Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Inspiring is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!

Today I "found" this truly amazing blog...

and I've been reading it all morning. If you haven't perused it yet,
I totally recommend that you do asap.
Yes, it is that awesomesauce.
I love so many things about my new obsession. For starters,
it is a conglomeration of a whole bunch of
fantastic bloggers who teach grades two and three. 
Next, each teacher blogger has included a bit about herself (no
himselves yet) and their life. Lastly, 
the freebies that are shared are inspiring, creative, and
exciting...Yes, exciting...I have drank three
coffees, kicked back and ENJOYED learning about each blogger on 
Owl-Ways Be Inspired.

Have you checked it out yet?


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Made It...on Tuesday

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It...on Tuesday.
If I knew how, I'd add one of those
cute little embarrassed emoticons...

Is it still a freebie if I don't sell stuff? Anyway, here is a little pennant that I have made for 
back to school...I plan on 
having the kids each finish one and then I'll hang 
them/string them on our hallway bulletin board. I am
sincerely hoping that they are done in time for Meet the Teacher.
I've also been working on pennants/banners/bunting in a green, blue, purple
colour scheme to use as headings for my bulletin boards. The letters are on chevron
backgrounds and I've included polka dots for fillers.

I don't go back to school for 5 more incredibly lazy weeks. When do you head back?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Where Did July Go & Pennants...Buntings...

Ummmm...where did July go? It's been a hectic month, but wowzers it went by FAST. As I was watching Season 2 of Call the Midwife (great/fantastic/superb show), I made these pennants/buntings/flags for my classroom.
I plan on printing them on cardstock (Michael's has oodles of different patterns), laminating them and using them along the top of my bulletin boards.
I have made Math, Reading, Writing, Calendar and Numbers...I also made one of a larger size for my strength wall called Our Strengths.
I used the font October heat from First Grade News and the free clip art Five Little Owls from The 3am Teacher.

I am hoping that by adding a light colour behind the letters, when the pennants print the letters will stand out. Time will tell! Well, time and waiting for my cyan cartridge so I can try them out...

Monday, July 08, 2013

Class Store Changed My Life

Okay-a bit of an exaggeration but a catchy title.
My bff teaches grade 4/5. Since I can remember (even before she moved to junior) she has had "Class Store." Honestly, I thought that she was much work and chaos. However, this year I decided to follow her example and try it out with my second
Yes, it's a lot of work to set up. Yes, it is chaotic on Kelly-Mart day. Yes, some minor problems are going to occur. BUT the advantage of this activity far outweighs anything else.
I had mulled over doing store for quite some time so had compiled a bin (rubbermaid tote) of stuff to sell. This included everything from jelly bracelets to t-shirts (bought on clearance). After each holiday, I bought a couple clearance items. I also purchased the end of the year leftover kit from Scholastic...wowzers...for forty dollars you get A LOT of stuff.
We made duct tape wallets to keep the coins that were earned in.
As a class, we talked about what sorts of activities earned money. One rule, for example, was that a student couldn't do something kind and then ask for a quarter...that kind of thing. Mostly, money was earned for following class expectations (ie good listening at carpet time, looking after your cubby, participating, random acts of kindness). I was careful to make sure that by the end of each week everyone had earned something...sometimes this wasn't easy but I persevered :)
On Wednesdays, kids had a chance to count their earnings and "trade up." They had to be able to do this on their own. Some kids used hundreds charts, number lines, calculators, manipulatives to figure out how much money they had earned. It was very cool.
On Friday after lunch, Kelly-Mart opened for business. It was 20 minutes of happy chaos and the kids loved it.
I stored all store items in small baskets and then put the small baskets in a large, clear tote. This was then stored at school in our resource room...which I had asked permission to do ahead of time.
Class Store lasted for 6 weeks. I will be doing it again, however. It was a lot of work to set up but the results were worth it 110%.

I ran the cash register (took me back to my teens when I worked as a cashier) and kids had to have the exact money ready for me when they got to the till. I also asked kids what their change should be if they had some coming.

One of the hot ticket items at Kelly-Mart were the Incentive Coupons...**WARNING*** Lunch with the Teacher is very, very popular...

{click picture for freebie}

I downloaded this freebie from First Grade Fever, (awesomesauce blog btw) printed it out, put the printed pages into sheet protectors and VOILA an extremely popular/easy peasy prize is born.

I also like the way that There's No Place Like Second Grade has organized her coupons using a craft box. She also offers her incentives as a freebie... I may have to switch things up for next year...

{click picture for freebie}
As I've mentioned, I WILL be having Kelly-Mart again next school year. I am looping with my class so will be teaching grade 3 instead of 2, but Class Store is one of the things that both parents and students requested we do again. Time to get stocking up on incentives ;)

Does anyone else have a Class Store? How do you manage it?

Friday, July 05, 2013

Duct Tape Wallets/Coin Purses

This year I taught grade 2 with one (yup ONE) grade 3. In May, I decided to start "Class Store" in order to cover our unit on money and to keep the kids engaged. In grade 2, kids need to know money amounts to 1 dollar, as well as the coins and their value. I have never done CS before, and was a little nervous...however, it was AWESOMESAUCE!

Before we could start Kelly-Mart (lol) we had to have something to store the coins in that the kids earned. Enter...duct tape coin purses (which I called wallets). My plan was to have each student make their own, but this turned into ME making them as they were a little trickier than I anticipated.

My PINspiration came from SOPHIE'S WORLD. She has outlined every step in pictures and easy to follow instructions. It is a fantabulous tutorial. Click the picture to go to the link:

I made a template of the wallet, as instructed, and taped the duct tape to both sides. I was going to use hot glue to stick the folded sides together, but decided to use half strips of duct tape instead.

I used velcro dots (from Dollarama) to close the top part of the coin purse. Super easy.

At first, I was going to have the kids make their own...this was not wise. The tape was waaaaay too sticky and frustration ensued. Instead, kids chose their own colours from an assortment of tape that I bought from Amazon. I made 20 wallets and used a fraction of my 8 rolls of duct tape. Honestly, 3 rolls would have been lots.

The kids LOVED these coin purses. They loved Class Store, too, (more on that tomorrow) but the purses were a huge hit. At the end of the year, they took them home. One boy even brought his dad into our classroom at the end of the day to show him his wallet...super cute.

I will make these again. They didn't take me too long (a couple of hours, TOPS). Older kids could make them on their own no problemo. Maybe next year we'll make the wallets with our Social Skills/Reading/Math Buddies in grade 5...

I 100% recommend and endorse making these if you have Class Store or a craft that you need to complete with your class. Here is a (blurry and terrible) picture of two of my students holding their wallets during Kelly-Mart shopping time.

I "starred" the coin purses cuz I am cool like that!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

I'm Baaack & July CURRENTLY

It has been a busy, busy, busy year both at school and at home. School-wise I took pictures of all the awesome projects/activities we did so that I can blog about them at my leisure this summer :)
So, to break back into the blogosphere I have linked up with Farley's incredible "CURRENTLY" for July.