Sunday, October 19, 2014

Need a Quick and Easy Teacher Halloween Costume? Be a Super Teacher!

It's my favorite month and it's already October 20th!  Gah!

One of the good things about having a new job (I should probably write a blog post about that) is that I can recycle all of my old costumes and they're NEW.  Sweet!
If you're needing something easy, yet new, check out my Super Teacher freebie patterns.  You can use them with some iron on paper (buy at Target or Amazon) to make your own Super Teacher tee.  Then, just pair with shorts/jeans/running skirt/fancy mesh tutu/cape and you're ready to go.  If you want a fancy belt like the ones above Amazon has cheap ones here.
If you want to be really low maintenance and not mess with an iron, then print the Super Teacher pattern on an 8.5x11 sheet of sticky label paper, peel, stick and you're ready to go.  Quick and easy.  :)  If your year is going anything like mine (note lack of blog posts), quick and easy might just be the way to go!

And . . . bonus!  Come February- glue 100 beads to your Super Teacher shirt and you're ready for Hundreds Day.  Confession: I might be getting lazy in my old teacher age.  Although at least I made sure my beads color coordinated with the Super Tee.  :)

Happy Halloween,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Please Donate to Help Sweet Baby Kate - Two Amazing Teaching Product Bundles

Just a few weeks ago some of our close high school friends got the news that their sweet 7 month old daughter, Kate, has leukemia.  Our friends live more than an hour away from the hospital this little sweetie is receiving treatment at and would love to be able to rent an apartment to be able to be closer to their little one while she's in the hospital.  Some amazing TpT friends have agreed to pitch in and we've created some amazing teaching material bundles for you in exchange for a $15 donation for Kate.  All proceeds from the Sweet Baby Kate bundles will go directly to Kate and her family through youcaring.com to help out with their current and upcoming medical expenses.

So many amazing TpT sellers wanted to help out that we have TWO fantastic bundles.  One is geared toward K-2 classrooms and the other is perfect for 3-5.  Check them out below.  If you would like to donate and receive a bundle you have two choices.  
Option #1: Click above to donate through PayPal.  Then, e-mail me at katiebaxsmith@gmail.com with your PayPal name and I will e-mail you the bundle of your choice.  Please let me know which bundle you would like (K-2 or 3-6).
or 
Option #2: Purchase one of the bundles through my store at Teachers Pay Teachers. (With this option a small percentage will be taken out of the $15 donation for TpT operating costs, but I'll do my best to make up the moolah).
Included with the K-2 Bundle:
$10 Credit to Mrs. Hildebrand's Store
Addition and Subtraction Around the Room Activity from I Want to be a Super Teacher
All About Apples Back to School Activities from Mrs. Thompson's Treasures
Birthday Cupcakes with Editable Name Pages from Andrea's Artifacts
Eight Mathematical Practices for Little Kids Poster Set from Rainbow City Learning
First & Second Grade Common Core Writing Task Cards from The First Grade Flair
First Grade Writing Curriculum Unit 1 from Ms Lilypad
Ice Breaker: Back to School "Find Someone Who" Games from K's Kreations
Kindergarten September Math Journal-Common Core from Cahill's Creations
Sentence Detectives - Kindergarten Sentence Worksheets from Kindermolly
SHAPES - Flashcards, Wall Display, Big Book, Worksheets, Word Wall Words from Yay For PreK
Sight Word Card Game Bundle of First 100 Words from Melissa Soeltz
Superhero Math Posters from Bilingual Bookworm
Word Wall Brick Factory from Technology Integration Depot
Included with the 3-6 Bundle:
$10 Credit to Mrs. Hildebrand's Store
If you would like to know more about baby Kate or would like to donate directly, click here or on the Donate button above.  She is a love and her family is so deserving of kindness and positive thoughts.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Show Us What You Bought Linky - My Back to School Buys

I'm beyond thrilled that I actually know what I'll be doing next year (more info on that in a later post) and could do some serious shopping at the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale.  There's a super fun linky over at Blog Hoppin' where tons of bloggers are sharing what they bought.  There's some amazing stuff out there!
Tonight is the last night to stock up while getting unbelievable discounts, so check out these fantastic items I purchased and hop on over to TpT!  The amount of time and effort that went into each of the products I purchased today is mind boggling!  Not only is the work of these amazing educators saving me tons of time, but they are also helping every one of my students, all while making me look good.  Teachers are the BEST!!!
I'm super excited about this Reader's Notebook bundle!  Not only are there TONS of graphic organizers included, but there are also differentiated versions of the same response sheets, plus I love his style.  The layout of the pages and the graphics are modern and clean. LOVE!
I've been eyeing these morning work books for a LONG time, but never taken the leap from stalker to buyer.  I finally did today!  These look amazing for spiral review and the ENTIRE year is included.
Ideas by Jivey is quite a fabulous little product creator!  I love her ideas for teaching with authentic texts.  I bought her reading and writing units, along with her mentor sentences pack (a whole year of resources!) and am so excited to use them this year!  I only wish I'd thought of this idea first because it's a FANTASTIC one!

Those are my very exciting purchases!

I just finished the August Homework Menu Pack and added it to the Super Homework Pack and am crazy excited about these products!  I spent the entire 2013-14 school year working solely on homework menu products and now I'm DONE!  Check them out if you're interested in starting a differentiated homework system, adding items to your already awesome system, or if you are interested in printables to use as homework and for classroom mini-lessons. There are a TON of printables in there and everything is zero prep for you!  

Happy shopping!  The best thing about shopping at TpT is I never have buyer's remorse. Amazing teachers deserve all the moolah we can give them!  :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back to School Writing Activity - Stones in the River

I just had an interview at a school I'm super excited about today (Yay!), and they so nicely said they had stalked this blog (Hooray!), but I have been a horrible blog mom and not updated since June (Gah!) and then I felt a little loser-esque for neglecting said blog.

I have so many things to blog about - interviewing, back to school, science, writing - and I've been a slacker. I did make my Pinterest boards cohesive though, so that's something.

Until I find out if I got the job I figure I shouldn't blog about interviewing - Why would one listen to my advice about interviewing until I've honed my interviewing skills enough to get the very exciting job I'm hoping for?  So that post will come later (I hope!).

For now here's a little something I know a lot about - Writing!  I love it so.
This activity is called Stones in the River.  It's perfect for the beginning of the year because it's all about brainstorming ideas, even though the kids don't know that yet.  It's a resource we come back to over and over again when we're stuck for writing ideas, or to add to as we think of more.  If I ever hear "I don't have anything to write about.", my automatic response is "Go to your river.", and then "Have you gone to your river?", and then "Why don't you add some things to your river?"  

During the first week of school I do this activity step-by-step with the kids.  I show them rivers I've created in the past and let them know that if they are dying to put color on their river, they can when we finish making as many stones as possible.
Stones in the River Step by Step:
1. Get a long piece of art paper
2. Draw your river with 2 lines (straight, curvy, jagged, whatever) as far apart on the paper as possible.
3. Think of any people that you know who are important to you.  Every one of these people will be a stone in your river.  For every person you can think of write their name and then draw a circle or oval around it. These are now the first stones in your river.
4. Think of any places where you've spent a lot of time, places you have visited or want to visit.  Every place you can think of will be a stone in your river.  These don't have to be theme parks or vacation destinations; they can be your bedroom or the playground.  You definitely spend a lot of time there! Write the place and put any kind of circle around it you want.  These are now stones in your river.
5. Think of any things or events that are important to you.  Things can be animals, foods, or even colors.  Events can be holidays, special occasions, or memories.  These are now stones in your river too!  Look how crazy full your river is getting!
6. Write your name on your river!  That way when we find it on the floor, we can bring it right back to you. We wouldn't want you to lose something so special.  :)

Students can color their rivers or continue adding to them.  I always remind them to keep extra space in their river because they will definitely want to add people, places, things, and events as our year together continues.  They fold these up, put them in their writer's notebook, and use them whenever they're stuck for ideas.

Follow-up mini lessons with our rivers include:
How you can use your river to spark an idea for writing
Genre switch - using a river idea to write pieces in multiple genres (a poem AND a narrative about your cat)
Adding on to your river when you think of new ideas

Happy back to school!  Enjoy the rest of August!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Need an easy end of year tradition? Wonka Week!

Our last weeks (we finish up with kiddos June 6th) have been so busy that I didn't have the time for Camp Coyote.  Instead, I pulled out the tried and true Wonka Week.  If you're still in school and need a little something to motivate those little ones, this might do the trick.  If you're already out (summer!!!) then put this in your little bag-o-tricks for another year. Here's a few things we did for Wonka Week.
Wonka Tickets
Throughout Wonka week(s) these are the new incentives for student behavior.  All students who receive a Wonka ticket get to draw from the candy bar jar at the end of the day.  If their candy bar is one of the lucky Golden Ticket Winners then they get one of the BIG prizes.
For maximum effect put out the candy bars and prizes a day or two before you introduce the Wonka tickets. My little second graders' curiosity was piqued after an hour looking at the candy.  The cool candy jar our PTO gave us for Teacher Appreciation Week didn't hurt either.  Way better than a glass bowl.
If you're interested in a little Wonka motivation you can get free copies of the golden tickets I use here.  Then all you need to do is print these out and do a little candy bar finagling (see my finagling steps pictured below). 


Wonka Factories
How cute are these?  For math we worked on creating our own Wonka Factory floors. Students get a letter from Willy Wonka asking them to design a new floor for his factory. They have rooms they have to include and then get to add rooms of their choice with any left over area.  Here are the results.  I always love hearing them talk about their ideas for candy rooms.  Jelly bean fountain!  Cotton candy island!  :)
Wonka Science
Tons of fun and easy science experiments can be centered around candy:
Which candy bars will sink when put in water? Which will float?
What will happen when a Gobstopper is put in water? soda? juice? vinegar?
What will happen when you put Skittles in water? (The S floats!)
Of course we had to do a little movie watching as well - gotta love that Gene Wilder.  I think I love this movie even more as an adult than I did as a kid.  Classic!    
Happy end of the year!  I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

It's May!  Another school year has flown by and Teacher Appreciation Week is over.  How did that happen?!  I've had pictures from last year's Teacher Appreciation that I've been waiting to post and I'm not going to wait another year just because I'm lame and didn't do this last Sunday.  :)

I pretty much LOVED the door decoration my room mom did for appreciation week last year.  I'm a tad bit (understatement!) of a coffee fan, so this door was perfect for me.  All the kids had their own cup and they even made one for Lily too!
The PTA also had each student bring in a flower and our room moms put these together to make amazing bouquets.  I love flowers!  I know they don't last, but I love having them in my classroom!
 
This year one of our amazing moms was in charge of the entire week and was so thoughtful!  Check out these very kind gifts!  The sweet book was full of students' writing about what they liked about their teachers.  Mine is now sitting on my coffee table.  Priceless!  :)
 Happy end of teacher appreciation week to all!  I hope you're enjoying the end of the school year!
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