Thursday, June 26, 2014

Harry and Rosemary Wong

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to attend a conference by Harry and Rosemary Wong.  I was familiar with their classic The First Days of School, but not their new book, The Classroom Management Book.

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We were given a copy of the book as part of the conference registration.  It may look a little dull on the outside.... but it is engaging, practical, and full of good resources. There are loads of photos from real classrooms. The Wongs were inspired to create this book by Sarah Jondahl.  Sarah is a teacher who had a very successful first year after writing a detailed classroom management plan for herself.  Basically, the Wongs reminded me that whether you are new to teaching or have done it for years, you should have a carefully prepared plan for the first weeks of school.  A major point that the Wongs emphasized yesterday was the importance of modeling every school procedure for students so the classroom will run smoothly for the rest of the school year.

I did not have this opportunity last year, since I came into an existing kindergarten class in January. I tried to leave as many of the previous teacher's routines in place as possible, not wanting to disrupt the students any more than I had to.  Fortunately, her style and my style were pretty comparable.  Still, I am looking forward to "starting from scratch" this year.  I will be referring to this book often.  It even has 40 QR codes that you can use to "visit" amazing teachers and resources.  The conference and book have even reminded me of little things I used to do at the beginning of school that I had forgotten about over time.  That is a great reason to make myself a first day of school script (as they recommend).


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Student Rekenreks

Happy dance.....I have been looking for a frame to make my student rekenreks on. I wanted something sturdy, that I wouldn't have to drill, without sharp corners, kid proof, etc.

Target came through again!  I found these sand toys in the summer section for 99 cents each. They stack. They have handles. They come in fun colors (blue, green, orange, and pink).  Does it get any better? Well, I guess if they'd been on sale that would have been better. But I'm still as happy as a teacher on summer vacation!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Soccer Odd and Even Number Freebie

Do your students love soccer as much as mine do?  I hope they will enjoy this fun freebie. You can download it at my TPT store.
Two players take turns pulling the numbered soccer balls from a bag.  If the player needs the number, he places it on his mat.  If he does not need the number, he returns it to the bag and his turn is over.  The winner is the first player to fill all five spaces on his mat. There are also game mats without numbers for children who already know which numbers are odd/even. This could also be made into a file folder type activity for independent practice.

The cute clipart is by Kate Hadfield.

I am working on more soccer themed activities, so please follow me here, on TPT, or on Facebook for updates.

Happy Summer,


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm Joining the Rekenrek Fan Club

Last week, I went to professional development class on developing number sense in K-2. Before the class I had a vague familiarity with what a rekenrek was.   After the class, I knew I wanted to use them in my classroom next year.  I spent some time on Pinterest searching for ways teachers made them.  I thought THIS IDEA (free on TeachersPayTeachers) was great. Debi Goodman used two magnetic curtain rods (Walmart) for a demonstration rekenrek.

I tweaked her version a little putting mine on a cookie sheet and using wooden pieces from Hobby Lobby. The bag of 20 was around $3. (Sorry about the fuzzy photo.)

 I also plan to make a student set using pony beads.  I am still deciding whether to put them on foam bases or use something else as a frame.

Here are some more interesting links:
K-5 Math Teaching Resources
Mrs. Kurtas on YouTube

Hope you're enjoying your summer!


Friday, June 13, 2014

New Catholic Printables

One of the wonderful things about teaching in a Catholic school is the freedom to include religion in my classroom.  This led me to create a new set of printables available in both my Teachers Notebook and TeachersPayTeachers shops.  All my proceeds from the sale of this religious printable will go to the school I teach at.  The needs there are great and I hope this will help.

Here's a little of what is included:

Here's the complete list:
27 Religion Word Wall Cards with pictures
11 Cut, Glue, and Write Sentences
Cut and Glue:  Sign of the Cross
Morning Offering
Our Father
Hail Mary (two versions)
Glory Be
John 3:14
St. Anthony
Holy Trinity
Grace Before Meal (two versions)
Quote from Mother Teresa
Why did God make Me?
Prayer of St. Francis
St. Rose of Lima
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Cover for Classroom Prayer Book
Cover for Classroom Saint Book
Liturgical Year signs for Prayer Table
Prayer quoted from  Pope Francis

The printable mini posters could be displayed on a prayer table, hung around the room, or made into a classroom book (covers included).  I plan to put the religion word wall words in a pocket chart near our prayer table.