Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sub Plans Made Easy

Any teacher in every classroom from all schools knows one thing...Sub plans suck can be a challenge! Whether you need a sub for one week, one day, or even one hour, planning for a substitute teacher can take hours upon hours. For years we've wished we could just take a sub day and walk away!
Sub plans made easy. Tips and tricks for taking a sub day and walking away!
After years of convincing ourselves we weren't as sick as we felt and heading on in, or traipsing into class in the wee hours of the morning when it was still dark because being sick was in for the win, we got smart. We created a sub tub that would live in our classroom permanently and anyone at anytime could pick it up and teach our class. Creating our sub tub was the best thing we could've done. Hands down!
How to make a sub tub for the classroom
With enough activities to last them a week, a day or even an hour our Sub Tub activities give us the power...to take a sub day and walk away!
Sub plans made easy. Tips and tricks for taking a sub day and walking away!
To be perfectly honest, we want our classroom to run as smoothly as possible in our time away because we all know if it doesn't we will be the ones to pay! So putting together a sub tub with everything our substitute teachers need to run our classroom was a top priority. Our sub tub has hanging files inside of it with labels that list the times of day each activity takes place. Here's a peek at what we keep inside our class sub tub.
Sub plans made easy. Tips and tricks for taking a sub day and walking away!
In our Teacher Talk file, we have everything the substitute teacher could need for running our classroom while we're away. From our class rules to daily student schedules (such as speech, intervention, etc) and tips and tricks from us. We typed this up and just update it and keep it permanently in our our Sub Tub Teacher Talk folder all year.
Sub plans made easy. Tips and tricks for taking a sub day and walking away!We always keep a stash of sticky student name tags printed on address labels in our Sub Tub. We use these for everything in our classroom, so printing a few extra sets for subs was no problem. Some subs appreciate the name tags while others are great with learning names on the fly. Either way the name tags are there if they need them to get by.
Classroom management. Sticker Boards for the classroom.Sticker Boards for the Classroom is our go to classroom management with substitute teachers. Each of our students keeps a sticker board in their desks all year long. They earn stickers for all sorts of positive behaviors and sub days are no exception. We encourage our subs to throw stickers around like candy. Whatever works!
Of course if you don't use Sticker Boards (Even though you totally should!), leaving a stash of stickers in your Sub Tub works great too!
Super Sub Slips. Great for substitute teacher days!
Super Sub Day Slips are all the rage on Sub Days! We want our students to be on their best behavior, so printing out these slips and sticking them in our sub plans are a great incentive for all. If any of our students earn a Super Sub Day Slip, we follow up with them on our return and thank them for being respectful and responsible. We find the follow up goes a long way to continued smart choices and positive behavior in our classroom. Plus, it takes like 5 seconds to say, "Hey, thanks!", but the impact can last a lifetime.  
You can grab these Super Sub Slips for free.
Substitute teacher plans and class management
Every school day starts the same with our daily seat work activity. Our seat work activity on sub days is always Listen Up. These activities set the stage for success and promote consistent class expectations out the gates. We expect our students to listen to the substitute teacher and we want our substitute teacher to see they are capable of listening to them.
Listening activities for the classroom. Teach auditory skills daily and set classroom expectations early!
The rest of our day is broken into time periods that coordinate with our class schedule. For those times, we love leaving one of our Booktivities

Literally, we leave a book and activities for the taking and walk away. It's so easy!
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
Our favorite class sub tub activities to leave are our Miss Nelson is Missing Sub Tub Booktivities. It's the perfect book for those days away and the kids love working through our language arts and math activities that coordinate with the story! 
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
We've just completely revamped our Miss Nelson is Missing Sub Tub Booktities. Now with over 120 pages, including color and black and white print options, lesson plan cards for easy implementation and tons of activities to keep your class busy during your days away!
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
No lesson plans to write, just leave copies of the activities and the lesson plan cards for easy implementation. The sub can read and do...It's that simple! These are also great for parent volunteers during centers too. 
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
Each of the activities included in our Miss Nelson Sub Tub Booktivities are now available in color or easy print and go black and white options. 
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
Activities are differentiated with options to extend as time allows.
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
Students can work whole group with the teacher guiding discussion (From the class pocket chart works great!), the class can work in table teams to complete activities, or students can work on their own at their seats or on the floor.
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
With tons of activities to choose from for multi-level learners, there are plenty of choices for our substitute teacher and we leave confident knowing our students will love learning while we are away.
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
We recently added several math activities to balance out our Miss Nelson is Missing Sub Tub Activities. Class Tally Time is our favorite because it allows our students to get up and collaborate! But if your sub prefers, there are also number grid and number story activities to choose from. 
Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
If there are sequels to our Book of the Day, we love leaving them in our Sub Tub as time allows. The kids get a kick out of continuing the story. 

Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing. Miss Nelson is Missing Sub Tub Booktivities-Sentence Scramble Activities
-"Studying the Story" Retelling Activities
-Syllable Sorting Activities
-Word Detectives Activities (Nouns, verbs, adjectives)
-Word Building Activities
-Written Response Printables
-Class Tally Time Math Activity
-Who’s Missing Hundreds Grid Activities
-Miss Nelson Math
-Miss Nelson Number Stories 

Sub plans made easy with Miss Nelson is Missing.
If you already own our Miss Nelson is Missing Sub Tub Booktivities, be sure to update your download on TpT. 

You can grab our Miss Nelson is Missing Sub Tub Booktivities and the rest of our resources for a few more hours during the Love TpT Sale! Use Code LOVETpT at checkout to save 28% off all our resources.
Love TpT Sale
Fluttering Through First Grade Shop

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Valentine's Day in the Classroom

No pun intended, but we love celebrating Valentine's Day in our classroom. Here are a few of our favorite ways to celebrate Love Day with the Littles...
Valentine's Day in the classroom
Valentine's Day classroom party ideas
We throw a Red Party every Valentine's Day in our classroom. From red foods to wearing red, we embrace the color of love all day long. As you can see, we try to keep it somewhat healthy with bagels, strawberry cream cheese, and red fruits. The kids are so excited and don't even notice the donuts are missing.
Valentine's Day classroom party ideas
We sneak in a little reading and writing by creating Friendship Bingo mats using our class names and other Valentine's Day vocabulary.  
We give them conversation hearts as markers. They love being the "callers" when we play this Valentine's Day game! It's also a great activity to work on during February centers. A classroom volunteer or the kids themselves (as they become more independent) can be the Friendship Bingo callers.
You can download our Red Party and Friendship Bingo templates {here}.
 
Our class loves making bookmarks. These are nothing fancy, but given a simple piece of red posterboard, foam stickers, yarn, and...wait for it...MARKERS, they love crafting these to declare their love for reading!
 
Hot Spot Relay races are a fun challenge that gets them outside, moving and practicing teamwork too. We simply cut 2 large construction paper hearts out for each team (cut a few extras in case there is an accidental rip). Split the class in half and send them walking their way on the hot spots. The goal is to move each heart as you step, not stepping on the ground (AKA "hot lava") below. It's tricky, but they get the hang of it. For younger kids, don't have them take as many steps. Once they reach the end, they pick up their hot spots and run back to the start to tag the next person.
Back in class, we race to stack 10 conversation hearts. You can adjust the number depending upon the age of the kids.
 
Of all the activities we do on Valentine's Day, our favorite is giving our students an opportunity to spread kindness. We spread some love around our school by creating and posting kindness messages throughout the halls.
Kindness activities for the classroom
We also spend a lot of time teaching and giving compliments. It is one of our most powerful lessons all year and carries us through the months beyond Valentine's Day. Here's our original post about using Compli-mats in the classroom. We've updated our templates and added several more for use beyond Valentine's Day.  
Compli-Mats for building empathy and kindness in the classroom
 You can download our Compli-mats activity for free in our TpT Shop.
Are you ready to celebrate Valentine's Day in your classroom? What's your favorite way to spend Love Day? 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wonderful Weather: Activities for the Primary Classroom

Weather activities for the primary classroom
It's been pretty wet and rainy off and on these past few weeks, but that didn't stop Mother Nature from showing up and delivering one last AMAZING rainbow for 2016!
We're taking it as a sign that 2017 is going to be an awesome year!

While we were staying warm and cozy in our pajamas winter break attire, we gave our Wonderful Weather resource a little re-do.
Weather lessons for the primary classroom
Here's a peek at our updated Wonderful Weather unit:
Weather lessons for the primary classroom
 We've updated all of the Weather Word and Bingo Cards by using photographs instead of clip art. We find that when learning new vocabulary, photographs provide the concrete concepts our students need to comprehend the science vocabulary we are introducing to many of them for the very first time.
Weather vocabulary cards for science activities
We keep our Weather Words up in the class pocket chart for the entire learning unit. Then, they go into our word center for use throughout the rest of the school year. 

Weather vocabulary activities for the primary classroom. Weather bingo helps build essential science vocabulary through games.
We've provided kid-friendly weather word definitions to help students learn words fast! We print and laminate a few of these to keep around the classroom. They are perfect for building common classroom language to accompany their weather vocabulary. We give them to classroom volunteers when playing Weather Bingo to take the game to a higher level...We give the definition, they cover the word if they have it.
Weather vocabulary activities for the primary classroom. Weather bingo helps build essential science vocabulary through games.
Once we've learned our new weather vocabulary, we incorporate activities to practice these new words into our whole group and centers time. Our class loves playing Weather Bingo, and once they are confident with the words, we have them create their own Weather Bingo boards like the one below. They write the word and draw a picture to match. Students can play with their own boards or trade with classmates. These cards can be laminated and used all year, or just copied and kept for the learning unit, then sent home. Our class loves playing Weather Bingo and they don't even realize how much vocabulary they are learning while playing.

Weather vocabulary activities for the primary classroom
Our class has more opportunities to practice their weather words by working on our weather vocabulary activities during whole class or centers time.

Weather vocabulary activities for the primary classroom

Weather vocabulary activities for the primary classroom

Weather vocabulary activities for the primary classroom
The majority of our weather lessons center around our Wonderful Weather little book. This research reader is copied and provided to each student at the beginning of our science unit. We've created two options for differentiated instruction ~ Read and Draw where students simply read for research and illustrate for comprehension or Fill-In where they must use the weather vocabulary word cards and their knowledge to fill in the missing words throughout the book. 
Weather activities for the primary classroom. Wonderful weather research reader. Differentiated non-fiction science readers for the classroom.

Weather activities for the primary classroom. Wonderful weather research reader. Differentiated non-fiction science readers for the classroom.
Read, write, and craft all about wind.
One of our absolute favorite additions to Wonderful Weather is our "All About Wind" Read, Write, Create activity. First they use the "Wind" Fact Finders to read and research all about wind. They highlight key information as they go. Next, they gather three facts they learned about wind and add it to their brainstorm page for writing all about wind. Finally, they turn their writing into a windsock that hangs all around the classroom. The kids love this activity and learn a ton about wind in the process!
Create a weather writing wind sock!
If you own our Wonderful Weather resource already, be sure to re-download your TpT purchase to get this updated unit.
Wonderful Weather for the Common Core Classroom
If you'd like to take a closer look at our Wonderful Weather Unit...
Here's a few more of our favorite weather activities that we love incorporating into our unit:
The Magic School Bus "Kicks Up a Storm"...I mean, Ms. Frizzle?! The Frizz? Yes way! Need we say more?! This is the perfect launch or wrap up to our weather learning. We bought a set of all the Magic School Bus episodes at Costco, but you can find a lot of them on YouTube too.
Weather activities for the primary classroom. Draw and paint a wind blown self-portrait.
We stumbled upon this wind painting idea a few years ago and thought it was hilarious! So naturally, we had to try it and it has been a class favorite ever since. Students start by drawing a bald picture of themselves. Hilarious already if you've ever been in a first grade classroom and used the word "bald". Bahahahahaha...
Weather activities for the primary classroom. Draw and paint a wind blown self-portrait.
Provide students with a straw and watered down paint colors to match their hair color. Drop a few spots of paint around their head and let them blow the paint around through your straw. We find watering the tempera paint down a bit helps their little mouths move that paint around a bit faster and doesn't leave them so winded by the time they're through!
TEACHER TIP: This is an amazing activity if your class is a little chatty one afternoon. Nobody can talk with straws in their mouths! Joke's on them...Hilarious!! 😜
Weather activities for the primary classroom. Draw and paint a wind blown self-portrait.
It takes them awhile, but they are determined because they think it is so funny!
Weather activities for the primary classroom. Draw and paint a wind blown self-portrait.
We hung these in the school hallway right outside the library and titled the board, "Look Who the Wind Blew In!". Everyone thought it was hilarious!
To wrap up our weather learning, we perform a "Wonderful Weather" show for the entire school during our monthly awards assembly. We use a few songs from this play by Bad Wolf Press.
We are also in charge of decorating the school auditorium bulletin boards for our show, so we have our students write about their favorite weather and create these quick and easy rainbow cloud characters. All they need is a white piece of paper, strips to match the colors of the rainbow, scissors, glue stick, black pen and a pink crayon. Cut (or tear) a cloud shape out of the white paper. Draw a dashed line border around the edge of the cloud. Add eyes, a mouth and pink cheeks with the crayon. Next, wrap the ends of each rainbow colored strip around the crayon to curl them. Adhere each strip to the back of the cloud, so they hang down. That's it!
Weather writing activities for the primary classroom
To see more wonderful weather ideas that we've collected for our classroom, head over and check out our Wonderful Weather Pinterest board.
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