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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Elf on the Shelf

I absolutely LOVE having an Elf on the Shelf in our classroom!  It's always a 
treat seeing the children light up each morning trying to find elf.  Having a classroom elf is also a great tool for behavior management.

One of the first thing we did was we watched An Elf's Story on DVD.  
It  was thrilling seeing how amazed the kids were watching this movie.  
After the movie was over we wrote letters to Santa asking him to PLEASE send our class an elf.  Then we sealed the letters in an envelope and mailed them.

The next day the front office called our room to let us know we had a package from Santa Claus.  I had put the package in our freezer the night before so when the kids felt the package the next day they could feel how cold it was.  I printed out a "Special Delivery"  tag found at Kinder-Craze.  The children were excited and couldn't believe they received a package from the North Pole.  We opened the package and found a letter from Santa Claus.   Our classroom elf was secretly hidden in one of our table caddies until the package was opened.  Right away my students voted on the name, Chippy for our classroom elf.  Here are a few pictures of Chippy in action.
We went to France in our Holidays Around the World Globe Trot with Scott.  
Chippy had gotten into the Buche De Noels.
Chippy surprised us ALL!!! I thought Chippy was going to decorate our Writing Station with post-it, but when I came in to class the next morning there were the sweetest notes on my kiddos desk!  It turns out a 5th grade student at our school had the idea and wanted to write an encouraging note for every student.  Him and his mom put a message on every students desk or locker in our school the same night.  Goodness that just completely melted my heart at such an act of kindness at how one child made such a difference.
Chippy brought mini cards for our students to write to Santa.  Found these in Mel's  Ultimate Classroom Elf Kit.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Handprint Calendar Gift for Parents

Mel at Seusstastic created the perfect gift for parents!  These handprint calendars  are precious and turned out beautiful.  I know they with LOVE them!!!
Everyday after Thanksgiving break we did a page during stations.  
We put the calendars together with our school binding machine. 
During Writing today we  went over how to wrap a present. In the afternoon my kiddos wrapped their calendars.
Hope everyone enjoys the half day tomorrow!!!
Font: Kimberly Geswein

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currently November

Happy November everyone! Today I'm linking up with Farley for her monthly link up.  Last week was certainly busy between Red Ribbon week, the Special Olympics Bowling event, and Halloween festivities.  But I am thrilled November is here! The month that reminds us to be thankful.  Even though everyday I am thankful for my Savior and everything He has blessed in my life, I especially love being with family, friends, and my students celebrating what all we are thankful for.   
Listening: To Hallmark Christmas movie!
(Confession: I have actually been watching Christmas movies for about two weeks now!) :) 
Loving: Our Christmas tree in the living room.  It's tradition to set up the Christmas tree on November 1st.  I love celebrating Thanksgiving with Christmas decorations up. 

Thinking:  I'm a proud VOLS fan this week!  The boys did good this week and pulled out a win during OT.  

Wanting: To visit my sweet buddy Erickson, from the Dominican Republic.  I got a sweet card from him two weeks ago that completely melted my heart.  I just love this little guy and the La Repressa community!   
Needing: Have you heard of the Red Dress Botique from Shark Tank?  Honestly ever since the show I can't seem to stop looking at their site.  The prices are pretty reasonable & their site offers the entire look, which makes shopping a pretty easy experience online!
Reading: The Best Yes. This book has so much wisdom!   This book is really helping me learn how to please others, but making sure I save time for Christ, my family, and me. "It's amazing what God teaches me when I slow down enough to listen." 
Thank you for taking the time to read.  You can link up by clicking Farley's button below.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Spooktacular Five for Friday (Linky Party)

Happy Halloween everyone!  Today I am linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five For Friday.  This will be a special Spooktacular Halloween Five for Friday!  
Tuesday we had our Book-A-Ween at school, which so happened was our half day of school.  My sweet coworker dressed up as, The Giving Tree.  She made her son's No, David head which is pretty incredible!  I rocked my red school shoes as Pete the Cat.  I found these red shoes all over Pinterest and made them out of construction paper.  After our Book-A-Ween my kiddos made these Pinterest-inspired Frankensteins.  I love how unique each one turned out!
Every fall we have a Special Olympics: Bowling for our students with special needs in our city and county schools.  I am SO proud of my sweet kiddos that participated this year.  I just love seeing everyone come out and play together.  This is my first year having taught kids that are now in middle school.  It was exciting seeing students I had in elementary, now in 6th grade participating as well.   
My kiddos did a candy corn word work activity for their phonics skill a_e.     Also, here are a few Halloween decorations for the classroom this year.  Love the little ghost I found at a retired teachers yard sale!
This month my kiddos have used this packet during Word Work & Work on Writing stations.  It's so easy to stock our Writing stations, just Print and Go! You can click the picture to check out this resource.
I woke up at 5:00 this morning to make mummy dogs for my kiddos! But it was definitely worth getting up early seeing how excited they were when they saw them.  I didn't mention they were turkey dogs. ;) 
Happy Halloween Y'all!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway



I am SO thankful for all the support on TPT.  This Spooktacular giveaway is for TWO $50 gift certificates!  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter for YOUR chance to win a $50 TPT gift card to stock up on all the wonderful resources on TPT for the Holidays!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

You Oughta Know About Behavior Management

Happy Saturday everyone!  I am so excited to link up with Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for the You Oughta Know Blog Hop!!! This is where several fabulous bloggers have come to share their ideas on what we feel teachers should know about.

My post will cover some of my favorite behavior management tips.

Have you Filled a Bucket Today? is a great book to introduce How to be a Bucket Filler? in your classroom.  I especially love this book, because it has a positive behavior message that children can see through illustrations how everyone has an invisible bucket that has the potential of being filled, or can be emptied.  This is my first year implementing Bucket Fillers in my classroom and it really has helped my students use kind and encouraging words towards each other.  They are learning that when you fill someone's bucket your bucket is being filled too. And when we are negative, we are dipping not only their bucket, but also emptying ours.  In my classroom I have notes that a student fills out when someone fills their bucket.  Then sometime during the day, when I notice one has been turned in, I call the two students and we share the bucket filler.  Each student gets to put a pom pom in their bucket to show when you fill someones bucket, your bucket gets filled too!!!
Tattling Toby 
At the beginning of the year we learn the difference between tattling and reporting.  Now my students tattle to "Tattling Toby" by writing their thoughts on coupons.  They place the coupons in the basket and I "read" their coupons after they leave.  I have a good laugh most of the time and I don't have to hear any tattles during the day.  I was amazed after my first year trying "Tattling Toby."  Honestly I hardly hear any Tattles anymore.   You can check out this FREEBIE in my TPT store by clicking the picture or here.

Positive talk!!!! I have a mirror in my classroom for my students to say something positive about themselves when they come into class.  Then, throughout the day if a student starts to say anything negative about themselves they go to the positive mirror where they speak positive words while looking in the mirror.  It's really encouraged my students to start thinking and saying positive words about themselves. 
Have you tried Social Stories in your classroom? I absolutely LOVE Sasha's social stories, because they are short and to the point.  They have helped so many of my students with behaviors, communication, personal space, emergency, etc.  She has so many themes to choose from.  You can check out her social stories by clicking the picture or here.
Having a Cool Down Spot somewhere in your classroom where your students can take a break when needed.  I have a tent that serves as the cool down spot and read with a buddy during our Daily 5 time.  Another alternative for a cool down spot would be a your work on writing area if a student likes to draw/color when needing to take a break.
Having individual visuals to help students that struggle learning the routine at the beginning of the year.  Here is an example of a visual morning routine that I made for a coworker that is placed on one of her students' desk.  

Thank you for taking time to read my blog post,  be sure to hop over to any of these other fabulous bloggers! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

16 Organizational Tips

Organization has to be one of my most favorite things!  I am constantly looking on Pinterest for more organizational tips.  
Here are a few of my favorite for an organized classroom.
Writing station:  I love the display Mel-D-Seusstastic has for the different writing activities for Work on Writing.  I organized the different actives in a mailbox I found at a retired teachers yard sale.  I painted it blue to match my classroom.
Thirty one bag:  This utility tote holds everything! I love having everything in one place. I purchased a medium size open-Top File Box at the container store to store my files.  
Drawer Labels:  These have made my life so much easier!  I store the following weeks activities in the Morning Work, CC HW, Fluency bins.
Math Bin Labels.  I found these when I first started teaching. 
These bins are perfect for storing math and literacy stations.  As a special education teacher I have two groups, on different grade levels for stations.  In math writing each bin has a math prompt and activity for when they finish the prompt.
I really love this Five-Up Organizer found at Really Good Stuff.  It's a great visual for when my students return papers and materials by subject area.  
Have to LOVE these clear bins.  I bought most of these Storage Bins at Really Good Stuff , but later found some at the Dollar Tree. I was so was excited I grabbed  them all!  I store all my math and literacy activities that I have bought on TPT and created.  Some bins have different colored stickers.  Since I teach SPED and have different grade levels those bins have a full bin of one grade level.  Each envelope has a sticker to help differentiate the grade level for each math and literacy activity inside the bin.
By my small group area I keep leveled assessments, fluency, and sight word lists/activities in Open-Tile File Boxes at the Container Store.  
I can't say away from that store!
For the table bins I made a picture so students know what supply goes in each section.  After the first week of school I added numbers, because at the end of the day there wouldn't be any pencils, etc.  So far this system has worked well in class.
My read aloud books are stored in my storage room.  I labeled these boxes the labels from my book bin and basket labels.  You can check out classroom book basket and bin labels by clicking here.

I just love our classroom library.  My students just gravitate to this area in our classroom.  I created labels to go on book bins and baskets and stickers that goes on each book to match the basket label. I organized my classroom library to match our school library by putting the color sticker to correspond with the books reading level.  My students have kept our classroom library so neat this school year! They know exactly where the book goes when switching out.  By corresponding the stickers to the library it has really helped my students choose the right book for them not only in class, but also when checking out books in our school library.   
Corresponding Stickers: Coming Soon to TPT
Editable Teacher Planner:  All my important papers are now easily stored in my teacher planner.  (This year I'm using the Chalkboard planner, you can check out the spine label in the picture above for the thirty-one bag)  My life has been made so much easier having everything in one place.  You can check out my Teacher Planners that are editable to meet your classroom needs by clicking here.    
Daily 5 Folders:  For Daily 5 I have my students store all Word Work activities in the front and Work on Writing activities in the back.  Click here to check out the monthly Work on Writing activities I use in my classroom.  
Each week students have to complete a passage, sort, write sentences for sight words, trash or treasure that covers the phonics pattern for the week before making a Word Work choice. (Stamping, Play-doh, Wikki sticks, etc)
Homework:  Honestly preparing homework for Special Education has to be one of the most challenging task just because it's preparing homework that meets each kids individual needs on different grade levels. But I created a system that has made preparing homework a breeze! In each binder holds fluency passages for each grade level and weekly grade level work.  Students also get a weekly Language skill and Math skill worksheet.  I do homework packets so everything is due on Friday.
As a special education teacher I searched for a visual system for my students to put their work where it can be easily stored at their fingertips.   Then I found these Store More Organizing Chair Pockets last summer on Really Good Stuff this past summer and had to try them out.  So far they seem to be pretty sturdy and I'm really happy with these chair pockets.

The toolkit and drawer labels are not only adorable, but keeps everything in one place without taking up a lot of room.  In the cabinet closest to my desk is considered the teacher's cabinet.  These fit perfectly in the shelf! I found these bright and colorful labels at  Toolbox at Learning in Wonderland. 

So here are a few of my favorite organizational tips. Would love to hear your tips!
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