Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bright Ideas for Pencils for Little Learners

Hello there! Right now I am curled up in bed because it is COLD outside! Yes, cold.  It's the middle of Summer in Texas and I am in pants and a light zip-up jacket.  Crazy! I digress...

Do you ever have this problem with your students' work???

Or do you find yourself saying, "Where is your pencil so you can get busy?" a million times a day???

I wanted to share a with you a little something I do in my classroom to help speed things up during our pencil-paper work time, especially writing and that helps me keep my sanity!


I use colored tape and I tape over the erasers. GASP!!!!  Go ahead, I know you think I'm crazy...What? You don't let them erase?? What about teaching them that mistakes are okay? Don't fret--they see me mess up all the time. We just don't waste time erasing unless we are publishing our writing.

Let me explain more...

The little tape flags serve several purposes.

1. They keep the little one's from erasing allll dayyyy lonngggg.  You know what I'm talking about. Those times when 10 minutes has gone by and you realize that little Susie has done nothing but write, then erase. Write, then erase. Write, then erase.

2. It allows me to see their whole writing process and their thinking.  I teach them to just put a line through it and keep going.  When they mark through, with one neat line, their mess-ups, I am able to better guide them.  Often times when erasing I don't ever see how they got to that spelling or that they even were aware that their sentence didn't make sense.  I am able to praise them for "thinking like an author".

3. The flags help us keep track of whose pencil is whose.  You won't believe this, but each child only went through FOUR, yes 4, pencils last year.  This is typical.  The pencils are stored in the table bins and on the flags they have their initials.  They then know whose pencil is whose.  They are in charge of keeping up with it and getting it sharpened if it needs sharpened.



This little system has worked fabulously for me for the past 6 years! I have used this with both Kindergarten and First Graders. Are you brave enough to try it? I hope so!!


If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please join me on FacebookTeachersPayTeachers, or Instagram for more fun!

For more fabulous Bright Ideas, check out any of the links below by clicking on a topic or grade level that interests you! Enjoy! Happy Summer!




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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Simple Cut and Paste Activities for Beginning Sounds

Happy Sunday!! I hope you are enjoying yourself!  I don't know about your place, but here in north Texas the weather is absolutely gorgeous (and HOT, I might add!).  When it cools off, I think little bit and I will go for a walk. On to more teacher things...

I wanted to share with you the simple cut and paste activities for beginning sounds that I have been working on.

My goal was to create something with both kindergarten and 1st graders in mind.  I wanted something simple for them to do independently and I also wanted to be able to use it as a quick assessment if I needed.

With these simple cut and paste activities, the students sort the pictures by beginning sounds.  It's easy to prep and easy for the students to pick up on the routine you put in place with this activity.

The students can glue the pictures that begin with that letter onto the letter and throw the other 4 pictures in the trash...

...or you can have them glue the pictures on the back and write the letter each picture begins with.

Another option is to use them in an interactive phonics notebook.  The students can glue the letter part on one side of the journal and the pictures that do not begin with that letter on the opposite side.  The students can then write the beginning letter or word! 



You can snag this HERE and you can snag the same product that focuses on blends HERE.




I can't wait for students to use these! I know they will be a hit!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Workin' On It: Sight Words and More!

Hi there!  Remember me? I have been super busy with this guy lately. 

Isn't he THE cutest?!?  I'm just so in love, ya'll!! 

Anyway, today I'm linking up with the KinderGals to share what I'm working on!

When he is taking little naps, I have been busy trying to finish up this. 

I started out just updating this product, but instead I decided to align it with Fry's list of sight words, the first 100.  It is a whole new product altogether.  
It has everything for you to asses students on their sight words.  I broke them up into 4 groups.  For each group there is a check list for the teacher to use, mini-flash cards for you to use in the classroom and/or to send home for practice, certificates for each level (boy and girl versions) and everything you need for a data wall display.  My students LOVE this! They do anything to earn their little sight word superhero! 


I have been busy working on a few other little things, too. This was inspired after a blog post I did last fall.  I needed something super fast for the letter N and I made one quickly last year. Then this was born.  


I wanted something easy-peasy for the students to do as we work on each letter.  It also is a simple way for me to assess if they know that beginning sound or not.  I tried to keep my ELL students in mind so the pictures that are not commonly used, I used several times to have the students get used to them. :) 

I also started a blends version of the same thing! 

One more thing.  If you have purchased this set of Science Flip Books, go download it again by simply going to "My Purchases".  I updated it with some more specific directions and more kid-friendly fonts!  The rest of the flip book sets are in the works for an update! 

 Click on over to KinderGals and see what everyone else is up to this fine Wednesday!



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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bright Ideas for Birthdays

Birthdays are so special!

I wanted to share this idea that my AMAZING mentor teacher passed on to me.  Mrs. Wilson gets all the credit for this first birthday Bright Idea!

For birthdays in our classroom we have a special Birthday Chair!

 When I was student teaching, Mrs. Wilson had a Birthday Chair.  At the end of my time there, she and the sweet kids made me my own Birthday Chair!

To make one you just need a folding chair and stickers! Ours has had plenty of love as you can see above!



Ya'll, it's the best! Not only is it simple to make, but it's simple to implement, too! I just pull it out of the closet, replace the student's boring chair with the Birthday Chair and TA-DA! It is that simple!



This year I decided to do a little birthday gift.  I found cheap cups and then stuffed them for each child's special day.

I bought cheap birthday border from the $1 section and cut it to then staple and make into a birthday crown. I also found the stickers, pencils, and certificates in the $1 section. I just stuffed each cup so that I would have it ready to go on each child's special day.


If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please join me on FacebookTeachersPayTeachers, or Instagram for more fun!

For more fabulous Bright Ideas, check out any of the links below by clicking on a topic or grade level that interests you! Enjoy! Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Bingo FREEBIE

Just popping in to share a little freebie that I made for my End of Year party for my little friends at school.  Just add candy, math manipulatives, or coins to use to cover the spaces and you are set!

Grab it if you can use it!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Sweet, Sweet Blessing is HERE!

On May 26th,  super early in the morning,  Canaan Luke was welcomed into the world.  Ryan and I are BEYOND smitten with this little guy.  I'll just leave you with a FEW of the gazillion pictures we have taken.

 Yeah, yeah, I know what they say about pacis.  But I am learning that everyone is an expert for THEIR own child.  No one is an expert for all.  Learning curve for this mom for sure!


 Our first bath!

I can't get enough of these tiny toes!

And THIS is my favorite.  My good friend, Deanna, who is a local photographer, offered to snap an image if I could help gather the elements for it.  Being that we both love all things vintage it was easy and fun! We were inspired by two different images we found on Pinterest.  Each of the elements in this picture have a little story behind them. Precious and I love it!  

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bright Idea: Chalk Paint!

The end of the year is SO close!  With that, come several crazy days that your normal schedule is thrown out the window in order to work in this or that.  I wanted to share one of my FAVORITE things to do at the end of the year-use CHALK PAINT!



I LOVE chalk paint.  For the past two years we have done it at the end of the year.  It's easy to make, fun for the kids, washes out of clothes, and easy to clean up! I thought I'd share that with you today!








If you enjoyed this bright idea, please join me on Facebook, TeachersPayTeachers, or Instagram for more fun!


For more Bright Ideas with more than 130 bloggers, browse through the link-up below!  I know, 130 is A LOT to go through.  We made it easy and you can search by grade level.  Just look for a topic and grade level that suites you best! This is what makes the blogging community wonderful--sharing all of these wonderful ideas!!


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