Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SignUp Genius - Scheduling Made Easy

Have you used SignUp Genius yet? It is a great tool to help organize and go paperless (and headacheless)! We recently used SignUp Genius school-wide for parent teacher conferences and it was so much easier than our old way of scheduling. Once I set up my conference page with time slots I sent it out to parents and let the sign ups roll on in. There were only a few parents that I had to remind or talk to personally to help them get scheduled, but it was nice to have something so handy!

Recently I've been distraught when I see the snacks and lunches that my kiddos bring. I've always stressed the importance of bringing fresh fruit/veggies as a snack instead of pre-packaged/processed junk, but few do. So, I decided to declare next week, our last week before spring break, "Share a Healthy Snack Week". It took mere minutes to set up a SignUp Genius page and email it out to parents, and within an hour I already had two parents signed up.

SignUp Genius is very user friendly. You can create a group and add all of your parent emails, they are saved for any future sign-ups. Creating a sign-up is easy, just follow the steps and you can sit back and watch the notification emails roll on in. It's also easy to send out reminder emails to those who have not yet signed up.

For parent teacher conferences I was able to easily print out a copy of the schedule to stick on my door and to keep handy while meeting. You can even send the paper copy to any families that may not use email. Oh, and did I mention that SignUp Genius is totally free? Well it is! Tell me how you use this awesome tool!

***I have no affiliation with SignUp Genius other than as a happy user***

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Smart Smarties Fraction Fun

Back in September I posted about a quick Smarties activity I used with my intervention math kids. I was still getting a feel for where they were, and we were jumping into fractions, so I figured why not start with something extra fun. Using Smarties for fractions was not my original idea, I just used the concept and tweaked it to include ordering and comparing the fractions as well. The kiddos enjoyed it, and I felt that it helped them master the concept. I didn't even think to post it to TpT since it was pretty basic, but I had someone interested so I figured why not share it with others. So, here it is, FREE!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You can COUNT on me Valentine

Eek! It's been too long since a post, and I have so much to post about. I'll have to catch up next month when I'm on spring break. Until then, I wanted to share my Valentine's for my class. 

A couple of years ago I scored some a bazillion calculators from Target's back-to-school clearance for only a quarter each! Even though I cleared out a lot of junk valuables when I moved classrooms, I still have too much stuff and was not only happy to get these cleared out, but I came up with some cute and inexpensive gifts for my kiddos. 

I made a simple label to wrap around them, and used the Let's Go Digital font to make it even cuter. 
One of my amazing mom volunteers used her gorgeous handwriting to write the kids' names on and I just wrapped and glued them. 

Now I just have to hope I can score another sweet deal on calculators next back-to-school so I can make these again. 

Tomorrow I have my second formal observation (I figured since he came for the first one on Halloween, why not do the second one on Valentine's Day). Our district discourages the celebration of holidays, so it will be a "normal" school day, but the students will get to pass out any cards/treats before dismissal. 

Although I haven't been blogging consistently, I do have some great things planned, including freebies and a giveaway, so stay tuned. 

And I wanted to share one more thing that just made my week. We are currently working on lit studies in my room. There are 5 groups and each is reading one of three books (The Whipping Boy, Tuck Everlasting, and The River). Each week they have a different job to complete in preparation for their weekly group discussions. The other day one of my boys came up to me, packet of jobs in hand, and said he needed another copy of them. I was a bit confused because he obviously hadn't misplaced his copy, so I asked him why he needed another copy.

"Well, my friends and I were at the book fair and we saw this really good book, so we are all going to buy it and do our own lit study on it."

I'm sure you can imagine my teacher heart melting.

"Of course you can have another copy!"

I wandered over to the book fair this afternoon and bought a copy of the spooky sounding book for myself to read too.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Sunday Sale!

Is there some big sports event this weekend? I'm definitely not a football fan, so it's great that I have something else to look forward to tomorrow... the TpT Super Sunday Sale! Get a whopping 28% off all items in my, and many other amazing stores. Just remember to use code SUPER when you checkout.

Need some suggestions on what to checkout from my store? Here are my top sellers, which are also favorites in my classroom!

Read and Respond! Students choose what to read and are guided through thoughtful, daily responses. My kiddos do this Monday - Thursday for their daily homework. 

Calendar Math! Simplified worksheets that can be used over and over, but change everyday with the date. I use mine as a math station and keep them in sheet protectors so that they can be used over and over with dry erase markers. My intervention math class is starting to feel more confident with skills they have previously learned but had not mastered. 

American Revolution Lapbook/Interactive Notebook! This is an item that I created over the summer when I was moving from 6th to 5th. I love teaching this topic and had just started getting into lapbooks, interactive notebooks, and foldables. This has been my best seller this quarter, I'm guessing there are a lot of us teaching it soon! The foldables are all ready for students and I include a checklist and rubric for grading. 

Happy shopping, and go team _____ !