Sunday, October 30, 2011

Turning of the Calendar



What a bizarre October it has been. You would think that since I have lived my entire life (save for two glorious years in which I had the privilege of calling myself a Floridian) in New England, weather wouldn't phase me. Yet, I can say that October 2011 found me both at the beach on an almost 90 degree day and shoveling my driveway on a 19 degree morning...with the appropriate sprinkling of pumpkin patch and apple orchard fun in the middle. I'm still shaking my head.

Although the calendar won't officially turn to November until Tuesday, I'm getting a jump start and rolling out my new November products today. I'll feature each individually as I complete them with my friends so you can see pictures of how they played out in my classroom.

Truth be told I would love to turn the calendar today and skip tomorrow entirely because let's face it, Halloween on a Monday is just a cruel joke to play on teachers everywhere. But, I digress.

I'm still putting the finishing touches on my super-awesome-can't-wait-to-use-it-with-my-kids Pilgrims and Wampanoag Project. It will be uploaded by Wednesday at the latest. I love teaching that unit. I also have a few more "Thanksgiving-ish" projects in the works.

Here's what's new for November. All of the items are under $4.00. Click on the individual links below or on the "My Products" button on the right.


How to Cook a Turkey ~ A Class Book or Individual Writing Project

Turkey in Disguise - This one makes a great homework assignment / Family Project. It can also be used in class.

Favorite Thanksgiving Day Foods - Graphing and Writing Activities

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Online Timer - classroom management series


This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.

Tick Tock.

Tick Tock.

I had a college professor that was notorious for ending every class by saying, "a teacher's greatest obstacle is the clock." I thought he was a bit nuts. Turns out the man knew what he was talking about.

This week I'm going to share my tips for staying on a schedule.


Using a timer in the classroom is somewhat standard. I used it for years. It kept me on schedule, but I can't say that it helped my students. They would plug along at their assignments and suddenly a beeping noise would signal them to stop.

These days I use an online timer and really feel it helps my friends better manage their time. I feared the visual would be distracting, but it hasn't been a problem. The counting down clock is a great tool for keeping them on task.

We use it for everything from snack to guided reading. I keep it running on my desktop computer since I'm never at the desk. Setting the clock at the start of a lesson is one of the jobs I assign to a student.

Here's the link to the clock I use: Online Egg Timer (I like it in the full screen mode)



managing a classroom classroom routines classroom procedures best practices classroom management ideas classroom management tips classroom management pictures classroom management strategies effective classroom management plan examples of classroom procedures elementary classroom procedures primary classroom procedures middle school classroom procedures kindergarten classroom procedures first grade classroom procedures sample classroom procedures manual harry wong first days of school rules routines daily classroom routines that really work children printable free freebie second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade education behavior management clutter free classroom organized classroom tips for organizing a classroom

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spider Writing & Schema Chart


This kit can be purchased and downloaded for  by clicking here



I had a blast focusing on spiders with my class during writing. Their level of enthusiasm made for an entire week of on task learning. We began by writing things that we “knew” about spiders on Post-It notes and placed them under the title, “My Schema.” I read several non-fiction books and discussed the elements (glossary, index, table of contents, photos, captions, etc). We discussed main idea and detail. Throughout the week we added Post-Its to the “New Learning” category and moves some of our schema over to misconceptions.



Armed with an abundance of newfound arachnid knowledge the students filled in their own charts completing the prompts: spiders can..., spiders are..., and spiders have...

We used the charts to complete the top-down writing web and then wrote the draft.

After editing with the teacher, the students wrote their final copies. I always try to culminate our writing projects with a simple art project. We created handprint spiders to accent their wonderful work.


This kit was created to be used by teachers in grades K-5. The materials were designed to make modifications easy within your classroom.


The Primary Pages above were tested and approved by my 6 year old son.

Included in this kit you will find the following spider-themed items:
a 5 detail web to organize writing
a 3 detail web to organize writing
primary-ruled draft paper
intermediate-ruled draft paper
primary-ruled final product paper
intermediate-ruled final product paper
a “Can / Have / Are” graphic organizer
headings for a Schema Tree Map

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Attendance and Lunch Card Charts - classroom management series


This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.

I couldn't pass up these two standing pocket charts when I laid my eyes on them at the sacred ground known as the Target Dollar Spot last summer. I had no idea what I would do with them at the time, but they jumped into my big red cart.


They sat in my classroom closet as we kicked off the 2010-2011 school year, but then sometime around December they made their appearance. At my school we need to take attendance and lunch count.

This handy-dandy chart does both. I have a number for each of my students which is put into numerical order for easy finding in one chart. The other chart houses the menu choices du jour.

As part of our morning routine, the students move their number from one chart and place it next to their lunch choice on the other chart.


I simply went through the school menu and typed up a lunch card for the menu items that are served. I keep all of them in the back of the chart along with the
menu. My helper of the day sets the cards up for the next day once the count is recorded.

You could certainly use a regular pocket chart.

Or an interactive board if you are fancier than me.

But, if you have some Target pocket charts kicking around because you couldn't pass them by either, this might be perfect for you too.



managing a classroom classroom routines classroom procedures best practices classroom management ideas classroom management tips classroom management pictures classroom management strategies effective classroom management plan examples of classroom procedures elementary classroom procedures primary classroom procedures middle school classroom procedures kindergarten classroom procedures first grade classroom procedures sample classroom procedures manual harry wong first days of school rules routines daily classroom routines that really work children printable free freebie second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade education behavior management clutter free classroom organized classroom tips for organizing a classroom

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Categories & Scattergories


A little bit of "categories"...a little bit of "scattergories."

We did both today.

It was really pure coincidence, but I like when things flow like that.

We're studying data and graphing in math. Ultimately the kiddos will need to sort data into categories, pose a question, and create a visual to represent their findings.

I know, right?

It's a lot for their little 8 year old brains to grasp. Ultimately it clicks, but I always find the "forming categories" to be the most challenging part. We had a breakthrough moment today when I related the concept to sections of the grocery store (produce, canned goods, meats, freezer). Wish I thought of that one sooner.

This afternoon I debuted Scattergories as our Word Study Activity.

So. Much. Fun!
I'm really focusing on Word Study as opposed to just "spelling" this year and have been designing some games and activities to go with it. I wanted to come up with some materials that could be used week after week by simply changing out the word patterns. My hope was that they would become familiar with the directions which would make the activities more efficient and beneficial to them.

Scattergories was a huge hit...with them and me. We worked with the CVCe pattern (better known as "Magic E"). The students were give a pattern (i.e. "-ate" or "-ice) and had several minutes to brainstorm as many words as they could think of that included the pattern.

The goal was to include words that nobody else had listed.

After the time period ended, I manned the chart paper and began taking words from volunteers.

A child would say a word.

I would write it on the chart and ask, "Does anyone else have that word on their list?".

If other students had also written the word down on the chart paper they would give the silent "me too" signal in response.

If the word is on more than one students' paper then they would draw a line through it. If a child was the only one to think of the word he would circle it and I added a star on the chart next to the word.

I was impressed with the words they came up with and we had a great time building our lists.

Here's a peek at some of the other games and activities in my Word Study Centers kit. On Friday I am going to break out the Follow the Yellow Brick Word Study Road game. If only I had ruby red slippers for it's unveiling.



Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Turkey in Disguise - a creative writing project


Since we have the day off today (Thanks Mr. Columbus), my son and I tried out my latest product: Turkey in Disguise. I've done this in 3rd grade for the past several years, but just made it prettier for it's TPT listing. I'll do the full write-up once I use it with my class, but I had a blast today watching my son disguise his turkey as an artist. Since I try to make all of my products adaptable for grades 1-5 and to allow for differentiated instruction, I'm loving having a live-in first grader to try things out on.

In other news...yesterday's weather did not disappoint. It's been a lovely weekend. I think 3 day weekends would be ideal. We had a "get together with family day" on Saturday, a "do what we want" day on Sunday, and a "get chores done around the house" day on Monday. I also finally managed to get caught up on my Classroom Management Series. Woo Hoo! How did you spend your weekend?






Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

You may also enjoy...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...