Sunday, July 29, 2012

Caught Being Good!

Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher inspired me to transform a Nesquick box into something useful!  She decorated her Nesquick box to use as a holder for Box Tops.  What a great idea!  Click HERE to see her creation.  I am using mine to hold Caught Being Good Tickets.  I buy a roll of tickets (at Walmart) and pass them out to kids when I catch them doing a good deed.  Then, at the end of each nine-weeks, I draw one of their tickets from the box.  The winner receives a personalized t-shirt!  I have our school logo printed on the front, but the kids get to choose the color and "name" for the back of the shirt. 

Here's the label if you'd like a copy!
I just used scrapbook paper, cardstock, the label, and Mod Podge to put it all together - Easy!

The tickets looks something like this!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

I'd still consider myself a fairly "new" blogger (about 5 months), so I'm linking up with Grade Three is the Place for Me to join the Newbie Blogger Blog Hop!

Here are the five teacher-y facts about myself!

1.  I teach in Indiana.
2.  I currently am teaching second grade.
3.  I taught one year in fourth grade and this will be my third year in second grade.
4.  I started blogging in March 2012.  Boy, was I missing out!
5.  Blog Tip:  Customize your own Blog Headers in your favorite word processing program (my favorite is Pages) and take a snapshot of it to use as a jpg on your blog. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homemade Applesauce + Procedural Writing = Tasty and Educational

My most favorite fall-themed activity to do with my class is to make crock-pot applesauce!  I know many teachers do this with their students, but if you've yet to try it, I highly recommend it!  I found the best recipe online last year and have typed it into a document for the kids to take home.  Click below for a copy!

The Red Hots are what really make it!  (You can't get too many in.)   :)

Before making the applesauce, I introduce procedural writing to the class.  The next day, the kids gather around as we follow the recipe and we discuss each step as we go.  Once we've finished, I have them use the Procedural Paragraph Frame from Mrs. Bainbridge's class site to plan their writing.  After proofreading, they write their final copies on the apple paper below.  (Click for download.)

 Enjoy!  :o)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

S.T.A.R. Behavior Calendar & Liebster Award

A few of my earlier posts have been about my S.T.A.R. behavior system.  I also incorporate this with my students' "take home" folders.  (I just call them their "STAR folders".)  I've created a Behavior Calendar that the kids color at the end of each day to record the color they landed on the Clip Chart.  On the calendar, I include all of the school-wide events (i.e. PT Conferences, breaks, etc.).  I attach calendars, for the entire year, into their STAR folders and tear them out after each month.  Visit my TpT store to download this product, which is included in my S.T.A.R. Behavior packet!

On a different note, I'm excited to say that Colleen from Totally Terrific in Texas has presented me with the Liebster Award!  Thanks a BUNCH, Colleen!  She has the best ideas and freebies, so if you haven't gotten a chance to check out her blog yet, be sure to stop by when you have a chance!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Copy and paste this award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Reveal 5 other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blog.

The five fabulous blogs I nominate for this award are:

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

Buzz!  Buzz! Buzz! - A First Grade Blog

Success in Second Grade

 The Teaching Bug

Zeek's Zoo

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spelling Goodies!

For a Word Work center in my classroom, I use Spelling Tic Tac Toe activities.  The goal is to complete three spelling tasks in a row during centers time.  To make my Tic Toe Boards, I've combined a variety of Spelling/Word Work activities that I've seen online throughout the years.  I've also created recording sheets for some of these.  For all other activities, I have my students use lined writing paper.  When all three activities are complete, the students staple them together and write their name on front before turning it in. 

If you'd like to try this in your own classroom, click on the image below to download my Spelling Tic Tac Toe Activity Pack on TpT!

And since we're on the subject of spelling, I thought I'd share my test template as well.  Our second grade team gives 15 spelling words with two bonus/surprise words that correlate with the week's phonics skill.  Click to download the template for free!
Hopefully you can find these things useful!  I always love finding more ideas for centers!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Common Core Binder Printables

Just a quick share today! -  Click on the images below to download the cover sheets I created to help organize my Common Core binder. 

I have the standards color coded and printed on colored paper according to the color of the border for each subject.

Happy Saturday!  :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crafty Classroom Creations

I've been busy the last several days recreating some cute things I've found on other blogs!  It's been fun!  Although...... making the Teacher Toolbox reinforced my dislike for tedious tasks. All of the tiny measurements, cutting, and little pieces of tape....gugh!  :)  It turned out really good, though, and I'm excited to fill it up for next year!  Here are the projects:

Decorative Letters
Head over to Classroom DIY for the tutorial!

I painted this one!

The Teacher Toolbox
As I'm sure you've seen, there are MANY cute renditions of this all over Pinterest!  The original idea is from Rebecca Rojas at Create*Teach*Share.  Head to her site for a tutorial and printables!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fun Purchases and Professional Development

I met a HUGE summer goal yesterday and entered all of my Professional Development hours online!  I'm not sure what the requirements are for other states, but to renew our license,  Indiana teachers are required to submit the number of hours, a brief description, and scanned documentation for each professional event on the "LVIS" site.  Thanks to my principal, the organized person she is, she suggested we keep a log of hours/meetings we attend throughout the school year.  It wasn't fun entering all of those hours, but it sure was a lot easier with everything already documented!  I recreated my PD Log for next year.  Feel free to download the form below if you could find it useful!
Free Fuzzy Bump Border from Frog Spot graphics

On another note, I wanted to share a few of my fun purchases!  I have always wanted a microphone/speaker system of some sort for my classroom.  The possibilities for its use are endless (i.e. sharing Star of the Week, reading, presentations, etc.).  I also think it could be a really good motivator.  I did a little searching online last year, but couldn't find anything wireless or affordable.  Well, I found a system on Amazon last week for only $70!  Since it was so inexpensive, I was a little worried about the quality, but it came in yesterday and works perfectly!  I'm so excited to use this in my classroom next year!!  Here's the one I bought:
I sure hope it lasts......yikes...

 Also....did you know that Skippyjon Jones is at Kohl's!??  It's a $5 Kohl's Cares item by the checkout lane!  They have books, too!  If you love Skippyjon, you better make a trip soon!  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Me Bags" - First Day of School

The students' "homework" for the first day of school is to fill up a brown paper bag with 5 or 6 things that are important to them.  Over the next several days, they take turns sharing their bags with the class and talking a bit about themselves.  It's a fun, easy way for the class to get to know each other a little better!  Before the first day of school, I print off "Me Bag" poems and staple them to the top of the bags.  Click the photo to download a copy of the poem labels!

I found this poem online years ago, but have NO clue who to give the credit to!  If you know who deserves credit for the original idea, please let me know!  :)

See my earlier Bead Glyph post for another fun, First Day activity!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Open House Activities

I bought the Pages program (way better than Word) for my Mac last year and have found a TON of cute clipart and borders from blogging.  Now, when I look back at the documents I made in the past, they look incredibly boring!  So, I've been going through and updating some things....

I've redone my Open House documents and thought I'd share!  Here are a few things I do on our school's Open House night (usually several weeks into the school year):

Raffle - I usually run to Dollar Tree and create a goodie basket of school supplies, fun erasers, etc. for a student to win.  I leave the prize sitting on my desk all day for the kids to ogle at!  When parents attend Open House, they enter their child into the drawing.    I honestly think this helps with attendance because the students beg their parents to come so that they can be entered into the drawing!  Sneaky, I know.  ;)  The following day, I do the drawing in class.

Poem/Letter to Parents - I found a poem online a few years ago that I have my students copy on a writing template.  They leave this poem on their desks for their parents to see.  I lay an envelope and stationary on the students' desks so parents can write a note back to them.

Mystery Students - My students create portraits of themselves and fill out a clue card to hang beneath it.  Parents then try to guess which picture is their child!
Reading Survival Kit - I put together "Reading Survival" baggies for families to take home!

Click on the image below to download my Open House Packet with these activities!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Classroom Rules in Motion!

I had no intention of changing my rules for next year until I came across Stephanie's fantastic idea on 3rd Grade Thoughts!  I love how she has her rules worded, and even better yet, how she has her students recite them along with hand gestures!  What a great way to reinforce your expectations and the importance of cooperation in the classroom!  Check out her blog to see how she has her students put these classroom rules into motion!  I adapted mine a bit and created posters to fit my decorating scheme.  You can download them for FREE at my TpT shop below!

In a previous post, I shared my Why the Red? document to send home if a student lands on "red" when using a Clip Chart System.  Since my rules have changed, I updated this paper, as well.  I print a handful of these off on red paper and keep them in my students' personal files once they've come back signed.  Luckily, I don't have to use them very often!  Click the image to download my STAR Behavior packet on TpT!

I send a Behavior Plan home on the first day of school, outlining our classroom rules, Clip Chart System, expectations, and consequences.  The students and parents both have to sign the bottom before returning it to me.
 Here's what it looks like:

I know each classroom is different, so an editable Word version is available at my TpT shop!