Wordless Wednesday - April 30

What are you doing to keep things new and interesting for your students?


Surviving Spring to Welcome Summer Blog Hop {Freebie}

Countdowns have begun, spring weather is in full-swing (hopefully), testing is over (again, hopefully), and students are mentally checked out. Several of my BBBs have come together to bring you some tips to get you through the rest of the year and also giving you a chance to win a gift certificate to TpT and a sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!

I've done the whole "secret person" thing for about fourteen years, but usually just during April or May when I'm desperate. It was highly motivational because I would take the student and a friend out to lunch at Subway, Wendy's, whatever was close to the school. It was expensive, yes, but totally worth it. This classroom management strategy seems to be more common now, but in case you aren't familiar with it, I drew a stick every morning and kept it a secret. Throughout the day I'd say things like "I'm looking to see if my person of the day is on task" as I scan the room. Of course, they try to figure out who I'm looking at, but I'm very good at not making is obvious :) And then at the end of the day I'd say who it was if they made it, or say that the person didn't make it and not reveal the person.

Well, now that I'm at the middle school, I don't have my kids all day and we only have a half-hour lunch. So instead of trying to secretly communicate to each of their teachers who the secret person is that day, I decided to do this by period. Instant gratification. So each period, I draw a stick and a back-up for the class that is currently in my room. If at the end of the period if the secret person has behaved appropriately, he or she gets to choose one item off of my prize line.

My prize line contains school supplies, coupons, candy, and other little random things that I've collected over the years. I decided to string the line at the front of the room where I do my whole-class teaching so that the prizes are constantly in their line of sight. If the first person didn't make it, then I determine if the back-up made it. Of course, I don't reveal who it was if they don't make it. So far it's been working very well. Some of the most coveted prizes are trade desks for a day/period, use a special chair, and first in line for lunch.

If you would like to pick up some coupons, click on the picture below.

I also want to remind you about using brain breaks to help you keep your students focused and ready to learn during the last few weeks of school.

I know that my students really appreciated these brain breaks. They would also be great options during spring when you need to have an indoor recess because it's raining. And GoNoodle is 100% free. Click {here} to go sign up for a free account. There is a Common Core-aligned upgrade, but the free version does offer so much!

After entering my secret code in the Rafflecopter below, click to continue the hop to {Amelia}!

Where the Wild Things Learn

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wordless Wednesday - April 23

Since I have no words...

I didn't get a chance to know you well, but you were obviously a very special lady!


Wordless Wednesday - April 16

What's your guilty pleasure this week?


Stitch Fix #4

Curious? Click {here} to complete your profile and sign up for your first fix!


June Close Reading Freebie

Yes, I know. We're still in April. The heavy downpour that is flooding my backyard is reminding me of that. However, I just saw this great link-up over at {A Tale of 2 First Grades}.

I am currently working on a set of June close read texts. I'm personally not in school then, but some of my FB followers have requested that I create them for schools that are and for those who want to use them in summer school.

I'm sure that many of you are also help {Krista Wallden} to celebrate her 10,000 followers by taking advantage of her freebies. So the ladies at A Tale of 2 First Grades decide to have a linky with freebies made with Krista's clipart. Since I happened to get a set of pearls from one of her freebies this week, and the cover is made with her magnifying glass, I decided to make the first set of texts from my June product as a freebie.

Click below to get it!

As always, positive feedback is appreciated. Make sure that you also follow me on TpT so that you know when the full product is ready. I don't always share my new products here.


Five for Friday - April 11

Another week has passed (mercifully - it was testing week!), which means that it's time for another installment of Five for Friday!

On {Tuesday}, I reviewed the awesomeness that is {GoNoodle}. It is a great resource for free and engaging brain breaks. If you have any need for a brain break, I highly recommend signing up for a free account and trying it out for yourself!

Tuesday and Wednesday were taxing days. In more ways than one. But in one specific way, I was the Queen of England and my class was made up of my loyal (and some not-so-loyal) subjects. I hired two Parliament members and two tax collectors (by conveniently drawing the names of my most well-behaved students), and we taxed the bajeesus out of those poor colonists. Mwa-ha-ha! Here is the free resource that I used.

The only adjustment that I made was instead of handing out the candy, I handed out plastic counters and told them that they represented candy. Didn't want all of that candy to be handled by nasty hands.
Whatever they had left, they could trade in for that many M&Ms. (I ended up giving them all equal amounts after the simulation was over. Not in the mood for a parent encounter this week.)

Wednesday we started our poetry unit using Erin's {Interactive Poetry Notebooks}. I really liked this approach to teaching poetry. Lots of fun foldables and themes.

Got my shipment notification for my next Stitch Fix. Did you know that if you log into your Stitch Fix account after you get the shipment notification, you can see all of the names of the pieces they're sending you? Then you type those names into Pinterest, and you can usually get a good idea of what you're getting. The color isn't always the same, but you can see the style. Of course, some of you can wait. I do not happen to be one of those people...

I love this shirt. I wore it for testing yesterday, and I MAY have told some of the kids that they were the answers. Luckily, no one believed me ;)


Wordless Wednesday - April 9

When is your testing?
(Update: Got a little paranoid. Same topic, different picture)


Tried It Tuesday - GoNoodle

We have our state testing this week. It doesn't sound as high-stakes as many of the tests that some of your students are taking, but the data is still used to report on the district and look at individual progress.

A while back, I was introduced to {GoNoodle.com}. You may have seen others blogging about it. GoNoodle is a website with free brain breaks that my students really enjoy.

First, you pick a Champ.

From there, you get to choose a variety of brain breaks, ranging from calming, breathing exercises to Zumba workouts. I will mention here that if your building blocks YouTube, you won't be able to use all of the breaks at school, but there are enough other activities to keep your kids moving and engaged.

Your Champ is pretty hilarious...

The more activities you do, the more your Champ grows. When you have maxed out one Champ, you get to pick a new one.

Any need that you could possibly have is covered by one of the brain breaks. Feel like a sing-along? Watch the drama as they sing with "Let It Go", complete with lyrics and a bouncing snowflake! (I think that my own kids have maxed out the Champ with the video alone! See {yesterday's post} about the Elsa capes...)

I feel that GoNoodle does an awesome job of finding brain breaks that are fun for students and focus on topics that are currently popular. Here is another favorite. Gotta love those minions!!

When you have found some that you like, mark them as your favorite so you can easily find them again.

I know that my students really appreciated these brain breaks. They would also be great options during spring when you need to have an indoor recess because it's raining. And this site is 100% free. Click {here} to go sign up for a free account. There is a Common Core-aligned upgrade, but the free version does offer so much!

Let me know which activities are your favorite!

Disclaimer: {GoNoodle} is compensating me for writing this review, but the opinions are 100% mine.

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