Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Winner! Winner!

And the winners are......

Mary Love Strange
and Chrissy from First Grade Found Me!
I've emailed you ladies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Movember Giveaway

I mustache You to be Healthy!
Did you know November or 'Movember' is Men's Health month? I'm teaming up with Creative Teaching Press and Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies to support this cause.
I know my husband is always super busy. He rarely makes time for himself let alone go to the Dr. So let's support the men in our life with a little fun and a giveaway.
 What can you win?  How about this fabulous, multi-purpose Mustache Mania Photo Booth Bulletin Board Set?
Sorry about the sideways picture, but here's a little look at what else is in the Bulletin Board Set.The Chevron 10" designer cut-outs, which I have the photos on, can be found here.
Need some New letters for your Bulletin Boards? How about these Fancy Black 4" Designer Letters? Let me just say, these letters were so easy to pop out of the card-stock. My 10 year old did it for me, and didn't rip 1 letter. I am notorious for ripping letters. She must have a secret super power. LOL!

 And I bet your wondering about the little mustaches the kids are holding? The Mustache Medley designer cut-outs have dozens of uses! See Here how I use them for reading.
For Movember...I had each student in my class take a picture in the photo booth. I am going to print them out and add them to a little post card for them to give to their dad, grandpa or uncle; with the saying "I mustache you to be healthy"

 Head on down to the rafflecopter below to enter. The giveaway will run for a week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How do you Calendar?

This post was also published at Inspired In Style...

 I guess I can be considered a veteran teacher at this point in my career—16 years—however, I don’t really like that word. It sounds like I’ve been through combat, when in reality I love what I do.  Yes, some years have been harder than others, difficult students, changing standards, but that comes with the territory right?  I’ve learned that education never stays the same, so you might as well just roll with it. Over the years, I’ve taught many grade levels and just like wine, I know I’ve improved with age. Like many of you, I take what works, and what doesn’t – I revamp, reuse and refine my plans and classroom each year to make them the best they can be.
I’m going to be completely honest with you. My Calendar Bulletin Board has always been my bane, my weakness—
bane (noun): the bane of somebody’s existence or life. Somebody or something that is a constant source of trouble or annoyance.
—When I first began teaching I didn’t look at the calendar as a tool for learning. It was there to tell the date.  What day is it?  Oh yeah, it’s Monday—again!
As I changed grade levels, schools and states, the calendar became a more integral part of my math curriculum. So, for me, looking at the dark green pocket chart with the same boring red and blue number cards was torture. Every year I would tell my class to remind me to do our calendar because I never do it out of habit or routine or free will. There was no way for my students to come up and be involved. Don’t get me wrong, the pocket chart calendar is great for some—but for me……like I said BANE!  I tried snazzing it up with a Charlie Brown and Snoopy I had made years ago, but that only helped a little.
Fortunately, (for me and my students) I found a calendar and add-on pieces to make it work for me in my weakness.

This calendar has transformed my teaching weakness. I actually ENJOY standing to the side of the calendar and watching as my Student of the Day writes in the date and tally marks. We count, we add, we learn the days of the week.  Most importantly we have fun!!!  The months of the year, days of the week, calendar # cards and weather were all a part of the Dots on Turquoise calendar Set.
I laminated the Chevron cutouts, and paisley poster, so my students can write directly on them daily.  What’s nice about using the blank cut-outs and posters is that I can change the content as I change topics and chapters in math.  All of the borders coordinate great with the calendar as well.  I used the chevron and paisley across the top of the space to make it look like water for the handmade boat holding Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The borders define the space as my calendar wall. It also coordinates with the adjacent wall, which houses my word wall—with coordinating borders. The 100 chart came from an old math series, and is actually out of date—it should be a 120 chart—but I don’t have 1 big enough right now.

We are going strong with our calendar!!!  Yay!!  Too keep it interesting, I’ve changed out the number cards with a Fall set for the next month.  My class was so excited to see the new numbers. They came in the room and were all standing in front of the calendar oohing and aahing! The color really pops on these Fall numbers and truly reminds me of the colors of fall.
To make it functional on a day to day basis all the poster pieces were stapled to the wall. I use the blue sticky tack for the moveable pieces, ie; Number cards, weather cards and days of the week cards. I like to make my calendar grow throughout the month, so my students can identify the date. They can easily add the next number on the calendar, without worrying about staples. Each day I choose a “Student of the day” as evident above on the Chevron Cut-out. That student gets to then Write the date on the laminated poster, lead the class in counting, stating the date, month and year, completing the tally chart, weather-person, leading the class in the days of the week and / or whatever other task that needs to be completed for the calendar that day.

I am thrilled to report, that the calendar portion of my day is no longer my bane. I am excited to use it on a daily basis, and my students are eager to learn. I have learned that sometimes our greatest weakness just needs a little tender love and care, as mine did. The thing that I like best, is that I can keep it interesting by changing the number cards and make it meet my needs as we change topics throughout the school year.
I hope you can make your calendar board as fun and functional in your own classroom!

The Following items were used to create this space:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A great pair of books

Here's 2 great books for the beginning of the year that make a great Text to Text connection.

  Product Details 
by Kevin Henkes 
Product Details
by Carol McCloud

First we read Chrysanthemum and made these little cuties:
What do you need?  1 large white heart. 2 small pink hears for the ears. Construction paper for the background. Black crayon or pencil. Small, pink circles for the nose. Optional-Pink construction paper for the bow--or just draw it on.
Afterwards I read them Have You Filled a Bucket Today.
We talked about which characters in Chrysanthemum were being bucket dippers and how it made Chrysanthemum feel. It was a great way to make text-to-text connections as well as talk about the way we treat others, without any tattling.

If you haven't already read these 2 books, I highly suggest putting them together.

What other books make a great pair?

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