Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Welcome Back Postcards

Today I was at my favorite local teacher store and I was about to buy some cute postcards to send to my students to get them excited for first grade, when I though, 'I bet I could make something similar for WAY cheaper.' So I did and I'm going to share it with you! Happy day!

It's nothing fancy, but I'm going to print them off at Walgreens and then write on the back like a postcard. If you want a copy of mine click {HERE} for the JPEG. If you want to see how I made this go to this great site that will walk you through the how-to on

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Behavior Chart

Today I'm linking up with The Lesson Plan Diva to share a behavior chart I use with students. I've used this with students who range from being very talkative to extra emotional and cry all the time.
-The first thing I do, after a documenting the problem in the student's file and talking to the student about it, is inform the parents of the chart and let them know how I intend to use it with their child. Usually, they're all for it.
-Then I decide how often we'll monitor the student's behavior. For example: every 30 minutes, every hour, before and after lunch, or once a day.
-Next, I show the student their chart and make it a really exciting thing...this is not to used as a punishment! I then have the student look in my classroom store of goodies and let them choose a prize that they can get once they've filled their chart (their prize will sit in my desk next to their chart).
-Finally, I let the student do the work and show me their good behavior. Let's say I was monitoring them twice a day (before and after lunch), I'd call the student over to my desk and we'd quickly and quietly decide together if they'd earned a sticker for that time period (a sticker = good behavior). The students are usually way harder on themselves than I would be! Once their chart is filled with stickers, they've earned their prize.
I've never had a student go beyond two behavior charts, by then they've generally changed their behavior.

Click {HERE} to grab your copy of this behavior chart

Hope this all makes sense. I've been typing between chasing my little boy around the house. Let me know if you need further instructions!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Copycat - Lollipop Tree

I first saw this great idea here, but then kind of forgot about it. Then the cute girls at What the Teacher Wants, did a quick blurb about it, and reminded me of what a great and easy idea this was. The kiddos will love it and I love the all the bright colors (I just now spray painted the pot a light blue). I also colored the bottom of ~ 20 of the sticks with a marker so the kids who pull that lollipop will get an extra prize...I'm not sure what it'll be though.

School starts back up in less than a month...ready or not!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time Capsule ~ Back to School Activity

So I've been MIA for the past couple of weeks. After summer school go out, we traveled to sunny California to get some love from the Grandparents, the beach, and all the fresh fruit you can handle. It's been so great and I haven't even thought about school once (we teachers know that's pretty much impossible!), okay, but really, I have been enjoying my vacation from both Idaho AND school. We still have 5 days left of vacation, but I couldn't help but re-vamp one of my favorite back-to-school activities...

The Time Capsule. I use old Crystal Light containers and give one to each student. I reuse these each year, since I just don't drink THAT much Crystal Light each year.

Then I give each child a paper to fill out. It just has a few quick questions for them to answer, but it's also a great way to show progress with handwriting!

Click {HERE} to get your copy of the time capsule form.

While they're filling out the paper, I'm busy measuring their height with a piece of yarn, so they can see how much they've grown when they open these up.

I also allow the students the option of bringing in a small toy that they can live without for the school year for their time capsule.

We then fill out the same form at then end of the year and I let them open their time capsules up. They always get so excited!

{The only downfall is if you get a new student midyear...I never remember to have them create a time capsule and then they feel a little left out on the last day.}

I can't wait to see all your great back-to-school activities. Until then though...

Enjoy your summer!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Painting with NO Mess!

Paint the sidewalk with WATER!!! (probably best for preschool - early first grade)

My neighbor introduced me to this idea yesterday and I think it's genius! It's free, fun, and there's absolutely no clean up needed. My toddler was only kind of into it - the sidewalk was too hot for his bare feet...oops!

Just thought I'd pass along this fun activity.

Happy 4th of July!