Monday, May 2, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Teachers Pay Teachers is at it again...Appreciating us teachers! We absolutely love it when they do because we can grab some end of year units to help push us through {Enter summer sunshine, flip flops, and sand here!}. We can also stock up for summer prep or get a head start on next school year...No, we didn't go there...But, it's true!

Our entire TpT Shop is 20% off during the BIG Teachers Pay Teachers Teacher Appreciation Sale Tuesday, May 3rd and Wednesday, May 4th. 

Enter Code CELEBRATE at checkout to save even more! 

Click any of our top selling products below to download previews and find some freebies too. 

Thank you for all you do for kids...We're in the trenches with you and we know how hard it is to do what we do. But, we want you to know that we truly appreciate you. 
Our newest habitat units, forest and ocean, have both been added to our Habitats of the World Bundle. If you own the bundle, be sure to update your download because there are 2 new units included now. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cooperation Cubes...Classroom Management that Connects

Classroom management is the single most important aspect of any classroom. Without student cooperation, there is limited learning. Students have to be on your team to reach their full potential in today's classroom. This can be a challenge day to day, month to month, and year to year. We're always evaluating and re-evaluating our personal classroom management techniques as the year goes on. We strive to keep things fresh, fun and the kids buying in! This means we don't always stick with one classroom management technique all school year through. Sometimes we have to change things up! You can read about a few of our other classroom management techniques in these posts {here} and {here}. Here's one management strategy that keeps our class cooperating and connected in the classroom each year.   
We like to keep our class management as easy as possible. A few years ago, we started using unifix cubes as one of our classroom management techniques. We call them Cooperation Cubes because everything we do has to have a catch phrase, and as they say...The rest is history. 

It's pretty simple...
Each student is given a certain number of cubes to start each school day. If your students need more support, give them more cubes to start. We usually give 3 total each day. They can tuck them inside their desk to maintain privacy or some choose to leave them right up on top. It's up to them. The goal is to keep all of your cooperation cubes for the day. 
To keep it fresh, we switch up the colors month to month. It's like a brand new "game" to them!
If they need a reminder, we ask them privately to turn in a cube. We have this container where they turn them in. A lot of our kids still need the tangible reminders. Turning in a cube isn't made into a big deal. We talk a lot about mistakes and how we all make them. We learn from them and let them go. Drop it in the can...So to speak. ;) They still have cubes left and opportunities to cooperate. :)
At the end of the day (or sometimes the next school morning), we return turned in cubes and reward stickers for all cubes kept. This means most all of our students get at least one sticker daily...Our kids eat, sleep and breathe for sticker board stickers! We rarely need to take all 3 cubes away, and want to make sure even those who may need a few more reminders than others can still feel some success. We reward them with stickers for their sticker boards, which you can read about and download for free {here}.

Sometimes we need to communicate a student's cube collection to their parents. We came up with these simple tickets for the kids to grab and record to take home. Gaining student cooperation is important in our classroom. Working with students and parents to maintain a cooperative classroom keeps our classroom connected and on course!

You can download our Cooperation Cubes Tickets below.
We're gearing up for the BIG game by throwing a SUPER sale with the Freebie-licious crew! Click to Shop below and save in our store today only! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

100th Day of School

Hip, Hip, Hooray...It's FINALLY the 100th Day of School! Which we all know is "teacher code" for "More than halfway to summer!"
Here are a few of our favorite first grade ways to celebrate the 100th day.
Given a bag of cereal, some string, construction paper squares and a hole punch, you can literally keep them busy stringing 100th Day necklaces far into the 101st Day! We don't...But, you could...We give them enough time during our centers and provide plastic resealable bags for those who need more time (AKA to take it home). 
Writing 100 words is a week long challenge for our little 100 day olds. We enlarge the worksheet from our 100th Day Hoopla unit onto 11 x 17" copy paper. We make a huge deal about stepping up to the 100th Day of School Challenge of writing 100 words ~ 10 words per category. They don't believe they can do it, but they can and they do! We allow them to use our class word wall, spelling dictionaries, and any other place they can find 100 words! They love it and are so proud when they fill their 100 Words mat by the end of the week. We love telling them, "We knew you could do it!"
We keep a stash of 100 piece puzzles on hand for the week of the 100th Day of School. We realize this type of entertainment might be kicking it old school, but it gives our little oldies an opportunity to work together and exercise their 100 day old brains...Use it or lose it they always say! 
What could you eat 100 of? 
What would you never wish you had 100 of? 
Our class giggles at their My Book of 100 as they write and illustrate the pages. Each page gives them a chance to think logically and imaginatively as they write all about the number 100. 
Our 100th Day of School home connection is to create a 100 item project. We usually give our families 2 weeks to come up with whatever they'd like! We encourage home found materials rather than making a trip to the store. We are amazed year after year at the creativity of our classes! 
100 Daysss of School Snake T-Shirt
100 Olive Paper Pizza
100 Stick House
When the creations are made and returned to class, we spend time sharing them and writing all about how we created them. We hold a 100th Day Creation Museum and invite our 3rd Grade Study Buddies to come see our creations too.

Our 100th Day Hoopla keeps us busy learning with the number 100 before, during and after the 100th day of school. 
What's Included:
-100 Days Song Poster
-100 Days Song Fill-In
-100 Words Work Mat
-100th Day Creation Home Project Letter
-100th Day Creation "Table Tent"
-100th Day Creation Writing Project 
-4 Color 100 Grid Puzzles
-4 Black and White 100 Grid Puzzles
-1 Blank 100 Grid Puzzle (Make your own!)
-100 Days of Learning Class Book Cover/Bulletin Board Poster
-100 Days of Learning Writing Reflection with Primary Writing Lines 
-100 Days of Learning Writing Reflection with Upper Grade Lines
-My Book of 100
-Word Building with One Hundred worksheet
-4 Sets of Color Word Building Cards
-2 Sets of Black and White Word Building Cards

Dressing like we're 100 years old is one of our absolute favorites! It's easy too...Especially if you skip the pantyhose! 
Once we're all gussied up, of course we're going to write about it! 
 We create 100 year old portraits out of construction and scrapbooking paper. We provide cotton balls for hair and they draw facial features with crayons or colored pencils. 
 
We wrote about our futures with the following sentence frames.
When I am 100 years old, I will be ___.
I will have ___.
I may see ___.
It will or will not be fun.
 
 
If you'd like to have your class dress like they're 100 and write about it, you can grab our free family letter and writing templates below. 
 
Happy 100th Day of School!
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