August 26, 2016

Writing Center Activities

Hi there!

Today I'm going to talk about our writing center!  This little area is something I always wanted, but it took me a while to get there.  I first saw this writing center in the Lakeshore catalog.  I knew I had to have it, but it was many years before I did that center justice!

After many years of this being a HOT MESS of scrap papers, half-written in books, broken colors, messy stamps, etc., I finally decided to change it up!

My last year of first grade, we made binder books.  I would introduce a new binder cover every few weeks.  We would discuss words that should go on the word wall for that topic so that they could refer back to write their stories.

Here's an example:

One of your binder covers is All About our Classroom and Friends.  For each binder, I have the colorful cover, along with a word wall, and lined pages for students to write their stories.  For this word wall, I typed in the names of the students.  For other word walls, we meet in our reading area, discuss words, and I would write them down on the pages.  Once that was done, this binder went into our writing center, and students were able to not only write in the binders, but they also used the binders during reading time to read other students stories.  We also used the end of the school day as a time for students to read their stories.


Click on the picture to see this in my store.

For this product, I have BINDER COVERS:
17 different topics with Cover for Binders. We used these covers to put in the front of binders, and we made class books with these topics. The kids loved looking through the books on a daily basis, and it was also a nice addition to our seating area during parent/teacher conferences. These also come with word wall sheets that we used to write words that students might need help with - this also helped tremendously!! *ALSO COMES WITH THE SHEETS TO WRITE ON.

108 Quick Write Cards - With these cards, my students used their writing journal to either finish the story, or write their own story - depending on what the quick write said. They range from If I were a magician..., to write a story about a time you hurt yourself. **My students LOVED these last year!!! Easy - Print, Laminate, Cut, and put in a jar!
So, this is how I did it my last year in first grade.  As most know, I am now at the technology department teaching teachers how to incorporate technology into their classroom.  We are slowly moving our district to 1:1 (meaning each child will have a student device throughout the day).

As I began to look at things differently - I realized that we could take a writing center to the next level!  We are a Google district (Thank GOD!) and so Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Forms, Drawing, Sites and Classroom have become my new best friend!

So - I decided to make a writing center activity using slides for teachers to GO PAPERLESS - WHAT?!?!?!

Here's how it works!  
1.  Teachers are given links to products created in Drive.
2.  They take those links and make folders in their own drive.
3.  If they have Google Classroom - they share with kiddos.
4.  If they don't have Google Classroom, then they share the folder with each student (directions included)
5.  Once students have the folder - they have access to the writing activities.  All they have to do is start typing.  Teacher also has access to all of the kiddos work, and can even print the sheets and make into books.  OR... they can put the pages together and make an online book.  EEEEEKKK~~~

For my Google Drive Product - I have 180 different writing topics for teachers to use.  Here are a few examples:


This product also comes with directions incase you aren't sure how to share items with your students.

Our teachers don't have their student devices yet, but I can't wait to share how this works!!

July 23, 2016


Decorating my classroom was always one of my favorite things to do over the summer!  Check out some themes I've created throughout the years!
EEEEKKKKK - I just loved RE-decorating my classroom YEAR after YEAR, and this will be the first second year I don't get to do that.  With my new position, I no longer have a classroom, but the ideas are still flowing!!  I have several friends who are going to let me live vicariously through them, but I'm not sure it will be the same.

I've come to realize that teachers go through a process.  Well, at least I did!

Three weeks before school lets out... I can't wait for summer.
Two weeks - AHHHH CHAOS!!  There's so much I didn't get to do!
One week - Chaos, anxiety, feelings of guilt cause I'm anxious for summer.
5 days... Really I can't believe it's almost over.
4 days... What can I do with them? They're done, and so am I!
3 days... I'm just going to enjoy them and not worry about picking up my classroom.
2 days... What was I thinking?  My principal is giving me two days to pick up this entire classroom, and I want to just sit and read to my kiddos and listen to them talk about the year!  REALLY?!?!
1 day... Oh MY GOSH!!  I can't believe the year went by so fast.
Day zero!!  WOOT WOOT - Cum folders, report cards, things off the floor, CHECK!!!  (not really!)
Day 1 of summer - I'm not thinking about school until JULY!
Week 2 of summer - I'm at the Dollar Store - Hummmm  - how could I use these in my classroom.  Day ? (after the Dollar Store visit) HOLY COW - How am I going to be ready for the next school year?  I only have 45 days... AHHHHHHH!!!!

Well, OK - that might be a little dramatic, but I swear - if people (husband and kids)  knew what was constantly going through my head, they would totally understand why I can't seem to keep one extra thought or memory in my brain. ;)

Anyway... I just had to get that off my chest!  Here's what I really wanted to share - Classroom decor.

As I said earlier, I just love RE-decorating my classroom every year.  I'm one of those teachers who constantly re-arranges, paints, adds, takes away throughout the year.  I actually kept my theme the last two years, and I was shocked with myself.  But I really loved the colors and was able to add things to it throughout the year that made me happy.

If I didn't "have" to work, (As in - I won the LOTTERY!) I think I would be a classroom decorator (FOR FREE)!  I absolutely LOVE making classroom decor!

Classroom Themes

Here are some of the themes I've created!

Most of my themes come with alphabet posters, number posters, word wall, classroom rules, classroom discipline chart, classroom labels, name tags, classroom tents, color posters, shape posters, and a door poster.  If you find a theme you like, but I don't have one of the above items, just email me and I'll create it.

alphabet posters, polka dot print, classroom decor POLKA DOT THEMED

(Turquoise, Pink, Purple, Green)

This is the theme I used for the last two years in first grade.  It was so easy to add things to my classroom with these colors.  This was by far my favorite!


(Green, red, orange, turquoise)









I created this for one of my pre-k friends!  Her room is precious!



I created this for one of my kindergarten friends!  OMG - her room was crazy cute!  She added all kinds of things to her room - burlap backing to her bulletin boards, stuffed animals all around the room, and different jungle themed material to cover her bookshelves.  So stinkin' cute!






Each color has:
Alphabet posters, number posters, classroom rules, discipline chart, color posters, 2d and 3d posters, word wall words with banner, and classroom labels. The word wall and classroom labels also have editable templates for you to add what you want (as long as you have PPT)


I know a lot of people don't believe in overly decorating a classroom - and I get it.  BUT...  I've always said, "Let me do what I want in my room, and you can do what you want in your room.  I will not judge you, but please don't judge me either!"  For me - my classroom was really my first home - I spent more time there, than at my house.  I needed it to be cute for ME - not anyone else.  The students loved our classroom, and so did the parents, but honestly - I needed it to be my happy place. It wasn't cluttered, but it was colorful! :)   

April 22, 2016

Early Finisher PPTS


Hi there!  Here are all of my early finisher ppts that help with math strategies.  I'm constantly adding, so please check back often.  

Just so you know, these are created to use either as an extension of the math lesson or in a center.  You can run through your main computer for students to sit and work together, or you can use the QR code card for students to work on individually, or you can do a bit of both.

Click on the READ MORE button below to see all of my early finisher ppts.  To read more about how we do these in the classroom, click here.