Intervention Time: Computation



RtI time can be stressful. Finding an intervention that meets the needs of your learners that is also engaging is hard. Stress no more. Meghan Harris from Keeping Up with Mrs.Harris and I have teamed up to create the ultimate Computation Intervention Bundle. If you are working on adding and subtracting numbers 0-20 we have it covered.



Building foundational mathematical skills is so important for our young students. These skills are ones they will rely on heavily not only throughout their years in elementary school, but in every step of their careers as learners and their life outside of school.



So, these skills are important to teach with fidelity. But shouldn’t they be fun too? These skills need to be reviewed frequently. Facts need to be memorized, yes I said it, memorized. But not through drill and practice. Let’s engage our little learners in activities that will stick!



How do you make it stick?



Manipulatives make it fun and memorable. Use counters, play-doh, mini erasers (hello Target dollar section!), dice, number cards, number lines, subitizing cards, and spinners to make math unforgettable.

Introduce games during your small group time. You want to ensure that students know how to play and are actually playing the game correctly. Play along with them!


This is an excellent time to model your mathematical thinking for students. Encourage them to explain their thoughts and strategies as they play as well. Once students are comfortable you can put these activities in stations to review all year long. Switch them out occasionally. Soon they will be begging to play certain games!


Many first grade and second grade OA standards are addressed in this bundle. While we made it with those grade levels in mind, it would also benefit kindergarteners that grasp the concept of adding to 5 quickly and need a challenge.


Make learning fun again! Get this bundle now, while it is at a discounted price. If you purchase today you will also get all of the updates as we add more content. Don’t wait, because the price will increase.


Interested in trying it out for free? Head over to Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris for a 30 page FREE sample!

Building a Community







Let’s talk classroom community.
How do you foster a sense of community in your classroom?

This is something I try to create from the minute they walk into my room on Open House. I want students to feel comfortable and safe… every teacher does, right? I want students to feel like they can take risks and try, without being afraid of failure. How do we get students there?

Classroom community. We work together. We are a team. We cheer each other on. How do I do this? Here are two ways I build a community.




In a community there must be rules.

My first few years teaching I created the rules with my students the first day. I loved this. We had great discussions. But, with all things I had to remember I kept forgetting the rules and the numbers we assigned to them. I would mix up rules from previous years, it was a mess. So, I started using Whole Brain Teaching rules. Much easier for me. I post these rules in a visible spot with the assigned number for easy referral. We still had genuine discussions about the rules and what they meant to us, and students still took ownership. I encourage students to hold each other accountable for the rules, and in turn this helps them learn to work out problems on their own. Ok, yes I mediate A LOT at the beginning of the year, but eventually they are able to talk to each other about a rule they did not follow and how it made them feel.





In a community everyone must be held responsible.
Everybody has a job and plays a part. I use classroom jobs to teach accountability. I assign the line leader (ABC order) every Monday and the other kids pick their job after announcements that morning. To make this task quick I create a clip chart, so students could do it themselves. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year making sure jobs are done correctly and setting the standard of expectation. Eventually I can back off and the students hold each other accountable. Who didn’t stack the chairs? We need more pencils sharpened. Who needs to wipe the tables today? These are often questions I hear them ask each other. But it takes work on the front end. If I don’t teach them how to do the jobs well then they won’t get done the way we need them to. They won’t hold each other accountable, if I don’t do it first.
If you like my clip chart or rules posters you can get them here....



Class Jobs: Shabby Chic Clip Chart {EDITABLE}


Shabby Chic: Classroom Decor {Editable}



How do you form a sense of classroom community?

A Teacher's Bag of Tricks


So, I have an embarrassing story I have to share.

It was the fall my first year teaching. Football season, so only a month or two into the school year. I was tailgating in Auburn with my besties' family and our friends. Between beverages I was chatting with a girl who had been teaching for three years.

I was venting about the many problems I had already encountered as a new teacher. She mentioned I needed to create my bag of tricks. Bag of tricks? Maybe it was the beverages, because I thought she meant literal bag of things. I eagerly asked her what she kept in her bag and where she kept it for easy access. Needless to say she quickly realized my interpretation and why I needed help.

I spent much of the summer before my first year planning for how I would decorate my classroom. Bright colors, flowers, and a reading garden. What I should have spent my time doing was building my "bag of tricks". My procedures and routines.

Don't make this mistake. Don't be the naive girl who thinks a teacher's bag of tricks is a tote bag you walk around pulling magic out of. Even if you have been teaching for years, it's never too late to improve your classroom management. So, I have brainstormed a list of questions to help you build that brag of tricks or rethink somethings you are already doing.

How will students line up?

How will you get students' attention?

How will you dismiss them from whole group?

How will they know to rotate centers or switch small groups?

Will you have classroom jobs? What will they be? Will you assign them or will students pick them?

How will you manage your class library? How many books can students "check out"?

What is your bathroom procedure?

What is your pencil procedure?

Where are extra supplies? How do students get these?

What is your morning routine? Dismissal?

What are your hallway expectation? Lunch room? Specials?

How will students know recess is over? Where do they line up?

How will you communicate with parents?

How will you ensure students are aware of their progress?

What are your expectations for group work?

What are your consequences for breaking a rule? What if they break two?

What positive reinforcement will you use?

How will students pick partners?



Feeling overwhelmed? I am sorry! Yes, it is A LOT to think about. I have your back.

Jessica from Notes from the Portable and I created an ebook to help you think through these questions and provide you with multiple solutions. I wish I had this when I first started... but now I get to share my bag of tricks with you.


Jessica also created a very handy classroom management planner to help you stay organized! You'll love the management journal and editable planner to keep track of student behavior and parent communication.
Classroom Management Book and Planner

Want more? Read Jessica's Ultimate Guide for Back to School! She has 29 tips you need to read before going back.
Also, check out my post Starting the Year Off Strong to get you thinking about routines and procedures.


Teachers that Give: A Simple Tip to Winter Success

' Tis the season to be thankful, to share, and to give! And that is exactly what I plan to do all holiday season long. I am linking up with two of my friends, Megan of Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris and Jessica of Notes from the Portable for Teachers That Give!



How do I survive the holiday season with a class full?

of excited children? Simple. I don’t have a fancy trick, and you have probably heard of or used this trick before yourself. But, it is one that I always use, and it keeps the crazies a little less… crazy.



An estimation jar! Yup, simple. It works for every grade! You can use an estimation jar in many ways. You can put a daily surprise inside or a weekly surprise. Either way, the closest estimation wins the contents of the jar. I like to do a daily estimation jar. It reinforces positive behaviors and gives that reminder each day that today could be your day.

I put the jar on my table or nearby. The estimation slips and a container sit next to it. I start strong, giving out estimation slips constantly for positive behavior. Kids learn to quickly make their estimation, fold it, put it in the container, and go back to work so they can earn another.  The closer we get to winter break and the more excited they get it get harder to earn a slip, or sometimes easier depending on your class.
                       

Make it work for you….

*Give a range (between 100-200, or less that 350)

*Pick behaviors you want to promote that will earn an estimation slip

*Have the winner set it up for the next day/week

*Start with smaller amounts until they grasp estimating


To make life easy, you can get the estimation slips (color and black & white) I use for free. Click the picture below.


I am thankful for all of you that clicked, google, or however you discovered this post! So, to show my thanks I am giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon! Who doesn’t love Amazon? Enter below, good luck my friends.


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Adult Brags: Reward Yourself



This year I took the leap and started using brag tags with my kids and BOY did it change the game! No more treasure box! Quick, easy motivation! Even kids who don't love wearing their brag tags want to earn them. 

I have this beautiful bulletin board of our brag tags in my room that I just adore. 

My assistant principal walked in one day and asked about them, so of course I explained. She commented that she wish she had a brag tag for making dinner... and then it hit me. Why shouldn't we earn brag tags for adulting??

Adult brag tags were born that night. I love thinking up new brag tags. So far I have made....






 Currently, I am just handing them out to my friends at work, and they find it hilarious. Our staff is pretty big, and I don't want to hurt feelings, so I made one to put in everyone's mailbox: I made someone smile!


You can get this growing pack in my TPT store. Get it now, because as I add more the price will increase. Click HERE or the picture below to check them out! 


A Fresh, New Look All Around

Finally, a new look for Snazzy in Second! I have wanted to upgrade my design for a long time now, just never bit the bullet. I decided to commit to a new design right before the TPT conference this summer, and it is finally done. The wonderful Tenille from Designs by Tenille did a fabulous job (I think)! 
I sent her the business card I designed and then let her go from there. 

I think she nailed the 'snazzy' look perfectly. She was so easy to work with too!

She also created new images for Facebook too. Hope on over and check it out.


I have also spent the time since the TPT conference re-branding my store. I wanted a concise look, something that people would see and know it was Snazzy in Second. I still have a lot more work to do, but I am about halfway done.



I am really hoping this new design motivates me to blog more! Back to college football and lesson plans. 

Starting the Year Off Strong!


That first day of school can be nerve wrecking whether you are a veteran teacher with years of experience or a first-year teacher straight out of college.

You want the first day to be perfect. You want to have fun, but also set the tone for the year. You need to establish your schedule, expectations, routines, and procedures so the rest of the year will be flawless (ha! we wish).

I am taking some of my free time (between binging on Netflix) to reflect on some of these things. A new school year brings a chance to start new procedures or revamp old ones. I wanted to share some of the things on my mind with you.

Classroom Policies

*Supplies: Table supplies have always been a weakness for me. I use table caddies and they start off strong, but they always end up messy by the third week. This year I am going to follow through with maintaining organization of table supplies. I plan to implement a new class job that will monitor their table throughout the week. How do you want your students to get their supplies when needed? What if Johnny lost his scissors? What if table 4 is out of glue sticks… again? 

Moving About
*Bathroom: I have a good system in place for students needing to use the restroom, but it could be a bit better. Occasionally I forget when someone is out of the room, I have to quickly glance around and see if anyone is missing before I allow a student to go. Those few seconds are instructional time I do not like to waste. To solve this problem I am going to use hand sanitizer bottles like passes. Students will know not to signal for the bathroom if the bottle isn’t in it’s ‘home’. You can get my hand sanitizer labels for free HERE. Will your students ask or signal to go to the bathroom? Will they use a pass or sign out?




*Pack Up / Dismissal: Ugh! The most chaotic part of my day is pack-up and dismissal. I start out with a firm routine and then a crazy-hectic day comes in and throws us off. It is hard to recover. This year we have specials at the end of the day and will need to pack-up before. I am hoping this will help prevent the chaos. Will you call tables to pack-up? Do you need to sign agendas? When a student is done packing up, where will they sit? What will they do until they are called for dismissal?


Organization
*Homework: I have a designated spot in my room to turn in homework. When I check homework there are always papers with no name on it. It drives me CRAZY! I don’t have this problem with classwork, because students highlight their name before turning it in. Next year I will enforce highlighting your name on your homework too. Where do students turn in their homework? Will you check it or a student? When will it get checked? What if they didn’t put their name on it?


Lesson Procedures
*Early Finishers: Inevitably, no matter how well I thought out a lesson and included enrichment, Johnny is always done early. His work is correct, there is no sending him back to “check” it. A few years ago I invented the Brownie Points box for early finishers. Last year I had a different procedure in place. What will Johnny do when he is done? Will you have a system in place or will they read quietly?


*Answering Questions: I never considered this procedure a trouble spot, until I visited Ron Clark Academy. Wow! Every teacher MUST go, that school is inspirational. One of my biggest take-aways was how the kids answered questions and responded to each other. They don’t raise their hands, they just pop-up and speak. I started this towards the end of last school year, and plan to implement it from day one next year. Will you have your students raise their hand? What if they have a question while you are working with a small group?

You can sit and ponder these things in between Netflix shows or at the pool, but my friend Jessica over at Notes from the Portable and I did all the thinking for you. We answered these questions plus many, many more in our Teaching Tips and Time Savers ebook. Whether you are a super-organized teacher or a little more relaxed we have multiple strategies, tools, and forms for you. We also provided editable classroom forms to make your life easier.  

Jessica also has 29 Things You Need to Know Before the First Day of School! Hop on over and check out her list… she has FREEBIES! J