Monday, May 25, 2015

Problem Solved: Need a FAST Bulletin Board Idea? (Freebie!)

I love the look of a fresh bulletin board but dread actually making one...especially this late in the year.  Want to know my secret for a speedy quick (but quality!) board?  



A simple writing prompt.  From start to finish, this is up in ten minutes!  I love using simple prompts to tack up on my white board too at the top. I run these the whole length of the board.  Love my white board but am always needing something to break up all of that white, you know?  My go-to is always writing.  You can never have enough!




Friday, May 22, 2015

Problem Solved: Lunch Crate on Wheels!

Isn't this genius?



My school is K-1 only and is so tiny, we don't need crates on wheels. (Plus, we have stairs!) But, our sister school, 2-5, is next door and HUGE!!    Lugging lunch crates down to cafeteria and back each day was a pain in the neck.  So a fourth grade girl  invented a conversion kit for the "lunch lugger" baskets for the Invention Convention. She took the baskets home and retrofitted each basket and added a handle to make lugging the lunches even easier. 

Love it!  





Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Freebie for Mother's Day Only!

Happy Mother's Day to all the women who are rockin' it and doing what you do every day... Motherhood is by far the hardest- yet most rewarding job we'll ever have!

To celebrate, I'm giving away my First/Second Grade May Open-Ended Math Questions for Journals/Do-Nows/Homework. TODAY only. Leave me your email address by midnight tonight and I'll send it to you.  


Check out my take on the value of open-ended questions.  
You'll find a few more freebies there, too.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

Edited to add:  I've uploaded a money-saving bundle.  Thanks to the 11 Moms who emailed me!  You rock!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Using Voice Memos to Send Messages to Parents

I used to use the Quick Voice App to send sweet greetings from the kids to parents in my class. But after they updated the software, I just couldn't get it to work with my computer at school. So I still use it on my Ipad to help my kids with fluency.  Now to send messages to parents, I use the Voice Memo button on my iPhone.  So easy to use!



It takes a minute to record a poem, get well wishes, or to record one of the kids reading a story and twenty seconds to email it.  So easy to do! Have you done it?  Good PR!

My latest recording was a Mother's Day message.  It consisted of two poems and one song. 1:36 total time. Whole thing took two minutes to record and send. From the immediate feedback I got from several moms, I knew how much they appreciated it.

Try it when you get a chance. Easy breezy lemon squeezy!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Problem Solved: Storage UNDER Desks

I LOVE my Math Tool Kits.  I've been keeping them in desks but it hasn't been ideal.  Manipulatives fall out, it takes up a lot more space than I planned, and they're not quite as easily accessible as I had hoped.  I sort of put up with the less than perfect desk storage thinking nothing else was a possibility.




I
Was.
Wrong.

One of my sweeties discovered that there is a "rod" under each desk.  The hook fits perfectly!!!  Once on the rod, the bags can be pushed to the side and they DO NOT get in the way of their legs.

This.
Is.
So.
Much
Better.

Now that this extra storage was discovered and put to good use, I'm thinking about the possibilities of hanging a second bag under there that can be pushed to the other side.  Hmmm...a reading took kit?? My wheels are turning.

If you have a small room like me, check under your desk...you may find a little bit more real estate!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Still Need a Mother's Day Project?

Trust me, this was SIMPLE!  So simple in fact, that it can be completed in a day.  A DAY!  Yes, there's still time!


Here are a few close-ups:




The Back:


How-To

Materials:

 *Watercolors (Crayola)
 *White Construction Paper cut 11.5 x 11.5 inches.
 *12 x 12 Colored Paper for mounting  (seen in group photo)
 *"I Love You Because Paper" from Wild About Teaching (Freebie!)

What to do:

Tell class to make a circle ANYWHERE but the middle.  Then add petals which SHOULD reach out to the edge of the paper. (Some kids did it, some didn't.)  They can add leaves if they like.  I told them to pick 2-3 colors and paint!  I suggested they didn't pick GREEN if they were going to make leaves. After they painted them, they sort of looked a little bit..um...interesting.  But, like magic, once you outline in black marker,... BEAUTIFUL!!!!  (I did most of outlining to save time.)  We glued the paper on back and laminated them.  I was impressed!  My colleague Brittany did them a few days ago and I just had to follow her lead after seeing how they turned out.  This is a great project for any holiday!  Keep it in mind!