Shopping for school supplies and things for my classroom is probable one of my favorite things. I am not ashamed to admit that I get excited about a fresh box of crayons or a brand new pack of dry erase pockets.
I often get asked by parents to let them know if there is anything we need for our classroom. The simplest way to share these items with parents is to show them a classroom wish list. I'm so excited that Oriental Trading has a new feature that makes it easy to keep my parents informed on what is needed in my classroom.
Setting up a wish list with Oriental Trading is simple. Here is what you need to do:
1. Log into your account.
2. Click on wishlist from the top menu (there is heart beside it).
3. Start adding those items.
I like to add items that are always need in my classroom such as pencils, stamps, manipulative such as dice, and holiday items for classroom parties. Once you have your wish list set up, you can share the link with parents via e-mail, classroom newsletter, through Facebook, etc. It's also a good idea to change our your items based on each season and then share your list with parents every few months.
Here is a sneak peak of my own Oriental Trading wish list that I'll be sharing with my classroom parents.
Disclosure: I was provided items to review by Oriental Trading, but all opinions expressed are my own.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
I'm always looking for fun ways to incorporate comprehension into my small group time. This week, I've been setting up my new classroom came across these pinwheels that I bought from the dollar store. Today, I'll be sharing how I use these little gems during my small group time.
A few years ago, I came across these fun pinwheels at the dollar store. I bought a few to use during my small group time. All I did was write comprehension questions on index cards and tape them onto each pedal of the pinwheel. This example has story element cards.
Have your students spin the wheel and answer the question that is at the top. It's that simple! I love these because they can be used for so many different topics across all subject areas. I have sets for math and vocabulary too. The possibilities are endless. So the next time you see these little gems in the dollar store, grab a few! The kids love them.
Have a great day!
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Hi friends! It is no surprise that I am a huge fan of Teachers Pay Teachers. It has changed my teaching style in so many positive ways. It is also probably no surprise, that teachers spend A LOT of their OWN MONEY on resources for their classroom. I recently learned that most people do not know that you can get discounts on the products you purchase. Today I'll be sharing how you can get some of your favorite goodies at a discounted price.
When you purchase an item on TPT, make sure to leave feedback on those products. This allows you to earn credits towards future purchases. For every dollar you spend, you earn one credit after you provide feedback. If you buy a product for $3, you'll earn 3 TPT credits. They will round up for you, too! If you provide feedback on an item that is $4.75, you'll earn 5 TPT credits. Every 100 credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future purchases, but there is no need to wait until you have 100 to redeem them. 50 credits is worth $2.50
Check out this video tutorial to see exactly how to leave feedback. I'll walk you through the entire process, how to see which products you need to leave feedback on, how to check your credit balance, and how to apply credits towards your purchases.
Now here are some tips from a seller on leaving feedback. First, if you have any sort of concern about the product that you purchased (spelling error, font choice, etc...) please contact the seller via e-mail or leave them a Q&A on TPT. Please don't leave bad feedback for this. Sellers are more than happy to fix anything that may be wrong. You can also leave feedback on free downloads too. Although you will not earn credit for these downloads, sellers appreciate your kindness. Freebies are hard work to create. All products are time consuming, even if it is something simple. Take the time to say thank you for all their hard work.
Now go leave some feedback and redeem those credits for some awesome goodies!!!!
Labels: Teacher Advice
Friday, June 24, 2016
Hey ya'll! Place value is one of the first skills we teach at the beginning of the year and we review it throughout the year. Today I am going to share one of my favorite activities to practice this skill and it is a big hit with kids. It's called Place Value Toss! I'm all about hands-on learning and getting the kids up out of their seats. This game is perfect for that.
Here is what you need to get set up. You can click on the affiliate links to purchase.
- 2-4 baskets (depending on the level you are teaching)
- 10 bean bags or something soft to toss.
- Dry erase boards and markers
- Place Value Posters
I printed my place value posters 4 to a page and taped them onto the tubs. Label each tub based on the level of your students (tens, hundreds, thousands). If you are working on place value to the thousands you need 4 buckets, to the hundreds you'll need three buckets, or if you are reviewing two digits, you only need two tubs.
Here is how to play:
1. Line the tubs up vertically. If it's a pretty day, take the game outside! If you are in your classroom, make sure you have plenty of space to spread out the tubs.
2. A student stands on a marked spot and tries to toss all 10 bean bags into the tubs.
The number of bean bags in each tub represents the value for that number. This represents 1,221 because their is one bag in the thousands tub, two in the hundreds, two in the tens, and one in the ones tub. The bags that didn't make it into a tub do not count.
3. The kids that are sitting at their desks write the score on their white boards. You can do this with number form, expanded notation, word form, etc...Make sure they are seated in a way that they can see the bean bags being tossed and where they land.
I have them draw a place value chart so they can keep tally of where the bean bags land.
4. When the teacher gives a signal, the students sitting at their desks show their answers. The students who tossed the bean bags reveals the answer (if they aren't sure, they can check with the teacher for help). If the students at their desks got it right, they get a point by putting a tally on their white boards.
5. Then the game repeats by choosing another student to toss the bean bags.
I hope your classroom will love playing place value toss as much as my class did. If you're looking for more ideas for your math block, check out my Math Pinterest Board.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Mother's Day is right around the corner and I wanted to share this easy gift idea with you. If you are a teacher or a mom you probably have an obsession with notepads. You can never have too many of them. I can't be the only one who has a drawer full and still buys more when I see a cute one in the Dollar Spot! Right?!? Last year, we made these fun notepads to give as gifts and they were a huge success! Most importantly, they were easy prep and very inexpensive. For a class set of 22 kids, It cost me less than $10 to make these.
You'll need to download a copy of the notepad sheets! There is a copy for moms, aunts, and grandmas. I made copies onto fun bright paper from Astrobrights that I already had on hand. I bought a 5 sets of chevron pens from Dollar Tree and three sets of different colored ribbon from Dollar Tree as well.
These three rolls were barely enough, so I would suggest buying more than 3 just to be safe.
I ran off enough copies so that each child could pick out 20 sheets to add to their notepad. Once you've made copies, cut them in half so you get 2 notebook sheets from one page. I used a hole punch to make 2 holes at the top. This is where the ribbon will go.
I let each child come up and pick their own colors of paper for their notepad and then they chose which color of ribbon they wanted. We threaded the ribbon through the holes of the paper and tied a bow to keep all the papers in place. They add a little fun the the pen with these cute flowers. I traced a flower pattern onto colored paper and and the kids decorate them and wrote sweet messages. I laminated them and glued them onto then end of the pen with hot glue. They turned out so cute!
If you like this idea and want to use it in your classroom, you can click here to download the notepad sheets. You can pin the image below to save it for later.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Spring is here and my friends and I are back to celebrate! We have each chosen a book to help you spring into reading (like how I did that hehehe) or to help get you though the school year. Each of us has also created a freebie to go along with the book we will be sharing! How awesome is that?!? All you need to do is hop to each blog to grab the freebie to go along with each book! There is more! You can also enter for a chance to win ALL 8 BOOKS! You read that right. Want to know how you can win? Keep reading this post to find out!
*This post contains affiliate links*The Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems is one of my favorites. I chose Knuffle Bunny because I always loved sharing it with my class during this time of year. One of my favorite things about this story is that Mo uses real photographs to go along with his illustrations.
Knuffle Bunny is about a young girl named Trixie and her favorite friend, Knuffle Bunny. One day, Trixie, Knuffle Bunny and her dad take a trip to the Laundromat. They have the best day until Trixie realizes that somebunny was left behind once they got home. Will Trixie and her dad be able to find Knuffle Bunny? I guess you'll have to read the story to find out!
I have a fun freebie to share with you that goes along with this book. This flip flap book is to be used to practice sorting syllables.
You can grab this freebie by clicking here or on the photo below.
Now for the GIVEAWAY details! Here is how you can enter to win 8 AMAZING books for YOUR classroom! Before you hop on to see my sweet friend, Jen from Teaching in the Tongass, don't forget to grab my number! Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way and when you're done, add them all up and enter the sum into the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Hey ya'll! Are you a Spotify user? I'm slightly obsessed with it. I've been a user for about 4 years and love everything about it. Spotify is a music app and computer download that allows you to create playlists of your favorite songs, download pre-made playlists made by others and browse tons of radio stations. I do believe that it is free to set up. I've had the premium account for years which offers unlimited playing and access to all the songs. While I love Pandora and iHeart Radio, Spotify is different because it allows you to search for ANY song you want to hear. In the mood for some Miranda Lambert? Just search her name and ALL of her songs pull up. What if you want to jam out to some 90's boy bands? You are in luck! Just search N'SYNC or the Backstreet Boys and those childhood memories come rushing back!
I'm all about music and it is a big part of my life, even though I can't carry a tune to save my life. When I was in the classroom, I aways had something playing in the background. Pandora was blocked at my school so Spotify was a great alternative. I had the computer download and all of my playlists synced to my phone so I could use both. I used music as a reward incentive. Every day I would choose a student or two to pick what song they wanted to listen too as long as it was school friendly. I could easily search and find any song they wanted to hear and saved all their favorites in a "school" playlist so that I always had them and didn't have to search overtime. Let me share with you my top 10 Spotify playlists you can use in your classroom.
2. Disney's Greatest Hits Volume 2: This fun playlist features songs from your favorite Disney movies such as the Lion King, Mulan, Pocahontas, and more.
3. Radio Disney: This channel has current hits that the kids love and it's updated frequently.
4. Deep in the Heart-Big Songs for Little Texans: If you live in Texas, you are probably very familiar with the Texas Country or Red Dirt music scene. It's my favorite! Artists like Reckless Kelly, Arron Watson, Stoney LaRue, Walt Wilkins, Randy Rogers and more put out a kids album. Some of the songs include "This Land is Your Land" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." It's super fun!
5. The Countdown Kids: This playlist is definitely for the primary grades or if you have young kids. It features your favorite kids songs and nursery rhymes such as "London Bridge is Falling Down" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb".
6. Spongebob Square Pants: Yes, Spongebob has his own music playlist along with a few others as well. The kids love it.
7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: This is one of my favorites! Hearing the Chipmunks sing Uptown Funk is a must and the kids go NUTS over it!
8. The Raging Idiots: If you listen to the Bobby Bones morning show, you'll know what this is all about. Bobby and Eddie from this show have a comedy parody band called The Raging Idiots and all the profits they make go to charity. They just released this kids album and it is great. It features educational songs and provides encouragement for young children. I love it and so does my husband. We listen to it and we are grown adults! LOL The Planet Song is my favorite. It'll get stuck in your head for sure.
9. Mozart for Kids: This playlist is perfect for when you need some calming down time and a little bit of quiet.
10. The Piano Guys: These guys are amazing and play beautifully. This is another great playlist to have for those quiet moments.
My favorite thing about using Spotify is that there are NO commercials (with the premium) version. I never have to worry about what kind of language the kids are going to hear and I can control everything. It is my go to for all things music.
Do you use Spotify? What are some of your favorite stations?