Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Positive Reinforcement {w/Freebies}

Hey guys!
My post isn't going to be super long but I do hope it will be useful for you! And yes, there's TWO freebies for you
 I want to talk about positive reinforcement in the classroom in order to manage your classroom.
I have a tough group this year. I am departmentalized so I teach reading/writing to two classes for a total of 51 students
 at the moment. It's different and definitely an adjustment! I do enjoy only planning/prepping for two subjects though so it
 has its perks!
But nonetheless, they are extremely chatty and very quick to argue with one another over the SILLIEST of reasons!
They often leave me looking like this:

We all know it's easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive so I've really been trying to get better at focusing
 on the things students are doing RIGHT versus the wrong choices they are making.
As a result, I have implemented several things in my classroom this year and I'm trying my best to be consistent and 
deliberate in following through each and every day with both classes.

The first thing is that I use a classroom BINGO board. It's very simple but the kiddos really get into it! I print the 
bingo board, laminate it and hang it up in my classroom with a dry erase marker strung up beside it.

When I see a child setting a great example for any reason, I will simply say "So and so, go put your name on the Bingo 
board." Up they hop and scamper to the board! They are allowed to put their name anywhere on the board. Every
 Friday, I use bingo cards to draw a letter (B I N G O) and number (1 2 3 4 5) to pick a winner. If I draw B5, the child 
in the bottom spot of the B column wins! I let them pick lunch with me or treasure box as a reward. Sometimes I pick one
winner, sometimes I pick up to three!

Some variations for this can be:
1. If you use numbers for your students, have them put their classroom specific number in a box instead of their whole
 name. Saves room and time!
2. You can draw however often you want for a winner! Weekly, biweekly, monthly, daily, whatever! It's totally 
what works best for you!
3. I have teams in my room and if the whole team is doing a great job, I will sometimes tell them to put their group 
name on the bingo board. Then, if I draw that square, the whole group gets a reward! They love when that happens!
4. If the WHOLE class is on-task and doing great, I put MY name on the bingo board! That means if I draw that square, 
the whole class gets a reward such as extra recess! :)

Like this idea? Good because you're in luck! Here's a freebie to help you get started in implementing this in your 
 Click here to download! I did LOTS of backgrounds so hopefully one will work for your classroom! :) Feel free to
pin and share with friends!

The second new thing I have implemented is what I call "Count It Up!"

In my class, I have 6 groups of students. Each group is a TEAM. This idea is all about rewarding the team 
as a whole. It encourages students to take responsibility for themselves and for their teammates. 
We talk about how to positively encourage group members and how not to "yell" at them or shush them to try 
and be ready.

Anytime I see a group that is on-task and working, they get a point/tally. I also award points/tallies to groups for
 being ready the quickest, being quietest the quickest, getting materials out the quickest, etc. The list goes on and on 
but you get the idea. At the end of the week, I tell the Team Captains to "Count It Up" and they know to go to
 the team points board and count up their team points for that week. Team with the most points gets.... you got it, 
a reward! I give them options and let them choose. Extra recess, treasure box, lunch with me, no homework pass, etc.

The kiddos really like it because it's a healthy competition. Students will usually get their act together quicker
 because they don't want their table mates upset with them. In the end, it has worked out well for me!

If you like this idea, I have another freebie for you! Again, I included lots of background options! I also have
 versions for FOUR teams and SIX teams as I realize classes often differ in size! :)

Click here to download! Again, feel free to pin and share!
I sure hope you  have enjoyed my post today! I hope you like these ideas and can use them in your own classroom. 
If you do, I would love to hear about it! :)
 Thanks for stopping by today!
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B2S Blow Out SALE! Don't miss it!


 I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year! Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

My top selling SPACE UNIT can be found within this awesome bundle!!!!

First Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF


My space unit is very comprehensive and includes the following:
1. An Anchor Text (810 Lexile)
2. A Student Mini-Book to accompany the anchor text – the mini-book is on an approachable level for 1st grade students.
3. 4 Concept Maps
4. Vocabulary Cards
5. 5 Experiments/Demonstrations – All with an accompanying worksheet/recording sheet
6. My Night Sky Diary Homework Mini-Book
7. Collaborative Grouping Cards
8. Space Test
9. 5 Math Centers – Focusing on: Addition, Subtraction, Tens Frame Card Game, Measuring, and Counting
10. 5 Literacy Centers – Focusing on: Sentence Structure, Long and Short Vowel Sounds, Past/Present/Future Tense Verbs, Singular/Plural Nouns/Pronouns, and Root Words/Suffixes
11. Various Worksheets and Recording Sheets to accompany centers and anchor text.
12. Alien Craftivity with Writing Extension & Graphic Organizer
13. Rocket Craftivity with Writing Extension & Graphic Organizer

Check out some photos from my classroom of this unit in action!

Don't Miss It!

And please, feel free to PIN or SHARE anything in this post!!! :)


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Two Stars and a Wish: Start Your Year Right!


I'm excited to be joining some FABULOUS teachers for this fun linky!

The idea is to check out some blog posts where we are sharing Two Stars and a Wish! 

The STARS are great, simple to implement ideas and the WISH is something we want to improve upon for this year! 

My first Star Idea is probably not anything earth shattering that you haven't heard before... but I'm going to say it again because it's THAT IMPORTANT!

Nail down your policies/procedures/expectations BEFORE you meet your kiddos and welcome them into your classroom! This goes for before you meet their parents too! You never know what you might get asked at Meet the Teacher and you want to be prepared for the kiddos and their parents so that they are confident in their teacher for the upcoming year!

Advice my principal gave last year that really made sense was "Think about what really annoys you and gets under your skin and make sure you have a procedure for that"... I was like WOW, that really makes sense. Most likely if your kiddos are annoying you, that's because you didn't teach them a way to deal with whatever the issue is. So there you have it! Start thinking about that stuff and how you want it handled in YOUR classroom so that everyone has a happy year!

One of the BEST resources EVER that I utilize for this is this fabulous freebie by my wonderful friend Tamara over at Mrs. Russell's Room!

Focus on the POSITIVE in your classroom! I had a pretty rough group last year in regards to constant talking, off task behaviors, etc. and I really went home each day feeling horrible because I felt like I had been so negative. Every day I told myself I was going to focus more on the positive and by the end of the year, I had gotten much better at that! 

I created these two resources to use in my classroom to help with just that! When YOU focus on the POSITIVE things in your classroom, so will your students!

Feel free to check these out and give them a try in your room this year!

One thing I wish for this year is that I do a better job of examining Non Fiction passages with my students. It comes easy and natural to me as a teacher to jump into fictional passages and find right there information because that's what the basal (that I have to use) focuses mostly on. The times it does have non fiction passages, they are super lengthy and often too difficult for many of my learners who come to me below grade level. 

I created a resource to make me more accountable for that this year! Students HAVE to be able to find the right there information in all genres! My wish is that, by using these high interest passages, they will enjoy the process and therefore internalize the oh-so-necessary skill of proving their answers with text based evidence!

You can click the pic to check it out in more detail if you would like.

I invite you to follow me on FB, TpT, and Instagram if you enjoyed these star ideas!

And don't worry, the fun doesn't stop now! Check out all of the other wonderful teacher-bloggers who are linked up below and get some more fabulous ideas/tips!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jamberry Nails + Reviewers Wanted!

I'm beyond excited to have joined Jamberry as an Independent Consultant!

You can follow my Jamberry adventures on my FB Page too!

Have you heard of Jamberry Nails? If not, you've been missing out!

Jamberry nails are vinyl wraps that are heat and pressure activated. Manicures last up to 14 days (and sometimes even longer) and pedicures last 4 weeks or more!

They are applied directly on to your natural nails by simply heating them up and putting some pressure on them to seal them! You can also use them on acrylics!

Can't afford to go to the salon every two weeks for a new set and touch ups?? Me neither!
Are you a nail biter? Using these nail wraps will help deter you from biting allowing you to grow out your natural nails!

My favorite part of Jamberry (besides the easy and cost effective application) is that they are not polish based so they are CHIP FREE!

I don't know about you, but I can't go a day without chipping nail polish off my fingers! And with a 3 year old, who has time to sit around for nail polish to dry?? Not me!

Here's some other benefits of Jamberry:

Wondering how Jamberry nail wraps look on your nails? Here's some of my recent jamicures!
And you can click on the pic to head straight to that style on the website for easy ordering if you fall in love with a design! :)

Click picture for chevron wraps, click here for Teal Sparkle!

Jamberry has over 300 designs including Jamberry Junior wraps made especially for little girls ages 3-8 as well as Mommy and Me wraps for the perfect mother/daughter bonding time! 

They have collegiate wraps, sorority wraps, solid wraps, sparkle wraps, french tip wraps, and so much more!

I really encourage you to check them out!

Not sure if you would like them? I invite you to participate in my 7 Day Chip Challenge! I will mail you a free sample and in return, you put the sample wrap on one nail and paint your other nails with polish! Take a picture on Day 1 and on Day 7 and see which has held up the best! Hands down it will be Jamberry! Make sure you email me your photos or post them to my FB Page!

Plus, every month I pick a photo from my Chip Challenge album on FB to win a free half sheet of wraps! 

Want to give it a try? Sign up for the chip challenge here!

Ready to shop? Go here.

Want to host an online Facebook party where you can earn TONS of FREE Hostess Rewards? Click here.

Want to have it all and join my team? Go here!

Lastly, if you are a blogger, I have a special offer for you! If you are interested, I'm looking for Jamberry product reviewers! 

You sign up, and if chosen, I'll send YOU a free half sheet of wraps to do a FULL MANICURE on yourself to show off to friends and try out! After a few days of loving it, you will write a blog review about the Jamberry Nail Wraps! Upon completion of your blog post review and satisfying a few other minor requirements, you will receive a free sheet of wraps from me that you can pick! If you don't want Free JAMBERRY for your review post, I will send you 5 TpT items from my TpT Store! It's a win-win for everyone!

Wanna sign up to be a Product Reviewer for me?
Click here!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Prove It! Non-Fiction Edition! {A Look Inside}

Hey friends!

If you are a fan on my FB Page, then you already know about my brand new product that I'm super excited about! 
Click on any picture in this post to view/purchase this product on TpT!

You may already be an owner of my other Prove It! resource that looks like this: 

Both products focus on the same reading strategy - looking in the text and finding the right there information to answer comprehension questions. That's why it's called Prove It! The students have to systematically prove their answers in the text to support their answers. A strategy that many students struggle with every year! 

How can students be expected to make inferences, compare and contrast, find the main idea and details, identify cause and effect, etc. if they can't comprehend the information that's right in the text in front of them at surface level. The answer is simple, they can't!

So I wanted to give you a first hand look at what's included in my new Non Fiction Edition of my Prove It! pack! 

Here's what's included in the resource:

Here's a real photograph of what the passages look like:

So as you can see, all you need for this pack to implement in your classroom is copies of the passages/questions and each child needs 3 crayons - A red, blue, and purple! 

I actually have a ziploc bag in my room with only these three colors of crayons in it and I just tell the kids who need to borrow crayons to grab the Prove It bag and they know what to grab and what to take out of it! :)

Every passage and set of questions is laid out in the same exact formatting so that students don't have to relearn what's expected each time. To prove answer #1, you always circle the sentence with a red crayon. To prove answer #2, you always underline the sentence with a blue crayon and to prove answer #3, you always box the sentence with a purple crayon!

You can use these in whole group, small group guided reading, centers, homework, enrichment, for early finishers, for remediation, or any other way you see fit! 

I really enjoy using them in small group because once we have gone through and answered/proven the 3 comprehension questions, we go back and look for current and past phonics skills such as words with r-controlled vowels, compound words, vowel teams, etc. and the kids love it! 

As of right now this resource has 15 Non Fiction passages and is $4.00 (the same amount and price as my original version) HOWEVER within the next week, I will be updating the Non Fiction version with 21 additional passages for a total of 36 passages! 

That's enough to do one passage per week the whole school year! Once I update on TpT, I will be raising the price accordingly so you can snag it now for $4.00 and get the update for FREE! 

Lastly, if you would like to pin an image from this post for a chance to win it, just leave your email and pin link in a comment below! I will pick a winner on Saturday. :) 

Thank you for checking my new resource out and if you have any questions, please ask! :)

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Foodie Teacher FB Hop + 31 Bag {and more!} Giveaway

Try not to faint!

Yes, I am still alive!!! :) 

I have thoroughly been enjoying my summer as well as updating and working on a few TpT Products!

I wanted to pop in today to mention a couple of things!

First up...
Come over to Facebook and check out the first ever Foodie Teacher Facebook Hop! The bloggers above are all participating and sharing a quick recipe with you... some delicious food, desserts and adult beverage recipes await!

But that's not all! What's a hop without a good ol' giveaway?!?
That's right! Win all that goodness up there plus I'm giving away a FULL SHEET of Jamberry Nail Wraps!!!

Go ahead and enter before it's too late!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Second thing is that I'm hosting a DAILY SUMMER GIVEAWAY on my FB page all summer long and it just started yesterday! Basically, every morning at 9:00 AM I will make a post featuring ONE TpT Product... you have until 9:00 PM (or slightly later) to enter to win that product! Every day is a NEW product up for grabs! I'm featuring all of my Back to School type items these first few days so it's a great time to enter! Make sure you are a FB follower to stay in the loop with those and consider enabling "Get Notifications" so you don't forget to enter each day!

I sure hope you enjoy the hop and best of luck to you on the giveaways! 

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Idea: Brain Breaks!

Hi friends!

Welcome back for more BRIGHT IDEAS!

I'm here today to share an AMAZING website I recently discovered!
It's called GoNoodle and it's all about BRAIN BREAKS! It's FREE to Sign Up and it's soooo worth it!

Since I have signed up, I have been using this as a motivator for my class and it has WORKED people. For real. No lies here! They are so motivated to follow directions to earn extra Brain Breaks throughout class that it's just awesome! PLUS, we have a TON of FUN doing them together!

So what is GoNoodle you ask? Here's a quick breakdown with some in-class photos for you to check out. 

**I had some awesome videos to share with you also but when I upgraded my phone last night, everything BUT my videos transferred over! :( So bummed about that!**

GoNoodle is free to sign up and get started and you can even set up multiple classes if need be. Since I am departmentalized and teach two classes, I set it up for each class and named it by their Homeroom teacher. 
As you see here:

You then get to choose a CLASS CHAMP! As you progress through levels, the champs get bigger and bigger! The kids get SO excited to see what the champ will look like next after each level!

Here's a couple of examples of Champ Transformations!

Once you have a class champ chosen, you go to your home screen which has your champ, minutes earned, minutes needed for next level, and a random fact/quote/joke from your champ.

Here's an example: 
Then, you simply hit that PLAY button and you are ready to choose a brain break!

Now the great thing about GoNoodle (besides how much the kiddos love it) is that there is such a great variety of Brain Break videos and most educational ones allow you to choose your grade or grade range, making it suitable for all levels K-5!

You will find a wide range of activities from Olympic Sports, Dancing, Sing Alongs, and of course EDUCATIONAL based ones such as Bodyspell where you choose a word list and students must follow along with the screen character to spell out the words.. forming the letters with their bodies! There's also FREEZE IT which allows you to pick Reading (Sight Words), Addition, Subtraction, and more! In that game, students dance when it says DANCE! and then FREEZE and have to read a sight word or solve a math problem.. then back to dancing! 

The more you Brain Break, the more minutes you earn and the faster your Champ grows! Once you max out a Champ, you get to choose a new one and repeat the process! :)

Here's a few of the choices/some class favorites:

If you decide to give it a try, I would LOVE to hear your class favorites! :) 

Want to give it a try? Click on any picture in this post to head to to sign up and start breaking it down with your kiddos! :)

Please feel free to PIN any photos or share this post with anyone that you think might benefit from it!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, Instagram, and TpT.

Needing more bright ideas? Be sure to browse the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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