Using Classtag For Parent Communication

Aloha Friends! I hope your holidays have been fabulous and restful.  We all need to recoup and prepare for the year ahead.

Something I strive to work on each year is my classroom organization.  I recently was told about a new app to help with parent communication called ClassTag.

There are other apps out there that I have tried and they all seem to have faded from my use. Most were great for a particular purpose such as messaging or posting photos.  However, I'm really excited about using ClassTag and all the features it has to offer.
This app has everything you need to keep parents in the loop and even has a few extras to make it even more fun to use.

The layout is very intuitive.

Start out by simply adding in all your class information. The app will send out invites for parents to sign up and communicate all through the app.  You can then send out weekly newsletters, events, volunteer requests, conferences and even upload photos to share with families.

The app also gives you incentives to use it.  You are rewarded with coins to receive gifts for your classroom. Who doesn't love free stuff for your classroom?

On top of all that it even gives you weekly stats on which parents are using the app and who has received the information.  It will let you know if you have hard to reach parents and give you alternative methods for communicating with them such as sending home a paper copy of your newsletter.

It even sends your parents a weekly summary.

Apparently the app was created by former teachers and they seem to have dialed in everything you need to up your parent communication.

I think it's an awesome way to organize and have everything in one place. Head over to ClassTag right now and sign up.  I would greatly appreciate you using my link so I can earn coins for my class as well.

Hopefully this app can help you start the year off with one more tool for your classroom.


Freebie Friday

Aloha friends!! How was your Thanksgiving? I really enjoyed the time off and cooking with my family. This year I made Prime Rib.  It was delicious and so decadent!

Are you ready to hit the Black Friday sales today?  I'm not a fan of the crowds, but good luck if you head out.  I think I am going to stay in and be crafty.

I just wanted to share a fun freebie center I created for you to use in your class this coming month.

My kids always need to review nouns so I whipped up this Christmas themed center.  I love the graphics by From The Pond! I just had to use them in something creative.

Simply download it, print and enjoy using it in your class this season. Please leave a review and let me know what you think.

If you like it then check out my Santa's On His Way Literacy Centers.  I have just updated them to include 4 new centers.

I have included a Black and White version if you want to save on ink or print on colored card stock. My class always loves new centers and I can't wait to share these with them.

Mahalo for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your freebie.


Math Tools For Your 2nd Grade Classroom

Aloha friends!! I know many of you are off to a great start and your school year is in full swing! Many of you are returning to your previous position, but I know some of you may be new to 2nd grade this year.

It's so exciting to venture into a new grade and curriculum.  It definitely keeps us busy and always looking for new ways and ideas to keep our lessons flowing and kiddos engaged.

Last year I had two new colleagues who were brand new to 2nd grade.  It was fun to collaborate and share ideas.  They came to me quite often and asked how I was teaching a certain lesson and what materials I was using.  Quite often I realized they did not have any resources to draw from since they were new to the grade level.  We shared as much as we could between our classrooms.

After teaching 2nd grade for 21 years I had purchased, collected or created many of the resources that I was using in my classroom, especially in math. It can be overwhelming for a new teacher to see all that I had and not be able to purchase it or create it.  So I decided to put together a toolkit for them.

Are you a new teacher who needs a variety of math manipulatives?  This pack has TONS of printable items for your classroom. Print, laminate and use immediately. Great for first and third grade too!

We went through many of the lessons in our math curriculum and I discussed with them what materials I used quite a bit of.  I then recreated them in a simple format so they could print and use them as needed.

When all was said and done there were close to 300 pages of manipulatives, templates and posters!!
The paper coins are set up so you can print double sided and have them with a front and back.  The red and yellow counters are the same.

All are easy to print and can be used immediately or can be laminated to use all year long. You can even print on Astrobright paper to add some color.

I think this is a great way to get started without breaking the bank.  If this is something you could use in your classroom, hop on over to my TpT shop and check it out!!

One last thing that I wanted to share.  I revamped a math freebie from a few years back. These poem posters have been great to use in my class for money recognition.

 Just click on any of the pictures to grab them in my TpT shop.

I hope these items will be helpful for your upcoming school year. If there is anything that you think I should add to this toolkit please let me know!


Digital Planning

Aloha friends!  March is upon us and Spring Break is right around the corner! Then only 1 quarter left!! This year has flown by and there has been a lot going on in my school.

We have a new administrator and she is very tech savvy and moving our school along the tech path.    Our little country school by the beach is cute, but not high tech.

This year our principal has really focused on making us a 1:1 school.  All students in my class now have a Chromebook and all of our data and info is online in Google Docs.

I decided it was time for me to catch up and begin creating my lesson planners in a digital version.

My Blushing Pink Planner is one of my most popular planners and is now available in a digital version.  Simply open it up in Google drive and add your own text, tables, charts or graphics.

 You can access your plans, data and calendar from any digital device through Google.
If you have purchased one of my planners in the past it is essentially the same format.  It includes:

Cover Slides
Organizing Pages
Planner Pages
Grade Book
Calendar Pages
Blank Templates For Your Own Creations

The file comes with 104 different slides. You can delete any you don't need or create a new page with the templates I have provided. There are 18 different planner pages to choose from along with two background choices.
Now all of your plans and info are online, easy to share with admin and colleagues and looks stylish and fun!

Are you ready to go to paperless planning?  Head over to my TpT shop to check out this planner. I will be rolling out all of my planners in digital form soon, so keep checking back for your favorite design.


Valentine Treats

Aloha and Happy Valentine's Day!!  
Wishing you a wonderful Valentine's Day and a little treat.
TpT is having a sitewide sale.  All items in my store will be 20% off
plus another 5% off when you enter Code: XOXO.

Head on over and find a few treats to make this Valentine's Day a little sweeter!


Handwriting Practice

Aloha friends!! I hope the new year is progressing well for you and that you are on track with your New Year goals and aspirations!!  I can't say I have started all of mine yet, but I have a few that I am working on.  I also have some health goals in mind that I plan on sharing soon!

Today however, I wanted to share something that I have been meaning to create for a LONG time.

I don't know about the students in your class, but by the time mine come to me they seem to have forgotten all of their letter formations.  I am shocked by how many of my students struggle with showing me how to write their letters.

I have placed tags on their desks and reviewed with them, but many still can't seem to remember where to start certain letters and how to use their dotted lines to help them have a nice even script.

So instead of copying practice sheets for each letter I decided to create these little practice booklets to have my students review in a fun and simple way.

Each page has two letters on it with proper formation.  Students trace the letters and then practice on their own.  I followed the same sequence as most beginning handwriting programs. The lower case booklets have letters and words to trace.

Once they finish the lowercase booklet then you can give them the upper case.  This booklet uses capital letters to reinforce Proper Nouns.  I included a name, a place and sentences that begin with the particular letter they are working on.

The booklets are really easy to copy and put together.  Simply print out the 9 pages per booklet, fold in half and staple them.  I have also included posters with each letter formation to display in your class or to use in a center for extra practice.

I am really pleased with the way they came out and the kids are so excited to practice their letters along with neater handwriting.  Well, my kids are excited because this booklet is actually an incentive to get them moving on to cursive.

I have the same format for cursive writing as well.  My second graders have always loved learning cursive at the end of the year.  I previously used a handwritten booklet that I had created and it was finally time to update that one too!

So once my students complete their manuscript practice neatly and correctly, then they get to move on to cursive. I'd say it's a win win!

Since I was on a roll I also created a set of these booklets in D'Nealian handwriting.

D'Nealian is a great way to prep kids for cursive writing.  I am working on a D'Nealian cursive booklet and should have it listed soon. 

You can grab any or all of these in a bundle in my TpT shop.  Click here--->Handwriting Booklets
to check them out.

Mahalo for stopping by and I look forward to sharing more ideas and aspirations with you soon!

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