Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Healthier Alternative for Easter/Spring Class Parties

Thanks for coming to check out my BRIGHT IDEA! I am so excited to share with you
my Bright Idea for your Easter or Spring Class Party. Often
parents send in sugary items, cakes, cookies, jellybeans, and more. My bright idea is 
to create a healthier fun option and an activity for your kiddos. 

I asked Parents to send in Pineapple, grapes, melon, watermelon,
kabob sticks, marshmallow peeps, plastic knives and mini plates. 

We used the plastic knives and cut up the fruit. Once all of the fruit
was cut up we used our kabob sticks to pierce our fruit. Once we
were done adding the fruit to the stick we topped it of with a Peep. 

Simple as that. It’s easy, fun, cute, and a HIT with the Kiddos.
If you loved my idea, I would LOVE for you to follow me on my blog,
Pinterest, or Facebook Page!  & Don't forget to stop by all of the
other BRIGHT IDEAS below! I hope you find a few you'll love! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Cheapest Math Manipulatives You Will EVER Make

I’m so glad to be a part of another Bright Ideas Blog Hop! I had so much fun sharing my ideas and learning lots of ideas from other wonderful teachers. I hope you enjoyed yourself as you hopped from one blog to the next as well as found some awesome ideas to implement in your classroom.
So, onto my bright idea…

Are you ready to find out how to make the cheapest math manipulatives ever?
First you’ll need a Ziploc Slider bag, a marker, ruler, and piece of colored paper.

Use the ruler and marker to draw a number line on the Ziploc Slider bag.. Then use the marker to color the slider piece. Cut out a piece of colored paper that will fit snuggly into the bag. This adds color to the bag, so that the numbers can be seen more easily. You now have a counter! Students can use these to help with addition, subtraction, and more. They can use the number line and slider to help figure out the answers. Example… 9-4. Student can slider the slider to 9 and then slide it back 4 spaces. This will land them on 5 letting them check their work, or help with their work.
It’s simple and easy.  I hope you are able to use them in your classroom!

To keep on hopping through the great bright ideas, head on over to my sweet friend Jennifer's blog. Teaching with Grace’s blog post is about using washi tape for learning! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Out of the Box Ideas!

Thanks for hopping on over to my blog.  By now I hope you have tons and tons of BRIGHT Ideas!  A big thanks to Shelley Gray for helping to organize all of this fun! I have 3 quick tips to share with you.
Tip 1:  The first tip is for classroom organization. When I need to find something quick, or have access to it quickly, I hook it too my magnetic curtain rod. You can get one at Wal-Mart or Target for less than 10 bucks. I found 100 book rings for 6 bucks on Amazon. Voila I have a poster hanger or a flip chart if I want to hang up a large note pad. Since it is magnetic, it is easily moveable. 

Tip 2:  I love, love, love reusing things. It helps the planet and my bank account. =) I ask parents to save me all sorts of containers. I use Pringle Containers to store paintbrushes, rulers, pencils, and more. The containers above are crystal light containers. I have some for my students to sort colors, shapes, letters, and more. I also use them for storing name sticks and picking out leaders for the week. I have even put jokes to read for students and they can work for a joke from our jar. So MANY possibilities. 

Tip 3:  I have a lot of kiddos who still have trouble with writing their names correctly. They need lots of visual help. For them, I have taken a font turned the color to white and added an effect of shadowing behind it. This illuminates a pathway for the students to follow. They get guiding lines for them to trace. You can print the pages out and have students work on their names to sign-in in the morning, or you can laminate them for durability. 

I hope you were able to get some inspiration or use some of my ideas. Thanks for stopping by! If you’d like continue to hop on through the BRIGHT ideas hop on over to Fabulously In First for some teacher tool box ideas!
Happy Teaching! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Currently February!

Currently, I am loving it! I usually catch this Currently way to late, and I am on track for being in the top 100. Woot whoot! 
Kinda exciting stuff over here.  So to explain my currently, here goes.
Listening: Yep. I’m a dork. I actually enjoy watching the news. I like knowing what is going on around my community and country. I do go through cycles where I love love love watching it, to where I dislike watching it a lot, because, well let’s face it, News can be depressing sometimes. I for one love me a feel good story. =)
Loving: Fonts. How can you not. This font is adorbs! Thanks for Kimberly Geiswin. This font is Janda Closer to Free. Jen Jones has amazing fonts as well! Download some and spice up your computer world!
Thinking: I should clean….. The hardwood really needs cleaned…. But I also need sleep…. After I finish this…
Wanting: a massage…. Raise your hand if you don’t want a massage….. Your hand did not move did it? Yep I knew it. Everyone enjoys a good massage. =)
Needing: More hours in the day….. That’s self explanatory right? I mean I could get so much more done if I just had more time….. Or could maybe clone myself…..
2 truths and a fib:
1> I have taught only for 4 years. I’m still a teaching newbie. And while I share some of my ideas and things with you on my blog, I sometimes think it is silly I am sharing ideas because other people probably have much better ideas, etc….. But you are still reading, and I didn’t pay you….. So I hope that can only mean good things.
2. I do have 1 sister. She’s my best friend. We did not get along when we were younger, but now we are very closer…. So those of you with children who constantly fight,, take heart, there is still hope! I guess by proxy I have a brother in law too. I love him even though we harass each other. My nieces are super cute smarties. Love them both.
3. Nope. Not getting married in 4 weeks. That’s a fib…. If I am, no one told me. Bahaha!

So Thank you for indulging me and reading to the end. Make sure you jump back over and read all of the other
Currently’s at Farley’s Blog.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coldness, Data Collection, and a Freebie! Oh! My!

I love snow! I really do! But….  Well you knew it was coming….I am not a fan of -20+

degree weather, which is EXACTLY what we have been having here in sunny, frigid
Ohio. I read yesterday that the northern-most town in Alaska is warmer than
here. Yes, you read that right! ALASKA is WARMER! We have not had school for the
last two days. I for one, am not complaining. It’s to cold for even polar bears…. Well it
might not be, I just made that up, but I feel like it should be. EEK! So needless to say,
I am curled up on my couch with my blanket with a very cute dog, and a small space
heater. I had a small cold and was able to get my progress reports done opening the
day up! wanted to share with you how I do Data Collection for IEP goals in
my classroom. I have an example for you of one below. I think it is so hard to keep
data on them when you are a new teacher. Grading Books Simply do NOT work. I had
no idea where to start. Here is a simple snapshot of what it looks like.

I give each goal a spot on the sheet. Each student has their own sheet.
Since I have anywhere from 5-9 students, I color coordinate them so I
can easily find their sheets if needed.
I preface each goal with what measureable annual goal it falls under.
I use abbreviations to help out, because you know, special ed., doesn’t
use enough abbreviations. Here are the ones I use:
English Language Arts: ELA               Math: M
Science: Sci                                       Social Studies: Soc
Social Skills: SS                                  Transition: T
Occupational Therapy: OT                 Physical Therapy: PT
Speech Language Therapy: SLP        Adapted Physical Education: APE
Vision Impairment: VI                         Orientation & Mobility: OM
Additionally, If I have two goals under Math, I’ll put M, and M2

This is an example of it filled in a bit so you can see just exactly how
we use it. What you see there isn’t the exact wording I use for the
IEP. I am trying to communicate what exactly the goals are in their
simplest terms to myself, and my paraprofessionals. This allows us to
quickly scan their sheet and write down exactly what score they
received on that day. It allows all of my scores to be in one place for
the week and on one sheet. At the end of the week I tally up their
percentages and input it into my excel program which automatically 
adds up students grades for the quarter. When it comes time to do my
progress reports, I don’t waste hours adding up scores, double
checking myself to make sure everything is write. I simply print off
my excel spreadsheet and input their end of quarter scores into my
schools progress report forms, add comments and I am DONE. I love
making things simple and easy when it comes to data collections. Plus
if your admins are anything like mine, they love data. The more you
have the better. =)

I’d love to hear how you collect data in your room.

Also, I am in the process on refreshing some of my wonderful
freebies on my TPT site. A lot of them are from when I first started
and as we get better with time and practice, so have my material
creating skills. The first one I updated was my seahorse 1:1
corresponding page. Check out the newly revised page below, I’d love
to know what you think.  What?! You were expecting a snow themed
freebie? Haha! My mind is at the beach! =) Also, Don't forget today is

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Preschool Party! Tips to get your Preschooler Ready for Kinder

My lovely sister always asks me questions about my niece, Gracie. She is worried she won’t be ready for Kinder in the fall. I give her ideas, and things she can do to help Miss Gracie to get ready, so when the time comes, she is 100% ready. She always seems to have questions, and understandably so. It is a big step for a kiddo. To go from the comfort of home or preschool into the big world of public or private education. Helping get them ready is key for their continued success. So, you may ask, What can you do?
Well there are TONS of things you can do to help your little. I’ve teamed up with other lovely bloggers to give you some ideas!

Keep on Reading to get MORE ideas! 

             Share a Story Sunday  
Books! You have to have a favorite book from Childhood. Most everyone does. I, myself, love anything Dr. Seuss. As a young girl, I loved the Spot the Dog books. Books have this magical ability to grab the readers and take them to a magical place. There is practically a book for everyone. If your preschool likes cars, trucks, planes, Legos, construction, dragons, princesses, unicorns, fairies, dogs, cats, fish, hamsters…. The LIST. Could. Go……On…..FOREVER.
Each Sunday make a plan to read a book.
It can be short.
It can be fat.
It can be about dogs,
or even pesky cats.
You can read it here, you can read it there. 
You can read it almost anywhere!

Make a snack Monday

Most preschoolers love snacks. Apples, peaches, grapes, celery, anything you name it. On Monday, plan to make a snack with your kiddo. It can be something super simple like grapes. Have them help you wash them before hand. Or make “ants on a log” food brings the chance to talk, and make natural discussions. “what should we do next?” “This is a recipe. Do you know what a recipe tells us?”
You child can learn a lot from a simple conversation with you.
Don’t forget, you can always have a flour fight…. ;)
That was one of my favorite memories from my childhood. 

Talk about it Tuesday
Tuesday is all about talking. Talk about toys, talk about what their favorite color is, talk about what they want to do. Just turn off the TV and talk!

Walk it out Wednesday 

Preschoolers have TONS of energy. Learning through that energy can be awesome!
SO take your kiddo for a walk. Talk about what you see, what color is the grass? what sound does an owl make?
What shape is that sign?
What letter is on the building? Learning through play is fun for everyone!  

Time to Help Thursday 
Let your pre-K kiddo help out. Count the items of clothes that get put into the washing machine. Go to the store and count the shapes of each container. Cereal Boxes are one shape, soup cans another? Which has more? Which has less? 
What letters are on the box? What colors are on the package?
Help clean dishes. Learning responsibility is important at any age. Starting young is best. 

Fun Friday 
Get out and go somewhere magical, fun, or adventurous.  Movies? Park? Bus Station? Train Station? Library? Store? Zoo? Farm? Science Exploration Center? Planetarium? Local festivals?

Why are experiences so important? Imagine never having been to a library. How would you describe it to others? What could you say about it? I bet you can say a lot more once having gone to one. Anytime you can create a rich learning experience, GO! Make Memories and have fun! 

Social Skills Saturday 
Go to a play ground. Be the model of excellent social skills. Look people in the eye when you are talking to them, say please, and thank you. Remember you are the best role model when it comes to your child. If you see them not saying something that you have tried modeling for them, try role playing. The more social skills they easier it will be to make friends and feel comfortable with going to school when the time comes. 

I also have a freebie for you. All of the graphics are from my friend Nikki over at Melonheadz Illustrating. And the Font is from Kimberly Geiswin over at KG Fonts. Border is from Mr. Magician. 

I have a kiddo in my class who loves superheroes and he is working on learning his alphabet. I made this cute cards for us to use to practice. We play match games, go-fish, and a few others when we are working on them! I hope you can use them.

ABC Superhero Cards

Still need more ideas? I've teamed up with my wonderful TPT friends to bring you an exclusive preschool bundle. This Educents Bundle is jam-packed on fun ways you can help your child learn and be ready for kindergarten without breaking the bank. And if you've not bought anything from them, well lucky you! You'll get 10 bucks OFF of your first purchase.  Check it out below! 

My kiddos love getting in the extra name, address, phone numbers, etc. in. We take our kids learning this for granted, when almost all of my students didn't know their own information! With the increased pressure on teachers, sometimes, things like learning their address are left to the way side. Bring them back front and center with help from this editable book! 

They will answer questions which include the following:
Their name how to spell their name
home phone number
Emergency Number
Mom's name
Dad's nameAge
Address &
many brothers & sister

Book is culturally diverse with have white boy and girl and black boy and girl be the main characters with in the mini- book, allowing the book to be reflective of the child. 

Click on the picture to hop on over to the Educents Website and check out all of the packs in the bundle. 
Leave a comment below about someways you prepare your child for school, or what skills you think are essential for a child to have when they begin school!