Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ALL IN ONE DRY ERASE BAGS {Coffee & a Clever Idea}



I heart finding ways to save time in the classroom. I also heart tips for staying organized. This does both. Put everything a student will need when using a dry erase board into one bag: board, marker, something to wipe the board (socks work well).

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

GET KIDS STARTED WITH BOOK TALKS {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


I find that the most challenging thing about getting kids talking about anything is getting them started. This seems like it is especially true with book talks. That's why I love this anchor chart. If a child picks one of these it should get the ball rolling and lead to some meaningful discussions.

This would also make a great bookmark.

Can you think of any other sentence starters you could include to get them talking about books?

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Monday, October 29, 2012

MAKE A DESK DIAGRAM {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


{view source}

Children will meet your expectations (usually) if you make them VERY clear. As in crystal clear. If you have desks it would be very helpful to provide a chart that outlines how you expect them to look. You may want to create desk size charts that can slip right inside for some of your messier friends.

Another option is to label inside the desk to spell it out even more.

A clean desk is a happy desk. :)
Join me each weekday morning for coffee & a clever idea. 
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Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preparing to Weather the Storm with Turkey Books and a Craftivity

I loathe winter and cold and ice and snow and frozen windshields and shoveling and all things related, but I do love me a good old-fashioned snow day.  If I'm being honest, I loved them more in my pre-mom days when it truly meant a relaxing day, but they are tons of fun with kids too. I love the excitement of "the call." I love lounging in pajamas, watching TV, making cookies, playing in the snow, etc.

But there are no snow storms on the immediate horizon and I am perfectly fine with that.

What we do have is a tropical stormish-hurricanish-thingy working its way up the East Coast. And it is supposed to make a grand appearance in my neck of the woods on Monday. The promise of torrential downpours, sustained high winds, possible power outages, and falling trees and power lines between the hours of 9 a.m. and midnight bring with it the possibility of a "storm day."

A storm day is very different than a snow day. 

Very different.

Please note that a good portion of my snow day fun revolves around electricity. 

And while I like to think that we lead a simple life and that my kids are relatively "unplugged," it doesn't take long for me to realize that Laura Ingalls Wilder I am not. 

And so, while only a small percentage of me thinks that school may be closed tomorrow, I am preparing for a day at home...with three kids...and no electricity. 

In a few weeks, I'll be reading three of my favorite Thanksgiving books about hiding and disguising turkeys and then presenting my class with an annual favorite...the Disguise a Turkey Craft and Writing Project. I did the project at home with my son last year and he asked if we could do it again this year with "the sisters." I figured reading the books and making turkeys would be a great way to spend some electricity-free time in the event that we find ourselves in that situation. So while my hubby brings in the outdoor furniture and checks flashlight batteries, I'll be doing my own storm prep...cutting turkeys and running to the craft store to buy feathers. :)

And if we don't get "the call," then the project will be all set to go on Election Day or Veteran's Day or one of the other days this month that there is no school...is your November calendar as choppy as mine?

These are the three books I read before I introduce the project.  I love them. You and your kids will love them too!

{click pic to read reviews}
Turkey Trouble is an adorable book with fun illustrations. My kids ask me to read this one over and over. The book description reads, "Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea--what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!" 

{click pic to read reviews}


In Run, Turkey, Run! , it's the day before Thanksgiving and the farmer is searching for a plump bird to eat. I love reading this book to my own little ones at home as well as my third graders, because they all get so into it and join in by yelling, "Run, Turkey, Run!"  every time the text repeats. I love seeing 8 & 9 year old get that into a picture book. This book really lends itself to retelling and teaching the trait of organization.


{click the pic to read reviews}
They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but I'm such a sucker for a cute cover and Dav Pilkey's, 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving lured me right in with all those adorable cartoon kids frolicking with the turkeys. The story is about a class that goes on a field trip to the farm and works together to hide the turkeys...see how it relates so nicely to the Turkey in Disguise packet? This is another class favorite year after year.

You can see more of my November Projects in this post. Here are some pics of last year's disguised turkeys (I usually send it home as a family project, but last year we completed them in class). 










Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

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