Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tot School

As a teacher and a mom, I am seeking new ways to incorporate learning into our day every day life. I want to teach my son about the world around him while building connections between us and creating lasting memories.

My son was born in July of 2015. He is very active and doesn't like to sit. I was working really hard to keep him entertained and engaged in play. So even though I have been in education for 6 years and I have been teaching, when I sat down to think about how to incorporate learning into our lives, I felt a little lost! I sought the advice of the holiest of all websites....the place where all good ideas come from... PINTEREST! While I found a lot of inspiration and amazing ideas, I haven't found one site the really spoke to me as a mom. Here is why.

Like I said, I want to incorporate learning into our every day lives. I want to learning to come naturally from play, talking, and reading. However religion as the basis of the education or part of our education isn't what is going to work for our life. No need to explain or debate. It just isn't. So I set my own goals for our new learning adventure which I am calling TOT SCHOOL.

Here are our tot school goals:

1. Enrich learning through literacy, play, art, music, cooking, and technology.
2.  Spend 5-30 minutes a day on our learning based activities.
3. Have themed learning weeks.
4. Use books as a foundation for our theme weeks.
5. Go out into the community and take field trips as much as possible to enrich our learning.
6. Be flexible

Here are the themes I have come up with. These themes are in no particular order. They also don't have a particular time frame.

Science Themes
The 5 sense
Body Parts
Healthy Food

Seasonal Themes
Spring: Very Hungry Caterpillar
Love/Valentine’s Day

Join us in our learning process! I will be posting all about it here on the blog during this new phase of our lives. 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Telling Time

Time is a pretty exciting math unit because the kids can immediately apply it to their own life and use it. So, I wanted to make it even more fun.

For this math game, I found that 3 students at a time worked best. 4 was a crowd. I couldn't let just 2 students play at a time because they were so excited about it!

To play, student 1 is the time keeper. The time keeper gets to set the time for the other players. I emphasized that the time keeper must know what they are are setting so they can check the other students. When the time keeper sets the hour and minute hand on the clock, they say "tick tock what time is on the clock?" This lets everyone know they are ready.

Students 2 and 3 are the time seekers. They write down the time on their white boards. The time keeper must check that the time seekers got the time correct. This way, everyone is practicing their time!

I also wrote the minutes on the table with dry erase markers for the first 2 weeks. They wipe right off with a lysol wipe.

In addition to our super awesome life sized clock we learned a time cheer! Students should just repeat after you. I got my inspiration from hearing army cadences. Lyrics are provided below!

Teacher: This is how you tell the time
Students: This is how you tell the time

Teacher: Have no fear you'll be fine
Students: Have no fear you'll be fine

Teacher: Step 1 short hand
Students: Step 2 long hand

Teacher: This is how you tell the time
Students: This is how you tell the time

Teacher: Have no fear you'll be fine
Students: Have no fear you'll be fine

Teacher: Short hand tells you the hour
Students: Short hand tells you the hour

Teacher: Small number has all the power
Students: Small number has all the power

Teacher: This is how you tell the time
Students: This is how you tell the time

Teacher: Have no fear you'll be fine
Students: Have no fear you'll be fine

Teacher: Long hand tells you the minutes
Students: Long hand tells you the minutes

Teacher: From 1 to 60 you did it!
Students from 1 to 60 you did it

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Holidays Are Coming

I can't believe it is so close to holiday season! Stores are filling up with Halloween candy and costumes. Once Halloween hits, all the holidays just come so quickly. So, this year I was inspired by a resource I saw a teacher had in her room. She had a holiday word bin that had special holiday words listed. During holiday themed unites, especially writing and centers, I get a lot of "But how so you spell...." I thought this was a genius resource to help with that problem, but I wanted to adjust it just a little. So I created this holiday word dictionary. Each of the holiday words has a matching picture to go with it. So hopefully the kids will get help spelling the words they need, or completing the FUN holiday worksheets, and I hope the visuals of the pictures will help spark their creativity when it comes to their writing during the holidays. I am a huge fan or writing activities during the holiday season to match any craft we do.

I am really excited to use this but it got me wondering, what are your tips or tricks during the holiday season?

Friday, September 2, 2016


Get it before it's gone! This literary elements flipbook will be FREE from 9/2 until 9/9 on TeachersPayTeachers. It is SO easy to use. There is NO cutting and NO gluing of pages. All you do is print, copy double sided, and fold to assemble. Pages will even print in the exact way you need them to be copied. It doesn't get easier! See this YouTube tutorial to see what I am talking about.

What's Inside? 

Student practice identifying literary elements from the story they just read. This isn't going to teach them the skills. It's a fun and interactive way to practice them and apply them to the classroom.

My favorite ways to use this flipbook: 

1. End of the unit review
2. Put in in their reading interactive notebook
3. Perfect for sub plans!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You know how at the end the of the day, it looks like someone decorated your floor with pencils? And every student that day has probably said "I can't find my pencil!" Eliminate the drama with this easy hack!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HALLS Classroom Management Poster

It's back to school so it's back to refining all our little classroom management tricks. Here is a new FREE poster that you can download. Go over it each time before you leave the room and you will have some hallway HEROS this year!

Friday, August 12, 2016

CHAMPS classroom management posters

CHAMPS is a classroom management system. It's overall goal is to teach students how to be successful in different classroom situations by establishing clear behavior expectation using the chart. The CHAMPS system is actually very new to me, but I fell in love with it right away. 
I like this system much more than the standard color change chart that I have used in the past because it is SO clear about your expectations for the students. This makes it ideal for the primary teachers classroom. 

The posters describe the following... 

C- conversation - what should the voice level be?
H- help - how do I get help? 
A- activity - what are you working on? 
M- movement - how can I move around the room? 
P- participation - how do I participate in the lesson?

It is also very easy to use as a teacher. Buy some circle magnets to put on each poster. Move the magnet along the poster based on what you need the students to be doing for the lesson. I found some HERE that match PERFECTLY with the posters

You can purchase these CHAMPS posters HERE