Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday Made It-Classroom and Home Decor, Ultimate Response to Reading Resource

Yes, I know it's Tuesday...I just always seem to run into snags, but I did make it! :)
My first made it was inspired by a chore chart post and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make them for my classroom. I've used sticks with students names for years. I don't use them all the time, but I love if I have to pick someone on the spot to have a privilege or start a discussion, they're readily available. For years I just wrote their name with a Sharpie, but these are too cute aren't they?

On my computer I created the "popsicle stick" shape and then typed my student names. I wanted two sets, a black and white set and a color set.
I cut the straight edges with a paper cutter and then trimmed the rounded corner by hand with scissors. Great task while watching a movie!
 After cutting the paper, I applied a thin coat of Modge Podge (glossy) to the stick, lined the paper up on the stick, then applied another layer of Modge Podge. I think they'll hold up with one coat, but I did apply a second coat later that night just to be sure. I didn't do all that work for them to fall apart!
 I had extra room on my page of student names, so I threw in a couple of fun sticks I think my class will like. If I'm calling on students to answer questions, I may get called and have to answer. Or, your choice means they get to select someone else to answer or receive a privilege. Free five minutes will probably be decided along the way...five minutes to talk, five minutes of extra reading time, etc.
I use my Student Sticks almost every day. Student sticks increase engagement and eliminate the possibility of favoring specific students or only calling on the same volunteers all the time.
I use my sticks for:
  • randomly calling on students to gauge understanding during a lesson
  • assigning groups
  • deciding who will receive a special privilege
  • posing a question of the day or to start a class discussion
  • selecting who gets to line up first or choose books first
**My students even use the student sticks when having to select a friend in the class to help with something or eat lunch with them. (this is my favorite!) They say they can't pick because everyone is their friend, so they have to use the sticks. :) 
You may have noticed some blank popsicle stick shapes-those are for the back of the sticks. I was a little too ambitious when I made these! LOL! I will add the backs, but not this week! haha

 My next made-it is for the home. I wasn't sure if this would work, but I was tired of this red flower painting, so I thought I would try painting over it. I didn't want it hung up anymore anyway, so I figured I had nothing to lose! I used the inexpensive acrylic paints from Hobby Lobby ($1). I just mixed some colors and painted over the existing flowers and then painted on a clear coat to make it shiny again. It's not perfect, but my new painting and pillows give the room a different look. 

So, if you don't like one of your existing pieces of art because of the color or find one at a garage sale, paint over it with colors that match your color scheme! 
 Sooooooo excited to present this made-it! It's only taken me FOREVER and a day! This is a compilation of ideas I've created and used since the beginning of my teaching! I love to engage my students and get them excited about reading and responding to reading, not reading tests, but FUN & different ways to respond to reading! This resource includes over 60 activities to share with your students before, during, and after reading. They can be used with ANY shared chapter or picture book or used for independent use. My favorite part of using these activities are the discussion sparks that fly among my students!
Grab it now while it's 50% off!!!
Click here to check it out!

 I hope you found some ideas for your classroom or your head today! :) Go check out all the other fabulous ideas on Tara's Monday Made It!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Made Its-Back to School Resources and Gifts

I'm so excited to say I actually "met" Tara in Vegas and she's even sweeter in person if that's possible!
 I have a few things to share today:
I really LOVE the fashion hats from Buckle, but they're about $45 a piece, so I decided to try to make my own! I bought the hat and supplies at Hobby Lobby. I figured the hat was only $6.99 (and I used a 40% off coupon), so if I messed it up, it wouldn't be too bad. :)
In the first picture you may notice an applique, but I decided not to use it after I started "blinging" out my hat. I only used rhinestones and pearls and it really changes the whole look. I used the E6000 glue which means these jewels will NEVER fall off, but it leaves an odor. It's only been a day and the odor is already fading. I think I would try a hot glue gun if I did it again.
I know some of you don't want to think about it, but some people are actually heading back to school soon! I finally finished the last wreath of my wreath bundle craftivity set!
Here's the Back to School Reading Wreath-perfect for students to complete on their first reading assignment to show off at open house!

I made these blog buttons for my buddies for our Vegas trip so we would be recognizable to new friends. :) So many of us memorize the blog button, so it's nice when you can put a face to it!
 I also made notebooks for my blogging buddies. I printed their logo on full sheet labels. I used my large scallop punch to cut out the logos and placed them on top of the notebooks. I printed stickers on full size labels that read "handmade by Joanne" for the back of the notebooks. I used my 1" circle punch to make these.

A little ribbon and a matching pen and I was all set! :)
 This would be a great gift for your teammates!
I also printed and laminated my Back to School Scoot {FREEBIE}. Grab this goodie here, but please read about how I plan to use it here first. You will gain valuable information that will set the tone for the year!
I hope you found some ideas for your classroom or your head today! :) Go check out all the other fabulous ideas on Tara's Monday Made It!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Freebie! Back to School Scoot Game...Valuable Information From Questions

OK, now what?

You conduct a "getting to know you" activity in your classroom that first day or week and what do you do with it? Do you hang it up for open house or send home with their graded papers? Let's take a minute to delve into the hearts and minds of our students and use it to our advantage.

Sounds sneaky right??!!

Let's start by asking the right questions and getting the most with this information.

You’ll find out the interests, values, and experiences of each student. Then it's our job to take those interests and experiences and run with them!

Take advantage of this information, if you're asking the right questions, this could be very valuable! These questions give our students a voice and a say so to speak in their education. They're telling us information that we could use for future lessons or motivation. We just need to listen carefully.

Everything you need to know at your fingertips!

With this activity you can learn many things, some are:
  • your students likes/dislikes
  • book interests
  • study habits
  • feelings about school
  • fears
  • strengths/weaknesses
And, all from your students...making this information valuable! By asking these personal questions in a "fun" format I can show I care by acting upon their answers.

For example, if they choose soccer as an outdoor activity they like or sport they play, I can choose reading materials for him/her based on this interest. I can create a science or math lesson geared around soccer and allow them to be the "helper or expert". I will be teaching, building community, and student self-esteem all at the same time.

Another example, maybe they choose "math" as their least favorite subject. I'll need to find out right away why my student doesn't like math. Is it because they don't know their multiplication facts, parents don't like math, get anxious during math? I could offer some one on one help before or after school or send home a fun math sheet or website to get my student turned around and loving math!

Maybe one of my students doesn't have a "homework spot" or "someone who sets a good example for them". I will gather materials and make a homework toolkit and suggest spots in their home and I will set out to be the role model they need in their life. We have a lot of power, we just need to utilize it! :)

THESE ARE OPPORTUNITIES! Read all of the recording sheets, let your students share their voice, and be a part of the way you start your year!

What kind of questions do I ask?

I've created a list of questions I feel will get us some really helpful information about our kids. They are quick questions for students to answer and I designed them in a Scoot Game! Fun for everyone! 

I thought this would be perfect since my students love Scoot! I could introduce them to this game and complete my getting to know you activity at the same time!

(Establish your traffic patterns and teach the directions for Scoot the first week, then you can play all year!)

Did I mention this is a FREE resource??!! That's how excited I am about you using these questions to learn more about your students and using the information to make your classroom the BEST it can be! :)  xoxo  Click here to get this resource.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about this post. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

50% Off-Addition Bundle and Synonym Bundle

50% off TWO products TODAY ONLY!!! 
I just love a sale!!

 Thanks Cyndie for hosting a party with a sale! 

My ADDITION BUNDLE includes the mastering addition facts program, addition rings, and addition bracelets (fun accessories!). 

This entire program is everything you need to get your students excited about memorizing those necessary addition facts! It takes little time each day and students are very motivated to graduate! 
(A little prep making the rings, but they will refer to them all year. *Summer is the perfect time to make this purchase so you have time to get them ready before school starts.

Click here if you're interested in this bargain!

Next up is my Synonym Bundle which includes 20 posters for boring words with lists of synonyms, synonym rings, and synonym work mats-fun hands on activity to get another exposure to those words or perfect for a word work center. 

Posters can be printed in the color version or black and white (great for writing folders). The rings will be used every time your students write. I love seeing my students whip out their rings to find a better word. :)


The synonym work mats will be used for years! A quick and fun way to review synonyms for boring, worn-out words! This hands-on activity will be a favorite, especially if you make it a competition among groups! (Competition always spices things up!)

Click here if you're interested in snagging this deal! 

Don’t forget you can still get my newest product: Vocabulary Bundle for 50% off today too! 

Click here to see the product, click here to read more about it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vocabulary Bundle-Monday Made It!

Hello Friends! I feel like I have a heavy weight lifted off of me! Why? Because I FINALLY finished my vocabulary bundle! I've been working on it forever (literally, almost forever-since last year...ssshh! I'm so embarrassed!). It's just such a big product that I've been adding to and deleting from until just this morning...until I felt it was JUST RIGHT to share with you! 

 I'm very proud of this bundle-122 pages of activities, graphic organizers, games, teaching ideas, word lists, parent letter, photos/samples,  200 vocabulary word cards I handpicked for my students to use in their writing and conversations.

50% off until tomorrow!!! Grab it now-you'll be set for the year! Click here.

Here are a couple of the teaching ideas included in the bundle:

Get your students excited about vocabulary!

  • Use old magazines to cut up pictures of words that represent the vocabulary words.
  • Letters of synonyms can be cut out too. 
  • Go over each chart to make sure they can justify their thinking for each word. 
  • Students can go on a “gallery walk” and check each chart to challenge any pictures they feel don’t match the vocabulary word.
  • Use as a center, group work, whole class review.
All work has to be justified and discussed with their groups and the class. If they can justify their thinking I will leave the picture on the chart. This activity is a quick way to assess the depth of their understanding of their vocabulary words.

This activity is definitely a class FAVORITE!

GET OUT OF YOUR SEATS for a QUICK review game!

Directions: Split students up among the vocabulary words and have them write their word on one side of an index card. On the other side have students write synonyms or a sentence leaving a blank for the vocabulary word. Students walk around the room and find partners to “quiz” each other showing the opposite side of the word, then trade cards, and find another partner to “quiz”. Great review before the test. (An easy favorite Kagan Structure).**This structure can be used for ANYTHING in your classroom!

 Retirement Gift

One of my sweet friends retired as our school psychologist a few weeks ago and I made her a retirement subway art and framed it. This way she can be reminded every day of all the things she'll get to enjoy and all the things she won't miss! LOL!

That's my Made-Its for the week. Go check out my pal Tara's linky party for so many great ideas! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Interactive Character Analysis-Makeover Madness

I'm very excited when a "party" motivates me to get some work done! :) I've been wanting to add to these posters for a while now, so thanks to the TPT Seller Challenge hostesses for getting my butt in gear!


Interactive Character Analysis Posters
I've been using my character analysis posters for a couple of years now and I decided I wanted to try to make my teaching of these 50 character traits more explicit. I designed these 1/2 page, quick to model graphic organizers for each character trait.
I think this 5 minutes of direct instruction will prove invaluable when discussing characters all year. The organizers will allow me to quickly go over the trait, definition, and behaviors/actions that a character would demonstrate with each trait. 

The "secret" to getting your students to use these interactive posters and identifying character traits on their own is...

In those first few weeks/months of school, you need to model/discuss these traits with every mentor text you share with your class. For some books you may share one trait, for others you may have more. My students find it interesting how popular tenacious or courageous become and don't want to let the other traits feel "left out", so they start trying to find mentor texts for me to share with characters exhibiting those traits. I seem to share a lot of texts that have characters that are determined, hopeful, and optimistic. As part of MY summer homework, I plan to find new mentor texts that have sly, fierce, or humorous characters. 

These posters are referred to all year-perfect for making connections and comparing characters across texts. They are highly visible in the front of our classroom and each Post-It that is placed on the posters is shared with the class. All thinking must be justified by using text evidence. This sharing time is crucial for all of my learners-it allows my struggling learners to hear that deep thinking and my advanced learners to debate if they think a character has a more prominent trait throughout the text. 
*I promise this sharing and learning  transfers over to their independent work.

Highly visible and USED, the word "interactive" means just that. I like pretty things hanging on my walls too, but if you hang things to be made as a visual or as a reference tool, then you need to model the "use" of them so your students will use them too. They are a tool for me and my students to use in our classroom (the placement of these posters are a constant reminder to all of us). Here are some samples:

There are three things we do in our classroom consistently with each text we share character traits, theme, and figurative language. It just becomes natural for my students to add/find these things on their own after a couple of months of school.
{Insert excited, dancing teacher who is looping with her class next year and should be able to start these things back up again on day ONE!! I can't wait to see how our routines will fall back into place and how we will take it to the next level!} Here is an example I typed up from last year.

This set includes 50 posters, but I only have 35 posted at a time. I change them out as they get filled to expose my students to as many higher level traits as possible. 

If you've purchased this product, download again for the added organizers. :)
Click here to check it out! 

You may have other purchases that have been revised too! Under you purchases, sort by "Recently Revised" and it will list all the products that have had revisions. The product may have additional pages/resources that have been added or a correction made.

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