Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Helping Shy Students Come Out of Their Shell

How many of you have that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have to get up and talk in front of others?

How many of you feel sick just thinking of that feeling of not knowing anyone?

All of you that agreed, we feel the same way!

Now what happens when we have students that are very shy?

We have experienced that this year. We have a few actually. Here are some helpful pointers we have learned this year while helping our shy little learners along.

1. Calm is Key

     We both have very peaceful classrooms. While there is always a lot happening, we like to keep everyone comfortable but productive at the same time. One thing we like to use to keep everyone calm is music. We use Pandora to play different tunes. Our classes refer to the music as "calm music" or "relaxing music". Both classes love the Soundscape Radio.

2. Keep it Quiet

     And no. We are not just referring to the students. We are both naturally quiet people. We do not yell or shout in our classrooms. Keeping your tone calm will allow those shy ones to feel more comfortable participating in class.

One thing to definitely take into consideration with shy students is fire drills. They can be VERY frightening to certain children. One of our little lovelies this year (who is also very shy) is terrified of anything loud. Fire Drills sent her into hysterics. A certain spot was set aside in the room, close to her seat, that held her earphones. She puts them on just prior to the drill. She called the earphones her "happy ears". To her, that was her sense of safety in a time of uneasiness. Even if we have an unannounced drill, just knowing they are close by puts her at ease.

3. Create a Classroom of Respect

     We used Bucket Filling this year and absolutely love it! To be a Bucket Filler, you might say something nice to another student, help another student out, or simply tell someone thank you. Sometimes all it takes for that shy student to come out of their shell is another student's kind words! We introduced Bucket Filling with the book How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer to introduce the concept at the beginning of the year.
You can get a copy for your classroom by clicking {HERE} or on the picture of the book.

What about all of you? What do you do to help shy students? We would love to hear!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter White Out Giveaway

Happy Winter!

Is it cold where you live? Do you have snow? Have you had a Snow Day?

We still have sun, sand and scissors here at our little beachside school!

Since we do not get partake in any fun winter activities here in sunny Florida we decided to celebrate winter by having a little giveaway!

TWO Winners will win all 4 Winter Packs. Winners will be chosen and notified on Monday, January 16!

You have 6 ways to enter the giveaway!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win ALL 4 Winter Packs!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need some Snowman Stories Resources now? Check out this video for a preview of our newest product!

Purchase it {here} for only $5!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#JanPicADay Challenge

Happy {almost} New Year!

So our goal for 2017 is pretty similar to 2016....2015....2014....

Do better with blogging and Social Media! We both especially want to take more pictures throughout the day in our classrooms.

We don't know about you all but we do better with a schedule. That is why we love Instagram Challenges. They help us stay on track!

We created a #JanPicADay Challenge and would love for you to join us!

Here is the schedule. Download it, share it, use it!
Here is a blank template if you want to use it for each day. (Not necessary, but kind of fun!)
We can't wait to see what everyone shares! Don't forget to use the hashtag #JanPicADay!

Click {HERE} to go to the Instagram Post!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Survival Tips Linky

You are a teacher.
It is December.

Santa, lights, cookies, elves, songs, programs, decorations, presents. Did I mention Santa?

December is fun and exciting.  But lets be honest. 
It is exhausting.


Even for veteran teachers, super teachers, and even those teachers who have the "golden" class. {gasp}

We have decided to share a few of our survival tips and hope you join the linky below to share some of your tips!   

1. Yes, I said it.......Fibs and Bribes!
I am not ashamed to admit it. They work!
My entire team uses Elf on the Shelf.

Here is the picture of his arrival this week.
We incorporate the elf into our curriculum whenever we can. He leaves us a letter each day. This week he will ask about one of our social studies topics we are currently studying. We also get some good writing topics out of it! This year I am excited to incorporate Growth Mindset into some of his letters.

Our elf is mainly for behavior and he has lots of fun! If you want to see how we introduce him and some of his shenanigans from last year, check out our blog post about it by clicking the picture below. 

This year I also have a cell phone case that looks like Santa's suit. I might have mentioned that if I push a button, Santa can see us. 

Like I said, fibs are okay! 😏
FYI, I got the case on Amazon for a very reasonable price!

2. Routines and Procedures
Keep them.
Review them.
Practice them.
Review them again.
Practice them again.

We use CHAMPS in our school. We have not been CHAMPing out some of our routines and activities that we are really good at. This month I am CHAMPing out almost everything! 
We are also sticking to our schedule as much as possible. 

I use Warm and Fuzzies in my classroom. We put a warm and fuzzy in a bucket every time we get a compliment. When the bucket is full we get a reward! In December I pull out the Red, White and Green Warm and Fuzzies. Easy little switch, but a total motivator!

3. Make it Fun
Do those craftivities and other fun activities. Just keep them educational! Find a way to incorporate them into your standards. 

I have at least one ELA craftivity planned for every week in December. To "get away" with this I have the pieces already cut for them. They are just gluing them together. This cuts our craftivity time down by more than half!

4. Think Outside the Box
Incorporate the holidays into your lessons. 

And I mean more than just Holidays Around the World. Don't get me wrong, Holidays Around the World is great, I just mean find other ways, in all content areas!

Last year I had my formal observation the week before Winter Break. It was scheduled during Social Studies when I was supposed to be teaching water safety according to the curriculum map. (We live in Florida, water safety is an important standard!) 

Here is the lesson I did.
Our Elf on the Shelf wrote us this letter. 

 The students worked in cooperative groups to share water safety rules. Some made a poster while others used technology like ChatterPix or Shadow Puppet. It was a good evaluation. 😊

This year we have to incorporate Social Studies into other content areas because of a whole group reading program we are using. It takes a lot of creativity and we are stretching sometimes. 

This week we decided to teach weather and climate. We did it by comparing the weather and climate at the North Pole to our weather and climate in Florida. The firsties loved it. (And got it!) 

5. Embrace the Crazy

Just have fun! Live it up, make it memorable. 

Take more brain breaks (Go Noodle)
Play holiday music (Hello Pandora's Holidays for Kids channel!)
Let them talk about Christmas!

What are your tips? Link up below or share on Social Media. Use the pictures below on your Social Media or Blog if you would like. The second one has room to add your tip!

Be sure to tag Sunshine, Sand and Scissors in your posts and link back to here! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Elves are Coming!

The Elves are Coming!

It's that time of year again. The elves are finding their way back to our classrooms and into the hearts of our kiddos.

We are introducing our elves this week. Cue the planning and preparation!

Our elves arrive to our classrooms via a bag straight from Santa. The elf is even cold from the North Pole! He spends the morning chilling (literally) in the refrigerator before arriving in our rooms. The kids love that he is cold!

Our elf comes with a letter from Santa. In the note Santa explains that the elf will be watching them and reporting to him each night.

He also brings with him sheets of paper where the students can pick a name for him. But only Santa can pick his name, so the letters go back with him that night. We have no say in picking the name!

This year we found these super cute envelopes for the elf to take the name sheets back in. It will be arriving with him too this year. We found it at Target in the Dollar Section! (Of course we did!)

Remember when I said planning and preparation? Before the elf arrives, we make a schedule of what the elves will be doing each day. That way it is easy for us to keep up (and also to plan ahead if we need to!)

Each day the elf brings a letter with him. The letters are pre-made, however, we sometimes have to switch them up. For instance, one day the elf might notice that some of the students were not listening. Or the big secret, (which he lets the students know pretty early on) that Santa REALLY loves teachers! The kids love that one! They even sit up straighter!

One challenge that we both had last year was where to put our elves each day. We both had students that liked to touch. EVERYTHING. So our elves had to go up. High. This actually produced some of the cutest ideas though!

Here are a few:

Flying in a hot air balloon

Zip Line

Swinging from the ceiling

The kids were convinced that he loved heights!

Our rooms are connected this year. We are planning snowball fights with our elves through our hallway. We can do so much using both of them together!

How do you introduce your elves? What are some ways you have him "watch" each day? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Back to School Assessment Freebie

Hey there!

I am busy preparing to head back to school this week. Are you?
Wait....if the answer is no, don't tell me!

I have a new assessment FREEBIE to share with you to use the first week.

Click the picture to grab it!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Controlling Craftivity Pieces

We love doing Craftivities. 

We understand that not everyone feels this way. 
Kind of like glitter.
We get it!

If the thought of doing craftivities overwhelms you, keep reading!

We have some tips, hints and suggestions for you to do craftivities with your little ones without losing your sanity!

We admit the seemingly endless number of the pieces that go with each craftivity drive us crazy! We both like to have our kids trace and cut out as many pieces as realistically possible. That being said, cutting with the little ones can be a challenge.

We typically have the small pieces cut and ready for them. (Hair, noses, etc.)

Here are a few tips on how we keep the pieces organized and make a craftivity manageable.


Most Important: Make it academic.
We always do the writing or math part first. Getting to make the craftivity is an incentive for the kiddos to get the "academic part" done!

It doesn't hurt to leave the academic piece out and very visible. You know, just in case an administrator walks through when your kids are cutting and gluing!
Just sayin' 😁

Hint: Do all of your tracing first. Make a BIG deal that you should not see any scissors out!

Hint: Make enough sets of the tracers so there is not much wait time. 
For example, I have five tables this year so I will make five sets of tracers. Last year I had six!

Hint: Use file folders to make your tracers. They seem to hold up well and are not too pricey.

Hint: Color code the pieces.

Hint: Put each set in a large Ziploc bag.

Hint: Assign a table helper to be in charge of the bag and pieces.

Hint: Have the construction paper pieces needed cut to size and ready to hand out. This saves time and paper!

Hint: Store all of the bags and an example in a large Ziploc bag, label it, put in an example and you are ready to go for next year!

The Lacey Walker craftivity in the pictures is from Michelle Oakes Back to School Behavior Mini Unit!  Grab it HERE!

We would love to see and hear how you keep your sanity during Craftivities! Tag us in your social media.

Be sure to follow us while you are here by using the tabs at the top of our page!