Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sharing Sunday: December

It is that time again!!!!

Looking for resources and FREEBIES to get December off on the right foot?  Just check below!  We have all written blog posts to share goodies with you!

Make sure to check all the links below and get the "good stuff!" Enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Helpful Harvest--Keeping Student Materials Organized


Hi guys!  It's Ashley from Just Reed with a tip that has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.  I have to be purposeful about helping students keep their materials organized, and here are three ways I do this:

 1.  Have Finish Folders in Students' Desks or Seat Sacks.

Anytime we need to move on and I have a student who is lagging behind (because they're a coloring perfectionist or because they were too busy chatting with a I have them put their unfinished work inside their "Finish Folder."  They know that whenever they have free time later in the day, they'll need to take that folder out and finish the work inside it.

2.  Have Students Keep a Prep Pack in their Desks or Seat Sacks.
 April from Gradeschool Giggles recently shared on The Peach how she preps craftivities this way.  I like for students to hang onto their Prep Pack at all times in case we do ANY worksheet or craft that requires cutting out several pieces.  As they cut pieces, they are instructed to put everything in their Prep Pack.  We have table groups, and this way no pieces get mixed in with their neighbor's pieces!  I also do like April and put all the pieces they'll need for a craft inside these bags!

3.  Have Ketchup ("Catch Up") Work Folders for When a Student is Out.
Keep 3-4 of these folders prepped.  When a student is out, place all papers they miss throughout their absence inside the folder.  You can send the folder home for students to complete or have them work on it at school.  All of their "Ketchup" work is organized and ready to make up!

Would these ideas make your life easier?
Snag these FREE folder labels here.  You can print them on card stock and glue or tape them.  Or you can get whole sheet labels, print them, cut labels apart, and peel and stick!  CLICK BELOW to get your FREEBIE!
Let me know what you thought of these helpful tips!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Helpful Harvest: It's Maker Time!

Hi guys! This is Lyssa, first grade teacher from My Mommy Reads and my Helpful Harvest tip is.......
Have you heard of Maker Time? STEM Time,  Genius Hour? Wow Wednesday? It's kind of all the rage right now and I am pretty happy about it!

My first graders and I have Maker Wednesday each week for 45 minutes. We step away from our official curriculum and focus on making/creating/exploring/planning/collaborating/playing. The thing to remember with maker time is that it is kid driven. Sometimes I offer a challenge and they work together to solve it. Sometimes there are issues in our class that need to be solved (where to put all of the math tubs, etc.) Other times they come up with their own challenges. Sometimes they just play. We use materials we have on hand and recyclables. I would love to go into all of the details, but that would need to be a 10 part series! Instead, I'd like to share a great maker opportunity, the Turkey Hideout!
My son's first grade class just took the Turkey Hideout challenge and LOVED it! They plan and create a hideout to keep their little turkeys safe from the farmer!

Click the picture for the freebie directions! I know today happens to be Thanksgiving, but you could absolutely do this during December, too! You could also do elf hideout or Santa hideout!
Just look at this adorable maker and his turkey hideout! His teacher rocks!
I hope you will take the Turkey Hideout challenge with your students! If you do, let us know how it goes!

Looking for more of a challenge? Check out the Log Cabin STEM activity from Wiggling Scholars

On behalf of all of The Primary Peach bloggers, I'd like to wish you a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving!
For even more ideas from The Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Helpful Harvest - Math Center Tip Missing Pieces Box

Hello everyone! This is Greg Coleman from Mr Elementary Math and I wanted to share a simple yet effective classroom organization tip with you today.  I LOVE math centers! They are a perfect time to differentiate instruction and work with small groups.  Does it drive you crazy when you are in the middle of teaching a small group lesson and one of your students hands you a random math manipulative that was on the floor? Or how about when your students attempt to play a board game and several of the game chips are missing?  Well, I may have just the right solution.   It is called the Missing Pieces Box.

All you have to do is obtain an empty box or basket and add the label "Missing Pieces Box" or "Missing Pieces Basket".  Now you have a solution for two real problems that come along with math centers. (1) What to do if students discover that games are missing items during workstation time?  (2) What to do if students find misplaced items or manipulatives ? 

You can even assign a classroom job titled "Lost Items Manager".  This job can go to those students that are very organized. These are the same students that are the 1st to alert you when they find something that is out of place or LOVE clean up time. You know who they are : )

I hope you liked this classroom organization tip. For even more ideas from the Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on Instagram. Facebook and Pinterest to catch all the latest news and updates!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Helpful Harvest: Classroom Survival Tips for the Holidays

Hi, peachy friends! It's Shannon from Shannon Bryant's Brain Train.

Happy almost Thanksgiving from all of us at the Peach!
We are so grateful for you!!!  

The holidays are here!  I am so excited, and I hope you are too!!!

You know who else is excited?  That's right...our students.  At home they are busy putting up Christmas trees and lights, welcoming in family from out of town for Thanksgiving meals around the table, making lists for Santa, preparing for Christmas programs at church and school, staying up late, and eating sweets...lots and lots of sweets!

At the same time, we are busy with grown-up holiday errands of our own,,,making lists, checking them twice, mailing cards, wrapping presents, and drinking coffee...lots and lots of coffee!
Teacher fatigue plus student excitement does not equal heavenly peace, so here are just a few tips to help you survive the holidays...
Maintain as much of the normal routine as you can--morning work, classroom expectations, teaching from all content areas, etc.  Of course, please don't think I am encouraging you to be Scrooge.  Holiday smiles and fun are all a part of this magical time of year!  But maintaining your usual schedule and routine will help students (and you) feel more settled and organized as school continues over the next month.  For example, in Science we are continuing our unit on Digestion and Nutrition, and yes, we are even having a vocab quiz and test between now and Christmas.  But, we are also sprinkling in a few fun curriculum-related ideas as well.  Next week, students will be using their knowledge of the food groups to plan their "perfect" holiday meal!  Normal routine, but with a bit of holiday fun!

Sometimes thoughts of Christmas gift-giving and Santa can make us all become a little obsessed with thoughts of ME, ME, ME!  What if, during the holidays, we were able to shift that focus a little?  When your class has moments of down-time, how about making cards for a fellow teacher or class, asking a teacher of another grade if you can be holiday pen pals, encouraging and demonstrating random acts of kindness around the school, etc...

My favorite part of the school day is when I encourage my students to "settle in with a good book."  Try sprucing up your classroom library with a few holiday favorites, or maybe work in a daily holiday read aloud.  We will be reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as our chapter book of choice, but there will also be plenty of time for other favorites like Mooseltoe,  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, and The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree.  Silent and group reading opportunities are great ways to help my little learners settle down and relax a little as we move throughout our school day.

In spite of busy schedules and excited students, this truly is one of the most special times of year.  From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, we all stop to reflect on the year that has passed, the blessings we have received, the things we have learned, and the hopes that we have.  If you are able to rest, recharge, and spill over with love and joy onto your students, they will feed off of the tone you set for your classroom during the holiday season.

I hope these suggestions are beneficial to you!!!  Love and best wishes for the entire holiday season!

For even more ideas from The Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Helpful Harvest: A Google Extension You Need!

Hey friends! It's Tara from andtheyallfalldown

I went to the GaETC conference two weeks ago and I learned about a helpful google extension that I wanted to share with you! The name of this extension is ublock origin. If you are on a device that runs chrome - all you need to do is go to the google web store and search for ublock! There are two that come up, but Chris Craft from Palmetto Learning (the presenter I learned about this extension from) likes origin the best.  
Here are some photos of the extension in action.
I love to use youtube in my classroom, but I rarely do - I can't trust what comes up!
So this has been a life-saver for me to play my phonics snippets and videos that I have found. 

I hope this is helpful to you in your classroom! 
For even more ideas from The Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Helpful Harvest: Using Padlet in the Classroom

I'm Jonna from The Primary Life and I'm excited to share a great idea from my classroom. One of the easiest and most versatile tech tools that I use in my classroom is Padlet-formerly called Wallwisher.  It is a virtual wall where you can place digital "sticky notes" that have pictures, videos, links, etc. 
Our kids love Padlet and here are some ways that we have used it our kindergarten class.  
In this example, we created a Padlet to collect all of our Showme screencasts of the First Thanksgiving.  
We found that Padlet is a great way to collaborate with other classes beyond our four walls. They make it so easy because a login is not required to post a sticky on the wall. Here is an example of a Padlet we created to see what other classes across the country knew about baby animals. Our kids were so excited to see other classes from California, Missouri and Georgia add to our Padlet.  I embedded the Padlet into my blog, like I did here so they do not need to go the the Padlet website. If you click on the wall below you can add your own sticky note.  Try it!

This year, we were curious about recess and what it looked like at other schools. So what did we do? Yes, we created a Padlet and invited other classes to show us their playground or what they did during recess.

However, one of my favorite uses of Padlet has been to curate the strategies we've learned in Writers Workshop. In this Padlet, you will see how classmates help each other with strategies during writing partnerships and a student led closing. 

Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started on your Padlet journey!

I really hope that this a tool that you can use in your classroom!
For even more ideas from The Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Helpful Harvest: Make Worksheets Come Alive

We are 21 days into our Helpful Harvest series here at the Primary Peach and I have learned so much from my fellow Peaches!  What an amazing group of educators!!  I'm Meghan from Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris and today, I decided to integrate a technology tip for you that will make your children scream with excitement!  Seriously, go ahead and know that it will be loud in your classroom during this activity!  

YES!  Let's make those worksheets come ALIVE!  You are going to be just as excited as your students when you see this in person!  Checkout the steps below!

Head on over to Quiver Vision's website.  First, I would love for you to watch the video so you can see for yourself the fun that you and your students are in for.  Then at the top of the site, click "Education".  This will take you to the page with the downloadable worksheets that are available.  There are a ton of science and social studies content related pages and some just for fun.  These are perfect for your writing class.  Let them pick their own page for a fun write, read the passage on the worksheet and get them writing.  I say, save the "come to life" part for the very end and just see their excitement!

Students color their pictures with regular crayons or markers!  They can use any colors that they would like to, the app can change between their colors and the real life colors of the object or animal.

Download the app to your iPad.  Now, this is the sad isn't free.  There is a free version, but it only has a couple of worksheets that work with it.  However, I can tell you that the full version is well worth the $7.99.

I let my son color and scan his picture this week for the first time and he seriously dropped the iPad!  When his bug jumped off the page he screamed and then started laughing.  After that, we had to print off nearly every picture from the site just so he could see what they would do.  AND he is only 4!!!  Another feature of the app that I love is that there is an recording of information for some of the pictures as well.  So kids are learning even after their scan!  

Isn't this amazing?  I couldn't think of a better way to be "helpful" than share this with you just in time for the holiday craziness!  You can use this as a time filler during all those stressful moments between now and Christmas.  :)  Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Helpful Harvest - Tricks for Managing Craftivities

Hey Y'all! It's April from Grade School Giggles! I’m thrilled to be here writing the post for The Primary Peach today. This month we are sharing classroom tips to help you out.

Craftivitivies are one of my favorite teaching tools. I love getting my craft on and so combining crafting and learning is right up my ally. Over the years, I’ve found a few tricks to make them easier to manage.  

Let’s start with simplifying the prep work. Many craftivities require pieces to be cut out of construction paper. Copying or printing the patterns directly onto your construction paper is the simplest option. I use a binder clip or two to hold a piece of 8.5 by 11 paper onto my construction paper and use that as a guide to trim my construction paper down to size with a paper cutter. Then, I just run it through my printer or copier.

Sometimes, printing or copying onto the construction paper just isn’t an option. In those cases, I do one of two things. Either I make a set of tracers for the kids to use by tracing my pattern pieces cardboard or I make a stack of paper with my pattern on top (printed or traced), staple all around the edges, and cut out the pieces myself. Stapling around the edges keeps the papers from shifting as I cut and lets me cut a whole stack at once.

It is really important to model the process with your students. I try to do this even before passing out supplies because I really want them focused. Making an example in front of the students can really clarify expectations for them. It sets them up for success,  lets them see the final product, and helps get them excited.

I also like to save time passing out supplies and by prepping ahead of time. I give each student a gallon size plastic baggie with their name on it. I add all of the pieces that each child will need into the baggie. Doing it this way means I know that everyone got all of the pieces. It also gives each child has a place to store their pieces if they don’t finish. I collect the bags at the end to reuse for our next project.

Finally, remember craftivities are about learning. It’s okay if the kids make mistakes or projects aren’t perfect. It’s another way to get your kids excited about learning and that’s the whole point.

If you haven’t tried any craftivities this is the perfect time of year to start.
Like this tip? Come back each day for a NEW tip from a different author ALL through November!
For even more ideas from The Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates!