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. 
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