Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Basket Filled with Tricks - Keeping Students Engaged!

Hello Everyone, 
I hope you are all enjoying your day so far! I just wanted to write up a quick post about some things I use in my classroom to keep students engaged! There are thousands upon thousands of fun ways to get the kiddies motivated and I can't wait to share more with you, but these were the only things I actually had at home! The rest is all back at school (so more of these fun posts to come in the near future)! 

The number one thing that keeps my kiddies motivated, every year, is movement. Especially my little active boys, who can't sit still! There are so many variations of brain breaks out there, from YouTube videos, to task cards, to actual mini-workouts for kids! I love all of these fun options! They are great ways to give the kiddies a break and get them back on the right track. 

This is my all time favorite video! My colleague introduced it to me and the kids can't get enough of it. In fact, I GO BANANAS too! It's so much fun!

This dude is a riot!

There are also fun ways to incorporate movement during academic lessons! 
Here are some of the fun "PROPS" we use to have fun!

1. Clipboards

Oh, how kids love clipboards. We usually use them for Read/Write the room or taking surveys, but last year, I have to say, I just handed them out for random activities. 
All of a sudden Ms. Nicole was like, 
"Today, we are going to review subtraction. Grab a clipboard and get started!" You can pick them up at any Dollar Store and they last forever! I also love how serious and official the kiddies look when carrying them around! 

2. Magnifying Glasses

When people ask me what I would do if I hadn't chosen the best professional in the world, I answer: A Detective. AND... I'm kinda serious! I love that stuff! Guess what! So do the students! I use magnifying glasses all the time, especially during centers. The easiest way is to use teeny, tiny fonts! One fun activity is to type your theme words in a small font and have students use the magnifying glasses to decipher the words. You can also hide words in a picture and have them search for them. 

3. Binoculars

What better way to go searching for words, than using binoculars. A colleague sent some over for me and the kiddies just love it! They go on little missions and find as many words as they can! I usually give them some instructions (find words with the "bl" blend or "s" sound). 

4. Funny Glasses

My students always want to go to the reading corner. They love to read and what's more, they love to wear funny glasses while doing it! The Dollar Store tends to have a great selection and I also have a giant clown pair that I use when applying band-aids! Basically, it goes like this. They come crying and I take out my giant glasses and say: "MMMMMM, let me see if I can find your cut!" This seems to stop the crying right away and put a big smile on their faces!

5. Stamps

Now, I know how we don't like messes. TRUST ME, I know! I'm the queen of OCD and a class full of 7 year olds often puts me in what I call "AHHHHH!" situations! I do, however, get out of my cleanliness comfort zone because I love the kiddos and well, trust me it's all worth it! PLUS, once you train them, they get pretty good at keeping things clean and organized. Stamps are fun because the kiddies just love them. We use them to stamp words and we even use them in math to stamp out answers or patterns. Of course, I do not suggest giving all 24 kids stamps at once!
I would probably faint!

6. Highlighters & Pointers

Nothing like spicing up a shared reading lesson with some funny pointers and highlighters. The students love to use "Witchy Fingers" and other pointers when reading along. They also love to highlight important words in the text. I usually have them highlight theme words or even words with the sounds we are working on at that time.

All of these "PROPS" can be found at the Dollar Store and are quite inexpensive. 
Simply put, they are quick and fun ways to spruce up learning!

Be sure to check out some of my Back to School Packs on TpT!

I'll be blogging all about the fun we had last year, with my Students in Disguise Pack!

Until next time...

Friday, 18 July 2014

Five for Friday

Hey Everyone,
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday Fun!

1. Missing Vegas!

I spent last week in Sin City with my two very best friends and thousands of other amazing teachers!
Learned a lot and had loads of fun! 

You might recognize my friend Valerie from All Students Can Shine 
and my friend Leslie from First Grade Frenzy.

2. Back to Fitness!

A week away means that I didn't make it to my regular gym appointments nor did I hang out with my good pal Shaun T. I just started the Beta calendar for T25 and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! 
Love how this guy keeps me in shape!!!

Learn more about T25 HERE!

3. Swiping the Card!

As the end of July approaches, the Back to School merchandise makes its appearance and I can't help but shop, shop, shop! Here are just a few things I picked up at Target yesterday! YES, I LOOOVE Summer, but I think I might like school supplies more!!! 
Is there a group I can join... 
I may be in need of some help... 

4. A Little "MOI" Time!

I love to read! During the school year I probably read one book a month, but in the Summer I go through one every few days! I love to read all styles and genres and am currently into a little "horror" phase! I also love fitness magazines and my guilty pleasure is US Weekly! I also love beauty and fashion blogs, and of course anything education related!

5. Getting my TpT On!

I have spent the last few Summers abroad (which was amazing) and found myself running around all year trying to catch up. This year I am spending my vacation in my beautiful city (Montreal) and am getting a little head start on some work! 

Here are a few of my Back to School Packs!


My Back to School Bundle includes a Writing Prompts Pack, a Comprehension Coloring Pack, a Phonics Pack, a Word Search Pack, a Craftivity, and an Interactive Read Aloud. Each of the packs can also be purchases individually. 

Last year we had a BLAST with my Students in Disguise Pack

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Viva Las Vegas!

WEll, Hello Everyone and Happy Summer!

I am so excited to tell you all about Vegas! We had so much fun, learned insane amounts of information, and met great friends! First off, can I just say, it's always amazing when you get to go to Las Vegas with your two very best friends in the whole wide world. And it's even better when they are teachers and bloggers too! It's so great to have people around me who understand the importance of this cyber world. It is amazing how much I learn from each of you everyday and how much of a better teacher I am because of TpT and blogging! 

So here we are, my besties and I!
You might recognize Valerie from All Students can Shine and Leslie from First Grade Frenzy
Yep, they are my closest friends... I'm THAT Cool!

I love these girls to pieces and am so blessed to have them in my life! 

Of course, we didn't just stick to each other like glue! 
We met all kinds of amazing and inspiring people!

We met the lovely Sarah from Permanently Primary, as well as the hilarious and resourceful Kim from KinderGals, and the sweet Corrina from Surfin' Through Second

We also had the pleasure of meeting the amazing and inspiring Cara from The First Grade Parade, as well as the sweet Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants, and OMG!!!! Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class and Paul from Teachers Pay Teachers. Their keynote speeches were touching and from the heart. What truly genuine and inspiring people.

Of course, the Freebielicious booth was not to be missed! Here we are posing in some of our finest with the lovely Kassie from Mrs. Hoffer's Spot.

We had so much fun and had four full days of learning. I just began my Summer Vacation and can't wait to get back in the class to apply all that I have learned! WOW! 

You'll never believe this but 4 out 5 days we did not see daylight! 
On that fifth day, we went ALL OUT!

Here we are at the Grand Canyon!

I'm not sure how, but they got me in a helicopter... I must say I wasn't as nervous as I anticipated being but I'll tell you this, motion sickness transfers to helicopters too! Spent the whole ride back with my eyes closed and my head in my lap!!! It was well worth it though! 

We also relived our youth at a Motown Show. I love Motown, I remember my parents playing it all day long. Such great music and sweet, sweet messages.

Didn't hurt that they were pretty darn cute and from Australia too! 

To sum it up, not much sleep, not much daylight, but lots of laughs, learning, and amazing memories!

Until next time...

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Camping at School

Hello All, 
I am totally loving the Spring weather that has finally made its way to Montreal! I'm also a little nervous and excited about tonight's game! Go HABS Go!!!!!!

 I know many of you are almost on Summer Vacation and thought I'd share a really fun "field trip" that we took last year. It was a great way to end the year and the kiddies had a BLAST! The teachers had a blast too, although we did need quite a few days to recover! 

All this because, we decided to camp at school, OVERNIGHT! 

It all began with a fun camping unit. We made campers and learned about all of the things that you need, to have a good experience in the great outdoors. 

We had so much fun and the students were really excited to hear about our overnight camping trip! 

They came in around 6pm and we served them dinner. Then, we separated the group in four and had stations: scavenger hunt, 5 minute brownies in a mug, a camper craft, and outside games. 

Finally, we all convened in the gym for some camp songs and a "fire." It was great! The students who did not want to sleep over got to leave and our little campers went outside with their flashlights (the highlight of the evening for most). The students had their sleeping bags set up in the gym and watched Harry and the Hendersons.  Of course, let's not forget the S'MORES! 
Oh, and the fact that they didn't do very much sleeping!

It was an absolute blast and we could not have done it without some AMAZING volunteers! 

 Since we had found Bigfoot prints during our scavenger hunt, we decided to study him a little further. The week following our campout was dedicated to the one and only and we had so much fun!

This had to have been one of my favorite units! We really, truly, had the BEST time! 
All of my camping packs have been updated!

Check them out!

They are also available as a bundle!

Until next time...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Don't Bother Me Hat!

Good Morning Everyone, 
I'm so excited to link up (AGAIN) with some F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S bloggers in yet another amazing Bright Ideas Blog Hop! 

This is such a great way to get, well, BRIGHT ideas!

This month's BRIGHT idea is one that I use all year round. It is also a great tool to use in any classroom and at any grade level.

I call it: My Don't Bother Me Hat!

It is a quick and easy way to inform your students that you are busy and cannot answer their questions at the moment. I often use it when working one-on-one with students. It's always nice to have the least amount of interruptions when reading with or assessing a student. 

It is simple, just wear the hat anytime you wish to be undisturbed and point to it each time a student "forgets" and comes up to you with a question. This way, you do not need to speak and disrupt your one-on-one lesson.

It takes a few "training" sessions to get your students accustomed to the practice. It is expected that students will need some time to adjust to the fact that they cannot come to you at any given time for any given reason! Once they are familiar with the Don't Bother Me Hat, it is a wonderful, and well quite snazzy (if you ask me!), little trick.

The sillier you look, the better. For some reason, they just take it more seriously that way!

I hope you enjoyed this BRIGHT idea! Please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram, and my Teacher Store.

For more bright ideas from over 130 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Until next time...