Sunday, August 31, 2014

September Currently!

Aloha, Friends! I'm linking up with Farley again for her September Currently!

LISTENING: To the Kardashians. Love this show :)

LOVING: My students!!! I absolutely adore this group and miss them when I'm absent! 

THINKING: I need to make use of this 3-day weekend. So far, I have done NOTHING school related :/ I did get to spend the day with the hubs and some friends on Saturday though which was really nice!!

WANTING: An acai bowl. Where I live now, there aren't really any good acai bowls around. I've been craving this for awhile!

NEEDING: More TIME! I have so many responsibilities this school year as Grade level chair and mentor teacher (to a college student and 2 beginning teachers). To top it off I am also planning a baby shower and bridal shower. I never have enough time in one day or week to get it all done. 

Love this last one! I have been wanting to travel to Tahiti ever since I was a little girl. I also really want to go to Japan for the yummy yummy food!! I've also always dreamed of going to New York. My dream as a little girl would be that I would be proposed to in NYC during Christmas time :) 

I'm off to make my grocery list so I can meal prep tomorrow. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale Weekend!!

Hi All,

So sorry. School has been in back session and I have been SWAMPED. This is probably my busiest year ever. I will give you all an update on what has been going on very soon. But for now, I need to get ready to host a Football party at our house for the hubby and friends. 

I wanted to let you know to make up for my MIA-ness…I wanted to bring you a little something special. 

Here are some products that have recently been added to my store:

Reading Wonders Supplemental Activities

A Cultural Research Project

Chalkboard and Chevron Lesson Plan Book. 

Happy Shopping!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Managing Student Work

Hello, Friends! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. I am so thrilled and excited to be teaming up with all of these fabulous bloggers to bring to you my second Bright Ideas Post!!

Today I will be sharing about my "Assignment Drop box" and how I use this to manage student Work. I've been trying out different methods for years and this is one that has definitely made life easier on me!

Each student has their own file folder. When assignments are completed, they turn it into their dropbox and move their number over to the 'Work in' side. 

At the ending of each block, I get a pre-made checklist with all of my students' names and I highlight the ones who are not done. The clips go back for the next block. 

Right next to my Assignment Drop Box, I also have student mailboxes. I use these mailboxes to return student work. Since I collect and correct their assignments in number order (from the dropbox), it's really easy to file them back out in number order. I also use their mailbox to distribute supplies/materials that will be needed for the day. 

Thank you again for stopping by today!! If you enjoyed this Bright Idea on managing student work, please consider following me on Facebook or  Instagram for more great ideas and tips!

For even more Bright Ideas from nearly 150 other fantastic bloggers,  be sure to check out the links below!! :) 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Elementary Grapevine-Tips & Freebies!

I am so excited and honored to be a part of this new Collaborative Blog

I just 'introduced' myself and shared a tip on how to build strong and positive relationships with students and parents prior to your year starting. I also shared an awesome Freebie so be sure to check it out here

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Activities and Tips for the First Day of School

Where in the world has summer gone?! I swear- this was the fastest summer EVER. Due to the wedding planning, I feel like I literally had about 2 weeks. 

Here in Hawaii, we are officially back in session! The students started on Friday and we've been spending lots of time getting to know one another, building positive relationships, and of course, reviewing those procedures! 

Today I'd like to share some tips and favorite activities of mine to start off the school year.

The first day of school is always a little hectic with parents dropping off their child with bags and bags of supplies and then wanting time to talk with you. It's difficult when there are 10 parents, one teacher, and 28 little ones inside waiting for you to tell them what to do! 

Because of this, I always have a simple assignment waiting on each child's desk. 

I like to have them work on these All About Me Posters so that later in the day, the students who are a little shy have something to go off when sharing information about themselves. 
You can pick this printable up for FREE in my TpT Store

Sometimes your supply pile can get out of control and you may have a difficult time knowing what supplies belong to which student if they aren't labeled. A simple fix for this is to use Avery Address Labels.

Prior to students coming, I go ahead and type up 3 labels per student. That way when the parents come and hand you their bags of supplies, just stick a label on the bag. Once everything has calmed down you can sort supplies while students work on their All About Me Posters or at the end of the day. 

One thing that I have definitely learned over the years is that you can't stand in front of the class and talk about all of your routines and procedures all at once. These are kids…they will get distracted. Plus, they've been on summer break for a few months and aren't used to having to sit down nicely and listen to someone else talk. 

I like to break things up by going over one procedure and then moving on to a game or getting to know you activity.  Sometimes the activities are so simple- like the number pop-up game. I use numbers in my class so I randomly call out numbers and the students need to pop up out of their seats. So simple, yet the kids love it! 

Another fun Getting to know you activity I do in my classroom is with a beach ball. I write simple questions in each colored section. 

Questions I use are:
1. Where were you born? 
2. Tell us about all of the people and pets that you live with.
3. What is your favorite meal?
4. Who is your favorite person and why.
5. What do you like to do on the weekend. 

We gather in a circle and students toss the beach ball to someone across from them. When the person catches the ball, they choose the question that their thumbs land on. 

The next activity that I am about to share is about building a kind and caring classroom community. Students are given time to create a doll that represents themselves. 

Once they're all done students get into groups of about 4-5 students. I have them each pass their dolls around the circle while saying one mean thing to the doll. Each time they pass and say a cruel thing they are directed to tear the doll, crumple the doll, smash it, etc. We go around the circle once. I then have them go around 2-3 times saying kind things to the doll while taping it back up, or smoothing the doll back out. The students are sad as to what their dolls look like. 

We talk about how words are hurtful and once said, you can't take back the way you made someone feel. Even though nice things were said and apologies were given, the doll could never go back to being the same as it was when we started. Each tiny rip or crumple in the doll is like a hurt feeling that is held onto. This activity is usually a very meaningful lesson for the students. They are much more thoughtful about the things they say and do in and out of the classroom. 

That's it for today. I will be back later this week with more back-to-school tips and ideas! 

**This post contains affiliate links

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently

Hey! Linking up with Farley again for her August Currently! 

LISTENING: The hubby watching tv. I had a rough day yesterday so he decided to surprise me and take the night off so he could be there for me if I had a bad first day :) Love him!

LOVING: My students!! Today was the first day and I have a bunch of cutie pie sweethearts!! 

THINKING: I need to write a checklist while all the things that need to be done at school are fresh in my mind before I get too relaxed and forget!! I have a TON of things to do this weekend :/

WANTING: The weather to cool off. It is SOOO HOTT!! 

NEEDING: To catch up. The past 3 days I haven't had any electricity at school. I was there, but couldn't use the computer, I couldn't print anything…nothing. I ended up falling way behind in having my classroom ready and all the important papers that need to go home. 

Alright, well I better head off and catch up! Heading to Jack Johnson's Concert tomorrow as a back to school treat :)