Saturday, January 28, 2017

February Favorites

I LOVE celebrating Valentine's Day in the classroom. Even though February is a short month, it can feel quite long! Today I want to show you some of my favorite ideas and goodies from Oriental Trading to make your February awesome!

My kids are OBSESSED with our new Valentine Spinner! I set it up while my kiddos were at specials one day, and they came back and had all sorts of questions! I left them hanging for a few days before I finally one friend give it a big spin.
A video posted by @simplycreativeteaching on
We have a jar of gems (drops in the bucket) that we use as a whole class incentive. Many times I'll just call on a friend to go put a certain number of drops in the bucket, but now... we SPIN THE WHEEL to figure out how many drops to put in the bucket! We go all out with drum rolls and cheering -- the kids LOVE it! I'm thinking of making it into a math center, too. The possibilities are endless!

I'm also excited to make these adorable Owl Valentine Card Holders! They come in easy, sticker foam kits for the kids to put together. I think they're perfect for 1st-3rd graders! Oriental Trading also has a ton of other card holders besides owls like sharks and unicorns and puppies! I mean... HOW CUTE!?!?! You can find even more crafts here!
My final set of goodies I received are these adorable Valentine ID badge holders! I got enough for each of my kiddos to have one, and I think I'm going to make a little card to put in them that says, "My teachers loves me!" or something equally as cute. Who knows?! There are so many possibilities!

What are your favorites for February? Check out Oriental Trading's Valentine page for all of the goodies shown here!

*I was provided these products from Oriental Trading for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are mine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Transition Superstars

Do you ever feel like it takes your kids FIVE BILLION YEARS to clean up and transition to whatever is next on your agenda? This year, my class is having the hardest time!

They've really been struggling with transitions when we're cleaning up math and literacy centers. Usually we have choice time during the last 15 minutes of our Fridays, but last week... NOPE. My class "cleaned up" math centers for their entire choice time. Natural consequences? I guess so. But I knew I HAD to implement something a bit more intensive for this little group.

I always call my kids my SUPERSTARS whenever I catch them doing something awesome (even the little things). When we've had class meetings to discuss how to effectively transition, I've had to tell my kids that I know they CAN BE superstars, but they don't always show it. So last night I decided that I wanted them to show me that they can be TRANSITION SUPERSTARS!
It's pretty simple. I made cards for every letter in Transition Superstars. That's 20 total letters, but considering how many transitions we have in a school day, we can earn multiple letters in just one day. I also set a timer on the board for transitions so that students know exactly when I expect them to be finished. Once we spell it all out, we will earn an extra 15 minutes of recess or choice time.

That's it. Nothing too crazy, but a simple incentive to help us. Download your free copy by clicking the picture below!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Easy Snowflake Ornaments

I always love getting creative with my students, and they LOVE making ornaments. This year, I wanted to make sure we made something that really showcased each child's unique, creative personality. I'm just not a fan of the foam/sticker cookie cutter ornaments that all look the same.

This year I decided to pull out that giant box of popsicle sticks I had in my cabinet and make snowflakes. This was a pretty easy project, but we worked on them two separate days. On the first day we just glued the popsicle sticks together. I wanted to make sure they didn't fall apart! This also gave me time to go to Hobby Lobby and buy some new glitter.
I went into the store for 2 colors and came out with all of this... oops!
On the second day we used all of the fun glitter glue bottles and got a little messy! We had SO much fun, and the snowflakes turned out SO CUTE!! I love how each one is totally different!
The only part that really required adult work was hot gluing string to the back... and I had a volunteer do that part!

What easy ornaments do you make with your students?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Classroom Cornucopia of Freebies

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving? This year I am having a virtual Thanksgiving Potluck with some of my teacher besties! We have so much to be thankful for, and we wanted share our blessing with you!
We created a FREE Classroom Cornucopia of our best selling resources! These are some of our favorite classroom creations that can be used throughout the year. Here's a taste of everything we shared in our Cornucopia...

Emily from Polka Dots Please shared a Tooth Word Bank that can be used for writing folders, anchor charts, or a creative writing center. There are pictures to match every word so little writers feel inspired and supported! (This is a BONUS word bank that is not included in the original set!)


Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins shared Winter Main Idea Passages. These main idea passages are designed for the winter months and help your students understand and practice telling the main idea and supporting details from a short passage. They are consistent, easy to use, and require no prep!

Jessica from Mrs. Stanford's Class shared Post It Note Reminders! These easy to use sticky note reminders are a great way to keep notes home consistent in your classroom. All you need to do is print the template, stick the post its, and print again. Have them stocked up in your drawer for your next writing checklist! Parents and students will love the consistency these checklists can bring to your classroom! Teachers will love the convenience! 

Katie from Simply Creative Teaching shared Place Value Exit Slips from her Math Exit Slips for every Common Core math standard! You can grab exit slips for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade! They are designed to be completed in 5 minutes or less and there are 4 to a page for quick and easy printing. 
Kelly from Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten shared Kindergarten Reading Comprehension Stories that are so much fun for emergent readers! Students read a text with CVC words and sight words while using the tracking dots to point to the words as they read. Students color a star or symbol at the top of the page each time they read. Four comprehension questions are included (multiple choice and fill in the blank). Additional practice is included on the bottom of the page with CVC words or seasonal vocabulary.

Diane from One Giggle At a Time shared her best selling Joke of the Day Set! It's her favorite part of every school day, and it has been rated by her firsties on the Top Ten List of Bests in her classroom for years! Every day of the school year, her class starts the day with a joke, a fact, and a question to ponder together. It is a great way to join together to share some giggles, some deep thinking, and a little each other. Joke of The Day set includes daily cards that can be printed out or a Smartboard version that can be displayed on the screen each morning as the students come in. 
Amber from A Smiling Teacher shared Editable Sight Word Lists! 
They make it easy for teachers to differentiate sight word and spelling practice while giving your students choice! The pack includes 15 word work activities that require little to no prep and can be used with any spelling or sight word list! Students loves the variety of choices and teachers love that students are working on words that are just right for them! EDITABLE word lists are included and make it easy to personalize learning! 
Elyse from A is for Apples shared differentiated reading logs! They are the perfect way to hold students and parents accountable for reading at home while also making it fun! Students color in a picture every time they read a book, and you can choose from over 20 recording pages to meet the needs of all your learners!
Gina from Teaching with Heart shared Work on Writing. You can easily create ENGAGING and MEANINGFUL writing center activities for your kindergarteners or first graders! The pack includes lots of activities so you and differentiate and scaffold to meet the needs of your students!
We are so thankful this year and happy to share our Classroom Cornucopia with you! You can download the whole 43 page pack here or click on the picture below! Happy Thanksgiving Friends!