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Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Bright Idea of Reusable Anchor Charts!

I'm joining the Bright Ideas Blog Hop with a Bright Idea for creating Anchor charts you can use year after year!

I love daily five's structure. I like the way you practice routines WITH the students. I like to create the anchor charts WITH them, so they have some buy in to the whole process. BUT - I also want them to look nice. I have been creating the charts for a few years and always struggle to decide if I should make the charts myself, printing them, and go over them with the class before displaying them - or making them with the students even though they don't look the best.

I've always had great results creating them with students so I have stuck with it. However I have been trying to come up with a way that I can create charts I love, look nice, and I don't have to recreate every year. I think I finally figured it out!

I purchased these blank charts to match my classroom decor

  and some full page label paper by 3M

I typed the headings for each chart in a font that I liked and printed it onto this label paper, along with some cute clip art that I wanted to add to the charts.
I cut out the words and the clip art, then placed it on the chart where I wanted it to go.

This allowed me to move them around and get them on the chart just the way I wanted them. Then I peeled the backing off the "stickers" and placed them on the chart.

I wanted to make the T-Chart so I used decorative tape I picked up at the Dollar Tree. I used a pencil and ruler to make a straight line across the chart.
Then put the tape down on the line
I love how these turned out and can't wait to add to them WITH my students...I haven't put the line down the middle yet but I plan to.


I am going to laminate them so that I can write on them with dry erase markers and erase them at the end of the year! Then I will be able to use them over and over again!

For more Bright Ideas, check out the blogs below!






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Under Your Cape? Chapter 2

I am so excited to be joining the What's Under Your Cape? book study! 
Since I started teaching I have learned that a lot of what I want kids to leave my classroom with will not come from the text books they will read, or the homework they will do. Sure I want them to become better readers, writers, and mathematicians, but most of all I want them to become great people! I've tried to teach each of the students I've had that having good character is more valuable then the grades you get on the test!

When I found Barbara's book I was so excited to finally find a resource that would guide my character building instruction and give it a focus! My students will be able to identify with the superhero theme, and realize that having the character traits I've been trying to teach them is what makes a hero!

I am so excited to share my thought on Chapter Two - Unconditional Love with you today!


Barbara brings up a great point about Super Heroes that I had never even thought about.! You know they are tough, and they like to help, but she says that they have a lot of love for people. Think about it - they put their selves in danger to help others, rushing right in to help with no conditions on who, when, where, or how they help! They put unconditional love into action! Amazing!

First as a teacher this chapter made me think about how I show my students that I love them. Do I send a clear message that I care about them, and set an example for them to care for others? I want to be more intentional with showing my students love just because and not for some outstanding thing they've done, no strings attached, love without conditions.

We need to teach our students to put love into action. Barbara says love and kindness go hand and hand, and I agree with her! Our students need to know how to be kind to others because it feels good to be kind. We can plan acts of kindness for them to do together. Look for ways to pay it forward when someone else shows them kindness. This can be as simple as writing thank you cards  to parents, or making phone calls to them on their birthdays. There are so many random act of kindness ideas out there, it could be really fun to get your whole class involved!

Barbara Talks about the most valuable A's you can earn. A = Affirmation, Appreciation, Apology. Wow, I look at those three words and I think - exactly what I've been saying my students are missing. Why? Why don't our students know how to affirm, appreciate, and apologize? Barbara says these three A's are "as effectively "caught as taught"." Yes! We need to be examples for them. So many of my students haven't seen those three words in action enough to catch on and put them into action themselves. I had to examine myself! Am I being a good example for them? Do I affirm others? Do I encourage them to affirm one another? Do I show my appreciation for them and their parents? Do I teach them how to show their appreciation for guests? Have I taught them to take responsibility for their own actions and ask for forgiveness when they hurt one another? Have I taught them to accept the apologies of their friends? It won't come automatically they will have to be shown these skills just like they are shown how to read, write, and calculate.

Love is so important in our world! I see so many selfish people and I sometimes wonder if anyone cares about the person next to them anymore. Here's the thing, we can change that! I totally agree with Barbara when she says "We are richly blessed to be in a position to dynamically shape the hearts of our superheroes and teach them to love and be loved so they can continue to use their super powers for good."

We can teach love! And if we do - it will have a ripple affect, touching many more than the children in our classroom! I've decided that teaching character education is going to be a priority in my classroom this year. I hope it will find a place in many classrooms! I know there's so much to do and little time to do it, tests kids have to pass, and evaluations we have to go through, but this, character education, it's life changing and way to important not to teach! It will last far past the test, past the school years, and change our world if we once again make it a priority for our students to learn how to be people of character!

I've created these life skill (that's what we've called character education in my school) posters I would love to share with all of you! Use them to start discussions in your classroom surrounding each trait, remind students what it means to have these traits, create ways to show students what character is!

More traits will be added soon! I've had many requests and I'm working on updating them as quickly as I can! I hope you enjoy using these with your students!

What are your thoughts on Chapter 2 - Unconditional Love? Link up and share! I would love to see what others are thinking!


If you missed chapter one  about Service you can catch up with Transitional Kinder and Curls and a Smile! Would you like a signed copy of Barbara's book? Just click here to enter the giveaway, see how to purchase a copy of the book, and see the schedule for the book study!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It #4!

I have been enjoying my family and haven't had a lot of time to craft recently. We took a little vacation to Northern Michigan last week, it's so beautiful up there....






Then we celebrated with my Sister and her Husband at their vow renewal ceremony, such a lovely day...



This is my brother's family, my sister's family, my mom, and my family - minus my son who had to work. It was fun to spend the day with all of them!

I did manage in all of my busyness to get a few things done for my new classroom in the midst of all the excitement, so I'm linking up with Tara for Monday Made it and  here's what I've made this week!

Pennant Banner - it's really long but I didn't have a good way to hang it and get a good picture of it. Looking forward to hanging this up in my new room, I think it will add just the right amount of color without being overwhelming!

One of the things I'm most excited about with my new job is that I will be able to share my faith with my students. I was looking for scriptures or sayings to incorporate into my decor when I found these at Sweet Blessings  - she's been my go to for educational signs in the classroom and now I'm super excited to be able to use her faith signs. I printed them on cards stock, 3x5 - four to a page.

I found these cutouts at Dollar Tree, perfect colors, but I wasn't sure how to use them. I was looking for frames for my signs when I remembered I had these.
I cut the signs down to fit in the middle of the frames, taped them on with double stick tape, then laminated them! I LOVE THEM!!

I also picked up these 4x6 frames from Dollar Tree and used them to hold three of the signs. I think I will be using these to decorate my classroom library area! Perfect!

Finally I made this Alphabet line to match my room too! It's free if you would like it, click on the picture to download. The file includes both the round and square signs so you can print which ever one you like.
If you download these your feedback would be greatly appreciated! 

Don't forget to stop by and enter my Giveaway! You can win some fabulous prizes from some amazing bloggers while helping me celebrate moving to 2nd grade!! 

And head on over to Tara's Blog to see more awesome teachers making amazing things to use in their classrooms! Thanks so much for reading, hope you are all enjoying your summer!
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Big News! Come Help Me Celebrate!

Anyone remember back on June 1st when I posted my currently? I said I had big news I couldn't wait to share. I was very excited and wanted to share with everyone, but things changed and nothing was going as planned. Then last week I got a call and now I have BIG news to share with you! Confusing? I know! Here it is...

I am so excited! I can't wait to start the new school year. I've been in to see the classroom and met the teachers I will be working with - the school is great, and the staff is amazing. I feel so blessed!!

I wanted to celebrate with all of you my faithful followers so I've put together a giveaway for you! Take a look at what you could win...
An Awesome Prize Package from lots of my Bloggy friends...

A copy of Barbara Gruener's Book What's Under Your Cape?

Plus Six of my fluency packs! This is an amazing prize package worth over $100! Perfect to help you get ready for a new school year! Special thanks to my Blog friends for their amazing donations!!

You can enter using the rafflecopter below, one winner will be chosen at midnight on Saturday July 19th. Please be honest with your entries they will be verified!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, stay tuned for great resources and ideas, there's lots more coming!
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Come over and Check this outI

I'm over at Blog Hoppin Today sharing the Fab Finds I picked up at Target today....


Come on over and check it out!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Highlights Magazine, a Great Classroom Resource!

I am always looking for great reading materials for my students. I have tons of books and I"m always adding new ones to the classroom library. I also like giving them different types of materials, newspapers, magazines, poetry collections, song lyrics, blogs - we read it all.

One great resource I've found my kids love is Highlights magazine.
They are fun and have great material that supports what we are already learning in the classroom. My students always ask for them and get so excited when a new issue comes in.

The magazines feature fiction stories, nonfiction articles, skill-building puzzles, critical thinking activities, science projects, and more. Makes it easy to find something everyone will love!

This year Highlights has added a new feature. Each month you get an 8 page teacher's guide that includes lesson plans for whole and small group, as well as interdependent reading ideas, and reproducible activities.



You can also access additional resources online.at Highlights.com were you can download free printables and check out different magazines for all age levels.

Right now Highlights is offering teachers exclusive pricing on 9-month subscriptions of their entire class - just $9.95 per student with a minimum of 10 subscriptions! That's more than 75% off the cover price! To get all the detail, or order your classroom subscription now head on over to Highlights Classroom Magazines and take a closer look! I know you and your students will love these!
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Made it Week 3!!

Monday Made it week 3 already, summer is flying by so fast! I have been super busy and not getting  a whole lot done in the creating department! I do have a couple of things to share! So here's what I've been working on....

I found this adorable burlap ribbon at Walmart and knew I needed to make something with it. 
I've been updating some things I've made in the past with my new class colors, two years ago I did green and pink, last year I did red/blue/green/yellow. Four colors was to many but two kind of restricted what I could do so this year I'm going with just red/blue/green. So far I love it and can't wait to see everything up in my classroom!

Anyway I had a wreath I made in green and pink and decided to update with the new ribbon, here's how it turned out...
Honestly it took me several tries to figure out how I wanted to do this. I wrapped the wreath first but it didn't look great, and I couldn't get all three colors in like I wanted. Then I tried gathering the ribbon the way I had with regular ribbon in the past, but it didn't work well with the burlap. Finally I decided to just make little loops and glue them around the wreath. I added the bird to match the birds I"m using in my classroom. I may add "welcome" across the top but I've got to find some lettering I like!I think I'm going to go back and get more ribbon I think it would make great border for my bulletin boards!
 
And here is another free resource for you, Word Wall letters and Student Numbers in red/green/blue!
I hope you can use these! Click on the picture to download them!

So many creative teachers out these are working away go on over to Tara's Blog and see all the awesomeness created this week! Happy Monday!
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Celebrating Birthdays in The Classroom!

I've always liked to celebrate student birthdays but I've struggled to make sure it was consistent for all my students. This year I started searching for some inspiration on other blogs and found a couple of posts by Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching. I loved how she had something ready to go that she could give to each student on their birthday and she made it special. So I decided to make birthday bags.

I picked up these cute treat bags at Party City, they match my classroom colors perfectly!
I ordered some smiley face stickers/erasers, and  birthday pencils from Oriental Trading. I got the birthday "celebration" bracelets and suckers from Dollar Tree. The color your own book marks are from Barker Creek.  
I made these labels to put on each bag. I printed them on full sheet label paper then cut each one out. 
I stuffed each bag with the goodies and attached a label to them!
I put them in a basket, and they are ready to go whenever someone in my class in turning another year older!
They turned out so cute, I can't wait to celebrate with my students on their days! I love being prepared and not having to scramble when I see a birthday is coming up!

Here's the birthday label for you! Just add your name, print on label paper and you will be all set to create your own little treats!



Thanks for reading! Hope you have a wonderful day!

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