Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Desk Fairy...I Spy Edition

My students have eagerly been awaiting a visit from 
The Desk Fairy.  They have asked pretty much
everyday since I mentioned that she sometimes visits our
room to check for clean desks.
Well, today was the day!

The Desk Fairy found cute little magnifying glasses
at the Dollar Store which also happened to fit in perfectly with our writing
assignment this week where we wrote I Spy paragraphs.

Then, she typed out small little messages that either said:
I spy a very clean desk!
I spy a fairly clean desk.
I spy a messy desk. :(

They had to use their magnifying glass to read
the small message.

It was so fun to watch them use their magnifying glasses!
They wanted to read what everyone's note said
and they can't wait for The Desk Fairy to make her return. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Question about TPT and Teachers Notebook...

I'm wondering if you can help me out...

I have some items that I have created that I would love to share with you...
but the terms of use for graphics on this items don't allow me just to give them away,
so I've been thinking about selling them on Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook,  
but I don't know what one is better...

Anyone have experience with either website?  Prefer one over the other?  Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What are In Those Boxes???

In my classroom, I have a bookcase full of magazine files which are from
IKEA.  They are plain white and cheap. (You can view them here) I used
to let my kids decorate their own on the first day of school and while
it was a nice time filler for the first day of school, I realized that
1) A bit of me cringed when I had to look at a magazine file that
was scribbled over and misspelled the whole year
2) Most likely 99.9% of the students toss their magazine file
in the garbage 2 minutes after they finish 4th grade
I went ahead and decorated them myself.
A little scrapbook paper and glue does a magazine file some good.
I put some packaging tape over the paper to make them more durable
and added numbers so I didn't have to redo them every year.
This is their second year.  I might need to replace them next year,
but we'll see- they look pretty good so far.
Anyways, on to what is actually kept in the boxes...

I've tried doing these a few different ways, but this year I'm all
about keeping it simple.
Students keep the book they are reading as well as a
reading journal in their book boxes.  We may add some other
book information as the year goes on, but to start with- that is it.

The notebook looks like this:
(I can't figure out how to turn it around, so just turn your head, I guess)

On the inside of notebook cover there is a question guide.
The questions range from-
*What genre is the book?*
*What character are you most like and why?*

On the other page is a list of what each student is reading.

Here is the inside of one of my student's notebooks.
They pick the question each time they independently read,
write the date so I know what book it goes with and
writes down their thoughts and answers.

It's quick, easy and keeps each student accountable for their reading.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Lollipop Bucket

Doesn't it just look scrumptious?

I decided to make a lollipop bucket to use as a reward for challenge work this year.
My plan is to have challenge work out that students can choose to work on if they have finished all required work and have extra time.  I wanted to give them an incentive to do a nice job on it and to motivate them to try something a bit well, challenging. :)

I had an extra bucket that I had picked up at Target last year.  I think after Easter when they
were all on sale.  I used a lot of these buckets elsewhere in my room for scissors and glue and what-not, but still had a few left over.
I put Styrofoam in the bucket and then covered it with tin foil to hide it.
And then for the fun part... I stuck lollipop after lollipop into the Styrofoam until it was full!
I used Dum Dum suckers in my lollipop bucket- you can get a ginormous bag of them for a relatively inexpensive price and you can fit a lot of them in a bucket which makes it fun to look at!

My students were eying the bucket last week, but I have yet to introduce the challenge activities.
I'll let you know how it goes!