Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! I feel like I have been go, go, going these last few weeks so I am very excited to be wrapping up this week with Doodle Bugs’ Five for Friday and heading into a weekend of absolutely nothing! The only things on the agenda are sleeping, drinking LOTS of coffee on my couch, creating, and catching up on some very neglected TV shows. I know, I live on the wild side! But, after three weekends in a row of jam packed activities, this teacher needs a break. Before I sign off for the weekend, let’s recap this great week of learning.
Last week, I debuted my V.I.P. supply baskets to two very well deserved first graders. They LOVED it! The supply baskets sat on their desks all day while they worked and even traveled with them to some different specials. My V.I.P. students are able to enjoy using special supplies like twistable crayons, dot markers, stickers, and glitter glue to complete work the day that they are the designated V.I.Ps.
My students have been so excited each morning to come into the class and see who earned V.I.P. status for the day! This behavior incentive has been a great motivator to battle spring fever and end of the year craziness. Anytime my students are acting out or not showing respectful behavior, I remind them how V.I.P. status is earned. My students light up when they walk into the classroom and find that they are V.I.P. for the day!
Since it’s been so successful I compiled materials that have helped make this successful for me in a freebie in my TpT store!
Included in this packet you will find V.I.P. basket signs, desk signs, a colored certificate for rockstar behavior, and a black and white version. You will also find brag tags for students to add to their display to celebrate!
Find all this and more in my store here!
With the end of school nearing, the need to spice up my Daily 5 routine was so necessary! I was inspired by Firstie Favorites’ idea of stringing letter beads onto pipe cleaners for students to practice spelling words. My firsties ate this activity up! It was super simple to prep and my students were engaged throughout the whole word work round! Thanks Nicole!
The only thing you need to prep are cut small pieces of pipe cleaners and set them in a box with different sized letter beads for the students to use. I provided my students with a recording sheet from Seusstastic Classroom Inspiration and their differentiated spelling lists and they were off! Every once and a while you need to switch things up. I’m so happy that my students are enjoying their work during word work again.
Thursday was an interesting day! It was Take Your Child to Work Day in NJ and my littles were lucky enough that most were able to go with their parents to work with them! As great of an experience as that is for my students, it left my classroom very empty of willing learners! I had a total of 11 students absent and with the nature of my class and their pull out schedules, I only had 7 students to work with most of the day. So, what do you do when more than half of your class is out?! You create your own costumes and put on a reader’s theatre of course!
My firsties were so excited to design their own costumes for our play, The Tale of Bird and Butterfly. They designed wings, beaks, feathers, and one student even created a proboscis for his butterfly! It was priceless! I couldn’t miss out on all of the fun so I put on my beak and stepped up to the stage. As stressful as this time of year can be for teachers and our students, it’s important to take a break every once in awhile from the usual routine and inspire some creativity! I really got to see some of my students shine as performers who are usually shy or timid. I’m so thankful for this crazy day!
We began our new unit on time this week and I have been loving this inspiration I’ve seen floating around on Pinterest to create human clocks. I took advantage of my small class size on Thursday and we began practicing telling time to the hour with our bodies! I had my students create their own clocks so they had an understanding of where the numbers on the face go and their locations. Then, I put their clocks into a clear plastic sleeve so we could use our white board markers to write on them. My students were asked one by one to get onto the human clock and pick a time to the hour that they would display. My other students sat around the clock and had to draw and write the time that the student was showing.
Not only did this give us a chance to have some fun with time but it was a great way for my kinesthetic learners to learn this skill! It was so simple and effective. My students were easily able to see that when telling time to the hour the minute hand ALWAYS stays on the 12. We made a lot of great connections and had in depth discussions after every student had their chance to model a time on the clock. Did I mention that we had fun too?!
We had a great time this week celebrating Earth Day in our classroom. There was a lot of discussion about taking care of the Earth and what we can do in school to keep Earth beautiful. I tapped into some of my favorite resources to help bring this topic home for my students. We watched BrainPop Jr.s video on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, read a great article from Scholastic News, and followed up with awesome activities from Kelley Dolling’s Earth Day Packet! My favorite activity was by far her I Love My Earth craft!
We had our students pose for a picture pretending to hold something heavy above their heads. We didn’t tell them what it was for and surprisingly not many questions were asked! I must make some pretty interesting requests if my firsties no longer question all of my motives ha. The next day we started putting this fun activity together. I love how they came out! Some of my firsties faces really show the struggle of holding something heavy and add so much fun to our hallways! They took the writing portion very seriously and had a great time brainstorming what they could do to help keep the Earth clean and healthy!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all gearing up for a great weekend spent with loved ones and lots of “me” time. I’ve already stocked up on Saturday morning breakfast materials and am looking forward to cooking brunch at home =). It’s really the small things in life sometimes!
Have a great one!
Hi Jayme, looks like you had a great week! I love how you took a break from the everyday schedule and did something fun and creative with those kiddos who did not go to work with their parents. I completely agree that a change a pace from time to time really helps bring some life back into the room. 🙂 Your Earth day pictures look so cute! I saw that on Pinterest. I will have to remember that for next year. Have a great weekend, sounds like it will be a relaxing one. We will be doing the same.
Thanks Diana! I'm loving how the Earth Day pictures are looking hanging in the hallway. I definitely recommend them for next year. I hope you have a great weekend too!
You are the cutest teacher ever!! I wanna come join your class! Loved reading this whole post!
Hi Brogan thank you so much, you are the sweetest! You can come visit NJ anytime =) I hope you're having a great weekend!
I LOVE how New Jersey has Take Your Ki to Work Day still. I remember doing that when I was a little kid. Your Earth Day craft ivory is so cute. Hope you get to relax this weekend.
Thanks for stopping by Jennifer! I love it too, I still have so many great memories of visiting with my dad at work and "working" with him. My kids came back to school on Friday with so many great stories and even pictures to share! It's a valuable experience for them. I hope you're having a great weekend!
Lovely to meet through the 5 for Friday and so pleased you used kinaesthetic methods to teach time as well – it can make so much difference to lots of kids. The Earth pic photos look just great on your board 🙂 Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace
Thank you so much for stopping by! My kids loved the clock, I will definitely be using more activities like this in the future. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
This is my first time to visit you blog. I love the design! Great post. I love the VIP supply caddy idea.
Thank you so much for visiting and your sweet words KaSandra! My kids are loving the VIP supply caddy, I hope they're enthusiastic about it for the rest of the year. Have a great rest of your weekend!
Love the VIP basket idea!!! Totally gonna try it with my very behaviorally challenging class soon…
Thanks so much for stopping by Amanda! I think your students would really enjoy it, it's been a great motivator. Let me know if you try it and how your kids like it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Hi Jayme! I totally agree… stress can build up and we need to take some time to enjoy creativity and kids being kids! We did the human clock this week too! Your earth project is so cute, and I bet really caught the attention of kids around the school! Have a great weekend.
Once Upon a Classroom: A Teacher's Tales
Thanks so much for stopping by Marie and your kind words! That's so funny that you guys did the human clock activity too, great minds think alike! My kids had a blast, I have to do it again once my whole class is back. I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!
Oh my gosh! Glad you are loving using beads as word work!! So simple to pull out again and again! Thanks for the shout out!
I love seeing how other teachers have adapted my VIP Table idea! Be sure to tag me so I can see them! I'll ramdomly post a few pictures on IG too!!