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Showing posts from 2017

Digital Math Games

Let's be honest, being a teacher mom is not easy.  Sleep is virtually non existent these days so finding the time to work your side job is a novelty.  I have been sneaking in a few moments here and there to knock out this awesome product. 

 These math games focus on math fact fluency for +1 through +10 facts.  Each game has its own theme and is self-checking.  

These games are not editable so that students can't change them or mess them up for the next person.  You can easily differentiate based on each student's needs by assigning them the facts that they are working on.  


These games use PowerPoint which can be downloaded for free on iPads and other tablets.  

You can scoop up the bundle to save money and get started right away!

7 Back To School Lunch Tips

Heading back to school is tough, especially when you have to plan ahead for lunch.  Here are a few tips to help you get organized with the back to school lunch routine.


1. Find the school lunch menu. Some schools send home a lunch menu and others just post their menu online.  Sit down with your child and write the menu items your child enjoys on your home calendar (less papers to keep track of) or circle the days they would like to buy lunch on the printed menu.  This way, you know ahead of time which days you need to pack lunch and which days you don't need to worry about it.  Parents have no idea how little their students eat at school.  Most of their bought lunches get thrown away and approximately half of the milk never even gets opened.  We are unable to return milk at our school once it leaves the cooler.  We throw gallons of milk away everyday that was never even touched.  Please make sure your child is actually going to eat the lunch your are paying for.


2. Put a reminder …

7 Times Not To Send Your Child To School

Teachers love their students more than parents will ever understand.  We love seeing their bright and cheery smiles every morning.  However, when you put that many people in a small room for each day, you are bound to share germs.  We simply cannot Lysol our rooms enough.  If kids say they are sick, they probably are.  Please believe them.  Please remember that we take all of their germs home to our families as well.  It's very difficult for us to take a sick day because the work doesn't simply sit on our desk waiting for us.  We have to come to school and get plans and materials ready. Each doctor and school has their own guidelines, but here are some basics.


If your child has had a fever within the last 24 hours please let them stay home.  It doesn't matter if you gave them medicine and it brought it down.  Keep in mind, the medicine will wear off by lunchtime and they will be miserable again.

If your child was vomiting or had diarrhea, keep them at home.  They are conta…

5 Steps To Help You Integrate Art Into Your Classroom

Choose A Time
Choose which subject you would like to integrate art into and what day.  In my classroom, this is Math on Friday.  I am not a "crafty" teacher by nature.  My teaching partners are much better at including art projects into their plans.  I decided on Fridays, after our lesson we would do a math related craft instead of meeting with small groups.  Friday is an easy choice for me because it is jeans day, it's relaxed, and we are wore out from a busy week.


Create A Subject Overview
I created an outline of our math that includes the month and the topic for the week.  This way, I knew that I needed a place value craft for October and a shape craft for December.


Pinterest
Pinterest is your best friend!  I saved ideas that I found to a Pinterest board so that I could reference them later when I was ready to create or download if a template was available.  Think of a variety of terms, to search for and sometimes less specific is better.  Halloween Place Value Crafts m…

5 Classroom Supplies To Buy At Sam's Club

So many teachers forget about purchasing classroom supplies at Sam's Club.  We all think about Wal-Mart or Target or even Amazon, but Sam's Club often has an even better price.  Prices will depend on the day and your location, but these are the items that I tend to purchase at Sam's. White Out Tape
Cardstock Colored Paper
Glue Sticks
10 Drawer Carts

Dry Erase Markers

8 Ways to Speed Up Classroom Transitions

Have Materials Ready Line up all of your lesson materials on an open table for easy access.  We start our math lesson off with a fact fluency song every morning, so I use this time to get materials out.  2-3 minutes is typically all it takes for me to grab the necessary boxes and line them all up.

Bowls I also have a stack of large bowls in my room that I can fill up with anything to enable everyone to reach the materials.  If we are using pattern blocks, I can place 6 bowls of blocks out rather than asking everyone to grab 1 red trapezoid, 2 yellow hexagons, etc. 

Split Up Boys & Girls Have your boys go put their paper in their mailbox, while the girls put their clipboards away.  Then switch.  This automatically cuts traffic in half and speeds the process up.  The same rule applies when working with partners.  Have partner 1 go get dry erase materials for both people, while partner 2 gets the necessary papers & supplies.

Use Music Websites such as Flocabulary, YouTube, Amazon …

Public Service Announcement Review

As a teacher viewing these videos, I felt sad for the state of technology integration in some schools.  These videos had clear messages supporting technology and it is a shame that we still need to convince educators to use it in their classrooms.
In reality though, I'm sure viewpoints are similar to those when the first car, t.v., or personal computer were invented.  There were people that embraced it and others that did not.  It took a little convincing before everyone was on board with the new technology.  
The Essay - Video 2:  My Interpretation This video had a powerful message.  I believe people thought the young girl was crazy for the ideas presented in her essay.  The students laughed, the teacher took her to the principal who called the parents, they took her to the doctor, and then to the psychologist.  People couldn't even imagine anything like that being true and the girl was quite proud of her ideas.  
Video 2 - Role:  Teacher As a teacher viewing this video, I thoug…

Infographics In The Classroom

Infographics appear to be the "poster" of the 21st century.  It is a highly effective way for students to display their learning while incorporating a variety of technology and artistic skills. Due to the fact that I teach first grade, I am not sure I would use this in my classroom.  First graders have a difficult time reading and writing independently.  That combined with the extensive number of computer skills (clicking, dragging, rotating shapes, recoloring, etc.) could lead to a very frustrated class.   If I taught an older grade, I could absolutely see the value of this assignment.  Students could work on their infographic anywhere without carrying around a variety of supplies.  Each student would have the ability to create their infographic in a creative way that represents themselves as a graphic designer.  This would be a great way for students to summarize their learning across the subject areas.  I feel that students would enjoy making a polished graphic such as t…

Online Presentation Reflection

I explored two different online presentation tools this week and created classroom ready projects for both.

Padlet was up first.  Padlet is a collaborative digital bulletin board.  People from anywhere around the world with internet access and permission can add material to the board for everyone to view in real time.  This creates a wonderful way to have a class discussion, work on a group project, or collect work samples for display.  Learning about continents and oceans in first grade can be very challenging for our students as many of them don't know their own address, let alone anything about the rest of the world.  If we were to create a group project we could upload our findings to Padlet to keep track of our learning.  I believe with some practice, even a first grader could learn to use Padlet by the end of the year.  Click on my sample Padlet below:

Padlet would also be an easy way for students to document their learning with a photo or answer a question rather than using …

Fail to Plan...Plan to Fail

I hate to say it, but you need to start getting organized for next year, now, not in August.  You should be able to walk out of your classroom at the end of the school year and feel prepared for next year, rather than overwhelmed.

Map out your available times throughout the day and figure out what you can get done during each time slot.  If you know you can type your newsletter up during lunch & recess, then write it down.  If you know it will take you all day on Friday to make your copies whenever you have a free moment...write it down.  If you make a plan and stick to it, you will accomplish more at school and have less to worry about at home.


Now for the "big" planning...First up, is creating a list of what works and what doesn't.  Just the other day I found a mistake on a word work paper and jotted it down so that I remember to make the correction for next year.  I recommend printing off these sheets and keeping them with your grade book. For now, take the first…