January 30, 2017

The Teacher's Assistant

This blog post is short and sweet! Sometimes you just need 5 minutes to finish grading tests or work with struggling students-- but it's hard to find time when your other 25 students are constantly coming up to ask you questions!

Thus-- I created the position of "Teacher Assistant".
I choose 1-2 responsible students (usually ones who follow directions, listen, are good at explaining things, etc.) and let them wear a badge for the day. I created these badges to fit into a plastic name badge holder (I found mine at Walmart) and attached a cute lanyard so it wouldn't get lost.

I even let my assistant give out Class Dojo points while I was conferencing with students about their writing pieces! It was amazing! I highly recommend trying it!

Click HERE or on the picture below to snag a free copy!
If you give it a go let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by!

December 16, 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 8 (Kindness Day)

I think today was one of my favorite days so far! We had a great day discussing how we could show kindness to others in school, at home, and in our community!

First we read this book:
It's an adorable story about this kind hedgehog who is traveling to see Badger-- and along the way he stops to help other forest animals. His kindness is repaid in the end. My kids definitely enjoyed it!

After reading we wrote about the lesson we learned in the story and how we could apply it to our own lives. I had the kids come up with a list of people in our school we could show appreciation to (I told them it needed to be an adult). We came up with a list and them I had students (in about groups of 3-4) volunteer to make a Christmas card for that person. After we created our cards we delivered them! The kids loved it!

Here is a FREE template for the cards-- all I had the kids do was color the words and tree-- then we used paint on our fingertips to make the "lights" and "ornaments". We filled out the inside with our thank you's-- and we were all set! It was fun and easy!
One of my sweet girls surprised me with a card she had made for me! I happily hung it up on my personal bulletin board!
I hope you have a very "merry and bright" week!

December 15, 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 7 (Stocking Day)

Today was stocking day-- and we started by reading a picture book. This one was hard to come by, so I actually purchased it for the Kindle on the Amazon website-- and then just projected it on the screen while I read it to my kids:
Afterwards we filled out our graphic organizers and had a great discussion about the book's setting!

I thought it would be fun to make small stocking ornaments-- and it was pretty easy! Here is the finished result:
Here is how we created these little stockings:

  1. Draw a small stocking outline on a piece of cardstock (I made mine about 3 inches long). Cut it out. 
  2. Use the stocking you just created to trace and cut out enough cardstock stockings for each student.
  3. Trace stockings onto the back of various pieces of scrapbook paper. 
  4. Give each student one cardstock stocking and one piece of scrapbook paper. 
  5. Have students cut and glue the cardstock stocking to the scrapbook paper stocking. I also had mine write their names, grade, and year on the back of the stocking. 
  6. Laminate for longevity.
  7. Hot glue cotton balls along the top of the stocking-- I cut the cotton balls in half and then spread them out before gluing.
  8. Punch a hole near the top of the stocking and tie on a ribbon. 

Also, it would have been fun to buy real small stockings for students and let them decorate with buttons, ribbon, puff paint, etc.

I hope this gave you some fun ideas! Thanks for reading!

December 14, 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 6 (Santa Day)

Tuesday was Santa day in our 12 days of Christmas! If you missed my other posts and want to start back at the beginning-- click here.

We began our morning by reading the book "How to Catch Santa". It's such a fun book! My kids loved it!
After that we practiced using transition words as we wrote a little paragraph about how we would go about catching him. The kids were totally into it!

You could easily incorporate a study about Santa around the world-- like what is he called in other countries, etc. Here is a freebie you can use to have your students take some notes and write a quick summary of facts!

Later in the day we crafted these adorable multiplication Santas from Not So Wimpy Teacher. I like them because you can pick which set of multiplication problems you want your kids to work on (a good way to differentiate).

Lastly, I created a set of multiply and color sheets-- and one of characters is Santa! These can be found in my TPT store-- you get 4 pages (plus answer keys) in the download:
You can find that product by clicking the picture or clicking here.

Thank you for stopping by-- and I hope you're enjoying the last few days before break!

December 13, 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 5 (Snow Day)

Monday was snow day in our classroom! My kids were pretty excited because we have yet to have any real "wintry" weather this year!

We started out by reading the book "Snowmen at Christmas"-- there is also "Snowmen at Night". I love having my kids write short stories about what snowmen really do at night! I use it on my bulletin board every year!
In math we had ourselves a little review over measuring the nearest 1/2 inch. Most of my kids had forgotten how to use a ruler! So it was a good review! We ended by having a little snowball fight. My kids were so excited to toss the paper balls around the room-- I may have even thrown a few myself :) You can find that activity here in my store. I also have an activity called "Snow Much Measurement" if you'd rather work on measuring the 1/4 inch! My kids just weren't ready for that yet!
Lastly, we worked on making some snowflakes using borax and hot water-- the recipe is down below. Hope it's useful!
Thanks for stopping by! 

December 12, 2016

Welcoming the New Year in Your Classroom!

 
I know it seems light years away-- but I am already planning my Christmas and New Year activities for my classroom! The last few weeks before break really fly by-- they usually include posting grades, making ornaments, planning a class party, and more! I don't want to get caught up and miss out on the amazing moments (like celebrating the new year)-- so that's why I plan ahead. Here a few ideas to help you plan, too!
1. Set the stage: I think we all know what this means! Go out and buy some cheap party horns, party poppers, confetti, and silly hats! If you are celebrating after Christmas break then everything should be on sale! I found these horns at a local dollar store for about $1 for 8! You could also buy some cheap plastic cups and sparkling cider-- the kids would go NUTS!

2. Turn off all the lights and replay the countdown timer from New York! I know you would be able to watch it on youtube! If you're uncomfortable with using YouTube simply drop the link into a website like "View Pure"  and it will edit out all the ads and bad things that sometimes pop up! Then, relive the countdown with your kids (not all of them stayed up to see it!)

3. Make a craft and set some goals! Now that you've celebrate it's time to set some goals for the new year! Here are some pics of the crafts I will be making with my students:


You can find this craft and mini book in my TPT store!

4. Do something kind for others. What better way to start a new year than by thinking of others? You could have students write "thank you" cards to school staff, local servicemen, etc. You could also spread some kindness around by giving out New Year treats to staff (or even your own students if you wanted)-- feel free to use these free gift tags:
I hope this post has given you some great ideas about how to ring in the new year with your students! I know I'm very excited to start fresh!

December 10, 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 4 (Gingerbread Day)


In case you've missed the first couple of posts about the 12 Days of Christmas celebration in my classroom-- click here to start on Day 1! As you read through my daily plans you can also get some freebies to use in your own classroom!

To kick off Gingerbread Day I read my 3rd graders 2 different books about gingerbread characters! They were:
 
We finished with a lovely discussion comparing and contrasting the 2 books! Next, we practiced some symmetry by drawing in 1/2 of a gingerbread man. We crafted gingerbread houses using paper bags:
I thought this would be a great way to practice descriptive writing! Have the students write about what makes their gingerbread house unique! Teach them a mini lesson over adjectives and have them highlight their adjectives in their paragraphs!

During math I brought out this "Gingerbread Spin To Win" board game-- and the kids LOVED it! We are going to play some more tomorrow! I had some groups using the multiplication spinners, some using addition, and others using subtraction (also a great way to differentiate!). Click here to see this in my store!
After math we munched on some ginger snaps! The kids thought they were spicy, which seemed pretty funny.
We had a fun day! I hope you also have a great day and gleaned some new ideas from my post!