Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spark Student Motivation: Warm & Fuzzies

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you had a great week and were motivated by some of the ideas from the wonderful bloggers that have shared their motivational ideas/tips/activities so far! I thought the following "Motivational Tool" fit perfectly with our Peace, Love, Hope, and Kindness linky this week, so I kept with the theme!
These are "Warm & Fuzzies"!!!
Do you remember these when you were younger? They used to sell these at my school before football games! I got these little guys at Michael's (clearance-Halloween 2 years ago) and use them when I see a student being warm and fuzzy to their classmates. These are given out on more momentous occasions. For example, I had a student who desperately needed glasses for several months and finally got them, but didn't tell me. She told her group she got her new glasses, but didn't want to wear them. The next day during math I look over and her entire group has on glasses (2 without lenses)! So I asked why they were all wearing glasses and they said "she" didn't want to wear her glasses, so we told her we'd bring some today to wear with her! How supportive is that?! It's one of my most tender moments in teaching! Most kids hate glasses and are embarrassed to wear them, and to have a whole group wear them just to make one student who needs them feel more comfortable? THAT'S A WARM & FUZZY! How special is it to have one of these little guys sitting on the corner of your desk??!!
 Students can also ask for a Warm & Fuzzy to give to another student if they feel their heart warmed by someone else. Here's a sample note that was left on another student's desk with the fuzzy!
Please share ONE motivational tip/idea/activity you use or have tried with your students or teachers to get them excited! It can be about any topic (homework, testing, behavior, walking in line, Reading Counts, etc.). For a more detailed explanation please read this post. Tell your friends to share their ideas and link up too-the more ideas the better!
** Don't forget to grab my linky button and this post when you link up.
While we're here, let's share some blog love and "motivate" each other by following/commenting at least one person's post! :O) I can't wait to read everyone's ideas!
Do you have Warm & Fuzzies in your class?
Thanks for linking up! I hope to see you again next week! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flashback and Five For Friday

Linking up with Amanda and Kacey!

Such a crazy, busy week! I leave Sunday morning for our Disney Cruise and there's still so much to do!!

What is that?? Oh, yes, that's an empty suitcase that should be packed!
This is such a crazy time of year isn't it? My husband doesn't understand why it's so difficult for me to get a sub and take off for a cruise!! How about anyone else? It's so much work to get a sub for 4 days!!! I had to have grades and my growth plan done too (due next week) because I won't be here! Triple work! I know once I get on board, I will feel a sense of relief, but until then....

I did manage to get my Mother's Tea invites printed!
The photos are black & white with the invite printed on vellum on top, secured with decorative brads. They're always a big hit! I have kind of a big production for my Mother's Tea. It's a tradition held in my classroom.

Check this baby out!!!! My friend Erica told me about this steal right away!
It's a magic candy dispenser! It's motion activated! It's on clearance at JCPenney from $54.99 to $15! PLUS you can get an additional 10% off with this code (spree10) and ship free to stores! Imagine what this would do for a classroom! I may have to use it for one of my Spark Student Motivation posts! :O)
Do you know Lia Sophia? My friend Amber sells this beautiful line of jewelry and I just ordered these three rings! The photos don't do them justice, but they're show stoppers! It's about the only kind of shopping I have time to do right now...catalogs and online! The middle one is mint green!

I had a wonderful opportunity to help host a Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky with my friends Jivey, Amanda, and Stacia. If you haven't had the chance to link up, don't worry, it will always be open! It will be a place to get a lift when you need one! Go check out all the inspirational stories/ideas that have already been shared!

Don't forget to link up tomorrow! So many great ideas to get motivated this time of year!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindess Linky Party

In light of recent events, my friends Jivey from Ideas by Jivey, Amanda & Stacia from Collaboration Cuties, and I are getting together to host an uplifting linky!
This Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky party will be a place for you to link up whenever you have heartwarming stories, lessons you've done with your class about peace, hope, love, or kindness, or even random acts of kindness. When the world seems to be falling apart around us, we will have a webpage to visit to get a pick-me-up! We hope this linky will not only lift our spirits and remind us that there is so much good around us, but also will be an encouragement to us to be the good we want to see in the world! As teachers, we have such a powerful role in shaping the future...let's share all our ideas so we can make the world a better place TOGETHER!

I found this book a few years ago and fell in love with it immediately! We've all had bad days and this book offers comfort with its beautiful and touching illustrations and simple, but powerful words on each page. After reading this very special book we made our own version of what we think hope is. I made a bulletin board with everyone's pages and then will compile the pages into a class book. See student samples below.
*Do you see my shoe sign??

Aren't they beautiful??!! Because the wording is limited, students have to be thoughtful and careful with their word choice. It's an excellent community building activity.

One more way to spread our kindness is to bring awareness of how mean words really affect people's feelings.

Warning: This video is sure to shed a tear! Grab a tissue before watching! This video was introduced to me by friend Pam and is such a wonderful clip to show to your students. The video is "Don't Laugh At Me"-Frank Rendo. Such a great tool to share with students to teach how hurtful words can be and how we need to be kind to one another and work together. Very inspirational! My class loved it! After we watched the video my students wrote letters to each other about the value of their friendship and why they're glad they're a part of our class.

I hope you feel uplifted, warm, and fuzzy! Please link up whenever you have an idea/lesson to share about peace, hope, love, and kindness! This linky will not close! Come back as often as you'd like to link up or just to read everyone's posts if you need a lift!  (The button will remain on my sidebar). We can't wait to hear everyone's heart warming stories!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Math Card Games

My sweet friend Jivey is hosting her Workshop Wednesday again...Math Card Games!
One of my favorite card games is 24.
There are many different 24 games and each set has 3 levels of difficulty-this is the single digit set.
You can add, subtract, multiply and divide, but you do not have to use all four operations. You have to use all four numbers on the card, but use each number only once. For each card there may be several ways to solve for 24. I accept all answers and encourage them to come up with different solutions. Let's try some!
 First card (white dot-easy)
7 - 4= 3
5 + 3= 8
3 x 8= 24
Second card (2 dots-medium)
7 + 5= 12
3 - 1= 2
12 x 2= 24
Third card (3 dots-difficult)
You try this one! Leave answer in the comments section if you solve!!!
I use this whole group and with partners. It's a great way to get your students thinking and start that brain up for math time! My kids beg to play 24!

Go check out some other great card games with Jivey!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Good-Bye Scraps of Paper

Linking up with the sweetest Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday! I'm going to share something short and sweet that I hope you appreciate and will find useful!

Wait for it.....

Ta-Da! Eliminate scrap notes, to do lists, post-its (even though I treasure them!) from your desk! I made these signs, laminated them, and hot glued them to my wall. I wrapped a dry erase marker with some velcro and stuck it to the wall too! I post the things I need to copy, to do, and reminders and cross them off as I complete them. I even have my students add stuff for me! I actually got this idea while frequenting my favorite office supply store, Office Depot! In their print department they had a list on the wall of paper/cardstock, etc. to order, and of course, this got my wheels turning, so I made these for my classroom! I told you it was short and simple, but I have loved this new addition to my classroom this year! Do you like it??!!

Go check out other ideas at Holly's Linky Party!

Monday, April 22, 2013

End of Year Student Awards & Freebie

The end of year is approaching quickly!!! Have you thought about your end of the year awards??!! I just made an award pack with 43 student awards and 1 parent award. Check it out! There's something for everyone! Ready to go! These blackline masters look great on colored copy paper or cardstock!
How cute is my new button??!!
Pick up this freebie while you're there!!! Happy Monday!!
Don't forget to help Jessica, Amanda, Stacia and I spread our peace, hope, love, and kindess through our linky this Thursday! We hope you'll join us!! For all the details click here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Science Mentor Text: Poppy

Linking up with the cuties Amanda & Stacia for their Mentor Text linky. This week's topic is Science.

I love the chapter book Poppy by Avi, it's fictional narrative and gets my students interested in owls. We are getting ready to dissect owl pellets, so this book is the perfect lead in.
Poppy, a brave heroine, sets off to discover the truth about Mr. Ocax. He is the great horned owl and bully who ate her friend Ragweed. (She finds his earring in an owl pellet under his tree). He is the ideal antagonist and your class will be cheering against him! This is the perfect read aloud!
I also read some non-fiction text and we collect information in our interactive student notebooks.
Owl Puke should be arriving any day...can't wait to gross my students out with this book!
It's factual information in a kid friendly format...sure to delight!!!
 Be sure check out Collaboration Cuties to get some other great mentor text ideas for science! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spark Student Motivation: Desk Toppers

Happy Saturday! Time to share more wonderful ideas of how you motivate your students!
For a more detailed explanation please read this post. Each Saturday you can link up to share ONE idea/tip/incentive you use in your classroom to motivate or encourage your students. Choose any topic you want to share about! Basically ANYTHING you do in your class that is extra and gets kids excited! No idea is too simple, sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference! We all need a bag FULL of magic tricks!! Now for another magic trick...
Desk Topper Awards!
I got these "placecard holders" in the wedding section of Michael's-haha! I seriously accept the challenge to use ANYTHING in my classroom! My husband saw these on our counter last summer and thought I was planning a wedding! :O)
I pass these out to students who are demonstrating the skill on the card-they keep them on their desks for a few days to show off...sometimes a week if they "forget" to give it back! Do you see the "heel" of approval??!! My favorite part about these is when my students want to "award" each other with them!
Look at this little guy! Do you think he's proud of his sign??!! I sent the photo to his mom..she was proud too! There you have it...a simple, fun motivational tool!
***Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post. Why don't we share some blog love and follow/comment on at least one other post while we're here? I can't wait to see everyone's great ideas!
Thanks for linking up!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Flashback and Five for Friday

It's Friday!!! Time to link up with Amanda and  Kacey for Five for Friday to share some things about my week.
1. In light of recent events, Jessica from Ideas by Jivey, Amanda & Stacia from Collaboration Cuties and I are getting together to host an uplifting linky!

This Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky party will be a place for you to link up whenever you have heartwarming stories, lessons you've done with your class about peace, hope, love, or kindness, or even random acts of kindness. When the world seems to be falling apart around us, we will have a webpage to visit to get a pick-me-up! We hope this linky will not only lift our spirits and remind us that there is so much good around us, but also will be an encouragement to us to be the good we want to see in the world. As teachers, we have such a powerful role in shaping the future...let's share our ideas so we can make the world a better place TOGETHER!

So here's our idea- how awesome would it be for us to flood all the bloggy newsfeeds with uplifting posts? Let's all try to post for Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness this Thursday! Then, you can come back anytime after that and link up as often as you'd like. Need some ideas? You know that awesome teacher friend that you wish you could show a little more appreciation...? Surprise them with Starbucks or breakfast one morning! Or maybe you have a child in your class who went out of their way to make someone else feel special...... share that heartwarming story with us! We're teachers- you know we eat it up! :o) Or perhaps you've done a lesson (or are going to do a lesson) that helps students find peace, hope, or love... or maybe a character-building activity about kindness. The options are limitless, really! We hope you'll join us this Thursday! Come back to any one of our blogs to link up!
2. Have you seen this video? It will give you goosebumps and warm your heart! The entire arena at the Boston Bruins game singing the National Anthem.
3. I got a class set of McDonald's cheeseburgers donated today! (Doesn't that sound funny? A class set??!!) I just finished teaching division and wanted to treat them with this juicy treat!
D.M.S.C.B. (Does McDonald's Sell Cheeseburgers? and Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Check, Bring down.) While they were at lunch I got into ninja mode and snuck to McDonald's and had a beautifully wrapped cheeseburger on every students' desk when they returned! They thought it was the greatest!
4. Do you know this movie? After testing each day I gave my students a little brain break. I couldn't take them outside for recess because my eye was irritated and the sun felt like it was burning a hole in it! So, I decided to show Homeward Bound-it's G (very rare these days!) and none of my kids had ever seen it! It was a huge hit! Tons of sarcasm and figurative language! Just thought I'd share!

5. Did I mention testing is OVER??!! So glad and SO PROUD of my students! I've never had an ENTIRE class go back and quadruple check their answers and actually reread the passages! I hope their scores reflect their hard work! Love them! Below is a picture of the motivational cards and treats I gave them each day. If you want a copy of the notecards, click here.

Check out what everyone else did this week!!
Hope to see you back tomorrow for my Spark Student Motivation Saturdays! Link up one idea to motivate or encourage students! (Behavior, Reading Counts, academics, organization, ANYTHING you do to get students excited!

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