Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celebrating Students with Printable Brag Tags {Freebie Alert!}

I've blogged before about passing out awards on Friday in my classroom... but I also pass out Brag Tags on Friday too!

In the past, I've ordered Brag Tags from School Life and I love theirs!  But I decided this year to try printing my own.  I bought some great ones on TpT but also wanted to customize some of my own, especially to give as holiday gifts along with the other goodies I give my kiddos!

My Brag Tag board displays everyone's necklaces and kiddos can wear them at any time during the school day.  We also earn beads for things like hitting AR point milestones and making it to the top of the clip stick!

Here's a peek at the board and a close up of one of my sweetie's necklace.  I made both of the tags hanging here!

I wanted to give my kiddos tags for a few holidays, so I made a set.  Here is the set of holiday printable tags I made- I just printed on regular paper and have a parent volunteer working on cutting them out along the large rectangle, laminating, and then cutting them individually and sorting them.  So far, this has worked perfectly for the other tags I've passed out to my students!

If you print this out and enjoy it, I'd love some comment lovin'!  It's been quiet around here lately... mostly because I've been slacking off in the blogging department!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Take Your Favorite Book Anywhere... On Your Wrist!

I was so excited to receive this package in the mail last week...

And, when I opened it up... this was inside.  Seriously.  When someone takes the time to make the wrapping of the product look this good, you KNOW something wonderful is inside!

I was excited enough just by that amazingly cute wrapping job!  But the amazingness did not stop there.

I carefully ripped untied the string and gingerly tore peeled off the paper to reveal this:

A set of beaded bracelets made by the Trashy Crafter!  The beads are made with pages from one of my FAVORITE FAVORITE book series: Harry Potter!

Kimberly (aka The Trashy Crafter) has amazing jewelry made with pages from your favorite books... all are hand-crafted and allow you to show off your love of reading with a flair!

She's generously offered all of my bloggy friends a 15% off discount on any orders this week too!  Just use the code tc2014 when you check out.  It's not too soon to scoop up some goodies for Christmas... I know these would be a hit!  Click on any of the pics above to check her out!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Don't Run Out of Copies... Quick and Easy Idea!

Happy *almost* Monday, friends!  Tomorrow starts my first full week of school (we had 3 1/2 days last week) and I'm so ready!

I spent last week getting my kiddos acclimated to the rules and routines of my room and getting things we'll use all year set up with my little friends.

As we were setting up our RRJs and passing out our nightly reading logs, I just ran tons of copies of the reading log so kids can easily get a new one when their old one is filled.  I have a spot in my room with a pile of these copies and my kiddos are trained to take one from the pile when needed.

What makes me so sad though... is when someone takes the last copy and I don't know about it!

So, I have a quick solution!

The last piece of paper in the stack has this on it:

Last copy!  Do not use... give to Ms. Bainbridge!

And... problem solved!  When the kiddos get to the end of the pile, I know right away and can quickly copy more!

To check out the RRJ pack that this page comes from, click the pic below!  Now is a great time to get this routine established in your classroom... mine could NOT wait to get their RRJs set up and were so happy to know they'd get to start taking them home tomorrow!  I even had kiddos do RRJ entries on notebook paper at home last week and bring them to me the following day... they were so pumped!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friendship Friday... Fun Idea & Freebie!

First week of school = finished!  It was only 3 1/2 days, but I have a GREAT group of kiddos and I'm so psyched to be working with them this year!

Today was FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY in my classroom.  We played lots of learning games with different partners, read together, and made the ultimate friendship snack mix!

Each student brought in an item that is special to them and talked about their item to the class.  Everyone also brought a baggie with their favorite snack item inside... check out this messy desk with all of the snack items...

Each kiddo got to come up, tell us what they brought, and then pour it into the container.  The container on the table is the one I brought from home to mix this snack mix in... I quickly realized it would not be big enough!

After everything was mixed together, each kiddo got a cup of the mix in the baggie they brought their item in.  Then everyone got a second baggie to give to a friend... thus keeping Friendship Friday alive and well after school was over!

You can snag a copy of the letter I sent home explaining Friendship Friday by clicking the pic below!  I'd love to hear what you think if you use it!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's a Party... and YOU'RE Invited!

Hey bloggy friends!

Wanted to put out an invitation for you to buy some super cute Jamberry nails at my online party!

If you haven't heard of Jamberry nails, they are super cute nail wraps... that last for about 2 weeks and are simply adorable!

I keep pretty short nails and am really hard on my fingers.  Polish chips off pretty easily for me, but these Jams are super durable.  I've tried other nail wraps (from Kohl's and Avon) and they just don't have the staying power that these Jams do.

They're super easy to put on and just so dang adorable!

Here are two of the Jams I've rocked lately...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE using Jamberry as accent nails!  The purple is polish and the others are just plain CUTENESS!

This is one of the full Jamicures I did recently... and got LOADS of compliments on!

The great news is...

These are just some of the amazing new designs that have just come out!

If you're interested in joining my online party, you can click the pic above to get your Jam on... just be sure to choose my party (Christina Bainbridge) when you check out!  :)

Thanks for Jamming with me... I hope you'll try some!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Phonemic Awareness with Bigger Kids {AKA- What We Did in Summer School}

Holy last weekend of summer!  How did this happen?!  As shocking as it is, I'm really ready to get back into the swing and be with my little people!

Last week, I wrapped up teaching summer school.  I had a small group of 3-5 graders who needed some extra phonemic awareness and phonics practice so I wanted to share what we did.  We met for 30 minutes each morning and did lots of activities to help us develop our awareness of sounds and vocabulary too...

Read on to see each item in the basket and find out a bit about how we used each one!

First... we did a daily phonemic awareness practice.  I LOVE THIS BOOK and I cannot stress this enough.  I used this when I taught 1st/2nd grade and it was amazing for my kiddos.  This quick, daily practice covers so many phonemic awareness skills and the kids enjoy doing it... even the bigger ones!  The book I use has the yellow cover.  You can find it at this link.

We also did some of the activities out of this book.  There are some fun phonemic awareness stories, which we enjoyed!

We LOVE doing 'making words'.  I have the book by Patricia Cunningham.  I have pulled out the pages and put them in this binder.  This is a GREAT way for students to practice building words using sounds and they love trying to figure out the mystery word!  Click HERE to check out the book on Amazon.

One way I make this easier is to have a set of laminated index cards that have been cut in half.   Students can quickly use a dry erase marker to write the letters they need for the making words activity on the laminated card halves... this way I don't have to have sets of letters that need to be sorted after each use... instead, we just write each letter on a card and erase when done!  Easy peasy!

We used white boards daily to do counting sounds activities.  I would give students a word, we'd count the sounds, and then make one line on the board for each sound.  Students then used their "hunks and chunks" knowledge to spell the words- being sure to place one sound on each line.

Speaking of "hunks and chunks", do you Phonics Dance?  Even my big kids at summer school got into the phonics dance!  That's what the little sheep pic is from in the basket below.  There's also a 3rd grade Vocabulary Power flip book.  We got one new word each day to build our vocabulary.  You can find 3rd grade Vocabulary Power on Amazon!  They have 1st as well.

Last, we did a page from my "100 Days to CCSS Success" each day too.  That's the blue "book" in the front of the basket.  I have those available for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in my TpT store and have put them on sale for 20% off for today only!  Click HERE to check them out!

And there you have it!  Fun, engaging, and still important for bigger kids to get phonemic awareness practice!

Happy long weekend to everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why I Do What I Do {Families Are Important in School Success}

It's another "Why I Do What I Do"!
Today I'm sharing about my belief that families are important in school success.  Of course you believe that too, but the purpose of "Why I Do..." posts is to help me (and you too, I hope!) think about how my beliefs govern the practices I have in my classroom.

Two ways that I facilitate home/school communication so busy parents can stay informed and help support their child in school are...

1- FALCON folders!  FALCON stands for Families And Learning Communicating & Organizing Nightly.  Students take homework sheets, graded work, and notes home in their FALCON and are expected to return their FALCONs each day.  I LOVE naming these type of folders.  Giving it a name helps us quickly identify it and also endears it to students, in some odd way!  I love these Nicky folders because they are super durable and the folders inside are clearly labeled for things to keep at home and things to return at school.  Students keep homework sheets in the outside cover and we put things like spelling words and monthly speller's choice pages in the clear pocket on the back.

2- SUPER quick and easy newsletters!  I send one home every Monday inside FALCON folders.  I run them on colored paper so parents can find them quickly.  These are super easy to fill in using Powerpoint.  It literally takes me about 5 minutes every Friday afternoon.  I run my copies and then put them out with the other papers students must collect on Monday morning.  You can check out the 20 templates in my TpT store by clicking on the pic above, if you're interested!

How do you help parents stay involved?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

Friday, August 22, 2014

You Might Be a Teacher If... {Fun Linky and Instafun!}

I'm changing up the color scheme in my room a little bit this year and going from less "color everywhere" to more focusing on a few colors... pics to come soon!  Anyway, while getting ready for the new colors, I had a "Holy cow, only a teacher!" moment and so...

I thought I'd share this and say...

So, this is what happened when I spray painted my table caddies so they'd be pink for my room instead of dark blue!
Who else has random colors and shapes in their yard because of school projects?  What other "You Might Be a Teacher If..." do you have?  Please link up and share!

Just grab the image below.  Save it and then open it up in your word processing program.  Add a text box on the apple and share your "You Might Be a Teacher If..."!  Then link up below.  You can join the fun on Instagram too... post the pic and use the hashtag #youmightbeateacherif.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Did You Get Your FREE Three Week Trial???

Happy Wednesday, bloggy friends!  Today's my last day teaching summer school... I get a week off and next Wednesday is our PD day and open house!  It's CRAZY!

We're celebrating at TpT with one last big BACK TO SCHOOL sale!  My store will be 20% off today and tomorrow and TpT is offering an EXTRA 10% off today only if you use the code BOOST at check out!  Yippie!  {Thanks to the Printable Princess for the cute sale button!}

I'm wondering if you've downloaded your free three week trial of my "Show What You Know" packs...?  If not, the sale is a great time to do it because, if you like them, you can get them at a great deal!  Click the pic to check them out!  We've been using the 3rd grade math during summer school and my kiddos are loving them!

I have a cart full of goodies and can't wait to check out on TpT and play with my new purchases!  Hopefully you find some goodies too!

You can get some samples of "Snapshots" too, which are some of my best sellers and my favorite things I use in my classroom!  Click the link below to check them out too!  Just look for the "Try It! Sample Pack"!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Celebrating the Success of Others is Important! {Why I Do What I Do}

It's back!  Another edition of "Why I Do What I Do!".

Today I'm sharing about my teaching belief that "Celebrating the success of others is important".  One way I do this is by passing out awards every Friday in my classroom.  The first two weeks or so, everyone is always hoping they will receive an award.  Sometimes there are hurt feelings at the beginning of the year.  But, in doing this every week and spending a bit of time explaining why each student is receiving an award, students not only learn that it's important to be happy for others when they are successful, but they also vicariously learn about desired classroom behaviors.  In fact, as the year goes on, students will come to me and say things like, "___ helped me this morning when I fell getting off the bus.  I think you should give her a kindness award on Friday".  And things like that make this gal's heart happy!

Friday always starts with kids walking in and checking the board to make sure I have the "Awards" card posted at the end of the day.  And, inevitably, two or three kids will ask throughout the day, "Are we having awards today?"  They LOVE this and look forward to it all week long.  On short weeks or Fridays when we have an assembly I do not pass out awards and they are always so bummed!

Every Friday I give out 5-6 awards for various things... sometimes it's academic achievement or super nice handwriting or kindness or good choices... it really depends on what has gone on in class during the week.
When I pass out the awards, I do it something like this...

"Today I have an award for a student who has struggled to meet their AR goal for the past two weeks.  He's (at this point all the boys are wondering who I'm talking about) had to miss a recess or two so he could get his goal met... but this week, he was a reading machine!  He was on fire!  I saw a book in his hand and his name in the AR testing list over and over all week long (now the kiddos are looking around to see who is grinning the biggest because he knows I'm talking about him)... so let's celebrate with ____ for his amazing work on his AR goal this week!" 

The kiddo comes up, we shake hands, I present the award, and everyone claps and cheers.  Then I move on to the next award.  This is SUCH a positive way to end the week and I love seeing my kiddos high-fiving and cheering for the person receiving the award.

I keep my awards in page protectors in a binder.  Each protector is numbered and then I keep a check-list of who has gotten each number and on which day.  Some kiddos do get many more awards than others throughout the year, but everyone will receive at least two or three during the course of the year.
You can click the pic above to download a free copy of this awards tracker so you can start a great tradition every Friday in your own classroom!

How do you teach your kiddos that celebrating the success of others is important?  I'd love for you to share in the comments below!

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