Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Classroom Management- Give us a Name!

Hi Fabulous Friends!!! Well it's almost officially the first day of preplanning!! Yikes, we come back Thursday, August 1st!!

You know Cristy and I have been working at school already trying to get our rooms ready. Her room is going to be super beautiful and color coordinated! While mine is much cleaner than usual, it it not quite "Pinterest" ready as Cristy's is about to be!! Just wait!! Cristy will be posting gorgeous pictures of her room along with all the awesome, new Teacher Pay Teacher products she purchased to help with the cuteness factor!!

Anyway, we are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired of using that TRAFFIC LIGHT for classroom management. Don't laugh!! We know we have been using this system for a million years, but it is easy, mostly effective,  and so much fun to use!! Just kidding, it is easy, but that is about it! No offense, if you still use and love this method. For us, it is just not the right fit anymore.

Our basis for classroom management is Love and Logic and we love it!! However, we needed a way to keep parents abreast of behavior so we chose the "Old Faithful" traffic light!!!

What now!! Well, Natalie (my right hand woman) told me about Class Dojo. Then I told Cristy! Then we decided, why not???

 Class Dojo is an online platform for managing behavior that even sends email reports to parents. We have just been playing around on the site. It runs on the computer, ipad, or even iphone as well as some other digital devices. The teacher sets up a class and the kiddos can earn merits or demerits for how they behave in the room.

It is so cool. The teacher can keep the system up on the projector for everyone to see or keep minimized. With one click, a merit can pop up for a student for being helpful, working hard, or any other positive behavior you notice. Also, with one click, a demerit can pop up for a student who is performing a negative behavior.

There is also so much more to this program that we need to explore. Including emailing parents at the end of the day/week, keeping graphs about behaviors, etc...We are not sure we will love it, but are ready to try.

Almost forgot a very important thing!! It's FREE!! Teachers love FREE stuff!!

Here is the thing we need help with!! The program refers to adding merits and demerits. We would really love some other words to refer to getting a good point or a negative point.

What can we use in the room and in front of other adults that won't sound too silly?
We want the kiddos to know what we are talking about when we say, "Great job!! You just earned a .... for being helpful or Please get back to work or you will get ....".

Thanks a bunch!!
Good luck to all of our friends heading back to school soon!!!  To our friends who have more summer, ENJOY!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Common Core Resources GALORE! FREE E-Books are HERE!

Page and I have been working in our classrooms this week.  I still can't believe we actually start back NEXT week!!!!  I have some new decor changes and some revamping of some old storage.  I tell you... PINTEREST is going to put me in the poor house!!!  I'll be sure to post some before and after pictures next week.

Anyway once the dust (cleaning and otherwise!) settles, it'll be time to move on to the REAL business at hand...actually TEACHING the new littles!  We began implementing the Common Core Standards over the last 2 years.  We are feeling pretty comfortable with the standards so far, but dang it if they didn't take some getting use to.

We LOVE the new standards since they are so much more "thinking" based rather than just a bunch of facts to memorize.  We've seen a real shift from teaching kiddos "a mile wide and an inch deep" to TRULY digging deep so kiddos form BIG understandings about the world around them.  Then all the other "stuff" becomes easy to teach, because our kiddos have learned to THINK!!!!

This CAN make the common core standards seem a bit daunting in the beginning.

But...STRESS...NO....MORE!  Some awesome teachers (Tracee Orman, Deanna Jump, Rachelle Smith to name a few!) have masterminded and organized a great resource for Back to School!

The FREE Common Core E-Books are HERE!!!

You have 2 awesome books at your disposal!

Deanna organized the Common Core K-2 Language Arts E-Book!  
It should be posted ANY day now, so be on the look-out! 

Once you follow the links to the K-2 E-Books, you can then link up with any of the K-12 E-Books.  We know some of you teach lots of grade levels or have some friends in upper grades who you might want to pass on the E-Books too!

Every page in the E-Books are created by a different TpT seller.  Each page contains:

*Tips to help you implement the common core
*A FREE common core resource...games, puzzles, lessons, and more!
*Links to 1 or 2 priced products that support your implementation of the standards.

So...what are you waiting for?  Head over and snag these babies!  I already have!!!

Be sure and check out our Math E-Book page too!  You'll find our Measurement Games Freebie!

Plus links to our Top Selling Common Core Math Units (entire K CCSS math curriculum) and a FUN practice and review pack called Math POP!

Have fun and get ready to grab some awesome resources to make your back to school a breeze!!!

PS- Congrats to Maria who WON our Back To School BUNDLE!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back To School BONANZA - 30% savings!

WHAT???  School starts for us NEXT week!  AAAAAAHHHH!  Where did the summer go?

Really, I think we are kinda ready.  We've beached, slept, played, read....enjoyed!  It's time to get back into our routine and our true love...teaching!

So to hopefully help you guys get back into school mode too, we've bundled 5 of our best selling products at a 30% savings!  Activities, games, lessons, forms, class decor, and more to get your year started off with ease...Cruise Into K!

Individually, the products would sell for $31.50... 
BUT it's only $22.00 in this bundle! Wa-hoo!

Quick Peek!

Loooonnnggg Peek! :)

Hopefully this will be everything you need to get your teaching off to a super start!  

As always, please leave us a comment letting us know what you think!  Have you used one of these products before, which of these is your favorite... anything you're thinking!!! 

We'll choose 1 winner to snag this BUNDLE for FREE!
 (Don't forget to leave your email!) 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Back To School FREEBIES!

Just a quick post to remind you about our 2 Back to School Freebies that are really popular!  We hope you head over to TpT and snag them up too!  Enjoy!


Please do let us know what you think about these freebies!  
We love feedback...helps us do a better job!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Desk Name Plates: Chevron, Stripes, Brights, and More!

Wahoo!  We FINALLY finished our desk name plates pack!  Over 25 backgrounds to choose from!  LOVE!  There are chevrons, brights, stripes, black and whites, and polka dots.  Hopefully we included something to match EVERY decor you can think of!

As always, we'll send these out FREE to 2 winners chosen from those who leave a comment! :)

Click any picture to grab these up over at TpT!
I don't know if you are like us, but we want our desk name plates to have some meat to them.  We needed them to be cute, but have lots of resources at our littles' fingertips.  We included an alphabet line with matching initial sound pictures, a number line, color words, a name grid, and 2D/3D shape words with "real world" objects to match.

We made these bigger too!  They are 4x14.  You'll need 8 1/2 x14 legal sized paper to print them and they come 2 per page.

We are planning on mixing chevrons, polka dots, AND brights for this year in our own classrooms.  We want our cake...and eat it too! ;)  We actually bought some AWESOME class decor packs, but the name plates just had a spot for their name...no extra resources. Boo!  So...we got busy and made our own!

Well, that's it for today.  The fam and I are headed to a Braves game tonight!  Ahhhh...the popcorn, the peanuts, the cracker jacks (are you singing yet?).  Oh...and baseball! ;)

Hope you might find these name plates useful too! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wel-Gum to Kindergarten!

Aaaaaahhhhhh!  I am so stinkin' happy!!!!  Happy, happy, happy!

I ALREADY know what I want to do for my hall display this year!  People...we are SERIOUS about this business at our school.  I mean...we DO NOT PLAY!!!  Teachers from Pre-K to 5th pull out some great ideas year after year.  I think when we all started it was just fun and games.  Now...we DON'T PLAY!  You better "bring it" because...well...maybe we are gettin' a little knocking each other out of the way at the finish line competitive at our joint!  OK...so maybe we aren't THAT bad.  But you don't want to be the teacher with the crummy display just stuck up at the last minute.  Trust me!

So...we get excited to think up new things every year.  You can check out our hall displays from last year here.  We've also done 3-D popcorn displays for "Pop on In!", Gecko displays for "Geck-on in to Kindergarten! and lots more, but dang it if I can remember ANY of them at 2 in the morning!!!

Anyway, as I was blog hoppin' the other day while it POURED down rain...allllll day....I stumbled upon this awesome idea over at Smitten with First on her THROWBACK THURSDAY post hosted by Cara Carroll over at  The First Grade Parade.  In it she talked about giving out gumballs to her kiddos on their "meet the teacher" day.  Also, she has some SUPER CUTE freebie gift tags for grades K-4th if you want to check those out.

So...once I had the idea of the gumballs, I wanted to go with that for our hall display too.  Then I remembered that I have some WICKED cute graphics by Krista Wallden and Melonheadz that would work PERFECTLY!!!  Wa-hoo!  Now I was all set to get my plan in order.  This is what I have come up with so far.  It's just my "board" that shows my layout and what we'll be doing to "make it happen".

I'll be sure to post the real hall display once it's up.  I hope it turns out as awesome as it seems in my head. (Unfortunately my IDEAS don't ever seem to look as perfect in the REAL world. Argh!)

I did make some tags to attach to the little bags of gum (since I had the super cute bubblegum graphics already!) for our class.  You can grab these up here.  Remember...if you need them for other grades you can follow the link above.
Thanks to Krista Wallden and Dancing Crayon Designs for the great graphics!

So that's it for now!  I can't BELIEVE we go back to school August 1st!!!!  Aaaaaaaaaaah!

Monday, July 8, 2013

AH-MA-ZING K and 1st Back To School GIVEAWAYS!!!

Our super amazing awesome bloggy friend Samantha over at Mrs. Kelly's Klass is switching grade levels this year.  And good news for all of us kindergarten and 1st grade teachers, because that's exactly where's she heading to...KINDERGARTEN!

So...she put together an awesome giveaway with products from some top TpT sellers to celebrate her move to K!

We have "known" Sam since we started on TpT and blogging over a year ago.  She is a newlywed, a new teacher (this will be her 2nd year), and mom to some seriously cuddly, fluffy, and cute kiddos!  It has been truly a joy to get to know her and support each other over the last year.  Anywho...enough with the sappy stuff, yeah?  Let's get on to the REAL business here...

A SUPER AWESOME GIVEAWAY that we secretly want to win that will help make your back to school SO MUCH easier!!!  She's divided it into K and 1st so that you can win products that fit YOUR kiddo's needs perfectly!  LOVE!!!

So...run...do not walk...over to her blog and sign up for this puppy!  Here's crossing our fingers for YOU ok...maybe secretly for us too! GOOD LUCK!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Back to School Ideas!

So we are linking up with the awesome Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday linky.  This post is about our back to school hallway theme, some tips for classroom decorating, and 2 back to school packs.  Hope you can pick up some good tips!

Originally Posted Friday, August 17th!

WOW! We are 2 weeks into school already!  Woo-hoo!  We have survived the "This is how to walk in line, Don't forget to make your lunch choice, Do you remember where to put your folder when you come in?..." procedure days!  Whew!!!  We know we must say the same things over and over and these poor babies probably get sick of hearing us!  BUT...it's all worth it come Monday...ahh...blessed Monday of week 3!!!  They come in knowing just what to do (OK, so that DOESN'T include the few still in training!)!  

So we thought we could share a few pictures of our classroom setup and outside "Welcome Back" displays for those of you who haven't yet started!  Hope you enjoy!  And we'll be praying for your 1st 2 "procedure weeks" to fly by!

How do you take a boring old bookcase and make it fan-tas-tic?  Adhesive Spray!  We LOVE this stuff!  It makes it so easy to turn that yucky brown wood into this wicked cute board ready to post our Commom Core standards.  (That's one of our amazing kindergarten assistants Christie taking care of spray adhesive business!) 
(Thanks Deanna for the awesome CC standards pack!)

Boring lunch choice setup...be gone!  We LOVE this cute ribbon idea instead!  Our school mascot is the gator so we turned these little ice cream spoons into waaaay cute alligators for the kiddos to make lunch choices.  (We are not even gonna lie, cause when we say "we", we really mean our awesome assistant Natalie who is the WAY creative one in the group!)
Here's Page and Natalie's "welcome back" display!  What do you think?  Pretty awesome, huh?  (And if you are thinking, "I bet Natalie-the creative one-made that rocket...then you have already caught on to how we roll! )

Here's Cristy and Christie's "welcome back" display.  We won't lie...we are NOT as creative as Natalie the rock star.  So we enlarged cute graphics we purchased and then traced the designs onto bulletin board paper.  We added the silver paper for bumpers and headlights...That counts as creative, right?  :)
 Here's hoping your school year starts out great!

Check out our Back to School Lessons and Activities Pack and our Back to School Commom Core Kindergarten Math Unit 1 Pack to make your first weeks a "smooth ride".


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Thank you so much to all of our brave service men and women both near and far!  We are blessed to live in this glorious country!  Although it's not perfect, there is no other place we would rather be!
Thanks to "A Little Crafting" for the great pic!
We hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July! 
Celebrate with friends and family, rest and relax, and enjoy the day!

For all of our non-American friends...we hope you enjoy your day too! :)

Be sure and hop over to Primary Inspirations: Monday Morning Inspiration if you are needing some new math goodies for back to school...task cards, freebies, ideas, and more.  (If you're like me, it's raining here and I'm cruising some blogs!)
Primary Inspiration

Happy Day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Math POP! Great CC Active Task Cards - Comment to Win!

I LOVE this product!  Really and truly...it is one of my favs!  I had the idea for Math POP!  months ago and started on it then, but dang it if the end of school madness got in the way of finishing it!  Arrrhh!

So FINALLY, it's done.  We posted it about 2 weeks ago, but then I left on vacay and forgot to post about it on the blog. Ooops!  We always like to post new products and give it away to a few of you guys.  (Keep reading for details!)

So the concept is:
Click the picture to head over to our TPT store to grab it up!
ACTIVE and FUN task cards that you can use with your WHOLE class (or small groups if you want...totally up to you!) to get some daily practice and review on EVERY Kindergarten Common Core Math Standard!

 So we broke the task cards down by strand and then color coded them to make them easier to use.  You can choose to only pull out the strand you are working on and then add cards as you introduce each new strand.  Or you can use them all right away and kinda "pre-teach" standards so the kiddos have an idea about them before you "officially" begin teaching that particular strand later in the year.

Here's how we chose to get them ready to use.  We hang this on a hook on the front board.  Then it's easy to sneak in a little math practice and review ANY time we have a couple of extra minutes to spare here and there.  Some people have said they plan on using them as part of their calendar or morning routine time.  You can also use them as a FUN thing to do as you begin to introduce your daily math lesson.  Good way to get them pumped about math!

Here's an actual page from the set.  Color coded!  We tried REALLY hard to make each task fun and challenging for your kiddos.  We can't WAIT to use these with our own kiddos come August 6th!
So...we hope you love it as much as we do!  Please let us know what you think.  How would you use these?  Any suggestions for improving it?  Would you think a Language POP! or Reading POP! would be helpful?

Leave us a comment and we'll choose 2 winners who will get 

Have an awesome day! It's rainy cats and dogs here so good time for blog hopping!  Off to hop around!