Sunday, July 28, 2013

Math Crayon Tins Save Time!

Hi Friends,
The countdown has begun.  I have 16 days before I go back to school.  YIKES!  My classroom is ready and I'm currently working on curriculum planning and a few other things that save learning time once school begins. 

I'd like to share how I use math crayon tins to save learning time during math.  My school district uses Saxon Math.  If you are familiar with Saxon Math, then you know that the kids need one or more of the 8 basic colors of crayons to complete some parts of their math worksheets on a daily basis.  Well, when kids need a red crayon, for example, there are always kids that can't find their red.  Sometimes they need two or three different colors and they may have two of them and not the other.  I don't like wasting class time having kids look through their desks for a particular color of a crayon.  So, what's a teacher to do?
Here's what I have been using for many years and it works great!  I put the 8 basic colors in an Altoid tin and put a name label on the lid.  Names will be added once I get my class list.

 These are stored in a plastic basket labeled "Math Crayons." 

The tins are passed out only during math time.  The kids always have the 8 basic colors they need in their tin.  There's no need to look in their desk.   Occasionally someone will say, "My green crayon is missing!"  Well, I planned for that too.  I have two caddies that hold the 8 basic colors, so kids know where to go if one of their crayons turns up missing.  When we are done with math, I always ask the kids to check their tins and make sure they have all 8 of their crayons. 


Here are some materials I used to prepare the math tins.

Where do I get the Altoid tins?  I have a friend's Dad that saves them for me? (Thanks Karen Uzzell!!!) 
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

My New Job Chart

Hi Friends,
My blogging friend, Tammy, from Forever in First shared the new Helper Chart she made the other day for her first grade classroom.  It turned out so darn cute that it inspired me to make a new chart for my classroom. I haven't used one for quite a while, so my old one was really showing its age.  You can check out Tammy's {Here} and mine below.

I started with a 14"x30" magnetic board from IKEA. 
Next, I got some scrapbooking supplies at Hobby Lobby to jazz it up!

I also got these colorful, circular brads from Hobby Lobby. I will be putting numbers on them after the kids pick which color they like best. 
I got some round magnets at Walmart to put on the back of the brads.  I just bent the prongs back and forth until they came off and them added a magnet.

Next, I typed a list of the jobs I wanted on the board.  I printed the list on white printable magnetic paper.  Then, I cut out each one.
Finally, I used some adhesive letters for the title "Job Chart." 

Here's a few close ups of the board.

Now I have to find a place in my classroom to hang it!
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Classroom in Pictures

Hi Friends,
I've been very busy working in my classroom this summer because I moved from the first floor of my school building to the second floor.  Why, you ask?  Well, I will be teaching 2nd grade instead of 1st this year.  I will be looping with my kids from last year.  I've looped before and really liked it, so I am looking forward to doing it again. 

I've made a Smilebox slideshow of what I've accomplished in my classroom so far.  I've written a caption under each picture, so I hope you can see it.  When I previewed this on Blogger, I couldn't see the caption.  Maybe when I post it, it will be visible.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free picture slideshow made with Smilebox
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Keep a Poem In Your Pocket

Hi Friends,
My classroom walls are full of bulletin boards and tack strips.  I always find ways to use them, but I have one long, narrow bulletin board above my chalkboard that has been divided in half by my Smart Board.  So, I have two smaller boards to decorate.  Here's what I came up with for one of them.  I used the title of Beatrice Schenk de Regniers' poem "Keep a Poem in Your Pocket" for the wording. I used 2" black letters for that.  Then I cut a pocket from an old pair of jeans and tucked a poem inside.  Here's how it turned out.

I love poetry and use lots of it in my classroom.  I plan to hang my poetry chart on the chalkboard below this board. 

Here's my inspiration from Pinterest.  I think I will type the poem and add it to my pocket like it is here.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wonder Wall

Hi Friends!
Don't you just LOVE Pinterest?  I am a visual learner, so it's perfect for me:)  However, the only problem with Pinterest is that I keep finding things I want to make for my classroom.  My most recent find is this...A Wonder Wall.
Here's my inspiration: {Here}


Our students are so full of wonder about the world around them and as teachers we don't always have time to answer their questions. Ask your students to write their question on a post-it and put it on the Wonder Wall. Later, when you have time, you can ask a student to share what he/she is curious about.  As a class, you can try to answer the question and if no one knows the answer, you can discuss how you might find it.  Then, you can do a little research together to find the answer. 

Here's my Wonder Wall:

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mrs. Meacham is AWESOME!

Hi Friends!
Do you know Mrs. Jessica Meacham?  She has an AWESOME website for teachers that you just have to see.  It's called Mrs. Meacham's Classroom Snapshots.  Jessica is a first grade teacher and generously shares almost everything she creates. You can literally spend days looking at all of her wonderful ideas and materials she has created.  I hope you will take some time to visit her website.  I promise you won't be disappointed! 

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Friday, July 5, 2013

I Love Heidi Songs!

Hi Friends,
I am a huge fan of Heidi Songs.  My favorite Heidi Songs DVD is called Sounds Fun Phonics. It's perfect for first grade, but would be great for kindergarten & 2nd grade as well. 

As you can see on the DVD cover, it helps kids learn 25 primary sound spelling patterns and 3 basic phonics rules using songs and movement.  These are the ones that are included:

My students loved learning the songs and dance moves that go along with each of them.  If you are looking for a fun way
to add singing and movement to your phonics lessons, I highly recommend this Heidi Songs DVD.  I love it as much as the kids!

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Library Tub & Reading Buddies Box

Hi Friends,
I used my Cameo for the very first time today to cut some letters out for my new library tub.  I got  the tub at Walmart for under $5.00.  I used Post-It Craft Paper which has a full-adhesive back.  It's like contact paper and comes in a variety of colors.  I believe you can find it at Staples.  Here's how it turned out.

It's very simple, but will do the job of toting and housing our library books from week to week.  (I think I need to add something to the top ring of the tub!)

I also bought a decorated plastic box from Walmart to store the Beanie Babies (Reading Buddies) my students will read to this year.  I was using larger stuffed animals, but I just don't have the space in my classroom.  Here's a picture of it.

Well, now I can check off two more things on my To-Do List:)

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