Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sneak a Peek ---- I'm a Peach!

Hey there bookworms!

I'm excited to tell you I'm part of The Primary Peach - a collaborative blog just for Georgia teacher bloggers! I'm wrapping up our group series today, Sneak a Peek with a Peach!


If you'd like a peek inside my classroom office, click the picture above to come on over! And if my office isn't what you had in mind (ha!!) there are 21 other classrooms to look through!!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Beat the Bell {A September Bright Idea!}

Hey there bookworms!

I'm so excited to be back with you for another round of bright ideas! Here we go!

One of the things I loved about my position last year was being able to go into so many different classrooms and learn new tricks from the fantastic teachers in our building. One of my second grade teacher friends plays a game with her kids I like to call Beat the Bell. I'll tell you how my friend and I played with her kids and you can make your own adjustments.

You need:
  • a bell
  • a stool or table
  • review questions (We made these up on the fly, but you could use task cards if you want to get fancy --- ha!)
  • 2 children at a time
Choose two kids to come up to answer a review question. We pulled random names out of a jar, but if the student didn't want to play they didn't have to.

They will stand on opposite sides of the stool/table with one hand behind their back and one on the table. No one else is allowed to answer.

{Does anyone else want to squirm when they hear their own voice on video? Just me??}

The question can be about anything they've learned so far during the school year. They have to wait until we finish asking the question to ring in. If they get the question right, they get a "ticket" (part of their classroom economy) but you could just as easily award points, candy, stickers, etc. 

The kids BEGGED to play this game all year long and it is a perfect time filler! Whether you've got 2 minutes or 20, it's a great informal assessment.

I hope you are gathering lots of great bright ideas this morning! If you liked this bright idea, please join me for more fun on Facebook or Instagram for more fun and great ideas!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to School Freebie Rewind! #TBT

Hey peeps!

I'm chugging along on this blogging train, trying to get back on track! I had this post on my to-do list at least 3 weeks ago but clearly I am riding the struggle bus instead of the blogging train. ;-)

Seriously, these freebies are back to school must-haves for me so let's get started!


I love this survey. Especially because it's great for the first week of school, but it's equally important any other time of year. If you want to get to know your kids as readers use this or something like it. I gave it at least one more time (usually after Christmas) to see what had changed since August. It's also a great activity for new kiddos to complete on their first day or so and buys you a little time to get their reading materials ready. ;-)  

My only "deadline" for using this survey in class was to make sure we did it before I put in our first Scholastic Book Clubs order. That way I could order new books based on the interests of my new students! There were always "holes" in my classroom library and I loved finding a good excuse to buy more books!!! 


This binder cover is pretty simple, but our student info binders make collecting and keeping all of that beginning of the year stuff so much easier! As a *bonus* you really need to check out my sweet friend The Brainy Zebra and her FREE student info sheet!

Next up...


This is one of my very early Writer's Workshop lessons. I made it two pages so that my students had plenty of room to illustrate and label whatever they needed. We glue it down side by side on the first couple of pages in our Writer's Notebooks and come back to it all year long!

I know you might be thinking, "Why would she have them write down a bunch of things they detest?? People, that page is a gold mine during opinion writing lessons!


This might be my most favorite freebie. The minute I started using these, my stress level during student work time decreased immediately! My support teachers and I could immediately see where we needed to focus our energy, who to keep an eye on, and who was ready to go.

I hope at least one of these makes your year a little better! See you soon!

Monday, August 10, 2015

My Super-Duper Teacher Nerd Secret Is....

I love back-to-school assessments.

Please don't throw things at me. I just do.

Like a whole lot.

I love looking at my kiddos, figuring out all of their strengths and weaknesses, and deciding what my "plan of attack" will be.

One of my favorite tools for this is a writing assessment in the first week or so of school. I went to take a peek at it for some of my third grade peeps, and HOLY WOW DID THAT LOOK SAD.

Not really my most eye-catching resource. ;-)

So, I gave it a little face-lift and adding a few extra goodies. I've posted all about it over at A Spark of Inspiration today. Click below to hop on over and grab the update!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Are you ready to get EPIC!?

A Spark of Inspriation

I'm blogging today over at A Spark of Inspiration and I am SO PUMPED to share a new website/app/newfavoritethingEVER with you!


It's called EPIC! and it is F-R-E-E for teachers to use WITH their students in the classroom.

That's right.

Let it soak in.

Now go read all about it so you can get in on the action too!! Click the picture above to go straight to my post!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Collect 4! {A New Math Game Series}


I'm so glad you've joined me here today. There's a new math game on the block, peeps!

As I worked with 6 different math classes last year, I wanted a game that was easy to bring out and play with my small groups. I also needed to be able to explain it quickly and have it connect to various standards across multiple grade levels. And so, the Collect 4! series was born. :) 

Students work throughout the game to create sets of models for a given concept. For example, in the Improper Fractions and Mixed Numbers game students have to collect: a mixed number, an improper fraction, the word form, and a picture model that all represent the same fraction. 

It's really interesting to see which "part" of the game my small groups struggled with. Some kiddos could do the mental math to convert mixed numbers and improper fractions very easily, but they struggled with matching up the correct picture model. Others had a hard time finding the improper fraction. 

I've also included a recording sheet and several differentiated practice pages you can use as well! 

Once you've taught the game once, your students will know how to play all year long. It's beautiful! I could even send a new Collect 4! game with a sub (after we'd played together) and the kids knew exactly what to do. By keeping the rules uniform, the only thing that changes from game to game are the math concepts. 

This week, I've posted Collect 4! {Counting Coins} and I hope to have it's sister game, Collect 4! {Counting Money} posted soon. The Counting Money game will include dollar bills, as the Counting Coins game does not. 


If you're looking for a better peek at this series, I also have a FREE sample from my Fractions on a Number Line game below. You can grab it from Dropbox right here! Just click on the picture below!!


I'm leaving all my Collect 4! games marked down until I get to the beach on Saturday. Grab them now! 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Behavior Tracking {FREEBIE}

Sometimes, we need new ways to motivate our littlest people. So when my favorite work wife came to me with an idea she wanted me to "cute up" for her, I gladly obliged. 


Every time her students had a "positively purple day," they colored in a star. Her hope was that the chance to add a star to their page each day would motivate her kinders to work a little harder to make today better than yesterday.  

After a couple of months she came to me and said, "Can you add a page from 31-60? I have a few kids who are going to need it!" Absolutely!!

Then it occurred to me that some people have a clip chart that stops at blue. Or pink! Or no clip chart at all! And so a freebie was born. :)


There are 11 pages of resources PERFECT for your leadership notebooks, RTI folders, or daily communication folders. I've written a little more about it over at A Spark of Inspiration and I would love for you to check it out! Click on any of the images above to link over to my post there and grab the freebie!  

A Spark of Inspriation


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...