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!