1-2-3 Come Make Some Voice Choice Things With Me
I think if you'd poll young children about voice volume they'd say 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.
If you Google voice level posters, you'll get a huge assortment that are very similar and basically agree. I also designed one of my own, but wanted to go a bit farther to not only help 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.
There 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.
If 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.
You can begin by showing them the picture and reading the name of each voice level, in the appropriate volume.
i.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.
As 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.
You can also use these voice-level number cards to remind students what level they should be on, by quietly placing the appropriate number on their desk or group table.
Once they read it, hopefully they will make the appropriate volume adjustment and flip 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.
Besides 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.
Another 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.
Without a word, 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.
Keep holding up the sign and fingers ’til everyone has their hand up with the correct number of fingers showing. If they should be at zero, with their lips zipped, put your index finger on your lips as if saying Shhhh, and stare at specific noisy students with your best “teacher look.” I also made matching "quiet cards" that you can use as well.
I've included a "Please zip your lips" and a "Shhhhhh!" poster. These could also be mounted on a large Popsicle or paint stick. If students don't notice your "grand flourish" as you hold one of these up, and are not adjusting their volume, you can signal them with the tinkling sound of a bell, or flicking the lights off and then on.
These were a few more quiet ways I got my students' attention. I also hung a lovely sounding wind chime, next to my reading chair to signal story time. You could use one for your volume adjustment bag of tricks.
Clapping out a pattern and having students repeat it, was also a successful sound signal for me. Make sure you explain these sound signals to your students, so they know what you're expecting from them. Equally important, is having a consequence if they don't make changes.
If most of your students are doing a wonderful job with their voice choices, you can reinforce their great behavior by giving them a praise bookmark. They come in full color, as well as black line.
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.
Z 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 them to adjust their volume, you can also work on interrupting, and not blurting inappropriate things out. I hope you find these techniques helpful, and that you are able to use a few of them to make life in your home-away-from home less hectic.
This packet will be FREE for an entire year, after which time it will be up-dated and put in the Classroom Management section of my TpT shop. Voice Choice Packet.
Well that's it for today. The sunshine is calling me! As always, thanks for visiting and feel free to PIN away.
Summer: "Hair gets lighter; skin gets darker; water gets warmer; drinks get colder; music gets louder; days get longer; life gets better!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make Some Useful Signs With Me
During the 1st few days of school there is so much for children to learn and remember, which is often difficult because they can't read. Some years I was lucky enough to have a bathroom in my classroom, other years my little ones had to truck down the hallway. Just getting and staying in a line was an accomplishment!
Let's face it, when you're 4 and really have to "go" running into the wrong bathroom is an easy thing to do. As with all bathrooms, ours was labeled with boys or girls. Not all of them had the universal stick people signs on them. Even if they did, most of my little girls also wore pants, so the "different" connection wasn't always there.
To help my little ones with this, I made a poster showing a little girl and put it next to their bathroom door, along with a boy for theirs. No more confusion.
Since children are really fast learners, this was really only necessary for the first week of school, but if you mount the posters on construction paper and laminate, why not keep them up all year to assist other young visitors.
With the help of the sweet clip art from My Cute Graphics, I designed some new posters. I hope your kiddos find them helpful and that they empower them with confidence about their new surroundings. Click on the link to view/download the Bathroom Posters.
If you'd like to take a look at all of the other classroom posters and anchor chart FREEBIES on TeachWithMe, click on the link.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I try to PIN a few things each day. My boards are mostly educational in nature with tons of FREEBIES. (I do the work so you don't have to! A big time-saver.) Click on the big heart to the right of the blog to check them out.
Any hoo, while surfing I found two adorable bathroom procedures that I thought were pretty cute. Elizabeth, over at Fun in 4B, is a 4th grade math teacher in South Carolina. She uses two melamine plates and has students sign out with a dry erase marker. The marker has a pom pom on the cap to erase the name when students return.
She also has them put a hand sanitizer bottle on their desk. She can see at a glance who's gone, and the student is reminded to use the sanitizer when they return. Click on the link to grab the labels if you want to make some of your own.
I hope you're having a rejuvenating summer. Blessings to you, from my little corner of the world.
"The voice of the sea speaks to the soul." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Get Organized With Me!
Well it's already the middle of June and the days are flying by me. I wish summer would slow down to the pace of those too-long winter days that seem to drag on. Some of my friends still have a few more days of school, and others have been out a week or more.
Summer doesn't officially start til June 21st, so there's plenty of time left for relaxing, before our brains begin gearing up for back-to-school and we have to undo the cruise-control mode.
For lack of something else to blog about, I decided to start designing new things for the fall. This is the first of many articles featuring a back to school FREEBIE.
My husband thinks I'm a bit crazy, but by the looks of what teachers have been pinning and downloading this past week, I am certainly NOT alone. I truly believe that if you have a passion for education, your "teacher hat" never really comes off, and all it takes to get us excited all over again, is to see a school supply display, smell a box of brand new crayons, or find some books and classroom treasures at a garage sale.
I was always reinventing the wheel trying to make my classroom decor more inviting, organized and just plain cool! After all, this is our home-away-from home! I absolutely love looking at photographs of teacher's rooms. If you do too, click on the link to come visit mine.
I think teachers look forward to decorating their classrooms, like children start planning their next Halloween costume on November 1st! Any hoo, even if you have banned yourself from working on "school stuff" for an appropriate amount of down-time, you can still catch up later on all of the great FREEBIES I will be making and posting through out the summer.
The little ditty I put together today, while a warm summer breeze wafted through my office window, is a cute boo-boo book basket. (Try saying that 3 times!)
Easy, simple and quick; it will help you on the road to getting organized and hopefully make life a bit easier. The Dollar Store sells a variety of these plastic baskets in all sorts of colors. So that things looked less cluttered, I used a primary color theme and tried to have all of my basket styles look the same.
Print off my signage; mount on construction paper; laminate and you're good to go. Place the basket in your reading area or classroom library section.
When students are reading one of your books and discover that it needs some repair work to avoid further damage, have them fill out an Rx form of what's wrong with the book and how you can fix it. They tuck the note on the page that needs repair, so that the end sticks out and then drop the book in the "hospital" basket.
I made up the notes, so that students can get in some extra writing practice, as well as a time saver for me. No need to figure out what's wrong and where the book needs to be repaired. If you teach preschool, where children aren't able to write, they simply use the slip of paper as a bookmark for each page that needs fixing.
Run off a bunch of copies, trim and keep in an envelope. I taped a Popsicle stick to the back of the envelope and then taped it to the back of the basket, so that it would stick up over the top of the books. Repairing books is a great job to delegate to a room helper.
There are two signs on a page for easy printing, so why not make one for a fellow teacher or your librarian, as a "Hope you have a great year!" surprise. If they happen to be your BFF, get them a basket and make up the whole thing for them. This is also a sweet and inexpensive gift, along with a book, if you're planning on having a student teacher.
Click on the link to view/download the book hospital basket packet. Feel free to PIN away.
I'm off to put on some suntan lotion and play in my garden. Blessings to you and yours, from me and mine. :-)
"A life without love, is like a year without summer." -Unknown
I'm putting this in my back-to-school section as well as something to make in May or June, so that you can remember to make a copy of your first day photographs, in order to have them to make this sweet keepsake craftivity at the end of the year. If you look closely you'll see the butterfly that "frames" the "then and now" photos.
1 2 3 Come Make Tacos With Me!
I'm not sure about you, but my "teacher hat" never really comes off. I'm forever putzing with design ideas, crafts, research and reading. Whenever I'm out and about junking or stopping at a garage sale, my mantra has always been: "What educational thing can I do with this?"
I'm also an avid people watcher and while at the grocery story noticed a young person wearing a T-shirt that said: "Let's Taco 'Bout It." written on a colorful taco shell with a smilie face on it.
I LOVED the play on words. Right a way my brain was going 90-miles-an-hour of how I could incorporate that idea into some sort of "craftivity." Thus Taco Talk was born!
I hope you have as much fun making these with your kiddos as I did designing templates and making samples. Taco Talk is very versatile.
I made patterns for the end of the year, (there are several options here, including one where this year's kiddos, make a taco note for your in-coming students in the fall) as well as "tacos" for back-to-school. Since the bucket fillers that I recently posted, have been so popular, I also made a compliment taco too.
Here's how to make a compliment one:
These "tacos" work well for the beginning or the end of the year, and are especially appropriate if you do the "Fill a bucket" program, as they are a wonderful way to build a child's self-esteem and reinforce the concept of being kind.
Run off the “taco shell” on light brown construction paper. Students cut it out, fold it in half and write their name in the blank. For extra pizzazz add some dots with a brown crayon or marker.
To make the “lettuce” I put a few sheets of green construction paper (one at a time) into my shredder.
Have students rub some glue on the top and bottom of the inside of their “taco shell” and glue on some “lettuce”.
Cut strips of red, yellow, and orange construction paper. Have students make an ABCABC pattern by gluing the strips INSIDE their “taco shell.” Open up the shell, so that you can see the front and rip the ends of the strips at various lengths, so just a bit of the "taco stuffing" is peeking out around the edge.
Put students in groups of 8. Children exchange their taco with someone in their group, who writes a compliment inside their taco on one of the colored strips. They continue to pass the tacos around ’til everyone in the group has signed everybody’s taco. Seven strips will have been signed. The 8th strip is for the teacher to write something on.
Give students a few minutes to read their taco and then collect them. Scatter them on a bulletin board, with bright yellow background, and a colorful fiesta or chili pepper border, or place each one on a variety of hot-colored paper plates and then scatter those, or use them as a border with the caption: “Taco Talk” in the middle.
So that you can spell Taco Talk, I’ve included large 8x10 letters in the packet. Run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, trim and then arrange them to spell Taco Talk!
For that finishing touch, hang a piñata from the ceiling, on the side of the board. There's also a "Taco Talk" poster if you'd rather use that instead, plus a poster that says "Ola!" so that you can welcome your students with a friendly hello in Spanish.
The end of the school year or summer writing prompt taco is a little different than the compliment taco. Give students a pile of "lettuce" and a strip of red, yellow and orange construction paper.
Students rub glue around the top edge of the inside of their taco, then rip and tear the colored strips into various lengths.
They fold their taco back up and flip it over, gluing the paper pieces in an ABCABC pattern around the TOP of the shell, so that a bit of “taco stuffing” is peeking out.
Use the circle pattern to make a template for the inside "taco". Trace once and then cut 3-6 circles at a time. Students glue the blank circle inside their taco shell, so that it covers the ragged edges of the “lettuce”. This is where they write about their excellent year in school, or about their fabulous summer.
After students have shared their taco with the class, make the bulletin board. That's it. Easy breezy, and a fun way to start or finish the year.
Don't feel crafty? I've also included 3 "color me" writing prompt worksheets. No prep, just print & go.
There's a generic "Taco 'bout".... prompt where you are the students decide what you want them to "talk about" as well as a "Here's a red-hot list of things I'd love to do, if price were no object and I could do anything!" so that you could also do this simple activity for Daily 5 or during your writing block.
For another easy-peasy writing prompt option, I've included 4 black and white bookmarks for students to color, then complete the prompt on the back.
There are also 2 full-color ones for teachers to give their kiddos for back-to-school and at the end of the year. That's it. A nice variety-filled packet with lots of options.
You can find the 30-page "Taco'bout" writing prompt packet in my TpT shop for just $2.00. Click on the link to pop on over.
There are 3 FREEBIES from the packet: a writing prompt worksheet, bookmark and the "Ola!" poster to use as the center of your bulletin board display. Click on the link to grab these 3 "Taco 'bout" FREEBIES today.
Thanks for stopping by. Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, I hope it's absolutely "el terrifico!"
"What we learn becomes a part of who we are." -Unknown
I've included a template for the end of the year: "I hope you have a 'berry' special summer, just like you" as well as one for the beginning of the school year: "I'm wishing you a 'berry' special school year." For a sweet treat, attach your note to a berry-flavored juice box, or some Wild Berry Skittles.
Need an inexpensive, heavy-duty tote bag for books, supplies and the rest of the "stuff" you lug back and forth to school? I made this blue jean tote bag for only a $1. Simply go to GoodWill and find the biggest pair of pants they have. Garage sales are another great place to look.
Including adjectives, enhances students' writing. Here are 10 fall-themed describing worksheets that will help your students practice this skill. Includes an adjective definition anchor chart.
1-2-3 Come Learn Some Hand Signals With Me and Take Control of Interruptions!
Ask any teacher what their students' most frequently asked question is and "Can I go to the bathroom?" will be in the top 3. "Can I get a drink?" and "Can I sharpen my pencil?" Will be right up there as well.
If their question was grammatically incorrect, as with the above use of "can", to help teach appropriate grammar, I'd often reply: "Yes you CAN, but NO, you MAY not." I'd explain this from the beginning and pretty soon all of my students were learning the proper use of the word "may".
Young children, simply being kids, are often interrupting. An obvious remedy to this problem is enforcing the raising of hands. Because this is easily understood, I thought I'd take it a step farther.
If you want to go to the bathroom you make a fist and stick out your thumb. Displaying a specific number of fingers, to signal a need, has been around since I was a child, however, instead of putting up 1 finger, I found it especially helpful, to do the "fist and thumb" for a bathroom request, simply because my Y5's were often raising and waving their hands, but never with a fist. I could then see at a glance, who needed immediate attention.
This technique is so simple, yet really works. Start out by teaching the concept on the 1st day of school. Choose one of the posters, print several copies, laminate, and hang up in several "sure to be seen" places in your room, and then practice a bit.
The hand signals are especially helpful when you are explaining something. No need for a child to raise their hand and state their need out loud. They just put up a hand signal; you make eye contact with that student and nod yes or no. This also avoids children getting out of their seats to ask you, and lessens "copy cats." Have you ever noticed how many kiddo's all of a sudden need to do something, just because one child got the ball rolling?
Some teachers add "Get a tissue" as another signal, but I feel if you need a Kleenex, because you just sneezed and snot is running down your face, no need to hesitate, just go get one and take care of business. I let students know from day one, that they could get a tissue whenever the need arose, and then follow up with a squirt of hand sanitizer shortly after. In all of my years of teaching, no one ever abused the privilege.
Click on the link to view/download the Signal Me anchor chart-poster, and let the training begin! I've also designed a few more classroom posters for back-to-school week. To view the 2nd article I wrote for today, simply scroll down.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find useful. My "Pin it" button is at the top. If you'd like to see all of the cute educational ideas I PIN, click on the "Follow me" heart to the right.
"In the garden of my loneliness, trespassers will never be prosecuted." -Ashleigh Brilliant
A quick, easy and rather inexpensive treat bag to give your students on the 1st day of school.