Saturday, January 4, 2014

Teacher Tricks & Tidbits #1

After having several student teachers in my class, I thought back to my time in college & realized that many of the ideas I use in my classroom where not learned in the college setting.  They were taken from other teachers, and many of them have been instrumental in my classroom running smoothly.  So I thought that I would start a series of blogposts called...


Graphics & fonts courtesy of Mrs. Stanford's Class, Emily Wean Designs, and Cara Carroll

The first trick I learned from my student teaching mentor {shout out Mrs. P-Y!} is table points.  It is simple & effective in my first grade classroom.  I have named each table, or you could number them.  Staring on Monday, I write each table name on the board.  During the week I give points to tables who have all their items put away on time {I count from 10 to 0}, who are using synergy, or who are just being extremely well behaved.  At the end of the week, the table with the most points picks a prize from the prize box.

What I love about this is that you really start to see kids working as a team.  If a kid is a slow poke, other students will help them get their things put away on time.  Kids who love to chit chat will be reminded by their table mates to work quietly.  It is miraculous!

If you have any tricks, or tidbits, I would love to know!  Feel free to take this image {and copy & paste the links to the credits} and use it on your blog, FB, twitter, instagram, pinterest... am I missing anything?  Ha.  And then comment below with a link to your post because I'd love to read it!  Like I said, I learn best from other teachers like you :)

Stay tuned for trick #2...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SALE!! + Class Meeting Ideas

I LOVE shopping in my PJs at home.  Not fighting the crowds.  And watching HGTV while I shop.

Tomorrow is the perfect chance to do that during the Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale on the TpT Store.  {Isn't this button cute?  Thanks Primarily Speaking!}


I just finished my Class Meeting Pack in English or Spanish, so grab it while it's on sale if you would like to try out class meetings with your students :)


I also created some Christmas file folder games in English & Spanish last year.  

If you are looking for a craftivity to tie in with New Year's Goals, we had SO much fun with this last year in my class!  It is available in English & Spanish too.

Happy Shopping :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

M.A.T.H. Centers... Finally

I have been doing lots of IRIs and state mandated testing, so my kids were OvErJoYeD to start math centers recently.  I heard lots of things like:  "You're the nicest teacher ever" and "I loooove math centers!".  Made my day.

For the longest time, I had a hard time with math centers but I've finally seemed to find a system that really works.  I use 4 different colored bags to represent the letters M.A.T.H. {master facts, activities and games, talk math, and hands on}.  For each letter I have 3 bags, so there are 12 centers total.  You can find the resources to do this in your own classroom on TpT in English or in Spanish.  {The bags came from oriental trading}



I use a lot of game boards {purchased by our district}, games that we have already played as a whole class, and other easy games and activities.  Click here to get a few ideas of free games and activities.  Here are some pictures of the centers being played in my classroom:







I let students pick their own center and partner, but they are only allowed to play each center once.  The centers are labeled with a letter and a number, so students mark an "X" in the box after they choose their center.

I switch out the center activities and games periodically when we have done a new activity/ game in class.  There is really no schedule to changing the centers, though.  I just change a bag when I have something new to put in it.

I have found it to be an easy and manageable system!  I would love to hear how you do math centers in your class or if this idea sounds like something that you could use.  I can't believe we are nearing the end of October!!



Monday, September 2, 2013

A glance into my classroom {aka second home}

I decided that since I spend a craaazy amount of time in my classroom, I needed to brighten it up and add some "homey" touches.  So I did a small makeover this year, and wanted to show you some pics!

Here is my Leader in Me/ 7 Habits area.  I have my 7 habits posters in Spanish hanging in frames from the dollar tree.  I just glued ribbon to them and used hooks to hang them up!  I also have the habits listed on the tree.  The leader board, which I talk about more in a previous post, shows all my classroom jobs.  Each week, we will move the popsicle sticks and the jobs will change.  If you're wondering if this is a good system to use, I'll get back to you!  We're starting our jobs on Tuesday :)

I have an area to hang language arts, math, and science/ social studies posters.  I just used laminated butcher paper and border for this! {an excellent strategy for a Dual Language classroom}



Word wall + vocabulary wall + guided reading table + cute folders my friend Kelley got me :)

Here is one of my "homey" touches.  I bought a sheer curtain for $5 from Big Lots, then, I attached ribbon with safety pins.  I covered clothespins with scrapbook paper and hung pictures on.  Ta-da!  As cheesy as it sounds, these pictures remind me of my sweet friends and family on stressful days :)

Reading Center + Cute pillows from Ross


Pom Poms + Table signs

Click below to check out some other amazing classrooms-- teachers are SO creative!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to school SALE!

It's that time again!  I feel like the TpT sale is happening later than normal this year, so I am glad it is finally here.  Head on over to my TpT store as well as the other great sellers' stores to stock up on some fun back to school items.

{Thanks zip-a-dee-doo-dah Designs for the graphic!}

Here are some items you may be interested in!

7 Habits Activities in English or Spanish

Safari Schedule Cards in English or Spanish

Math Center Organization System in English or Spanish

Classroom Organizational Pack in English or Spanish

Word Work Centers in English or Spanish

Plus many more!  I hope you have fun stocking up your cart with products that will help your new school year to get off to a wonderful & less stressful start :).


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Meet the Teacher gift for kiddos {in Spanish!}

Have you seen this cute little idea floating around pinterest/ the teacher blog world?

I think it is so cute, but since I teach dual language I need something in Spanish.  So here is what I came up with!

The picture isn't the best, but I thought the baggies turned out cute!  I printed out labels, which you can get by clicking here.  I used Avery 1" x 2 5/8" labels {number 48260} and just printed them in black and white since I don't have color printing at home.  I bought scrapbook paper and fish stickers at Hobby Lobby and only spent a grand total of $3 or so.  I also used goldfish and snack sized ziploc bags.  To assemble the bags, I just cut out the scrapbook paper, folded it, and stapled it to the baggie filled with goldfish.  Then, I added the stickers/ label and VoiLa :).  I'd love to see pictures if you decide to use this idea in your classroom!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Classroom Jobs

I am finally starting to get into school mode again.  Is it really the end of July?   AaAaaHhh!!

I have been reading the "Leader in Me" book and am really excited to incorporate the 7 habits into my classroom this year. I decided to move from having a student of the day who helps me with everything to assigning classroom leaders.  The whole point of the Leader in Me program is to empower ALL students to be leaders.  Here is the leader board I created to match my classroom safari theme.  I plan to use popsicle sticks with the students' names on them and switch out the jobs once a week.  {well, actually have the kids switch the jobs!}


If you are looking for pre made classroom jobs, check out Krista Carlson's post at the Second Grade Superkids.  She is one of my favorite bloggers, and is selling them on the TpT store in stripes, safari, or polka dot theme!

How do you assign classroom jobs?