Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Marshmallow Mouths and Toes

If you are anything like me, I enjoy having a straight quiet line while walking in the hallways. It makes me proud to show off my class because it shows that they have respect for other learners. And lets be real here, it is down right embarrassing when you have a noisy class walking in line. It's like a stampede is coming.

For years I have used bubbles in your mouth and hands behind your back. Well this is good for the quite mouths, but I still get stompers in my class. Last year it wasn't a huge deal because our hallways were carpeted, but now they are just concrete, so noise spreads so easily. This year I decided to use marshmallow mouths and toes.

I started off by bringing out the marshmallows. I had a lot of oooohhhhhsssss and aaaaahhhhhsssss... exactly what I wanted. We talked about marshmallows and used our 5 senses to describe them. This was also a perfect way to introduce adjectives. After we made a list, I let each of my students eat a marshmallow. WHAT?? We get to eat one? Yes!! While they were eating their marshmallows, I had them listen to what they heard. After all of the marshmallows were swallowed, we talked about what we heard. To their surprise, they heard nothing!

Then I stood on the table, YES, that's right ON the table!! I put a marshmallow on the table and stepped on it. I did this for two reasons. One so all of the students could see what I was doing and second, so I could control the smashing of the marshmallow. Nothing like having to clean 18 smashed marshmallows out of the carpet.

We then proceeded to talk about what we heard. Again, it was nothing. We then got into a conversation about marshmallows being soft, fluffy, quiet food. I asked them what it would sound like if we walked with marshmallows in our mouths and on our toes and they said it would sound quite. We then practiced walking around the room with marshmallow mouths and toes.

Afterwards I taught them a song that would remind them to stay quite in the hall. Then they were able to create a craft that went along with our poem.

Finally, my students were able to show how well they learned by walking into the hall with their marshmallow mouths and toes. They did an amazing job!
You can pick this activity up from my TpT store.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Made It- August 17th

This weekend was BUSY!! I ended up finishing two products for TpT and making a card for a friend.
My first project was to finish my Buckets of Kindness Unit. A lot of it was hand drawn by me which meant I had to scan everything in, color it in photoshop, and then put it all together to get it ready for TpT. I think it turned out pretty good though. :-)

The second product I finally finished was my marshmallow mouths and toes. I wanted this done for the first day of school, but it's better that than never right? I will be using this with my kids this week. Check back on Wednesday for a blog post on how it went.

Finally, to get some creativity in, I made a card for a friend. I call this card... Flamingo Summer. I haven't crafted in months and it felt so good to finally sit down and make a card.

If you got this far.... I have a surprise for you. I will be giving away my Buckets of Kindness unit and Marshmallow Toes product to one lucky winner. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Make sure to head on over to Tara's blog to join in on all the Monday Made it Fun!!! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Buckets of Kindness

 Are you starting out the school year right now or planning on starting in the next couple of weeks? Starting off the year on the right foot is important. Ever teacher knows that teaching procedures is essential in order for a classroom to run smoothly. After a week of procedures in my own classroom, I decided to add a little kindness into the mix. My students were understanding procedures and following rules and routines pretty well, but they were still tattling and getting frustrated with each other. I guess I should mention that I teach kindergarten, so most of the issue is just teaching them how to interact with multiple children at a time. I decided to read this book to my students.

As I was preparing to read this book, I started coming up with a whole list of ideas that would promote a positive classroom environment. 

The first idea I had was to create a bucket filler and dipper sort. After we read the book, we would discuss what being a filler means and what being a dipper means. The students really started to understand that when they make people happy, they become happier themselves. It was nice to be able to use these sorts as a way to practice identifying different behaviors. The students loved it so much that they started coming in from recess telling me all about how they were a bucket filler. The smiles on their faces were priceless!!

The next idea I had was to have a management system that goes along with bucket filling. As a class we can earn hearts whenever we see someone being a bucket filler. Once the bucket is filled the class can earn a surprise, extra recess, or even a small treat. This is not how I'm going to use it though. Since bucket filling is all about making good choices, I want to encourage happiness in my class. When our class fills the bucket with all of the hearts, we will have a meeting about Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). We will choose a person or people to preform a RAK for. This may be making cards for the class next door, cleaning up the playground, or even going down to the office and singing a little song for the secretaries. When my students are able to see the smiles on the faces of the people who get RAKed, this will be encouragement enough to keep earning more hearts.

The last part was to make fun craftivities that would reinforce making good choices, while still being fun.

So far I am really loving the bucket filling system in my class. I will continue to use it and add more to it as the year goes on. If you would like to use this in your classroom this year, you can pick up Buckets of Kindness in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Teacher Toolbox and Planner Stickers

I just finished my first week of school and am I so glad that it is over. It was a good first week, but it is always so tiring. I will be blogging about my first week later this week, but first let's talk about Monday Made It.
This week I created a lot of things. There are a few in particular that I am very proud of. My first is my planner stickers. I created them a few weeks ago, but I finally got around to putting them in my TpT store. 
This week was the first one with my planner and I loved my header stickers. It was a nice way to clearly see each any every one of my subjects that I had to teach throughout the week.
If you want to get yourself a copy, you can get them HERE. They are editable and you will be able to print as many out as you would like. I prefer using full sheet sticker paper and a paper cutter. It makes planning fun and colorful!!

Speaking of planning and organization, I finally got around to updating my teacher toolbox.
A few years ago I had a gorgeous classroom carpet that unfortunately I had to leave at my old school. I will one day have that carpet again, even if that means purchasing it myself. I mean look how gorgeous it was!!
Well, needless to say, my matching teacher toolbox no longer matched. That's when i decided I needed a new toolbox to match my new theme...rainbow!! I was sad to see my old labels go, but I am so excited to look at this colorful and clean toolbox every day. One of my teammates was looking for a pencil and it was so easy to point her to my toolbox and tell her it was in the drawer labeled pencils.

I made two versions of my teacher toolbox. Editable and Non-Editable that are available in my TpT shop.

What have you created this week?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Made It

Happy Monday! If you are like me today is your first day of school. That doesn't mean that the craftiness has stopped and will stop anytime soon. I feel like I am more creative during the school year since there is so much that needs to get done.
My first Made It is custom borders. Yesterday I made a post all about bulletin boards in my classroom. My big tip was to ditch the butcher paper and focus on your borders. I like to use simple borders and use colors to add accents to my wall. Sometimes it's hard to find the right color or even when you do find the right color you run out!! Well I have a solution to that.

I also have a video on how I made these borders if you want to try it out for yourself. 

My second Made It is my teacher toolbox. A couple years ago I made a forest themed toolbox that matched my classroom perfectly. It no longer matched my classroom so I finally got around to updating it!!
I have both a premade version and an editable version that are available in my TpT store if you want to use them too!!

Make sure to head on over to Tara's blog to share your Monday Made Its and check out everyone else's. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Custom Jars

Last week I shared my custom jars that I made for my kindergarten team members. Today I am bringing you a tutorial that show exactly how I made them.

All Things Bulletin Boards #2GETHERWEAREBETTER

I am linking up with Ashley and Angie to share my bulletin boards this year. I like to keep my bulletin boards pretty simple. A few years ago I learned from a veteran teacher not to use butcher paper. It is hard to put up, it fades, and what happens if you get tired of it? She also said to stick to very simple borders. Ever since then I have been doing this. It saves me so much time! That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice cute bulletin boards.

Here are a few of my boards where I just use borders. 

I love the fact that I have a corner in my classroom. It makes it a natural meeting area for my classroom with a lot of space to display  important information.

 My word wall is a place where we always refer back to. I have it right next to my Promethean board since this is where I do all of my writing mini lessons. It's also easily viewable from every seat in my classroom.

 I love my rainbow wall. It's a great way to display student work throughout then year and when it's empty, it's a nice decorative wall that adds lots of color to my classroom.

I also have a few areas in my room without borders. I usually reserve this for smaller areas or when I just want to add a little pop of color.

 These are my classroom rules. I put them in a place where we will all see them. I am constantly looking at the clock, so this visual reminder of the rules is a perfect place for them.

In my old classroom I had a wall dedicated to reading and data tracking. I don't have the space in this room and I also don't track data the same way now that I am in kindergarten. I still wanted a little piece of home with me in my kindergarten classroom. I think this board will travel with me to every classroom I ever teach in to remind me of where it all started.

My last bulletin board is the only one I use butcher paper on. This board is out in the hallway and I love putting a little more effort into it. Since everyone doesn't necessarily come into our classroom, it's a nice glance into what's going on. 

 At the beginning of the year I like to make a cute welcoming board for my students and parents. Once we start the school year, this board turns into a monthly theme based on the units we are studying. I also have a large wall space outside of my classroom that I plan on using right away. It's prime real estate so I need to claim my space.

My classroom is in the corner so I don't get a lot of light in the hallway. I love to add bright letters to my boards. I love using my Cricut and Silhouette in the classroom. This year, I brought one of my Cricuts into the classroom so whenever inspiration hits, I am able to create at school.

I hope you enjoyed my classroom bulletin boards. I plan on making more posts dedicated to DIY borders and how to use the Cricut and Silhouette in your classroom. So make sure to follow me through BlogLovin' to stay updated.

What do your bulletin boards look like? I would love to know. Make sure to link up and share your boards!!