Bathroom Passes

Hi everyone,

With Back To School season already here, I thought I'd show you my bathroom pass system. I found this idea on Pinterest but I have NO idea who posted this on their blog because I never pinned it... Sorry! 
(I'll add the link when I find it, promise!)

I'm pretty strict with my bathroom rule and my rule is pretty simple... there is NO bathroom! Ha! I really don't like letting the kids leave the room for a "pretend" bathroom break. I give them plenty of opportunities to go to the bathroom at recess, lunch, and between classes, so there really is no reason for them to need a bathroom trip during class time. However, I do understand that they may really need to go between break times such as recess and lunch. SO, in order to allow them the opportunity to "break the rules", I have started this system.

Here is how I use my passes:

I give each child a bathroom pass every Monday morning. I put my students' names on the cards in order to avoid mix ups during the week. 

I made both 'bathroom' and 'washroom' passes after my students pointed out that some people call it differently. Those kids are so SMART! ;)

They are allowed to use their pass once a week. I should mention, though, that I started using this system in March so I may give them the opportunity to use their pass more often at the beginning of the year. 
When they need to go, they simply put their pass in the bucket and they can go. They only have one chance to go during class time so they are very careful about when to use their pass!
To make this even more interesting, I have a draw every Friday with the passes that have NOT been used and the winner gets to choose a prize from my treasure chest! If a child has remembered to go during breaks and has not used his/her pass during the week, it gets put in a box for our weekly draw. It's so nice to see them take this seriously! This system is really a great way to teach them responsibility! 

I had ONE big question from co-workers when I put this system into place in my classroom and I realize that you may have the same question so how about I answer it here?

What happens if a child really needs to go but wants to save his/her pass for the draw? Aren't you risking the chance of accidents?
The short answer is... I guess I am! Haha!
Actually, we teachers really have a gift for finding out if a child really needs to go. I used this system for 3 months last year and I never had an accident. My students used their pass if they really needed to and saved it if they could. So far so good ;)

This system has saved me so many headaches, you have NO idea! No more "Miss, can I go to the bathroom?" at very inappropriate times of the day. I just LOVE it!

I hope this classroom tip was helpful!

You can grab this freebie in my TPT store. Enjoy!

Later gators,

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Plenty Of Puzzles!

Hi everyone,

I'm here to show you my latest creation!
Do you like making puzzles? I sure do!!

The other day, I was updating my numbers pack and I started creating these number puzzles. I thought they would be a fantastic activity for my math centers. 

As I was finishing up, I started playing around with them and decided to create these same puzzles for sounds. I never imagined that 34 puzzles later, I'd have a super fun pack in my possession! Ha!

Anyway, let me show you what I'm chatting about...
I made puzzles for digraphs, ending digraphs, blends, and vowel sounds (I'm working on letter sounds next).
The following sounds are included:
Digraphs: ch, th, ph, wh, sh
Ending Digraphs: ck, ch, sh, th
Blends: bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl, pr, sc,
sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, tr
Vowels: a, e, i, o, u

I plan on putting these in my literacy centers, of course! I'll be adding a new puzzle every week. This way, my students will be reviewing sounds we learned AND practicing the new ones!

UPDATE: I also made some puzzles for beginning letters sounds!

In case you want all 3 sets, I bundled them so you can save a little $. 

Click on the pictures above, if you want to check them out in my store.
I hope you like them :)

Later gators,


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Bus Safety Craftivity & Literacy Activities!

Hi everyone, 

I'm here to show you my newly updated craftivity!
This was my VERY FIRST craftivity and I made it back on May 2012. I didn't really know what I was doing but I was proud of it anyway! Ha!

I decided now was the right time to give this LITTLE thing a BIG makeover. So... it has gone from 19 pages to 74!!! I know! Crazy, right??

Have you guessed what it is yet?

It's my school bus craft! Yay!! 

I just love teaching all about bus safety at the beginning of the year because I find it super important to get those kiddos home safely. I also really love teaching them all the different rules and getting them to practice them all! We literally make up our own scenarios and act them out! So much fun :)

Let me show you my pack and you might understand where all my excitement is coming  from!

I started by making an early reader because I found them SO effective last year. I made a full page version, which I will be using on my iPad. The kids LOVE when I read them a book on my iPad... I guess it's just sooo much 'cooler' than a regular book, right?? ;)

I also made a black and white version for the kids to use. We'll be using these little books for shared reading activities throughout the week. 

I made some bubble maps, a class survey, and a labeling activity. 

I also made some writing pages. I included them with both primary AND secondary lines. 

I added some bus tags to my pack too!

Finally, the craftivity part of this pack! I decided to make a little book out of the bus craft this time. I made pages to go with each safety rule from my easy reader. I made one with all the words from my story and one with blank spaces. I'll be using the blank spaces version and I will get my students to fill in the missing information. I can't wait to get my new bunch to work on this craft!

** I included 2 sizes for this template. Some of my students come to grade one with limited cutting skills. A larger template is usually best for them ;)

I hope you like what you see!
I'll post pictures of our bus safety adventures when I use this pack in my classroom :)

Later gators,


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Sight Words Fun!

Hi everyone, 

 Today's post is all about sight words!

I'm always looking for new ways to encourage my students to practice their sights words so I thought I'd share a few of my ideas and hopefully some of these will be new to you ;)

Summer is the best time to take out the chalk and get our kiddies writing outside! Putting the old 'paper and pencil' aside and using different ways to write is a great way to motivate our students to keep practicing those sight words!

Finger writing in a plate of salt can be so much fun! If you want a large surface, swap the plate with a cookie sheet and you have yourself a nice large area for finger writing. You can also use sand instead of salt ;)

My students LOVE playing with a beach ball! I get them at the dollar store and I write sight words all over them. Students pass the ball around and whatever word is touched by their right thumb is the word they need to read to the group. You just never know where your thumb will land when you catch the ball!

Legos and blocks are a favorite in my class! I use them for building letters and making words.

Stamps is a great way to replace the pencils for some fun sight words writing!

We also enjoy writing our words with letter stickers! The kids love taking them home to show mom and dad ;)

Magnets are also a favorite! I use different sizes on different days. It keeps them on their toes ;)

White boards are so much fun to write on! We use gloves to erase our work.

Play dough is not only a game, ya know! It can also be used for sight word practice ;)

Along with these fun activities above, I also use task cards for our sight words practice. I put all my ideas together a created this pack with 56 ideas. That's right! 56! I think I made enough to last me the entire school year :)

I included an editable version so you can add your own ideas to the mix!

This set also comes with word lists. I included BOTH Dolch and Fry because I know we all use different word lists ;)
If you want to read more about this pack, you can go visit my TPT store!

What fun activities to YOU use in your class to make sight words fun? I'd love to hear from you so please leave me a comment below if you want to share your ideas with me!

Later gators,


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Facebook Freebie Hop!

Hi everyone,

I have finally been given to OK to tell you all about our BIG surprise!! It seems like MANY of you have already figured it out by the looks of it ;)

It's a Facebook FREEBIE Hop!! Yahooo :)

A bunch of us over at Kinderland have been working really hard to organize this and we are pleased to announce that our Facebook Hop is LIVE!! 

All you have to do is make sure you LIKE all our Facebook pages in order to have access to all the amazing freebies!! It's very simple... start at my page, since you are here, and just keep clicking until you reach mine again (you will have come full circle and visited ALL the pages that are participating). We are over 40 Facebook pages so have fun and enjoy all our freebies!!

Happy 4th of July everyone,

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Goin' On A Blog Hunt!

Hi everyone,

I'm here to tell you a little bit about BLOG LOVIN'! Have you tried it yet?? It is really easy to use and has been by new Google Reader, since the big dreaded change. 

Laura, over at Corkboard Connections, is having a blog hunt to help us find each other again! Go check out all the amazing blogs that have linked up :)


Later gators,


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Monday Made It - Classroom Management

Hi everyone,

I'm joining Tara with another post for Monday Made It!

Today, I'm going to share two fabulous classroom management ideas. I wish I would take credit for both of them but I really can't... When I found them on Pinterest, I gave them both a try with my firsties. What a wonderful life saver they were! They worked like MAGIC :)

The first one is my Pick Me bucket. I used large Popsicle sticks and wrote the kids' name on them. I used to have a bucket with my students' names on them and always used them when I have to pick a random child for something. The different with this NEW "pick me" bucket is the colored dots on the ends of the sticks. I put a blue dot on one end and a red dot on the other end (you can use whatever two colors you want). When I choose a child' name, I want to make sure they do not get picked until every child has had a turn. So I simply turn over their stick and keep picking only the blue dots. When I have no more dots, its time to turn over all the sticks and start again. GENIUS! ;)

The second little trick is my Mystery Walker. This one has saved me so many headaches! There is nothing worse than having to ask your kiddies over and over to "please be quiet in the halls" as we are walking to an assembly or to the library. Well, no more! Now I use our Mystery Walker bucket. Once we are all lined up and ready to leave the classroom, I choose a name from the bucket and put it in my pocket. This is our "mystery walker'. I keep my eyes on this child while we are walking in the hall. If this child has been on his/her best behavior, he/she gets to pick a prize from my treasure box when we get back to class. Of course, my students do not know who this person is so they ALL try to be quiet in case their name has been picked. I know!! BRILLIANT ;)

What tricks do YOU use in your class? Share your ideas in the comment below :)

Later gators,

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