6 Tried and True Ideas that YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT...Trust ME!

Hi there...I am back again with my first segment of Tried and True Activities and Ideas that I KNOW you cannot live without!! If you are a teacher or have been a teacher, which I am pretty sure you fit that mold if you are reading this, then you all know the challenges we face with classroom management. A long, long, long time ago when I first set foot in my very first classroom after subbing for 9 years(...yes...you DID read that correctly), I learned and researched how to improve focus with kiddos and keep them on task. Five very important concepts I learned and remember are:

 1. Give your students choice activities first thing in the morning, which is why one of my first activities in the morning was a soft landing time for students to chat, wind down, get ready for learning, take care of the business kinds of things that they need to do with calm classical music playing.( If you have read any of my other posts, you know ow much I am a believer in this SOFT LANDING TIME!!)

 2. Morning Meeting, which I cannot and will not ever say to stop doing as it builds community and again makes everyone feel welcome and supports the idea that each child has something good to offer our classroom family...diversity is the one thing we have in common! Check out this Responsive Classroom website for Morning Meeting Ideas, Games and Activities

3. Having Choice stations, Daily 5 or whatever you choose to call it first thing in the morning, if possible right after your morning meeting as choice allows your kiddos to take ownership of their academic work and feel like an active part of the classroom community since you are allowing them teacher directed choices during center, stations etc.

4. Giving Brain Breaks as much as your class needs...repeat, giving Brain Breaks as many times as your class needs, not just when you need them...on that topic I used to use snack time as a brain break where students can get up and eat and chat for a few minutes...guiltily I remember only giving those breaks when I WAS hungry...how selfish!!! I moved this snack time to Station/Daily 5 time..."Grab as you need" idea on an honor system and it really worked fabulously...only a few nibblers nibbled too much and you can be sure the tattle tale squad reported and turned them in or intimidated them to plead guilty!

5. Getting the kiddos up and moving as much as possible through academic type activities such as, Read and Write the Room. These are great ways to get your kiddos up and moving during Daily 5 or Station Word Work. They are like worksheets,but your class walks around the room to jot down the answers and such. These activities teach, reinforce or remediate in a fun and active way!

6.  Having a Quiet Time or a Down Time everyday. The best times are right after Lunch or where there is a natural break in your day. You will be surprised as to how many children share during our End of Day Meeting that "Quiet Time" was their favorite part of the day! They choose what they want to do quietly and some actually choose to catch up on work!!!

 Okay so that being said...check out the Read the Room activities that I have in my shops or any of these types of activities that you find on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter yadda yadda yadda...do yourself and your class a favor and use some of these types of "worksheets"to reinforce those Common Core Standards and such!!! YOU will see a difference in behaviors, too...but remember to share those expectations and role model first or you might have a disaster on your hands!

Thanks for tuning in and see you next time!
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Freebies, Freebies and More Freebies!

As I was sitting out on my porch this beautiful evening, I decided I would share all the freebies that I have available in my Sunshine and Lollipops Shops on TpT and Teacher's Notebook.
I believe that as teachers you should NOT have to put out your hard earned money for supplies, but we ALL know that this concept is virtually impossible. We LOVE to teach and want to meet the needs of all the kiddos we have in our classrooms. or we would not be teaching!  We love to see those smiles and giggles and love to provide a safe place for our kiddos to be or become their best selves.  We also know that one size does NOT fit all.  It is my belief to keep my prices as low as I can because I enjoy helping, solving problems and mentoring others...especially when it comes to teaching!
Editable End of Year Student Letters  TN TpT
So...here are a few of the freebies I have, as of today, for you to use and enjoy.  Please check them out at my stores. You won't be disappointed!!! MORE WILL BE COMING SOON! ENJOY!

Bunny Hop Number Line Slide  TN  TpT




Editable ABC Letter of Our Year Together!TN  TpT

This Poster is a great reminder with visuals
as to how your kiddos should sit when listening!
TN      TpT


Children LOVE playing this Game which reinforces Math Facts. It is a differentiated activity in that the children fill in the train and make up the problems that they can solve. Challenges emerge depending on who they play. TN  TpT
Fun Management Charts to encourage Classroom Management!
TN   TpT
Great Poetry Frames for Grades 2-4!
TN  TpT


Fall Writing Frames Great for K-1
TN  TpT
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A Back to School Gift for Your Kiddos

If you consider yourself a "Pinterest Teacher" then this is a gift you may want to consider for your kiddos at the end of the first full week of school. Dollar Store Bubbles and a sign that says: "I am bubbling with excitement that you are in my class!" What a great way to make your class feel welcome and loved. Also a confidence booster!
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Kid Spelling Right or Wrong?

Here is a link to a freebie you may be interested in...ENJOY!

Many parents have a hard time when their kiddos come home with writing that they cannot read or that has many misspelled words.  I had an interesting situation in my grandson's class on Grandparent's Day.  Grandparents were supporting their grandchildren with writing. I was supporting my grandson.  Every time he asked me to spell a word I said, as a teacher, let's listen to the sounds that you hear in the word and write them down. he asked me if the spelling was correct and I said,"Can you read it?"  He said, "YES!"  " then that is great spelling. I can read it too!"  I said it may not be exactly what an adult speller would write but look you have all the sounds!" I continued to say, "When you are not sure, sound out the word, or look around the room for the spelling if you know it is around here somewhere or maybe it is a sight word you can find on your word wall."  "You are doing an awesome job! Keep on writing and reading and before you know it you will be zooming with spelling!" He smiled and felt extremely proud and his confidence blasted off into a galaxy of spelling and writing!

However, as I listened in to other grandparents helping their grandchildren, I heard things like, That's not the way you spell that word, here let me show you," OR "change that d to a b now the word is spelled correctly!"  Even, "Don't you know how to spell that word?  That word is easy here: p-l-a-y?"
I started to ponder about how many parents are struggling with kid spelling, inventive spelling creative spelling or whatever you may call it.  So, I created this letter with the idea of writing it in Kid writing and then gradually improving as I wrote to end with standard adult spelling to demonstrate to parents that we are not ignoring spelling but in K-1 and maybe into second grade Kid Writing is developmentally appropriate and as your child reads, writes and practices spelling sight words, their writing and spelling will improve!

In my opinion Kid Writing is the way to go. It gets kids writing and using bigger more difficult words because they know that if they try and they can read it, then it works. As children progress and read and write more, their spelling will also improve. Put this altogether with sight words and eventually standard spelling ideas and/or programs and you develop a great writer and speller! If children are constantly worried about how to spell a word or if a word is spelled correctly, then this interfere with their writing and vocabulary and they will only write using words they know how to spell...how boring is that, but more importantly children's spelling progresses through stages that lead to conventional or standard spelling and it is NOT simply rote memory of spelling words!
What are your feelings or thoughts about spelling?
Spelling: Kids Writing Parent Letter Freebie

Here is a link to a great book that speaks to this topic:  How Children Learn to Spell
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