Monday, August 27, 2012

How do you make behavior managable?

     The beginning of the year comes with many amazing behaviors.  I mean hitting, kicking, crying, and screaming.  And yes, I got to see all of them today.

     When it comes to preschool, children are learning to push buttons, to cross the line, and how far to go.  We need to teach them how to live safely, respectfully, responsibly, carefully, and patiently.  If we base our classroom management on rewards and punishments, they will learn how far they can go and what they will get if they don't. 
2 Simple Steps
Good Classroom Management is achieved through 2 clear aspects in our classrooms.

1. Through proper room arrangement, modeling, and age appropriate activities you will cut down on negative behavior.

 or Teach Preschool always has some good inspirations.  This is her great outdoor classroom.

Teach your children how to wash their hands, line up, open milk, stand in line, and all those other tasks that run your daily routine.  No one has to line up at home to use the bathroom.  The more you model for them, the more they will understand.

2. I read a post which mentioned life skills as a behavior management system.  I chose to use a little of what we learned back in college to combine with this system.  I want to create ownership and community within my classroom.  So we use these words to associate with toys, people, and the school itself.  Can you be helpful by cleaning up the toys?  Can you be respectful of some one's feelings?  Can you be careful by walking down the hallway?

 (I do not post rules for little ones.  If they can not read them, it doesn't do any good to refer to them.)
1. I am helpful.
2. I am careful.
3. I am respectful.
4. I am patient.
5. I am responsible.

     For the first few weeks of school, we review each "rule" by repeating them at the beginning of the day. I try to use the words often throughout the day using positive reinforcement to those children following the rules.

     You can use any technique to record behavior that fits your personality or the classes.  I believe young children need a visual.  That is why the red, yellow, green has worked for some children.

A few techniques I've used

-Stars-  Each student's name is on a star which goes up and down as student behavior changes.

-Hand prints-Each one of these sentences is printed on a hand print cut out from the ellison machine. 

-Painted sticks- Red yellow and green sticks are put into library pocket on their desk.

-no visual reminders-  works better with younger children.  Remind children of rules and reward positive behavior by noting it.

-noodles, gems, rocks in a jar-  As you see class using skills reward them with a piece in a jar.  When the jar is full, do something special.  I'm not talking party here.  How about extra computer time or choice time.  Extra recess or game day.

Communicating to parents 
     When using the hand prints, I would put a sticker or stamp on each finger to represent the 5 behaviors. This is not used as a reward but as a system to communicate to parents about their child's behavior. If the parent sees five stickers they know it was a good day.  If one or more is missing, then there was a problem.  A small note can be written on the hand

     You could color a smiley face in a child's communication folder.  As a parent, I disliked this method.  It didn't tell me what my child did wrong or right.

     You could just make periodic phone calls or notes home to inform parents of behavior.  Remember to send just as many positive notes or calls as negative ones.

Here are some cute free printable notes that don't relate to behavior, but I thought you would like to have them also.

Here is a cute note to send home to parents to send back to school. This will encourage communication back to teacher.

I haven't found a free printable that you can send home to communicate behavior yet.  Do you have one that you would like to share?

Book Box- Zoo animals & Teddy Bear

Zoo Animals &
a few Teddy bear books

A Trip to the Zoo by Carla Greene
At the Zoo by Susan Canizares & Arianne Weber
Bear's Dream by Janet Slingsby
Birthday Zoo by Deborah Lee Rose (rhyming)
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert (shape)
Curious George by H.A. Rey
Curious George Bakes a Cake by Margret & H.A. Rey
Curious George makes Pancakes by Margret & H.A. Rey
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Five Little Monkeys reading in bed by Eileen Christelow
Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow
Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do by Eileen Christelow
Going Home by Ann & Reg Cartwright
A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Siverstein
Hiccups for Elephant by James Preller
Hold Tight, Bear! by Ron Maris
If You Give a Moose a Muffin
I Love you, Blue Kangaroo! by Emma Chichester Clark
Inside a Zoo in the City by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (Rebus)
Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Miss Moo Goes to the Zoo by Kelly Graves
Monkey See, Monkey Do by Marc Gave (Hello Reader level 1)
MoonBear's Dream by Frank Asch
Please Say Please! Penuin's Guide to Manners by Margery Cuyler
Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
Sammy The Seal by Syd Hoff
The Teddy Bears' Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy
Where's my Teddy? by Jez Alborough
Zoo Animals by June Behrens (real photos)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Book Box- Poetry, nursery rhymes, etc

This box contains books that are collections of rhymes or nursery rhymes.  They don't seem to fit into any other of my categories, so I bunched them together.

Green Beans and Other Silly Poems by Nancy Leber and Lolli Leber
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstien
Miss Mary Mack adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman
Play Rhymes collected and ill. by Marc Brown (cute animal movement rhymes)
Questions selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Take me out of the Bathtub and other silly dilly songs by Alan Katz
Why the Banana Split by Rick Walton (a  play on words book)
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman (Short stories that rhyme)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't Throw that Box away- Make something with it!

     Because I am a teacher, I am a collector of things people would normally throw away or recycle.  Only other teachers really understand this habit.  This time it was a unique box that opened at the top.  It was sturdy and would be easy to reuse.  But, for what.  It has been sitting in my work room for about 6 months till I found something that fit perfectly inside.

     I covered the top and the sides with scrapbook paper and our newly found sparkle Modge Podge.  I just added a label with letter stickers.

     I have been working on sensory bottles in these 6.5 oz water bottles that came in the lunchables my daughter has been eating.  They are small enough to carry and store.

     I thought it would be great to carry to school on a day I would be subbing as an extra activity.  I am working on a worksheet that goes along with these bottles, so I could use them with older kids. ex.  I have a letter bottle where children search for letter beads in rice.  Older children could find a letter then list words that begin with that letter.

     Here are the bottles we have made so far.  Glitter and water (glitter will color the water), vegie oil and water, pink water with dish soap (shake to make bubbles), baby oil and pom poms, sand and shells in water, hair gel with fish rocks and glass beads
Here is where to go to see how to make sensory bottles and what to put in them.  They thought of everything.
Here you will find a neat seasonal sensory bottle ideas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to School Teacher Gift

     While teaching preschool, I was very lucky to have some of the best and kindest parents.  I always got wonderful gifts for Christmas and at the end of the year.  It made me feel very special.  So, when I became a parent, I wanted to make sure I was one of those parents who tried to make the teacher feel special.  My daughter and I work together to make something special for her teacher.

This was last years experiment. Edible Crayons & Candy Pencils

This year we are making a personalized clipboard and matching pens.  It will be included in a basket with other fun things like stickers and post it notes.  Both of these cute ideas I saw on pinterest and are pretty simple.

 pretty clip board
Wooden clip board
Scrapbook paper
Letter stickers
Modge podge
 (we found sparkle kind)

Cover your clipboard using modge podge with scrapbook paper. 
I used ribbon to hide the change of paper color.
Add stickers to personalize.
Paint over all with sparkle modge podge.
Then paint over with regular modge podge.(Those were the directions on bottle.)
The sparkle kind was very sticky after it dried, so adding the regular coat must help seal it.

The sparkle Modge podge worked beautifully.  I would decorate my walls with this stuff.
This is the smaller version my daughter had to have.  We haven't finished her teacher's yet, because we are not sure of her name.  But it is cute, and my daughter wants to write on it all the time.  Great benefit.

Pretty Pens
Clear pens you can remove ends (refillable)
I found them at Dollar Tree 2/$1 but grocery store had them 5/$2.38 colored ones too.
Scrapbook paper (matching clip board)

Cut scrapbook paper length of clear part of pen only and width about 1 1/2 in.
Remove pen and wrap paper around it.
Put it back together.  I had to use the scissors to push the paper completely in the pen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Great printable play dough recipe

I have found the greatest 3rd grade teacher to ever help out a preschool teacher.  She has lots of free printables and ideas you could use in your classroom, but this will help all those teachers that ask for volunteers to make play dough.

Visit Clutter Free Classroom 
for a free printable picture and word recipe card.

It would be great if you make play dough in the classroom too.  Children could easily follow the picture cues to make the recipe. 

More fun free printables

I'm so upset that my printer seems to have died just in time for my summer break when I could be making and collecting.  But, hopefully you will enjoy these printables. 
They are all free.

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten has a lot of her introductory centers for free just in time to start out the new year.  I love her stuff.

I really like dltk's printable books.  Every child could use practice reading.

Classroom Freebies is a website dedicated to bringing free resources to teachers.  I love it.

The Convenient Teacher has some adorable printables.  How cute is this.

While looking for some winter activities, I discovered Apples for the Teacher.  There are all kinds of printable activities here.

space theme vocab, handwriting and others

Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives has some beautiful freebies for letters, numbers, and words.  They would be great for my literacy centers. Also, check out her very cute environmental print ideas and printables.

This one is my favorite.  It is simple and cute.

The Teachers' Treasure Chest has collected some great center printables.  She has done a great job collecting, so take a look.

Here are more center signs.

A Special kind of class has some letter and word assessments.

Smiling in second grade has cute journals and other cute stuff.

teacher bits and bobs has a cute back to school freebie.

Teacher's Pay Teachers has a lot of resources, many of them free.  You just have to search for free resources

Free Chicka Chicka resources from Kinder Alphabet

Building words with a Cookie Sheet and more

consonant blends chart

Are you teaching labeling?  Here's a freebie.

A collection of free printable sites

Here is where I found the cutest labels for your supplies. and here are more.

toy labels (mostly boy toys)

simple black and white toy tags

cute polka dot labels

Neat math stations

I have collected printables and included them in my center posts, so check out them if you're looking for something for your centers.
Literacy centers

Math centers

If you have a free printable you would like to share, please include it in a comment.  I would like to see it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Box- Back to School

My Back to School Box of books includes books about family and friends.  We have always done those themes at the same time.

When I Was Little A four-year-old's Memoir of Her Youth by Jamie Lee Curtis
If you have four year olds this one is perfect.  It creates so much language and background information about your children.  We always did a self portrait after reading this one.

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards))This is a funny rhyming book that you could easily use to teach children when it is appropriate to paint.

Are There Any Questions? by Denys Cazet (Children ask lots of questions while on a field trip)
Chester's Way by Kevin Henkes (making new Friends)
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (great self esteem)
Clifford Runs to Story Time by Norman Bridwell
Countdown to the First Day of School by AnnMarie Harris
Dinosaur Starts School by Pamela Duncan Edwards
First Day, Hooray! by Nancy Poydar
First Day of Kindergarten by Kim Jackson
Go To School by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Berenstain Bears story)
Hello World! Greetings in 42 Languages Around the Globe! by Manya Stojic (great multicultural)
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss with some help from Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith
How I spent My Summmer Vacation by Mark Teague
I Can Do It By Myself by June Goldsborough
If a Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold (The Story of Rosa Parks)
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
I Love School! by Philemon Sturges
I'm Gonna Like Me Letting off a Little Self Esteem by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell (self esteem)
Let's Go To School by Michelle Petty (easy reader)
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (great for behavior management)
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni (Fun activities to go with the book)
Miss Honey's Busy Day by Richard Scarry
Mouse's First Day of School by Lauren Thompson
My Family  A sesame street book
My First Day at Preschool by Edwina Riddell (picture and word book)
The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague
Teachers Are for Reading Stories by Harriet Ziefert
That's What A Friend is by PK Hallinan
Thomas and the School Trip by Owain Bell
Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that make my day by Jamie Lee Curtis (Good for Emotions)
Tucker's Best School Day by Susan Winget
What Will I do If I Can't Tie my Shoe? by Heidi Kilgras

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Box- Fall & Apples

We're Going On A Leaf HuntI love books that copy other common books or poems.  It makes it easy to compare and contrast.  This book rhymes and counts while naming and showing what common leaves look like.

Apple Picking by Janet Craig
Apples by Melvin and Gilda Berger (good life cycle book)
Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Autumn's First Leaf`by Steve Metzger (how leaves are friends even if one changes color)
Big Red Apple by Tony Johnston (Hello Reader level 1)
Clifford Loves Autumn by Norman Bridwell
A Day at the Apple Orchard by Megan Faulkner & Adam Krawesky (real photos)
Fall Colors by Rita Walsh
I am A Leaf by Jean Marzollo (It is great to hear a 3 year old say "Chlorophyll")
Leaf Season by Quinlan B. Lee (Clifford Puppy Days)
Leaves by Melvin & Gilda Berger
The Tiniest Pumpkin by Janet Craig
Under the Apple Tree by Steve Metzger
Up, Up, Up! It's Apple Picking Time by Jody Fickes Shapiro
What are Seasons? by Chris Arvetis and Carole Palmer
When the Leaf Blew in by Steve Metzger (What cause and effect when a leaf blows in the barn)
why Do Leaves Change Color? by Chris Arvetis and Carole Palmer

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Glow in the Dark Fun

We were on vacation during the 4th of July, so I thought it was a great opportunity to do some fun stuff in the dark.  I love glow sticks.  I love that you can get a bunch of them for $1.00. 

The challenge is making curved letters with strait sticks. 

We found glow in the dark bubbles.  They only glow once.

We made a firefly

using a water bottle.  We covered half with tissue paper. and wrapped a pipe cleaner around top for antenae.  Google eyes glued to cap make it more fun.  My  intension was to just add a glow stick to the bottle when we wanted to take it outside, but my mom sent us some glow in the dark paint.

The paint is thin but works well.

Just squirt and shake.

Here are some other neat looking dark time activities.
Train up a Child did glowing water beads and other fun stuff.  You need a black light for this.  I like this idea better because it doesn't involve breaking the glow sticks.  I've seen people who have painted with the glow stick liquid, but I just do not want to trust that it is non toxic.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Math centers- Patterning

Learning to repeat, create, and continue patterns will help our little ones find and use the patterns in our math system.  Even our base ten counting system is one big pattern.  A child that can count on forever but forgets the tenth number has figured out the pattern.

Patterning centers are the easiest to make and can fit into every theme.  I've gotten a lot of rubber manipulatives by themes through scholastic book clubs.  They were about $10 each set.  They are well worth the money.  I have seen apples, Halloween, fall, back to school, bugs, transportation, Christmas and others.

I have used holiday stickers to make simple pattern cards.  Children can copy and extend the pattern I've made.

Unifix cubes are easy to make color patterns.  I have made cards on sentence strips for children to copy.  I also use the colors we are working on.  Put two colors like orange and black for Halloween in a basket and set it on the table.  Children can't help but find the pattern.  While roaming the internet I did find a printable sheet of unifix cube patterns, but I will have to find it again to share it with you.

Pattern blocks have many shapes that can be made into patterns.  Here is a colored or black and white printable using pattern blocks.

You can make patterns with anything.

patterning on the pocket chart and other patterning fun.

Sun Scholars has a neat tray activity for patterning.

Dr. Suess Patterning

Friday, August 3, 2012

Let's get organized!

   It's getting close to the beginning of the school year.  Everybody is thinking of how they are planning for the new year.  Since organization is so important to a teacher, I thought I would share some of my organizational tips and share those I've enjoyed seeing.
This site has all kinds of tips for new teachers.

I just found this helpful blog about how to keep a clutter free classroom.  Neat.  Check out Clutter Free Classroom

  I like this idea for storing stuff.

Here you'll find some good ideas for organizing back to school from Not Just Cute.

I also like this teacher's way of organizing.  Check out what she uses for extra supplies and books.
My paper or craft stuff-  This has been the most challenging area for me to organize.  I want to keep ideas together but also the stuff left over from those ideas (such as all the Ellison cut shapes for shape trains) that way next time I use them I wont have to do so much work or shopping.  This challenge has evolved into this.  I bought the long/ letter size manila folders.  Stapled the sides like a pocket.  On the front I have a print out or just wrote the directions for the activity.  Inside is big enough to hold regular sized construction paper flat or large paper folded.  Then if there are little pieces that go with the craft, they are in a Ziploc bag in the pocket.  I store all these file boxes in order of when we do them throughout the year.  When I am planing my week or month I pull out the pockets plan my lessons and write down how much of a supply is needed to finish the project.  It works for me.

1+1+1=1 makes what are called lap books.  It keeps all the activities they do in one file folder. 

My toys and stuff-  I use a tub for each month or season.  They mostly contain a certain theme.  So Beginning of the year, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Transportation, Winter Holidays, Winter, Doctor/ Dentist, Spring/ Easter, Farm, Bugs, Summer.  I also have a tub for ABC/ Number games that have no theme and one for art and craft materials that are left over.  Inside these tubs I put games, dramatic play items, manipulates, or anything 3D

Teach Preschool gives us a way to organize felt board pieces.  I think I will be doing this one.  It's great when things are easy to find.

My books-  I have nearly a thousand books that I with the help of friend, my mom (the garage sale queen), and scholastic (last year they were giving away a free book for every online order) have collected over the years.  I have not found the best way to organize them all so they can be seen.  I have simply resorted to sorting them by theme then storing them in a scholastic box.  This way I can pull out the box that is related to the theme we are working on and do my lesson plans based on them.  In order to store them in the garage, I then put the boxes in large plastic tubs with labels on the outside.  I once tried to make a spread sheet that I would be able to use with the title, author, subject, and description, but it just took too long and I didn't use it.  This year, as I use them I will write a book box post that will contain all of the above and maybe activities that go with them.  Blogging has been a great way for me to organize myself.

Here is a cute way to organize books.  The labels are available now.  Check the comments below for the link to visit.

Creating lesson plans- Amazingly my lesson book might look organized but usually I start out with lots of scribbled ideas and lists everywhere in a note book.  Then as they are written down in my lesson book, I cross them off my messy page.

Teach Preschool makes webs.  We have all seen this in college, but for some reason it did not stick.  This is a tool I need to try using again.

If you do guided reading and need a way to organize the kids, you're going to want to check here.
The Classroom- since I am still looking for a job in this state, I will not be sharing any pics of my own room, but check out some of these.

I thought this was a neat idea.  I think I would put journals in it.

I thought this might be a good replacement for those library pockets we use for jobs.

here is a great calendar set up

Great idea for all those long things like calendar names or poems or kids names
And as soon as mine are made, these will be my favorite organizational tools.

dish drainer file organizer
here is another use for a dish rack

This classroom is the nicest size.  Look how beautifully she uses space.

Here is a neat writing center.  Hanging it on the wall clears up space.

What a great idea to hold easily lost items

Here are neat organizational printables

How about using those name tag badges for label holders? Check it out.

Here is a neat idea to hold all those pens, pencils, markers, etc we have laying around.

and here is another one made with milk jugs.

Some more cute signs, but also neat ideas on what kids can do when they are finished. Here are some cute ideas with printables.  Check out What the Teacher Wants!  There are cute job signs.  Behavior punch cards and volunteer forms

The Kids and their Parents-  In the past I haven't had much of a problem communicating with parent, because I they had to drop off and pick up their children at my door.  I could just ask a question any time.  So, what do I do now that the children are riding a bus to and from school or getting picked up in a car that drives up to the door on a busy street?  We will see what works best.  Newsletters, emails, notes home, folders, calendars, daily or weekly "what I did" sheets

I have used a folder like this before.
I think my daughters school has a pocket folder with  prongs where they attach a calendar.

Teach Preschool uses a calendar to send home.

Two Things in Common has a great way to organize new student information.  Simple.  Why didn't I think of that.

Do you use portfolios?  Check these out.  What a great way to use play to assess.