Sunday, October 26, 2014

halloween freebies!

Hi there! I'm just popping in really quick to let you know about 2 FREEBIES you might be interested in for this week!  First up, if you're looking for an engaging way to steal chocolate from your kids incorporate math into some holiday fun, click below to check this data collection freebie :)

And I made this little keepsake last year...students just use their fists to make footprints!

Have a great and not too stressful week!

Friday, October 24, 2014


It's Whitney here from The Crazy Schoolteacher.  Anyone else out there gearing up for fall parent-teacher conferences?  Report Cards, Data Notebooks, Student Work...Oh my!  I am out in full panic mode force trying to get everything ready.

I like to be overly prepared for parent-teacher conferences.  Let's face it...none of us want to be caught off guard by a question or feel not prepared.  My first step in preparing for conferences is working on data notebooks with my students.  Each student has a data notebook to keep track of test scores, reflection and student work examples.  I use this tool to drive my conferences.  I'm not going to is a lot of work.  But let me tell you, it is WORTH every minute of it!  You can read more about my data notebooks here.

I feel like conferences are so rushed, when it is over I ALWAYS remember something that I wanted to point out.  I prepare a  3 STARS & A WISH for each child.  This forces me to point out 3 positive things for each child, while also allowing me to talk about an area they need to improve on.  You can grab 3 STARS & A WISH here.

Although they can be stressful, conferences are a great time to build a relationship with all of the people who love our kiddos.  Each year I always dread all of the extra work and time that goes into it...but I always come out of it feeling excited to work and love on all of my kiddos.

Now, it's time for a Starbucks to end the week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mobile Writing Conferences!!!

Hi there!! How's the week going?? It's Nicole, from All Things Apple, and I've been on fall break for almost 2 weeks now so I'm getting ready to head back on Monday. :( hah I'm excited to start some new procedures and activities though!! So I wanted to share something I've been doing with my writer's workshop!! I love teaching writing, but I have to say, I don't like grading it! hah Nonetheless, I feel like my kids are truly enjoying writing this year. Now, at times, I sit and reflect and honestly have no idea what I've done differently to get ALL the kids loving writing especially since this is my 2nd year with these kids since I looped to 3rd with them! However, then I realize, I enjoy it more this year. I've found that it is one of my favorite times of the day! One reason for this is my MOBILE writing conferences!! That's right...MOBILE!!! Everything else is mobile these days, why not make conferencing mobile as well! :)
Instead of having my students come to me during conferences, I go to them!! I join THEM in THEIR writing spaces! No interruptions, no loss of instructional time, limited to no behavior problems, and I show them that I respect their writing time and space for that matter. I carry around this toolkit you see in the above photo! This way I have EVERYTHING I need to do a quick mini-lesson, write down notes, practice a skill, etc. with my students.
To read a more in depth description of how this looks in my room, click HERE to hop on over to my blog!!! I'm going to leave you with a quote from one of my most reluctant writers last year!! This is from just a few weeks ago.
Thanks so much for stopping by!!! 
Nicole :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Using Hand Signals in the Classroom

Hi everyone!  It's Megan from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade!  Today I'm here to share a classroom management strategy that I've used my entire teaching career.  I read about it in a great book that I was given at my entry year meeting my first year of teaching.  You may have heard about it.  It's called The First Days of School by Harry Wong.  I read it each year the few nights prior to the first day of school.  I really believe that it helped me develop a very strong classroom management system.

One way that I manage my classroom and students is by using hand signals.  No teacher wants to be interrupted during a lesson or while running a reading group.  The hand signal system was something I learned from Harry Wong's book.  You can develop your own hand signals, but below are the ones that I use:

1 finger-restroom 
*If I see someone with their pointer finger up, I nod my head yes or shake it no.  I may also use a verbal cuing to say "Go ahead" or "Not right now."  The child goes over to the door frame, where I have a boy and girl restroom pass hanging.  If the pass is available, he/she is allowed to put it on his/her desk and use the restroom.  Putting the pass on the desk allows me to see who is out of the room.  If the pass is gone, they must wait UNLESS it's an emergency.

2 fingers-drink,tissue,pencil
*Students show 2 fingers for drinks, tissues, or pencils.  They begin each day with 1 pencil on their desk.  If it breaks or is lost, they do the signal, I ok them to get up, and they get a new pencil.  I use a "SHARP" and "DULL" cup system for pencils.  I collect the pencils after school {from their desks} and sharpen them.  No child ever touches a pencil sharpener in my room.

This system has been amazing for me and I am sharing my poster with you.  I have several printed up and around my classroom.  The kids that forget can easily be directed towards the poster.  To snag the poster for free, click HERE.

I hope you found this post helpful!  Please consider following me below.  Click each image to follow. I do LOTS of giveaways on my Facebook fan page!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Everybody Fails, But Can You Fail Like a Pro? Freebie Included

"I'm good enough.  I'm smart enough.  And gosh-darn it--people like me."

Stuart Smalley was a good man.  He knew how to fail and overcome his sadness by working hard and facing facts.  Sadly, his time has passed and many students (and adults, teachers, professionals) don't know how fail properly.

I'm dealing with it every single day with my students.  For some, work is hard and they're afraid of messing up.  For other's they're afraid of hard work.  And then I've got a few that will never admit to a mistake they've made.

FAILURE is tough.  Failure is also natural, but for so many its' seen as the end.  Whereas it should truly be seen as the beginning.

I just put together the poster set How to Fail Like a Pro because I wanted my students to look at all the alternatives to quitting.  Here's what it looks like on my bulletin board.

These are the three posters included below.

School is tough and we have tons of students that are tiny little perfectionists.  BUT they don't know (or have) the coping skills around when the chips are down.

I've found that I normally have to physically walk students through the process of not quitting, figuring out why they failed, and then making adjustments.

This year seems to be about the social/emotional learning and teaching for me.  More than any other year, I have kids that need to build these skills.  Sometimes though, these are my favorite lessons to teach because your building skills that can carryover for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Classroom Reveal.... a few months too late!! (Freebie & Giveaway)

So being home on maternity leave, leaves me with not very many blogging ideas...  So I went back through my photos I've taken when I WAS in class and realized I hadn't done my classroom reveal yet. Yes, I know its now mid October and all of the classrooms are now set up, but alas - I'm revealing anyways - so deal with it! :)  I hope you like what you see.  I LOVE my room and love making it as colorful as possible.  My philosophy is if I have to spend 7+ hours there each day, I might as well like looking at the walls!  Here's my room!

This is the back wall, standing at the doorway.  

Entire room standing at the doorway.

This is my 'reading garden'.  I have my books organized by genres and authors.  

The right is a 3 drawer organizer backed up to our ipod cart.  

Back wall, student mailboxes, iPad cart

Guided Reading Area - I LOVE my dry erase board table!

Feedback and questioning bulletin board.

Front board

My desk

My desk area

Front rug area

Front rug area

Sink and closet

Entire room from corner

Objective bulletin board

What do ya think?  I love it!!!  Let me know if you have any questions about anything.  I didn't go into much detail about each section so I'd be happy to explain something in more detail if you want me to.  I can't wait to get back there. I love being here but teaching is definitely a part of me and I miss it terribly.  

So this post wouldn't be complete without an amazing freebie.  My friend Annie just opened her TPT store - literally as I'm typing this blog!  She uploaded her freebie, which is an adorable Roll & Write Halloween activity - perfect for October centers!!!  I would LOVE it if you could give her a big TPT welcome and go download her her freebie.  (Click the photo)  She would love it too if you'd follow her - I know she's going to be putting a lot of great work very soon and you don't want to miss out!!  Make sure to leave her some feedback as well!  

And to top it all off - make sure to hop over to my blog - Adventures of Room 129 - to enter my Birthday Blowout Giveaway!!!  I'm giving away a $25 TPT gift card, a $30 shopping spree, and over 20 amazing sellers have donated products that YOU could win!  Make sure to check it out!! (Click the photo)

So I can't leave without showing off these amazing little ones.  Aren't they adorable!?  They are my loves...  I hope you're having a great October!  Make sure to leave me a comment and let me know how you're doing!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

You're Giving Me A Headache!

Hey everyone!

So in one of the last posts, I had accepted a long term position. That's no longer the case. I got moved into a full time position teaching third grade!

I work in a dual-language school, but we do have one class per grade that is English only, in which I'm the third grade teacher. These kids basically stay together until middle school. They know how to push each other's buttons and they love to talk. Really love to talk. When a student comes up to you and says they're getting a headache too, you know you have a problem.

So much so, I had to make a noise level so that they wouldn't give me another headache. Knowing myself, I knew I would have to make it cutesy and also attract their attention. So it's not just a 1-4, but there are catchy titles too.

Graphics from Melonheadz, Teacher Laura, and Kate Hadfield.

Click the picture or click here!

I hope you guys will find this helpful! I didn't put playground/outside noise, as there shouldn't be a reason my kids are that loud in the class!

**Note, due to my busy schedule, I will not be making any changes to the freebie, it comes as is, thanks!**

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leader in Me Mini-Series: Leadership Notebooks

This year my school is becoming a 7 Habits Leader in Me school!!!
  To celebrate and enlighten everyone about how great this design is, I wanted to do a little mini-series of everything our school has done up to this point.  This first of my mini-series is all about the Leadership Notebook!  It is probably VERY similar to your Data Notebooks but with a few more things added in.  Check out today's insanely long post over at my blog to get an in depth look at what our Leadership Notebooks look like and all sorts of FREEBIES that go inside it!
Here is just a sneak peek!
I hope you enjoy and have a happy Thursday!  Click on my button to take you to my post and grab your goodies!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Vocabulary Parade + a Freebie!!

Hey there!!! How is everyone doing?? Are you in disbelief that it's only 78 days away from Christmas?!? hah :) I LOVE Christmastime, but I also LOVE all the time before including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the anticipation of Christmas. The smells, colors, foods, gatherings, and on and on and on are magical to say the least!!

OK, OK, I need to stop daydreaming about all of these things and get to my post! :) Otherwise, I'd probably be up grabbing another Halloween Oreo. haha So good!


I don't know about you, but it wasn't always my favorite thing to teach. Mainly because I thought the words from the basals were silly. However, with Reading Wonders, the only one thing I am liking is the vocabulary words. They are mostly comprised of Tier 2 words (with some Tier 3) that kids will see throughout their readings not just in content rich activities.

With the limited time we have, I needed to find engaging ways to help my kids practice the vocabulary words. After being inspired by the book, Word Nerds, I decided that my kids were going to WEAR the words! Each exposure to the word will help lock it into their memory!


Here are the steps that I use to get this all started!

*Notes from above post-it: 
2. I use a lot of activities from the Interactive Vocabulary Notebooks set by Abby Mullins from The Inspired Apple!
5. Here is an EDITABLE version of the vocabulary cards for you to try it out for yourself!! Click on either of the pictures below to download the EDITABLE PowerPoint! 

7. If you want to read more about the monthly Book Raffle that we have in my room, click HERE or on the picture below!! 
8. Want to see more pictures from our Vocabulary Parade??? Click HERE to go to my blog for more information!!! 

I hope you enjoyed reading about our Vocabulary Parade and received enough information to get your very own Vocabulary Parade going!!! I would love to hear how it goes for you if you try it out in your own room too!!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!!