Sunday, November 29, 2015

Kid Quote of the Week

Some of my students have been reading and working on a book study of Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne. They all agreed that they would LOVE to have a tree fort, some of them were pretty disappointed in their parents.....

"My mom won't let me build a fort! It's just TORTURE!" - Sofia ~ Future Fort Builder

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kid Quote of the Week

This week has been all about Thanksgiving and being thankful.  As a class we were working on writing all the things we are thankful for......

"I'm thankful for clothes because without them I would be naked.  Clothes are VERY important." Sofia ~ Miss Proper

"I like running around naked!" Carter ~ Rebel Rouser/Rule Breaker

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kid Quote of the Week

Our class has been working on feelings in our Second Step Social/Emotional curriculum.  There are many pictures of differnent situations that we look at and try to determine the best action/reaction to.
This week the picture clearly showed an angry child and Mylee had a great comment......

Just picture a finger wave, with a hand on a hip, and a head bob........
Hit me with your other bad mood!

"Hit me with your other bad mood!" Mylee ~ 6 Going on 16


I love my Math Journal Labels!

You can try them out HERE for FREE!

You can find Math Journal Labels for the entire school year HERE (That's 180 labels!), or find labels for each month here:

Let me know how they work in your classroom!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Math Journals

Math Journals are a quick 5-10 minute activity that I use in my classroom.  I love that it can be a quick check of my students understanding of the concepts I've been teaching and I can also add in new concepts that are a preview to things to come.

I looked all over Teachers Pay Teachers for labels that were already made, could be printed on to mailing labels, were core aligned, and made for first grade.  BUT NO LUCK! So... I made my own, and I LOVE them!!

Quick, daily math journal labels. Aligned with common core and perfect for 1st grade!

Each label is aligned to 1st grade curriculum and can be done in as little as 5 minutes.  I start the year by placing the first label in my students' notebooks. Each day that we work in our Math Journals I give my students a new label.  I just do a quick check, star their paper, and stick a new label on the back of their hand. My students are responsible for placing the next journal label on the next blank page.  (...... Sometimes the next blank page is really the middle of the notebook!)

Math Journal Labels for the entire year (180 Labels)! Core Aligned to First Grade Standards

You can find Math Journal Labels for the entire school year HERE (That's 180 labels!), or find labels for each month here:

I also have a FREEBIE if you want to sample my Math Journal Labels to see if they are a good fit for your classroom too!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Kid Quote of the Week

This week my favorite kid quote really made me laugh!  Kids are always listening to their parents talk at home......

"TEACHER!  Tallon called me a BABY!"

 "No, I said Bae.  Like Bae Bae.  Like my dad says to my mom all the time."  Tallon ~ Future Heartthrob
Kid Quotes: Tallon the heartthrob

That wiggly kid!

My last blog post got me thinking about all the things that I try to implement in my classroom to help those wiggly students.

Over the years I have tried MANY different things, weighted vests, weights for shoes, stress balls, bands on chairs, wiggle seats, etc.  It seems like every year I try something new because what worked the year before is not working or because every student has different needs.

This I have loved the exercise bands (surgical tubing) I have implemented.  I originally purchased a set of three exercise bands (for $17.00) from a local sporting goods store.  It had three different strength bands; heavy, medium & light.  The medium and light did not last very long! The heavy weight band has been great but expensive!  Check it out!
Exercise Bands to help those "wiggly" students or students with ADD, ADHD.

Because I have several kids this year that bands would benefit I was working on writing a grant to purchase more bands and balance cushions (I couldn't afford $17.00 per band!) when a dad of a "wiggly" kiddo asked what he could do to help his child.

I showed him the exercise band and told him I was working on writing a grant for more (as well as balance cushions), he had a great idea to use surgical tubing!  For less than the price of one set of exercise bands, he was able to make 5 surgical tubing bands!  AND they are much sturdier than the bands.  He simply measured the chair width, tied each end in a knot, made a loop and put a zip tie around it.  It works wonderfully!  (I found tubing HERE and zip ties HERE on Amazon for a great price; it would make each band approximately $2.00-$3.00.)
Surgical Tubing: A great alternative to exercise bands for your ADD, ADHD kiddos. AND it will save you $$!

This dad also brought in a balance cushion for his son as well.  The cushion has been incredibly helpful too.  It allows my student to wiggle without falling off of his chair and he gets the movement he needs to help him stay on task.
Balance Cushion: A great way to help those "wiggly" kiddos!

This is what his chair looks like with the balance cushion and band.  He carries his cushion all around the classroom with him because he knows it helps him to stay focused.

Using Balance Cushions and Bands to help your "wiggly," ADHD, ADD students.

It's been a great addition to my "wiggly" kiddo strategies.  I found them HERE on Amazon for $12.00 a cushion.  I have several students who could benefit from the balance cushions, I just have to get on the grant writing!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

That Kid

Dear teachers of my child and fellow colleagues,

That student in the back of your room, sitting by himself, silent, sullen, with an "I don't give a crap" look on his face; don't be fooled.  He's actually trying to understand the concepts you are teaching but has a hard time focusing because of the noise level and constant talking of other students around him.

I know.

You're using all the methods that your district keeps providing training on; Restorative Justice Circles, Common Core, Group Work, Unit Work, Performance Tasks.... the list goes on and on; but did you know it's actually very simple..... he's THAT kid!

An open letter to teachers about THAT Kid
THAT kid who needs a quieter environment to work in.

THAT kid that struggles to concentrate when the other students around him are talking (even quietly).

THAT kid who won't ask for help, not because he thinks you won't help him, but because he feels there are other students in the class that need more help than he does.

But I'll let you in on a little secret.....

He needs YOUR help.
He needs YOU to recognize that he isn't avoiding participating because he's too cool or uninterested, but because he feels like he's standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk trying to focus on what you're teaching.

He is only able to catch bits and pieces of what you say over the many other conversations going on around him..
*the chairs moving about..
*the student in front of him that keeps getting in and out of his chair..
*the sounds of your footsteps as you walk the room..
*the hum of the lights..
*the computers that students are working on..
*the tapping of a pencil, clicking of a pen..
*did he remember to bring his assignment for his next class...?
*he has homework from the class before that he really wants to finish...
*he's running the mile today in PE (he doesn't like running and doesn't want to fail)...
*will his friends make it on the bus with him today or will they have to catch the second one...?
*what chores will he have when he gets home...?
*what's for dinner (he's a growing boy after all)...?
*he really wants to catch up on some TV...
*how hard will this class be tomorrow......?

My son's lack of participation in your class has nothing to do with you or his ability to understand and do the work, but everything to do with his inability to focus when there is just too much going on around him.  Even with his medicine some days it's all he can do to understand just a little part of what you are teaching.

It's hard to reach out to the seemingly sullen, inattentive student sitting in the back of the class at times, but hopefully we can all find it in us to figure out each of our students and provide them with the best of us.

Kid Quote of the Week

Out of the mouths of babes.

As teachers we have heard it all, especially teachers of younger students. (Parents ~ if you think your younger children are not listening to you talk, you're so wrong!)  We know everything that is going on at home ~ the burned dinner last night, the older sibling who got grounded, the new pet, the pet that died, EVERY birthday, doctors appointments, did I mention the older sibling whose in trouble?....

I love to hear all the happenings in my students lives, it usually gives me a good laugh (that I have to keep to myself!) or makes me stop and think for a moment (mostly because I wonder if their parents really want the teacher to know ALL the things going on at home!)

So I thought I would start a weekly blog post with my favorite Kid Quote of the Week.

This week's kid quote is brought to you by Carter.  He was sitting by his best friend (totally the odd couple) ~ which is NOT suppose to happen as they talk to much during centers.  I asked them why they were sitting next to each other and Carter's reply was.....

"It's the only seat in the house!" (Picture arms thrown in the air and big six year old attitude!)

His best friend added....

"It's the best seat in house." (Picture a calm and happy kiddo to be sitting by his best friend.)

I didn't make them move apart that day, and they were very well behaved.  I decided to let them sit by each other, it's not worth the six year old boy drama! (Which can be so much worse than six year old girl drama!)