Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Share Chair "How-To" with Pictures and a FREEBIE!

Especially now that I am switching to Third Grade next school year, I am really LOVING the idea of a "Share Chair."  If you are unfamiliar with the idea... it is simply a special chair that students sit in when reading their writing pieces aloud to the class.  Here is an example of a "Share Chair" that I found online that I love:

If you search "Share Chair" on Pinterest or Google, you will be able to find many more examples.  There are so many cute ones out there, but I wanted one that could be folded up and put away when not in use (since my new Third Grade classroom is MUCH smaller than my current Kinder classroom).  So I purchased this at Big Lots for... I think... $14, sounds about right.

Well, I am not much of an artist, so these are the steps that I took to ensure that I came up with something that was semi-fun and kid friendly.

1 - I found a font that I liked and typed the words "Share Chair" in a Word document.  I printed the words extra large and then taped the papers to the top of the chair.

2 - I traced the words with a thick permanent marker, ensuring that the ink bled through on to the chair.

3 - I used acrylic paints and thin paint brushes from JoAnn Fabrics (Don't forget to use your teacher discount there!) to paint the inside of the letter outlines.

I am super sad because when the purple paint dried, it looked totally black!  Boo hoo hoo!

4 - I traced the outline of the letters with puffy paint.

I had an oopsie on the letter "I"...darn it!  I am hoping it dries clear!

5 - I added some dots around the letters with the puffy paint.  I wish I had an artistic hand, so I could paint cool designs, but I decided to keep it simple with dots.

Here is the semi-finished product!  I still plan to tie some fun ribbon around the white bars to "spice" it up a bit more!  If you have any more EASY ideas on how I can make this "Share Chair" more fun for my kiddos, I would love to hear them!!

Okay, now on to your FREEBIE!  If you have been reading any of my recent posts, then you already know that I have recently been doing a lot of planning for next school year.  I am changing grade levels (Kinder to Third Grade) and I will be on maternity leave during the first month of school (July at my school).

Anyway, something I just finished is a "Classroom Rules Brainstorming Sheet."  I love the idea of my students brainstorming, developing, and writing their own classroom rules, but I know I will probably get blanks stares looking back at me if I do not scaffold this activity.  So to help my kiddos with their thinking, I created this brainstorming sheet.  The idea is not my own... I read about it in "The First Six Weeks of School" written by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete.

Anyway, if you would like to grab this FREEBIE, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store (where everything is always free) by clicking HERE!

Maybe it is just my pregnancy hormones flaring up, but I was a little crushed to see 909 pageviews on my blog, 230 views on TPT, and 120 downloads on my previous freebie and ZERO comments.  * tear*  So if you are able to use this freebie in your classroom, I could use a little love in the form of a comment.  <3

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grab this classroom management FREEBIE!

As a Kindergarten teacher the last three years, I have had the luxury of having a boys and a girls bathroom right in my classroom.  I have been fortunate to be able to ignore the constant complaints during staff meetings that involve shared hallway bathrooms.

Well... that privilege will be coming to a quick hault for me soon.  Boo hoo hoo!!!  When I switch to Third Grade next year (July 2012 for our school), I will have to figure out a completely new bathroom procedure.

I listened enough to the complaints at staff meetings to know that one problem with intermediate students is HOW OFTEN they are in the hallway because they are supposedly in need of the bathroom.  I would like to nip that problem in the bud before it even starts in my classroom!  I saw the perfect inspiration on Pinterest:

I am not sure where the idea originally came from because, when I click on the picture, it does not lead to a blog or anything.  :(  So if this idea is yours, please let me know and I will - of course - give you the credit you deserve!

Anyway, I wanted to "cute" it up, so I created my own "Emergency Bathroom Trips" poster.  I plan to...

1 - Print this little creation (including the numbers, not pictured here) on our color printer at school and on cardstock.

2 - Cut out and laminate the cardstock.

3 - Arrange and attach the printables on a thick, cute strip of ribbon (running vertically), so that the poster is on top, then the "1," the "2," the "3," and finally the "4" at the bottom.

The AMAZING and FREE border came from "The 3am Teacher Graphics".  I am in LOVE with this newly found blog! 

Anywho... if you would like your own copy of my FREEBIE, be sure to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store (where everything is always free) by clicking HERE!
Thank you for stopping by!  :)  If you are able to use this freebie in your own classroom, I would love to hear about it!


Monday, April 9, 2012

She shopped, she scored! Plus a FREEBIE for you!

Oh... my... goodness, blogging friends!  I cannot tell you how excited I am right now!  Here is why:

I have been wanting to make those crate seats for a long time now.  (You know what I am talking about, right?  Seems like every teacher has them, except me.)  Here is an example:

I asked my dad if he would help me make these (he is super handy) and he was willing to help.  However, he was nervous about what would happen if a student fell through and was injured on a "teacher-made" seat.  (Unlikely, but you cannot blame a daddy for worrying about the well-being of his little girl, hehe.)  So I became somewhat discouraged about making these cute creations.

Then... I saw another interesting picture on Pinterest that came from Pam's blog, My Second Home. 

Pam said she found these ADORABLE storage seats at Big Lots, so I have been meaning to stop by that store forever now.  Well... I was driving passed a Big Lots today and thought to myself, "Fat chance that I will actually find those storage seats, but the hubby is at work and I have some free time.  Eh, why not give it a shot?"  (If you are a Big Lots shopper, you know how AWESOME that store is, but you also know how random their shipments are.)  But wouldn't you know it, I found them!!!

Don't you just LOVE the colors and designs!?  They were $15 each, but like Pam mentioned on her blog, I would much rather spend $15 than spend the time and energy making these things.  (I wish I was creative like many of you awesome bloggers / teachers, but I just do not have it in me!)  I would have liked to get more than two, but this was all they had in the store today.  I will keep checking back.

I also scored some other things for my classroom.  I am switching to Third Grade next year, so I am all about this "Share Chair" idea that I see all the time on Pinterest (a special chair students sit in when they are sharing writing pieces with the class).  I found this bright and cheery beach chair at Big Lots that I will eventually decorate to become our "Share Chair."

I am hoping my friend will help me paint it to make it look cute.  (Did I mention I am not creative?)  Best of all - these things all fold up, which is wonderful because my new classroom is WAAAAAAY smaller than my current classroom (boo hoo hoo).

I am a huge fan of tableclothes.  I love how I can throw a tablecloth over a table and it really brings life to that area... so easy, so inexpensive!  I found this cute tablecloth today at Big Lots for a few bucks.  I am going to put it on the main table in our classroom in the "Central Station" area.

Okay, now on to other matters...

Did you see Marlana's FREE "Chocolate Bunny Activity" on her blog, Lil Country Kindergarten?  Head over to her blog to grab it!  I used this activity with my kiddos and they LOVED it!  (Duh... they got to eat chocolate.)

Here are some pictures of what we did in our classroom, using Marlana's activity:

We labeled the parts of a chocolate bunny.  I did this on chart paper and my Kinders did the same on their own copies.

I then gave each student a chocolate bunny (I found 3-packs at the Dollar Tree).  I instructed them to take ONE bite out of their bunny.  Then, they decorated their own bunnies and cut off a piece of the bunny to show where they took a bite.  Finally, we graphed the results.  As you can see, our data was completely lopsided!  Next time, I will encourage the kids to take a bite out of ANY part of the bunny.  (And, in case you are wondering... yes, I let my students finish eating their bunnies, hehe.)

Well... if you have read this whole post, you definitely deserve a FREEBIE!  I created some organizational sheets for my teacher planning binder that look like this:

If you would like to grab your own copy of these pages, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store (where everything is always free) by clicking HERE!  If you would like to add more pages to your own collection, contact me and I will happily send you the Word version.

Phew!  That turned out to be a LONG post.  Thanks for sticking around and, as always, thank you for stopping by!  :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

A FREEBIE For You - Table Group Name Signs

So in my Kindergarten classroom, each table of students chooses a new group name every 3 weeks (which is how often our Reading themes change).  I create more than enough signs, so each table has a choice.

I really like using table names because they help with transitions.

The table signs pictured above would be fine for my new 3rd grade classroom (I will switch to 3rd grade, starting in July), but all the other themes I used in Kindergarten are too primary for 3rd grade.  Soooooo... it is time to create new ones!

Michelle over at "The 3am Teacher" has shared some AWESOME border frames for free... along with a ton of other cool freebies!  I used them to create new signs.  Here is one example:

If you would like to view and download the other table group name signs I created, please visit my TPT Store to grab them for FREE by clicking HERE!

I hope you can use this freebie in your classroom.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)