Sunday, 23 July 2017

10 Must Have Classroom Essentials- Part 6

Problem: Students raising their hand

I know many teachers have their students line up if they need help or their work checked, but that never really worked for me, I found there was too much misbehaviour and wasted class time as a result. I also know that kids will sit at their desk with their hand up for a long time, also wasting time and having a sore arm as well!
I decided to try the cup system, and it works pretty well. Students have three cups stacked on their desk, a green, yellow and red one. It is on green most of the time, as they are working and not needing any help. I had them change their cup to yellow if they needed help with something, and red if they were completed their work. This way they could keep working, read a book or do something while they were waiting for me to come and see them. I also found it an easy visual to check in with. 

I found the cups at Walmart for a reasonable price. My only issue was eventually the kids decided to poke holes or colour them, but I think this depends on the class you have how well they take care of them. Overall I found the system to be quite effective.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

10 Must Have Classroom Essentials- Part 5



Problem: Using the SMARTboard as a listening centre.
I have tried all different ways of doing a listening centre. I had the big earphones for a while connected to a cd player, but a parent was super concerned about the kids sharing earphones and I found it difficult to find books on cd and storing them all was tricky.
Then I started using my SMART board to show the kids a story and listen, but it was distracting when they all could hear.
So, each student now has earphones on their supply list, but I was still trying to figure out a way to connect it all to the computer. 
Enter this green star of amazement!!!!
 
Voila, I can connect all of the kids individual earphones to the laptop (I have a long cable to connect it). It works great.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

10 Must Have Classroom Essentials- Part 4


Problem: Students have a difficult time calming down.

In Kindergarten and First Grade especially, there are a lot of BIG feelings that come up in school, whether that be getting along with others, frustration over not being able to do something, or just plain feelings with no event attached!
I wanted to create a space in my room where students could go to get calmed down if they got frustrated so that we could speak when they are ready.
Here is what I have in my cool down corner:
-bean bag to sit in
-cards that show different ideas to cool down
-mirror
-feeling pictures
-Magnetic calm down cards
-Small, medium and big problem
-Zones of Regulation
-Sand timer so they don't stay too long!


 -Calm down bottle
I found the idea from Preschool Inspirations.
I ordered everything off of amazon:




I love my magnetic feeling choose board. I got the idea from Conscious Discipline, but I wanted a magnetic board instead of the felt board they have. I printed the pictures on magnetic paper, cut them out and used a simple magnetic whiteboard. The kids (and my three year old who has one at home) love using this board!


How do you keep your kids calm in your classroom? What do you use in your calm down corner? Let me know in the comment section!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

10 Must Have Classroom Essentials- Part 3



Problem: The horrible fluorescent lighting in my room.

It seriously drives me crazy, I find the lights to be so overstimulating and if I could I would ditch them entirely! That being said, I found a solution is to turn half of them off and use lamps around the classroom to create that warm, cozy feel. I like ikea lamps but I found they haven't held up very well, so I found some other more sturdy lamps.

I have three in my room, but I would like to add a few more and am always on the lookout for a new one. What kind of lighting do you have in your room? What would you change if you could.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

10 Must Have Classroom Essentials- Part 2



Part 2:
Problem: Writing on completed student work and communicating with students (and parents) about the work.

As my students were completing their work I would write notes, abbreviations in various coloured pens for work that was complete, incomplete, needed to be corrected or I had worked with them. I found it was taking lots of time and the abbreviations I was using may not have been clear to parents when they looked through their children's work.

I wanted some personalized stamps of some kind and found these amazing self inking ones that I was able to make into exactly what I wanted. 

These save me SO much time and help the students quickly fix anything that needs to be changed as well as keep parents in the loop so they know if work was completed with teacher assistance. I just can't live without these now! I got them from Rubber Stamps, they have a great selection, I want to make so many more!
See you next week for part 3!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

10 Must Have Classroom Essentials- Part 1


I find as a teacher I am constantly scouring the internet/books/asking other teachers for innovative ways to solve problems that I encounter in my classroom. I decided to do a little series (I will TRY to do 1 each week) of the top 10 essential 'problem solving items' in my classroom. 

PART 1
Problem: Losing my voice/students focusing on my voice and directions. 
Have you ever found that all of that talking makes your voice run out of steam pretty quickly? I know I have. I also know that my students have some, erm, trouble hearing my voice at times. I'm not a quiet person at all, but even with a loud voice I still have some students struggle to 'focus on the sound of my voice'.
I knew I needed a voice amplifier, and over the years I have managed to snag one from our district services or Library, but they can be difficult to come by and are often broken or missing parts.
So I went searching on the internet to see if there was something affordable that I could get for myself and then I wouldn't have to worry each year about finding one.

SOLUTION: Enter the WinBridge voice amplifier. This thing is amazing. No separate speaker required, I attach this to my belt at the beginning of the day and I am ready to go. It is easy to charge and I find it lasts for quite a while. The headset works well and I don't find feedback to be an issue unless I put the mic too close to the amplifier.

At around $40, this has saved time, effort and MY VOICE. I just can't live without this classroom essential.



Check in next week to find another MUST HAVE in my classroom.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Father's Day S'mores




As we get closer to June, I am trying to plan ahead for Father's Day. I always have a difficult time coming up with ideas for something to make for Dad, and of course remain sensitive to those students   for which this is a difficult day.

What better way to make dad happy than through his stomach? I decided to create a bunch of different Father's Day activities about... SMORES!!! Yum. 

The students created bags with enough crackers, chocolate and marshmallows for a SMORE for their Dad and themselves. They were SO excited, and many of them told me after they made them while they were camping over the weekend, so fun.


They also made a booklet and card to take home as well for that special guy that takes care of them. They loved writing the story. We made a canvas picture using their hands for the fire, which turned out super cute.


How do you celebrate Father's Day in your classroom? You can find the writing activity, tag for the SMORE bag, card templates and more in my Father's Day resource.
Thanks for stopping by, Happy Father's Day!

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