July 3, 2017

Monday Made It

I am so excited! I am spending this week in Florida with one of my very best friends from college. Before I Jet Set out of here, I wanted to share what I have been busy working on.

Coding Mouse 

I LOVE the idea of coding and integrating technology into the classroom. Next year I would love to use this coding mouse for a hands on practice and review. Keep an eye out for a blog post all about coding in Kindergarten!

Paperless ABC Matching

I love all things paperless for the classroom! My students will work on their skills and letter identification with this paperless resource. I have included both Boom Cards and a link for Google Slides!

Memory Book

I am so amazed by the memory book idea from Easy Teaching Tools. I can't wait to get in my classroom and set them up. The amazing work sign will be the first sheet on the memory book. At the end of the year I will use Kristen's idea the cover page with their picture. I am so excited for this idea, read about how she does it here.

Book Bins

Organizing classroom books is always a chore. But I am determined this year to have the classroom library I have always wanted. I made themed labels for the bins with matching labels for the books. I can not wait to see it all together. I ordered these book bins to make my library complete!

CVC Boom Cards

Have you heard about Boom Cards? I am obsessed with them! Read all about them here.  I have been busy making cards to use during centers next year. They can also be assigned as homework!

Have you not used boom cards yet? Try them out here

June 24, 2017

Getting Started with Boom Cards

As teachers we are constantly evolving in our ideas and strategies we utilize in the classroom. Technology is one of those aspects we must stay on top of and evolve with. If not solely for the fact that we want our students to have exposure.

As most of you know I have been exploring and creating digital resources to be used in the classroom. My students were able to learn skills this past school year that fellow educators did not even know about! They felt so amazing and empowered!

This summer I have discovered Boom Cards from Boom Learning.

What are Boom Cards?

Great Question! I feel that you will not accept the answer of just "awesome".
Boom Cards are a paperless task card that, brace yourself, are SELF CORRECTING!!


No more laminating. Cutting. Printing. None of that. Your cards are entirely digital.

How to use boom cards?

Similarly to Google Classroom, you can create a classroom for your students. You can use the classroom to keep records on your students' performance. However, you can also assign decks through a fast play. This would be perfect as homework or group work.
If your students log in, this is the screen they will see.

Once signed in, students will select one of the assignments to complete. 
Students will complete the assignments. 
Since the cards are self-correcting students will need little guidance. If they are student, they can chose to "surrender" a card and the correct answers will be shown.
When students have completed the assignment there is the ability to view their percentage they had correct. This is a great option to have parents also check. 
Checking data on the student end can be seen below.
On the teacher's end you will be able to see how each student scored on an assignment. You can find this information your teacher dashboard by clicking "reports".
In addition to show your the percentage scored, it also shows you the amount of time that your students took to complete the cards. How great is this! I will certainly be creating a personal set for my students to have them identify sight words.

Self Grading.
Time Saving.
Enough Said. 

But it gets better!

BoomLearning.com is a paid subscription site. However, with your first set purchased on TeachersPayTeachers you will receive your first year FREE. 

Since I am teaching Kindergarten again next year, all of my boom cards will be primary based. You can check them out here.

If you have any questions about Boom Cards I would love to help or get your the answer. Be sure to click here to join the Facebook Group!

Looking for more Boom Card Teacher Authors? Click here!

How I will use Boom Cards

I am so excited and busy creating because I want to get started with boom cards in the Fall. I plan on using them during centers for both Math and ELA. I also love the idea of assigning them for homework.

June 15, 2017

Monday Made It

I am excited to be joining Tara from Fourth Grade Frolics for #mondaymadeit!

First up are these adorable birthday straws from The Husky Loving Teacher. What a smart idea to make these over the summer and have them on hand for birthdays! Click here to grab her FREE Birthday Tags!
As soon as I saw her post this image on Instagram I went hunting for a good deal on straws. Success at Dollar Tree Online! Ordered them and they will ship for free to my local store!
Krazy Straws, 6 ct.

Next year I am implementing a Golden Pineapple in place of a student of the month award. I want to focus each month on a different character trait. Then at the end of that month I will select the student who has showed the most growth in that area.

My goal is to build a classroom community in which we uplift one another. Click here to pick them up!
I know I know, it is summer break and I am thinking about next year. But honestly, I am still in school mode and creating for next year does not stress me out. Soooo, for September I want to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day! I made this fun math center for my students to work on compare numbers. 

Another day in September I love to teach is International Day of Peace. I made these pennant banners to go along with The Peace Book by Todd Parr (aff link).
Peace Banners

And because I thought I would be adventurous and crafty I made these touch and feel number cards for my kinders. What a great idea from Teach Me Mommy.
 Touch & Feel Counting Cards

Looking for some more ideas? Click here to check out some more #mondaymadeit.

May 30, 2017

Surviving the Final Days

I can not believe that I am now 3 days away from the end of the year! This school year has really flown by. Did it go the way I hoped? Not entirely, but honestly, does it ever?

As we begin to wind down for the year my students have taken this to believe we are done. Yeah no. We will be learning friends. With a less than a week left I am certainly not teaching new content, but it is also not a free for all.

So What Am I Teaching?

These final days are all review of content, but in an engaging way. In Math class we have been working our way through a PBL designed by April from Performing in Education. My students have been working on planning a field trip to space. It has truly been a great experience. My only regret is that I have not done more of these throughout the year. (Look out next year! Edit: JK I am going back to Kindergarten next year LOL)

Beginning of our PBL - working in small groups

Dependently organizing data and justifying trip
In Social Studies I am finishing up a quick unit on the 13 Colonies. Social Studies is unfortunately always one of those subjects that students do not seem interested in. I don't think it helps that text books are always outdated as well. So I decided to bring a little more engagement with this unit. We will be ending the year with a BANG while participating in an Escape Classroom.

I am doing the escape activity after grades are due, so I needed to get another assessment in. We completed these adorable pennants from The Little Ladybug Shop. Not only were these a great review, but she included a rubric, makes my life so much easier!
13 Colonies Pennant

Increasing Student Engagement

Last year I ended Kindergarten with a fun camping theme. You can read about it here. Since it was such a hit, I wanted to repeat it with my 5th graders. Now, I did not set it up to the extent of putting a tent and lake in my room, but it was just enough that it was exciting for them. With help from this resource from Math Mojo, I had instantly increased engagement and motivated my students.

In Language Arts my class had a blast completing Mad Libs type activities, writing a letter to next years 5th graders and designing a book commercial.  All year we had been watching book commercials and I really wanted to have my students create one for us to post to YouTube, but it didn't happen. This was the next best thing! 
I love having my students share the favorite book throughout the year.

A huge hit was in Math class! 
They loved this multiplication game!
I love games that are engaging but also reinforce a skill. Isn't it always a win when they are learning while having fun?

To end our camping week we had Flashlight Friday. Another slam dunk! I blacked out our classroom and my students used flashlights all day to complete their work. These kids were hiding in the craziest places in my room! What it really reminded me was that we need to treat kids like kids. We can deliver content in a way that lets them play and they may even learn more from it!
Flashlight Friday in 5th Grade
I hope that your end of the year is exciting and engaging as well! And enjoy your well deserved summer!

May 28, 2017

5th Grade End of the Year Gifts

Do you give your students an end of the year gift? I know many who teachers do and do not.

Honestly, I was torn about what to do this year. After reflecting on my class behavior this year and how much I already did for them, did I really want to do more? Don't get me wrong, I love my class. However there were so many times where they either expected something or were ungrateful for what they received. 

Typically I love giving my students a gift, typically a $1 book from Scholastic. You can click here to see what I gave my Kinders last year.

At the end of the day, I did decide to do something because this would be the last thing they would ever receive from me. So here's what I decided to do. 

After discussing with a teacher friend, she told me that she does a Wordle gift for the end of the year. Boom. Done. Easy no expense, if I don't buy a frame. And it is meaningful.

Set Up

I wanted this to also be a gift that the class had some say in. So one day I had a sub and I had her this with them.

I had the students complete a Character Scoot around the room. Each student had a sheet with their name on the top, which they would leave on their desk. Then they would scoot around the room and write 1-2 (kind) words that they associated with that person. 

Want to make your character scoot a little interactive. Ashley Schroeder has an adorable resource on TpT.

Don't want to do a scoot? You can set up this sheet like Confessions of a Teaching Junkie did.

In the end I would just need to grab the papers and put the words right into my word cloud.

Creating the Word Cloud

There are many different programs that can be used to create a word cloud. I made mine through www.wordclouds.com. After I typed in the words I selected to have the shape be the first letter in their name.
Word Cloud Example

I then saved the image and printed it at home on my color printer, because HP Instant Ink Rocks.

I did decide to purchase frames from the Dollar Store. (picture to come) So all in all this gift cost me $1 per student.

So why did I finally decide to do a gift? This quote explains it all.

Image result for they won't remember what you said

More Ideas

There are so many ideas on pinterest that it can be hard to decide what to do for your students.  Check out some free tags I have found below!

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!
How bright and colorful are these tags from The Printable Princess?!

10 FREE Gift Tags for end of the school year student gifts and gift ideas that won't break the bank for the teacher.:
I think I might use the post-it one this year as I am changing grades!

April 29, 2017

Celebrating the End of State Testing

FINALLY! I am more than relieved that the testing sessions are over. Certainly, so are my students! They worked their tails off for 7 days and certainly earned some down time, Our principal had emailed us that we should take some time to reward the kids, so that we did!

Before our state testing we did a kick off. We took the afternoon to pump our kids up. We paired review with active games and the kids LOVED it!! Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of that.

I saw on Instagram this awesome carnival themed test prep from Cooties and Cuties. Read about it on  All About 3rd Grade. I told my grade partner that I would love to do a Carnival Themed Kick Off next year.

So once this message from my principal came about I knew instantly I wanted to do a mini carnival for my kids.

I purchased the giant inflatables from Target (dice, ring toss, and bowling). I hit up Amazon for some water guns, ping pong balls, and photo props. The rest of the games I had in my house, bean bag toss and parachute.

Overall it was a huge hit! I'd love to know if you have done a carnival theme before. Next year I would like to go bigger! Or at least have more than a week to prepare. :)


Giant Bowling

Roll and Run


Photo Booth

I ordered the props off of Amazon.

Ring Toss

April 16, 2017

Upper Elementary Easter Activities

How is it the middle of April already?! This school year is just flying by! Which also means that I was not prepared for Spring activities!

The weather was finally warming up this week and I was just as eager to get outside as my students. So that's what we did! I took my class outside for their writing block and it was so perfect. Not only were some of my students engaged in the writing and working hard, but they were on task while enjoying the weather. This is certainly a reward I would like to use more often with my class.

Click the image to see our writing resource.

Here in PA we had 3.5 days off at the end of winter due to snow, unfortunately that meant my district took away days from our spring break. Disappointing, but I just remind myself we get out early! :) So when Thursday before Easter came up my kids were on me about "What are we doing fun?!" Well that was a great question, mainly because I did not have a plan as of Tuesday LOL!

Here is what I came up with on the cheap.

My students came in to complete a spring word search. Which you can grab for free here.
We had an early dismissal so we cut down our Math and Reading classes to 45 minutes to get in the final project. For math this week we had been working in centers for preparing for our state test. Naturally, I thought this was fun already (lol) but my students appeared to disagree. ;) So I had them plan an egg hunt using Jennifer Findley's free activity. 

They worked in small groups and this served as their exit slip into their math centers. They were definitely having a fun time with it, and it was nice to have them doing all the planning for a change! I think next year I'd like them to plan the egg hunt and the next day we would actually do one.  But that idea is a whole year away. 
Planning an Easter egg hunt
After Math and Reading we came together as all of 5th grade. I LOVE bringing cultural activities into the classroom and having my students explore outside of their own world. 

For this activity we read Rechenka's Eggs. I first heard this story when my aide read it aloud to my Kindergarten students. It is a beautiful story of friendship with the culture of the pysakny represented.

Paper Pysanky
After the story my students made their our pysanka, which is a Ukranian Easter Egg. This was also a great tie in because my grade partner is Ukranian, so she shared a little of her self with our classes. The template came from the The Mailbox, it is part of my Gold Subscription. 

I was amazed with the detail in which my students created their paper pysanky. The sheet they were given showed what certain images and colors represented so they could keep in mind the person who was receiving the gift. They certainly did not rush through this activity, and that made my teacher heart happy.

What are your favorite spring activities?