Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cheap and Easy Feedback Ideas

Today's post is devoted to how I provide my kinders with positive feedback and NOT use stickers all of the time. I am not saying, stickers are bad...I LOVE stickers....I just became very tired of stickers becoming the many piece of instant feedback to my students. This summer I began brainstorming of new ways that I could give my students feedback that didn't cost a lot of money, they could take it home to their parents and have various ways to give my kinders some instant positive feedback. These are my top 3 that I has been working in my classroom this year.


These are my top 3 forms of feedback:

1. Smelly Bracelets: These have to be The Class Favorite! The picture on the right shows a sheet of bracelets and it is quick and easy to tear one off. The picture on the right shows you the size of what the bracelet will look like on your wrist. (I did not connect this bracelet but it has a pieced of adhesive that makes it easy for you or your student to connect themselves!) Each bracelet has a fun saying that I love to read to them but the BEST part is each sticker comes with something to smell! Cookies, muffins, doughnuts, cinnamon, are just a few examples of some smells! They are so proud of their smelly bracelets!

I keep these at my guided reading table so they are close by and ready to pass out when the time is appropriate. To keep these bracelets fresh and in high demand, I am very selective about when I pass these out. Sometimes the whole group will receive one, sometimes just a student and sometimes no one earns one. The reason I do this is because I want my students to know when they receive one of these bad boys I am super proud of whatever they just did. They never know when I am going to hand one could be in the hallway, after a great report in activity, a compliment from another teacher, some great thinking on the carpet etc. 
They are 10 times more likely to go home and talk about this bracelet then if everyone received a sticker/stamp.bracelet etc everyday.. If they are talking about this bracelet they are then in turn telling their families why they earned it which is then giving their parents insight into our classroom. These are a HUGE hit! I bought mine at ReallyGoodStuff. I did a quick search and could not find the link for these bracelets but they have these sniff stickers that look like a close comparison! If the kids have something to smell, it makes it 100 times better!
2. Smelly Chapstick: I keep these all over the room. I usually always have one in my pocket, close to the carpet area, near my guided reading table etc. These are great and CHEAP rewards to provide your students. I rub some smelly chapstick  on the top of their hand as a sign that I just noticed something that they did.  My kinders eat (figuratively speaking) this stuff up. It works great when you find a role model, rub in on their hand and then instantly the whole class is quiet.
The other day during math talk time one of my students shared that she knew 4+5=9 is because she knows that 4+4=8 and one more is 9. WOAH! She earned herself a smelly for her great thinking brain. This provided her with instant feedback that she was working hard and in turn provided feedback to my other students that I am looking for students that are thinking and sharing. These smellies are great ways to provide instant tangible feedback. You can find these super cheap at the dollar store and after holidays when they mark their holiday smellies way down!
3. Brag Certificate: Before I share this certificate I must confess to the blogging world that I was doing a really good job passing these out in the beginning of the year and have slacked off majorly. So today by blogging my goal is to print some of these bad boys out and have ready to go in the classroom when the time comes for some bragging.
I have 2 different designs with 2 sizes. One design has a girl displayed and the other design has a boy displayed. I have full page certificates and half page certificates. This is an example of what they look like.
I came up with this certificate this summer because I will admit I struggle with providing feedback to the parents of those kids that are just rocking and rolling. You know those kids, the ones that never have behavior issues, always working hard and on or above grade level. So in turn you are not talking to their parents as much as others and therefore you (I) feel like you could improve on some parent/teacher communication.
Now these are not just passed out to those types of students but those were the ones in mind when I created these. These Brag Certificates are pre-made and printed on colored cardstock (can you hear the angels singing...colored paper and cardstock!) If a student earns one when working with me at guided reading, I quickly fill out it with them sitting there and then tell them in will be in their folder to take home at the end of the day. If they earn it for fabulous behavior, I quickly pull them aside at the end of the day fill it out with them and then place it in their folder. Kids want to know that their good choices were noticed and parents want to hear good news.

You can grab yourself some FREE brag certificates by clicking here!

All I ask is for you to leave some feedback if you use these in your classroom.
Now, how do you provide some instant feedback to your students. I would love to learn some new, fun and easy ideas! Comment away!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

3D Shape Fun

This year due to implementing Common Core Standards my district revamped our curriculum guides. Due to this revamp, we are now in the middle of our shape unit. I hope that next year we will have some freedom to choose the order of unit to teach since shapes at this point of the year is a little too easy for our kinder babies especially those that went through our Pre-K program.

But still, we are having fun, learning and creating, exploring and learning about 3D shapes! I started our 3D shape unit with our 3D PRINTER! WOOT WOOT! (I left my 3D printer pictures at school but I promise I will come back and add them!) This was a great introduction for my students to begin to understand the difference of a 2D and 3D shape. We talked about what exactly a 3D printer builds, you can hold it, touch the sides etc. We talked about how the picture on the design model on the computer was our 2D shape but once it was built it was now 3D. Talk about some excited kiddos (and teacher!!!!)! They were really getting the foundational difference between a 2D and 3D shape.

We then turned to a trusty friends at BrainPopJr and watched this solid shape video. This started out buddy talk and share. I overheard some awesome conversations about items in our room that were 3D shapes. (I hadn't even asked them to start looking...proud teacher moment!) Then the fun began. I pulled out the huge, blue bin full of 3D foam shapes! Let the exploring begin....

They LOVED exploring these shapes. I am keeping these foam shapes out for a while for them to continue to build and explore with during free choice time. It is music to my ears to hear my students using the correct 3D shape terminology to describe the shape they need. They are learning how shapes can work together to build various objects and are coming up with some great ideas to build on our 3D shape printer. There are future engineers in our classroom!

In small math groups, they got to put their engineer skill to the test. I provided them with various length skewers and gum drop balls. They were then given the freedom to build various structures and shapes using their tools. This provided some great hands on learning to discus the faces of shapes, corner or vertices and edges. They got to place the shape in their hand and allow their mind to get to work. I was amazed at the different items they built. They built tents, homes, schools, churches, cubes, pyramids etc. My back counter and immersion table is full of their builds and I love it!

I will try to remember to take some pictures of all the different creations around our room tomorrow!
What do you do in your room to help your students understand their difference between a 2D and 3D shape?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winter Learning Land!

It has been a while since I blogged and I am stoked to share about our Winter Learning Land under construction!

When we returned from Christmas Break, we completed a short gingerbread man unit. This was a great unit to get us back into the groove and routine! We read The Gingerbread Man and then recalled the different characters in the story. We acted out the story and then watched a short video. So much fun!

After reading The Gingerbread Man we then read Gingerbread Friends. Together we completed a Venn diagram to compare the two stories. The students then wrote to share their opinion on what story was their favorite and why. I must say my students are really beginning to impress me with their writing! We displayed their information with their gingerbread glyph that they completed in math groups in order to analyze information!

The fun bulletin board below was made by meeting math standards of 2D shapes, patterns and then writing to share information. My students had so much fun making their snowflakes with 2D shapes. I provided them with a snowflake template and then multiple 2D shape due cuts. They were to create a pattern using their shapes and then had to orally describe the amount if shapes used, which shape was used the most and least and then the type of pattern they created. The writing that is displayed below backed on construction paper is where the students shared what they can do in the winter!

Next week, I will share some other fun writing projects we have been working on. They are in the process of being completed!  I love this time of the year! What are some of your favorite projects to complete?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Drumroll Please....

First and foremost, I must send a HUGE thank you to all of the sellers that donated a product. This huge giveaway would not have taken place without their generosity!!!!


I am so excited to announce the New Year's Giveaway Winner...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Laura S. Please e-mail me ( ) within the next 48 hours  to claim your winnings!!!!!!

Drink some hot cocoa and stay warm!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year, New Me!

Before I get to the reason of this post, I just have to share this Christmas picture with you! Yes, we did the matching Christmas jammies and I LOVE it. Every year, we will get new jammies and open them up on Christmas Eve. It is a surprise to everyone, including my husband! I am already ready to order next years jammies. If you are interested, I ordered them through

Can you believe it is already 2014? Christmas break is over. School starts back tomorrow (unless snow or ice appears). The kids are going to be tired and we are going to be...well tired too! I am for sure out of the routine of going to bed and waking up early. Tonight is going to be hard getting to bed on time!

The first week back is all about getting back into the groove. For me, this also means a very HIGH possibility of gaining multiple new students. Right now I have the lowest number of kinders out of all 8 classes. (I am sitting at 19 where everyone else is at 24-24) Yes, I am the revolving door this year. I hope that if I am receiving new students that they arrive tomorrow when we are remembering/re-teaching rules and procedures. :)

My motto for 2014 is: New Year, New Me! It is the year to try new things and not give up. There are many things on my to do list. In fact, I might need to shorten it and maybe some of those things will happen! :) One of my latest adds to my list was inspired over the Christmas Break.

I did a lot of procrastinating over break, as any great teacher would do! :) I did some blog hopping, reconnected with friends via various social networks, stayed in my pjs all days (now come on you know you did it at LEAST once!) and spent lots of quality time with my little family. But it was through the blog hopping that I landed at On the Way to Mrs. Bearfield's Class and became inspired.

 Mrs. Bearfield was so kind to share her new TOU and it gave me lots of ideas. I had put updating my Terms of Use and some general updating to my TpT store on the back burner lately. So I decided to procrastinate and update my store picture on TpT and start working on a new Freebie. I must say I am really happy with my new picture and freebie, though! :) Well after all that procrastining and looking at my new freebie, I just knew I needed a new TOU and Credit page to jazz it up some. So off I went creating.

 I created it in powerpoint and probably changed the background oh a thousand times until I decided on this design. I decided with adding the glue bottles at the bottom that I need the background to be great accent but not the focus. I then printed the powerpoint to my Adobe where I was able to hyperlink anything and everything! My logo at the top is linked to my blog and the glue bottles at the bottom are linked to my appropriate social media networks! (This is just a picture so you can't click from here) Thank you Mrs. Bearfield for the great idea!

Now do you remember my motto? Well we need to add one new part: New Year, New Me, New Freebie!!! I cannot believe how fast my facebook page is growing and as a thank you for your support, I wanted to share a freebie. This mini Happy New Year writing unit is perfect for getting back into the groove. Included is a bubble map and 2 different types of writing paper to describe new things our students will try this year! It is perfect for stressing to our students that we can always try new things. Click here to grab it!! Feedback is appreciated :)
Grab it Here! 

Best of luck as you and your class begin the end of the school but remember it is never too late to try new things!

Don't forget the HUGE giveaway ends TONIGHT! Make sure you have entered and used your "tweet" entry for today. This is a pack that you will definitely want in your classroom!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with a CONTEST!!!

The BIG announcement is finally here! If you have been following my facebook page, you know that I have been hinting around that a huge contest was on the way. The time is NOW!!! I am so excited to give you the opportunity to win 11 AWESOME products from TpT sellers. I have to tell you that I have had the opportunity to look at these products and they are FABULOUS! You do NOT want to miss out on the chance to win this whole pack. If you do not win, you will definitely want to check out these stores and products. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Here is what is up for grabs!
  1. I have included one my most popular sellers for this time of the year: Sight word Snowball Fight Game. This game is perfect to review over 100 common sight words for 2-6 players. It is perfect in a small group or some buddies to play together during literacy workshop times. They will stay engaged and will have to watch out for the snowball fight!!
  2. Discovering and Designing Educational Activities: Facts to 20 (addition and subtraction Clip Cards. These addition and subtraction clip cards help students gain automaticity of facts from 11 - 0 to 20 - 10 and 11 + 0 to 20 + 9. They can be made self checking by using a marker to indicate the correct answer on the back before the students use them.
  3.  Triple the Love in Grade 1: Rhyming activity using word families.  Students say the name of each picture and decide if it rhymes with the word family in the center of the page. They then color the pictures that rhyme with the word family. No reading required. Meets kindergarten CCSS but can be used as review in grade 1
  4. On the Way to Mrs. Bearfield’s Class: Super cute digital polka dot paper set. Over 30 different papers!!! LOVE!
  5. Mrs. Black’s Bees: Working with teen numbers game. This packet is common core aligned and designed to provide children with practice on the tricky teen numbers.

    Students can:
    -Color the number that is inside the circle
    -Search for the number, and color the boxes that contain the number.
    -Practice writing the number.
    -Color the ten frames.
    -Write numbers before and after.
    -Practice writing numbers 1-20
  6.   Kennedy's Korner: Dr. Martin Luther King Powerpoint and a ELA unit!!!!
  7. Georgia's Peach that Loves to Teach: Goldilocks and the 3 Bears reader theater script!! . There are parts for 6 readers highlighted throughout to make it easy for early readers to track.
  8. The Teacher’s Post: Chinese New Year readers. There are 3 reading levels (3 versions at each level) and pocket chart vocabulary cards.
  9. Pritchett's Printables: Rhyming Clips. 30 rhyming word clip cards/task cards (color & black & white) to use at centers plus 6 rhyming worksheets. Loaded with graphics for CVC rhyming words - perfect for non-readers. This set focuses on 15 pairs of rhyming words. The set includes:
    30 color rhyming word clip cards
    30 black and white rhyming word clip cards
    3 cut and paste rhyming sheets
    3 select the rhyming word sheets
  10. Sing With Me Sight Words: Each song spells out a sight word. Each song comes with a power point slide and worksheets to practice the lyrics and the spelling of the sight word.
  11. Techie Turtle: Long Vowel Puzzles.   There are 18 different puzzles for different vowel patterns.  Students match the words that follow the same vowel pattern.  There are cut and paste activities for each vowel where students glue the words on the correct vowel sound puzzle.

Together, we are so excited to provide you with this opportunity to win these great prizes! There are endless possibilities to enter this awesome contest!!! The best news is you can enter every day by just tweeting about this contest!!!!! Contest ends midnight on Sunday and the winner will be announced within 48 hours. The winner will then have 48 hours to claim their prize otherwise a new winner will be selected. So get to entering!!! Remember to tweet EVERY DAY for extra entries!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway