Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale

Are you ready to head back to school? I am, I love this time of year! Everything is nice, clean, and organized. I have spent the past week preparing my room for the upcoming school year! Next week I get to meet my new bunch of thinkers. I can't wait!

As you know, I have an owl themed classroom. We are Tighe's Thinkers. Over the summer, I made some new owl products for my classroom. I just finished my Interactive Owl Themed Writing Process Bulletin Board Set. I put it up in my classroom yesterday, and it turned out so cute! I can't wait to use it! I assign each of my students a number at the beginning of the school year. They use that number for everything from cubbies to folders, etc. This year they will also use it to keep track of where they are in the writing process during our writing workshop.

I set up this interactive bulletin board set on the whiteboard in the front of my classroom. Each number owl has a magnet glued behind it. This way students can easily move their owls when they move on to the next step of the writing process. I like using this system because I can easily see where the students are in their writing. What systems do you use to hold your students accountable during their writing time?

On August 18-19 my store will be part of the big back to school sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. Check out my store, and get ready for an amazing school year!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Whooo loves Whole Brain?

Over the summer, I have been feeding my Pinterest addiction. While pinning to prepare for the school year, I found a ton of great Whole Brain resources. I tried some attention grabbers last year before leaving for my maternity leave, and was amazed how well they worked. Parents would come into my room for a class party and when the students got too noisy I would use one of the attention grabbers. They were shocked with how fast I got the students attention. I had one parent tell me she was going to start using that attention grabber at home.

Last year I only used the attention grabbers, this year I am going to give more Whole Brain strategies a try. I am going to implement the classroom rules, some of the teaching techniques, and the scoreboard to start. I just finished making my Whole Brain Owl Themed classroom rules, and posted them on my TpT store as a freebie. Do any of you guys use Whole Brain in your classroom? What strategies have you tried? Have you found that some strategies work better than others?
My favorite Whole Brain rule framed and ready to go!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Carolina Bloggers Meet-Up & New Mom Night Out

Last night my wonderful husband had baby duty while I met up with the Carolina Bloggers. We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Greenville, The Lazy Goat. Delish! My inner foodie was very happy! It was great to meet other bloggers, get some tips and tricks, and have a night off of mommy duties. It was funny how many people I recognized from following their blogs! They were so nice to a newbie blogger like me! Thank you, Amanda @ Teaching Maddeness for putting everything together!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Give Me A Break!

Let's face it, being a student these days is pretty tough. They have so much they are accountable for today. That's why I try to make learning as interesting as possible! If it's fun it is pretty painless. One strategy that I consistently use in my classroom is the use of movement breaks. According to ADDitude Magazine, "Exercise improves learning on three levels: It optimizes your mindset, by improving alertness, attention, and motivation." Those three levels are pretty important to learning!

Movement breaks don't have to be a half-hour aerobic session in the classroom, they can be quick 5 minute breaks placed throughout the day. My students love their movement breaks. Whenever I see them starting to fade, we take a break and move!

Youtube has made finding movement breaks so much easier! They have some great activities you can easily display on your Smartboard! Here is a list of some of my favorites breaks from

  1. Monster Mash Halloween Energizer- This break is awesome for the month of October! It's done to the song "The Monster Mash," and it has the students sit like a pumpkin once the song is done!
  2. The Penguin Dance- I love penguins, and my students definitely love acting like one! This song and dance is high energy and so much fun!
  3. The Banana Song- This break is pretty quick, so I will play it twice when we need it!
  4. The Sid Shuffle-  Sid the Sloth from Ice Age leads students in doing the Sid Shuffle. They show people from all around the world dancing, so you can add a little geography into this one.
  5. Peanut Butter Jelly Time- The only thing bad about this one is that it will get stuck in your head all day long!
  6. The Gummy Bear Song- This is from Just Dance Kids 2. My students love this one.
  7. Just Dance Kids- There are tons of fun dance songs for your students! Just do a search for Just Dance Kids.
  8. Fitness Freddie- Freddie does five-minute fitness breaks for your students. It is like a five-minute trip to the gym.
What movement breaks have you tried in your classroom? I hope you have fun moving with your students!