Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Behavior System!

Hi y'all!  It's been awhile.  This is why:

Family "selfie" at the hospital--after meeting their little brother for the first time! 

*This was last week with me and last night with his big brother Carson!  I just love baby toothless smiles!  Melt my heart!

Camden was born on his due date (mama had an induction set for that day, since I knew he was going to be big---and since he was my #3 son, they knew it would be okay to go ahead!)  We had a pretty easy birth (compared to my other two, that is!) and he's been pretty easy going so far (again, compared to my other 2!!!) :P  He's even given us 6-9 hours of sleep each night, with a few less in between there---but it's all more than I slept when I was preggo!

Next week starts "H" week... you can call it what you want.  Halloween.... start of the Holiday season...  a week of H*#@?!! :P  I've found through my experience that you can either dread it, or embrace it.  I've found the latter to be what saves my sanity!  While checking out the dollar store before Camden's one month appointment (which is next door!!!), I found these adorable styrofoam pumpkins.

Walking around inside, they had these packs to create pumpkins!

Driving home, I had the idea of having the kids create pumpkins for fun---but I wasn't buying one for each...  That's a bit pricy.  However, thinking about our bucket filling and class community, they COULD create it as a team (which is their table)---but they had to behave to get pieces!  And out popped this quick freebie that you could use if you want!  {click on the picture to grab your freebie to use in your classroom!!!!!}

Each group gets a laminated sheet with their team name.  I write TREAT on it.  If anyone has to move their clip or the team isn't behaving, I erase a letter.  If no letters are left at the end of the day, they do not get a piece for their pumpkin.  I haven't decided if they need to have ALL of their letters to get a piece or not.  Since it's the week before, I would suggest that having any letter left gets them a part.  I will let them know that they can lose a piece of their pumpkin too!  Fast forward to day 2... if they have a piece from day one, but have NO letters left on day 2, out pops the piece!

(my poster pictures and names match the sets I got at the Dollar Tree.  There is a second set in the pack where you can name your own team, but the pictures are the same)

*You don't need the Dollar Tree pumpkin, any would do.  However the Dollar Tree one can be used year after year.  The same with the pieces.  I had to go to 2 different ones to collect all 4.  I was thinking of using all of my kids' Mr. Potato Head pieces!  How fun would that be?  (and I know, since we have them too... there are Halloween versions for pumpkins of Mr. Potato Head!)

Here are the different pumpkins you can make from the Dollar Tree:

I know that it could be awhile before another post, so I wanted to let you know about this!  Another fun thing we do this week is our "hunts."  You can read my original post HERE and HERE.  I have parents send in flashlights with their kiddos.  We turn the lights off and "hunt" for our math or language arts problems!  Give kids clipboards and a flashlight---holy engagement batman! :)

I just created and uploaded a Second Grade version--completely aligned to the Common Core Standards.  Since I moved to second grade, and I had many of the kids last year, I needed something a little "different" and the skills SHOULD have been easy from my first grade packet.  You can check out my packs by clicking on the pictures below!

Second Grade:

First Grade:

Now, run.  Don't walk!  To your nearest Dollar Tree Store!  Get those pumpkins and have a fantastically frighteningly good behaved week!  Halloween is on a Friday!  It can't get better than that! ;)  (But that means November is the following week!  Oh, my!)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Morning Message Freebie

Hi all!  Welcome to our PA blogger blog hop!  I still have quite a few weeks left till I meet my littles.  (and a few to meet my newest personal little--but I'll get into that later).

I wanted to share with you something I did last year, BEFORE you all end up starting your year!  I'm usually a few weeks behind on everything because of our late start----and our late end!

As you know, we have a LOT of fun in my classroom, BUT.  I.HATE.CHAOS.  I cannot stand a classroom full of kids who are just talking and not doing something meaningful---from the minute the bell rings.  YES-we have lots of down time throughout the day where kids can be kids and talk and have fun.  You can see that in my posts.  This leads me to my "tool" AND "tip" for you!

Morning work.  Some love it, some don't.  I combine morning work with a letter to my kids.  Why not have them read authentic writing right from the start of your day?!  My letter to the kids is typed and EACH student gets a copy.  A lot of copies, yes.  BUT-consider this.  They are manipulating the text every day AND it can serve as a newsletter to parents about something we did that day!  {confession-I haven't done a "real" newsletter in years because of this!}  At the bottom of my messages, I include some kind of practice in LA or Math.  I also have an analogy---GREAT for the common core!

I wish I had a few pics of this in action, but sadly I do not.  I never think of it because it's something I've done now for the past 11 years---only now I have it SO much more streamlined.  (I used to type the letter, cut and paste the analogy and cut and paste a bottom activity!  ugh... NOW, it's all in one powerpoint file!)

Click on the picture below to grab yourself a week's worth of messages to check it out.  I have an entire year (with first grade Common Core Standards addressed at the bottom---I'll have to make some new ones for my new position in second grade) uploaded in my TPT shop.  It's broken into 4 packets and they get progressively harder.  {The third or fourth pack could be something that would be useful in the beginning of second grade as review}

When you click the picture, it will take you to my 3rd packet on TPT.  Click the download preview button there to get your week's worth!

What I love most about this tool is that after a few weeks of "training" in first grade, at least, my classroom is a well oiled machine.  My classroom is all but silent at the beginning of the day---and I ALWAYS have my handful of movers, shakers and nonstop talkers!  They LOVE coming in and working on their message.  It tells them about their day----and what child doesn't want to know about what is going to happen?!  My own kidlets at home drive me bonkers sometimes with their questions of where are we going?  What are we doing...  Maybe I should make THEM messages each day!  HA!

The tip part of this wordy blog post is that when students come into your classroom, make sure they have something to do---that's routine and you do not have to explain 20 different times.  Make it meaningful and fun.  When you do, your day will start off fabulous---and not to mention, it has given me many chances to deal with issues you don't plan for at the start of the day... crying kiddlets, parent phone calls, etc.

Before I go, I wanted to share-if you haven't read it already--that I'm expecting my third little bundle of joy in about 5 weeks!  So I've been quite MIA this summer (and since I'm moving grades--since spring, really!)  I've been frantically moving a classroom, taking grad classes (just finished 60 credits this summer in 4 years!!), learning a new curriculum and trying to put stuff together for a sub---that could possibly start my year instead of me spending my 11 days there before I'm out--as well as spending time with my family of 4 with some beach time.  I'll be out till January, but have a TON of things I'm working on!  I can't wait to finish and share these.  They will blow you away! =)

Thanks for hopping by!  Click on the picture below to head to the next stop!

You'll be heading to Nick's blog at Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason!  Make sure you also check out his exciting news about his little family!

Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently-August! I'm back!

Boy, have I missed you all!  This has been quite the summer.  I'm linking up with Farley for her Currently in August to fill you in a bit.  I promise to be back more often.... soon!

Disclaimer: I'm SO sorry for lack of pictures...  Haven't been in school enough to take pics yet... (and it's a new room)

LISTENING: so, yeah, I got a lot going on with me and my life.  I have SOOOOO much to accomplish in the next 3 weeks, that I'm not quite sure how it's going to happen!  Tomorrow I leave for a week at the beach.  I want to desperately enjoy it, but I'm not quite sure it'll happen.  I'm moving to a new grade, after teaching 1st for 11 years (at my current school).  I had to move my classroom... that I couldn't get into very often, yet.  And, I'm about to have a baby!  So I've been going absolutely NUTS! 

LOVING:  So, I {heart} summertime.  I usually love the heat.  This summer has been uncharacteristically cool and I'm actually loving it, because the days it wasn't so cool....  this pregnant mama was NOT loving it!  My other 2 boys were spring babies, so I never experienced the lovely summer pregnancy!

THINKING: I have 6 weeks left till I meet my newest little guy.  I think that time is going to fly by--and as much as I would love it physically, I want to enjoy the last of the summer with my 2 little guys before we become a "party of 5!" 

NEEDING:  So, yeah--that one is self-explanatory.  Moving my classroom was quite daunting..  Add in that we were in school till the LAST week of June!  I don't feel like I left, yet my classroom is NO where near ready for a class---or a sub?!  I've also been dealing with transferring things to my personal computer from my school's... so a lot of my pictures are in limbo.  (which is code for I'm not sure where the heck they are right now---"old" computer or "new"!?!??!)

Our first day back is still a few weeks to go, but I know many of you are already headed back.  I'm moving up to second grade, so I'll know quite a few little kiddies, so I am looking forward to that.  BUT, I'm due on September 15th... so it will be short lived..... till the end of January!  I'm looking forward to spending time at home with my little guy, while the other 2 are off to school!  It will be strange to have just one at home.

Last, I wanted to put out there that I'll be participating in the big TPT sale next week!  All of my store will be 20% off on top of the 10% you'll get through TPT!  I'm not sure I'll have any of my projects complete that I've been working on, since I've been drowning in organizing for second grade and a sub...  I'll be back in the game shortly, promise!  With lots of second grade goodies!!! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Magical Fairy Tale Fun! {OVERLOAD!!}

I have SO much to share with you about our Fairytale unit we just wrapped up!  I just updated my Fairy Tale pack with all the goods you're about to see!

Jack and the Beanstalk addition-craft and writing (I always incorporate academics with my crafts!) ;)  Students answered the question-"Would you climb the beanstalk?"

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
Fun new bulletin board!  Turned the kiddos' pictures into bears-they created them, I'm not always a fan of "cookie cutter" crafts.  We brainstormed ideas of what Goldilocks could get into in the classroom and came up with more things than students.  Each student picked one (all different) and wrote in a speech bubble.  I turned myself into "Goldilocks" to add to the "fun" of the display!

Three Pigs
 New Worksheet-where kids create 3 different houses using different materials and circle whether it is "weak," "okay" or "strong."

Fun display too!  My coworker created this for her display.  Turned the kids into "pigs" and they came up with reasons why the wolf can't come in (the last house).  James Marshall's version works well with this as the last pig makes excuses as to why the wolf can't come in.

Last, but certainly not least!  We wrapped up the unit for our Open House displays!  Each of us took a different fairy tale and created the display.  (I showed you 2).  On the kids' desks, I had a "portfolio" that had their picture on the front with a crown on.  Inside were various pages I kept from each fairytale we read and did together.

I also had the kids create themselves with poster board.   I printed out their pictures 8X10 size.  I traced the kids hands and feet on the poster board.  The students had to connect the head, hands and feet to make little bodies!  They were quite hilarious!  Of course we added a crown to their heads again.

I did save the best for last.  I created a "fairytale photo booth!"  (Included in the pack is 3 pigs and goldilocks.  I found crowns online to copy and trace--but could not create them myself right now.  Speech bubbles are included as well for all.)

All of this is updated in my Fairytale packet!  {Which also includes lots of goodies that I blogged about last year-including adding some nonfiction research on WOLVES!  My kids ate that up!}  If you have purchased this already, please go to your purchases on TPT to get the updated packet! 

Last, but not least, I've just uploaded a fun twist on the end of year memory book!  Fairy Tale Themed!

You can find it {HERE}

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