Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pack Like a BOSS!

It is finally coming!  The end of the school year!

Seems like just yesterday we were unpacking boxes for another year.

Over the years I have learned from my many, many mistakes!

Here is my list to PACK like a BOSS!



#1 - Do not be a HOARDER!

Get yourself a box of GLADE trash bags and go to town!

Take time to throw away anything that you didn't use the last two years.  (Face it - chances are you don't need it!)  Go threw all of the books in your classroom library, if they are torn up or missing pages, into the trash they go!  Have some sweet kiddos go threw all of your buckets of supplies.  If it doesn't work, write, or glue - OUT IT GOES!  My kids did this Friday and had a BLAST!

Why is this #1 on my list.  My friend next door.  She is a convicted teacher HOARDER!  Just last week she came to show me that she was throwing away a HUGE stack of blue DITTO papers!  Yes folks.... those old blue ditto machine worksheets from our childhood!

Don't be a hoarder!

#2 - Be a Photographer!

Take pictures of areas of your room that you loved!  This will make it that much easier to set back up when you return in the fall.

#3 - Clean, Clean, Clean!

Get some Clorox wipes and clean it before you pack it.  No sense in packing dirty bins.  You will thank yourself later.

# 4 - Organize!

Take the time to organize everything.  Put everything by subject in the same area.  If something is missing a piece.....  Throw it away!

#5 - Taking Home!

Only take home things you know you will use.  One year I took home several boxes that sat in my garage all summer and never got opened.  Don't do it!  I limit myself to 2 boxes of things I plan on working on.  Everything else stays!

#6 - Label each Box!

Put things together in a box and label it.  Run off a bunch of papers with your name and room number on it.  Use plastic tape to secure each box with a label - write in marker what is in each box.

#7 - VIP Box!

As you pack label a special box VIP!  Put anything you need to set up your room in the fall.  Scissors, tape, glue gun. staples, Ziplocks,  markers, glue sticks, and anything else.  This saves me so much time when unpacking because you can set up at the same time.

Label this box with bright paper so you can find it easily!

#8 - Box it Small!

Collect a bunch of boxes.  The best place to get them for free is a liquor store.  (Ha! Ha!  I am totally serious and while you are there....  pick up a couple of bottles!)

Think about the poor people that have to move things during the summer and pack lightly.  You will thank yourself when you don't break your back in the fall!

#9 - Work in Stages!

Don't try to do it all in one day.  Start the week before and do little things.  It makes it much easier and way less stressful!  If you try to do it all in one afternoon, you will end up just throwing things in boxes and come fall it will be a disaster!

I hope these little suggestions make packing up a little easier this year!

Enjoy your summer and take the time to relax!

Happy Teaching!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Get those carts ready!

It's that time....  TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale!

So get's your carts filled and ready for a SALE!

Use code -  Thankyou17 to save up to 28% on some great things to finish out the year STRONG or begin to get ready for next year!


Want to win a TPT gift card to use at the sale?  YES, PLEASE!

I've teamed up with great sellers and we are each giving away a $10 TPT gift certificate!  To enter visit me on Instagram!  Just hop around and hopefully you might be one of the LUCKY WINNERS!

https://instagram.com/smithsafariadventures/


I hope everyone has a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week!  Every single one of you work day and night to make each day special for your kiddos!  You are making a difference each and everyday!  

Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Chart in Action!

Just a quick follow up post on one of the test prep ideas I blogged about over the weekend!

If you didn't catch that post, you can read about the anchor charts right below this post.

This chart....

IT WAS A HOMERUN!


The kids loved it!  We read the book The Stray Dog.   After we finished reading we split into four teams.  Each team got a different color of sticky note.  They worked together and wrote their answer in a complete sentence.  I had them write in complete sentences so we could throw a little grammar and punctuation in while we were at it.

We talked about their answers and they were so engaged!  Not a peep and hands waving in the air to talk about their group's answer.

Here is a picture I took of the chart after we finished.


So this test prep idea gets 10,000 GOLD STARS!!!!!!  You might want to give it a try!  

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Oh it's TESTING TIME!

Holy cow BATMAN!
It's testing time already!  Where did the year go?

We are in count down mode....  only 6 teaching days until the BIG DAY!

I spent the morning trying to come up with a list of things I am confident they know and what we need to revisit this week.  My lesson plans are a list with a ton of sticky notes attached to it!  Ha Ha!

For my class, the ELA portion will be much harder than the math.  Might it be that I am a better math teacher than ELA....  afraid so!

I made this anchor chart to give them something new to look at this week and hopefully they will remember to do some of these things next week.


Test prep is SO BORING!  So I wanted a plan that will keep them engaged.

To help get ready for the reading portion, I have picked a different story to use each day as my read aloud.  Each day we are going to focus on the same skills with each book.  My kiddos love to write on sticky notes.  So I made these charts to use.  After we read they will work in groups or with partners to identify their answer and write it down.  We will talk about all the answers and evaluate them.   The best ones will be left on the chart.  Then, one student will be blindfolded and use a pointer to pick the winner!  And....  the winner gets a TREAT!  Nothing like some candy to keep them working hard!

Here are some of the charts I'm going to use this week:

We can't ever get enough practice with this skill.  I'm going to make them write in a complete sentence to get some English skill review in at the same time.


I put some "starters" at the bottom to get them thinking.  Towards the end of the week, I'm going to cut off the words and see how we do without them.  FINGERS CROSSED!


This is something that we really struggle with.  So we are going to do a lot of practicing this week!


I wanted this to be different than the PIE chart that we have in class.  We are GREAT at naming the author's purpose, but struggle to find ways to express how the author feels.  Hopefully working with these questions will help us get some practice.


Easy as can be, helps us review for the test, and everyone will be engaged!    

For math I'm going to do a lot of white board review and some Skittle Math.  If you haven't downloaded my Skittle Math Freebie, click right here.  The kids love it and work so hard to earn those Skittles!  


I'm also going to pull out some math task cards.  One of my favorite ones is a set that reviews all of the Common Core math standards.  It has 4 questions for each standard.  



Are you looking for a test prep bundle that covers both math and ELA?  

Take a look at this edition for second grade!  Just click on one of the pictures!



Take a look at this edition for first grade!  Just click on one of the pictures!



I hope everyone has a wonderful week and if you are getting ready for state testing....

A HUGE HIGH FIVE for YOU and your KIDS!

Happy Teaching!