Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beating the Bulletin Board Blues 2: Make 'Em POP!


Welcome back to another Bright Ideas Blog Hop!


Last month I shared some time-saving tips for hanging 
and storing your back to school bulletin boards in 

This time I'm back for part 2 with some fun ideas for making them POP!

Fancy up your boards with butcher paper! It's bright, 
 easy to work with, and readily available!



There are so many fun fonts out there its hard to choose 
which ones to use!  Don't be limited to the lettering you can buy 
at the teacher store.  Customize your boards with your favorite fonts
 in the colors you need.  No more running out of certain letters or having to 
work around pre-made lettering that is too big or too small!  


Your local party aisle has a treasure trove of resources for making 
your boards POP! They're inexpensive, easy to use, and best of all 
easy to store!  The possibilities are endless for what you can do with 
tissue paper, balloons, ribbon, and paper plates!


It is pure kid-joy for my students to get their pictures taken! 
They absolutely love seeing themselves in our displays and showing 
their friends is an added bonus!


It's not always evident how you got your students to where they are now.  
There's a whole lot of teaching that goes into each and every
project your students create. Share that process by including prewriting, 
graphic organizers, notes or journal entries in your bulletin board displays!


I hope you found some tips and ideas you can use in your classroom!
For more Bulletin Board Ideas visit my board on Pinterest!
Follow me on Facebook  or Instagram for teaching ideas, resources 
and giveaways!

Be sure to hop through the links below for lots more bright ideas! 



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Find Me For A Freebie!

Happy Sunday friends!  I'm over at Owl-ways Be Inspired today with
some fun book ideas and a freebie for teaching about cause and effect!


Head on over and check it out!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Girl's Gotta Have A Good Pen {Five For Friday & A Teacher Friend Freebie}



Happy Friday, teacher friends! I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching
for another Five for Friday!  Here's a little peek at my week...


I have to say that I'm loving these Frixion pens!
Fine line and erasable!
I found mine on Amazon.


If you're not already, you soon will be, deluged with running records, 
phonemic awareness and phonics screeners, high
frequency word checklists and grading baseline writing assessments.
Am I right? 


Every day at lunch we compare notes on how many we have left!
I am not winning.

I made these for my teammates (because they think I'm funny)
and to remind them of Rule Number 1:
A girl's gotta have a good pen when she's checking marking like a maniac.



 We wrapped up our Louder, Lili book study this week.  
I love this book! It is the perfect beginning of the year story for talking 
about kindness,being a good friend, standing up for what is right 
and treating others the way you wish to be treated. We reviewed 
all sorts of skills with it and my class really connected with these characters.  
They were mortified by how one of them tries to treat the class pet!
I overheard them talking about it all week!


  Last week we did this Math About Me activity and defined 
ourselves using math!

   I got the nicest email from Gail Collins, a middle school counselor, 
to share how she used my Superhero Writing Craft 
for a back to school career counseling display!

How creative is that? I love the message!  Thank you for sharing this, Gail!

 Our center rotations are in full swing.  I wanted to do 
something different in my poetry center this year so we're doing it



Jen has a great poetry station routine that I just love!
A little fluency practice, a little sound/spelling pattern identification or skill
practice with a highlighter (Pure kid-joy!), spelling practice, illustrating and labeling
 and VOILA!


I've since added having students write sentences using the words from their list
 on the back for some of my kiddos.
and find them HERE.



I introduced this center routine with a sweet little poem by Kristin Smith
from A Day In First Grade.  I purchased this poem with 
her I Can Be A Pal  pack. It tied in perfectly with our 
how to be a good friend writing.

Just like Jen, I typed up the poems I wanted to use
from Scholastic's Big Book of  Phonics Poems plus some other random 
poems I've gathered over the years. You can purchase 
the Scholastic book HERE.


I had a parent copy and cut the whole year's worth and all I do is 
change the poem each week. I love easy!


  And since I also love these silly Hey Girl's so much 
I'll leave you with this...



Be sure to stop by Doodlebug's for lots more
Five for Friday!


Have a restful weekend, friends!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beating The Bulletin Board Blues!




I'm linking up with another Bright Ideas Blog Hop to bring you some time saving
 tips to help you beat those back to school bulletin board blues! 


When setting up my classroom I like to hang my boards first, before moving any 
of the furniture. Use the empty floor space to lay out your paper or fabric to help 
visualize where you want to place your boards on the wall.  Keep in mind the other
 things you'll be adding around the boards such as pocket charts and posters. 
You don't want to have to move them once they're up!

























Putting up bulletin boards at the beginning of the year can be a real workout!  
Not to mention a little risky as you teeter precariously on any available 
surface so you can hang that top trim! The most time consuming part for me 
is climbing up and down a zillion times to see if they're straight.
This little tip has saved me a TON of time!



This year as I was using my handy dandy level necklace my teammate 
wandered in and said, "I was hanging pictures this weekend and
 I discovered I could put a level on my phone." I never even thought of that!





Most teachers know that fabric is a great alternative
to butcher paper.  It doesn't fade and is super easy
to store. I get most of mine at Wal-Mart or on 
clearance at Hobby Lobby or my local fabric store.



Think ahead about holidays, themes and content 
you'll be displaying in your hallway.   
Layer your fabric or paper to save time when changing them out. 
 Simply remove the top layer and replace the border. 




At the end of the year, store all of the parts and pieces for boards 
you know you'll use again together.  Make yourself a little board-in-a-bag 
so it's all there and ready to go.  I've even taken a quick picture a time or two to
 remind myself  how I had it set up.

 Often times our custodians aren't finished cleaning when we report back.  
We sometimes have to wait for the carpets to be cleaned before we can 
set up furniture.  Keep your bulletin board supplies in an easy to reach place 
so you can use that time to get started on your walls. When stuffing things into 
cupboards at the end of the year I always pack my bulletin boards LAST 
so I can get to them FIRST!

I hope you've enjoyed these tips and found an idea or two you can use!

 You can see  LOADS of ideas for decorating your boards 

 I'd love to have you join me on Facebook, and Instagram too! 
 Be sure to scroll through the links below for more Bright Ideas 
from 150 other teacher/bloggers!

Happy Back-To-School teacher friends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You're Finally Here! {Our First Week Back}


I've been waiting and waiting, printing and prepping, plotting and planning for my brand new class.  I've looked so forward to meeting them, putting faces to their names and welcoming them to second grade. The pencils are sharpened, their desks are arranged, our room is all ready but where are they? What's taking them so long?

Meet the teacher night finally arrived.  My shiny new second graders 
approached their new classroom to this...


Then something happened that has never happened before. 
Every.single.child asked me about that book.  No one was shy, 
no one was nervous, no wanted to know where their desk was.  
But everyone, with their bright little eyes opened wide, asked me,
 "When can we read the book?"  

And finally, after so much waiting, it was our first day! 
They're here!  They're here! They're finally here!


And we read our book.  The very first thing before anything else.
And then I asked....."What took you so long?"




I know our little bunny friend was bored, but not me.  I was busy!

As a little getting to know you activity after reading the book, all my 
new friends turned to a neighbor and explained what took them 
so long to get to my class.  The giggles were priceless!
I have to admit, my class had some pretty good reasons for keeping me waiting!





We made these little booklets so they could explain.
While they were working I took some first day photos.


Later that day we played "The Bored Game" so my new friends could 
connect, compare stories and find things they had in common. Hilarious!



On Wednesday, my kiddos chose their favorite reason from their 
booklets and wrote it in a speech balloon for our bulletin board.


























Then to get to know them a little better we all did this....
 On Thursday, we talked about idioms and found lots of them in our book.  

We worked in groups and roamed the room to figure out the 
answers to some of these questions!


Our new friend the book character bunny talks about
how unfair it is that his readers keep him waiting. As unfair as having 
to go to bed when you're not tired!
So to introduce our journal writing routine and to take a baseline 
writing sample I gave them this prompt.


On Friday, I finished our bulletin board at lunch .......



and sent everybody home with a first day keepsake card!



If you're not completely in love with this book yet, 
you will be after you watch this{so stinkin' cute}video clip!
(Thank you for sharing it with me Jennifer Ayers!) 


If you'd like to do all of this with YOUR class you CAN!
I've bundled all of our fun, into a little unit you can see {HERE}
I've included LOTS more not pictured in this post,
plus all the chart and bulletin board parts and templates you'll need!

Just click {HERE} or on the picture to head right to it!



Well, I already love my new class!  How was your first week back?