Before and After Halloween

I LOVE Halloween. I am THO THAD that I am off-track for Halloween each year.  Don't worry, folks... we still do a Halloween theme before we go off track in mid-October.  So, this means that I have to start thinking about Halloween ASAP so I can have everything ready to go.

I've been using my Halloween pack for years!  I pretty much do every activity in the pack (and this is not the case with all of my packs).  It goes great with the Common Core!

 This unit integrates Halloween into math, literacy, and art! Differentiated for
 Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grades (with B/W options available).

Over 100 pages including:
Scoop and Sort Place Value
Problem Solving
October Battleship
Place Value Game
Bat Writing
Spider Writing
Spelling Game
Q-Tip Skeleton
Paper Plate Spider with Writing
Paper Plate Scarecrow
Hand Print Spider with Poem
Spider Web Chart
Don't Munch the Mummy! (sight word game)
Reading Response Activity
Interactive read-a-loud
Original Poem
Green Witch, Green Witch book 
Student Mini-Book
Class Book
Word Search

In this unit you will get:
Math Centers
Problem Solving
October Battleship
Place Value

Writing Centers
Spelling Centers

5 Art ideas
Q-Tip Skeleton
Paper Plate Spider
Paper Plate Scarecrow
Hand Print Spider

Spider Web Chart and Writing
Bat Web Chart and Writing
Don't Munch the Mummy! (Sight Word Game)

Reading Response
Interactive read-a-loud
Green Witch, Green Witch book 
Student mini-book
Class Book

I am also going to be subbing (that's the great thing about year-round, you can sub when you're off track and make some extra money) on the day after Halloween and I want to do this with the class!

This will be a quick, fun drawing activity. Then, we'll share our pages in small groups because you know your students are dying to talk about what they did the night before.  

I'm loving the Hello Fonts, Moffatt Frames and KPM Doodles!

I just wanted to quickly share my behavior management tip that I posted about last year!

During the day, if a student is following the rules and expectations, 
they will get the pumpkin on their desk.

I move the pumpkin all around on different students' desks all day.  If you are working nicely, you'll probably see the pumpkin once, maybe even twice on your desk! You can't play with him or touch him, but if you are the very last person to have the pumpkin on your desk at the end of the day..... YOU GET THE "PUMPKIN PRESENT" that is inside of the pumpkin!  I like to put pencils, or stickers, or maybe silly bands! *If you have lots of kiddos in your class...send around 2 pumpkins!

Check back this week for non-Halloween, 
but super fun October ideas!!!!!

An Apology, an Update, and a Freebie!

Seriously, people. I'm SO SORRY! I have been MIA because well... I'm completely overwhelmed with life. Between my ESL Endorsement, presenting for SDE this winter, my bestie getting married, trying to work out 4-5 times a week, catching a cold, updating some TpT products, teaching 1st grade, AND fitting some family time in there.... I'm T-I-R-E-D!

Here I am (far left) with my best friend at her wedding, and another great friend of mine on the right:

And now to my update!  I've updated my #1 product in my store, Being a Guided Reading Wizard!  I loved making this pack 2 years ago. Today, I gave it a much-needed facelift (my favorite is the new digraph posters I made with Melonheadz clipart).

Check it out {here}!

Here's your freebie:

Teacher Mamas!

Dear Teacher-Mamas,

I know life as a teacher-mama is tough work. I know you come home from school completely exhausted, but still somehow manage to find the energy to make dinner for your family, play with your kids, take them to piano lessons and soccer practice, help them with their own homework, put them in the tub, do the whole bedtime routine, and then kiss your kids goodnight. I know that on Monday and Tuesday this job doesn't seems so hard, but by Thursday and Friday, you can hardly keep your eyes open through dinner.

This post is dedicated to all the mamas (and daddies...) in the world who have to juggle two very important jobs: teaching your 20-30+ students and loving your own little darlings.

I send my love to everyone who has ever done any of the following:
  • Woken up long before the sun comes up to get yourself and your kids ready and out the door, and still managed to make it to work on time.
  • Waited until the kids are all in bed before you start grading the math assessments.
  • Dropped crying and screaming kids off at the daycare provider.
  • Was awoken at 4 am due to a sick child and immediately got to work writing sub plans so you could spend the day at home.
  • Ever had a sitter bail on you last minute and ended up taking your kids to work with you until you could find someone to come pick them up.

And some extra special love goes out to all the pregnant mamas who have ever:
  • Thrown up in a school garbage can at work. (Bonus points if you've ever done this in front of your students.)
  • Taught a full day during the worst bought of morning sickness. 
  • Scheduled all your doctor appointments on school holidays or after 4 pm.
  • Spent the whole day on your feet teaching ON (or after) your due date! 
  • Had your water break AT school.
  • Had to leave your brand new baby for the first time after returning from maternity leave. (Worst feeling ever!)
  • Hid in a closet during recess and/or lunch while pumping. 

And I'm sending ALL my thoughts, prayers, and love to anyone who has ever:
  • Dealt with any sort of infertility issues.
  • Gone through a miscarriage. 
  • Had to bury a child.
  • Dealt with sorrow and grief in any form while putting on a happy face in front of your students. 

The biggest reason I wanted to write this post is just to say THANK YOU! Your administration might not always appreciate you, your teammates might not have a clue about the heartache you're going through, the parents of your students might not always be understanding... but I, for one, am so thankful for the sacrifices that you all make on a daily basis.

Teaching is by far the greatest profession. Keep up the great work!

Love Always,
-What the Teacher Wants

CCSS Math and ELA Data Checklists for K-6

We've completed all of the data checklists for K-6!! 

Just enter in each student's name and start recording your data. (There are multiple ways to record and we have provided some examples for you, but really you can do it however you want).

Some of you have asked if this goes well with our Common Core Galore Checklists and the answer is YES! I use BOTH every day!  These checklists are used for my gradebook and the CC Galore checklists are used to keep track of when I teach what. 

These are perfect for report cards, RtI, data for PLCs, or to give you detailed information for your small group work.

Kindergarten Checklist:

1st Grade Checklist:
1st Grade Combined ELA and Math Data Checklist

2nd Grade Checklist:
2nd Grade Combined ELA and Math Data Checklists

3rd Grade Checklist:

4th Grade Checklist:

5th Grade Checklist:

Each download contains:
-Common Core data checklists for math 
-Common Core data checklists for ELA
-Examples on how to record your data
-Binder covers to help you stay organized

The best part about these checklists is that they are editable! You will be able to enter your students' names on the first document, and it will automatically fill in their names on EVERY page! 

If you would like to purchase the ELA or MATH checklists separately, you can find them here:

We also have CCSS Checklists
We also have checklists available! These make it so you can "check off" things as you teach them so you can track what/when you've taught.

Click each picture to check them out!




Here's an example of how these checklists can help you organize and teach the Common Core:

The Handwriting House

I teach my students each year about the "Handwriting House".  All of the letters have a special place in the house. I teach them this little poem:

Then, I print the cards on cardstock and send them home as bookmarks! They even like to teach their parents a thing or two about handwriting. Perhaps I should share this with my husband?

No, we are not learning our ABC's in 1st grade, but we ARE learning how to properly form our letters.  I am very strict with my students with handwriting starting on day 1. It helps them make it a habit. If I can't read their writing, we will both struggle all year!  They end up feeling so proud about their handwriting. Of course the Handwriting Fairy helps, too. ;)

You can download the poster and bookmark {here}.

For more handwriting ideas you can click {here} and scroll down past this post and you'll see tons of other ideas. 

How do you teach handwriting?

Classroom Tour! {Compter Lab - Rainbow Themed}

I'm so excited to finally share my new classroom with ya'll. 

This year I made a big jump from being a 5th grade teacher (for the past 7 years!) to being my school's computer specialty teacher. I miss my 5th graders a TON, but I am also loving my new adventure in the computer lab!

I'm not sure how many other teachers decorate their computer lab, but I wanted to transform my old (I went to elementary school here!) looking classroom into a bright and happy place! I chose to do a rainbow theme and am pretty happy with the way everything has turned out.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my new room/lab:
View from the outside looking in.

Another little peek inside. 

My biggest {and hardest} project was making this giant rainbow. This wall was covered with old {ugly} orange carpet and I knew that I wanted to hide it. I used about 12 yards of bright blue fabric and covered the entire wall. Then, I had to figure out a way to make a giant rainbow. My first thought was to use fabric, but I decided to go with a cheaper option and used plastic table cloths from the party store. They were easy to cut in the paper slicer so I could make sure they were cut evenly. The hardest part was hanging them. You can see that I made a little ruffle by folding the plastic under a little bit and then I stapled it down every few inches. 
Another view of the rainbow. I know it's not perfect, but I really love how bright and colorful it makes my room look!  I used white plastic table cloths for the clouds at the bottom and styrofoam poster boards for the clouds on the sides. The sun is made out of a big piece of cardboard that I painted yellow and drew a smilie face on.

A view of the front of my room. I made the pennant banner in the front of the room by cutting out colorful scrapbook pages using my Silhouette Cameo and then I strung it together using tulle. You can also see some tissue paper pom poms that my awesome sister-in-law helped me make!

These awesome posters came from Hope King's 'Desire to Inspire' pack. They are perfect! I told my students that they are not rules, but more of classroom habits and expectations.

This is the view of the other side of my room. The bulletin board in the back says 'Keyboarding Klub' and that's were I'm going to celebrate students who reach keyboarding benchmarks. I'm hoping to be able to take pictures of the kids when they meet their grade level benchmarks and post them on the board as a way to motivate others to improve their typing skills as well.

Here you can see more of Hope's 'Desire to Inspire' pack. It makes a super cute bulletin board and I love the motivational sayings! 

You can't see it very well in the above picture, but I also made some rainbow quotes for my room. I have one framed on top of my filing cabinet. Feel free to grab your FREE copy in my TPT store!

I chose to put this saying over my door so students can see it as they leave. I want them to know that even though they might be having a bad day, they are in control of their own attitude and they can make it a  'fabulous' day by thinking positively. (I cut out these letters using my Silhouette Cameo.)

Here's a close-up of my colorful rainbow wreath. I used a wire wreath mold and tied lots {and lots!} of fabric and ribbon all the way around it. I think it looks great hanging on my door.

I wanted to include this picture to show off the curtains that I made. I am NOT a sewer, and in fact, I HATE sewing. My teammates helped me get started on the measuring, hemming, and sewing, and then I was able to finish them up at home. They are not perfect and my sewing is not exactly straight, but I am proud that I was able to finish them! 

I made this little fake floral arrangement to sit by my teacher computer. 

Here's a look at my "teacher shelves" behind my teacher computer. I got the colorful frames at Hobby Lobby and put some pictures of my adorable family in them. On the shelves, I'm also displaying some of my favorite little teacher gifts I've gotten from students over the years.

Here's my 'ABC of Computers' wall. I bought these off of TPT from Elementary Techie Teacher and mounted them on colored card stock. All the words have something to do with computers/technology. 

Last thing before I go. Here's a pic of the behavior system my team will be using this year. It's soccer themed, so when students can't control their behavior (and after a polite verbal warning) they'll have to fill out a yellow card. If they are still making wrong choices, they'll move up to a red card. I also have some MVP awards that I can give to students who have excellent behavior in class. 

{If you're interested, I'm selling these printables for $1.95 in my TPT store, or you could easily make something similar to use in your own classroom.}

Well, that's about all. I hope you enjoyed seeing my new room!
Are you impressed with my crafty skills? 
Do you like the rainbow theme?
I'd love to hear what you think! 
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