classroom management tips

1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf Craftivities With Me

The Elf on a Shelf book is so popular, that it’s found it’s way into the classroom, as a super-cute classroom management tool.  

Even if your kiddos don’t believe in Santa anymore, it’s still fun to have a mischievous elf “spying” on them.

An elf provides loads of writing prompt ideas. Use him to launch creative writing prompts"Write a note to the elf today about..." plus the "elf antics" you can do to add a bit of "elf fun" to December are endless.

You can also use him to practice spatial directions ("Where's the elf?" on, in, over, under, beside...

elf on a shelf activities, elf activities, elf crafts, christmas craftsIf you don’t have an elf, you can make this one.
He’s also a wonderful craftivity that your kiddos will enjoy making too.

I purchased some heavy-duty, Christmas-print bags, from Hobby Lobby.  The Dollar Store and other craft supply stores like Michaels, also have a nice selection.  

elf on a shelf activities, elf activities, classroom management ideas, elf crafts, christmas craftsBecause we recycle paper in our school, I had a supply that children could crunch up to stuff their elf with.  

Crunching, snipping, accordion-folding paper, are super-fun fine motor practice for your kiddos, that will help strengthen finger muscles.

If you don’t have access to recycled paper, ask for some newspaper donations from parents.

When the belly is stuffed, fold over the top and staple.  The bag sits nicely.
Children will glue their head to the top of the bag and the legs underneath.
You can also staple the body parts, to make sure they stay on.

Run the patterns off on construction paper and rough cut. Children color the face, trim and glue to their bag.   I had my children color an ABAB pattern on the arms and legs, but these also look good as solid strips of red and green.

For a splash of pizzazz, I pulled cotton balls, then glued the “fluff” to the hat brim, as well as the cuffs of the mittens and shoes. Pom poms and a bit of glitter, also add those finishing touches.

elf on a shelf activities, elf activities, classroom management ideas, elf crafts, christmas craftsIf you have room for a class set of elves to sit, I’ve included a behavior management “Tally Time” tummy label, students can glue to the belly of their elf. 

Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop to see. Lunch bag Elf on a Shelf Craft

sale 720 90 copyBe sure and have a look around, especially if you've started a wish list, as TpT is holding their annual Christmas sale

Most shops are at least 20% off, and if you plug in the sale code: SMILES, you'll save an additional 10%. The sale is going on today, (November 30th 2015 to midnight December 1st).

cov sweet tweetsThe featured FREEBIE today is "Tweet Talk" It's a quick, easy & fun way to practice those writing skills, at the same time being aware of what's going on in your students' lives.

elf on a shelf activities, elf activities, classroom management ideas, elf crafts, christmas craftsWell that's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by.  I sure could use some "elf help" for all I'd like to get done today! 

First up though is to sort through my TpT wish list.  I have way too much clip art listed to buy it all.  Wishing you a holly jolly day. 

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." -Bo Derek

1-2-3 Come Implement A Classroom Management Technique With Me

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom voice volumeIf you'd poll teachers on what is one of their top classroom management problems, I think you'd find "chatty kiddos" and a "too noisy classroom" high on the list.

Young children need to be trained about voice volume. To them, it's simply loud or soft.  Little ones are just learning that there are varying degrees to those, and that they will be required to adapt their volumes and voices when inside the classroom.  

cover voice choiceThere are plenty of "Volume" posters on the internet; but I wanted to design my own, to go a bit farther, to not only explain things to your kiddos and remind them of voice levels, but offer up some real classroom management that made a world of difference with my Y5's.

I truly believe that if a parent or teacher, raises their voice and starts yelling, that they will escalate the craziness and increase the volume. 

classroom management tips, classroom management posters, please zip your lips poster, classroom management voice choice, voice choice postersSome of the tips I offer in my voice choice packet, give you absolute peaceful and calm control, by whispering or not saying a word! 

The entire key is that you've trained your students ahead of time, and you offer these techniques up as a challenge.  Believe me they'll rise to the occasion.

The class will actually self-monitor, as they truly desire to be successful. Your challenge has made this a sort of game.  They want to win.  Rather than be a chore, it's now more fun for them to be quiet!  Woo hoo; win-win.

Here's an example: "Zippy" is a poster that simply says: "Please zip your lips."  He's in the packet and is also the featured FREEBIE today.

 Without saying a word, hold up "Zippy".  As students notice, they make the silent motion of zipping their lips & raise their hand.  Eventually everyone has their lips zipped & their hands raised.  Even the stragglers get the message. 

They too copy the appropriate behavior, because everyone is doing it; they don’t want to be left out, so they conform because of their desire to fit in and be a winner too.  
This positive peer pressure is a powerful motivator. You are in control and it is blessedly quiet. 

classroom management tipsSimply train your kiddos that this is what you want them to do when you hold up Zippy, then challenge them to see who can be the first to notice. 

Also challenge them to shorten the amount of time it takes them to have everyone participating.  

Actually time them, then jot down the number on the board where Zippy is conveniently located.  No need to offer prizes, beating their last time is incentive enough.  Your kiddos will LOVE this!

Everyone is working as a team, without you having to do a thing but stand there and enjoy the absolute joy of being quietly in control.   

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom voice volumeThere are several options in the Voice Choice packet. You can display the cards in a pocket chart and go through them with your students or hang them on your white board and put a magnet next to the level you want your students to be at. 

Simply gluing a smilie face to the back of a large, glass flat-backed "marble" and attaching a magnet, is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to make one. 

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom voice volumeIf board space is limited, hang up the mini poster and then clip a colored clothespin to the appropriate voice level.

You can also explain things via the large posters. Show each one to your students and read the examples for when they should be using that voice. 

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom voice volumeYou can begin by showing them the picture and reading the name of each voice level, in the appropriate volume.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom voice volumei.e. If you are showing them the volume level 1 Whispering poster, whisper to your students: "When do you think you would use this kind of voice?" 

After they have shared their thoughts, read the list and add anything else that's appropriate for your class.  Finally, reinforce the sound of this level, by having students model the volume of that voice, as they too "whisper" the name and number of that level.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom management games, voice control cards, behavior modification cards, classroom voice volumeAs a review, after you explain the voice choice concept, put the number cards in a container, and have students pick one.  They share when they would use that number voice level. 

Another way to play this game, is to have students say the words “Voice Choice” in whatever number level that's on their card and have the other children guess what number they are modeling.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom management games, voice control cards, behavior modification cards, classroom voice volumeYou can also use these voice-level number cards to remind students what level they should be on. Without saying a word, quietly place the appropriate number on their desk or group table. 

They notice & adjust their volume, flipping the card over, so you can pick it up and re-use it when necessary.

Another thing you can use the voice-level number cards for, is to make a class book.  (Templates provided.) Whatever number a student picks, is the voice level that they write about and then draw a picture. 

Collect and collate the pages and add the cover, then read as a whole group with the entire class.  Each child comes up and shares their page using the #4 sharing voice level.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom management games, voice control cards, behavior modification cards, classroom voice volumeBesides the number cards, I also made several designs for "Quiet Cards."  Print, laminate and trim the cards and keep them in a narrow basket on your chalk sill, under your voice choice poster

As with the number cards, without a word, you place the appropriate card on a child's desk or group table.  This is a great way to silently encourage students, as well as have children adjust their behavior or voice levels, without disturbing the class or bringing negative attention to someone.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom management games, voice control cards, behavior modification cards, classroom voice volumeAnother quiet way to remind your students to adjust their voice level, is with the paper STOP sign.  Simply run off the pattern on red construction paper; fill in the letters with white crayon or paint; laminate; trim and put on a craft stick.

Silently, and with a grand flourish, (they'll spot the movement) hold up the sign when students are not at the appropriate voice level.  With your other hand, hold up the appropriate number of fingers to show what voice-level number students should be using. 

Unfortunately, there always seem to be a few stragglers, who need a bit more reminding.  Self control was probably one of the top reasons I always had more boys than girls in my Y5's classes.  With them in mind, I designed some positive reinforcement voice control activities for you and included them in this packet.  

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, voice level posters, behavior modification techniques, tips for classroom management, voice control in the classroom, classroom management games, voice control cards, behavior modification cards, classroom voice volumeZ is for zipper and  ZIPPING your lips.  You can send one of the "I'm having trouble zipping my lips" poster-notes home to a child's parents, or have them color it while they sit in your Time Out or Think chair. This is an easy way to communicate with parents and enlist their help.

Every year I had at least one child with ADHD. An effective behavior modification technique with them, was to earn the right to connect a dot on their paper to make a mystery picture.  Whenever they modeled the appropriate behavior that we were working on, they got to connect another dot. 

This was super-simple, quick and easy for me.  If they completed their picture that day, they received the agreed upon "prize."  If not, they could continue the next day. 

Thus, I also made the "Z is for zipping" paper,  into "color a star and connect it to the next one" -- voice control worksheet. Besides encouraging kiddos to adjust their volume, you can also work on interrupting, and not blurting inappropriate things out. 

Click on the link to get my Voice Choice Classroom Management packet.  This sanity-saving, stress-buster is just $2.95.

classroom management tipsBesides Zippy, I have another FREEBIE for you today. It's a set of "Signal Me!" posters.

Going hand-in-hand with quielty managing your classroom, is dealing with the constant interruption of "Can I go to the bathroom, sharpen my pencil or get a drink of water?" requests. 

I solve this problem, by again training my kiddos, and hang up the "Signal Me!" poster as a reminder. Students simply hold up the appropriate amount of fingers.

classroom management tipsI can see at a glance who needs what; make eye contact and nod yes or no.  If it's no, to alleviate a disgruntled response, I mouth "later" or a designated amount of time, like 5 minutes.  

classroom management tipsI truly hope that these techniques that have worked so successfully for me, in effectively  managing my classroom, will also work for you. 

There’s nothing better than having a well-behaved class, where teaching and learning can truly be enjoyed.

The satisfaction and peace that brings, is priceless.

"One who smiles, rather than rages, is always the stronger." -Old English Proverb

1-2-3 Come Make Some Snail Mail Folders With Me

I posted my first Diane’s Dollar Deal item in my TpT shop this week, and it seems like I'm not the only one out there addicted to The Dollar Store.  I rarely get out of one for less than $20.

Enjoying the contented and excited feeling I get, when finding goodies for my kiddos at bargain prices, I decided to add Dollar Deals to my shop, and will continue to add items and offer FREEBIES to lighten the load.

classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationThe newest addition to Diane's Dollar Deals, is a Snail Mail folder.

Snail, is an acronym for schoolwork, notes, assignments, important, letters; or for younger kiddos, the a stands for and instead of assignments.

classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationThese folders are my communication life-line with parents. 

Taking advantage of all of the back to school, loss-leader sales, that office supply stores have, I pick up a class set for about .15 cents each. 

I enjoy sprucing them up and thought the snail idea would be a nice way to add a bit of pizzazz.

classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationThe packet includes a variety of  Snail Mail label options that come in color, as well as black & white.  

snail mail sample copyI’ve included black line options, so children can really take ownership by coloring their folder. 

This also provides a “no brainer” activity to have children do during those hectic first days.

classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationclassroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationSimply choose the snail label that’s right for you, run them off, trim & glue to your students’ “take home” folders.

There are also 2 options for a “reminder note” to pin to children who forget to bring their folder back, as well as several posters.

snail mail folderBesides printing your students' names on their folders, number them. 

This will really save you time when you need to find a specific folder to add things to, or to figure out who's missing theirs.

I keep my folders in a basket; and have included a labe in the packet, to identify the container where you keep yours.
 

I hope you find this idea useful.  Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop to pick up the Dollar Deal: Snail Mail folder packet.

While you're over there, to make sure that you get all of the latest FREEBIES and Dollar Deals, click on the follow me button.

I know it sounds a bit corny, but I'm super-excited to hit 600 followers.  I have a sweet celebratory FREEBIE in the works, and can't wait to post it!

classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationSpeaking of FREEBIES, today's is also about classroom management. 

Over the years I added all sorts of ways to get my students' attention, so that they'd clean up, line up or simply be quiet.  

I compiled a list and came up with 175!  Click on the link to get your copy: 175 Transition tips

classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, snail mail folders, take home folders, home school connections, home school correspondence, parent communicationWould love to add 25 more to make an even 200, so if you have a favorite that works for you, would love to hear about it. 

Dianehen@teachwithme.com  or leave a comment below.  Thanks in advance.  

Well that's it for now.  It's a beautiful summer day and time to get some fresh air.  Wishing you a carefree day.

 "You are never too old to set a new goal, or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

1-2-3 Come Chalk Up Some Fun With Me

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasWoo Hoo!  I now have 500 wonderful people following my TpT shop, and as promised,  here's "Chalk Talk" a special milestone FREEBIE. 

A special thank you to all of my spectacular followers.  Please know that I'm grateful & appreciative.

sidewalk chalk activitiesLike most kiddos, I LOVE sidewalk chalk.  You can buy 6 to a dozen sticks at The Dollar Store, so I always had a big bucket on hand, for those crazy days when everyone has had enough, and you just need to take a break and get outside. 

Keeping in mind, that just about everything we do has to be "educational" and include the "standards", I'd have my kiddos start by practicing writing their names, letters, numbers and drawing shapes.  After we got that out of the way, they enjoyed creating "mess-terpieces" 'til it was time to go in. 

For quick kid-cleanup, make sure you bring some wet wipes with you, so students can wipe off their dusty hands.

treat bags, back to school activities, back to school gifts, first day funIf you give your students a first day gift or treat bag of some sort, and are looking for something easy and inexpensive, then I think you'll enjoy my "Welcome! ___________ is 'chalk' full of learning fun!"  treat bag.  I have templates for preschool, kindergarten and first grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.

chalk full of fun colorAnd... no worries if you've already started school.  There's a generic "Wishing you a day that's 'chalk' full of fun!"  black & white, plus colorful note too.

My "pinspiration" for this packet, came from My Sweet Sanity's blog spot.  She used the "chalk full" play on words, for an end-of-the-year summer gift.  Click on the link to zip on over and see her rainbow version. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasrecipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasIf you'd like a first-day time filler, use the black & white header, so that students can pull it off, color and use as a bookmark

Attach the card to the front of a Snack Baggie, with a glue dot.  (I don't like using staples with little ones.) Put a piece of sidewalk chalk inside and you're done!

sidewalk chalk activities recipesSuper quick, easy, & inexpensive, yet a thoughtful gift that "keeps on giving".

Because students will want to play with the chalk right away, I wouldn't put them on their desks.  Instead, put the treats in a big basket in full view and wait for children to notice, or show them one and let them know that they will get their Baggie at the end of the day to take home, or...

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasUse them as a behavior modification technique.  Tell students that they need to work as a team with their new friends. 

Each time they complete a task, or show great group behavior, you'll color in a letter on the "chalk" poster.  When all of the letters have been colored in, they get their chalk and are able to go outside for some special fun.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasAs long as you're outside, why not take some pictures. Pinterest has quite a few photo op examples that involve sidewalk chalk.  If you take a first day of school picture, one of these ideas would make a cherished keepsake.  Children tend to be less camera shy while playing outside, so you should get some adorable shots like the ones pictured here.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI especially like the kindergarten idea.  Write your grade level as shown, and then have each student pose. 

I've linked back to give credit when I could, however some showed just a photo and went no where.  (Hover over the photo to see if it's linked and then bop on over to those sites for more details.)

v recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThe balloon and crown idea are also easy and cute. That little guy is so joy-filled!

Keeping with the sidewalk chalk theme, I designed some writing prompts that I call "Chalk Talk"

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThere's one for boys and one for girls.  Children complete the prompt: "I had a nice day at school.  These are a few of the things that I did..."

I've also included two "chalk talk" posters to use for whatever you deem appropriate. 

free back to school postersClick on the link to view/download the Chalk Talk packet.

To see if I could find any other interesting things to do with sidewalk chalk, I Googled it.

For 30 fun games and activities with sidewalk chalk check out this creative birthday party idea website.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasYou can buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk at The Dollar Store, but if you’d like to make some, you can find a recipe on wikihow. For 7 fun ways to make ice chalk, click on the link.  I like the idea of using Popsicle sticks, so children's hands don't get as messy.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasFinally, click on the link for a recipe for scented sidewalk chalk paint, (She used Kool-Aid for non-toxic fragrance) and says: "This is a super-simple and inexpensive paint recipe that rinses off with a hose."

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasWell that's it for today.  Time to go make some special memories with my grandchildren and our brand new tub of sidewalk chalk. 

Wishing you a day "chalk" full of giggles. 

"Leave a little love wherever you go." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Get Organized With Me

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, get well cards for kids, color me get well cards, get well cards to give to students, managing missed work, absent foldersUsing Absent Folders, is my all-time FAVORITE classroom management tip.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, managing missed work, absent foldersThree years ago I blogged about this, and shared a few covers.  Today, I revamped this idea, and 76-pages later, am happy to present my latest classroom management packet: The Absent Folders & Notes packet.

You will LOVE this idea, as it's so easy to implement & such a hassle-free time saver!

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, managing missed work, absent foldersSimply choose the folder cover(s) you like, print, glue to a file folder & laminate. You're done! Use them every year.

When a child is absent, put a folder on their desk. When you pass out a worksheet, the student who sits in front of them, puts a copy inside the folder.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, managing missed work, absent foldersIf you're working in a workbook, tear out those sheets & include them. (No more writing down a list of what pages, in what workbooks they need to do.)

Any notes being sent home that day also get tossed inside. The folder remains on their desk 'til they return, with each day's work paper clipped.

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, managing missed work, absent foldersNow if a sibling pops in at the end of the day, or the office calls at the last minute that a parent has come to pick up assignments, you just take the "stuff" out of the folder, add a little get well note (I have 14 to choose from) & you're done!

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, managing missed work, absent foldersNo more frantic craziness at the end of the day when you're busy getting your kiddos ready for dismissal.

The packet includes:

* 34 cover options (Some cutesy & some for older grades)
* 14 "get well" plus "we miss you" notes. (Because children are absent for lots of reasons. I included these because there were many times I wanted to include a little note or card to make an ill child smile, but just didn't have the time or resources.)
* labels for your basket.
* cover for your notes.
* several options for "due date" notes 

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, get well cards for kids, color me get well cards, get well cards to give to students, managing missed work, absent foldersClick on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop forThe Absent Folders & Notes packet.

To celebrate back to school, I've knocked a dollar off for a limited time, so this super, stress-buster, is only $2.95.  I sincerely hope you like this time saving tip as much as I do. 

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, get well cards for kids, color me get well cards, get well cards to give to students, managing missed work, absent foldersEven tho' I've up-dated this idea, I've left my initial FREEBIE on my site. It includes 4 file folder covers, simply click on the link to grab them. 

Well that's it for today.  Feels good to get another thing checked off my to do list.  I hope you find it useful.  

classroom management tips, classroom management ideas, absent work, homework tips, make up work tips, managing make up work, get well cards for kids, color me get well cards, get well cards to give to students, managing missed work, absent foldersIt's a beautiful summer night.  Temperatures have cooled way down, and there's a hint of fall in the air. 

Great to have all of the windows open again.  Wishing you a star-filled evening. 

"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." - Sarah Williams

1-2-3 Come Zip Your Lips With Me

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersMy kiddos LOVE zipping their lips.  Without a word, I hold up my poster paddle. There's a zippered letter Z on one side, and a quiet, zipped-up happy face on the other.  (Glue them back-to-back on a free paint stick).

As soon as my students notice that I'm holding up "Zippy" they silently make the motion of "zipping their lips", then raise their hand.

I can see at a glance who's on board, and even the stragglers get a clue in a few seconds.  It's so quiet you can hear a pin drop!  Woo hoo!

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersAs motivation, at the end of the month pass out the  "I'm a star lip zipper" bookmarks for children to color & collect.  

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersThere's also a star lip zipper poster.  Each month run the star pattern off on a different color. Place these stars under the poster.

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersStudents who are superstar zippers for that month, get to sign their name. 

Attach the smaller star with the month on it, on a corner of the star.

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersI’ve also included zippered-star tokens, that you can print, laminate, trim & pass out to the first 3 students who zipped their lips when you held up Zippy, of for whatever else you deem appropriate.

Teach responsibility, and have children save their tokens 'til they get X amount, and then "cash in" to receive a prize. 

So that you can use them each year, laminate the sheet of 72.

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersclassroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersI've also included a "Quiet please. It's time to zip your lips"  poster, as well as sweet "Shhhh!" poster, that's equally effective for getting students' attention, or reminding them that a particular area in your classroom is a "Quiet Zone".   

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersClick on the link to pop over to my TpT shop. This easy-peasy behavior modification technique is just $2.95.  However, to celebrate back to school, I knocked a dollar off for a limited time. 

As one of my teacher-friends said: "Peace & sanity-saving quiet for $2! I'm all over that." (Thanks Lucinda).

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersHere’s hoping you and your kiddos love this simple, "super-duper-shutter-upper" and that Zippy is as successful for you, as it has been for me. 

I have not forgotten today's featured FREEBIE either. 

It's a "Wisdom From the Classroom" poster, which makes a great writing prompt for older kiddos.  I hope you enjoy it. Click on the link to grab your copy today. 

classroom management activities, classroom management ideas, classroom management tips, behavior modification techniques, behavior modification activities, free school postersIt’s a gorgeous summer afternoon, with much to do, but the warm breeze is calling me, so I’m off to seek some sunshine. 

Wishing you a warm and wonderful day too.

“Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Anderson

 1-2-3 Come Do Some Constitution Day Activities With Me

easy constitution day activitiesWith a federal mandate that any schools accepting federal funds, need to do some educational activity associated with the Constitution, on September 17th, I wanted to think up something that my Y5’s could easily understand.  

With everything else that teachers have to cover, I also wanted what we did to be something simple and especially relevant to them.

This packet does exactly that, because I've tied it into classroom management: jobs of students and teachers, as well as the rules and regulations they must follow.

These activities not only tie in with the Constitution, they are quick and easy to implement.  Children can wrap their heads around these Constitutional comparisons and the result will be a more caring classroom climate, with less inappropriate behavior.

The Constitution is a document that serves as the foundation of American government.  To help explain this to students, make a document of jobs as well as rules for your classroom and have all of the children sign it.

The Constitution is broken up into 3 branches.  (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) They all have specific jobs.   Like wise, teachers and students have jobs. 

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherFirst, discuss and make a list of all the  jobs and responsibilities of a good student. Then make up a list of jobs (responsibilities) for teachers.  I’ve included headers for you to put up on your board, so that you can brainstorm with your students and write things under the appropriate heading.

Children’s discussion will often involve what they think the qualities of a good student and good teacher are.   I’m sure some of their ideas will make you smile. ( “Teachers need to smell nice.” )   

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherWrite students’ ideas on the board.  I’ve included a completed list of things we thought of to help you, as well as blank templates to fill in your own.  I’d enjoy seeing what your kiddos come up with. You can e-mail me at: diane@teachwithme.com  

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherHang up your lists on a bulletin board.  There’s also a poster that you can put in the middle of your board, after all of your students have signed it.

Next, discuss your rules.  Because students have been in school for several weeks, you’ve hopefully have already established a list of rules with them.  If you don't have a set of rules posted, click on the link for my simple rules poster.

Review the rules and make a list of them on the board.  (Tie this in with the Constitution, as our country also has rules, which are laws that people must follow.)

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherDiscuss how things are going .  Is everyone following the rules?  Are they good rules; fair rules; necessary?  Do you need to change, modify, or add any rules? (Tie this in with the Constitution by briefly explaining the amendments to the Constitution.) I've included a writing prompt page where students can jot down 3 reasons why doing their job and following rules is important.

What are the consequences of not following the rules?  What do they think would happen if there were no rules to follow and everyone adopted an “anything goes” attitude? (Briefly discuss the correlation of this to the Constitution’s checks, balances and punishment for breaking laws.)

An easy way to make your classroom constitution is to make a social contract.  Head your poster: “We the (kindergarten) students of (Orchard Trails Elementary) promise to . . .” and then list what students feel are important promises (rules, jobs and responsibilities).

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherHave each child sign the poster.  (Remember to have new students sign it too.)  This is now a working document (like the Constitution).  Discuss how signing something is a big deal.  This is binding.   Even young children understand the importance of a promise and following  through.   (“But you promised . . .)  If the class as a whole, or an individual student, is not keeping their promises per the terms of your social contract, refer to the poster and ask:

“Did you promise to follow the rules, be a good listener, be kind to one another? etc.”  (Obviously they did.)  After thy take responsibility for their actions then ask: “What would have been a better choice?  What should happen now?”  Click on the link to view/download the Constitution Day Jobs & Rules Packet.

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherI found a cute social contract over at Corner Character blog spot.  I like how she wrote each promise in a different color marker and then had students add their painted handprint to the side of the chart, adding their names when the paint dried. 

classroom management activities, social contracts, constitution day activitiesI designed my own social contract, tracing my students' hands on a variety of colors of construction paper.

I glued our "promise poster" to the center of a piece of tag board, then "framed" it with the colorful prints.

For more accountability, have children sign their own names, which makes them feel important & more accountable. For added pizzazz, when school pictures come back, copy, cut & glue one to each child's hand.

school rules, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom management activitiesOur social contract has been so successful, that I decided to share it in a "School Rules Classroom Management" packet.  Click on the link to check it out.  

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherFollow up these activities by reading “We the Kids”  by David Catrow.  He makes understanding the Preamble to the Constitution accessible to children in a fun and humorous way.  A glossary of terms and a foreword by the artist are also included.

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherSince the Preamble is one of the most famous and familiar parts of the Constitution, I’ve included several trace and write worksheets in the packet.

I find that a short video is often the best way to review and get more information into my students’ minds.  A nice way to end your day is to choose a short video from this American history website.

The first one is only 4 minutes, another on the Founding Fathers is 3 minutes and a final one entitled America Gets A Constitution is 4 minutes.  They are easy for little ones to understand and include some good background information.

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherThanks for visiting.  Time to go watch the Detroit Lions hopefully win a football game!

"If you want to know where your heart is, go to where your mind goes when it wanders." -Unknown

 1-2-3 Come Tweet With Me

Often teachers are so busy teaching, that sometimes they can miss important things that are happening in their students' lives.

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsPutting up a tweet board on a door, wall or bulletin board, helps you stay informed and builds community.  A more caring classroom will also be created.  Another bonus, is that this idea is also a quick, easy, and interesting way to get students writing.

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsPracticing writing sentences, that have appropriate capitalization, spacing, word choice and punctuation, can be tedious at times.  Switch things up with a little creativity, and students will WANT to write. 

Composing and dashing off a tweet, is a simple way to do that.  Encourage students to write a tweet at least once a week about things that are happening in their lives.

You may want to include this as part of your Daily 5 writing activities.  Taking a moment to read the tweets also fits in nicely with Daily 5.

To make your tweet board eye-catching, I've included tweet notes for students to write on.  Run them off on a variety of different colors and keep them handy near your tweet board. 

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsExplain to students that there are two kinds of tweets: "sweet tweets" are positive happy highlights, things that they are proud of, or what they are excited about -- something they are doing or involved in.

"Tweet talk"  are notes about something that a student wants to share because they are feeling a bit down or blue, and would like some encouragement. 

Perhaps a grandparent or pet passed away, or they didn't make the team.  Maybe a friend is ill or they failed at something; parents are planning a move, or a divorce is pending, but no one made you aware of this. 

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsThe Tweet Board is a quick and easy way for students to share those feelings.  Teachers need to know about the things that are affecting their students' moods, and having an impact on their ability to focus and learn.   Knowing, gives teachers an opportunity to praise and encourage, as well as sympathize and give that extra TLC a child needs when their world is in upheaval. 

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsWith that in mind, I also included tiny tweets in the packet.  These are little notes that  you or students, can jot to someone and leave in their desk or locker. These fit in nicely if you're doing a  "Bucket Filling" program as well.

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsFor more writing practice, that is private and personal, have students keep a Tweet Journal.  I've included 2 cover options for this.  Students choose one, add some color and glue it to a notebook.  (I always take advantage of the back to school doorbusters, when notebooks are as inexpensive as 15 cents.)

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsImplementing this idea is easy-peasy.  Simply choose a tweet poster to showcase your tweet board. (There are 3 options.) 

Run off copies of the sweet tweet notes, keep them in a basket or envelope by your tweet board (I've included labels for these) explain the board to your students, and then let the tweeting begin!

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsAs part of your going-home or morning routine, you could ask students if anyone wants to share one of their tweets.  At the end of the month, clear the board and start again. 

Click on the link to grab your FREEBIE: Sweet Tweet Talk

tweeting, classroom management tips, getting to know your students, bucket fillers, writing promptsThanks for visiting today.  It's a rainy day with lots of thunder.  (I find the rumblings and sound of the rain splattering on my office window very soothing.)  The perfect kind of day to read, color, cut, paste and play...  Here's hoping you can make some time to relax too.

"Your attitude decides your altitude.  Soar!" -Unknown

 

1-2-3 Come Have A Wonderful Year With Me

I know some of you have already started back to school, but that's hard for us midwesterners to wrap our heads around, because here in Michigan (Wisconsin too), Labor Day weekend is our last hurrah, before back to school officially starts on Tuesday.  

With that in mind, I wanted to wish all of my teacher friends a wonderful year.  I hope it's the best one yet.  To everyone else out there in cyber space, Happy Labor Day weekend!

teacher superpower t shirt, teacher posters, free posters for the classroom, inspirational postersI think the T- shirts with the superman logo on them, that read: "I teach! What's your superpower?"  are realistically very true.  There's a quote by Haim Ginott, that I'm fond of.  

It is so true, and rather mind boggling, to realize the power that teachers wield in the classroom, and the amount of impact we have on our students' lives. The huge responsibility that entails, should be dutifully noted.

teachers superpowersI designed this little poster, so that you can hang it up inside your teacher's cupboard or closet, as a gentle reminder. 

If you like it; print off some copies for your teacher friends and tuck them in their mailboxes, as a thoughtful way to wish them a wonderful year. 

Likewise, may yours be filled with excitement and plenty of memory-making moments.  Click on the link to grab a copy of the Superpowers of a Teacher poster.

Thanks for visiting today.  As always, feel free to PIN away.  I for one, get a lot of "pinspiration" from that website, which really gets my creative juices flowing! So many ideas...so little time.

superpowers teacher t shirt, inspirational quotes, teacher quotes, inspirational posters, free classroom posters, Since it's the start of Labor Day weekend, it's only fitting that I happily labor away designing some sweet little goodies, to hopefully make your life easier, and learning-- a bit more fun. 

Later, when my sweetie gets home, the relaxation party can get started!  Hoping your weekend is filled with everything and everyone you enjoy the most.

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." -Chinese Proverb

 

1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Sidewalk Chalk Activities With Me

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI LOVE sidewalk chalk and so did my young fives.  You can buy 6 to a dozen sticks at The Dollar Store, so I always had a big bucket on hand, for those crazy days when everyone has had enough, and you just need to take a break and get outside. 

Keeping in mind, that just about everything we do has to be "educational" and include the "standards", I'd have my kiddos practice writing their names, letters, numbers and drawing shapes.  After we got that out of the way, they enjoyed creating "mess-terpieces" 'til it was time to go in. 

For quick cleanup, make sure you bring some wet wipes with you, so students can wipe off their dusty hands.

treat bags, back to school activities, back to school gifts, first day funIf you give your students a first day gift or treat bag of some sort, and are looking for something easy and inexpensive, then I think you'll enjoy my "Welcome! ___________ is 'chalk' full of learning fun!"  treat bag.  I have templates for preschool, kindergarten and first grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.

chalk full of fun colorAnd... no worries if you've already started school.  There's a generic "Wishing you a day that's "chalk" full of fun!" black & white, plus colorful note too.

My inspiration for this packet, came from My Sweet Sanity's blog spot.  She used the "chalk full" play on words, for an end-of-the-year summer gift.  Click on the link to zip on over and see her rainbow version. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasrecipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasSo that you have a time-filler if you need it, run off the header on white construction paper, so that students can pull it off, color and use as a bookmark

You could also run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, or print the ones that are in color. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasAttach the card to the front of a Snack Baggie, with a glue dot.  (I don't like using staples with little ones.) Put a piece of sidewalk chalk inside and you're done! 

Because students will want to play with the chalk right away, I wouldn't put them on their desks.  Instead, put the treats in a big basket in full view and wait for children to notice, or show them one and let them know that they will get their Baggie at the end of the day to take home, or...

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasUse them as a behavior modification technique.  Tell students that they need to work as a team with their new friends. 

Each time they complete a task, or show great group behavior, you'll color in a letter on the "chalk" poster.  When all of the letters have been colored in, they get their chalk and are able to go outside for some special fun.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasAs long as you're outside, why not take some pictures. Pinterest has quite a few photo op examples that involve sidewalk chalk.  If you take a first day of school picture, one of these ideas would be adorable.  Children tend to be less camera shy while playing outside, so you should get some adorable shots like the ones pictured here.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI especially like the kindergarten idea.  Write your grade level as shown, and then have each student pose. 

I've linked back to give credit when I could, however some showed just a photo and went no where.  (Hover over the photo to see if it's linked and then bop over to those sites for more details.)

v recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThe balloon and crown idea are also easy and cute. That little guy is so joy-filled!

Keeping with the sidewalk chalk theme, I designed some writing prompts that I call "Chalk Talk"

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThere's one for boys and one for girls.  Children complete the prompt: "I had a nice day at school.  These are a few of the things that I did."

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasrecipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI've also included two "chalk talk" posters to use for whatever you deem appropriate. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasClick on the link to view/download the Chalk Talk packet.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasTo see if I could find any other interesting things to do with sidewalk chalk, I Googled it.

For 30 fun games and activities with sidewalk chalk check out this creative birthday party idea website.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasYou can buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk at The Dollar Store, but if you’d like to make some, you can find a recipe on wikihow. For 7 fun ways to make ice chalk, click on the link.  I like the idea of using Popsicle sticks, so children's hands don't get as messy.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasFinally, click on the link for a recipe for scented sidewalk chalk paint, (She used Kool-Aid for non-toxic fragrance) and says: "This is a super-simple and inexpensive paint recipe that rinses off with a hose."

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasWell that's it for today.  Feel free to PIN away. 

I'm headed outside with my brand new tub of sidewalk chalk to create some awesome photographs with my little grandson Kaiden.  Hope you have a day full of giggles too. 

"A picture is a poem without words." - Horace

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