Sunday, October 8, 2017

Who Stole the Cookie Easy Name Game

Want an easy name game for your kids?
Of course you do!

You want a name game that's easy, no-prep, and FUN--so your kids are begging to play it over and over, day after day.

You want to click it open on your SMARTboard, write a child's name, have the class sound it out together (with you giving hints)...

Then have one child read the name aloud.

The class will say the classic nursery rhyme, Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar.
Then you'll erase the name, and write another.

After a few go-rounds, you'll ask a high-order question from the list included, and kids will turn and talk in groups of six.  Afterwards, you can have a whole-class discussion.

  •  Why might you steal a cookie?
  •  What is the best cookie you could imagine eating?

Kids can also write about their favorite cookie on the adorable printable sheet--with 2 or 12 writing lines.

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar NAME GAME has endless practical uses:
  • Learn class names
  • Class conversations
  • Small group work
  • Choral speaking
  • Response to literature
  • Phonics lesson
  • Balanced Literacy activities
  • Brain Break at any time of the day
  • A fun game with prizes 

The best bonus--at the bottom of the cookie jar--is for you.

Next time you have to give out student classwork--for kids to take home or stuff into work folders--you can just sit back and relax as your bright kids easily read their classmates' names and run around the room placing papers on the right table.  

Delegate, delegate, delegate! you won't wonder who stole the time from your day!  

We can all agree that time is better than cookies, right?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Kindergaten Set Up for the First Day of School

Kindergarten set up for the first day of school can go all-out or simple.  It's up to you.
My friend Keri has set up a wonderland with an Elmer-the-Elephant-colored carpet, Winnie dolls galore, Raggedy Anne dolls on a rocker, alternative stool seating at the meeting area, Legos for each child to play with at tables as she signs them in, and so much more!  Keep looking!
 Here's another view that includes numbered circles on removable stickies, that will show each child where to stand on line.

Want to go simple?  Cheer it up with ceiling hangings!

My room-in-progress has an arrow at the doorway, leading my newbies to our lucky leprechaun, with an inflatable globe in the distance--all hanging from near-invisible threads.  

Other hangings include anchor charts and picture dictionary pages printed in pastels.  I make my cutouts puffy and 3D by gluing folded tissues inside.

I finish it off with a high-interest book for the kids to read when they first walk in.  This will give me time to greet the parents and take attendance.

Be sure to have name tags ready to go.  This year, mine are a fiesta-vibe oak tag.

Simple and effective. 

Since my parents are bringing their children right into my classroom on the first day, I have posters letting them know when and where to pick up their kids on the first days.

My posters also show parents how they can help their kids organize the school supplies.  Personal supplies like notebooks, folders and pencils stay on their desks.

Communal supplies go in bins in the back of the classroom.  I put a sample of each type in every bin--paper towels, tissues, glue, markers, soap, computer paper, etc.  That way, parents can help sort these--saving me hours of work later!  An industrious child or two sometimes helps to collect and sort.  

It takes about twenty minutes to meet and greet each child.  By then, the classroom is organized and ready to go.  The parents leave--reluctantly--and we begin the day.

If you'd like a complete guide to setting up your kindergarten it's here.

First Days of Kindergarten Teacher's Bundle features step-by-step instructions for setting up a kindergarten classroom, as well as moment-by-moment teacher scripts for the first day of school.  We go through the first week of school--with all the printables, posters, parent letters, and forms you'll need, including an EDITABLE homework kit.  Then I point you in the right direction for the next few weeks of kindergarten.

I'll be thinking of you, and wishing you all the best on your first days of school!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kindergarten Homework Template

Kindergarten homework is a great tool--for parents.
 Kindergarten Homework r dawn teacher ink
It shows parents how to help their kids to succeed in school.

Kindergarten homework should be simple; a quick review of the day's work.  

The first week of school it can be verbal: kids can practice saying their first and last name, their teacher's name, class, and school.  They can also write or trace their first name.

The second week kids can continue to write or trace their first name.  They can also draw and label one picture--of something red, or blue, or yellow--to match the lesson of the day.

The parent can help by writing the word and having their child copy or trace it.  The key is to have the child involved and growing new skills.
By the fourth week, your phonics program has likely begun.  Kids can draw one picture of an object that starts with a given letter--the letter that matches your lesson--and label it.  

Advanced kids can write a simple sentence: e.g.; for the letter t, I see a tiger or I like a tiger.

You can also start assigning a math page to match your lesson.

You may review the week's math lessons on Friday, and give only reading homework on the weekends.

You'll want to explain to parents how important it is to read with their child every day.  Remind them to talk about the characters, settings, events, feelings, and ideas in the books.  Have their child re-tell the stories.  

This same template works for the rest of the year.  Simply apply the math and phonics/reading/writing or holiday homework for each day.  Add any special news or events for the week, or for upcoming weeks.

All the kindergarten classes may use the same homework sheet.  Teachers can plan the homework together as a grade, and then take turns typing it up using this template.  Each teacher can type all the homework sheets for a month, then make enough copies for each child.

If you'd like this Kindergarten Homework Kit, with homework for the first four weeks of school, Parent Letters and Notes--including for Orientation Night, a Supply List, First Day of Kindergarten Schedule, and tips, ALL EDITABLE, it's here.

If you'd like a mentor's guide, First Days of Kindergarten Teacher's Bundle features step-by-step instructions for setting up a kindergarten classroom, as well as moment-by-moment teacher scripts for the first day of school.  We go through the first week of school--with all the printables, posters, parent letters, and forms you'll need, including the EDITABLE homework kit.  Then I point you in the right direction for the next few weeks of kindergarten.
For all of the above, and many other resources that you can use all year, please take a look at my Kindergarten Creative Mega-Bundle.  I think it will help you on your journey.

The Kindergarten Ultra Bundle has even more delightful goodies, including an in-depth guide to behavior management:

As always, I'll be thinking of you and wishing you all the best!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Teacher Guide for a Great Classroom

It's back to school time.  It's crazy, but even after twenty years in the classroom, I still get butterflies at the end of summer--I mean, in my tummy.

Part of me knows I'll be fine.  As soon as the kids walk through the door, it's all good, because all my preparation, instinct, adrenaline, and calm kick in.

All my superpowers rally 'round, and pull me through that first day...

And then the next...and the next, till it's June.  Then in June, I stand there with my jaw hanging, and I ask: how in the world does the clock spin faster every year?

Well, this year I managed to jot down my best tips to keep it together, keep it together, keep it together, keep it together--besides saying that 8X fast (just kidding)!

No joke, though, my tips turned into a 700-page compendium that keeps me sane.  Of course, I'm sharing!

The Teacher Guide for a Great Classroom is designed with one goal: to help you to be CALM and CONFIDENT in your classroom—as if you've done it a million timeswith teacher scripts, lessons, posters, printables, tips, behavior management resources and materials you can use all year.

It begins with good behavior management.  My approach is creative, organic, and very effective.  At every step, I start with the tools for no-stress behavior management. Then I show you how to infuse these with respectful fun, so they come alive in your classroom.

Once behavior is in place, you can move on to crafting the kind of lessons that make you--and your kids...and your admin--smile.  The Perfect Lesson includes checklists, charts, cheat-sheets, tips, scripts, class posters, lesson plans and lesson plan templates so you can tick off "yes, yes, yes!" on your Danielson teacher evaluation.

The Substitute Teacher Kit is for the days you're absent.  You know you drag your self into school sometimes--though you really need to stay home--because it's easier than pulling together last-minute lessons.  

And even worse, you dread picking up the pieces of the hurricane, aka your well-meaning sub.  This kit gives you substitute lessons and directives ready to go, so you can return to a clean, organized room.  It also serves as a great refresher course for regular teachers.

There's a delicious bonbon at the bottom of the bag. My beloved Math Song MP3s to relax or energize your class.  As soon as I hear the first beat of the music I go "ahh!" and so do my kids.  We never do get tired of them.  Can you ever get tired of fun or calm?

The Counting Songs feature a soothing vocal over relaxing music with a soft beat.  They're great for meditation, transition, stretching or dancing, and a couple dozen more things.
 Rap Your Math is a math drill in a catchy rap song.  You can change the verses daily to match your lesson.  And kids vamp to this like they own the universe.  For the moment, they really do. 
This kit will help set the tone for a great year of teaching.

Here's the full roster, including 3 mega-resources: 
...and these BONUS MP3s for creative classroom management: 

Rap Your Math – Math Drill in a Song  MP3
Counting Songs for Relaxation and Behavior Management MP3

In The Teacher's Guide for a Great Classroom you'll find:
• What to do and say during the entire school day
• Making a good first impression
• Mastering behavior management
• Teaching rules
• Presenting a lesson
• Lessons in reading, writing, math, social studies, science, art, and music
• How to handle assemblies, parties, trips, fire drills and other emergencies
• Dozens of printables for fun, easy lessons to use all year

As always, I'll be thinking of you and wishing you all the best as you start your new year!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kindergarten Creative Back to School Ultra Bundle

Kindergarten Back to School – CREATIVE  ULTRA-BUNDLE at 43% OFF

Kindergarten Back to School: Be CALM and CONFIDENT on your first days of school—with kindergarten back to school scripts, lessons, posters, printables, tips and materials you will use all year.

This Kindergarten Back to School Creative ULTRA-Bundle is compiled by a long-term kindergarten teacher with attention to every detail. From kindergarten classroom set-up to the moment you meet your students, through the first week of school and beyond, this kit will help set the tone for a great year in kindergarten!

Kindergarten Back to School Creative Mega-Bundle Includes 800++ pages and 11 MP3s:

First Days of Kindergarten Teacher’s Kit
School Rules Pack
Bathroom Rules
How to Tie a Shoe: Photo Tutorial

Sight Words Songs, Crafts and Printables
Vowel Vest and Short Vowel Fun
Nursery Rhymes: Creative Writing and Bulletin Boards
Look At Your Writing – K Rubric in a Song - MP3
ABC Song - MP3 and ABC Chart
Personal Word Wall Printable for each child's writing notebook or folder
Feedback Comments – Easy Printable Check-Off Tickets with Comment Space for Kindergarten

How to Draw People and Familiar Objects for Narrative Writing
How to Draw Farm Animals
How to Draw Forest Animals

Count to 20 Lesson and Display Printables
Number Chart Robots with 1 – 30 Charts: Beautiful Display Pieces!
Number Chart Robots with 1 – 100 Charts: Fabulous Display Pieces!

AND ALSO Classroom Management:
The Perfect Lesson Plan: checklists, charts, cheat-sheets, tips, class posters, lesson plans and lesson plan templates for K – 5
NOT JUST FOR SUBS--A GREAT SUBSTITUTE BINDER for the days you are absent:
Substitute Teacher Kit: In-Depth Guide and Dozens of Printables for Kids
Behavior Management Callbacks -- a creative approach to discipline in the classroom.
Behavior Management – Behavior Modification Charts -- a creative approach to discipline in the classroom.
Behavior Management with Humor -- a creative approach to discipline in the classroom.
Rap Your Math – Math Drill in a Song MP3
Counting Songs for Relaxation and Behavior Management
Brain Breaks for the 5 Senses

Please take a look today
to take advantage of the 43% off--
During this One Day Sale!
Wishing you all the best,

Monday, August 21, 2017

Teacher Resources SALE and TpT GIFT CARD

Please join me in a $10 TpT Gift Card Giveaway!

Simply visit one or more of these 
Back to School Blog Posts
listed below
and leave your comment at the end of that post:

10 Reasons You NEED Behavior Management with Humor

·         Humor is one of the most powerful tools in guiding behavior

·        Humor is creative and memorable 

·        Laughing shakes up our immune system and heals mind, body and soul

·        Be kind--and smile!

·        Be firm--Teach the rules step by step and discuss so kids internalize them

*   Be FUN!   Make learning exciting, and add plenty of brain breaks

·        Safety first, then fun--Teach rules first!

·        Humor should heal, not hurt--Never be cruel, sarcastic or disrespectful

·        Set up a "stop" signal to set boundaries or for emergencies

-- Please leave a comment at one of the 3 posts above

-- For a chance to win $10 of great resources for teachers.
Winners will be chosen by a random number selector.

Thanks for joining the fun! 

Contest begins 12 AM Monday August 21st and ends 2 PM Tuesday August 22nd EST. 

PLEASE NOTE:  This Giveaway contest is now closed.
Congratulations to YearnToLearn -- our randomly selected winner.
Thank you,

Thank you, everyone who participated in the Giveaway!
I sincerely appreciate your comments on the Back to School posts.

Best wishes to all as we head back to school!  🙋

Even sweeter:

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a ONE DAY SALE--up to 25% off everything--Tuesday ONLY, August 22nd. 

ENJOY, and see you there!!

10 Keys to Using Humor in Behavior Management

I LOVE using humor in behavior management!
Laughing shakes up our lymph system, and heals our body, mind and soul.  It strengthens the immune system, lowers our blood pressure and makes us more present and alert.  It’s empowering, rapport-building…AND I can tell you from experience, it’s one of the most powerful tools in your behavior management kit!

Here are ten keys to using humor responsibly:

1)      Safety first, then fun.  You can’t have humor in an out of control class.  That’s not funny.  It’s an accident waiting to happen.
2)      Teach school rules first—what’s expected and why—so everyone will be safe and happy.
3)      Keep humor in perspective.  Kids are in school to learn the common core subjects...and laugh.
4)      Humor should heal, not hurt.  It should never be sarcastic, cruel, cynical, aloof, embarrassing or disrespectful.
5)      Emphasize respectfulness—seeing others as they are and appreciating them as they are—and respectful humor.
6)      Know your kids.  You want your humor to speak to them personally in a warm and cozy way.
7)      Know yourself.  Introduce your humor gradually, at a comfortable pace that matches your style.
8)      Talk to your kids about mindfulness—being attuned to the priorities of the moment.  Humor should be mindful, or appropriate to the context.  You wouldn’t wear a red clown nose during a fire drill.
9)      Set up a stop signal.  It can be, “Give me 5-4-3-2-1,” with five fingers lowered in turn.  This is important to set boundaries or for emergencies.
10)    Relax and go with the flow.  Enjoy your kids, and the life you’re living!

I love a good laugh, and over the years I've collected hundreds of funny things to say and do that will get kids to behave--and enjoy life and learning.  That's heaven to me.  And also, Survival 101 in the classroom. 

Now that it's all down on paper, I'm thrilled that I can share it with you.

Behavior Management with Humor is a mega-resource that teaches step-by-step skills for discipline—and then adds tools and strategies to make it FUN.

If you’d like a Behavior Management MEGA-Bundle—with School Rules, Behavior Management with Humor, Behavior Modification Game Charts, and Behavior Management Callbacks—it’s here.
I’m on a mission: to help you feel CALM and CONFIDENT—and ready to laugh—starting on your first day of school. 

As always, I'm wishing you all the best!