Monday, July 28, 2014

FLASH FREEBIE Alert! Alphabet Posters, Cards & Bunting

I've been working on some Classroom Decor sets when I got sidetracked and decided to focus on some Alphabet Posters! I need a new set for my classroom to use as my alphabet line and double as my word wall headers anyway. So.... I made a set out of this bright zig zag background that I am in love with right now! This is the D' Nealian style of handwriting. Stay tuned for some other styles coming soon. Now I just have to decide which one I will be using! What do you think??

SET 1: BRIGHT Alphabet

Check out the PREVIEW

There are 4 different sets of just the alphabet posters...
-Half size with pictures
-Full size with pictures
-Half size with lines/without pictures
-Full size with lines/without pictures

LOTS of options!

I also made the 2 sizes in the bunting banner that would look super cute as word wall headers. 

Here's the smaller set which is 2 banners on one 8 1/2 X 11 sheet.

And the larger set with 1 to a page. 

I am loving the bright zigzag with the polka dots!

Also included are 2 sets of ABC cards. Use as headers or in workstations!

One set in D'Nealian...

And the 2nd set in this fun font, just because. The font is Janda Safe and Sound. Love it!

So versatile with so many uses. 
Snag these on TpT today only until 10pm (7/28) for FREE!

Get these {HERE}

This is also a part of my Classroom Decor set that I'm currently working on which will include name tags, desk plates, locker tags, supply labels, calendar cards and so much more. 


For those of you that like to take a walk on the WILD side. Zebra with zig zag! It's a little busy but I kinda like it!

And the bunting in small size...

And the larger size...

And ABC cards...

Like the zebra and zig zag for your classroom?

Get this set {HERE} for FREE today only until 10pm on TpT! (July 28)
Of course, if you download this fantastic freebie, please rate and give feedback! Also FOLLOW my store, if you are not already!

Thanks and be on the lookout for more classroom decor items coming soon!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back To School Printables!! Yes, it's almost TIME!

Can you believe it?? School is starting, like, tomorrow!  Not really... but it sure seems that way. 
Where did the summer go?

I created this product last year but recently gave it a mini-makeover. It has been updated and uploaded to TpT!

It is one of my best sellers and has received over 500+ repins on Pinterest!

This Back To School pack includes 3 First weeks activities perfect for 1st-3rd grade. Preview the pages below!

Get these HERE!

Also be on the lookout for a Back to School GIVEAWAY coming in AUGUST! If you are not already a follower, please follow my TpT store and this blog to be alerted of the giveaway!

More coming soon!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Personal Behavior Clip Chart...GREAT idea!

Found this on What The Teacher Wants and think it is a neat idea. 

Since this is the week in our linky for Behavior Management, I thought this was good to share! I use the Class Clip Chart similar to these as explained in my last post.   I really like it but wondering if this would work well for certain kiddos in addition to the class chart??

Could I do both? Hmmm...just thinking out loud here. 

I see the benefit of not having the class chart displayed for all to see as some kids get super anxious and embarrassed about moving their clip in front of the class. This could really allow the kids stay accountable for their behavior in a more personal, less embarrassing way. 

Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants explains how she uses it in her classroom. Check it out HERE.

She also has a great Behavior Bundle that goes along with this if you'd like to check it out on her TpT store

This is definitely something I am going to consider for next year.

What do you think???

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to School Linky: Behavior Management

This is my first "linky" experience and I think it's going to be a lot of fun! I'm linking up with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bee's for their Back 2 School Weekly Linky, where each week there will be a new topic to share ideas. 

Check out the schedule below!

This week is one of my faves...
Behavior Management! 

DISCLAIMER: This post is a little long but it's jam-packed with some good stuff (in my opinion) so I hope you take a moment to read through it!

I know this topic may make some cringe but in my 9 years of teaching, I feel like I'm getting a hang of it (finally) and figuring out what works best in my classroom. So, I am happy to share! Of course, not all things work out the same from year to year and every year it seems that I implement new things I've learned. It's part of being a teacher...we are lifelong learners, right?

1) Simple Class Rules

First of all, I believe in very simple rules. Our school only has 3.

1) Respect Yourself
2) Respect Others
3) Respect Property

They are clear and easy to follow.  For my own class, my rules incorporate the foundation of respect and are also pretty simple. This past year, I implemented the whole brain thing and went with these 5...

A little hard to read in the pics, but I got these mini posters from another 2nd grade teacher over at Creekside Teacher Tales, and put them above our class door after we reviewed. I love whole brain's use of hand signals that go along with the rules. The kids ABSOLUTELY loved them and would recite them throughout the year. 
I have a video somewhere of my class sharing their rules with motions but it must be on one of our iPads at school.

The rules are...
1) Follow Directions Quickly
2) Raise Your Hand For Permission to Speak
3) Raise Your Hand to Leave your Seat
4) Make Smart Choices
5) (my favorite) Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy!

2) Behavior Clip Chart and Tickets!

Our school uses the clip system and I really like it. For years, we just had yard sticks with painted color sections in our classrooms where the class started off at the top and only moved DOWN, but those are long gone. I made this clip chart a couple years ago and it works great. Now we move the clips UP too. SO much better to have the positive reinforcement visible for those kiddos who consistently do well. Sometimes it's easy to just focus on the ones who make the "not-so-good" choices. This picture doesn't show the clips (clothespins) but the class starts out on "Ready to Learn". And most of them stay there!

Unless a poor choice is made, the clip moves down where the kids lose recess time. Bummer. At first at the "Slow Down" level, the child sits out 10 minutes and fills out a Behavior Reflection Sheet. 

In the same day, if the child makes another not-so-good choice, they move their clip again and have to sit out all recess. Total bummer.

I'm not a huge fan of kids sitting out recess since I know those little ones have to MOVE but for some kids, it is pretty effective to miss that time and watch their friends play. But for those "frequent flyers", who are, a lot of times, exactly those kids who are super wiggly and need to get those wiggles out....we have them walk the perimeter of the playground instead. 

Then of course, if the behavior continues, we are calling parents and heading down to the office for an office referral. 

On the flip side...we move the kids UP when we notice extraordinary behavior! When they move up, they earn a ticket!!

Seriously, it's like GOLD to them.

I do my tickets a little differently, meaning I don't have the kids hang on to them and cash in for prizes at the end of the week. I've done that before, like a Class Shop, but I like what I do now so much better! 
I keep the tickets in a baggie on my desk and I take them everywhere with me. I pass out to those kiddos being awesome and they immediately put their initials on their ticket and place inside our "Respectful Highlander" Bucket. (We are the McAuliffe Highlanders) :)

These tickets pile up throughout the week....

 Each Friday, I pull 3 (I know, just 3!) out of the bucket, raffle-style, in front of the class. It is a highlight of the week for most kids. They get their little hands out on their knees and do a drum roll and everything! The 3 lucky students get to CHOOSE from the 2 choices on our Respectful Highlander Awards sheet. 

I have this clipped on my filing cabinet, visible to the kids, of course, so they can see what the choices are during the week. That way they know what to strive for! Ha!

I love the idea of choices in almost everything I do since those 2nd graders love to have a voice. I also love the randomness of the raffle. It is not always the same amazing 5 kids who get it every time, however, we do talk about how the kids with the most tickets in the bucket have a greater chance of being pulled out! A little probability lesson comes into play too!

The choices are simple and the best part, FREE!! I do have a Treasure Chest as one of the options with some little trinkets in there but it is not always a choice, therefore I am not having to buy things to put in there very often. In fact, I haven't bought treasure chest toys in over 3 years. :)

Most of the choices are simple like

Shoes Off for an Hour
Move Desk to a New Spot for 1 Day
Lunch with Mrs. MeGown
Lunch with a friend in a different class
Sit in a Rolly Chair for a day

Simple, and fun for the kids!

3) A Solid (nonverbal) Warning System

Let me back it up a bit and talk about how I handle warnings in class. At our school we give 2 warnings before enforcing a consequence (clip change). These little guys need warnings and the 2 we give are 1)Verbal and 2) Nonverbal. 

For the nonverbal it is simply a stop sign placed on their desk.
These say "Please stop what you are doing and make a better choice. Thank you!"

If a child receives a stop sign they must come and fill out their name etc on our class behavior chart. I have this clipboard near my desk. They check off that they received their warnings and it serves as a great visual that their consequence (clip change) is next. 

Want this for your class? Check it out HERE.

It comes with these stop signs...just print on card stock, cut and laminate!


There is a reason for my ALL CAPS and exclamations here. I just started Table Points this past year and oh my changer!

It is so simple, it's funny. 

I have popsicle sticks in a little bag on my board in the front of the room. Whenever I notice a whole table group doing the right thing, they earn a table point.

I laminated library pockets and placed table numbers on them with a cute label sticker. Throughout the day, I place the popsicle sticks in their pockets. 

It is awesome. 

At the end of the day, the table group who has the most table points (popsicle sticks) in their pockets earns tickets! A ticket for each group member. These are the same tickets that go in our Respectful Highlander Bucket for the drawing on Fridays. 

Seriously, one of the best things I've done for class behavior. The kids work together to clear their desk the fastest, put away their work, etc to earn their table points. 

5) Good Manners Awards for the Cafeteria!

Ok, so this is not completely classroom related but it is a grade-level thing we have done the past 2 years and it has worked really well! I used to LOATHE lunch duty because I was constantly telling kids to sit down, be quiet and well...use their manners!

It is sad but true that little elementary kiddos are still learning their table manners. It is hard for them to sit still, raise their hand, use their napkin, keep their mouth closed etc! So, our team decided to do something about encourage them to use their manners in the cafeteria.


These are copied on boring white paper but normally we have them on a bright purple paper! The teachers on duty walk around with a baggie of the Good Manners Awards and the "Oh No!" passes seen above. (If the kids got an "Oh No" pass, we put their name on it and the student had to hand to the recess teacher after lunch and they sat out 5 minutes at recess. No fun, so let's not spend too much time on that!)

When we notice a kiddo using good manners, we place the award in front of them to stay until they are done eating. We don't put their name on it yet since they can be taken away if the child decides to act all crazy before lunch is over. (It's happened before). At the end of our lunch time, those kiddos who earn the Good Manners Awards get to go put their name on it and place it in their class bucket near our cafeteria stage. (Didn't get a pic of this, sorry) We just used bright colored sand pails from the dollar store as our class buckets. Each teacher had their bucket out and would collect Good Manners Awards throughout the week. Fridays, we draw 2 lucky names out of the bucket to sit at the Good Manners Table for Friday's lunch!

Doesn't it look like fun?! Oh, and the best part?? It's on the STAGE in the cafeteria! So the other kids and grade levels can see those students using their good manners. It is very reinforcing!

We cover the table with butcher paper and provide markers and crayons for the kids to decorate their "table cloth" when they are finished eating. (Gotta keep them kinda busy so they stay quiet and continue to use their manners!)

This sign serves as a good reminder to the kids at the table too!

Here is a very happy Good Manners Group!

We will definitely continue to do this each year. The kids love it and it makes lunch duty a little more bearable!

Want these for your grade level? I would love to share them with you so click the link to grab them from my Google Docs.

Well, thank you, if you read thru my super long post! I look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks with the Back 2 School stay tuned!!

Thanks for reading!

:) Monica

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Blog Button...what do you think?

It was about time that I updated my blog button and I am pretty pleased with it. The first one I made, I had no idea what I was doing! So for this one, I combined a few of my favorite things...TURQUOISE, zebra and colorful bunting. 

I still have LOTS to learn but it's a start!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Chevron Zebra Teacher Binder....Now in Purple!!

This one was another request from a potential TpT buyer and I am so glad. I love this color combo...probably my most favorite so far!

Here is a preview...

And it's FREE through TODAY ONLY (July 12). 

So, why are all my new products free for 24 hours, you ask??

Well, it is a gift to my followers....all 149 of them. :)

I am trying to build my follower base so if you are not a follower, then you should be. When you follow my store on TpT or my blog, you get the latest on my new products (which are free for a day, remember??) as well as upcoming discounts and giveaways!

So, just do it...become a follower by clicking on the star next to "follow me" on my store page HERE.

If you would like this Teacher Binder for free, grab it HERE.

Thank you!

Friday, July 11, 2014

CHEVRON Before You Go, Show What You Know {Classroom Exit Ticket Bundle}

I may be on vacation but I can't help but create another version of the Exit Ticket Bundle. I actually made this version for a friend to match her classroom. It turned out pretty cute that I thought I would share!

Exit Tickets are a great way to determine if your students walk away with a solid understanding of what you are teaching! This can be used in a variety of ways: after an introductory lesson, culminating lesson or use daily when your kids leave the classroom. It's their "ticket" out the door. That is what I plan to do. My team and I were trying to think of ways to get more writing in our day and this will be a great addition.

If you have this as part of your daily routine, Exit Tickets could encourage students' reflective thinking and learning since they know they will have to be prepared to write their thoughts at the end of the day.

This Classroom Exit Ticket Bundle includes...

Sign for your door...

 12 different question prompts 

12 corresponding Exit Ticket Response Sheets (not all pictured here)- just print and copy!

Numbers for your Pockets - just copy on label sheet (1" x 2.63")

It is FREE for the first 24+ hours (thru July 12th) so grab it HERE!
Be on the look out for more versions of this bundle coming soon! If you are not already a follower, please become one by going HERE and clicking on the FOLLOW ME link on my store page. My new products are FREE for the first 24 hours. PLEASE provide some feedback too!

To see how I have this set up in my classroom, check out the blog post HERE.

If you try this in your classroom, please leave a comment and let me know how it works for you!!