Thursday, September 15, 2016

Magic Hat Vocabulary

I hope you are off to a great school year! I have been overwhelmed with a new reading program this year that has really taken up a majority of my free time so far! I have been wanting to pop in and share some activities I do in my classroom for vocabulary practice. Years ago I stumbled upon a blogpost from one of my favorites, Amanda from One Extra Degree. She used a plastic Mystery Hat from Learning Resources to engage her students during vocabulary practice. I looked for that original post and couldn't find it, but I did find this post from her. I wanted to provide you with a link for the hat, but apparently it has been discontinued! Any magician's hat will do, though, and I found a few fun things that might work from Amazon HERE. (I think I need to grab a real magic wand!) You also might have luck at a Halloween costume store, since Halloween is right around the corner.

I call my hat a Magic Hat. I dramatically wave my wand above the hat, and call students to come up one at a time and reach in and pull a vocabulary word out of the hat. They have to give the meaning of the word and relate it to the story we are reading in their own words, and use it correctly in a 7-up sentence. We also talk about the part of speech and synonyms and antonyms that are associated with each word. 
It's a simple activity, but there's something about pulling the cards from the hat that turns it into pure magic. The students are captivated and engaged, and that's exactly what I need them to be!

If you would like to try using these magician's cards in your own classroom, just click on the photo above to download your own set that you can edit and use however you like.

I will be sharing a few other vocabulary ideas and freebies in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back. Don't forget to sign up for Primary Picks Newsletter below. We send out lots of freebies and ideas each month! 

Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Organizational Freebies

(I shared this post awhile ago on another blog, but I want to make sure you were able to grab these freebies in case you missed them!)
Last year I gave each student a writing journal. My plan was to give them a daily prompt to respond to, but the journal quickly became their place to write all of the things that were important to them. They were constantly asking if they could write inside their journals. Next year we will have a new reading program, so I'm not sure how I will have my students use this journal, but I know I want my students to have one. I cut construction paper to fit the covers of composition books (they are 8 1/2 x 6 7/8 and from my school's office supplier) and added the My Writing Journal cover to the front. The students can color them on the first day of school to personalize them. 
Writing Journal Cover Freebie
Last year was also my first year in my new classroom. There are tons of shelves and cubbies for the students, but I wasn't sure how to use the cubbies, so I didn't assign them their own specific space. Each group had buckets to store markers, colored pencils, etc. on their tabletops.  Since they didn't have much extra space inside their desks, I gave them a durable Ziplock baggie to keep their crayons and other personal items in. This was a disaster! Crayons, erasers, pencils, pens, and highlighters were constantly all over the floor. When the back to school sales begin, I am going to buy a class set of supply boxes, and I will assign cubbies. When they aren't using their supply boxes, they are going to be stored in the cubbies. 
Student Supply Label Freebie
Since our school wide theme will be superheroes next year, I added superheroes to them. You can grab them here if you would like to try them out. 
Earlier in the year I bought a photo storage container from Michaels to organize my math task cards. These containers hold 16 plastic cases that are perfect for holding task cards. 
I picked up a second one on sale last week at Michaels to store my language arts task cards. Since we will be using our new reading program, I want to make sure my task cards are organized for each week. 
Task Card Label Freebie
Task Card Label Freebie
I always have task cards available for students to grab and take to their seats during math and language arts Daily 3 rotations. This is something I want to continue next year. I love how Rebecca from Create Teach Share organized her Close Reading Took Kits, and decided to buy two more containers to store math and language grab and go task cards for the week. The individual cases inside are the same size as the ones in the containers above. (Below is what the labels on the containers look like in case you want to pick some up.) There are six plastic cases inside. I've seen them at Joann's, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Some people have even seen them on clearance at Target. 
I'm redoing my classroom decor this year, so I added these cute kiddos and colors to match my new theme. You can download all four labels here
Task Card Label Freebie
Task Card Label Freebie
I hope these labels help to organize your kiddos and classroom! 
Have a great week! :)


Saturday, September 3, 2016

September Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

And just like that, it's September. I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks today. A wonderful friend who volunteers in my classroom almost daily brought me one- my first of the season! I'm really not thrilled about saying goodbye to August and that I notice it's getting dark earlier each day, but I do look forward to the cooler fall weather!

If you are in need of some September inspiration, you have come to the right place! I always find the best pins from the bloggers who participate in our link up! 

I fell in love with these marbled painted leaves! I'm sure my students would make a huge mess with the paint and shaving cream, but the finished products would be worth it. I would love to decorate a classroom tree with these beauties! They are gorgeous!
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
These apple core art projects are so adorable! They would be a great art project for the kiddos during an apple unit. I might make a few samples and see how the apples look when they are made from a whole plate. I will probably let my students decide whether they want to create whole apples or apple cores. 
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
These apple core art projects are so adorable! They would be a great art project for the kiddos during an apple unit. I might make a few samples and see how the apples look when they are made from a whole plate. I will probably let my students decide whether they want to create whole apples or apple cores. 
The kids always go crazy over baking soda and vinegar experiments- and this one involves an apple! I am definitely doing this one during Apple Week! Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies has lots of other great apple week ideas on her blog. And if you are in need of a great homemade Crock Pot applesauce recipe, be sure to check this one out. I have each student bring an apple to share, then we peel them and chop them up to make our applesauce for Apple Day. 
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
Be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in our linky for every more great ideas! I hope you find some fabulous ideas to pin! 

This linky is hosted on the third of each month. We would love for you to join us! 
1.  Save the Pick 3 images to your desktop.
2.  Create a blog post using these images to share you 3    
     Pinterest Picks for the month.
3.  Share a link to your full Pinterest page if you would like.
4.  Link up by clicking the "add your link" button below.
5.  Be sure to check out the other Pinterest finds that have 
     been shared and leave a comments on the ones you love!
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
 (Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Memory Books for a New School Year and a Planner Giveaway

I remember when I was in fifth grade and my favorite teacher handed us a beautifully bound scrapbook of our memories from the year. As I looked through mine, I realized it was a keepsake of the pages I'd written the entire year. We didn't know that our teacher was saving the pages we wrote throughout the year about our memorable events, field trips, holidays, and what we were learning in class. 

Last year I decided to introduce something similar to my class. My students created memory books that they also worked on the entire year. They documented experiences such as their first day of school, highlights of each month, our Fall Festival, their birthdays,  and our field trips. I began to see students who were struggling with writing become successful and actually enjoying it. 

As my students finished each page, I collected and organized them inside of a plastic file crate similar to the one below. At the end of the year, it was easy for my parent volunteers to make sure each book was in the proper order so I could quickly bind them with my school's binding machine and pass them out on the second to the last day. 
The students who didn't purchase a school yearbook last year were able to have their friends sign their memory books on the autograph pages. My students and their parents loved the finished products! 
I asked the students to only use crayons or colored pencils on their pages, and to try to keep that consistent throughout the year. They really wanted to use markers, but I found they were too overpowering and didn't look as nice as the colored pencils or crayons. 
I have included a freebie Memory Book Starter Pack in Primary Pick's August newsletter. If you would like to try out this pack, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below, and you will be able to find the Memory Book Starter Pack freebie link to download a sampling of the pages. If you sign up, sure to check your inbox today or tomorrow!

And Now for the Giveaway!
Have you seen the new Posh Carpe Diem Planners? If you haven't, you have to check them out HERE! These planners are beautiful and stylish, and you can decorate them with all of the coordinating stickers and embellishments. This girl is one of my favorite Carpe Diem planner designers! 

Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching and I are giving away an Aqua Carpe Diem Planner with all of the embellishments to go along with it! Included in this giveaway are vertical weekly inserts, the monthly inserts, lots of stickers to decorate your pages, and a set of InkJoy Gel Pens (my favorites to use in my planner!) Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win over $100 of planner goodies! We will announce the winner on Wednesday.


Good luck to you and enjoy your Sunday!  


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August Pinterest Pick 3 Finds

I haven't quite wrapped my head around the fact that school starts tomorrow for me. I'm feeling nervous, excited, and overwhelmed! I learned so much last year, and I'm ready to take what I learned to make this the best school year ever! 
This month I am focusing on back-to-school related pins. Some of you might be in my shoes, and if you aren't you will be at some point soon! I always come away from this linky with so many great, new pins that I've never seen before! 
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
Have you ever read any of Maria Dismondy's books? They are wonderful, and perfect for the beginning of the year. I love the compare/contrast activity the blogger shared using this book. This would be a great lesson on celebrating diversity at the beginning of the year! And if you are interested, here is a YouTube video of Maria reading Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. And you can scroll down under Resources for a reading guide here
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
I can remember making a life-size paper doll when I was in third grade. I've always wanted to have my students make them for Back to School Night. I wish our B2S night was more of an open house, but the parents expect a teacher presentation, and need a place to sit and listen to me give the presentation. The kiddos' paper dolls might get squished! Maybe they can make mini versions to sit on top of their desks. 
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
I think my teammates would love this little gift on the first day of school! I plan to buy polish for them in our school colors. A little pedicure set with the tags attached would be really cute too!  Such a fun, free idea and printable!

Be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in our linky for every more great ideas! I hope you find some fabulous ideas to pin! 

This linky is hosted on the third of each month. We would love for you to join us! 
1.  Save the Pick 3 images to your desktop.
2.  Create a blog post using these images to share you 3    
     Pinterest Picks for the month.
3.  Share a link to your full Pinterest page if you would like.
4.  Link up by clicking the "add your link" button below.
5.  Be sure to check out the other Pinterest finds that have 
     been shared and leave a comments on the ones you love!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday Made It- August 1st

 
This is my last Monday Made It before school starts tomorrow! I know I won't be able to create like I have been this summer once school starts. I'm so thankful that Tara has hosted MMI because I'm held accountable to create at least one new thing so I can share! Last week I was at my classroom every single day decorating my new rainbow room. I decided to update my freebie clip chart too!
Last year I shared my Low Maintenance Clip Chart and talked about it HERE (scroll to the bottom of that post). I changed the colors to match my new decor, so I wanted to share. This clip chart was so easy to use this last year! Long story short, I always loved the idea of having students clip up, but I can never remember to have them clip up. With almost 30 students, that was the last thing on my mind most times. This clip chart consists of 4 pages, and is similar to a regular clip chart, but it has only four pages to it. Group A is on the top, then Groups B, C, and D hang below. Students clip down if they are breaking a classroom agreement, which is only considered a warning. If the same student continues to make poor choices, I ask him/her to move their clip down a second time. They owe class money at the end of the day. A third time clipping down results in giving up more money, a conference at recess, and parent contact. (I usually like the student to write the parent a letter explaining their behavior.) I know clip charts aren't for everyone, but I need a quick and effective way to manage my class, and this works for me! At the end of the day, I will update Class Dojo according to the clip chart. Below is a picture of how I set up my clip chart from last year. 
If you would like to try it too, I am offering this as a freebie. I have included my ideas for assembly and use. I have also included the small blue numbers for the clothespins. You can buy the small clothespins at Michael's or Joann. You can click HERE to download the clip chart, numbers, and directions.
I hope you were able to take a few ideas with you! Have a fabulous week! 
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