Thursday, January 30, 2014

I just want to play with this!

We recently finished our unit on matter. We used the FOSS kit and got additional beans for the soup mix activity. We had small group centers that we rotated through and we wanted each kid to get really hands on. I had some of the beans left over and put them in one of my Sterilite Target containers. Today I added some of my letter stringing beads (two of each letter). Tomorrow I will just introduce it to the kids, but I will work on some type of recording sheet for them to use during centers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quiet Spot

All classes could use a quiet spot, but over the years, it has come to be an essential behavior management tool for my students. I use papasan chairs that I bought from Target a few years ago. I have seen similar ones from WalMart. I have some posters that I printed from Boardmaker Share with pro-social language and a mirror. When I first have to implement it with a student, they don't realize that it is something I WANT them to do, that I am okay that they are leaving the activity. I let them blow off steam and once in a while ask if they are ready to talk. Based on the child's needs or if they have a behavior plan, we work through the problem and discuss alternatives to what they could have done. I use a lot of the following language:

  • big deal/little deal
  • solving the problem
  • let's move on
  • First....Then....statements
It's been a place that the kids use when they are feeling fine and when they have something going on that is really making the moment/day hard for them. Hope it works for you, too!

Tissue poms on bulletin board corners

I saw all of the poms that teachers were making on different blogs and wanted to make smaller ones that I could put in the corners of my boards. I found a cute, bright polka dot tissue paper print at the party store that went well with my Eric Carle theme. I used 8-10 sheets and only separated the sheets until I made half of a sphere. You can Google directions and find a ton, but here is a link to how to make your tissue poms. I love them!

What to do with book jackets...

If you are anything like me, you think that having book jackets with little ones just.doesn' They have difficulty handling the book with it, and it ends up hanging off most of the time.

I had a wonderful professor for the Children's Lit course for my Reading Specialist cert and I asked her what she thought, especially for the award winners with medals on the front. She suggested cutting the teaser and the info about the author, and especially any awards, and use shipping tape to put them on the inside of your books. Try it and see if it makes your library organization easier!

Sorry about the glare from my phone:)

IKEA in the Classroom

Over this past summer, I finally purchased some IKEA shelving units for my classroom. I went with the Trofast ones, planning on using them for centers and organizing manipulatives and some leveled texts. If you happen to be thinking about if it would be worth it to make the investment of buying the units, it is so worth it! I love mine:) My kids are able to be independent with getting the bins and they hold all of the materials needed for each center. The only thing that is still on my to-do list for these shelves is to change the Reading center bins to be labeled A through E, keeping the Math ones numbered.

Another fabulous find was this under-bed storage bin decorated with numbers. It holds my 3D Touch Numerals perfectly and slides right under the SMARTboard so the kids can access it during center time.

There are also wonderful storage nets (6 compartments) that hang on the wall. I used command strips to hang mine. I have one behind my kitchen area and two on the back of the bathroom door holding random teaching tools. They come in an orange/red set as well.
It was a lot of hauling out of my car this summer, but I'm done with it now and will reap the benefits of it each year! So worth it!