Sunday, January 8, 2017

Make the Most of the 100th Day (Tips and Free Activities)



It's hard to believe that it is time to start planning for the 100th Day of School.  It's a big milestone and a perfect time to have fun with the number 100.
Last year, I ran out of time to share about our 100th Day.  Luckily I didn't delete my pics.  So here's a run down, complete with lots of freebies, of last year's 100th Day of School.
Let's start with the door banner.  I've made one for the past three or four years.  The kids LOVE going through the streamers.  And bonus, last year I used it as a picture backdrop, when I took individual picture of my firsties in their 100th Day shirts.
Here's how I put together my banner...
First, I printed some festive clip art (these are from Graphics from the Pond) and text.  I cut all of the clips and the text apart.


Using butcher paper, I staggered the paper that I would later cut into streamers.


I glued the clip art and text onto the top portion of the banner.


Next, I stapled all of the butcher paper together.


Finally, I measured and cut all of the streamers.


And voila, a colorful way to welcome your students on the 100th Day of School.



After making their way through the oh-so-fun banner streamers, students started their day with the 100th Day Scavenger Hunt (a 100th Day version of write the room).
To prep for this activity, I printed numbers 1-100 on two different colors of paper.  I used our school colors, but it really doesn't matter what two colors you choose.


I randomly placed the number cards around the room.  Students colored in their 100 chart with the colors that corresponded with the number cards.


When they finished, a 100th Day hidden picture was revealed.
Click here if you would like a FREE copy of my 100th Day Scavenger Hunt to use with your class.



We also made these cutie 100th Day Kids.  I created this pattern a few years ago and have used it ever since.
This craftivity includes paper for a writing piece or paper for spelling word practice.  We used the spelling practice option.
Here are a few of our 100th Day Kids...


For a FREE copy of this 100th Day craftivity, just click here.


Another little craft we made is our 100th Day Hats.  The hats coordinated perfectly with students' 100th Day shirts (an at home project).
These hat were super simple.  I just let students color them however they wanted.
For a FREE copy of my 100th Day Hat, click here.



A perennial favorite for the 100th Day is our 100th Day Sort and Graph.  There are all sorts of things you can sort and graph on the 100th Day.  My favorite is chocolate.  We use M & M's.
Students each got a baggy containing 100 M & M's.  (A parent volunteer to counted and bagged up the M & M's before the 100th Day.)
They sorted the M & M's by color and then completed their graph.



I've had several requests for copies of the M & M graph that we use, so here it is.  Click here for a FREE copy of my 100th Day Sort and Graph printables.


To wrap up the day, students participated in the 100th Day Kids' Challenge.  Students had 100 seconds to complete a variety of tasks that included physical, academic, and creative challenges.  Student wrote their results on a recording sheet and I kept time as students rotated to all the challenge stations.
Here are a few pics from our 100th Day Kids' Challenge...
 Lego Creations
Ordering Numbers by 5's
 ABC Order 
 Word Writing
 100 Cup Tower
 Memory Game
 Pattern Block Design

The 100th Day Kids' Challenge is a wonderful way to get students up and moving.  My group last year had a blast with it.  
If you would like to use it with your students, click on the picture below for a FREE copy.



To make the most of the 100th Day of school, it's important to start planning ahead.  I hope some of these ideas and freebies will be helpful as you start getting ready for your 100th Day of School. 
Best.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

This Year's Classroom Tour



Well, here it is...the last day of the year.  I have been sitting with beginning classroom reveal pics on my phone for about five months.  This school year has been crazy busy.  (But really, aren't they all?)
Before school starts back from winter break.  I wanted to show you this year's classroom design and layout.

We'll start with view for the door as soon as you walk in.   My classroom is pretty small and there is not much wall space (curse you accordion curtain wall).  I have to be smart how I use every square inch of my class.
We have desks and chairs.  However, throughout the day students have the flexibility to work away from their desks.  They often choose to work in the floor with clip boards and cushions.


Also, as you enter my room I have some bookcases that serve as a big part of my storage.  My sweet mom (bless her heart) sewed all of these curtains to hide the supplies on the shelves.  (I found the fabric at Hobby Lobby and I bought the chalkboard from Pottery Barn Kids.)
 By the way, if you are interested in making custom pennant banners for your own classroom, click here.


My teacher desk was a new addition this year.  I was completely inspired by School Girl Style's design for a colorful classroom.  (You can click here to check out Melanie's post.)  My favorite part of the post was the teacher desk.
I scouted out this desk at a local antique shop.  I painted it white and added the tassel bunting.  I loved how it turned out.
Since the bunting is made out of tissue, I was afraid that it wound not be durable enough for my classroom.  But, I'm happy to say that half way through the year, it is still perfectly intact.


For some extra storage, I grabbed this metal cart at Target.  I used various sized jars to house some supplies.  I made a file out of this cute tote (that I also found at Target).


To make the tote into a file.  I added file rails, which can be found at any business supply store.  I also added some hanging files.  Since it's so easy to access, I keep my copies for the week in this file tote.


About eight months ago, I got an interactive whiteboard in my classroom.  So, our magnetic whiteboard is (sort of) serving a new purpose.  I still use it to write on.  But, I also use about a third of it to display our calendar (click here to learn how I made a custom calendar) and some anchor charts.


I made these magnetic clips to hold the anchor charts.  I bought these clips at Target's dollar spot.  I hot glued some magnet strips on the back.  It was a super easy project.


Another new addition to this year's class set up is a word wall.  I haven't had a word wall in several years.  I decided to give it another try.  But, unlike my old word wall, I wanted one customized to my classroom colors.
I made this simple watercolor word wall and coordinated it with my library labels.  


The classroom library was another newish addition this year.  Of course I've always had a class library.  However, this summer, I decided to reorganize my library and level it.
(To read more about my classroom library redo, just click here.)


If you would like a free set of my leveled library labels, click here.


I do a lot of instructing at our gathering area.  I have a easel on wheels (not pictured) that I use for teaching lessons at our gathering area.  I find, students listen better when they are physically closer to their teacher.
Some other tools in my gathering area are my Apple TV and my interactive whiteboard.


I found my polka dot rug and pompom pillow at Pottery Barn Teen.  The slipper chair and red cabinet are from Target.


Also, in my gathering area are two small magnetic whiteboards I use to display class jobs and our agenda for the day.


The final stop on my class tour is the main storage hub in my classroom.  I have these three huge wheeled cabinets.  Judging from their original color, they are probably from the mid-70's.  I painted them and arranged them to make a faux closet for extra storage.
I keep all sorts of things in (on and behind) these cabinets, including all of my monthly math and literacy centers.
I used the same clips that I magnetized for the whiteboard and hot glued them to the cabinets to display student work.  Like I said before, I am very limited on wall space.  Adding the clips turned these cabinets into great place to show off students' work.


Teachers and students spend so much time at school.  It's really important to create a space that is functional and organized.  The biggest tip I can give you as you think about your classroom design is, don't be afraid to get rid of things.  Often times, less is more.

There you have it, my classroom reveal.  Better late than never. ;)
Have a happy New Year!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Make a Christmas Countdown Chain to Kick off the Holiday Season



Hi all.  
Before all the craziness of December gets started, I wanted to share a fun little project I've been doing with my class for several years, a countdown to Christmas paper chain.
Believe me, the kids love these.  Here's how they work:
-Students will get a bell topper and strips of paper to make the chain.
-They will make our chains on December 1, so each student should get 24 strips to make 24 links.  The last link should be on Christmas Eve.  (It's no problem if you don't make the countdown chains on December 1.  Just be sure to adjust the number of links students will make.)
-This year I'm sneaking in a little word work practice by having my young learners write a word from our word wall on each of the strips.  (This step is unnecessary, but a great way to get in a teeny bit more practice.)


-Since I do not have staplers for all students.  We use glue to put the links together.  I usually have to model a few for the class, so that they understand the process.


I tell the students to hold their link together and count to 30 before they add their next one  If a student is falling way behind, I usually swoop in with my stapler and parter with that student.


After all the links are together, I staple the bell topper to one end of the chain.  There is a poem on the topper.  You can check it out in the picture below.


When students finish, they have a chain that is (usually) taller than they are.  They get such a kick out of it.  They are also really excited to tear the links.  
Click here if you would like a free copy of the pattern I used to make our Christmas Countdown Chain.



A couple of other December resources you may want to check out are my, newly updated, literacy and math centers.
To Be Jolly {10 Literacy Centers for December} includes practice with contractions, vowel sounds, antonyms, rhyming words, syllables, parts of speech, types of sentences, and more.  You can click on the picture below for more details.



To Be Jolly {10 Math Centers for December} also has loads of seasonally themed skill work.  Centers focus on basic addition, basic subtraction, missing addends, time to the half hour, place value, skip counting, number comparisons, and more.
To find out more about my December math centers, click on the picture below.


That's it for now.
I hope you have a great rest of your week.
Happy teaching!