Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Classroom Library and Accelerated Reader

I am a huge fan of Accelerated Reader. After debating back and forth whether to arrange my classroom books by genre or by AR level, I decided on the latter. It made it much easier on the students to put the books back where they actually belong. I bought a lot of tubs from the Dollar Spot at Target a few years back and they have come in really handy for organizing the books. I just started at the 2s and kept filling each tub with books until there wasn't any more room. I looked to see what level was in each tub, and created a label according to that level:

I have uploaded these labels to my TPT store for free as a word document so you can change the numbers around to fit your tubs. All you need are the fonts Wish I Were Taller, and Pea Hollee (both free downloads from Kevin and Amanda)!

It is much easier if you have labels on each book that tell you what the book's level/Quiz#/Points are. Fortunately, AR has made it extremely easy for you to print those out! I just slap the label on the front of the book and highlight the AR level to make it easier to see. Here are step-by-step directions on printing out labels from AR after you have logged on to Renaissance Place:

Click on Accelerated Reader Enterprise
School Management
Labels - Book

and all you have to do is look up the book title to find all the information on that book. Unfortunately, it only gives you the title and Quiz number, so if there are different books with the same title, there is no way to view it until you look at the whole report. Fortunately for a website called AR BookFinder! All you need to do is look up your book on that website (gives you a nice picture of the book cover as well) and copy the quiz number to find the label for it on Ren Place. When it comes time to print the labels, make sure that the borders/margins are set to "None" when you view the printer options, or else it might be misaligned on your labels sheet.

Hopefully you found this helpful! Let me know how your classroom libraries are turning out!

Wow - A year of changes

I'm sorry I've been MIA for so long! I've been meaning to blog but life got in the way. Not only did I change from Kindergarten to 3rd grade last year, I also gave birth to my second boy.  I'm excited to share everything I've learned. I have been collaborating with my sister (an incredible graphic designer) and she has helped me completely revamp my classroom to become a detective academy. Be on the lookout for some goodies!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Light 'em Up again!

Last year, I posted about a random act of kindness idea I found from the blog, Lil Light O' Mine. I created a classroom version and each day we drew an act of kindness idea from the jar. The kiddos LOVED it and reminded me about it daily. This is the time of year where the students are getting a little too familiar with each other and no longer in the generally-friendly-towards-everyone phase. It was the perfect reminder on how to be kind! I especially loved how they carried some of the ideas on even though we were on a different day (some kids ended up throwing away a friend's trash from the cafeteria every day).
Anyway, after collaborating with the genius behind all of this, Lil Light O' Mine, we came up with the following: (click on the picture to download this document with all the classroom ideas our classroom worked on last year)

These are ideas for Kindergarten, but I would love to hear how you implemented your own version of this in your classroom! 
For more information on the Light 'em Up program (and many, many more ideas) please go visit Courtney over at her blog, Lil Light O' Mine.  She is amazing and has a LOT of resources (freebies and printables) on how to get this program started with your family within your community. 

All it takes is one classroom to make a huge difference at your school! HAVE FUN!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

To be completely honest, I was a little skeptical about this pencil sharpener. I'm used to the electric kind that seemingly sharpened pencils at a faster rate. I even went out and splurged on these pencil sharpeners ($45 - $50 dollars each):

I am so glad I gave the Classroom Friendly pencil sharpener a try. The above 2 electric ones broke after about 16 months of use. My kids never used it and it still broke! I had to re-sharpen most of the pencils because the lead would break immediately after I sharpened it. I thought they just didn't make pencils like they used to anymore. It wasn't until after using the Classroom Friendly pencil sharpener that I realized it wasn't the pencil after all; it was the pencil sharpener! I sharpened a pack of 24 pencils within 5 minutes (really depends on how quickly you can wind, though). Here are a couple of pictures:

Notice how sharp it gets.

I sharpened the pack of 24 pencils and didn't have to empty it . In fact, there's still room!

These pencil sharpeners are selling for about $25 and they sell out fast. You can grab yours by clicking on the picture below:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teacher Time Posters!!

Hello! Sorry I have been away from the blogging world. There have been a lot of changes this Summer (will post about all that later). I have been getting an incredible amount of requests for the Teacher Time daily 5 choice cards in poster size so here they are! There are 3 teacher choices. Click on the picture to get the .pdf from Google Docs! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Online Timer

Not sure if anyone has blogged about this tool before but just wanted to share because I recently found it and use it ALL THE TIME with my kiddos. We have been learning about pacing ourselves when working and this is an amazing visual for that purpose. It looks like this:

Set the time.

What the students see.

Click here to get to the online timer. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Math Word Problems

Here is a math word problems journal I made for my kiddos for the end of the year. I have incorporated addition, subtraction and one problem deals with half. Anyway, thought I'd share! There are 2 of the same problems per page so that after you make copies all you have to do is staple and cut in half to make 2 books! They look like this:

You can get the PDF version here, and the Word version here! Enjoy!