Saturday, April 19, 2014

Oceans of Fun


This past week was Spring Break where I live.  I thought it might be fun if you tried to guess where my family went.  Leave your guess in the comments below.  One of the teachers with the correct answers will get to choose a packet $6 or less from my store.

Here are some clues:


The scenery was beautiful!


Sea lions were there to greet us.


My favorite memory was seeing orcas in the wild.

Although I was at the coast, the temperature was chilly.  I bought a sweatshirt to stay warm on the boat tour.


Do you know where I went?  Leave your guess in the comment section.

To keep with the oceans of fun theme, I am going to put some of my ocean themed packets on sale this weekend (April 19, 20).

Sale price:  $3.20
Click HERE to read more about this packet.

Sale price: $3.99
Click HERE to read more about this packet.

Sale price:  $3.99
Click HERE to read more about this packet.

Sale price: $3.99
Click HERE to read more about this packet.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

3 FREEBIES for you!


It has been a year since my friend, Fern and I began our Dynamic Duo monthly giveaways.  We have had a fun time working together and of course we love to give stuff away!

Fern recently came up with a new idea.  Each week, we are going to make one of our normally priced packets free for one day.  This is our way of showing a little appreciation to our followers who have loyally followed our blogs.  As an added bonus, we are going to invite a different blogger friend each week to join us.  Not only will you get free stuff, you might get to "meet" someone new and want to follow his or her store, too.  How great is that?!!!  Make sure you visit our blogs every Thursday!



Click HERE to download your freebie.

Just a reminder:  You will not be able to leave feedback after we change it back to a paid for lesson.




Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas


http://goingnuttyinmisssquirrelsfirstgrade.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fluency Task Cards: Spring Time

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Fluency-Task-Cards-Earth-Day-Weather-Farm-Garden-Frogs-and-Bugs-1204155
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Strengthen your students' fluency skills and add a little Spring fun to your lessons with these Spring themed topic fluency task cards.

There are seven different topics and four task cards for each topic.  You can organize the cards by topic.  There are cover cards included if you bind yours together or clip them with a ring.




You can also organize them by level.  There are cover cards included for levels, too.



Here is a preview of the task cards about frogs.


If you organize the task cards by topic, you can give your students this printable to complete after they read the cards.  There is a place to record their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading plus answer a question about each card.


The answers are also included so you can make this a self-checking center.


Click HERE if you'd like to see the preview of this file.





Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas: Missing Work



If you were a fly on the wall in any teachers' lounge, one of the common frustrations you will hear discussed is missing work.   How do you get your students to do all of their work?  


This month for our Bright Ideas Blog Hop, I thought I'd share a few tips to help with the missing work issue.

Through my years of teaching, my missing work philosophy changed.  When I first began teaching, it was a black and white issue.  The assignment was expected on the day it was due.  I only accepted missing work from students that were absent.  If parents questioned my policy, I always gave them the standard party line, "I am preparing your child for life."

One day I had a parent question this a little further.  You know there are parents that can question things the right way and others who question things the wrong way.  This parent was one of the right way parents.  He pointed out that in real life, mortgage companies have a grace period.  You can pay your mortgage payment a few days late without a late fee.  Some utilities companies also work this way.  But, the electric company won't keep your electricity on forever.  If you go a few months without paying your electric bill, your electricity will be turned off.  Could I make my late work policy more like the real world?  

It made sense to me.  I readjusted to policy to make it more like real life.  I set the date of two weeks before the end of the grading period as my "electricity turn off" date.  After this date, late work would be marked a zero.  I thought it would be too complicated to set a specific number of days for a grace period.  Instead, I set the last Friday of every month as my "catch up" day.  All work assigned that month could be turned in without a penalty.  Because it was a set day of every month, students and parents were aware of the day and it became part of our routine.  Work turned in the following month would be marked down 15%.  I think my students and parents were more engaged with my late work policy because they saw that it was like real life. 

In the meantime, there are things you can do to help your students improve their work habits.


Write the class work and homework in the same section of your white board or chalkboard every day.  You want to train your students to look there.  The visual support is very important with students who have trouble turning in their work.  


Do your students write their assignments on a calendar or chart of some type? Train them to highlight the assignments AFTER they turn it in.  This way when they are packing up at the end of the day, they can easily see which assignments AREN'T highlighted.  Those are the assignments that they need to take home.


Pair up your students at the end of the day.  These are pack-up pals.  Pack-up pals will double check to make sure assignments were written down correctly on their calendar or work chart PLUS make sure they take home the needed books and materials to complete their homework.


Put your students in groups of three.  These groups are study buddies.  Study buddies will exchange phone numbers.  If a study buddy has a question about a homework assignment, he or she can call one of his or her study buddies.


If your school uses an electronic communication system, utilize it consistently.  Consistency is the key!  

Do you have any strategies that have helped your students turn in their work on time?

I hope you have enjoyed our Bright Ideas Blog Hop!  Follow me on Bloglovin and Facebook so you don't miss out on my other ideas that I share!

Don't forget to visit the other bloggers who are sharing their Bright Ideas, too.  Come back and visit us next month, too.  

Newsletter: Weekly Wrap Ups


You have probably seen quite a few messages lately about the changes with the Facebook pages that you have "liked".  Facebook have made some changes in what you see in your newsfeed. Here is a post that explains a bit more about this:  CLICK HERE.  The bottom line is Facebook is a business and they want to make money, which I understand. With the new way, in order for more of the people who have liked my page to see what I post, I would have to pay to boost my posts.  With my number of followers, it would cost me $100 per post.  I usually post 3 things a day.  I do not have an extra $9,000 a month to spend on boosting my post so I can share ideas with teachers who have liked my Teach123 Facebook page.  It does help if you interact frequently with the Facebook pages that you want to see in your newsfeed.  You can interact by liking, sharing, or commenting on posts.  One of the things I am now doing is clicking "like" on every post of the pages that I want to contineu to see in my newsfeed.  My "like" is my new way of telling the FB page owner that I saw the post.

One of the things I enjoy doing on my FB page is telling my followers when I added something new to my store and giving a few copies away.  With fewer people seeing what I post, I am looking for new ways to communicate with my followers.  One idea I have is to do a weekly wrap up through my newsletter.

I would still like to give a few copies of my new lessons away. I am going to see how it works to do it my newsletter.  Here's how it will work.  Each newsletter I will give links to a few of my lessons packets.  I will choose a few email addresses.  If your email address is chosen, email me at (teach123.school@gmail.com) and tell me which one of the links I shared below you would like me to send you.  That's it!  Easy peasy!

If you are a subscriber to my newsletter, check your inbox because you may be a winner!  

If you haven't subscribed yet, click on the picture below and check each week to see if you are the winner.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Project Based Learning


I am always on the lookout for new tools that I can use with lessons.  Anything with technology is always a big plus!  I just found a new site that I think you will love.  It can be used so many different ways.  

TikaTok is a project-based learning tool.  This site has a bunch of colorful templates that your students can use to make eBooks.  Your students can add their own photos, illustrations, and writing to make it their own creation.

There are many different templates that can be easily implemented with your curriculum.  Here is one example:


The picture dictionary template would be a perfect word work center.  Each template includes the Common Core Standards.



Students will write the definition of the word and use the word in a sentence.


Students can write their own definitions or use a dictionary.

Here are a few of the other templates that are included on this site:


Wouldn't it be fun to let each student in your class write a page about your field trip?  Then print and bind the book and add it to your class library.  What a great way to preserve the memories!


One of these templates would be perfect for an end-of-the-year book.  

This month is poetry month.  There are different poetry templates that you can use.


Would you like to try it, too?  You are in luck!  Click HERE and you can try out this site free for 90 days.  You must activate this before June 30th.

Use this between now and April 28th and you could win an Amazon gift card.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me how you used it.  Example:  poetry lesson, word work center, science unit, etc.  Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you are the winner.





Freebie Fridays

Thursday, April 10, 2014

3 FREEBIES for you!


It has been a year since my friend, Fern and I began our Dynamic Duo monthly giveaways.  We have had a fun time working together and of course we love to give stuff away!

Fern recently came up with a new idea.  Each week, we are going to make one of our normally priced packets free for one day.  This is our way of showing a little appreciation to our followers who have loyally followed our blogs.  As an added bonus, we are going to invite a different blogger friend each week to join us.  Not only will you get free stuff, you might get to "meet" someone new and want to follow his or her store, too.  How great is that?!!!  Make sure you visit our blogs every Thursday!


Click HERE to download your freebie.

Just a reminder:  You will not be able to leave feedback after we change it back to a paid for lesson.



Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Too much energy?

https://www.gonoodle.com/?ref_id=teach123

This is one of the most stressful times of the year.  You feel pressure from administration and parents about the upcoming standardized tests.  No matter how many times you go over some of the material, you know that some of your students will not perform at the level that you would like.

Then there are the woes with the weather.  One too many inside recess means students with too much energy!  After working on test prep all morning, students need a recess and so does their teacher!

This past week, one of the teachers in a Facebook group that I belong to, shared a new site that she found that is the perfect cure for this.  Have you heard of GoNoodle? If you follow my friends, Tessa @ Tales from Outside the Classroom or Kelley @ Teacher Idea Factory you probably saw their posts about how excited they are about this site.

GoNoodle is FREE!  All you need is an Internet connection, computer, projector and screen or interactive whiteboard.

I have a Pinterest board that is devoted to brain breaks.  But, one of my biggest complaints about the videos that I pin to this board is the video works when I initially pin it to the board.  But, a few days later when I click on the pin, it often doesn't work anymore.  Either the video is now a "private" video or the link is broken.  I know it worked when I pinned it but it doesn't seem to work very long.  It is very frustrating!


GoNoodle will solve this problem!  There are a variety of videos that vary in length from 1 - 12+ minutes.  The videos are grouped in categories. (see above)  Plus you can save them under "favorites" which is a quicker way to get to the ones your students love.  These videos are all quality videos and THEY WORK when you click on them! How great is that?!!!!


On this site, your class will have a mascot.  To add a little fun:
  •  Let your class vote for the class mascot.
  • Let your students write a persuasive essay about which creature should be their class mascot.
  • Divide your class into 6 groups.  Hold a class election to choose the mascot.  Each group will be assigned a different mascot, organize a campaign, and choose a spokesperson.



The videos vary in length so you can use them for brain breaks or inside recess.  I love this Zumba kids: Wipeout.  The graphics are colorful; your students will love the music, and showing off their dance moves!


The Let's Move Workout video is perfect for your rainy days.  It is almost 13 minutes, which will give your little wigglers plenty of time to get rid of some of their excess energy.


Do you have students who thrive on goal setting?  They will love the graphics that show what level they are on, how many minutes they have worked out, and how many minutes to the next level.  I'm sure that in a very short time your students will be asking for a GoNoodle break.




Freebie Fridays

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