Sunday, November 26, 2017

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Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale

Join us for the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale on Monday and Tuesday. You can save up to 25% off of great resources.

Here is a link to our store: Education Whimsy

Education Whimsy

You can also win a $10 gift certificate from us just for shopping at our store.  Be sure to visit our Facebook page for directions!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Teacher Down-Time

What do you do to relax when you get a break from teaching? I know that it helps me a lot to do activities that have nothing to do with teaching sometimes. This helps me to recharge and I have more energy to give to my students when I return to work.

This Thanksgiving Break, when I was not with family and eating turkey, I worked on creating a playroom for my grandson in our house.

I love crafting and painting, so this was really fun for me. This room had been my son's room and then it was my craft room. We are now in the process of creating a "She Shed" in a shed outside for my craft room since we decided to make a playroom for Benjamin.

Here are some pictures:

I am planning to cover the top 3 shelves on the left with fabric to hide those bins. I still need to add cars to the black "road".

My husband was a drag racer for years, so I am going to add pictures of his race cars on the black "drag strip" on this wall. I also need to add the "B" to the alphabet. The larger letters in the alphabet are for the first initials of the people in our family.

Here are some close-up pictures of the word BEN in the room. I got this idea from Pinterest (of course):
These letters are about 18 inches tall. They are from Hobby Lobby ($3.50 each).

I cut up white stickers for the roads.

Then, I used hot glue to attach the cars. I used Command velcro to hang them on the wall.

I hope everyone got some time to relax this holiday break.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pencil Parking

This year, I have had a pencil dilemma.

This is my 21st year of teaching and I have never had this problem. I have always just put out pencils in the supply buckets at each table. I would put out new pencils as we needed them, but it wasn't very often. Each year, I always had a surplus of pencils left.

Luckily, I had a lot of extra pencils left from last year, because this year, the pencils in my room have been disappearing.

I teach two different blocks of students. I'm not exactly sure where the pencils are going, but over 100 of them have gone missing. 

So, I have been searching for a solution.For a couple of weeks, I had a sign out sheet for the pencils, but it was taking too much time to have the kids sign out a pencil and return it at the end of class, since I was having to monitor it.

I looked online at Really Good Stuff and I found this amazing pocket chart.

I wrapped each pencil with washi tape and numbered them. I gave each student a number. Now, at the beginning of each block, I quickly pass out the pencils. I have a student collect the pencils at the end of each block and we make sure all the pencils are returned. I have been using this system for a week and it is working very well.

If you are having a pencil problem, I highly recommend this pocket chart (or something similar).

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Classroom Pics

So far, this school year has flown by! Since things are calm for now, I thought I would post some classroom pictures. This year, I moved to a new, larger, classroom, and I decided to go with a Sports theme. For the past few years, I didn't really have a theme. I used the colors turquoise and lime green with black.

Anyway, here are some pictures:
This is the board where I put the Essential Questions, Vocabulary, and Anchor Charts for Science and Math. (I only teach Science and Math.)

I still have a Reading/Library Area in my classroom even though I don't teach ELA.

This is the tile area where the sink and cabinets are located. I hang student work above the sink. To the far right, are the student mailboxes. This table is used for Stations and Science Experiments.

This is my table area. I meet with small groups here. My teacher desk is by the wall to the left.

I have the schedule on the board to the left. I write their daily agenda items on this board, as well as, any announcements.

This is the middle area of the room where the desks are.

This is a small board area I made on the folded-up movable wall. (My room is actually 2 rooms with the wall opened between them.) I keep the math manipulatives and Station items here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Back to School Black Friday Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers

Join all the fun at the Back to School Black Friday Sale on TPT tomorrow (Friday, July 28th). Search the hashtag #BTSBlackFriday to find great deals at 50% off.

We have put our First Grade Math Journal Bundle (for the whole school year) on sale for only $6.50!
Here is the link to this one:

#BTSBlackFriday BUNDLE:First Grade Math Journals aligned to Common Core

We also put our Tall Tales unit on sale for $4.75. Here is the link to this one:
#BTSBlackFriday Tall Tales Unit (Folktales):using 9 Tall Tales

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Math Spiral Review

In my teaching career, I figured out very quickly that I needed to provide my students with continual spiral review of concepts in order for them to truly learn them. For most of my teaching years, I have taught First Grade (17 out of 20 years).

First Grade is full of discovery for children. Many of them are seeing things for the first time at school. In Math, I always use lots of hands-on activities and manipulatives to go along with learning to write math ideas and answers on paper.

Throughout the years, I discovered that the math series books that we used did not do an adequate job of spiral reviewing the concepts. Often, there would be some spiral review papers here and there, but I always felt like they needed a quick review almost daily.

I developed a daily math journal for my students that would provide a short daily practice of skills we had learned. It starts with easier concepts and gets more challenging as the year goes on and they learn more skills. I was recovering from Lyme Disease treatment one summer and was on the couch most of the month of July, so I had a lot of time to rearrange the problems and develop an order that matched our math series.

I divided the journal into four parts- one for each of our 9 week grading periods. I used these for five years until I moved to Second Grade. I'm now teaching Third Grade. I miss these Journals! I've been working on one for Third Grade. Hopefully, it will get done this year. I want it to be helpful for the students and worth the time it takes them to complete the problems each day, so it is going slow as I figure out how I want it.

BUNDLE: First Grade Math Journals aligned to Common Core (4 of them)
Anyway, if you are looking for an easy way to incorporate a spiral review in your First Grade math class, here are the links to my Math Journals.
Math Journal 1st Grade- First 9 weeks (updated)
Math Journal First Grade- Second 9 Weeks (updated)

First Grade Math Journal: 3rd 9 Weeks (updated)
First Grade Math Journal: 4th 9 weeks (updated)