Monday, September 28, 2015

10 Hashtags Only a Teacher Would Understand

1.  #lunchbathroomphonecall #notallthree #hardchoices

I try, I really do. Most lunches are a frantic rush to throw a Lean Cuisine in the microwave, rush to the restroom, grab my lunch from the microwave, return a call at my desk, and scarf down my lunch which is hot like molten lava in some spots and and frozen solid in others. 

2. #bladderofsteel

Wait, there are jobs that you can go to the restroom whenever you need to? I hold it everyday from morning meeting until lunch. That is my superpower.


The other day I found myself saying, “We don’t chew on tissues out of the trash can.” 

4. #theteacherlook

We have all perfected it and are not afraid to use it!

5. #Iknowifyoureallyhavetogotothebathroom #mysuperpower

We can all spot a faker a mile away. That is right students, we know if you really have to go. Somehow teachers just know.

6. #rockingmymacaroniandyarnnecklace

That moment at the grocery store when you realize you are still wearing the macaroni and yarn necklace proudly made by a student.

7. #whyyesthatispukeonmyshoes

Many of us had been there when a student does not quite make it to the bathroom. One year, when there was particularly violent stomach flu going around I considered buying Crocs or some kind of plastic shoes and painting a target on them. So. Much. Puke.

8. #dryerasefromfingertipstoelbow 

Can’t stop the momentum to find the eraser. The struggle is real.

9. #ifyoucanreadthisbuyateacheramargarita

If you can read this, thank a teacher.  Better yet, buy her a margarita! 

10. #wouldnotdoanythingelse #IneverknewIwouldlovethemsomuch #eachonelivesinmyheart

Just like the old Peace Corps commercials used to say, this is the toughest job you will ever love. I go home exhausted at the end of the day, but my heart is full. All of my students live in a special place in my heart!

Do you have a hashtag only a teacher would understand? If so, please leave it in a comment below!

Monday, September 21, 2015

portable writing offices

Don't we all dream of a writing workshop where motivated writers are busy creating draft after draft, working hard to revise and edit, independently spelling all sorts of words so that we can actually read it without having to say, "Wow... your story looks so interesting.  Can you tell me about it?"  (You know what we're really saying is, I can't read this at all, so if you start talking about it, that'll give me time to decipher a few words, make connections to what you're telling me, and infer the rest.)  

So sometimes this happens.

In April.

With most of the class.

I'm kidding.  This can actually happen shortly after school starts, but students need a predictable structure and helpful tools to create the right environment for independence.  For me, kids need two tools right off the bat... a word wall that grows with them over time and a place to keep track of multiple writing ideas.  If kids always have something to write about and a resource for helping them spell words, they're usually off and running.  

One tool I also like are these little portable writing "offices."  Some teachers and students love these and some don't.  I think that depends on the specific needs and style of both.  But the resources included on the little offices are valuable tools for young writers as they assist in spelling many common words (colors, numbers, sight words, etc.) and help elevate vocabulary with lists of synonyms.  

I like them because they're versatile.
  • They can be used on the floor.  Some kids like to write on their tummies... not their actual tummy... you know what I mean.
  • Some writers concentrate a little better behind a barrier.  This can limit distractions for some kids.
  • The "offices" can be used at a writing center.
  • Or the sheets don't have to be used in an office at all.  They can be placed in writing notebooks instead.
However, whenever, or wherever you use them, you'll find the children keep referring to them... and that fosters independence... and that makes them feel "big."  And that's less tugging on your shirt as you pass by that forlorn writer who's been waiting to ask, "How do you spell yellow?"

I'm GIVING AWAY one of these sets to the first person who can answer this question correctly.  Leave your answer in the comments below and don't forget to include your email address so I can email the set.  Good luck!!  :)

Who is my favorite female actress of all time?

If you don't win, but you'd still like the resource, you can find it by clicking on the image below.

Happy teaching!  :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to School & Being a Good Citizen (freebie)

Happy Back to School.. it's Robin from Class of Kinders.
Are you still in back to school mode? For some, we have been in school since August. But for others, school starts after Labor Day. Either way, we are back at it and being reminded of just how exhausting and crucial that first month is! This is the time of year where I feel strongly about the need to spend a chunk of time teaching expectations, rules and procedures. But, the timelines and agendas of my school district doesn't really “build in” time for teaching these things or allow for as much time as I would like. I feel the pressure to jump in to the academics....which makes me feel like I have to “skim” over the "how-to's" of our new classroom. Not that I spend the first weeks of school not teaching academics, but I want "wiggle" room to do activities that promote the importance of being a good citizen. Because after all, if we are good citizens we will will have a productive year. We will. It will happen. At least that is what I tell myself and so far it has worked. 

Just the other day I saw this from First Grade Fun Times:
Yes. Exactly. That is our job. That is the challenge we face. That is the miracle teachers hope to make happen each and every year.  So, where is the time to do “this” before we being teaching? It is hard to find. I believe it is just as important as the academics. If we do not take that the time in the beginning, it will take time away from learning. All. Year. Long. At the school where I teach in Florida, it is a teacher expectation that we implement the Lifelong Guidelines in our classroom. It is a non-negotiable. 


I whole heartedly buy-in to this and value each one. For Kindegartners and Firsites it can be 
a bit tricky to get them to remember the language, so I use a book to make connection to each one.
We spend a couple of days reading a story and then doing activities to help make it "stick." Once we are finished, I have a poster I hang in the classroom for reference. Each one of the guidelines are there and next to it is the front cover of the book we read.
These are good citizen principles and being a good citizen helps keep us happy, safe ..which makes it possible for all to learn.
I want to share some other things that I use to help foster that sense of good citizenship and community in the classroom. I love!  It is a paid subscription (but there are several free videos available too) and our wonderful PTO provides it to us each year. It features a video on Citizenship just perfect for Kinders and Firsties. 
Also, I love to use Studies Weekly, their Social Studies magazines are so smart and perfect for students ages 5-7. The information on being a good citizen is simple and basic but very engaging. Not to mention just right reading and non fiction text that my kids can take home too! (YAY!)
I find myself buying and hoarding collecting books too. 
(What teacher need doesn’t need just one more book?)
I also find myself always looking for fun and meaningful resources too! There are so many great things out there and so little time. I created this one for my good citizen unit. It is a labeling page. My students enjoyed this one and even said so (which always brings a smile to my face!) I am hoping your students will have as much fun as mine did.
You can download a copy from my TpT store by clicking HERE. It is a freebie for you!  I hope you have a fabulous week, that your school year is off to a productive start and that MUCH learning takes place this year! 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

B2School Go Noodle Style!

Woo Hoo! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Go Noodle!! Do you??? IF you haven't heard of it, then you need to visit their site at GoNoodle.  It has tons of indoor activities to get kids moving and best of all, IT"S FREE!!!! The class can pick an avatar to represent them and then complete workout/dance/partner games in order to watch their avatar grow.  It is great for goal setting, brain breaks, indoor recess (for rainy days, too hot days, or too cold days), and for getting those never ending wiggles out!  I use Go Noodle EVERYDAY in my classroom.  We Go Noodle when I can see that my kiddos have had enough of staying on task and need to MOVE.

If you are a fan (or if you wanna be......) you are in luck! You could win 25 of these AWESOME headbands for your kiddos.
All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below for a chance at snagging them!

You can also use this discount code in their shop BTSwithGoNoodle for %15 off everything from September 4th- Sept.11th.

I hope you try them out if you haven't already! Go Noodle is FABULOUS here in paradise and I know it would be for you too!