Monday, July 29, 2013

Calming Kits

   Seeing all of the school supplies and Back to School sales at every store makes me realize that Back to School Night is almost here. I am so excited to meet my new kiddos. A few of my kiddos I taught preschool to when I first came to my school district so it will be so exciting to see how much they have grown and changed.
   Every year that goes by I feel like I learned so much from my kiddos. This past year was no different. I wish that I had more time to spend with each and everyone, especially when a lot of time was spent calming down those couple of kiddos with severe behaviors. I am hoping that the Leader in Me program my school is implementing this year will help along with my Calming Kit that I am going to use.
   My Calming Kit contains materials that any one of my kiddos can take to the Calming Spot for a break and to relax. I started with a basic basket, put on a cute black chevron label, and filled with stress-free related items. I have a hand mirror with an emotion wheel and eight emotion cards for my kiddos to compare their facial expressions and determine their mood. I also put play dough and two stress balls (one cupcake and one Superhero's for both girls and boys) for my kiddos to work out that anger, frustration, or stress. To practice their deep breathing I add a visual card and bubbles. To finish my kit I will place a feelings book, or two, that my kiddos can read. Almost everything I bought from the Dollar Tree.
   While teaching classroom procedures at the beginning of the year I will teach my kiddos when is an appropriate time to grab the basket and take it to the calming spot. I have placed a sand timer inside the basket, which lasts 5 minutes, so my kiddos do not plan on using the kit as a "get out of classroom work pass". All the expectations will be clearly explained to my kiddos.I want them to know that it is alright to step away from a problem or situation that is frustrating and take a few moments to calm themselves down. You can download this kit from my TPT store by clicking on the image below.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Box of Goodies & Place Value

   I was so excited to come home today to a large, brown box on my doorstep full of books!
    I am working with Booksource to create teacher resources for fiction and non-fiction books. I get to read all of these great books and then decide the Big Ideas, generate Essential Questions, determine background knowledge, comprehension strategies, story structure, digital resources, and Common Core Standards met. I am getting such great ideas of how to incorporate them into my lesson plans this year. And the best part...Booksource is letting me keep all the books they send! I became familiar with Booksource through an app I use in my classroom called Classroom Organizer. Classroom Organizer is free and allows you to take a picture (with your iPhone) of the bar codes on all your classroom library books and generate a classroom check-out system. Your kiddos can each have an account and check-out and check-in books from your generated list. Click on the images below to learn more.
   So I was at Dollar Tree yesterday (surprise, surprise) and came across this card holder.
   My boys have been looking for a holder for all their Pokémon cards so I purchased one for each of them. But when I got home and took the plastic wrap off of both I realized that these were more than just Pokémon card holders. They were perfect for my classroom kiddos to practice their base ten understanding. Here is what I have been working on today...
   I made little cards to fit inside of each plastic pocket in the holder. The white cards display the three-digit number. The blue cards represent hundreds, green cards tens, and yellow cards ones. My kiddos can build the number on the white cards two ways.
with base ten pieces
and place value.
   I put two plastic labels, that stick to the inside front cover, to hold all of the pieces and keep the white three-digit numbers in the plastic covers. I found these at Michaels for cheap, but Lakeshore Learning has a bunch in all sizes and shapes. Tomorrow I am making a trip back to Dollar Tree to pick up three more for my classroom kiddos and two for my own kiddos. Their Pokémon cards can wait on the shelf one more night.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Favorite New Find & Math Focus Wall

   Oh, my gosh! This past week has been crazy, hence the absence from the blogging world. When we brought home our dog from the groomer a week ago, we noticed a huge growth under his tail. At first the vet thought it was an abscess, then it turned into a tumor with possible cancer, and fast forward to Monday when we learned it is just a benign growth. YEAH! But, because of its location it has to be removed. My poor dog was thinking he could finally take off his diapers and "cone of shame" today, but we are going back into the vet this afternoon to schedule the removal.
   Anyways, I have been working on all of my Daily 5 Math rotation materials this past week and I am so excited to put "it all together" in my classroom. My teammates and I are using the Georgia Units (click here for more information) to aid us in our 60 minute whole group instruction. And then we will spend 30 minutes with Daily 5 Math. On my Math Focus wall I am planning on putting these vocabulary cards and anchor charts up to help with Unit One, Expanding Base Ten Understanding...

   Also on my Math Focus wall will be this simple clipart...
   Each day I will write a number and my kiddos will use it to complete the recording sheet below for Math with Self.
   In comes my new favorite find! I was a little worried about my kiddos completing the date for yesterday and tomorrow on the above recording sheet, as our calendar is interactive on the Promethean board and will be displaying something else for Daily 5 Math. I was debating putting up another calendar on my focus wall, but wanted the space for teaching aids. So I found this on the Oriental Trading Company website.
   I was a little skeptical of purchasing it as there was not very much information listed about it and only this picture under the description. But, for $10.50 I was willing to give it a chance. I was so excited when I got it in the mail yesterday!!!

   I wish my camera gave this pocket chart the justice it deserves! The pocket chart is not too big, not too small. Also, there are two versions for the names of the days of the week; the full name or the abbreviated name. The number cards (1-31) and weather cards ( 7 each of windy, snowy, cloudy, sunny, rainy, foggy, cold, and hot) are large enough for my kiddos to see from their tables across the room. What I really love is that the hot and cold cards include 7 pictures each of children of different ethnicities. For $10.50 this weather/calendar chart is a steal and I can just see how excited my calendar helpers will be to change the weather each day too! More pictures to come as I get in my classroom to finish up my Math Focus wall and math cart.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Those Darn Garden Critters & a FREEBIE

   So I thought I had finally solved the problem of the mischievous bunny in my garden that ate all eight feet by 5 feet of my strawberries, but then I found this yesterday...
   My boys giant cabbage plant it being invaded by an intruder! Poor plant is being eaten by (I am assuming) a very hungry caterpillar. I need to rack my brain as to how to protect the rest of the fruits and veggies. My poor boys have only been able to pick jalapenos, which they do not eat. I need to think fast because our raspberries are starting to grow.
   These little critters are making me think of all the fresh fruit and veggies that "could have been". So in return I made the perfect apple math centers for my kiddos Daily 5 rotations.
 Graphing Apples
 Place Value Match {Expanded Notation}
 Analog & Digital Time Match
 Addition & Subtraction
Odd & Even Sorting
   All these juicy apples made me want even more so I made long e sorting trees. My kiddos will read the words on the apples and sort onto the tree that makes the same long e sound.
You can get both these products in my store by clicking on the images below. My sorting trees are a FREEBIE!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Literacy and Math Bags {Pack Two} & SALE

   After a crazy week with professional development, visiting family, and prepping for summer school, it was time to take the afternoon and relax in front of my computer today. Yes, working on finishing my second pack of Literacy & Math bags was very therapeutic. Now that I have 24 of these little jewels completed (well I still need to add pencils and crayons to each) I cannot wait for my new kiddos to take them home and build their background knowledge with their families. You can learn more about my Literacy and Math bags here. Here are my 12 new Literacy & Math Bags...
 Fairy Tales
 Learning with Food
 Dr. Seuss
 Nocturnal Animals
 Our Earth
 The Ocean
 The Arctic
   You can get these themed bags that accommodate ANY fiction and non-fiction books by clicking on the picture below. Both my Literacy & Math Packs are on sale until Wednesday in my store. Please leave me feedback of what you think as I would love to hear from you.
 Now its off to relax and make some math centers for Daily 5 Math!