27 May 2013

Portfolio Cover Pages

Just a quick post to share a couple freebies.  The last week of school for our students is here.  I always wrap up this last week by putting together our yearly Writing Portfolios and also our 2nd Grade Portfolios.  Their  2nd Grade Portfolios contain work samples from the entire school year.  I've tried lots of different methods of storing their portfolio work.  My favorite is to slide it all into a large 2 gallon ziploc bag.  It fits nicely, and it gets home safely.  I used to use large sheets of construction paper stapled together to make a large carrier. They looked great, but they ended up losing half of their work as they traveled down the hallway.  This year, I'm going to run the cover page on bright colored cardstock, so it can be seen through the front of the bag.  My teacher buddy had that idea and I loved it.

If you are a Kinder-5th grade teacher, and in need of Portfolio covers, you can get them below for free. 

Update: I also added a page that says scrapbook instead of portfolio.  I like to include art pieces that go with some of their writing, and once I tied them together with twine, they really looked like scrapbooks.

These are my portfolios from last year:

Here are my portfolios from this year.  I stayed simple this year.  I went ahead and skipped the ribbon, but I still think they turned out great.  My students were very proud of them.

16 May 2013

Sound Card Freebie

I've had a burst of energy the last couple weeks, so I've been putting it to good use.  Although my husband would probably disagree with me on that one.  He'd probably prefer I'd clean the house instead of creating more classroom stuff.  But, I 've been changing up some of the things that I use on a daily basis, and one of those things that needed an update were my sound cards.  I have my "go to" words that I like to use when I teach a sound, but the cards I currently have displayed use different words associated with each sound, and it totally throws me off.  I titled the cards sound swatters because I think of my students as sound swatters, because they are always looking reading around the room for words that contain these patterns.

You will notice that the h brothers have a weather theme.  I always tell my class that they are brothers and the sounds are written with their initials- sh/th/wh/ch.  Each brother has a favorite type of weather and their favorite weather starts with the sound they make.
sh-shine (I usually tell them sunshine )
th- thunder

You can get this freebie by clicking any picture below:

14 May 2013

Weather Themed Behavior Clip Chart

I must seem cuckoo for changing my behavior system the last 3 weeks of school, but golly it seems to have worked out in my favor.  This is that time of year when spring summer fever hits, and our classes really start to get stir crazy, it seems like this clip chart change was just what my class needed.  My kiddos really like our new clip chart and are trying so hard to get to that pot of gold at the very top.  My previous behavior system was very similar, but I used a painted yardstick and green was at the very top.  They could only go downward and not up, which just wasn't working for me any longer.  My kiddos that work so hard and set good examples really needed to be acknowledged for their great behavior.

Why the weather theme??? Well, I've had weather on my mind lately, most likely because Texas has been having really crazy weather these last few weeks.  I think one day last week it was colder in South Texas than it was in NYC. I'm freezing one day and sunburned the next- no wonder all of our kids are getting sick. The more I thought about a theme for my chart, weather just seemed like the logical choice, and it really makes perfect sense when you start connecting it to behavior. When I'm having a great day, I feel "over the rainbow" and when I'm having an awful day, "stormy" is a pretty good description of how I feel.

I decided to make each section a full page, because I really wanted it to be prominent in the classroom.  Behavior is a big deal, so I really wanted them to be able to see the chart clearly and take notice of where they are at any given moment.  I have mine hanging right at the front of the room on the dry erase board.

You can check it out in my TPT store, by clicking below:

12 May 2013

Characters are Super

I wanted to create a set of activities that could be used over and over again throughout the school year, but with a different story each time.  We have a new story for the week each week,  and we do a variety of activities to target the particular skills and strategies that we are teaching during that particular week.  Our district uses Scott Foresman's Reading Street and there are a lot of fun and informative stories within the adoption.  I wanted to have a set of printables focused on character lessons that I could pick and choose from each week.  I wanted to keep it interesting so there are 12 variations to choose from.

Here are a few examples from the set:
The title is not printed on the black line, so you can use a book of choice.

This one focuses on problem and solution.  Their pictures always turn out super cute and they get a lot of oohs and ahhs hanging in the hallway. 

I used the 2 pages below together.  We talked about positive character traits and then completed the Super Character page.  There is also a blank ABC page, so you could come up with your own character traits, if you wanted.

The printable below was one of my favorites.
It really got them hunting through their books for the best details. 


 Here are a few of the pages that I didn't save class examples of:
On the page below, they must choose the best character trait to describe their character.  Then, explain why they chose that trait.  I use this along with the ABC's of Super Characters that was pictured above.

 Letter Writing...

 Venn Diagrams, OH MY!

 You can check out this product at Teacher Pay Teachers by clicking the image below:


05 May 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is just around the corner and I knew it was time to start thinking about a project for my class.  Last year, I made magnets out of baby food lids, but since Greysen no longer eats baby food, that project had to be retired.  I started by creating this little one pager, for students to color.  Simply fold it in half and have students write a sweet message for mom on the inside.  If you're interested, it's yours by clicking below.

Now, for the project. . . I found a super cute project by ModgePodge Rocks using handprints and canvas, and knew I just had to do it.  I decided to go with ceramic tiles instead.  Canvas for the whole class sounded way too pricey, but ceramic tiles I can do.   This is a scaled down version (I used a smaller tile), I just wanted to try it at home with Greysen before attempting it with 22 second graders.  I could only find a little tile left over from my kitchen remodel, so you can see Greysen's little fingers wrap around the side of the tile.  This tile is a 4x4 inch.

 The project was pretty simple, so today I was off to buy a class set of larger ceramic tiles.    I went with 6x6 inch shiny, white tiles. They were only 48 cents each.  I shouldn't have any hands larger than this!

All I needed for this project was scrapbook paper, heart template (see below), 6x6 inch tiles, and Mod Podge. You can download the heart template I used by clicking the image below:
I will definitely be back to post pictures of the tiles my students make.  I'm sure they will be treasured by moms. . . that's if the project goes as smoothly as it did with Greysen.   Fingers Crossed.

I'm back...
The project was super easy and they turned out great.

02 May 2013

Cinco de Mayo Silly Peppers!

I got this little project done just in the nick of time.  Looks like I'll be in the copy room tomorrow frantically running off my last minute silly peppers!  But, I really think my kiddos will enjoy this little glyph, so it will all be worth it in the end!

I will definitely return with pictures, but for now let me share what it includes:
* Cover page or coloring page depending on how you want to use it.
* Silly Pepper Glyph (full page or smaller size if you want to display it along with the silly pepper)
* Graphic Organizer for Cinco de Mayo Facts (boy and girl templates)
* Mental Imagery Activity-  Several facts are listed on the snapshot page, students will draw  mental images to go along the facts.

Here are a few simple Cinco de Mayo read alouds I like to share with my class.  The one on the right  is a reading A-Z book (level J) that can be used on the Smartboard or projector, my kiddos love projected books!

I'm back with a few silly pepper examples from my class: