Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First Grade Fanatics

I came across a WONDERFUL new blog recently. The ladies over at First Grade Fanatics have a ton of great ideas and their TpT store items are filling up my wish list! They are currently having a giveaway and I really want to win. I know my kiddos would love this Creepy Crawler Unit! Click here to enter for yourself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sub Tub

My husband plays baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and is gone playing baseball from March through September each year. This season he is playing in Altoona, PA. I am headed that way for a short visit at the end of this week and you know what that means…sub plans! Sub plans and I have not been the best of friends over the years. I have gotten better over time, but sub plans still cause me some stress. I just want things to go as smoothly as possible for the kiddos and the substitute while I am away.

For those times when I have to be away from my class I find it much easier to organize lesson plans and materials in a Sub Tub. I’m sure I saw this idea somewhere and I am not trying to take credit for it. Just wanted to pass along the idea because it works wonderfully for me!

I have a folder for each day that I will be gone. There are additional folders with notes that need to go home and general information for the substitute. I can even fit in the snacks so that everything is in one place. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Easy thank you card idea

At the beginning of each school year I like to take a picture of my class holding letter signs that spell thank you. I print them out (2 or 3 on a page) from a colored printer. Next, I glue the picture onto a half sheet of construction paper (or colored card stock) and fold in half. I pre-make several of these to have on hand and making more throughout the year is a breeze. Whenever we need a thank you card for someone I just have the kids sign the inside of one of these. It is an easy, cheap, and personal way for my class to show our gratitude to others.

This also works for special birthday cards!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Classroom Store

My class has been busy learning about money this month. Now it is time to apply what they have learned! In the Spring I set up a classroom store and my students can earn play money to go "shopping" with. They absolutely love it!!!

I ask my local bank to donate the little coin purses for the kids to use as wallets. If you can't find those a small envelope will work just fine to keep coins in. I set out items that I have picked up throughout the year at Dollar Tree and in the Target dollar isles. My students can earn coins for good behavior, being a good friend, helping me or each other, working quietly, perfect papers/tests, etc. I can also take coins away if they misbehave. One or two times a week I open the store and kids can spend their money or save it for a bigger item if they wish.

The only rule is that they have to count out the money to me. After the first couple times they really get the hang of it! I use a play cash register and pretend to really ring their items up.

I love this activity because it is easy to manage and helps tremendously with end of the year behavior issues that arise. My class is so busy trying to earn money that they have almost stopped bickering…almost. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day

My first graders are overdoing the old "your shoe is untied" joke today! It might be a long day.

I wanted to share this super cute idea that my kindergarten teacher friends down the hall are doing today for April Fool’s Day. When their students got to their desks this morning they already had "breakfast" waiting for them. Bacon, eggs, and toast! Yum! It is actually half of a graham cracker (toast), two pretzel sticks (bacon), and a scoop of vanilla frosting with a yellow M&M on top. Too fun! Thanks for the fun idea Lisa V!