Sunday, June 1, 2014

Teacher Report Cards

At the end of the year, it's sometimes a struggle to find engaging, meaningful activities to keep your students attentive.  Try this...

Each year I have my students complete an end of the year teacher report card for me. It's very simple, and the kids enjoy giving me feedback.  

On an index card, I have my students answer the following three questions:
  1. What did you like about my class?
  2. What do you wish we had done this year?
  3. What do you think I need to do to become a better teacher?

I ask my students to be blatantly honest when answering these questions. I express to them that I really want to know these answers, so I can be the best teacher possible. I also request that they not leave their name (this encourages them to actually write their true feelings). I also explain that you give constructive criticism in a respectful way. :)

So if you're having trouble coming up with a meaningful activity for these last few days of school, have your students let you know how they feel about your class and their honest opinion of how you can be the best teacher.

Smile... Summer isn't too far away!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Writing Tools for Your Classroom

Today I came across some of my favorite classroom writing tools while packing away my office.

My students loved this amazing resource--Flip-To-Learn Revising & Editing Guide from Lakeshore. 

Another favorite was a writing thesaurus that I created for my students to use in the revision stage of their writing. Looking at this today, I was unhappy with the format and the outdated look. 

So I decided to create a new writing thesaurus for my students to use next year. Your students can use it too...just stop by my TpT shop to download this for yourself. Click on the picture below to access this great writing tool.
 Writing Thesaurus

Smile on,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

End of the Year Organization

Is it already that time again?

Yep. It's time to declutter, reorganize, and pack away the teaching tools.

And unfortunately for me, this year I have to put a bit more work into my organizing and packing because I'm moving schools.

Last week I went through my classroom materials and said goodbye to anything that I haven't used in the past two years. I had a ton of teaching supplies that were handed down to me by veteran teachers that I never put to use. I have set aside an area of my room for anything that needs a new home.

Next I went through and cleaned all organizers, threw away anything that wasn't worth keeping (dull tipped highlighters, dry erase markers, broken crayons, etc.), reorganized my classroom library books, and started packing similar items into boxes.

This week my goal is to label all of the boxes and bring them home to store until I can move into my new classroom. It is sure to be a loooooooong week full of packing.

There are only 8 more school days until summer for me. I keep reminding myself that I can do it.

Have fun with your kiddos and keep a smile on your face even through the end of the year clean up and packing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Roll and Write

Do you need a creative high interest writing activity for the end of the year?

My second graders have loved the "Roll and Write" activity in our writing center. This is perfect for all writers--even the reluctant ones!

Click on the preview above to access this creative writing activity in my Teachers pay Teachers store.

Smile on,

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooky Writing

What fun we had today! We started our day off reading poems from Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex. The kids absolutely loved this book.

Following our reading, we had spooky writing time. I browsed Pinterest and teaching blogs last night to get some ideas, and here are my favorite writing story starters that my students used:

My kiddos had a blast writing around the room, in the dark (with lamps lit, of course), all the while listening to spooky music to get them in the mood to write their stories.  

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Projects

We had such a great time creating Mother's Day gifts in my classroom today.

Mrs. Lee-Garcia (the amazing teacher across the hall) was generous enough to share the wonderful "Shrinky Dinks" necklace idea with me.  "Shrinky Dinks" is a shrinkable plastic that can be shaped for various craft projects.  

This stuff is incredible. I first cut the "Shrinky Dink" plastic into about 3 inch diameter circles. My students decorated the circles with messages for their mothers.


Then I placed these creations in the oven (preheated to 325) for about a minute. They shrunk to the size of about a quarter. Tomorrow we will tie a ribbon through the "Shrinky Dink" to create a Mother's Day necklace.


We also made stone picture magnets. Thank you Pinterest for this cute idea! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

100% Club

For the past three years, I have had the 100% Club as a part of my classroom. Though I cannot take credit for its creation (Creator: Mrs. Jennifer Barrett), I am delighted to share this free and motivating tool that I have had the pleasure of using in my classroom. The 100% Club is made up of students who score a 100 on an assignment, or for those students who show 100% effort on their independent work. Each time a student earns a 100 or 100% effort on their independent work, they receive a blank 100 to decorate (see below). Before handing the 100 to my students, I write their name along with the assignment name on the 100. The students use their creativity to decorate their 100. I then hang their 100s around the classroom. By the end of the year, my room is covered with student decorated 100s. This is just a simple, free way to congratulate and recognize my hardworking students. It also adds a bit of color to the room.

Here are a couple of photos of the 100s in my classroom.

Grab a copy of the blank 100 to use in your classroom here.

Hope you enjoy,