Measurement Math

 Measuring Olympics
  1. Cotton Ball Shotput - they threw cotton balls shot put style and then measured.
  2. Feather Throwing - no matter how hard you throw a feather it won't go far
  3. Car Race - they flicked cars on the floor (starting line marked with masking tape)
  4. Coin Blow - they blew pennies on the table
  5. Frog Jumping - they jumped plastic frogs (courtesy of U.S. Toy)
  6. High Jump - they put ink on their fingertips and jumped in the door frame as high as they could.

Post Its

I am loving the Linky Party over at 
I use post its, but would love to incorporate them more as I am obsessed with them in my own life. I use the virtual post its on my mac desktop. I have to admit at times there are more post its than desk top space :)

1. My top post it use- I made a poster with students pictures and a square next to their pic the size of a post it. As their ticket out the door, they answer a question on their post it, stick it on the square next to their picture. That way I can see who hasn't finished yet..and who grasped the idea.

From others:
  • Teaching parts of a letter- we put sticky notes on a brave volunteer’s body. Head for heading, hand for greeting, stomach for body, foot for closing. Just to make a fun visual.
  • Word Wall- Easy! Just write and stick!
  • Writing- I print the 6 traits rubric on the post it and stick them to students published writing pieces for quick and easy grading.
  • Classroom Meetings: To solve a classroom problem ( e.g., Our Book Nook is in a constant state of Disarray. How can we keep it neat and organized?), have students sign up to discuss an issue with their name and issue on a post it
  • Writing notes to children: I write kind comments, encouraging notes, reminders - and parents will even stop in and leave a note for their child on their desk at lunch time, too.
  • Instant Graphs- They love it!
  • Flag new vocabulary during a picture walk through stories.
  • We also have a game called SCOOT! Anyone out there play SCOOT? I run the answer sheet for SCOOT front to back and put Post-Its on each desk. The Post-It note has the problem number, then a problem which the student answers in the box with the corresponding number. Students have one minute to solve the problem, then I call out "SCOOT!" and they scoot to the next desk. We continue until each child has been to each desk.
  • Book Critique- I put post its in the reading corner. After children read a book they write a review of the book and keep it in the book. Other student's find them and love to read the notes written by their peers. 
  • Have races. Section off the board according to teams Give each team a stack of post its. The students are in a line and relay reace passing off the post its. Some thing sto have them do: 
    • List as many "spelling pattern" words as you can, then they would race to try and Post the most. 
    • Posting animals for certain habitats
    • counting by 5's or 10's and having the next person Post the next number
    • posting characteristics of a specific character
    • listing nouns, etc. 

Ten+ Things to do with Paint Samples

  1. Create board games with individual squares to create a colorful adventure like Candy Land. 
  2. Use them as Word Family guides. I love the ones with a hole in them...this is perfect for students to explore new words that belong in the same word family.
  3. Colorful flashcards...update those BoRiNg index cards and use colorful paint chips instead. Keep them together with a hole punch and a binder ring. 
  4. Answer card- Get the kind with 4 shades on one paint sample. Have students write A,B,C, and D one in each square. Then take a paperclip and put it on the top. Students can slide the paperclip to their answer choice and show by raising them in the air.  
  5. WORD CHOICE- Get enough for each child to have one sample with numerous colors on it (vary depending on age level). Each student randomly gets one and has to write a story using all of the paint color names, then highlight, share and glue paint chip as "illustration"
  6. Retelling graphic organizer. The students label the colors with marker "First, Next, Last". Then turn it over and they retell the story by writing on the back. 
  7. Make mini journals with the front cover being the paint chip sample.
  8. Bookmarks! Quick little hole punch and an adorable ribbon as the finishing touch. 
  9. Holiday Crafts/decorating...turkey with paint chip feathers. Colorful pastel Easter egg garland.
  10. Cards- Great for a letter writing unit or Valentine's day cards
  11. Mini book of coupons for students or a Father's Day gift book. 
  12. I make chain links VERY OFTEN...see discipline label for more information.
  13. Puppets for Readers Theater Puppet Show.
                 Colorful, Quick, Cost effective and Cute!

Contractions...make and fold
Too cute.
Easter egg garland. kids are obsessed!

For letter writing unit or Valentines day/Mother's Day card.

I love the mini journals at the bottom of this picture.
Word Families...great for reinforcing phonics

Puppets in the upper left hand corner of pic

Compound words!

Word Choice words, using a Thesaurus
Have your class earn compliments to make a chain.

Put "a-d" on the card. Children slide a paperclip to show you the answer.

Word choice. they come up with a dull word and make it brighter.

They write contractions


I have many levels to the discipline in my classroom. First and foremost...PROCEDURES. I have a procedure for everything. Not in a crazy "Hitler" kind of way, but in a "well oiled machine" kind of way.

Like I mentioned I have several layers to my classroom discipline:
  • Individuals- I do a baseball theme! The students can advance each day to the next base. Their goal is to get a home run by the end of the week. If there are behavior issues, they get a strike 1, strike 2, strike 3...then your benched! Then at the end of the year we celebrate all of the "All Stars" at a "Hall of Fame" party. 
  • Table Groups- Each group has a behavior bucket. When I see groups working together, transitioning quietly, all bringing in communication folders the next day, following directions...etc. they can earn marbles. Then at the end of each month they count their marbles and the winning table eats lunch with me :) THEY LOVE THIS!!!
  • Kindness- I use the "bucket filling" system. When a student does something nice to someone else, both people get a pom pom to add to their individual buckets. We read "Have you Filled a Bucket Today" during week one and talk about how filling others buckets fills ours also because being kind makes our insides "Golden". As their buckets get filled they trade their pom poms in for a "golden" star. It is neat to see the stars at the end of the school year.
  • Clean lunchroom award- Everyday I pick up my kids at the lunchroom. I do a quick "clean spot" check. Then I award the student the "golden spatula" award. I spray painted a spatula and decorated it with gold ribbon and sparkles. The student adds a gold star to the chart. At the end of the year I have a "squeaky clean" winner with the most stars and they get a prize...I make it a huge deal!
Wish I came up with this, but I can't take credit for this one

    • I'm busy- I was having an issue in the morning with children asking me question after question while I was trying to take attendance, write notes, check homework/planners, send things up to the office...So I made a signal to my class letting them know that I am busy. I wear a colorful flower Lei, the students see me wearing it and know they have to hold their questions until I take it off. This is also great to wear during reading groups or conferencing with students.

    • The "Shhh" Bell- During independent time students often get too noisy so I just ring the bell:
        • 1st time= warning to lower voices
        • 2nd time= They have to go on whispering voices
        • 3rd time= it is silent voices. 
        •  This works great because the students know what each ring means without me having to tell them silent voices.
    • "Shh" spray- I love joking around with my students and being playful with them. My students respond to me more when I have a relationship with them. I use the "shh spray" which is a spray bottle...and yes when they are too loud I spray them with water....THEY LOVE IT and they truly lower their voices... after a few giggles of course! This is my secret weapon.

    Classroom Jungle Pictures

    Sound Muncher Zippy the Zebra
    Born to be wild...birthday chart
    Supply station

    Jungle Jobs
    My Jungle Themed Classroom. More to come! I have worked this summer on many new projects!
    Our county wide reading incentive program

    Close up of job chart

    Writing board with cheetah print

    Mountain Math
    Math and Science board with giraffe print

    Reading Bulletin with zebra print
    Zip tie student desks together so they don't move

    Each table has an animal theme
    Ticket holder

    Reading Nook

    Hook for student I.D. Cards

    Half of my library

    Vocabulary Vine

    Top Teacher Tips

    Too cool for school is having a Teacher Tip Linky Party! This is my favorite party so far!!! Link up and share your tips. 

    1. I hate having a disorganized white board so I got containers with suction cups to hold those pesky markers and erasers right on my white board. They are originally used to hold sponges for the kitchen...but they work great for the white board.
    2. Tired of expensive erasers not working...I was! So I use kitchen sponges and they work GREAT. They even erase cleaner than the regular erasers.
    3. Year after year decorations....I laminate my borders so they last longer.

    4. Weekly setup- I have a checklist that I saved to look at each week to set up for reading (Treasures users out there you know there is a lot to change out each week). I also put "turn in lesson plans" just to make sure I get them turned in on time :)

    5. My magic wand...yes it is magical. My secret weapon for getting students attention. You can get one cheap at for only 5 bucks! They make a beautiful chime sound and the students know to stop, look and listen. Here are a few designs:

    6.  Busy Teacher Lei- For those times when you are busy with a small reading group, or a phone call and students have a question/comment. I put on my lei and they know that when I take it off they can ask me a question.

    7. Need more bulletin board space? No problem. I made a device out of gallon size storage bags and duck tape (of course duck tape) to spotlight students work. You can easily slide student work in and out of the top.

    8. Cheap is the name of the game...and that's what I am. I use page protector sheets ALL THE TIME but they get expensive. So instead I use gallon size ziplock bags. You can use dry erase markers on these as well.

    9. Library thing is an awesome tool to keep track of all the books you own in your classroom. It allows you  to quickly and easily find a book...somewhat like a card catalog, but for your classroom.The best part is that it keeps a total of how many books you own (I have over 1,000)! How many books do you have?
    Check it out:

    10.  Mod Podge- This stuff is absolutely amazing!  It is like a glue that you can paint on ANYTHING and it will seal it like plastic. You can easily add ribbon, scrapbook paper, and even tissue paper to the surface of something and even the pickiest of fingers won't be able to tear it off.

    Here are some mod podge creations of mine:

    11. Use Hoola Hoops for Venn diagrams :

    12. Expensive White problem!
    Alternative white boards:
    • Glossy Picture Print Paper- Much cheaper and easy to store! It's thin as paper :)
    • Plastic Throw away plates! SUPER CHEAP 
    • NOTHING...You can use their desks!!!!!  The kids LOVE when we do this. All they need is a tissue and then a good wet wipe bath at the end of each day.
     13. Hate those pesky name tags that peel off of desks?  Write their names in PERMANENT I am not joking. It stays all year and then cleans off easily with some distilled alcohol, nail polish remover or a magic eraser. I am not lying try it out ;)

    14. Make your own stamps. Use plastic bottle caps then glue foam stickers and voila...your own CHEAP stamps.

    15. I hate students moving their desks and the room looking untidy at the end of the day. Save time and zip tie them together! Genius!

    There you go! I hope these tips are as helpful to you as they are for me :)