April 22, 2017

Student Gift Idea (Perfect for End of Year!)

Isn't it amazing how quickly the school year always flies by? I am already planning the last few weeks of school! One thing I love to do during the last week is give my students a small gift from me. I originally saw this idea on Instagram-- and I'm not sure who was the original creator-- but you can find some another example here.

First thing I did was check my local Dollar Tree for plastic water bottles. I was in luck! They had enough for my 24 students-- and a nice variety of colors left. 
If you cannot find them in store-- try online. You can order a case of 30 for $1 per bottle-- and they have many more style options online. Be sure to order early enough to allow for shipping time. 

Now, if you do not own a Cricut or Silhouette machine, the next step will be a bit tricky. You could always invest in letter stickers from a craft store or Amazon-- but it will definitely take a lot longer. You could also get a paint pen and write student names! Using my Cricut was cheap since I already had white vinyl-- and it was speedy. The entire process only took me 1.5 hours. 

I measured my bottles. I could make the names about 1.25 inches wide and 6 inches long. Next, I typed up all my students name using the font called "KG Shake It Off Chunky". This font is free for download on TPT-- but you cannot use it for commercial use unless you purchase the license. I made sure the names fit the size parameter-- and then I hit "cut". 
After the name were cut out, I took some time to cut them apart and weed them (take out all the extra pieces). Next, I cut some pieces of Walmart contact paper. I love this stuff because you get a huge roll for a great price-- and it isn't too sticky. 
I used the contact paper to transfer to names from the vinyl sheets to the water bottles: 
Then I pressed down firmly and peeled the contact paper away. The names stuck perfectly! 

I will have to tell the students to try and limit how wet the letters get-- and to never put them in the dishwasher. Although the vinyl I used is "permanent"-- nothing will last forever. If you don't have a Cricut or Silhouette, I highly recommend investing in one. They can be pricey, but I have found it so useful for my classroom! 
There you have it! Easy gifts that are personalized-- and they only cost $1 per student! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below. I hope you have a blessed day! 

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!