Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tracking print--the FUN way!

One important part of teaching is to make sure that the students are engaged in learning, whether it be a whole group, small group, or independent activity. One way I encourage my students to remain engaged while reading (or counting) is using FUN print trackers!!

We have martian fingers from Really Good Stuff...

...googly eye sticks (made from googly eyes and a popsicle stick)... pointers from either Walmart or The Dollar Tree...

and LASER lights!!

As you can see, we use a variety of tools to track print. The kids LOVE all of these, especially the laser! I introduce each tool to the students at one time and on separate days. Then during Daily 5 and reading groups, the students choose one to use to help them track print. Some choose one every time and some never choose one. I don't force it though I do HIGHLY ENCOURAGE some of them to use one if need be (if you get my drift!). ;)

What do you use to help your little readers track print?

Monday, July 29, 2013


So one of my first grade BFFFFs texted me a picture of some BEAUTIFUL storage drawers from Walmart the other day...

My classroom theme is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, so I knew I MUST have some of them!! The orange is perfect! I decided to get rid of my blue math bins...

I love the color of the blue bins but they do not really match the rest of my classroom. And while I was changing things up, I also decided that I needed better labels for all of the bins. (Originally, the kids would go to a numbered bin during math stations and complete that activity. I decided midway through the year last year to keep daily activities elsewhere and use the drawers for math station games/supplies storage since the amount of games and supplies is ever-increasing.) Anywho, I did it! I bought 2 orange bins and switched them with the blue! I also made my cute little labels and this is what it now looks like:

Did you notice the drawer with no label????? I don't have a clue what happened to it!! For whatever reason, it did not make it to my classroom with the others! I guess I'll do that one tomorrow...

These drawers store partner games for Word Work (Daily 5) and daubers (Do-a-Dots).

I LOOOOOVE my orange bins!!! Love, love, love!! :) I would love to switch out the white bins with pink ones so my room is even more CCBB, but I haven't ever seen any that color. Let me know if you do! :)

I also made labels over the weekend for my math manipulatives:

I printed them last night, cut them out, and was able to adhere them to my containers today! If you follow me on Instagram, you've already peeked at them!

If you are interested in the labels, click on either of the product pics to check them out in my TPT store. They are available for the very low price of $1.75!

So excited for all of this cuteness!! :) Can't wait to catch up on Monday Made It and see what YOU have made!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Labels for Math Manipulatives

Yesterday was an INCREDIBLY productive day! Thanks to my sweet husband, I got to spend several hours alone in my classroom while he spent some quality time with our 3-year-old.

 My book bags have been washed and hung back up! Our white board towels have also been washed and returned to their proper place.

I used the cute letter stickers I bought from Hobby Lobby to label my clipboard bucket. Love how it came out and (even more) LOVE how easy/fast it was!

I use dollar store buckets and command hooks to store our 100s charts and foam dice on the wall next to my math bins. I wanted this location but didn't have a surface to put the buckets on, so this is my solution! :) Labeled the containers today.

The rest of my classroom time was spent reorganizing THOUSANDS of number cards (seriously!) that we used last year. Let me break it down for you....

73 numbers included in one set of cards x 3 cards per number x 14 sets of cards = 3,066 cards!! 

And it only took me 8 hours.
But since I am such an OCD organizational freak, I really enjoyed it. :)

Anywho, after I got home I organized some less cumbersome sets of number cards and then whipped up this:

There are 36 labels included in the pack. (You can find a detailed list of the labels in the product description on TPT or TN.) If you enjoyed yesterday's Sweet & Simple Saturday label freebie, then you will enjoy the rest of the labels!

I can't wait to print the labels and start sticking them on my containers!! But that will have to wait until tomorrow because I am typing this post at 3:00 a.m.......... ;)

You can check out the labels by clicking below:

Have a beautiful Sunday! :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sweet & Simple Saturday Post #5

Happy Saturday!! And you know what Saturday means around here...

Hope you have had a good week! This week, I have been working in my classroom off and on and am excited to have it all put back together BEFORE July is even over! I have NEVER been able to access my classroom so early in the summer, so I totally took advantage when I heard that we were able to get into our rooms. Time to get in gear because the kiddies are coming back soon!

You may remember this picture from this blog post on my math manipulatives organization in my 4th grade classroom:

I spent some time today preparing the containers for my new batch of firsties. While I was doing that, I decided that I needed a fun, cute label for the containers!

I love the way they look! So, today's freebie is the base-10 blocks label:

I included a few different versions for you to choose from. Enjoy! Leave some love if you download--thanks! Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Aquadoodle + Spelling = ...

...awesome!! Have you ever used an Aquadoodle?? My daughter received one last year for her 2nd birthday and she LOVED it. This year on her 3rd birthday, she received another bigger Aquadoodle. I took the old one to my classroom and decided that it would be PERFECT for spelling practice! My students really liked using it!

Practicing sight words

The mat comes with a water pen.

 Easy center because all you need is the mat and the water pen!

While searching for items on my recent shopping spree at Really Good Stuff, I came across water pens on clearance. I bought them to not only use on the Aquadoodle, but we can also use them on the sidewalk or chalkboards--what fun!!

Here are some recording sheets for the Aquadoodle. Grab the freebie by clicking on the picture! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Awesome Apps Post #3

What a GREAT time it was rounding up so many freebies for you! I hope you were able to grab them all! :) And now, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Welcome back to Awesome Apps! I have some more good ones for you! :)

Sock Puppets
Price: FREE

This is one of the coolest apps out there! It is highly engaging and entertaining, AND can be used many different ways--use it for short storytelling, as an exit ticket/slip, introduce a concept, demonstrate learning, vocabulary, research report, etc.

Start by choosing your sock puppet or puppets, a background, and props:

After you make your choices, the set is then prepared for you:
Move the props and characters around by touching and dragging.
After that, press the record button at the top of the screen and then start talking! You can tap another puppet to switch characters and even move them around while recording. Press stop when finished, it will "scrub" your voice, and then it is ready to view! Here is a demonstration I recorded for you:

Price: FREE

This app uses the game of concentration to reinforce several math concepts. You customize the game by picking the concept, card view, and level.

You can have the cards be opaque, like this.....

...or be translucent.

I, personally, like the translucent view better so the students can focus more on the concept and not so much on remembering the cards' positions.

Once a match is made, the cards are placed in the windows of the purple building.

I think this app is great for multiple grade levels--basic numbers and shapes can be used for all elementary (review or remediation for older kids) and the fractions, percent, and multiplication can be used for the upper elementary grades. It can easily be an independent or partner game or even be used in small groups.

And now, an app for the littles!

 Tiny Hands Sorting Apps
Price: $2.99 or lite version for free

There are 3 of these simple and wonderful apps that are perfect for little hands and little minds. My daughter loves them! In each game, there are 3 games offered for free: 

Kids will sort the objects by color, size, mode of transportation, etc.

These apps are all free to try and come with three free games each. You can upgrade each for $2.99. My 3-year-old enjoys each app but they get a little old about 7 minutes after playing each game once or twice. I am thinking that upgrading will offer a much more engaging time.

Happy downloading and happy Tuesday! :)