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St. Patrick's Day Centers, Games, and some Freebies!!

All kinds of sickness is going through my school and now it's my turn.  I left work early, because I feel awful.  So I'm being productive and finally getting a blog post up.  Too bad I need to be sick in order to get something done around here!  

I worked long and hard on getting my St. Patricks' Day Luck of the Irish Centers done in plenty of time that I could use them BEFORE St. Patty's day.  For me that is an accomplishment!

We started using the centers today by working on syllables.  My kids are making sooooo much progress on this skill, and it makes me sooo happy!

There's a ton more of activities in the unit: rhyming, medial sounds, mixed up sentences, addition, counting and more.  You can check it out {here}.

I've also got some super fun St. Patrick's Day games.  My kids love playing games and Save the Gold has always been a favorite every year.

If your kids are working on CVC words, this game will be perfect!

Now onto the freebies!  :)  These were freebies that I made last year but now I've revamped them and made them better.  So if you downloaded them last year, you'll want to redownload them.  Click on the pics below to download them.

I've also updated my Making Words - St. Patrick's Day to include the words shamrock and clovers.

I hope everyone is gearing up for a great St. Patty's Day.  The best part is St. Patty's Day means spring break is getting closer!

A Sight Word Game About a Cat....

I think all teachers know there is a birthday for a certain Dr. coming up.  That Dr. may or may not haver certain copyright laws that make it difficult for teachers to create really awesome stuff in honor of said birthday.

If you are celebrating a certain Dr.'s birthday or spending a day in March reading the day away, you may be interested in a sight word game that has a cat AND it doesn't break any copyright laws (that I know of).  

I don't know about you guys but my kids love playing sight word games.  Goodness knows they need a lot of practice reading sight words and it can be hard to keep them engaged.  We usually play one sight word game a day.  My kids love it, I can see their progress, and they're engaged.  That's win-win for sure!  I've got a whole post I want to write about teaching sight words (whenever I get time and remember to take pictures of tools I use).

So now onto the game.  I've discounted the price to $2 from now until March 2nd.  My kids love playing it (and really any game).  It's great for small group, centers, RTI groups, or something for volunteers to do with students.

These are words typically taught in Kindergarten and reviewed in 1st grade.  There's 72 sight words and 12 special cards.  I've also included a blank page in case you want to write your own words in.  And there's a recording sheet for students to write their words on and color some on for after the game.

If you might be interested, click on the picture below.

Are you doing anything special for a certain Dr.'s birthday?

Five for Friday!

Lately, it seems like I've only had time for Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday.  I've got a ton of ideas I want to blog about: sight words, St. Patty's Day, new behavior visuals, etc.  I just can't figure out the time.  :/

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that it's Friday!  Anyone else have a countdown till spring break?  15 teaching days to go!!!!

So let's recap the past week.  I'm going back till last Friday for this one.

1.  We had our Fun Fair at my school.  It was a great turn out.  Can anyone guess what booth I worked???

I got to spray hair color on the kids for 4 hours!  It was a lot of fun but that was a lot of fumes to breathe in!  Yes, I know I could have worn gloves, but I'm allergic to the powder that is sometimes in gloves.  Not the latex but the powder.  Weird allergy to have, huh?  I try to avoid all balloons, rubber bands, or gloves if possible.  Otherwise I'll feel like my face is on fire!

2.  One of the perks of being part of the military is shopping at the commissary.  Sometimes they have some great sales.
Sometimes.......not so much.  Seriously, I have tons of pictures like this.  My favorite are the ones where the sale price is actually MORE than the regular price.  :/

3.  Thank goodness for Katie at Teacher to the Core!  The other resource teacher had to call out sick unexpectedly.  I told him no worries!  I'll cover his kids and mine.  Katie has this awesome President's Day book for FREE!  It totally saved me.

If you didn't use her book this year, you should go download it {here} for next year.

4.  I finally decided that my classroom needed a super cute welcome sign and one that listed me as the teacher, too.  ;)

I've made welcome signs before back at my old school for my friends.  I've been wondering if other people would be interested in something like this for their classroom???  Maybe I could do some sort of custom order thing?  Would anyone be interested?

5.  I downloaded some great number freebies this week that I'm sure you don't want to miss out on.  Click on the pics to download these freebies!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Five for Friday!

It's time for my favorite post of the week!  I love Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday link ups.

1.  This week, we worked on some of phonemic awareness skills which is a skill my students really need to practice.  We sorted syllables from my Heart Felt Valentine Unit.  

2.  We also practice matching up some rhyming words from the same unit.

3.  We practiced word problems and writing equations with my still in development Circus Math unit.

4.  I'm super excited about my new Story Elements Unit that my students started this week.

We sorted characters and setting.  Next week, we'll be working on drawing and writing about the different characters and settings in books.

5.  The best way to spend an afternoon after work is like this!  :)

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all have a 3-day weekend!

Let's Talk Behavior, Valentine Centers, and a Freebie!

Well, I have a lot to say today so be prepared for an post with a bunch of different stuff in it!  LOL.

First, I'm linking up with Ashley from The Resource Room Teacher for her Special Needs Sunday.  

Let's talk about something that can be the most difficult part of teaching.........behavior problems.  Ughh, behavior problems can really drive a teacher crazy and make it so hard to teach.

The crazy thing about students with behavior problems is that every one is different.  They are so individualized and what works for one child might not work for another.  So here are some general tips that I've been using with one particular student.

1.  A schedule, a schedule, a schedule.  Kids need consistency and routine.  Students with behavior problems probably need it even more so.  If they don't know what is happening next or what is expected of them next, be prepared for behavior problems to increase.  The first thing I did at my new job was make a schedule and stick to it.

I tried to use actual pictures of the student when possible.  My student uses a dry erase marker to check off the schedule as we go through the day.  The back side has the afternoon events.  This has evolved since I first started teaching this class to fit the needs and changes I've made.  Having a visual schedule has really helped.  If he says he wants to do _________, I bust out the schedule and show him what has to happen before recess or whatever it is he wants.

2.  Consistency - This is sooooo important.  Everyone who is working with the student needs to be consistent.  A few weeks ago, we had a meeting with all the teachers and the aide to discuss expectations, consequences, and reinforcements across ALL settings.  That has made a huge difference.  With everyone on the same page and reacting the same way, we are seeing improvements in behavior.  My big focus is the academic work MUST be done.  It doesn't disappear.  No matter how bad we misbehave, the work stays and must be finished before we can move onto something else.  

3.  Reinforcement - This can be really tricky.  I really want my kids to follow class rules and expectations because that's just what they are supposed to do at school.  However, some kids need more.  It's important to find reinforcers that will work for the specific student and ones that don't take away from the other students in the class.  Is it really fair if Johnny can't do anything without a meltdown but then is rewarded for 5 minutes of work when the rest of the class does all their work with no reward?  Not really.  I think this is where you really have to think about your students and your class to find the best answer.  

For my student, I made a sticker chart that coincides with his visual schedule.

In the morning, he chooses what he is working for: recess, legos, or drawing.  These are things he really likes, so he is motivated to do these things.  In the afternoon, he does the same thing on the backside of the page.  I split the day up into different activities that he can earn a sticker.  The first task is SUPER easy.  All he needs to do is put his backpack away.  He can typically accomplish this task without any problem.  This means he gets a sticker first thing and starts his day off on a good foot.  If he doesn't earn a sticker, he has to x that box out and we talk about what behavior caused him to not earn the sticker.

When we first started the sticker chart, he only needed to earn 4 stickers out of 6 opportunities to earn his reward.  Once he started mastering 4 stickers, I bumped him up to 5.  At first, I also had more easy tasks that he could earn a sticker for that weren't so academic related.  My goal was for him to feel some success.

I also use this page as notes throughout the day.  I write comments on it if he has a meltdown, says something inappropriate, or does a good job.  I keep this for my records and send a copy home for mom each day.  

He can earn his reward right before morning recess (when my other resource students leave to go back to their gen ed class) and again in the afternoon right before dismissal.  This way it doesn't disrupt the other students.  He only gets his reward for 5 minutes and I set the timer to keep track.  If he doesn't earn the reward and has a meltdown, all he really does is hurt himself.  He can't go to morning recess if he's having a meltdown so he has to get it together.  My big goal was that if he doesn't earn a reward and has meltdown I didn't want the meltdown to be away to get out of more academic work.

4. Data - If behavior problems are becoming serious, you're going to need data.  The data can be useful for RTI, Behavior Support Plans, IEPs, Special Ed services, parent conferences, etc.  The tricky with collecting data is that you still need to teach.  How can you keep up with data if you're teaching 20 other kids?  Maybe you're lucky and have an aide or volunteer or somebody in your room who can keep up with data.  Or it might be up to you.

I needed more data on my one student so I made this easy chart.

I broke the day into 15 minute increments and put 2 behavior problems that I knew I needed to track.  Every time he shows noncompliance or I redirect him, I just put a tally mark.  I try to make some comment about the activity in the comment box just so I remember later what we were doing.  If for some reason I can't remember or get too busy to keep the data during a certain time period, I just leave that box blank.  This has worked for me as an easy way to collect data.n

So there we go, that's one way to handle behavior problems.  Oh and one other thing I would to mention is that free time, down periods with nothing to do, and transition times can be really difficult for behavior students.  Free moments without a task are always good settings for behaviors to start.  I try to keep mine busy every second of the day.  He just cannot handle idle moments.

Now that I've rambled on FOREVER about behavior, let's talk about these Valentine Centers that I have been working on FOREVER!  Oh my gosh, I didn't think I'd ever get these things done but they finally are done and uploaded.  If my kids really didn't need to work on these skills this week, I would have given up!  

I've just posted my A Heart Felt Valentine - Literacy & Math Centers to TpT.  I've marked them half off for $3 between now and Valentine's Day.  If you're looking for some last minute stuff for Valentine's this might work out for you.

Since my class has been working on problem solving, I included 3 free word problems in the preview file.  It's your lucky day!

We are using the P-E-A strategy to solve problems.  We draw a Picture, then we write an Equation, and  finally write the Answer.  To help my kids, I've been scaffolding our problem solving to make them more successful.  Here are the word problems you can download for free in my preview file.  The Heart Felt Valentine unit has 6 addition and 6 subtraction word problems that follow this same format.

Wow, that was one long post!!  Thanks for sticking through all that!  :)

We Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce the winner for my 1000 Follower Giveaway!  Thanks so much for all that entered and all my loyal followers.

Karli, please check your email.  There is a ton of great stuff coming your way!

Five for Friday

Yay for Friday!!!!!!!  Wooohoooo!!!!  Is anyone else as excited about this weekend as I am?

Friday means I get to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching for her Five for Friday.

1.  First, don't forget to enter my 1000 Follower Giveaway.  You guys are awesome and there are some really great prizes you can win!  Click the picture below to go enter.  You only have till Saturday night so don't miss out.

2.  Last Sunday, we went hiking.  It was beautiful and the kids had a blast.  I may throw a few extra pics here so excuse me if I go over 5!

We hiked to some old bunkers and there was some really good art work up there.  Even though it was graffiti, it was pretty good!

3.  I had another butterfly hatch!  I have 3 chrysalis left.  This poor butterfly fell from the top of the container and couldn't get up.  His wings were still wet.  We put him outside and he finally found a safe spot that he would stay put in until his wings dried.  So glad he made it.

4.  We've been working on problem solving in my class.  More to come on that in a later post.  We're getting better at drawing the pictures for the problem but a long way to go for the equation.

5.  We had a school assembly this week.  The new teachers (2 of us) were welcomed to the school with a lei in the school colors (brown and yellow).  Pretty cool, huh?

Can't wait to see everyone else's Five for Friday!

1000 Followers Giveaway!

I'm so grateful for all of my followers!  I've learned so much from other bloggers and my followers.  I have to say that the blogging community has made me a much better teacher.  I'm super excited that I have reached 1000 followers on my blog and my TpT store.  And I'm even more excited to announce my 1000 Follower Giveaway with some awesome products by my awesome friends.  This giveaway will run from today until Saturday at midnight.

From my store you can win these 3 things!


And you can win these awesome products!

 So you can complete as many entries as you would like.  Do them all or just a few.  But the more you do, the more chances you have to win.  I'll be announcing the winner on Sunday.  Thanks so much for following!


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