work!  When kids are creating their Rainbow Name, I give them plenty of time!  In fact, I give them time to work on it all week.  I don't want them to rush, and I don't want them to finish fast.  The best part is while kiddos are working on this project, I can do whatever needs to be done in the classroom during that crazy first day/week!  
These rainbow names really turn out beautiful!  They look fabulous on a bulletin board, hallway display, or to label students' cubbies.  Definitely laminate them when the kiddos are done so they last longer.  
This has always been one of my favorite Back to School activities because it allows me to accomplish several things...
-Teach and model expectations for using supplies 
-Teach kiddos about taking pride in their work 
-Keep kiddos busy in a fun and easy way!  :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Copycat Center

One of my kiddos' favorite centers is the "Copycat" center.  It's perfect for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and even (beginning of the year) 1st grade classrooms.  With a few basic supplies, your students can work on several skills- letter/number recognition, shapes, colors, spatial awareness, and handwriting.  In most schools, kiddos are required to "copy" from the board or copying down homework assignments, etc.  Some kiddos really struggle with that, and it's probably due to their visual-spatial processing.  Activities like "Copycat" will help promote visual-spatial awareness in a fun and easy way.  
I created various shapes and figures with popsicle and craft sticks.  At the "Copycat" center, the kiddos get a blank mat and recreate what they see using popsicle/craft sticks.  There are several extensions for this center.  Students can draw what they see on a Magna Doodle or piece of paper.  Students can create their own figures, and have a friend "copy" them.  You can start with basic letters or shapes, and simply mix up the colors.  My students LOVE trying to recreate the abstract shapes and figures.  
Here's how to set up this center in your classroom...
You can print out the "I Can" statements for FREE by visiting my TpT store.  
I love this center because the storage is simple...everything fits right inside of the poster board envelope!  You can store it on a bookshelf, and then kiddos can work on it ANYWHERE in the room, and clean it up easily!  Win Win!!
Have fun!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Back to School Goodies!

Welcome your sweet new students to your class with one of these goodies!
These goodies will be great to pass out at Meet the Teacher Night! I found packs of Extra gum and Ring Pops at the Dollar Tree (4 for $1). Woohoo!  Can't beat that! 
POP the question to each one of your students...
Which one is your favorite?  I'm pretty sure your kiddos will think you are the coolest teacher ever!  :) Download these goodies for FREE by clicking on any of the images.  
Leave a comment, and let me know what you think!  :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back to School Communication & Elapsed Time

Building relationships and establishing an open line of communication with parents is essential to a great school year.  All the teachers at my school are REQUIRED to make a phone call to each and every parent during the first week of school.  It may be a requirement, but it's something that I actually love doing!  I enjoy touching basing with the parents and giving them a positive update before the year really gets going.  On the flip side, as a parent, I love hearing from my child's teacher...and he's only attending Mother's Day Out!  :)  I created this simple form to use at the start of the new school year.  Pass out the note at "Meet the Teacher" night or send it home in students' folders on the first day of school. The letter will give parents the opportunity to share vital information with you about their child.
Download it for FREE by visiting my TpT store.  

Elapsed time...who likes teaching it?  It's such an important "life skill" that kiddos REALLY need to understand it conceptually.  I've created sets of task cards for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to use to practice elapsed time.  Here are a few ways I use them with my students...
Using task cards is wayyyy more fun than a worksheet.  If you use them as a "Scavenger Hunt" or "Scoot" activity, then your kids will really love you because they will be allowed to get up and MOVE!  I'm included a student recording sheet for student accountability, and so you can take a grade if you wish!
Let me know what y'all think.  Leave a comment (with your e-mail) and I'll choose a few winners of these Elapsed Time Task Cards.  

Speaking of time, I can't believe my little guy is 15 months old now!  My good friend, Samantha, took these beautiful pictures of Reed at the park last weekend.  

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