Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to You!

Very excited to have a class full of students to give these to on their birthday! You can download the balloon from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure here!

Then I just printed them out, taped them to a swirly straw (you can get a pack of 6 at Dollar Tree for $1) and put them in this cute adorable tin! I also added the birthday pencils below from Oriental Trading. They say "Happy Birthday From Your Teacher" 

So on a birthday in my class they can pick a birthday pencil and balloon! Yay! Who doesn't love birthdays!!

Calming Caddy

What teacher hasn’t come across that student who has a short fuse? No matter where you teach, you are always going to need to be ready for that child who needs some additional help calming down. I like to have a pro-active approach to dealing with situations such as these. One of my solutions is my CALMING CADDY.

This caddy is located somewhere quiet and secluded in the classroom. When a child gets upset and needs some time to step away from their peers and calm down this is what they use. The caddy is not used as punishment but as a healthy choice to deal with emotions.

The caddy is something that I present to the whole class as an option on how to deal with your feelings. I model how to use the caddy and make sure it is presented as a positive choice that all students in the class can make.

Things that are in my caddy include:

-play dough, stress balls, and squishy balls to squeeze out any anger

-small stuffed animals for comfort
-a calming glitter jar to relax
-small notepad and crayons to express feelings

-Boardmaker visual cue cards

One thing I love in this caddy is the calming glitter jar..I have seen similar ideas all over pinterest so I made my own! The idea is you shake it up and watch the glitter fall. This gives the child time to breathe and be away from the situation that upset them. When the glitter settles the child can join the class again or chose to use an additional strategy from the caddy.
To make this jar I used an old sunflower seed container. Many of the jars I have seen on pinterest were Mason jars...However I usually try to stay away from glass with my little ones.

-Clean out clear container
-Add 1 bottle of CLEAR Elmer’s glue
-Add about ¾ c water
-Add about 5-6 drops of the food coloring of your choice
-Add glitter (I used silver, gold, pink, stars, and iridescent glitter)
-Hot glue the cap on and shake!

I make sure I teach the class how to use each item in the caddy appropriately to deal with their emotions. As teachers it is a great gift that we can help children learn it is ok to be mad, sad, frustrated, etc… but that learning to deal with these emotions in a healthy way is something they will take with them for years to come! 

If you want to download the tag I used on my caddy visit my TPT store here and download it FOR FREE!!!

Everybody needs a buddy!

For a classroom library! I got the basket at a garage sale, spray painted it...added some stuffed animals and there we go! Can't wait to see kiddos cuddled up reading to their buddies!

Colorful Pens for Colorful Words

For the writing center to encourage fun creative writing! Also could be used as an incentive ... get to write with a colorful pen for the day!

I found this idea on Pinterest some time ago...not sure where the original idea is from. If you know let me know & I'll be sure to credit them!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ask Me First! Classroom Management

I got this great but simple idea from Mrs. T at S is for Second Grade. Awesome blog...check her out! 

You use these visors when doing guided reading or any kind of small groups where you need to give an individual child or small group of students your attention with no interruptions. Whoever gets to wear the visors during this time is my ask me buddy...who all other students are to go to FIRST when they have a question..BEFORE interrupting me. This also gives the students wearing the visors a leadership opportunity that most take very seriously. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I got my visors for $1 each at Michael's. I used a paint pen to write "ask me" and added some gems & little flowers for extra cuteness! Simple! 

Lost and Found

Something that really annoys me is finding random items on the floor of our classroom. Anything from crayons to puzzle pieces to manipulatives--I find it on the ground! The younger the grade you teach the more true I think this is. Many times my students will come up to me, in the middle of an important lesson usually, and show me something they found. In the past I would take the item or have that child put it away in the correct place. As silly as this may sound it actually takes away precious teaching time. So I made a simple lost & found basket from Dollar Tree. Now anytime someone finds something it goes in the basket. Then during free choice time or centers, I will allow a student to have the job of putting all the lost and found items back where they belong. 

Problem Solved! 

Want to download this label for free? Visit my TPT store here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bathroom Passes + Germ X

I saw a similar idea from Stephanie at 3rd Grade Thoughts. And I thought what an awesome idea! I hate the idea of using traditional bathroom passes because then the kiddos are just bringing yucky germs back into the room. Gross! 

My rule is one boy and one girl may use the restroom at a time. They simply go get the appropriate germ-x bottle and place it on their desk while they use the bathroom. This way if I need to see who went to the bathroom I will easily know. Then when they get back they are to take one squirt and return the pass to it's home in the classroom. Brilliant! 

If you would like to download the pass template to make your own click on the image above or visit my TPT site! PLease rate this if you download it! Thanks :) 

Then just cut them out, glue them on, add some sequins & ribbons & you're done!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teacher To Do Checklist

One of my biggest pet peeves is all the post it notes that pile up on my desk. I'm constantly writing myself important reminders but then they all end up getting lost or making clutter on my desk. I got inspired for this memo board from the Fabulous in First blog where she did a similar project. 

First I took an old ugly frame and spray painted it green. Then I made my own checklist of what I will want to keep track of on a weekly basis. 

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS IN A PDF FILE FOR FREE!!! Just visit my TPT page here!  Or click on the picture above. 

Once I printed this I mounted it on a piece of teacher scrap book paper and put it in the frame. I now can use this as a dry erase board to keep track of all my to do's and reminders! No more post it notes everywhere...Yay! And this will look cute propped up on or hanging behind my desk. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Upscale your Germ-X

Germ-X is a MUST in any elementary classroom! What a better way to encourage your students to want to kill those germs then making your Germ-X bottle a little cuter! Change the name to Germ Juice and your students will be running to disinfect those dirty hands! Just take the big Germ-X bottle add some letter stickers, rick-rack, ribbon, and a flower made from felt.

Who doesn't love clean hands?