Thursday, July 31, 2014

DIY Scratch Off Lottery Ticket for Positive Reinforcement

What do you get when you mix acrylic paint and Dawn dish soap? The perfect concoction for a DIY scratch off lottery ticket to get your little nuggets excited!

LAMINATE your paper (or put a layer of tap over the scratch off area)
1 part dish soap
2 parts acrylic paint
MIX, then layer on a couple coats!

I use this as a class reward, so if students complete their homework and don't need any behavior reminders, they earn one of these! I also plan to put a little Valentine's Day spin on these a little later in the year!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

How Kahoot Made My Students Give a [ka]Hoot!

I was finding it challenging to motivate my students toward the end of the year last year, and I knew I needed to add some fun, interactive activities to keep my kiddos engaged!

One of the coworkers I carpool with was fiddling around on Twitter and asked me if I had ever heard about Kahoot! The second I got to a computer, I played around with  it a little bit, and within 5-10 minutes I had the next day's Science review made and ready to go! Kahoot had a search engine with quizzes that were already made, and it was simple to tweak and add more questions. I added videos and pictures to allow students to apply their knowledge better. 

The day I first used Kahoot was really exciting for our class. I had students partner up and use iPads. They got to create usernames (which were hilarious, ie. Geniu$$$$, etc.) and had to work quickly and quietly to answer the questions. As soon as the game was done, they were begging to play again. 

Kahoot was simple enough to create that I gave students the opportunity to create a review for another subject. This required the students to think about possible answers that other students may select. It required the students to go back into their notes and books to confirm the correct answers. Finally, students practiced questioning skills by coming up with questions that required higher level thinking. Ahh...student-driven learning at it's finest! 

How have you used Kahoot? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Harry Potter Classroom Decor

Go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download Harry Potter Classroom Decor. I'm currently working on making a Harry Potter bundle. I teach a Summer at Hogwarts summer camp through my district! This is where I use the Harry Potter classroom decor!

Harry Potter (JK Rowling) Classroom Decor Bundle includes:

Editable Banner (Recommended: Download Harry P. Font from
Table Names
Student Jobs (HP Themed)
Behavior Management Chart
Word Wall Letters (or Leveled Library letters)
Classroom Numbers
Platform 9 3/4 Sign
Schedule Signs

Check out the Harry Potter Book Quote Printables from my Quote Printables section of my store! They would be a great addition to your classroom decor!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Teacher Hack: Oh the Places You'll Use Address Labels...

Other than the obvious use, address labels can be life savers in the teaching world! Here are a couple ways I use address labels!

  1. Folder Labels - Pre make labels for folders or notebooks with the subjects already typed on it. Edit it by putting in the student's name as well, and hand the student their sheet of labels on the first day of school! This makes labeling and organization much more manageable! 
  2. Parent Communication - Have a student regularly forgetting their homework? Type up a short message that states that the student forgot their homework. Put the address label in their assignment notebook, and have the parents sign it. 
  3. Rubrics - Like this blogger, I've found it simple to print out short rubrics on an address label. This provides basic feedback to students quickly! 
  4. Praise - In my Wonder (R.J. Palacio) Positive Reinforcement Plan, I have address labels that say, "Ask me why I'm WONDER ful." Students can wear this sticker around school, and the principal, other teachers, classmates, and parents can ask how the student earned this sticker!
  5. Reminders - Type up a short reminder and have each student put the address label in their assignment notebook, on a test, or on their FOREHEAD! Now they CAN'T forget! 
Keep your eye out for more Teacher Hacks! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quick Way to Make Your Classroom Cute -- Download Quote Printables!

Can't stop the summer classroom crafting? Go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download these book quote printables! They make your classroom colorful, and get your students thinking. I have found that these quotes start great discussions and really compliment read alouds.

* Please note -- the Wonder Quote Printables are found in a different area of my store *

Click here to download!

Click here to download!

Click here to download!

Click here to download! 

Click here to download!
If you have any book or quote requests, let me know! I'd be happy to add some more! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meeting Local Education Celebs!

Enjoying the summer in Chicago is one of my biggest strengths. :) Beach Volleyball with a few friends, fellow teachers, and coworkers has been a blast so far this summer, and something I look forward to every Thursday! Here's our team!

This past Thursday has given me another reason to look forward to coming to Beach Volleyball! 

Chicagoland is a documentary that follows Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Principal Liz Dozier. Challenges in the Chicago's education and public safety are the focus, and the documentary explores how these individuals are generating change and innovation in Chicago. Chicagoland brought tears to my eyes on multiple occasions per episode (I'm a bit of a cry baby...). My friend Kierstyn (also a teacher) and I regularly obsessed over what an amazing, dedicated principal Liz Dozier was in the show. I recommend watching the documentary to see what great things she's done! 

What does this have to do with Beach Volleyball? 

Last Thursday as we were checking in to our game I ran into Liz Dozier! Completely starstruck, I shook her hand, introduced myself, and completely wimped out on taking a selfie with her! I decided to tweet her afterward, just to let her know how excited I was to meet her....and she tweeted me back!! I like her even more now! ;)

It's the little things.