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! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Teacher Tips: Save Ink & Save Money!

If your school is anything like mine ink = gold. I am usually SUPER flexible, but if you mess with my ink the claws come out. But as we all know, as the budget runs dry so doth the ink supply. Today I'm going to share with you a super easy tip to save some ink. 

Sometimes you need your students to have an entire sheet of paper to work on, but sometimes you really don't. One trick that I use is to print 2 or 4 pages to one sheet of paper. 

I know every printer works differently, but here is how I use this feature on my EPSON WorkForce 3450.

I use this trick at least once a week in some way. It saves ink AND cuts down on the number of copies I use on my school copy quote. Score x 2. :)

Products included in this post are my Hundreds Board Color By Number Mystery Puzzles for October and my Spin & Graph: Halloween (Bar Graph, Tally Chart, Line Plot & Pie Graph).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Math Printables

Happy Fall Y'all! Enjoy a few free printables to celebrate my favorite season! Click here to grab them for yourself. :) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mountains, Freebie, & Math Stations

Happy Fall Y'all! Having FOUR distinct seasons makes me love living in NC even more. I love hoodies, pumpkins, autumn leaves, & warm apple cider. Who's with me?

I just returned from a SUPER relaxing trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.The leaves do not start changing for a few weeks, but the views were still absolutely breath taking! 

I'm celebrating the return of fall at SGMM with a fun fall freebie and a sale!
Click on the image below or here to grab this fun Fall Roll & Cover. I will be using it with my own kiddos on Monday.

 Also, I just uploaded my October Math Stations & Journal Prompts. They will be 50% off until Thursday evening. All of my other sets are $1.00 off, so this is a great time to stock up. :) 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Parent Conferences & Johnny Appleseed

Hello, friends! I'm just dropping by to say that I posted some great tips and freebies for Parent/Teacher Conferences this morning at The Primary Chalkboard! Click here or on the image below to see for yourself.

 Also, I have a FLASH FREEBIE going on over at my TPT store, just in time for Johnny Appleseed's birthday. Click on the image below to download FREE for this weekend only. (9/13 - 9/14). :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Primary Chalkboard YouTube Party!

Friends! I am SERIOUSLY excited (and a little bit nervous) about this post. 

You see, my blogging friends and I at the Primary Chalkboard wanted to do something BIG for back to school for you. BIG I'm talking, BIG. We decided to throw a party. Here is a hint. YES. It is a YouTube Partaaaaay! We are here sharing lots of tips -- organizational, DIY, helpful ideas-- lots of things you can do RIGHT NOW to make your back to school a little easier! AND. 

We are having a huge giveaway! Would anyone like a.... $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Card or A fabulous Michael Kors bag (you know, the one you want but can't justify spending the money for)? I thought so. 

So what do you need to do? Did you see that? You can EVEN gain EXTRA entries in the giveaway by watching our videos and entering our SECRET WORDS into the Rafflecopter (but I know you were going to do that anyway, so... 2 birds, 1 stone). 

We will be linking up 5 new videos every day this week... so you can come back, watch, and enter every day! 

Click on the image below to check out my video and see how you can easily fancy up your hallway. :)

And don't forget to head over to the Primary Chalkboard to watch more tip clips and gain more entries to the giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Peek at My Week: Dinos, Math Stations, & Good Citizens

I'm excited to share with you a small glimpse into my daily life as a second grade teacher. This year I am teaching all 2nd grade subjects and it has been a HUGE adjustment from just teaching math all day last year!
I wanted to share with you a sneak peek at my daily schedule. I am trying something different this year and I am extending math, writing, & reading throughout the week and teaching Science/Social Studies pretty much all day on Friday. I absolutely LOVE it! 

This week in reading we are reviewing skills I've already taught including story elements, visualization and context clues. We are also digging deeper into understanding characters. I usually do not teach the unit on Tomie dePaola this early on, but this year I purchased Linda Kamp's unit and I just couldn't wait to use it! 

(And YES, this says Week 6. Some of you are going back to school today and I have already sent home mid-quarter progress reports. You can read more my schedule, here.)

In writing we have been working hard on small moments stories during Writer's Workshop. But, most of my students are partner writing during daily 5 as well and most of those stories are imaginative narratives. I thought that I would use some imaginative dino stories this week to hone in on some skills that we can all improve on in both types of narratives!

In Math I am focusing on individual student needs and I'm starting my strategy groups. Daily 5 Reading has been up and running for a few weeks now so I'm hoping that Math Stations will be ready to take off on Monday. We have been hitting basic facts hard and are now half way through story problems. I'm only sharing my Math Stations because my Strategy group lessons will be differentiated based on student needs.

Last, but not least, this week we are taking our Life Cycles Unit test and starting our unit on Good Citizenship. I have mentioned this already in this post, but I ADORE having all day to teach Science/Social Studies on Fridays. I love coming to work on Fridays even more! Also, some concepts are less involved than others so this gives me extra time to review other tricky concepts in Math or ELA.

You can view my lesson plans in a PDF with clickable links by clicking here.

Peek at some more weekly lesson plans over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten or link yourself up!

If you have any questions about my weekly schedule please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. :)

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