Saturday, August 22, 2015

DIY Tissue Poms {Bright Idea}

I first made these as tops for my truffula trees way back when, but they became part of my classroom decor very quickly.
You can make them with solid colors or a variety of colors.
 For this example, I think that I was using 11 sheets because I had a few that stuck together. It does make it a little more difficult, but some of you might like the fuller look. I've also used as few as 5 sheets. (Also, it was not until this tutorial that I discovered that I've been spelling "accordion" wrong most of my adult life...) I am folding the length of the tissue, so my finished accordion will be about one inch wide and as long as the width of the full tissue, if that makes sense.

 You are really going to need good scissors for this. It gets to the point where I just start the cut and then rip out the chunks. I make the notches so that when I tie the middle, it stays put.






You can see the solid-color ones I've made and hung on the wall in this picture. Super fun!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on {Facebook}, {Pinterest}, or view {previous Bright Ideas} for more great ideas.
For more bright ideas from many more bloggers, please browse through the ideas below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!





Sunday, August 16, 2015

Back to School in a Flash {Student Engagement}

This last week of the Back to School linkies is about student engagement.
As I've mentioned before, I use {brag tags} for all sorts of things in order to keep students motivated.
My kids are really love flashlight Friday. {Joanne} blogged about it forever ago, but I just started trying it this past year. These are the flashlights I got.
They were only $10 when I bought them, but they appear to be more now. I went through about half of them during the course of the year. I think some of them may have ended up at students' homes ;)

Link up your own ideas for student engagement!





Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to School in a Flash {Decor and More}

Well, I'm moving to a new school and new classroom this year, so I can't show you anything until it's done and I'm allowed in. So I will share decor from previous years to show my style.
My puffs are the tops of the truffula trees I made a few years ago. They have held up well! I also loved my work board since I had three different sets of kids and had to keep track of everyone.
I used clothespins to hang {goal banners} in front of the window for the beginning of the year.
 My {brag tag} display area.
 Loved these prints and frames from IKEA.
My own art - my students love to see my artistic side!

Link up your own decor ideas!





Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back to School in a Flash {Curriculum Must-Haves}

This week we are looking at must-haves for your curriculum.
I've been in the process of revamping my {close reading products} to include a paired passage with each topic. If you own any of them, they will be updated before that month begins. If you don't have any, I have a few freebies that you can try!
Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B has an awesome math product called {Math Moves}. I three-hole punch each weekly sheet and have students put the it in their math binders. We do four problems a day as a warm-up Monday through Thursday. On Friday, I give them the ten-ish question quiz that covers what we did that week, and I allow them to use the page that we did earlier in the week as a resource.

Here is what I absolutely adore about this product. Number one - it spirals through all of the CCSS standards. Number two - it's enough for the WHOLE YEAR. Number three - It's ONE PAGE PER WEEK!!! Some of the problems require more room to work, but I just have the students use the back. Number four - It is a serious bargain at $10. AND, she is the sweetest person in real life.
This year I have to teach science for the first time ever. I'm hoping that the {Science Penguin's NGSS INB activities} will help, so I have those on my wish list!

Enter below for a chance to win some great products from iTeach5th bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link up your own must-haves!





Saturday, August 1, 2015

Light a "Fire" with a Great Book {Blog Hop and Giveaway}


It' hard to believe that it's already August and time to start thinking about going back to school. I know that some of you are already back into the swing of things. Here in Iowa we don't go back until after the State Fair (long story). Anyway...

Several of my best blogging buddies have come together to give you some awesome ideas for Back to School books! These books can be used to set up your classroom community, begin a good lesson, or just as a fun read-aloud.
The book I'd like to share with you is There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar. I enjoy reading this one at the beginning of the year for a few reasons. One of the characters is new to the school and gets lost, struggles to make new friends, and experiences other things that my new-to-the-school students may experience. Another character is a bully, but the reader learns to empathize with him while he struggles to change his image. I emphasize that just because you were a certain way previously, it's not too late to make better choices. It also teaches that you should give people another chance. There is a storyline involving a crush on the school counselor that I kind of gloss over depending on the makeup of my class. I find that my students and I refer to situations in this book throughout the year.

Reading this book is a good opportunity to set goals. Whether it is a behavior goal, a friendship goal, or something more academic, I have my students create a {pennant}.
And have you heard? Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site-wide Back to School Sale August 3rd and 4th, so you will be able to get {my goal setting pennants} at 28% off using the promo code BTS15!
We know what else really "lights a fire" in you, and that is fabulous technology! We are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire HD6 to one lucky winner!
Enter the Rafflecopter below by hopping through each of our blogs and entering the secret word that can be found on the tablet in each of our posts. Also make sure to follow our TPT stores because the winner will be announced through a message in your TPT inbox!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We are also giving away a $25 gift certificate to Creative Teaching Press!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck! We hope you have a successful start to your school year!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Fun STEM Day Activities {Monday Made It}

First of all, be shocked that I am writing a science post. I know that I'm shocked. In case you didn't know, I will be teaching science for the first time in sixteen years. That is also a shock, but it will be fine. I hope. Anyway...

I recently took my daughter to a STEM day at a local business. They had two really great hands-on activities that I wanted to share with you.

The first activity involved making a DNA model with licorice, colored mini marshmallows, and toothpicks. {Here is a link to the materials.}
The way that was suggested was not the way my OCD daughter chose to do it. The intended procedure was to do one side in a particular sequence. Each color of marshmallow stood for either C, T, A, or G. Then they were it identify the paired chemical and complete the other side. My daughter did the correct pairings, just did a patterned sequence.

The other activity asked my daughter to use colored beads to create her name in binary code. At least part of the materials came from {this website}.
Once she got the code for each letter, it was time to count up how many beads were needed in each color. They used Perler beads for this activity.
Then it was time to string them up! She chose pink for the Xs and purple for the blanks. The dark blue are the spacers between each letter.