Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Sale

It is a Leap Day Sale!!!  Come on over to my TPT store and check it out!  I have lots of FREE documents to download.  Below are a few of the things you will find in my store.  Happy Leap Day!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Station Organization

Station Organization
Keeping things organized in the classroom is so important!  This also includes literacy stations.  If your stations are organized and the students have all the materials needed at the station you will have fewer interruptions and more productive learning during your station time.  One way I kept my stations organized was by using these baskets at the stations.  Inside all the materials would be located.  I used child cups donated from a local restaurant to store markers.  Inside the other cups are crayons and then a pencil is in the straw spot.  I also used these for the students during the year as well.  They take up a lot less space than toolboxes. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Missing Number POP!

Missing Number Pop

This is a quick and easy game I created for my students to work on identifying the number that comes before and after.  Simply put all the cards upside down on the popcorn box.  The students draw one card at a time.  If they correctly say the number that comes before or after they get to keep the card.  If not it goes back into the pile.  If the student draws a POP card then he/she missing their turn.  The player with the most cards at the end is the winner. 

In my classroom I will put the cards in a plastic popcorn container like the one below. 

Included in this FREE game:

Before and after number cards (numbers 10-200)
One copy of a popcorn box

If you would like to use this game in your classroom download it for FREE here!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Snowball Math

Snowball Math

I created this FREE Snowball Math worksheet for my students to work on identifying the biggest number.  Students will count the snowballs and then use <, > and =.  I use this when first introducing the topic.  If you would like to get this FREE Snowball Math worksheet just click here!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Portable Classroom

I am no longer able to teacher full time but I do work 12 hours a week working with small groups of students in 1st, 3rd and 4th grade.  I really enjoy being able to still teach a little.  In this position I do not have a specific room so I need a portable classroom.  So I loaded up one of my caddies from kindergarten.  :)  Here is what I include in my portable classroom. 

In my caddy I have two boxes with pencils and pens.  The kids are ALWAYS in need of a pencil and it saves lots of time to have them handy for the kids to use. 

I also use this very cute Husker clip board to record notes during the day.  I took off the paper for the picture.  This was my favorite purchase from the fall craft fair this year. 

Next is my Angry Bird.  This was a gift my husband recieved at Christmas from his Mom.  He let me take it to school to use and it is the biggest hit!  I use it for all kinds of things.  When we ask questions we will throw him from one person to the next.  Really simple and easy.

My caddy would not be complete without my many "sweet spots."  I only took out a few.  One portion of my caddy just carries "sweet spots."  The dragon picture on the side is a picture a student made for me.  So, I taped it to the side of my caddy. 

Last I included the wonderful smelly markers that I use to check papers.  The kids love to pick their favorite smell.  Also, I have my antibactierial spray with me at all times.  :)

Sometimes it can be hard not having my own space but I have grown to really like moving around the school throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pretzel Place Value Activity

This is a math activity I created for my students to work on place value.  It is a great activity to use when first introducing place value.  I used this in a math small group.  Just download this FREE Pretzel Place Value  activity and purchase some pretzel sticks.  J 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Color by Place Value

I created this FREE document to help students work on place value.  It is an easy way for them to practice identifying numbers in the ones, tens, and hundreds place values.  Using the color code at the top the students color the boxes according to the place value of the underlined number. 

To download the document for FREE from my TPT store click here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Math Stations Tubs

Math Stations

In my classroom I had guided math and math station time.  During this time I would meet with small groups of kids for guided math groups.  The students that were not in the small group would work independently in math stations.  In my classroom I did not have the room to have my math stations out on tables.  So, I made portable math station tubs. 

Each tub contained the materials for the specific math station.  I stored all of my math station tubs in cubbies.  I printed labels for the front of each tub.  I also taped a matching label on the bottom of the cubby.  This made it easy for the students to put the stations back into the right location.  It also helped the students know where to find the math station each time. 
 I created these math station tub labels and I wanted to share them with you for FREE!  J  I used these same labels on my tubs and also for my station icons.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Small Group Material Tubs

Keeping all your materials for small groups can be challenging. I am sharing how I kept all of my small group lesson material organized. Behind my small group kidney table I had this storage space. Each white tub would pull out. Inside each tub I kept materials needed for small groups.

I created labels for the front of each tub.  Using clear self-adhesive business card holders (find at any office store) I simply printed the labels on business cards and inserted the label.  Then I filled the tubs with all the materials and games that corresponded with the lesson/material topic.

When teaching small groups I could easily find the materials I needed for my lesson.  It also made it easy for planning my groups.  You can pull out the tubs and look for ideas quickly.  I was lucky to have such a cool storage unit in my classroom.  If you don’t have these it would be just as easy to recreate with tubs or a large plastic storage cart.

If you would like to use the labels to make your own small group materials tubs just click here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Notes

Happy Notes

My last idea (for now) to reinforce positive behavior in the classroom are happy notes.  Each day I would watch for students that stood out to me as having a great day.  Each day I would write two happy notes.  You can give them out for good behavior, showing good friendship skills, academic… anything!  At the end of the day I would read the happy notes out loud to the class and those students would get to take the note home and line up first to go home.  J  In order to be sure everyone got a happy note I would always write one of the happy notes for the student helper for the day.  I would also write the names in my plan book incase I needed to double check quickly.  These take two minutes out of the day and mean the world to the students!  I had parents give me printed pads with “ AHappy Note From Mrs. Henning” at the top.  However, you can use anything!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sweet Spots

Sweet Spots

Today I am sharing my second idea for reinforcing positive behavior. These are amazing!!! J My amazing teammate brought this idea one week and I have used them since! It is SO easy and fun. All you need is a collection of different lip smacker lip gloss. When students are making good choices reward them by putting the lip gloss on the top of their hand in a little spot. It sounds funny. The kids can smell the “sweet spot” throughout the day. Just put the lip gloss in your pocket and you are ready to go! I used this in kindergarten and it was very popular. Currently I am working part time with 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade and they also love the “sweet spots.” For the older kids I found lip gloss flavored like their favorite pop. Example: mountain dew and dr pepper.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Warm Fuzzy

Would you like to find ways to better reinforce positive behavior in your classroom?  Then stay tuned!  Over the next couple of days I will be posting fun ideas that will do just that!  I used all of these in my classroom and I can tell you they work.  Plus they are all quick and easy to do (which is SO important for teachers).  Here is my first idea!

Warm Fuzzy
A warm fuzzy is a great way to reinforce positive behavior as well.  I saw this a few years back and just loved the idea.  I had a jar with fuzzy craft balls inside.  Anytime I saw a student making a good choice I would give them a warm fuzzy.  They would carry it around in their pocket during the day.  The kids LOVED this and it is so easy.  If you would like a label to make your own warm fuzzy jar just click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take-Home Bags

One way I love to get parents involved with their child’s learning is using take-home bags.  Several years ago I found these wonderful take-home bags on Shari Sloane's website .  If you have not ever seen this site you must go and browse! 

I purchased the “It’s In the Bag” packet from this site.  All of the blackline masters for the activities are included.  I then made the same bags but made my own bag covers.  Then I ironed the covers to canvas bags and began decorating.  J 

Inside each bag is a laminated direction sheet.  The sheet helps parents understand the expectations for the take-home bags.  It also gives instructions as to when to return the bag.  Most of the bags are to be brought back the following day.  However, some bags will be kept for a couple days or over the week.   I also include a laminated folder with the title “Activity Pages Take Only One.”  This allows me to make class copies and include them in the bag.  This will save LOTS of time!  See picture below of page folders.

I have twenty five different take-home bags but I am highlighting only a few.  These are my favorite and most popular take-home bags.  Again, all the ideas and content came from Shari Sloane.  I just recreated these wonderful ideas!  Enjoy!

Bag #3 Scientist of the Week
This is the student’s favorite take-home bag by far.  Each week one student takes home this bag.  I always sent this bag home on Fridays.  Then parents have the weekend for the project.  Inside the bag is a science experiment book.  The student picks one experiment to do for the class during the week.  At home the student practices the experiment once.  Then during the week the student will wear the lab coat and goggles (included in the bag) during the experiment.  Most of the time parents would come in to be “assistants” for the students during the experiment.  The kids LOVE this bag and it is a great way to get parents involved in the classroom.  Also, I pick experiments that relate to our science curriculum.  It is a great way to make science fun in the classroom!

Bag #4 Lost Tooth Bag
When a student losses a tooth they get to take this bag home!  Inside are different tooth books.  The student’s also journal about how they lost their tooth.  They can draw a picture to show the class.  Then I make these into a growing classroom book. 

Bag #6 Katie Caterpillar Counts
In this bag the students take the caterpillar inside the bag and count things around their house.  They record the objects they count on the activity sheet included in the bag.  The kids LOVE Katie the caterpillar.  J
Bag #7 Gingerbread
Inside this bag are several versions of the book The Gingerbread Man.  Parents are to read the stories together with their child.  Included in the bag is a puppet gingerbread man to retell the story.  After reading the story the students may use the play-doh and gingerbread cookie cutter to make a gingerbread man. 
Bag #9 Estimation Jar
The kids LOVE this bag.  It is so simple but it is amazing how much better the kids get at estimating over the year just because of this take-home bag.  Students fill the estimation jar and then complete the activity page and bring it back to school.  The student s will take guesses on the amount inside the jar.   At the end of the year I will let the kids write their answers on paper and then have a winner for who got the closest. 
Bag #11 Ladybug
This bag works on telling time.  The students read “The Grouchy Ladybug.” Then they use the ladybugs inside to work on telling time.  I also include a ladybug puppet for the kids to use while reading and working on telling time. 

Bag #12 Miss Spider
This bag is a favorite because they kids get to have a tea party with Miss Spider.  J  At home the students read “Miss Spider’s Tea Party.”  Inside the bag are Miss Spider, her friends, and a tea party set.  The students then have a tea party.  After the tea party they will write on the paper provided in the bag about what they did with Miss Spider.   The next day the students are always really excited to share.  I also include a disposable camera for the kids to take one picture of their tea party.  At the end of the year I print them for the kids. 
Bag #14 Quack and Count
This bag works on addition.  Students read the book “Quack and Count.”  Then the child will play an addition math game using the ponds, ducks and dice inside the bag. 

With this many bags it is impossible to remember who has taken home which bag.  So I created my own little system for sending home and returning the taken-home bags.  Using this document I created a pocket for each bag.  Then I put a stick with a student’s name inside the pocket when they take home the bag.  Once the return the bag I cross out that student’s number.  For me it is the quickest and easiest way to figure out which bag goes home or needs to be returned.  J 

Take-home bags are a great way to get parents involved in their child's learning.  Plus the kids love having homework.  :)  Again, check out the packet for the wonderful take-home bags at Shari Sloane's website.  They are great!  Enjoy!

If you would like to download the covers I created for the bags click here.  Just a quick note...... in the process I did lose one cover.  Bag #3 Scientist of the Week is not included in the packet.