Monday, April 21, 2014

Donor's Choose and Caring Classrooms

Aloha friends!  Spring is in the air and my little munchkins are starting to get antsy!  I have had to tighten up the reigns in the classroom and we need to really stick to those routines to keep everyone on track.  I hope things are a bit calmer in your classrooms!

I just wanted to share my latest Donor's Choose project that was funded recently.  I love it so much!!

My new kidney table from Lakeshore.

I have needed this table for so long and it was finally funded in the last 30 days of the project!

The parents in my classroom were very supportive and I received almost half of the funding in the first week when I posted it in December.  After that, my project sat untouched for a few months.  I sent out emails to friends and family and that raised a bit more, but still had a lot left on the project.  

Now that I am doing guided reading and math groups, having a comfortable spot for my students was so important and I really needed more space.  I put in a large donation myself to get closer to my goal, but it was still too much for me to pay all on my own.

Then I discovered Caring Classrooms.


I had heard a little bit about their Facebook page, but had never really looked into it.  I am so glad I did!

Basically you go to the Caring Classrooms page on Donor's Choose. You donate to projects that are on the page.  It can be as little as a $1 donation.  Once you have donated then you can enter to have your project placed on their page.  It gets tons of exposure and most likely will get funded.

Well, I decided to give it a try.  I went to their Donor's Choose page {click Here} and chose a few projects that I wanted to help fund.  I donated to each one and then posted on their Facebook page. That was it. The following week I found out that my project had been chosen to be placed on their page!  They announced it on Facebook on their Sunday Fund-Day post and it was fully funded in a few hours!!

I can't tell you how happy and excited I was that my project was funded so quickly!  I gave a little and received so much in return!  Teachers helping other teachers to get their projects funded.

Laura Candler from Teaching Resources is one of the gurus behind this great idea.  Swing by her website to find out all the details on getting your project funded. {Click Here}


Just a few more picks of our new table in action.

Writing help from our Sped teacher.
My students love going to the table and sitting in the "Teacher's Chair".

I am so thankful to Donor's Choose for helping me to add wonderful teaching tools and resources to my classroom.  The Caring Classrooms Community has now added a new way to help get our projects funded and into our classrooms.  Mahalo!!



Monday, April 14, 2014

New Doodle Frames

Aloha friends! This is just a quick post to share some new doodle frames that I have been working on.


I have wanted some new frames for a few of my projects, but couldn't find any that I really liked.  I wanted them to be doodly, but not too doodly, lol!  So I came up with these.



They are fun and there is a variety to choose from.  I have been using header frames in my interactive notebook pages and now I have a few more options.

If you are interested in these frames I have placed them in my TpT shop.  Click on any of the pictures to take you there.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Morning Work Product Swap Snapshot

Aloha friends!  Time is flying and we are heading full force into the end of the year activities.  I am trying to make sure all skills have been covered and that all my students are ready for the challenges ahead!

Today I am really excited about being part of a fun Product Swap.

Kimberly over at Funky First Grade Fun has put together this product swap and a fun giveaway!

I am so fortunate to be able to collaborate with such wonderful teachers and try out new resources in my classroom!

Each morning we start our day with our Daily Language Review and a math word problem.  My students are well versed in the routine and are able to capitalize, punctuate and problem solve with ease.
Well, most of them.

My sped kids are not able to complete the morning work without the help of the sped teacher. The skills are just a bit too much for this group who needs more practice with basic skills.

So in comes the wonderful Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  She has a morning work pack that I was really happy to try out with this particular group.


I copied a set for each of my students.


The first few days they needed some guidance, but it was so nice to see them be able to do most of the work on their own!




I love this one!


Yay, they can do it! 


I love that the math skills repeat each day to really reinforce the concept.

If you are in need of some great review for your struggling 2nd graders, I suggest you check out Kristen's Morning Work packs. Click on the picture to check it out in her TpT shop.


Make sure you also stop by and check out Kristin's blog A Teeny Tiny Teacher if you don't already follow her.  She always puts a smile on my face with her fun, witty posts.


Please check out all my sweet friends to see their amazing products!


Chalk Talk
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In addition to checking out some great products you can also enter this giveaway for a $50 gift card to the Vintage Pearl!  I've already got a wish list a mile long!


Just fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Saturday, April 12, 2014

Using Sheet Protectors In The Classroom

Aloha friends!  I am happy to be posting again with some Bright Ideas to use in the classroom.



Today I am sharing how much I love using sheet protectors in my class.


I know it seems silly, but this is one item that I have on hand all the time in my classroom.  I use them for so many different things.  Of course I use them to organize my binders and keep my sheets protected, but they come in handy when I don't have time to laminate, or make copies of items.

I do my Daily 5 rotations weekly and sometimes I forget just don't have time to run down and make copies of something for each student.  I just slip the sheet inside, add a dry erase marker and I am ready to roll.  I just saved myself a trip to the copy room and by using and reusing them I use less paper.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them in my class.










I have found that my students waste so much paper at the writing center!  They write a few words and then they are done.  By using sheet protectors I can quickly switch out activities.  If students finish a story or poem they like, they can make a hard copy in their writing journals or folders.

Do you have early finishers?  Instead of making tons of copies for extra work, provide some fun sheets such as word searches and place them in sheet protectors in a binder.  Students can choose one to complete.  When they are finished it can be erased and placed right back into the binder.

Do you have a class seating chart that you are constantly erasing and changing?  I was inspired by this post over at Fluttering Through First. Just slide a blank copy into your sheet protector. I change the seats on the rug once a month and now it is color coded and easy to change. The chart is hung right near the rug for easy access.


I hope you have come away with at least one new way to use sheet protectors.  

I am teaching my students all about natural resources and how we need to protect them.  As teachers we can lead by example and stretch that paper supply!

For more Bright Ideas check out the link up below!




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rainbow Love

Aloha friends!  Happy April!!  Spring is upon us and we are headed quickly into the end of the year! I am not feeling the pressure yet and I plan to have a little fun before the whirlwind of activities begin.

This month is poetry month and I plan to do a lot of fun activities with my class.  Last year we wrote some great cinquains about rain.  Click {HERE} for post.


This year we are going to write about rainbows.  I have to confess, I have a bit of an obsession with rainbows.  I get so excited with every one that I see and here in Hawaii it is actually quite often.


My family is used to me pulling off the side of the road while driving, to stop and get a good picture! They are all so different and some more vibrant than others.  Some of the most gorgeous ones I have seen were usually when I was out surfing!  I may need to invest in a new waterproof camera.

So my rainbow obsession has come into my classroom.  A few weeks ago we made these cute Name-Bows inspired by Reagan Tunstall.  


We also did some rainbow art and learned about the acronym ROYGBIV.



This coming week I plan to read some rainbow books.





Then we will be writing our own rainbow poetry.  I am going to start with something simple like a shape poem and then we will try some acrostics. If we have time I hope to write cinquains. 







There are so many options, so I made a little freebie to give you some different ideas.  Some are simple and others could be used to challenge your higher kids.


I seriously could spend all month with a rainbow theme!  My literacy centers are all set to go too!


These are the perfect Spring themed centers to go along with our topic.  Just click on the picture to check them out in my TpT shop.

I also created all those bright background papers, which are also available in my shop.


Have I overwhelmed you with all of my rainbow goodness? I hope not! I will leave you with a few of my favorite things!