Monday, March 31, 2014

New Classroom Job Cards

Check out my new classroom jobs!  I've been wanting to create some cuter classroom job cards for my classroom, and I finally took the time to do them!  I am excited with how they turned out and I think they add a little extra "cute" factor to my classroom.  :)
    My students really take their jobs seriously...plus it helps me out because every thing they can do is one less thing I DON'T have to do!
 
 
Student jobs in my classroom include:

Card Monitor (Put lunch cards away to be ready for next day!)
Lunch Assistant (Brings bucket of lunches to the lunch room after announcements)
Calendar Leader (finds the day on the calendar during Morning Meeting each day, leads the class in the days of the week/months of the year songs)
Counter (keeps track of how many days we’ve been at school)
Listening Center Monitor (cleans/organizes the listening center)
Messenger (walks notes, lunch money, etc to the office, brings notes to other teachers if needed)
Trash Engineer (empty the little buckets on our tables for scraps)
Recess Toy Manager (In charge of putting recess toys away neatly)
Electrician (in charge of the lights)
Pledge Leader (Holds the flag during annoucnements & the Pledge of Allegience)
Paper Passer (Passes out papers at seats, by mid-year puts papers in mailboxes)
Weather Reporter (Checks the weather and fills in the chart on our calendar during Morning Meeting)
Technology Assistant (Turns computers on/off at beginning and end of day)
Librarian (Organizes library, makes sure books are in the correct bin)
Chair Monitor (makes sure everyone’s chair is put up at the end of the day)
Art Table Cleaner (Makes sure it is nice and neat at the end of the day)
Vacationing (I'm thinking of changing this next year to Cleaning Crew.  That way, anyone who doesn't have a specific job needs to pick up scraps from the floor!)
 
Do you have any other jobs that you find helpful in your classroom?
 
 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Building Leprechaun Traps

Have you ever tried building Leprechaun Traps in your classroom?  If not, it is something you should seriously consider!  I used to dread St. Patrick's Day-the kids were always extra excited (for no reason!) and would spent the day hunting for other kids not wearing green to pinch!  Several years ago, I stumbled across the idea online somewhere to build Leprechaun Traps.  Now it's one of my favorite days of the year!  
 
 
I prepare for the big day by sending out a letter to parents several days before St. Patrick's Day asking for a variety of craft items and other items found around the house to use when building our traps.  Then, I read some of the books listed below in the week leading up to the big day. 
When the students arrive at school on St. Patrick's Day, they will discover that a tricky leprechaun has been messing around in our classroom!  I generally do something little in the morning and then sprinkle a few large green sequins on the floor around the room.  If I've prepared the students well enough in advance, they will immediately want to try to build a trap to catch him!  I organize students into groups, spread out all the materials, and just let the students loose!  Depending on the class, I may need to sit down with some groups to create a semi-working trap idea, but other years/groups do better with no guidance.  I do like to mention things that leprechauns like...ways to draw the leprechaun to your trap!  I always say that leprechauns like the color green, rainbows, gold and/other silver (shiny things!) things that remind them of nature, and they don't like to follow the rules-so a sign like "No Leprechauns Allowed" or "Don't Climb the Ladder" just draw leprechauns in!
 
We have the traps ready for lunch, when we leave the classroom and the room is quiet (therefore increasing the chances the leprechaun will visit!).  Unfortunately, we never catch the tricky leprechaun, but he does leave a note and a treat after lunch.
 
You can buy my entire packet of "How the Build Leprechaun Traps" for only $2!  You'll get the following worksheets, as well as the parent/family letter, a letter from the leprechaun, some treat ideas, and awards for traps!
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Leprechaun-Traps-for-St-Patricks-Day-1127385




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Composing 2-D Shapes

My favorite math unit is geometry!  I'm sure it's because it was always my strongest area of math.  When Common Core first came out, I was challenged to think of ways to teach 1.G.2 : Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.
 
But then I realized that one of my student's favorite free time activities each year is to sit and make designs with my tub of pattern blocks--so why not just harness that creativity and give it a little direction?  I made some task cards for composing 2-D shapes.  My students are obsessed with these!
 




 
I also did a few rich math problems where I asked students to use pattern blocks to experiment and then record as many ways to make a hexagon (triangle, rhombus, etc) that they could figure out  The rich learning conversations going on in the classroom were amazing.
 
Click on the picture to grab your own set of task cards for only $2!
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Composing-2-D-Shapes-Task-Cards-1084150