Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tardy for the (Linky) Party

Sorry guys, it's been a rough week and I'm only just now getting around the Just Reed's Ten Pin Linky for Math Pins.  Better late than never, right?  Plus, I'll be getting a head start on next week so I can just hit "Publish" on Wednesday.

1. Me as a Fraction - Such a cute personalized artwork to teach parts of a whole!

2. Crossing Thinking Maps with Number Sense

3. Area and Perimeter with CheezIts

4. Number of the Day

5. Calendar Time

6. Area and Perimeter with Spelling Words

7. Area Math Dice Game

8. "The Answer Is" problem writing

9. Number Anchor Charts

10. Shameless Self Promotion - a pack of graphing activities I made to go monthly through the school year

Friday, June 28, 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I don't use Google Plus but I use Gmail, iGoogle, and Google Reader.  One of those is now extinct, and another one will be following soon, which stinks.  So, I've switched all the blogs I follow to Bloglovin', and if you're a Google Reader fan I encourage you to do the same!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 Pin Linky - Classroom Management

Whoops -  I missed last Wednesday's 10 Pin Linky on Classroom Managment, so here it is.  Tomorrow is a new one, with math ideas.

Plus, I've learned how to add the pins directly!

1) A brilliant first-day lesson about self-control for little ones.

2) Visual directions and materials cards so the students know what to do and what to use

3) A classroom economy, with jobs and paydays, bonuses and fines

4) Mystery Walker/Mystery Student.   Choose a student but don't say who it is until the end of the day, watch that student for correct behavior in the hallways or in class, and reward them.

5) Clip Charts.  I wouldn't use one all year, but I think it's an easy visual and tactile method for correcting behavior at the beginning of the year.

6) How are we learning?  I just pinned this the other day - if you expect your students to interact in different kind of groups, you must discuss what learning and behaving looks like in those groups.  A reward system for most kinds of groups is also key - a classroom chain for whole class compliments, table points for group behavior, etc...

7) Parent communication.  However you do it, communicating behavior to parents, both good and bad, is very important.  It's not the most fun thing about being a teacher, heck, it's not the 10th most fun thing about being a teacher, but it is absolutely necessary

8) An organized classroom.  I believe that organization is key to behavior management - clutter = chaos.  Plus, if you don't take care of your classroom, why should your kids be expected to?

9) Respect.  Your kids should respect you, but you also need to respect them.  

10) Rewards that don't cost an arm and a leg.  Your class store doesn't have to be all stickers and pencils.  It can be free treats, like letting your kids take off their shoes for a day.

Made It Monday


So this particular Made-It-Monday is not really school-related, but in the grand scheme of things, aren't creativity and problem solving ALWAYS related to teaching?  Let's go with that...

So I tried to streamline my stuff, because I feel like I'm always carrying bags this summer.  Gym bag, pool bag, bag of books from the library.  Frankly, my purse was just weighing me down, especially given my proclivity to stuff it completely full.  So I went with the popular wristlet trend - I found a nice one at Sam Moon that's vinyl-ized (to avoid stains from spills) and large enough to fit my bigger-than-an-iPhone phone.  It was perfect - room for the the phone, cards, cash, and not much else.  I don't miss my purse at all, except for one thing - Blistex.  I missed having my minty lip balm handy.

My first thought was to go to Bath & Body Works and get this bad boy (On sale right now!)

I bought this exact holder, and this exact gloss because I figured it would be slicker than the others (and it didn't have glitter or a color tint).  But no, the problem with the Liplicious and the Mentha Lip stuff is that it's a gloss, not a balm.  It doesn't really soften, and the formula is kind of thick and sticky.

Plan B involved a Google search that turned up some inappropriately shaped Chapstick-holder keychains (really, they're a crime against crocheting).

Plan C - Etsy.  I really should figure that if there's a problem that can be solved with cute fabric, then I will find it on Etsy.  Should have been my first choice.  I am currently in love with this one in particular, made from grosgrain ribbon.

But, am currently fund-less, even for a $5 (plus S/H) keychain, so in the meantime I crafted one myself out of that toolbox staple - Duct Tape.  Really, I'm impressed with my engineering skills most of all - creating a fob with a non-sticky pocket to hold my beloved lip balm.  It'll do nicely, until that ribbon one can be mine.

So there you have my Made-It Monday.  How are you keeping the creative juices flowing during summer break?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

10 Pin Linkies

How cute is that?  10 Pins, like in bowling, but pins from Pinterest.  This is a fantastic idea that will help me to blog during the summer, when not a lot is going on, classroom-wise.   This week, it's classroom decor, something that has been on my mind A LOT lately.

I always figured I'd have a cupcake theme.  I mean, c'mon, look at the title of this blog.  But it's hard to do too much with cupcakes and not alienate the male portion of a class.  When everything is pink and polka-dotted, it might be hard for my boys to take ownership of the classroom and respect it, which is something I'm big on.  I did a lot of substituting at a school where each class made a class T-shirt called themselves something.  I was thinking about what my class would be, and since my last name starts with an "M", I think we'd be the "M----'s Monsters".  There is a lot of cute monster stuff out there - not scary grotesque monsters but more in the way of cute and furry, like Monster's, Inc. and Sesame Street.  It's well known that I'm a Grover fan, particularly in this video:

So I think I'll keep the cupcake, polka-dot theme in the area around my desk, but do monsters with the student stuff whenever possible.  For example, I got cute monster duct tape to mark my "Ooops" supplies (things like pencils and scissors, when kids don't have the supplies they need.)

Back on topic, in no particular order, here are my 10 favorite Classroom Decor pins:
Be Kind to Books Club
1.  A poster advertising the "Be Kind to Books Club".  If my students leave my classroom with one of my character traits, I hope it will be a love of reading.  Along with that goes respect, for the art of the written word and for the physical form of books.  This is a must for the Classroom Library.
2.   A much more personal birthday wall.  I love this idea, taking pictures with the kids.  I bought month-themed cupcake cut-outs, and you know the kids will be holding them in the picture.
3. Two ugly filing cabinets pushed together and covered with fabric.  It's so simple, but think of the extra magnetic space you have - it makes a perfect center with letter magnets, or if you have your word wall on magnets on your whiteboard, this gives you extra room!
4. I have seen so many great holiday, book, math, and other themed doors, but this one really stands out to me.  Gets kids thinking about who else they know who went to college, and how college can be a reality for all of them.
5.  Bookshelves are great all on their own.  But by painting the inside of the shelves to match whatever sort of leveling system you have with your books, you create a great way to stay organized, help kids pick out Just Right books, and add a little pop of color to ordinary black or brown furniture.
6. We've all seen the great idea of putting bookshelves at each table group to hold the group supplies - book boxes, dictionaries, supply buckets, etc.  But bookshelves can get expensive, they take up a lot of room, and if you want to rearrange things, you'd better life with your legs.  Zip-tying crates together serves the same purpose, and is a lot more manageable.
7. I have been coveting this cart since it came out.  I mean look at it - it's industrial/vintage chic, it's teal, and it has wheels.  I'm thinking guided reading books on the top shelf, guided reading books to be put back on the middle shelf, and dry erase boards and markers on the bottom.
8. A loft would be neat.  This is quite obviously the "BMW of lofts", but you get the picture.
9.   What has 2 thumbs and did not have an easy time learning to tell time?  This gal. I want to start early and teach often telling time on an analog clock if I get a younger grade.
10.  There *will* be a Boggle board in my classroom.  If I have kindergarten, it may just be a 3X3 board, but it will be there.  This is definitely the cutest one I've seen.

So there you have it, my classroom decor top 10.  I can't wait to see what next week's 10 Pin is going to be!

UPDATE:  Tonight at Wal-Mart, I happened to find six ADORABLE monster cups for $0.87!  Now that I've hit on this theme, it's going to be so hard not to buy everything in sight, especially with all the Monster's U stuff out right now.