Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Week in Pictures and a Linky Party {Sunday Snapshots}

Here's a look at what when down between my 4 walls this week. All links can be found at the end of the post. 








RELATED LINKS (in the order they appeared):



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, September 29, 2012

MATH CENTERS GALORE - addition / place value / money & more

Holy Upload Batman! It feels so good to have finally put the finishing touches on and uploaded 7 new products that have been living in my brain and in a folder on my desktop titled, "finish and upload." Some of these were started in early August!!!

Admittedly I needed to put a "rush order" on a few because I needed to use them in my classroom this week, but it took a lot longer to "polish" them for my store than I anticipated. I aligned each with the new Common Core standards.

These were all first tested and approved by my own live-in second grader before I introduced them to my third graders. They really loved them as well. 

I blogged about my Fall Writing Project which I recently added to the store on Wednesday. You can read about it and see pictures here. Everything else this week is math, math and more math! 

I kicked off Math Workshop this week (pause for happy dance) and these were great additions to the rotations. I really tried to write VERY detailed descriptions on each of the product pages which you can access via the links below so I'm not going to cut and paste it all here. Instead I'll give you the highlights.

BTW: These are all currently 20% off as part of my 20% off EVERYTHING FLASH SALE. 

GRADES: 1-5 (ideal for 2-4)
SKILLS: addition / subtraction / 10s and 1s / place value / navigating a hundred chart / understanding equations


{access and download this product}
TITLE: CANDY CORN FACT FAMILIES FLASH CARDS & MATH CENTER
GRADES: K-4 (ideal for 1-3)
SKILLS: addition / subtraction / fact fluency / equations 

{access and download this product}
{access and download this product}

TITLE: CLOSE TO 100 TASK CARDS & MATH CENTER
GRADES: 1-5 (ideal for 2-4)
SKILLS: addition / subtraction / fact fluency / equations / place value / mental math

{access and download this product}
{access and download this product}


GRADES: 1-4 (ideal for 2-4)
SKILLS: addition / combos of 100 / money / counting coins / 2-digit addition


{access and download this product}
{access and download this product}

GRADES: K-4 (ideal for 1-3)
SKILLS: addition / place value / multiples of 10 / combos of 10 addition facts


{access and download this product}


TITLE: MORE OR LESS THAN 100 TASK CARDS & MATH CENTER
GRADES: 1-5 (ideal for 2-4)
SKILLS: addition / place value / fact fluency / equations /estimation /2-digit numbers
{access and download this product} 
{access and download this product}




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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

FREE STORY MAPS for READING & WRITING {Friday Freebie}


T. G. I. Freebie Friday!!

I whipped this week's freebie up to use with my class next week. We're focusing on Story Elements and Plot as some of the skills in Treasures. Since it will be tested as part of the unit assessment, I wanted to create some additional practice for them.

This file includes 2 story maps that can be used with any book / story to record character, setting, problem, solution, beginning, middle and end. I made one with lines for older learners and one without lines for younger learners to illustrate. The two options are also nice for differentiating in your own classroom to meet the varied needs of your students.

These organizers work well for pre-writing also. Have students plan a story in words or pictures using one of these printables prior to writing a draft.


{Click here to access and download this FREE printable}



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.

RESTORE DRY ERASE BOARDS {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


To restore dry erase boards that are hard to erase: spray a clean board with WD-40 and wipe dry with paper towels. The WD-40 fills in the dried pores of the board that hold in marker ink, making it easier to erase.

Join me each weekday morning for coffee & a clever idea. 
Here's how: Follow my blog.

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, September 27, 2012

FREE and Easy Classroom Management {Thrifty Thursday}


Classroom organization and management is kind of my thing. I'm dorky like that. I also totally heart free stuff.

I recently blogged about how much I love reading your responses to my Facebook Question of the Day. {Click here to read about how you can be part of the QOTD}

Like seriously love love reading them. It always amazes me how different our teaching experiences are. But, what I love most of all is that I am always learning new things from you all. It's amazing how much impact a single sentence can have when it points you in the direction of something new.

Last week I asked how y'all use your cell phones as a classroom tool.
Many of you responded with words that were foreign to me: Class Dojo.

I was curious and Googled my way to something awesome. And since it is FREE I wanted to share it as a Thrifty Thursday tip.

Although it could also be a Teacher Timesaver Tuesday tip because it saves tons of time!

Class Dojo is a free online service for managing your students' behaviors. You simply sign up, add your class list and create a list of positive and negative behaviors. Then you can track the data with easy peasy clicks on your computer, smartphone, ipad or interactive white board...or all of the above. 

I am totally ga ga over the fact that I can use it in the classroom, click it in the hallway as needed when we are walking to lunch and my classroom aide can use her phone to track behaviors when she is working with a group outside the classroom. 

I can email data to the parents. And because not all parents have email and not everyone is allowed to communicate about student behavior over email, I love that it works well with my behavior calendar logs. I just have to access the report at the end of the day and can easily transfer the info over.


I can keep records quickly and accurately to back report cards. LOVE!

I experimented with it this week and have been thrilled. My next step is to really fine tune the custom behaviors to paint a very accurate picture for the parents and myself. I also plan to add a category for gym, art and music so our specialists can use it as well.


I blogged about my personal concerns with public behavior plans this summer so I especially like that I can keep this info private by not broadcasting it.

Visit my Blog Calendar Page to read about my daily Blog Schedule and learn about all the ways to follow along with the Clutter-Free 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.

ORGANIZE YOUR LIBRARY WITH CLOTHESPINS {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


This is quick and easy way to maintain an organized classroom library. Label a pinch-style clothespin for each student. I like to use numbers so they can be used year after year. When a student takes a book from the classroom library, he/she attaches the clip to the basket the book came out of. This makes it easy to return the book to the correct basket and maintain order in the library.

Join me each weekday morning for coffee & a clever idea. 
Here's how: Follow my blog.

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, September 26, 2012

FALL BULLETIN BOARD IDEAS{Whatever Wednesday}

It's Whatever Wednesday which means it's my day to babble about anything.

And oh my gosh there are so many things swimming in my mind that I want to share.

But they will need to take a backseat to some festive Fall eye candy because the calendar tells me it's fall and I am craving apple cider candles and pumpkin bread and colorful foliage and yet I am wearing flannel snowman jammies (yes, at 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon...don't judge) and looking out at grey skies and trees full of green leaves.

So I need you to help me pick a project to go on my bulletin board {FYI: You can see a bunch of my former fall bulletin boards here} so I can get that fall feeling.
I've collected some Pinterest inspiration to choose from today, but am open to other suggestions as well?

I love seeing how my students' writing progresses over the course of the year. It is always amazing to compare pieces and note the growth they have made as authors. I especially love looking at similar writing samples because I feel you can see so much more when you compare apples to apples.

For that reason I created a series of annual writing projects that showcases their development by having them complete the same writing process to write about each season.

{click here to access and download this product}

I start at this time of year and have them write about fall...or Autumn if that's what you prefer (I included papers headed both fall and autumn btw).

Then around December 21st-ish we write about winter.

In March we write about spring.

In June we write about summer.

And then I take all four pieces and attach them to accordian folded construction paper to show all of the samples in consecutive order and it knocks my socks off.

While it does fill you with pride and joy and happiness for your students, you can't help but also think "Boo Yeah Look what I did!"

And it feels good.


I made it all formal by creating a nice packet (and am aiming to add the other 3 seasons to my store within the next week). As with all of my writing packets, I differentiated it so the packet can be used in grades K-5. I even aligned it with Common Core Standards for grades K-4. It's open-ended so you can pick any prompt or topic you want. And because y'all seemed to like my ink-saving Blackline Design Collection this summer, I made each printable available in both color and blacklined outlines. I used the latter this year and let my friends color them in.
{click here to access and download this product}



Did I mention that I did this with my class last week?  Because I did. 

And I promptly took down my "Welcome Back to School Board" with the "First Day of School" pictures that hung on it and replaced them with festive orange fabric (because I can totally leave it up for my next board) and outlined it with fake foliage in fall colors.

I know I will hang their writing.

I'm leaning towards adding a twisted paper tree.

But, I'm having commitment issues with which craftivity I will have my friends create to compliment their writing. I was thinking painted leaf prints and even attempted them with a few kiddos.

Epic fail.

So now I'm torn between the following...
Kicking it Old School with a good ole leaf rubbing

The real branch makes my heart happy

I LOVE the idea of doing this in fall colors because anything with a child's handprint is super special.

Oil Pastels...an overlooked medium

If I don't use this for this bulletin board I most certainly will use it soon. I love everything about it.
I may need to team up with our fabulous art teacher and see if she would be willing to take this one on
because I doubt I would have the class time to complete it.

I'm thinking if I do the paper tree I may have them each make a leaf to add to it because I'm pretty sure most have never done shaving cream printing. 

Super pretty, but probably best saved for a window and not a board with an orange background.

Cute alternative to handprint art above. This would be nice because I could have them do a tree for each season.

I already added my trim, but I'm hoping one of you will do a board with this as a border because it would look stellar.

Once again...a great idea to share with our art teacher. These are gorgeous.{photo sources...all image originated can be accessed through this link}
So what do you think I should use? Any other ideas you would suggest?


Visit my Blog Calendar Page to read about my daily Blog Schedule and learn about all the ways to follow along with the Clutter-Free 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.

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