Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor Recess!! Change it Up!

Hey friends! I'm just stopping by for a quick "Happy Saturday" and to tell you to click over to The Primary Chalkboard blog to download this quick and easy Charades Dice game freebie. Click here or on the image below. :)

Enjoy your weekend! :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Attention Heroes!! Win a $20 TPT Gift Card!

Oh, I just put on cape and I'm zooming across the world to bring you some BIG NEWS, Friends. TPT is hosting another HUGE Sale!!

EVERYTHING in my TPT store will be on sale for a savings of 20%. Enter the code: HEROES at checkout to get an additional 8% off. 

I am SUPER excited to announce the sale will include my new line of research books!! Add these bad boys to your shopping carts now, because they are sure to fly off the shelf on Wednesday. ;)

I am also giving away a $20 TPT Gift Card to one of you, my lucky, lucky followers. The giveaway ENDS on Tuesday night which will give you plenty of time to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, on WEDNESDAY! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Good luck and Happy Shopping! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Data Wall Or Shaming Wall

I recently came across this article about student data walls in the classroom. I agree, data walls shame our students.

There are not many topics in education that I will stand up on my soap box for, but I feel very strongly about keeping student progress private. This is,of course, because of personal experiences as a child. 

A few chocolate chips made of construction paper destroyed my confidence in math, which carried over all the way to high school.

In third grade, my teacher created a bulletin board with blank chocolate chip cookies. For each multiplication table learned we would earn a chocolate chip. The class would receive a pizza party when everyone had filled up their cookie with all 12 chocolate chips. 

Guess who ended the school year with just FOUR chocolate chips? 

That's right, yours truly. Imagine also that all of the other students in the class had successfully learned their multiplication tables and that by the end of the year you were the only one taking the weekly tests. . . . I was the reason that the class did not have their pizza party. My teacher was quick to tell the class that this was the very first year she had not been able to have said pizza party . . . Needless to say, I learned to hate math. (But not cookies, which is why I need to love the gym more)

Fast forward to 12th grade, when I was taking Algebra II for the second time. I was an honors student so this was extremely depressing for me. I had the most AMAZING first year teacher who completely changed my outlook on math and gave me an incredible amount of confidence. His teachings carried over into college and gave me a passion for math that I try to channel into my own students today.

I know that my case is probably an extreme one, but I will NEVER share student data with other students on a wall or in any other way. 

I've proven in my classroom, that it is possible to motivate struggling students without a public competition.Sometimes all you need is a competition with yourself and a supportive teacher who will give you the tools you need to overcome every obstacle. 

I would love to know your thoughts on this hot topic, leave your comments below. :) 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Monday (& Tuesday too!)

In case you've been under a rock, I wanted to make sure to alert all of my favorite people that there is a HUGE sale going on right now at TPT!

This is literally the LAST sale of the year, so it is the perfect time to stock up on all of your winter favorites! My own cart is slam full of clipart and fun activities to keep my kiddos engaged on those cold winter days!

Just make sure that you do these TWO things:

1. Leave feedback on ALL past purchases for even MORE savings with your TPT Credits!
2. Enter the Promo Code: TPTCYBER when you check out! 

My entire store is on sale, along with my newly uploaded Winter Math Bundle!

And just in case I crawl back under my own rock until the holiday season is over, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad, Hanukkah Sameach, & Happy Holidays! :) 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Joke Book Printable

Enjoy this little Halloween Joke Book freebie!! I will be adding this to my fluency center.

Also check out a few of my Halloween fave's from my TPT store. I will be using both of these sets to try and hang on to my sanity on Friday! :)

Here's hoping that your Friday is filled with more treats than tricks!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Songs for Relaxation in the Classroom

This past weekend I shared how I relax in my classroom. I wanted to write a follow up post to share how I get my students to relax!

Every now and then the energy in my classroom is so intense that I feel like I need a rubber mallet to keep whacking the moles back into their holes. 

When this happens I do one of two things: release energy or soothe energy. To release our energy we use one of the dance videos on GoNoodle. 

To soothe our energy we use a variety of songs. I have shown a few of our current favorites below. You want your students to be feel calm but not so relaxed that they will go to sleep. :)

It is important that they hear only the music and not be stimulated by the videos, so turn those projectors off!

Seriously, music is so powerful. You will be amazed at the difference in your students level of focus after taking a few minutes out of your day to listen to music. 

Do you have any favorite songs that you listen to in your classroom?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teacher Tips: How To Relax in Your Classroom

You've probably hopped over here today because you cannot imagine how ANYONE could RELAX in a classroom. My own classroom is a chaotic, messy place where mystery tissues are currently running amuk. 

Most days, despite the chaos, I feel absolutely in control. But other days, I feel like I am spiraling into a black hole with no way out. I'm sure you understand what I mean. 

What I usually do when this happens is work even harder, which stresses me out even more

So, I've developed some coping strategies to help me avoid being sucked into this "black hole." I use these tactics during my planning or lunch time to help me refocus.

The Comfy Chair: 
This is the comfiest chair in my classroom. Some days I set my timer and sit in this chair for 5 minutes. During this time I am NOT allowed to think about school at all. Instead I think about the new shoes I want to buy or how I would organize my dream kitchen. It is really difficult to sit the entire 5 minutes, but it really helps me refocus.

 Coloring Dinos: 
Call me childish, but I LOVE to color. One of the many perks of being a classroom teacher is the virtually endless supply of crayons. Some days during lunch I will take a few minutes to color a picture out of my favorite Dinosaur coloring book. I keep a stash of the best crayons in the class in my desk for this purpose. I usually feel SO much more relaxed and ready to pick up my students. 

Lights Out, Pandora On: 
During my planning and lunch times I always work with the lights out. Sometimes I turn on Pandora on my computer. Depending on my mood I have a few favorite channels: Easy Listening Radio, Classical for Studying, and Jack Johnson Kids. These are all channels that are safe for kids or adults who may happen to walk into your room during this time. 

We only get a few precious moments to ourselves each day. (And some days NONE at all) Sometimes we get so caught up in the magnitude of our responsibilities to we get overwhelmed. Taking this time to reflect each day has really helped me to prioritize and keep my cool.

Do you have any other suggestions for ways to refocus throughout the day? I would love to hear about them in the comments! :)

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