Sunday, April 13, 2014

SO Many Spring Activities & A Freebie!

Hi everyone,

I'm here to show you all the fun Spring things that have been going on in my classroom this past week!

We have been BUSY BEES, working on our spring centers, reinforcing literacy and math skills with some fun Spring activities, and working hard on our Earth Day crafts! 
We even got to start our plant observation books :)

My students have been LOVING my Spring printables! These activities have been perfect for reviewing skills that we learned this year. I was able to easily spot what concepts need a little more revision and which have been mastered. It's that time of year when we look back on what we have taught and reflect on our students' learning. I'm so proud of each and every one of my kiddies this year. They are so eager to learn!

We worked on our Earth Day crafts a couple of weeks early because I wanted to have them hanging on our classroom ASAP! These little bears are from my favorite craftivity: Give The Earth A Bear Hug.

Every time we start a craft, the control freak in me gets very anxious with the mess on everyone's desk! HA!

I don't worry much about noise anymore, thanks to this new app!
It has been a gift sent from teacher Heaven! ;)
** You can read all about the apps that I use for classroom management HERE **

I have one simple rule when we work on crafts:
Students are NOT allowed to put ANY of their scrap papers in the recycling bin until they have put their craft together. This avoids pieces making their way to the recycling bin too early. 
Less tears = happy teacher!

Look how beautiful they turned out!

There's nothing like a great craft to get the kids excited for upcoming writing activities :)

A couple of weeks ago, an AMAZING mother brought these tiny plants to our class for our Mother's Day crafting. I, of course, used them to start our plants unit too! 
We have been watching our plants grow every day and we even planted some seeds of our own!

Can you see what peeked out on Friday?

Do you see it now? ;)

We started our seed observation books and we have been recording our observations as time goes by. 
I completely forgot to take pictures of our seed books but I promise to take some tomorrow :)

We also added a fun page to our interactive notebooks!

They had a blast working on this page and they kept asking when we are going to do the second one! 
I guess this means I better get myself to the copy machine tomorrow morning ;)

You can grab this interactive notebook page for FREE at my TPT store!

We finished off our week with this fun Spring activity from my Print & Go Pack

This week, we'll be working on some more Spring activities and we will continue to use our seed observation books. I can't wait to see if any more seeds have sprouted this weekend... Fingers crossed, I don't really have a GREEN thumb! HA!

If you like what you see in this post, take a look at these Spring items in my teacher store.

Later gators,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apps For Classroom Management

Hi everyone,

I'm linking up, once again, with some Super Smart bloggers for
another edition of Bright Ideas!

I just LOVE this link up because I learn SO MUCH every month!

If you want a quick look at all our fab ideas, you can get them all in one spot on our Pinterest board.
Don't forget to follow our board! We add to it ALL month long :)

This time, I decided to share with you some fabulous apps that I have been using in my classroom. I shared these on my Instagram and my Facebook page a few weeks ago and I was blown away with all the positive reactions from everyone!

First up is the Classroom Timer app. I do use a Time Timer in my classroom already but this app is great for displaying on the Smart board or taking to a center activity,
where the classroom timer might not be as visible. 
My students really love using the timer because it helps them keep track all by themselves, without having to ask me how much time they have left for an activity. 

I'll be honest with you... Like anything else that is new in the classroom, it takes a few tries to get your students to use this tool effectively. The first time I projected it on the Smart board, I had students starring at it to see what was happening
(even though it looks EXACTLY like our timer that is hanging on the wall!). 

My tip? Let them stare at it!
They will soon learn that it may not be the most effective strategy to getting their work done on time.
Next time around, I promise that they will turn their eyes away and only peak when they need to monitor themselves ;)

This next apps is the random name selector and it is so much fun!
We use a "pick me sticks" system in our class and this app is our very own digital version of it! 
When I know that my students need a little something different,
I put away our sticks and pull out this app.
I love that you can set it to choose students only once. 
This way, everyone gets a turn. Just like my sticks system!

Next up, the Classroom Team Selector.
It is a quick, fun, and effective way to select random groups. You can change the theme so it's different every time.
You can also set it to make 2, 4, or 8 teams.
The kids always get excited to see who will be placed in which group!

This one is my favorite! The Too Noisy app is seriously amazing!!
I project this on my Smart board during group work, such as centers. 
You can also use it when students are working on activities that require them to
get up and move, such as read/write the room. 

I love this app because I no longer have to remind my students when they are being too loud, the app does it for me! The kids see the smiley face turn to a frown face and they monitor their voices right away.
The fact that the whole screen changes color is great too because it helps students notice it from way across the room!

Here is a picture of the Too Noisy app being used in my classroom.

Here are 2 more apps for classroom management. 
They are perfect for using positive reinforcement in the classroom!

It only takes a few minutes to sign up and set up your classroom :)

I hope you found some new apps that you can use in your classroom!

If you enjoyed this bright idea,
please consider joining me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest
I post ideas DAILY and I'd love to keep in touch!

For more bright ideas from 150 other bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. 

Later gators,