Thursday, April 27, 2017

Let's Glow! A classroom transformation that your students will LOVE!

(Affilate links are provided in this post for your convenience.)

Let's GLOW! After visiting RCA last October, myself and my teacher bestie committed to planning and completing an RCA inspired classroom transformation before the end of the year. Our first transformation took place last Wednesday, and OH MY GOSH, I am obsessed and 100% committed to doing several next school year! Keep reading and I PROMISE to tell you all about it! = )

Over the course of the last month we have been prepping for state testing like CRAZY. We have been  reviewing and re-covering and practicing, practicing, practicing. Both myself and my teacher bestie both tested on Thursday, so we thought Wednesday would be a fun day for some last minute testing review through a classroom transformation so... GLOW DAY 2017 was born!

I'd like to start by saying that all of our ideas were adapted from the AMAZING Hope King over at Elementary Shenanigans. We decided to use her "glow games" theme because when doing something new, why recreate the wheel when someone else has already
done something amazing?

We started by gathering the supplies that we needed. The hardest thing to find was most definitely black lights. We didn't want to spend money on black lights, so I reached out to anyone and everyone in search of some we could borrow. A local fire station who has a haunted house in October had some we were able to borrow! Whew! I suggest trying to find some before buying your own! If you can't find any, you can grab these off of Amazon.  Since we were able to get our backlights for free, we spend a total of about $40-50 a piece on our classroom transformation. SO cheap... music to my ears. Hah!

Okay, now for the details! Eek!
In order to get the kids intrigued and excited, I sent them each home with a ticket the night before our glow day. Other than what the ticket told them, the knew nothing. They were asking all sorts of questions but I kept it all a mystery!
You can grab these tickets as an editable freebie HERE on my TPT store. They are also included in the Glow Day Pack on my TPT store as well.

The next day when they entered our classroom, they had to provide their ticket. When they walked through the classroom door,
this is what they found...

The picture honestly doesn't do it justice. I LOVED hearing my kiddos reactions as they entered our transformed classroom. On the way in the door they grabbed some super cool glow stick glasses I purchased on Amazon and our day of amazingness began.

Alright, now for the stations...
We had 5 different stations and students stayed at
each station for 30-40 minutes.
It took our students the entire day to work through all 5 stations. 

Station 1: Ring Toss
(Supplies needed: the jugs, glow sticks, task cards)
At this station there were three different colored task cards. Each color card was a different skill. Students picked a card and answered the question independently. Once everyone answered independently and then agreed on an answer, each student got to throw a ring at the appropriately colored jug. Once everyone tossed, they moved on to the next task card.

Station 2: Geometry that GLOWS!
(Supplies needed: iPad with PicCollage, glowsticks, task cards)
This station was super simple, but the kiddos loved it. Students worked to create different shapes/angles/etc. using glow sticks and they took pictures of them and posted them into PicCollage on a graphic organizer. There were a few task cards sprinkled in on the graphic organizer so that students would have plenty to do.

Station 3: Let's Bowl!

(Supplies needed: water bottles, glow sticks, hamster ball, dice)
The station was one of the more elaborate ones. Students practiced creating numbers/fractions/decimals, ordering them, writing them in multiple forms, and rounding them. Students rolled the dice to create the numbers. Once they completed one "round" in their student booklet (more on that later) each student got one bowl. They recorded the number of pens that knocked down on a bowling sheet.

Station 4: Jenga
We wrapped each Jenga block with backlight reactive tape. We had five colors of tape and each color went with the same color task card. A student pulled a task card, everyone answered the question/discussed, and then the student who pulled the card got to pull a Jenga block. 

Like I said earlier, all students rotated through all 4 stations. Student each had a recording book where they organized and recorded their work all day long. I had a light up wand that I passed to different groups as I caught them working well together and staying on task. This motivated the students to work as a team because they wanted to hold the magical wand!
It was an AMAZING day. I have never seen my students so engaged and motivated as they were on this day. I am not gonna lie, I was a bit scared about doing a classroom transformation. Would my kids be CRAZY? Would they stay on task? I was CRAZY to even question them. I cannot wait to do more of these transformations next year!

So, now that I’ve told you all about our AMAZING day, have I convinced you to give it a try? If you are a 5th grade teacher, you can grab 90+ pages worth of resources and task cards that go with all four of these stations over on my TPTpage. Everything you need to complete the educational side of these centers is in this pack!
Grab the Pack HERE.

Have you done a transformation?
What was your theme? I'd love to hear all about it!

Grab all of the supplies you need off of Amazon Prime below!
(I split the glasses and glowsticks with a teammate in order to cut down on the cost.)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Need an Absolutely Perfect New Classwide Behavior Incentive?

(Affilate links are provided in this post for your convenience.)

Compliment Clips...
Brownie Points...
Bravo Board...
Behavior Bingo...
Jar Filling...

We've ALL tried numerous types of whole class behavior incentive. I, myself, have tried compliment clips and brownie points (in two different years). My kiddos worked to earn 20 of each and once they earned 20, they earned a behavior party, brownies, game time, etc. 

I personally think that it is SUPER important and effective to do a positive behavior incentive that is whole class because it encourages unity and teamwork! I feel like in previous years my students have really responded to it. This past summer I decided I wanted to put a fun spin on whole class behavior reinforcement. I was tired of the predictable "earn 20 of this or that" and get a prize. When I was walking through Target this summer and saw these guys, I KNEW I had found my new whole class behavior management tool.

I immediately knew I had found a fun, mysterious form of whole class behavior management! I decided to go with the Giant Kerplunk and named my new behavior incentive "Compliment Kerplunk". 

How we play:
Giant Kerplunk is set up in my classroom. Every time I catch my students doing something AMAZING as an entire class, I pick a student to draw a stick. The class also gets to pull a stick if they get a compliment from an administrator or another teacher. The goal is to get ALL of the balls to drop. I was worried that it wouldn't take very long, but it took pulling almost ALL of the sticks. Perfect. I love this SO much because the kids have NO clue when they will earn their reward and each time a ball or balls drop their excitement level increases. It's so much fun to see them get so excited when several balls drop or so sad when they pull a stick and nothing falls. The anticipation (and positive behavior) continuously builds until all of the balls are gone. I love the way this has added a fun element of surprise and anticipation to our class wide behavior incentive. 
(You should also know that this Kerplunk was VERY easy to put together and is sturdy.)

We also used this fun Giant Kerplunk for a class wide "get to know you" game at the beginning of the year and I hope to use it at the end of the year before state testing with a review game. I love buying things that have multiple purposes! 

Ok - you've heard about how I reinforce whole class GREAT behavior...what do you do in your classroom? 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Writing Activities that your students will LOVE!

New Years... a time for new goals, new plans, new you! I always love starting the New Year (whether it be a calendar year or a school year) with fun writing where my students can reflect about the previous year and plan for the new year. I think reflecting and planning is something you should do whether you are 9 or 99! Keep reading to see the fun ways we bring in the new year in my 5th grade classroom! All of my paid products are on SALE for the next 24 hours. Snatch them up and use them when you return to school next week!

In this fun writing and craft activity, students will create their own spaceship and complete a writing piece. They have two different options for their writing. They can write about how they think the new year will be a BLAST or they can reflect on why the previous year was a BLAST. Students love space so this craft is always a hit. Templates are super easy to use and you can choose long or short writing paper. 
What's included:

OK... I am SUPER pumped about this one. My kiddos are obsessed with social media so I know they will be PUMPED about this writing activity... and we love when they get pumped... am I right?! Using Snapchat filters, I will take pictures of my kiddos and they will complete a writing piece about why they are excited about the coming year or why they loved the previous year. Each snapchat filter has a unique journal page that relates directly to the filter. Don't have snap chat? Don't worry! There are several other free apps that allow you to add filters to your pictures! These apps include: Snow and MSQRD.
Whats included: 
I included three different versions of each sheet so that this can work in any age classroom. The first option includes a place for students to draw a picture (far left). The other two options just include lines, but one is more suitable for younger kids and one is more suitable for older kids. = )

HAPPY NEW YEAR and best wishes in 2017! One of my resolutions is to get better at blogging! Fingers crossed I can stick with it! Do you have a great resolution?! I'd love to hear it! = )

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mason Jar Succulents: Coworker Gift Idea!

Need a quick, cheap coworker gift idea? 
I've got you covered!
If you are like me, you've got lots of coworkers you'd love to shower with some love this holiday season, but you don't have lots of money! I hate buying useless/cheap things for coworkers just so I can say I got them a gift. This Christmas I decided to get a little creative with my gifts by planting some mason jar succulents and I seriously love them.

Mason Jar Succulents (less than $5 each)

What do you need?
-Mason jars (pack of 12 @ Walmart for $8)
-Succulents (Walmart for $2.98/Lowes for $3.98)
-Potting Soil
-Twine/Ribbon (I had some of this in my craft box)
-Card (I bought these at Hobby Lobby at 50% off)

It get's dark WAY before I get home, so once I had gathered my items, I laid out some garbage bags on my hardwood floor and got to work. I LOVE gardening, so I found this type of gift making to be super stress relieving! I found it to be much more enjoyable then gift wrapping or shopping in the holiday craziness! I was super happy with the way they turned out, and I really hope my coworkers will like them! Hopefully they will brighten up their kitchen counters or classroom desks this holiday season! Happy succulent planting! = )

Monday, June 20, 2016

Emoji Obsessed - Monday Made It!

Hi friends!

Excited to join in with you guys for Monday Made It!

I'm moving grades AND rooms next year, so I've been working on updating some of my classroom decor. My classroom theme has always been BRIGHT and COLORFUL, but I thought it needed a bit of a modern upgrade... so I've been creating EVERYTHING EMOJI and it has been oh so much fun!

First up, I made a new behavior clip chart. We are required to use the same clip chart system school-wide so I figured I might as well freshen it up a bit! 

The clip chart to the left is the one I've been using several years. You can see my new Emoji one on the right. = )
Second, I decided I needed a new ABC banner.
The summer after my first year teaching (5 long years ago) I hand made an ABC banner that took FOREVER! It was old school and I hand cut out everything. I thought my old school banner needed a fun upgrade... emoji style! I can't get into my classroom to hang these up yet, but I am OH SO EXCITED at how they turned out! Eeek!
I am currently working on name plates but they aren't finished yet! Hoping this years' crew loves emojis as much as last years! Ha!

Are you EMOJI OBSESSED like me?
Both of these items are 20% off today only in my TPT store! 

Well, I'm off to cut out mounds and mounds of laminating so I can get these guys in place AS SOON as my room gets waxed! 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The FINAL Countdown: End of the Year Tips/Tricks!

Thanks for hopping on over from Marvel Math and welcome to stop #15! I hope by now you have TONS of awesome tips to help you get through these last few weeks of school!

Can y'all believe it's already that time of year?… The LAST quarter. I can’t believe it got here so fast. I don’t know about yall, but I always have a big mix of emotions at this point of year. I am EXCITED for summer… but I am also SO SAD to lose my kiddos forever. One year just always seems to short. = (

The last six weeks of school can be CRAZY. Testing. Field day. Assemblies. Year book signing day. Graduations. The list could go on. What do you do to keep both YOU and YOUR STUDENTS sane during this crazy time? Check out what we do in our classroom below.

1) Don’t check out…yet.
Yall… Structure is the most beautiful thing. This tip probably seems crazy, but I think it is the most important. I don’t know about yall, but I always seem to run out of time to teach and do everything I want to. Even though it is tempting to put in a movie or start cleaning your room during the last few days/weeks of school, keep the structure and keep teaching! I am excited to do some STEM projects now that test review and prep is almost officially over! EEEK. Can’t wait.

2. Implement a new reward system.

Have prize days. Set the tone that excellent behavior will be applauded! Things get crazy this time of year (as stated above). Encourage your students to continue to have excellent behavior. This time of year I like to do random prize days. My school runs on a 1 to 5 behavior chart, so on certain days everyone on a 3 or higher at the end of the day will get a mystery prize (beads, a piece of candy, etc.) New this year in my classroom (thanks to instagram) we have a V.I.L table for leaders who soar past behavior expectations. Throwing in new, fresh behavior during the last quarter of school will keep students working hard and behaving well!

3. Let your kids help get you ready for next year.
I like to have my kids help me introduce my new kids to my classroom through a letter/or survey. This year I am going to have them complete the graphic organizer above on our classroom i-Pads using PhotoGrid. I haven’t decided if I am going to print them out or leave them on the i-Pads for next year’s kiddos to flip through.  I might turn them into a PDF book so that they can flip through all of the pages at once. Check out my end of the year freebie on TPT for the printable/uploadable file so you can do this project in your classroom!

What is your favorite end of the year survival tip? 
I'd love for you to share it in the comments below!

Secret Letter: M

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Now...  hop on over to Two Little Birds for your next letter and for more GREAT tips!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let's Make Some Inferences! (Part 2)

3 months later, here is the follow up to: Let's Make Some Inferences: Part 1!

Alright y'all, today's blog post is all about the 5 inferencing tasks I had my students complete. As I mentioned in my previous post, I used some fabulous task cards from Buzzing with Ms. B, along with some amazing video clips from Youtube, to create a 5 task assignment for my students. They simply worked through all 5 tasks in whatever order worked for them (My only rule was to not watch both videos back to back.) 

For tasks 1-3 my students simply read and completed three of Ms. B's task cards. I had them record their answer on a different answer sheet (included in the freebie below). These were great for discussion and practice. Thanks, Ms. B, for the outstanding resource.

For tasks 4-5 I used two awesome videos. There are no words in these videos, so students really have to make inferences. Watch each video below and download my free task sheet below to see the questions I asked my students to help them infer. There are TONS of additional inferring questions you could ask about these clips, but I just picked a few. 

Video Clip #1: One Man Band

Video Clip #2: Defective Detective
This video might be my favorite. This is about a detective who infers incorrectly. Love!

The task sheet I had my kiddos complete looked a bit different then the one I am attaching below. For you guys, I put all of the task card tasks on one page and the video clip task cards on another page. I hope this allows you to use both or just one in your classroom since they aren't all mixed together. 

These tasks were a MAJOR hit in my classroom and I was ohhhhh so impressed at how engaged my students were. I can't wait for my next hands-on technology lesson in my classroom... Of I go to start figuring out what I'll be doing (technology wise) next! = )