Saturday, May 23, 2015

Middle Schoolers in Training {Bright Idea}

Even though we as teachers reassure our students that the transition to middle school/junior high isn't that bad, students' anxieties and worries still blow everything out of proportion. First, there's dressing for PE. And changing classes with different teachers. And dressing for PE. And remembering locker combinations. And dressing for PE. You get the point.

To try to lessen their worries, we take them for a visit to the middle school. We invite older students to come answer questions. We have a transition night in the fall. But the worries are still there.

So this year we decided to try something new. In addition to the normal stuff, we wanted to tackle some of the fears head-on while they're still in a familiar environment. We thought that there are SO MANY changes that they have to deal with next year that we'd see what we could prep them for now. We decided on having them live out of lockers.

Students completely cleaned out their desks and put everything in their lockers. Until now, kids used lockers just for their coats and bags. Now, they use them for their supplies as well. As students are leaving their special, lunch, etc. and coming back to my class, I hold up a little whiteboard with a list of materials. They have two minutes to go get what they need (which is the passing time at the middle school). Materials are put in lockers on the way to specials, lunch, and recess.

So far, things are going well. We still have one more week(ish) left, so if you have any tips on what you do to prepare your students for going to middle school, I'd love for you to leave me a comment!

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!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Teachers Helping Teachers {Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching}

Little did I know almost three years ago the kinds of friendships that I would make through blogging and Teachers Pay Teachers. When I decided to take a chance and put my thoughts and efforts out there for everyone to see, I really did not think that a) anyone would read my blog -and- b) the people whose blogs I read would ever know my name. Those things did end up happening, and I had the opportunity to meet some of my virtual friends in real life in Vegas. And these people ended up being just as amazing as they are behind the screen.


This week I wanted to give a special shout-out to Joanne from {Head Over Heels for Teaching}. Although there is no way that this would have worked out considering our closeness in age, I have told her more than once that I wish that I could have had her as a teacher. If you are a reader of her blog (and you should be), you probably understand. Everything she blogs about seems like the best idea ever. Have you heard of {Flashlight Friday}? I read about it on her blog first. Her {Spark Student Motivation Saturdays} are a must-read linky. One of her blog posts was about her visits to her students' homes when they forget something or because they needed the next book in a favorite series. I mean, really, who does that?! She just has the biggest heart. And if I need fashion advice, Joanne is my go-to. A few of my bloggy friends were trying to figure out what accessories to wear with a particular outfit, and she offered to bring some of her pieces for them to borrow. And she is just as sweet in person.

I'm not going to reveal what I got her, but soon she will be receiving a little gift in the mail as a token of my appreciation.

Do you have a teacher that deserves a shout-out? Link up below!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ending the Year Stress Free {Giveaway}

Testing is done and we're in the home stretch. With the weather finally getting nice and flowers blooming, it's really hard not to think about summer!

Since I don't want to think about school during the summer (well, at least not the entire summer), I keep an ongoing to-do list on Google Drive for the fall. As I think of something that I need to do, buy, or try, I add it to the list. Then in the fall, I am more focused on the pre-school workdays and feel less stressed.

Scroll down...

You can see that I've been doing this for a while...

It really helps me organize my thoughts and feel better prepared for the fall. It also allows me a little reflection on what I want to try differently next year.

Now maybe thinking about next year stresses you out, but over 30 bloggers have come together to help you forget that stress by putting together a pretty awesome giveaway! You could win:
$75 Amazon gift card
$40 Target gift card
$25 TpT gift certificate
or $20 Starbucks gift card

Simply follow our TpT stores for a chance to win one of these four stress-relieving prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Exit Slip Board {Bright Idea}

I had wonderful plans to recreating this idea that I saw in a coworkers classroom (and I am posting about with her permission). However, with testing and life in general, that didn't get done. So I'll just share the pic I took and you can imagine the possibilities along with me. Or maybe it will remind you of something you've already seen.

Here's what I like about this one in particular. There are post-it-note-sized places for kids to put their notes. The whole thing is then laminated. I would also add student numbers to the post-it note placeholders so I could quickly see who didn't stick up one. Or you could use a dry erase marker or Vis-a-vis marker to mark their spots with their names. Ah, maybe this will go on my fall to-do list :)

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!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Perimeter/Area Anchor Chart

Just a quick little post to share an anchor chart I made to help my students visualize the difference between area and perimeter.

Visit {Deb} to see other awesome anchor charts (and add your own). She also has a great freebie this week!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Final Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my birthday/basketball giveaway this year! I had a lot of fun seeing your excitement!

Congrats to Lisa (picked winner and won tiebreakers) and Elizabeth (random) for winning the final round of my giveaway!

And thanks again to all of my sponsors!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Final Game

Happy Easter!

Last round is up! Picks should be made before 8:00 PM Central Time on Monday. Scroll down to the form or {click here} to access it. One entry per person, please.

Congrats to the Final Four winners - Kimbery (picked both games + tiebreaker) and Maria (random).