Monday, December 26, 2016

Calendar Time….Love it or Hate it?

I know many teachers who simply despise teaching calendar each day.  They either skip teaching it here and there or leave it out of their daily lesson plans altogether.  Calendar time is one of my favorite things to teach!  I never go a day without doing calendar time.  I think I love it so much because I do more than just teach calendar skills and I find the learning benefits my students get from my calendar lesson is so enormous.  So I decided to share my daily calendar lessons and explain how I do calendar time each day….

Since my calendar lesson is done on the Smartboard, I have my students come down to their carpet square each morning for the lesson.  I prefer teaching when my students are at the carpet.  There are so many less classroom management problems when you teach them at the carpet.  They don’t have their desk (that has so many fun things to mess with) in front of them.  Plus you can see all your students so easily and what they are doing.
Here is my classroom carpet area.

I place my carpet area right in front of my Smartboard!

I have so many different slides for my calendar lesson that I plan and group them into monthly lessons.  For example, I have an “August” calendar lesson that has all the Smartboard slides that I plan to use and teach for the month.  To know which slides I want to use for the month I just simply look to what I have already taught, what the students need more practice with, and what skills are coming up in the future. 

Like I said…my calendar lesson is way more than just teaching the days of the week and the months of the year.  I basically use calendar time as a great way to introduce most of the math concepts (and some language) and practice them daily.  We all know that repetition is what it takes for students to fully learn a concept.  So doing the Smartboard slides each and every morning gives the students the repetition they need to master the concepts.  A lot of the time I introduce some big concepts (like counting money and telling time) way before I officially teach it during “math time.”  By doing this, when it’s officially time to teach that concept during math, many of the students already have it down.
Many of the slides are left blank like the example below. This is so I can write a new problem in each day for repeated practice of the concept!

Here is a look at the calendars I use each month.  I make each month's calendar pieces a different color or picture so they form a unique pattern for that month.  With a lot of my slides I like to ask what I call “challenge questions” for the students to answer.  For example, not just what is today’s date?…but what will the date be in three weeks?

Since calendar is one of the first things I do each morning I like to have it pulled up and ready to go before my students even walk in my door.  So I like to have some sort of WELCOME message on the screen as they walk in.  That welcome message might be one I write (like on the Morning Message slide) or just the Good Morning Learning Superstars! picture.
Our calendar lesson starts right after the students finish their morning work.  The Morning Work Timer slide is also great to pull up and start so the students know how much longer they have to finish their morning work.

We also SAVE some of the slides (like the monthly calendar, the slide we count the school days on, etc.) we worked on so we can build on them each day.

Here is a look at some of the "basic" calendar Smartboard slides I use. 

You will see the movie clapboard symbol on a lot of my slides.  This symbol means that there is a fun video/song that goes with that slide.  By clicking on the symbol it will take you directly to that video.  A lot of the videos will not only help your students learn the concept...but it will get them up and moving during the lesson!

Here is a look at some of the major math concept slides I use/teach in my calendar lesson! 

If you notice I have a lot of different slides...and many different ones for a single concept.
  I DO NOT teach all these slides each morning.  I pick and choose which slides I want to use for that month's lesson by looking at what I've already taught, what I am about to teach, and what the students need more practice with. 
I also like to build on my slides month to month.  Here are some examples on how I like to do that:
* I might teach and practice the slide over pennies in the month of August.  Then, I’ll take the penny lesson out and add the nickel lesson in for the month of September.  I will continue to build on my money lessons each month until we are counting money with all four different coins.
* I’ll have the students practice their shape names with the slide that has the names on each shape for a couple months.  Then, I’ll replace that slide with the shape slide that does not have the names on the shapes.  Then, we will practice naming the different shapes by memory for a couple months.
* We will compare the numbers 1-10 with the correct math signs for one month.  Then, the following month we will build on that lesson by comparing the numbers 1-99.
* We start out with solving basic addition or subtraction problems by using pictures, move to solving problems using a number line, and continue on until we are solving story problems.

Not only does my calendar lesson practice math, but we also practice some of our language skills!!  Here is a look at some of the language slides I incorporate into my calendar lesson.

It usually takes me between 15-30 minutes each morning to do calendar.  I usually lead/teach each slide, but after a while you can easily have a student helper lead some of the slides.  That way if there are some things you need to do in the morning (like attendance) you can take care of it while your calendar lesson is going on! 
This slide is a fun way to pick a calendar helper each morning!

Even if you don’t do calendar you can use these Smartboard slides with many of your math and language lessons!

Click HERE to download my Calendar Smartboard Lesson from my TpT store!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Follow Me on Snapchat!

Follow me on Snapchat to see the new units I'm working on and what I will soon be adding to Teachers Pay Teachers!

To find me.... my username is mrsterhune1

Here are just a few of my snaps that I took today of my new Smartboard Calendar Lesson I have been working on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Parent Gifts!

These are the Christmas gifts my students made for their parents this year.  They ended up being cute gifts that didn’t cost much money to make.  :)

Snowman Handprint Ornament:
For this craft the students form their handprint around the ornament using white paint.  Then, they decorate each finger using permanent markers to make it look like a snowman.  To finish off the ornament I add ribbon and the snowman poem.

Click HERE to download the printable snowman poems for FREE!

Reindeer Card:
Using brown paint, the students stamp their thumbprint three times.  Then they decorate their thumbprints to look like reindeer by adding eyes, craft balls for noses, and draw on antlers.  They also add a message inside their card.

The students decorated a white paper sack to look like a snowman.  Then, they wrapped the ornaments in tissue paper and placed them inside the sack.  Finally, they attached their reindeer card to the sack.

Here is a picture of the final wrapped parent gift! 

Click HERE to download the printable snowman bag toppers from my TpT Store!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Teacher Aprons

This year you will see me walking around my classroom and school sportin' my new teacher apron!  This year I started a new behavior management system where I give "Golden Sticks" to students who are caught doing good things.  I needed a way to always have my "Golden Sticks" with me so I could pass them out at all times like during class bathroom breaks, walking in the hallway, etc.  I decided I needed an apron to wear each day to hold my sticks.  I had my mom (who is great at sewing) go to work and make me one.   I told her everything I needed my apron to have to make it practical for me as a teacher.  The apron has 6 pockets of different sizes and even a couple pen holders.  When I found out our school district was making a new policy to wear our school ID badges everyday I also had my mom add a key ring where I can clip my badge on.  The thought of wearing my ID badge around my neck everyday just didn't sound very fun to me.  Just a couple days into the school year I realized without my apron I am lost!  Here is a peek into the "must haves" I carry around everyday in my teacher apron.

My "Golden Sticks," pens, pencils, white board marker, cell phone, hand sanitizer, sticky notes, classroom and file cabinet keys, and ID badge is what you will find in my teacher apron.

My mom had a great time paring fabrics together to make a cute apron that she made a couple more.  You can check out the different aprons she made by clicking on the link below each picture.  She's in the process of making more so keep checking back to see more cute aprons!

Here are the aprons we currently have for sale!

Click HERE to purchase this Yellow and Blue Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Blue Multi-Color Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Blue, White, and Black Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Pink, Black, and White Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Flower Black & White Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Black Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Black, White, and Gold Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Yellow, Pink, and Green Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Pink, Off White, and Pink Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Gray, White, and Green Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Black and White Flower Striped Apron

Click HERE to purchase this Black, White, and Light Green Apron

These are the aprons we have sold in the past. 
A lot of these aprons can be remade.  Just message me if you like the color/fabric choices you see here.


You can view and purchase all the aprons through our ETSY store by clicking HERE!

Here is just some of the feedback we've received! :)