A New Year!

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Happy New Year and welcome to 2015! I am writing this from my couch, holding a glass of wine, and thinking about all of the lesson plans I need to write! Oh well, we had one snow day this week, so I can carry some of my plans into next week. It has been snowing this week here in Cleveland and many schools were off yesterday and today, due to weather. My school was off yesterday but we were back today. The roads were pretty bad, but I made it to work! The temperatures tonight are supposed to drop to negative 20 to negative 30 degrees with the wind chill! Brrr. ❄️⛄️❄️

I want to share a resource from a TPT seller – a FREE – resource that I am about to use with my students. With only 3 days of school this week due to teacher records day and a snow day, we did not have time to squeeze it in, but I look forward to taking the time next week to complete it with my class! They love evaluating themselves and their own work. We frequently graph our math timed test results and our test progress over the course of a unit. The resource is a goal setting worksheet about making New Year’s Resolutions. It is not necessarily about academic work or specific subjects, but that’s what I like about it! I want the students to be able to think about how they want to better themselves in the new year, and reflect upon some goals they can set. I will probably require that at least one of the boxes is related to academics. If you download the resource, you can see four boxes that are flaps that the students cut, to make a type of flap book. I LOVE the cute patterns, too! You can find this awesome freebie here from The Applicious Teacher (love her name, too since my classroom is apple-themed!).

If you are interested in another way to use the cute “2015” flap book, see the pictures I’ve attached! I meant to do this last year but just never got around to it. I saw it on Pinterest and just loved the idea of remembering all of the good times from throughout your year. You display the container in your home and add to it each month, or whenever positive things in your life occur. Then, on New Year’s Eve, you get to go through the bucket and read your collection of memories from the past year! I created my bucket from a simple plastic pretzel container (upcycling!) and I printed the 2015 cover on plain paper, then decorated with highlighters. Printing on colored paper would be fun, too! I’m sure you all can get much more creative than me, but my goal here was to keep things as easy and cheap as possible. I already had the zig-zag chevron index cards, so they were free, but you can find them at any teacher store or probably Target. I look forward to all of the great memories my husband and I will add to our 2015 bucket this year. Can’t wait to write my blog post at the end of the year to reflect on how this went!

Have a great New Year and if you are already back in school, give us some of your teacher tips or a great resource you like to use in this “back to school” time!

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Book Order Fun

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Well, since I am sitting in an airport with a connecting flight delayed by 2 hours, I thought it would be a great time to catch up on my blog and all of the ideas I have in my head about lessons from this past year! This post is about an AWESOME book order freebie I found online! Links are below. It is not about getting free books through a book order, rather it is about using up those extra book order forms you have lying around! When you get extra ones, save them until you have time to do this activity with your students. I used the activity with third graders and they did an amazing job! The activity is a packet that focuses on distinguishing between fiction/nonfiction, fantasy/reality, and so forth. The one I like the most is the book recommendation page — the students choose a book they think a friend would like, and write about why they would like it!

Here are the links to where I found this great freebie:

Krea Hill’s TPT store

Book Order fun freebie!

You can use it as a lesson plan (tons of common core alignment for any grade!), a supplement to a lesson, a fun activity for beginning or end of the year, partner activity, centers work… The list goes on and on. My students loved cutting and pasting and really being hands-on with real life literature. See the photos for some of the students’ work! Have a great weekend. I am off to enjoy a short weekend vacation! 😎

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The Olympics in Room 27

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As promised, I have included a picture of the Olympics booklets we were working on in class. Great creative writing and social studies activity! And even better – it was free! The students loved coming up with new games (water volleyball, hopscotch, hula hooping, etc.) and making up their own rules to the game. Starting tomorrow, we will work on a compare/contrast nonfiction text about the Olympics and Paralympics. Links are included below. Enjoy your President’s Day holiday, teachers!

Make your own Olympic game booklet

Compare/contrast

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Working Out Tips

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Easy Blog Photo
Hello and happy Saturday! This post is not necessarily about one of the “four Rs” on my blog, but it is related to teaching in a way, because teachers always need to remember to make time for themselves. One of the ways I do this is by working out and taking Zumba classes! I wanted to share this picture because it is a great idea for storing your many work out tips and taking them to the gym with you in a practical and useful way. I got the photo album on sale at Target for $1.00 and filled it with various clip out cards from SELF magazine. They have great work out tips! You could also type up your own or print workouts from the internet. The photo album works great because the small pages are good for the small cards I put inside, and it keeps all of the cards in on spot so I’m not shuffling through them while laying on the exercise mat. The cards don’t get lost or dirty, and you can change out the exercises when you need some new ones!

Think of all the other ways you could use cheap photo albums in your life! Leave some ideas in the comments. I’m already thinking of using them to hold things like recipes (actually, my bridesmaids and friends did that for my bridal shower gift and it was awesome), math flashcards for students, sight word cards for kids to trace with dry erase marker while in the car, etc. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest! Get creative!

P.S. – I would like to share that my friend Kayla and I tried to complete the “arm candy” workout in the picture while at the gym. It was nearly impossible, even though it looked so easy. We are a couple of fit, athletic dancers who used to be cheerleaders, too! I was laughing so much because we must have looked so silly and our exercise balls are always rolling away from us!

Exit Passes

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Easy Blog Photo
Well, it was definitely tough to get back into the swing of things today, after 2 “cold” days off from school. I also had an hour long meeting which took me away from my kiddos for a while. My students had perfect attendance today, which was fantastic and allowed us to get caught up in our math unit about division. Then we had a school wide “Winter Olympics” activity to reward students with positive behavior. There is a different activity every month. The students had a lot of fun!

At the end of each day, I like to pass out “exit passes.” There are many types of exit passes or slips. You may like to use them on the students’ way into class, on their way out, only once a week, or once a day. There are so many options and ways to make them fit your needs! Sometimes I create specific ones about a math problem to see who needs help the next day with certain concepts. Sometimes I make them anonymous to see how my class as a whole is doing. I have recently started using exit passes everyday, and I wish I started using them sooner.

The ones in the link below really allow students to reflect on their day, their actions, and what they learned. I leave it open ended and allow students to choose which box they will fill in each day until their passes are full. They love coming up to me and reading them to me, and it is also their “pass” to then go to their lockers to pack up. It is a nice moment for them to realize that school is fun and that I cared about their day! (Even on those crazy, getting back in the swing of things days.) I have included the link, which I found on Teachers Pay Teachers via Pinterest. I am also going to try to add a picture (using Easy Blogger makes it super easy!) If you are a teacher, let me know of you use these and also how you like the ones I posted!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Did-I-Do-Today-220419