Sunday, August 31, 2014

DIY Pointers

During the summer when looking at my classroom I said to myself... "What do I need more of? What is missing?" And one of the things that I came up with was... pointers! Many of us are on a budget so I went to my good friend Kindergarten Smorgasboard, and he had this fabulous blog post and idea....
I am so glad that I am able to collaborate and bounce off ideas with such amazing teachers like him! Check out his post HERE to find out how to create these cute easy-to-make pointers for a great price!

Michael's craft store is the place to be ;)

I hope you are all having a wonderful back-to-school experience... I wish you a great year, and I will be putting up pictures of my classroom very soon!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

5 Back to School Must Haves

 I am very excited to bring you my 5 must haves for back to school.  Many purchases I am sure you already have, but if you are a new teacher or forgot a few items, I hope I can help you out!

1. First and foremost, I wouldn't be anywhere without my laminator! I can print any of the amazing TPT products that I have bought or created, and LAMINATE them to stay durable for years to come.  Not only is this perfect for fun and engaging printables for activities and hands-on work, but also for classroom decor and materials that I just want to make sure stay in place!
The Scotch laminator shown above is the exact one that I have had for years! Love it, and very inexpensive.

2. I don't know about everyone else, but I am hooked on smelly stickers and markers, and so are my students!  My 4th graders loved them just as much as my Kindergarteners did last year.  It is a little treat for them and more than a reward to them :) Besides Trend Stinky stickers, Scentos, and Mr. Sketch markers, I also love the scented ink pads (and they last a long time!)

3. Cardstock is something that I always make sure I have enough of.  It can get expensive, but I usually get great deals at Michaels with a coupon or a deal that they already have.  With cardstock, I will print out special projects for my students that are keepsakes or gifts for their families.  I will also use it for important cards or if we are doing a project that requires durable paper.  I don't use it often, but the children know and respect that when the cardstock comes out, we are doing something special! :)

4. Paint! This is something I definitely ran out of as a Kindergarten teacher.  So I make sure, that if I see a sale or a coupon, I get a bunch of colors that I know I will be using.  Painting is so freeing for children and can be used in SO many ways... for example, last year we did dot paintings.. canvas paintings for gifts.. finger painting.. hand print painting... and painting for fun!  Art supplies in general I make sure I pick up if they are on sale or if I think I'll have a need for them. 

5.  My last must have is something that you personally may not need to think too much about in your school.  However, at the school I work at, we all make sure that we give the best parent gifts that we can.  Of course we are all on a budget, and for the holidays that we celebrate, I always want to make sure that I purchase craft and gift items ahead of time, or make sure that I have money saved up. 
Examples of parent gifts are from this post and this one as well. 

Also on my list:
Glue gun (holds anything!)
 Book bins (why didn't this make the cut as one of the 5?! A must!)
Mailbox (to stay organized and the best way for your kiddos to get their mail)
 I hope you enjoyed my must haves for back to school :) I will be posting pictures of my room soon!

If you liked this post, please consider following me on my blog, facebook, and TPT store.  Thank you so much for stopping by, and make sure you check out the other bright ideas in the hop :) There are tons of different ideas with different grade levels!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shark Week Blog Hop

All teachers know that kids learn more when they’re excited and engaged. Today a team of bloggers have come together to help your students take a BITE out of learning with a theme your students are sure to love!

One way I help my students get excited about learning is to constantly change up activities - they love hands-on learning, and I try to make sure that I expose them to all different types of activities.  
I love that we do the Daily 5 at my school.  There are so many inexpensive ideas for Daily 5, and the children are constantly making their own choices, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and working the whole time :) Being given responsibility and choice as to what the students are most interested in, will quickly engage them in the learning!

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My Shark Week freebie is a nonfiction shark fact book.  This includes real life pictures and an ending page for students to reflect about what they read.  I have included 4 pages per 1 sheet of paper to save space and allow for less printing.  This can be used in Daily 5, reading groups, the possibilities are endless.  A lot of my students love learning about sharks too and are very engaged with texts like these. 
I hope that you and your students enjoy this freebie!
Click HERE to try it out!

Be sure to go for a swim in the linky party below. Every blog in the Shark Week Blog Hop features a fishy freebie for you and your students- but hurry! Shark Week only lasts until Sunday, August 17th  : )