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25 June 2022

You are an INK-credible Teacher!

It's been a hot minute since I last posted, but I wanted to share this fun tag I made for my READ Camp teachers as a thank you gift. Now, these staff members deserve so much more than this because after one short week of summer break, they came back every morning of June to provide extra supporting to our striving readers. Our staff included classroom teachers, our PE teacher, paraprofessionals, and a health assistant. Teachers met with students for three hours each morning, providing explicit literacy instruction and additional practice in key skills. 

We all know how student progress can be greatly affected by long breaks, so this our district's way of reducing the impact of summer break on academic progress.'s not all academic! We have lots of fun, too! The students were treated to guest readers like David Bruton, Jr., formerly of the Denver Broncos, as well as a canine handler from our sheriff's department, the local library district, and the Go Team therapy dogs. Our amazing PE teacher also came out every week to lead the kids in fun activities.

But...on to the tag! You can download a generic teacher version by clicking HERE. You can personalize it by inserting a text box for your name. 

22 September 2019

Multiple Response Strategies

I've had Multiple Response Strategies on my mind lately since our school was challenged to stop calling on students with their hand raised. Multiple Response Strategies are great because they allow teachers to get as many answers as they can from as many different students as they can. I wrote a blog post a few years ago for another blog on this very topic, so I thought it would be fun to revisit all of my personal favorites!

I had a large A, B, C, and D posted in different spots in the room. Usually after writing answers on their whiteboards, students would then have to move to the corner that showed their answer. The whiteboard piece kept them accountable for *their* answer, so there was no switching corners just because more people were at another. It was great for a quick reteaching or correcting a misunderstanding.

I made these clip cards when I was struggling with some *peeking eyes* in my class. It didn't matter how many times I told them I would be happier with an incorrect answer than a dishonest one, it still happened. This was my solution. Everyone got a card. There were 4 different colors and 4 different answer sequences.  They held the card in their laps, clipped, an answer, and then revealed on my call. They loved the clipping, I loved the honest answers.

I got this idea from my former assistant principal. My students sat in pods of 4, so every so often I would stick a little note under 1 chair at each pod that said "HOT SEAT". After a table discussion, I would ask for my friends in the "Hot Seat". Everyone would get excited (okay, some were terrified they were in the Hot Seat!) and quickly look under their chairs. (And yes, the first time we did it was CRAZY and CHAOTIC, but they got better.) Whoever was in the Hot Seat had to report out for their group. Pretty simple.

Pretty self-explanatory. Each student at the table had a push light. They had to explain how they knew their push light was the correct answer or why it was not the correct answer. Then, they would push the light if they thought they were correct. Sometimes 2 lights were pushed and more in-depth discussion occurred, which was awesome!

Table talks enable all the students to share their answers with someone else. I would pair up colors for think, pair, share or have them work in a situation similar to the Hot Seat, having a specific color being responsible for the group's answer.

Ahhh, Plickers. If you haven't tried it out, you must. I made this image extra big so you could see the screenshots. Basically, it works like this: It syncs a computer and your device (I used an iPhone). You generate your own questions into a bank, which will show on your computer screen, which I then projected for kids to see. Kids have cards with varying QR-type codes. Depending on which way they hold the card, it represents a certain answer, like A, B, C, or D. (Picture on right) You then scan the room with your device, and it registers each student's card. You can actually see their names pop up on the camera screen as it registers the specific card. Students name turn green on the device and are checked off on the computer screen when their answers have been registered, and you can see a bar graph showing the class's answers as a whole. (Picture on left) You can also change screens on your device and see which answers students picked. My kids LOVED these cards. Instant data, guaranteed engagement.

Of course the list could go on and on, but these are some of my old and new favorites! In fact, I want to share with you the updated clip cards I made for this year. Click HERE to download the template for free! Simply print on colored card stock, laminate for stability, grab some clothespins, and you're set!

15 November 2018

Thanksgiving Break Book Bingo

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! I'm not a huge fan of sending home "work" over long breaks, but I do want kids to read! So, I whipped up this Thanksgiving Break Book Bingo for the kids to work on over Thanksgiving Break.

The idea is that they will work to create multiple BINGOs, but I ultimately just want them to have some fun reading over break. If you think your kids would love it, go download a free copy HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving!

13 October 2018

More Fall Break Postcards!

It's Fall Break time here in Colorado, and these two glorious weeks are something I really look forward to each year. Our school district does start back to school on August 1st, but this two week break, along with a week at Thanksgiving, two more weeks at Christmas, and two additional weeks during Spring Break make the early start worth it!

I have realized after almost a decade of teaching that I need a mental break every nine weeks or so in order to really stay at the top of my teaching game. After these two weeks, I come back totally refreshed and ready to teach kids! But...I do miss my students! So, I like to send postcards during our breaks as a little reminder that I'm thinking about them.

Here is this year's updated postcard!

The thin font is Gangster Napper by Amy Groesbeck, and the thick font is Pumpkin Spice Everything by A Perfect Blend Teaching. The adorable cup is also by A Perfect Blend Teaching and is part of her Doodle Fonts, which I love! I highly recommend purchasing their font bundles...they are totally worth it!

You can click HERE to download a free editable set of these postcards to use with your own students. You can add your name and a small message by simply inserting a text box. Make sure when you're trimming them to mail that you maintain a postcard size of 3.5" x 5" to adhere to USPS postcard guidelines.

Here is the postcard I used the past couple of years...

You can download an editable set by clicking HERE. Some of my now 4th graders were my second graders a couple of years ago, so I knew I needed to change it up!

Happy Fall, Y'all!

20 January 2018

More Fun Valentines for Students!

Happy Saturday, friends! I am completely procrastinating on some other work I need to finish up, but it seemed like a great time to wrap up Em's valentines for her class. She picked out a box of Descendants valentines, but I always like to make a fun, small valentine for her to give her friends, too.

Emoji: This is the valentine I made last year, and Em just loved it! In fact, when she saw me pull it up, she asked for this to be her valentine again. Hey...what can a busy mom say? Of course! We found the glasses at Target in a package of 16 for $3. I wasn't too crazy about the colors of the sunglasses, but Em didn't mind. I attached the sunglasses using a little glue dot in the center. You can download a free copy of the template HERE. Since it's in Powerpoint, you can add a text box to personalize it, too!

Heart: This was the version I made 2 years ago, and it's still pretty cute, in my opinion! I printed out a few for Em to give to her neighborhood friends. You can down a free copy of this template HERE. Like the emoji one, you can add a text box in Powerpoint to personalize it. Love it!

Pizza: You can check a post back by clicking HERE to see these adorable pizza valentines I will be reusing this year, since I was lucky enough to fund the erasers again this year!

Okay, okay...I need to do the REAL work now, so I hope you all have a great weekend!

29 December 2017

Easy Valentine's Gift for Students

I know, I's still December. But, in my defense, I have to get things done when I get time, and the time is now. I go back to school on January 2nd, and my master's program picks back up on January 4th, so there is no time like now get ahead wherever I can.

And that means...on to Valentine's Day!

I made these fun valentines for my class year, and I was able to find the exact same pizza slice erasers in the Target Dollar Spot a few weeks ago. So...why redo what was already super cute??? I will probably attach the erasers using glue dots like I did last year.

You can grab a copy of the tag HERE. It is an editable Powerpoint, so you can add a text box for your name if you like.

Here's to a new year of getting things done and not procrastinating!

19 December 2017

December Wrap Up!

As I type this, I am curled up on my couch watching a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie called My Christmas Love with my Christmas tree lit up and the fireplace going. Life is good for a teacher on Winter Break! I am also lucky enough to have a break from my graduate classes at the same time, so I finally have a full fledged break for the first time since March. So, I thought I would pop in and share some fun ideas from December.

Christmas Measurement Trees: This was a fun idea I modified for the classroom. The kids were each given a 12"x9" sheet of green construction paper. I guided them through most of the activity, showing them how to measure and draw the straight lines. I did a lot of ruler holding because the kids couldn't understand why their rulers kept moving when they were drawing lines! It was kind of funny. Anyways, once they had all their lines traced, they cut them out. I modeled how to fold the ends and glue from the bottom up. All of the kids did fine, and they all had a good time!

 The concentration on this one's face shows how focused they were on the trees.

They were all so proud of their different trees, and I loved how focused they were during the entire activity, especially since it was the hour before their party!

Rudolph Ornaments: Every year my class makes these ornaments. They are super easy and have changed slightly from year to year depending on the supplies I find. Usually we use brown glass bulbs, but I forgot that I bought clear plastic bulbs on clearance last year after Christmas. I had self-stick wiggly eyes and pipe cleaners, and I found the stick on gems at the Dollar Tree. I shredded up some brown construction paper, and then kids stuffed it in the ornaments. It was perfect for their little fingers! They wrote their names on the back and were done. Super easy!

Easy Team Gifts: I wanted to show my appreciation for everyone who has a role in my students' lives at school, but that can add up really fast! So, I bought these hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works when they were 6 for $5, and made this fun tag to attach them to using Elmer's Glue Dots. Easy, inexpensive, and super cute!

And just like that, it's time for another Hallmark movie! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!