Schoolroom Swag

Elementary Teacher

Having fun in the classroom and "balancing" life!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cheap and easy Christmas craft and a freebie!

 It's a Festivus miracle!!! I made an original craft!! I'm making them for the staff at my school, and my husband (our principal) is making banana bread to put on them. Eight down, 11 to go. Does it look like a peppermint? That's what it's supposed to look like. At first I thought it did, and now I'm not so sure. It's just craft glue and white glittter. 98 cents at Walmart, thank you very much. It's actually not taking that long, but now my neck hurts and I only have 2 more days to get them all done and sprayed with a cover coat. Of course it's the 11th hour and I'm starting a new project. If I wasn't a maniac and freaking out before the last couple days of school, I don't think it would really be Christmas. Some people need snow, some of us need extreme busyness. At least you don't have to shovel that.
 So here's our peppermint math for tens and ones. I used candy canes as tens and peppermint marshmallows as ones. I put them on plates around the room (wrote the answer on the bottom so I would remember) and the kids went around in partners writing the number and the extended form. I wrote the station number on left-over gingerbread dye-cuts. This picture is upside down, but here's how we did it in whole group with mini white boards.

 Look at the beautiful hair on that one!!!! Puts us all to shame, that Mom!!!! Mother of the Year.

 Here's a link for the worksheets I used, plus some other stuff. It's free!!! I know this is super late, but if you can't use it now, maybe next year??!!
Merry Christmas and have an AWESOME vacation!!!!

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Christmas flash mob

Have you seen this flash mob?  It's a singing flash mob of Christmas songs at a mall somewhere. It is so awesome!  I'm trying to pass it around to everyone! It's so cool. I wish I could do it with the kids at my school. Not really realistic, but I can dream. Check it out- it's so worth your time.  I tear up every time I watch it.

I'll be back tomorrow with a freebie for Christmas. Or maybe later tonight if I can get it done. You know how it is.
 Merry Christmas!
 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Charlie Brown week and a classroom tip

 Everything in my TPT store will be 28% off using "cmt12" code at checkout. It will be on Monday and Tuesday, so check it out here. I'm working on a Charlie Brown unit to use with the "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" story.  I don't do Santa in my room, so we have Charlie Brown week, and for their Christmas gift I give them a Charlie Brown plastic Christmas glass from Walmart, and then I make these ornaments, and put it all in a stocking. The ornaments are so easy to make- and cheap and FAST! I do the Charlie Brown unit the last week before Christmas vacation, and each day I dress up as someone from the story. I bought some cheap white tennies from Target and used a sharpie for Lucy's shoes, and put eyeliner all over my clothes and rat up my hair for Pigpen. It's fun. The kids dress up sometimes, too. My unit right now is 67 pages. I'm not done, it'll probably end up at about 75 pages. It's reading activities and grammar. I'm hoping to add some math to it before the sale.

Ignore the messy looking tubs of stuff next to their work. Note to self: Don't buy see-through tubs.
 Here is one of my favorite things about my classroom this year that I worked on over the summer. It's just a strip of ribbon that I cutsied up with ribbon and buttons at the top. I attach their work to the ribbon with paper clips. You can see them at the top of the kids' work. Two of them are covered in glitter, so they're a little harder to see. I attached the ribbon with 3M velcro strips and it's working like a charm and so easy to hang their work!
. Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scholastic Thanksgiving

Have you seen this Scholastic site? It's all about Thanksgiving and it's awesome! Check it out, there's really great stuff and so user friendly! I planned my whole week around it! I also planned my Thanksgiving unit around it. 

3 digit addition
Missing addends

Addition center
Graphing about life now vs. then

Go check out Scholastic! It'll be a great additional resource for your Thanksgiving Unit! My Thanksgiving unit is on sale right now for $1.50. When the sale ends on Wednesday, it goes up to $4.

  Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Odds and ends and a T-giving giveaway

Writing about the details they noticed about me. Thankfully no one wrote "fat and flabby arms", which clearly would have been accurate. I think I saw maybe Cara Carroll do this. With skinnier arms. Yikes- that is FRIGHTENING!!!!! When did my mother take over my body???!!!

Getting signatures for classroom mayor! They LOVED that! The classroom mayor project was pretty fun. It's in my community unit.

The Fork Run- carrying candy corn on a fork after predicting how many pieces we could get on the fork and how far we could take them. During "or" sound week. From my Fun with Phonics Sounds unit.  

  I think you all know that my TPT store has been Where Everything is a Dollar. I recently read a TPT newsletter that spoke to having a dollar store, and just pretty much said it's a bad idea. I understand where they are coming from and what they were saying. I never meant to undercut other sellers or hurt the market as a whole. I felt badly about doing something that would hurt other people, so I decided to raise my prices. Not a lot, just a little. Now I feel sad that everything's not a dollar anymore, even though I still think it's a pretty smokin' deal. So I decided that every time I post a new product, I would make it a dollar for the first 24 hours. And I would give a couple away here on my blog. My latest product is for T-giving. It's mostly grammar and math, with a little bit of spelling thrown in. But remember, I make my products for what I need in my classroom, so my spelling words fit what I need. They're pretty basic words, though. I'll try to add some more on another night. It's about 40 pages for $2. But for the first 24 hours, it's only a buck.

So for the first 2 people that comment about me raising my prices, I'll send you a free Thanksgiving unit. Just make sure you add your email address.

Thanks for reading! Hope all is well with all of you! Time is flying! Does anyone else feel like you're just not getting enough stuff in during the day???!!! Is anyone else totally behind on handwriting???!!! And for all you people who post daily, or even do you do it????!!!!!

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween...or not

Here are my weekend finds from the dollar section at Target...

I'm not a huge Halloween person. I let my kids trick or treat, we do trunk or treat at school and I help at the trunk or treat at my church, but for a bunch of reasons, I don't celebrate it in my classroom. I love dressing up, and I always do for our school trunk or treat, but that's about it. Well, of course there's also the candy! But I got totally sucked in to the cute monsters. So I decided I would use it to my advantage this week in the classroom. We're reading "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" and of course "Where the Wild Things Are". And "Go Away Big Green Monster". We're going to use them to talk about how monsters aren't real, and I'm going to try to capitalize on use of imagination this week. I'm using one of the monster containers to do a grammar noun, adjective, adverb and verb sort game. And remember the metal shaving/magnet pictures on the left? My grandparents had one, and so now I totally have a soft spot for them! I thought they were SO COOL! So I'm going to use them as a game, probably with grammar or math. I'll put them in teams, and for every right answer you get to put the hair on the monster! Whoever's monster has a head of hair first wins! They could be a writing tool, too!  The Frankenberry cereal is for adding and subtracting. I put a unit on TPT and Teacher's Notebook of some of the material I'm planning to use. So check it out if you need something cheap and quick!

 Monster party – monster cupcakesAnd we just may need to make these!

Have a great week!
  Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Friday, October 12, 2012

Standards and a Pumpkinpalooza freebie

How many of you post your standards in your room? How many of you match up your assignments to a standard, and how do you do it? Is it in your lesson plan? Your curriculum map?  

Teaching in a private school is different, in so many ways. I come from a private, SMALL college and I feel like I'm playing catch-up on the standards train. I'm trying to learn, though. And I especially want  to learn what's expected of you public school teachers. I want to make sure I'm up to speed. I REALLY appreciate any information you take the time to share!!! 

So here in Arizona it's COOL today!!!!! Fall weather!!!  And it might even be cloudy and RAINY!!! WOOHOO!!!!! So here's some pictures of our week (actually 2 weeks ago already- I am so in awe of all of you who blog on a regular basis.) of Pumpkinpalooza!

Here we are seeing if our pumpkins float, weighing and measuring,  and playing Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin after we wrote adjectives about the pumpkin on the square post- its that became it's nose. I used some cute pumpkin stuff from Cara Caroll and my own $1 unit. The Pin the Nose game came from Target or the Dollar Store- I don't remember which.  We baked 4 different pumpkin treats, graphed about them, did grammar, math and reading activities. I think my daughter, my biggest critic, even thought it was "pretty fun". Although I also heard "I thought it would be funner" come out of her mouth at one point. Sheesh. High maintenance much? Listen friend, do you know how many times I baked pumpkin bread in first grade? NEVER! Teaching your own child is not always the Maxwell House commercial you think it's gonna be. But it does make it easier to post pictures of kids! (: Here's a couple pages of my unit for you to try.

Have a great day and thank you for any comments about the standards!

  Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Friday, September 21, 2012

Community: a Social Studies theme can be fun???

Did anyone else fall asleep on the living room floor at 8:30 tonight???!!!! How sad. 

Does anyone teach a Community theme for Social Studies? I do, and I have a hard time making it fun and exciting. I wanted to go beyond the basic "community helpers" that the kids have been learning about since preschool. Our community theme includes places to live, work, and solve problems. I really want them to learn that being a part of a community means helping others and solving problems together. Along with being a good citizen, and learning to be responsible with their resources. We just started touching on places to live and work, and are heading toward problem- solving with others around us. Here's the best thing we've done so far:

 We made a community using Legos, blocks, and anything else the kids brought in or I had. Here are some boys making a street cleaner. A for originality! We turned this into a discussion of weather differences in the South vs. the North. Living in IL for 4 years, we saw many street cleaners. Here in AZ, not so much. (Too much dust to make it cost effective.) So we talked about the reasons we wouldn't use street cleaners in the dusty weather.

 Above are my girls working on a hotel, a house, a skyscraper with apartments on the top floors (and some really cool  architectural features!) and a church, complete with rows of seats!

Our focus this week was problems in the community. The problem we discussed was how houses could get wrecked. This came up because one little girls' house was wrecked after it got stepped on because it was in the wrong place. So that led to a whole discussion on zoning, and why we don't have McDonald's right next to our houses. It was a great discussion. So then we wrote different ideas about how buildings can get wrecked on the "windows" of the sky scraper. Then we discussed how townspeople work together to rebuild, and we all rebuilt together. It was really fun.

 My kids LOVE working on their community and have always been completely engaged in all the discussions we've had. Yes, even the zoning! In a couple weeks we're heading to a fire station and the city hall, and I'm actually super excited about it!

Next week we'll be discussing government workers to get ready for our field trip. We're having an election of a community mayor, and getting into "town councils" for problem solving meetings. I have a community unit for sale for $1 with these activities in it, if you want to take a look.

 Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!!

  Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Asperger's Syndrome

 Asperger's Syndrome
I have a child in my room that has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. I have only dealt with one other AS student in my career that has actually been diagnosed. I've had many others that were ADHD, and some that possibly were, but weren't diagnosed. I'm not a special ed teacher, and I have almost no training with students on either ends of the spectrum as far as special needs or  "giftedness". But I'm learning. Like I've said before, I teach in a small, private school and we are blessed to have a reference person (many other Christian schools don't) but she's only there ONE day a week for only a few hours. I'm sure there are many of you in my shoes whether you teach in public or private schools.

Here are some things I've tried this year. 
-at the beginning of the school day, my AS child goes to a quiet place with his book box to read by himself
-I allow him to sit on my lap during whole group discussions when we are at one of the whole group rugs (he is outside the box on this, as he likes physical contact, unlike most AS kids)
-he holds something for me during discussions
-he is my modeler for many modeling sessions
 -I set a timer for his homework and tell him he needs to get a certain amount of work done before the timer goes off
-he has a finger puppet in his desk that he can whisper to when he needs to say something
-I have a rice-filled sock puppet that puts weight on his legs at his desk or at the circle

I have read some great articles that were full of information:
"Teaching and Learning Approaches for Children with Asperger's Syndrome" by Francine Falk-Ross, Mary Iverson and Carol Gilbert from the Council for Exceptional Children

This is from the Council for Exceptional Children website. It has a LOT of good articles on it.

There is also a book that is strictly fiction, but about a teenager with AS that gives insight into the mind of an AS child. It's called "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime." by Mark Haddon.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Today Show Book Club #13) 

I know we don't have time to read. These articles, and even the book, are short and easy to read and make use of their ideas. And I'm reading them over time. 

 Clearly, I am no expert on this subject and am only BEGINNING to learn. But I thought maybe some of you are in the same boat. We need all the tools we can find. If anyone else has ideas, I'd LOVE to hear them! 

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

McNouns and Mcverbs freebie

It's our second week of school and we're working on learning what "Classify" means in regards to grammar. We use Shirley English, which I love, but we all need a little spice in our lives from time to time. Add some fries, and voila!  A little spicy number. (And it's not Rita Moreno. Did I just age myself? That was SNL from back in the day for all you young pups.The $25,000 Pyramid.)

Anyway.... to help me teach nouns and verbs, we classify the words on some paper fries and put them in the right container. I give everyone the same amount of fries, (yellow strips of paper) and then call out a word (I draw a word from out of the McD's bag just to add a little drama). They classify it as a noun or verb by putting it into the right fry box, which McDonald's gave me when I begged. Then we eat real fries that are baking in the oven as we are playing! I teach at a private school that has a church kitchen, so I have an advantage there. But maybe you have a secretary or parent who could help you out with that.  Add a worksheet at the end for some more easy assessment and practice, and you've got yourself a grammar meal.

Here's the worksheet I used.You can get it here.
thanks for reading!

.Glitter Words![ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Chrysanthemum and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Freebie and linky!

Wow! My class this year is AMAZING!!!  They're smart and good and cute and sweet. It's like a breath of fresh air. Here's one of my students, who is also my daughter. It's nice to be around my daughter every day. We'll see how it goes as the year goes on... She's a special kid. One time she said to me "Mom, sometimes I forget I only have 5 fingers on each hand and I think I have 10." She says stuff like that ALOT. Yikes.

This week we did some work with names, nouns and verbs. We also started the Daily 5 Read to Self and Read to Someone and it's going GREAT!! So here's a freebie of some of the things we did using Chrysanthemum and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Also, does anyone have thoughts regarding TPT vs. Teachers Notebook? I'm curious to see which one people use and why.
And lastly, I'm joining up with another classroom pictures linky. So if you already looked at the pictures of my classroom, don't look any further! (: 

Sorry if you had to look through those pictures for the second time !!! But thanks for reading!Hope you had a great week!!!

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]