Friday, August 1, 2014

FIVE for Friday

 It's been a good while since I have linked up but I am getting back on the ball. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching today to share what I have been up to. I know everyone has been busy setting up their classrooms and some even already starting back at school. WHAT?! I could not imagine starting school already. This summer is just flying by. Since we don't get out until the end of June we aren't starting back until September 2nd. I have still been spending some time in the classroom & setting it up now in case this little girl decides to make an early appearance. Even though the teacher who is taking my place from Sept.-Dec. could technically set it all up I am just a bit to bossy to not have a say in it. lol. But mainly because I want us to be on the same page & not have to go in the room in December over X-mas break & change it all.

I got another carpet for the classroom. It's just a plain grey carpet & not what I originally wanted but hey it was on sale for only $30 so I couldn't pass up on that. And the carpets I wanted were not in stock at the store. (Sad face) Ya know... those carpets with the diamond or quatrefoil design. But I will be keeping my eyes open for a carpet with a design & make sure I grab it next time.

  The classroom is still missing a few tables & chairs that are still in the gym from when the floors got waxed. I was only successful at bringing in 1 table because those suckers are heavy.
The school ordered book boxes for the classes that wanted them for Daily 5 so I have turquoise & lime green.
I just had to share these adorable & useful posters I recently purchased, printed & posted on the bulletin boards around the room. You can look at the photo above to see where our Math Word Wall will go. As we cover a math term we will add that word to the math word wall. I love the images that Blair uses for the math word wall cards. Who doesn't LOVE LOVE LOVE Melonheadz clipart?! This Writer's Workshop pack includes some pretty awesome posters that I think are perfect for our writing bulletin board. Lyndsey @ A Year of Many Firsts created this pack & while it is aimed more towards a k through 3 grade level I think it will still be a good fit for my 4th graders.

What do you do with an ugly green chalkboard? Most would probably just paint it with whiteboard paint but I already have 2 whiteboards in the classroom so I didn't really need another one. So... I painted those ugly green chalkboards black using black chalkboard paint. I purchased some awesome turquoise clothes pins from Michaels. I wish I would have taken a close-up photo of them so you could see the chevron, stripes & polka dot designs on them. Now that they are hot glued to the chalkboard I can just have the kiddos switch out their student work instead of stapling 22 writing displays. They can even get crafty& draw with chalk around their work.

I have been so jealous of all the posts I see on my Instagram of everyone's Erin Condren planner. I had one last year & absolutely l-o-v-e it! I really really wanted to purchase one again this year but since I will be on maternity leave until January & it costs $40.00 to ship to Canada I just could not see myself paying $100.00 for a planner that I would get to use for school for 6 months. Is that me just being cheap? Maybe. But since we are having a baby girl I'd just rather use that $100.00 for bows & pretty dresses. lol. So.... I created my own teacher planner which will only cost me $30 to have printed & binded together @ our local print shop. This planner doesn't have the fancy stuff of a pocket folder & labels but I'm okay with that.
I created some different options....
Here is the option of a Planner: navy-blue-lime-green
I cannot wait for this sale to start. I have already began adding lots of goodies to my wish list.
YAY for TPT Sales!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

No Behaviour Chart for this Teacher... How do you manage?

So on my Instagram a few days ago I saw someone mention on their post Why They Will Never Use a Behavior Chart Again. I really wanted to read their blog post but then I couldn't find the Instagram photo again to see which blog to refer to. Then on Friday a colleague of mine shared this blog post on her Facebook page. I doubt this blog post by Teaching in Progress is the same one that I saw on my Instagram since Nikki's post is back from 2012 but it was still an interesting post to read. And... this topic is something I agree with & can totally relate to.
It's not the best picture but this is what my behaviour chart looked like the first 2 years I taught kindergarten. I had a green monkey face, yellow monkey face & red monkey face (my classroom theme was a jungle theme). Every kindergarten classroom had a green, yellow & red behaviour chart and it was even encouraged by the principals. The principals wanted us to all be on the same page & reinforce the same behaviour management system.
Now that I look back at that behaviour chart I wish I would have taken it down from day one but you live & you learn, right. I even remember being encouraged by the principal to have a child move their behaviour clip (or monkey clip as we called it) from green to yellow if they spoke without raising their hand or got up out of their seat without permission after I had given 1 warning to the student. I now realize that too much focus was being given to the behaviours that were not desired rather than focusing on the behaviours that were desired.
As most of you know if you have been following my blog for a while I made a big move from Mississippi to Canada 2 years ago. When I made my first visits to the school that I now teach at one of my first thoughts were "Where are the behaviour charts & why don't they have any?" Of not all of the classrooms manage their classrooms without a behaviour chart, the majority of them do. The kindergarten classrooms do not have a behaviour chart up in every room like I was used to at my old school. I was super nervous about not using a behaviour chart & even made one in case I needed to add it to the classroom after the first week of school. I found that I didn't need to use a behaviour chart. When I would ask a student to correct their actions they did it for the most part. There was a "time-out" chair in the classroom though we did not call it that. I simply just called it "the chair", but it looked like all the other chairs. It was just by the window instead of at a table. There were a few times that a student needed to go to "the chair" but they were seldom & it was to allow the student to take a break & think about their choices.
No behaviour chart in my classroom this past year = no child went to the behaviour chart crying or screaming because they had to move their clip, no child was so embarrassed from moving their clip that they had a "bad day" all day, no child tried to hide his/her folder from their parents displaying their clip colour (green, yellow or red), and no child ever felt like they were a "bad student".
Now that I will be going from kindergarten to grade 4 I have a new challenge that I face. While I won't be using a behaviour chart of course, I am not sure a "take a break chair" is age appropriate for a grade 4 classroom when a student needs to think about their choices. What do you think?
I remember when I was in grade 4 my teacher would reward positive behaviour by letting us write our name on the back of a ticket. The more tickets you had your name written on meant the more chances you had that she would pull your name from the jar. And... if your name got pulled from the jar then you got to pick a prize from the bin of goodies! We loved it when our name got called. But then I got to thinking... what if I did that & called a student's name who had his/her behaviour corrected a lot through out that day. Do they still get to choose a prize?
So I need your help? What type of behaviour management and reward systems do you use in your classroom & how to they work?

Monday, July 21, 2014

I heart Shopping

Have you been shopping like crazy for your classroom for this upcoming school year? I have been seeing lots of posts of some great deals many of you are finding. I haven't found many amazing deals out there yet but I am guessing hoping they will start in August around here. School doesn't start back up until September 2nd. Since I will be on maternity leave from September - December I think it has helped me tame my back to school shopping. I love any excuse to shop. I love that Elizabeth over at Kickin It In Kindergarten is sharing some of the items that she has purchased and wants you to share items from your recent shopping carts.
Okay. So let's check out some of the items that I have bought recently...
My largest purchase recently was my new laptop I had to buy this weekend. My last laptop just crashed on me. It went to bed & never woke up. Tear. I HAD to get a new one so I can continue blogging, creating TPT items (which I haven't done in a good bit.), and keeping up with school stuff in general. I am going today to pick up my recovered files from my old computer.
 You would think these Composition notebooks would be on the supply list for my grade 4 students to bring but they are not. The other teachers don't use them so they are not included. I found some pretty awesome interactive notebooks that I plan on trying out this year so I purchased some Composition notebooks for my kiddos so we can create an Interactive Writing Notebook and L.A. Interactive Writing Notebook. I also plan to do a Math Interactive Journal. Is that too many interactive journals?!? I don't know...You tell me. This is going to be a first for me. We will just play in by ear.

I know these are TPT products but these Interactive Notebooks were purchased recently for my class this year. I really hope the kiddos enjoy them and they become really helpful. We need to work on our writing BIG time. Give me your opinion on Interactive Notebooks if you implement them in your class.
Now this item below is in my IKEA cart online but I plan on buying it this summer. That still counts right. LOL.
I need this bookshelf/bench for my classroom desperately. Picture a classroom with nothing in it and that is my classroom. Literally. When I moved to Canada I gave away pretty much all personal classroom furniture and my cool comfy reading chairs. While I got to bring all my books & smaller classroom manipulatives I had to leave the big stuff. Last year I shared a classroom with another teacher so I got to use her stuff. This year I am back to the bare bones. I would plan to buy this shelf and add some cushions on top for reading spots. Hmmm... I should just get the hubs to make something like this. Maybe I will.
This is also in my virtual shopping cart. I want to buy a carpet for my classroom. Target just has the best carpets that have that modern look.
So that's it for my shopping purchases/list. What are some things that you have bought for your classroom this year?
Oh & don't forget... Christmas in July is still going on.
Today is Day 7. The Language Arts Morning Work #2 is the feature of the day.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Christmas in July Day #4

Are you a kindergarten or first grade teacher that teaches or reviews a different letter each week? Or even a different letter a day? If so than my deal of the day may be great for you. In my classroom I have a letter tree which turns into a word &/or a vowel tree after we learn a different letter each week. On my palm tree (some use an apple tree) I put the letter of the week at the top & then place 5-6 pictures that begin with that letter on the tree around the letter of the week. I made the Letter of the Week Picture Cards for my letter tree & put it on TPT to share with you guys in case you also have a letter tree. If you don't have a letter tree these can also be great for a beginning sound sort.
Get 20% off of this Letter of the Week Picture Cards product today.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Christmas in July Day #3

So it's day three of the Christmas in July Sale. Have you bought lots of goodies?

Are you stocking up on back to school goodies? If so, you don't want to miss out in this goodie. Get 20% off the Back to School unit for today.
This Back to School pack offers 344 pages of great activities for Language Arts, Math and Reading. You will find activities that address skills in learning names, addition, subtraction, counting, letters, sounds, reading, getting to know classmates, learning about rules, syllables, sentences, writing, patterns and missing letters. I find this unit perfect for a kindergarten and first grade classroom.
The skills in this unit meets the Common Core Standards.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas in July Day #2

It's day #2 of the Christmas in July Sale and you can grab this Ocean Theme Class Decor for 20% off today. Since The Day the Monster Came to School item didn't get put on sale until later yesterday you still have the chance to grab it for 20% off today as well.

Stay tuned for tomorrow because the Back to School Unit will be 20% off of $7.00 and is normally $10.00. Now I have to go do some more shopping. :)
Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Christmas in July Sale

Oh man... talk about a busy day. Well not in the sense of moving around but in the sense of having all these people contact me about clothes I am trying to get rid of. I am cleaning out my closet. This prego body of mine is just tired of seeing all my "skinny" clothes. lol. I have been trying to write this blog post all flippin' day and I keep getting interrupted. Ugh! At least I am getting my closet cleaned out.

Now, for what I love most... Sales! I am sure you have seen lots of people posting about their Christmas in July sale. Well, I am having one too! And yes, I know I am late but that is why I will have my The Day the Monster Came to School on sale today and tomorrow. You can grab this favourite item from my TPT Store for 20% off. This product is great for back to school and teaching manners.

Big thanks to those lovelies over at Blog Hoppin for hosting this Christmas in July Sale!
Now... Let's just keep our fingers crossed that I get a new laptop tomorrow. Since my computer crashed yesterday I found that blogging via my I Phone isn't the easiest.

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