David and Goliath Lesson

Last year, I made the move from a huge public school to a small private catholic school.  It is actually the school I went to as a kid, which is such a rewarding feeling! I have absolutely loved incorporating religion into my curriculum.

During the first week of school, we did a fun David and Goliath lesson.  I started off by putting some yarn in a brown paper bag and asking the students if anyone was brave enough to reach inside.  I really wanted to do cooked spaghetti but didn't have time! After I had a student reach into the bag, we discussed the word BRAVERY.  We talked about how when we feel scared or upset, God is always there to help us feel brave even though we can't see him.

Then we read the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).   I displayed a piece of butcher paper that was 9 feet long.   I had some students lay next to it to show how much bigger Goliath was than David.  We then discussed some things in our lives that might be our "giants."  We wrote these on the butcher paper.

After writing our "giants," we talked about how God is way bigger than these giants and how he can help us overcome them.  Then we all used black markers to write GOD over our giants.

 I wrote one of my giants on the paper too :) 

I loved some of the ideas the kiddos wrote! 

The following day, we watched the story on YouTube.  Click HERE to see the video.  After this activity, David and Goliath became a favorite story in our room.  Comment below to share your favorite bible stories to use at the beginning of the year! 





Organizational Tips That Keep Ms. Winter Sane

I am so excited to be apart of this Back to School Blog Hop!  I have teamed up with 50+ other teachers to share some amazing organizational and behavior management tips with you.  Check out my organizational tips below and enter the giveaway at the end of my post for lots of goodies :) 



 First, let's talk about student desks.  Now if your sweet babes are like mine, they may sometimes lack organizational skills for their desk.  And by lack organizational skills, I mean some days I peek in their desk and it looks like its the home of the Tasmanian Devil.

My kiddos always bring their own pencil box, but it is always overloaded with stuff.  I add these little baskets from the Dollar Tree to their desks.  I also use the clear sticky label pouches from the Target Dollar Spot to add a little reminder label for my kiddos.  The ONLY things I allow them to keep in these baskets are the items found on the labels.  This makes it so easy when we are doing a craft for them to just grab the whole basket! Pick up a FREE copy of the labels HERE!


Speaking of desks, I have always had an ongoing battle with keeping name tags on my desk all year long.  I've used contact paper. I tried velcro.  Nothing has proved to be a great solution.  This year I added magnets and keep them on the front of their desks. The kiddos can just glance down when they need to use their name tags as a resource, or they can take it off and easily put it back on.  
Get my Text Evidence and Purposeful Talk Name Tags HERE! 



Once your desks are nice and organized, your kiddos are ready to learn! I am a huge fan of anchor charts and my students love them too.  I had a long chalkboard in my room, so I covered it with butcher paper.  Then, I added binder clips on top of the board and hooked on binder rings to hold my anchor charts.  I love it because I keep my charts organized my subject on one set of rings, and it makes for an easy chart change! I of course had to add some burlap ribbon :) 



I also utilized some space above my anchor chart display! I bought 8x10 picture frames from the Dollar Tree and added a plain piece of white paper.  Viola! It becomes a whiteboard for me to write my daily targets for each subject.  


This last tip helps with classroom organization and behavior management! I have a "Reading Spots" board.  When the kiddos are completing their "Read to Self" or reading as an earlier finisher activity, they go to their spot in the room.  I change their names every couple days.  This way I don't have anyone fighting over my pillows or thinking they own a certain spot :)



I hope you've enjoyed some of my favorite organizational tips.  Enter below for this amazing Back to School Blog Hop GIVEAWAY!! Then hop on over to Ashley's Brainy Centers for some more great ideas :) 


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Classroom Reveal 2016-2017

My room is finally done, y'all.  My first two years of teaching, I was in Clarksville, TN.  Last year I moved back home to sweet ole Southern Illinois and I've been teaching at the school I went to as a kid.  How sweet it is! I didn't post classroom pictures last year because things just got crazy busy.  Here is my new and improved room, ready for my second graders on Monday! 

 I kept my door simple this year! The kiddos' names are on the stars.  


Super easy DIY calendar! Buy poster board from Dollar Tree, add the month, days, laminated numbers, and sticky clips. 


I'll be adding a bug for each student when I get a list of their birthdays.


Thank you to Teaching In High Heels for the free "Amazing Work Coming Soon" printables! Get your free copy from her store HERE.  

I teach in a private Catholic school, so we are fired up about Jesus! 


This is one of my favorite parts of my room. . . the library!


I used the back of the shelf to add a little resource bulletin board for my library! It includes the expectations for Read By Myself and Read With A Buddy, questions to ask while reading, and a 5 Finger Book Test poster.  Get the FREE library posters HERE!

I organize my anchor charts into subject and them place them all on a pair of binder rings.  

Above the anchor charts are where I display my daily targets.  These are just 8x10 picture frames from the Dollar Tree.  Add a white piece of paper inside the frame and it becomes a dry erase board!

This is where I keep all of my extra supplies.  If my kiddos need more throughout the year, they know where to find it! 

Instead of having student jobs, I have two students as my Camp Champs each week.  I have these two students take care of all my classroom jobs, so I don't have to worry about changing job roles.  This is a plastic plate from the Dollar Tree that I hung right by our door. 


Here are my math centers.  They include Math by Myself, Math with a Buddy, and GO Math Games.  If you use GO Math, check out my GO Math Center Games for each chapter HERE. 

To organize my math centers, I use a cooking sheet from the Dollar Tree and add magnets! I got this cute ribbon at Dollar General :) 



You can't tell from the picture, but this s'more is HUGE! 




My desk! This hanging folder organizer is where I put the students' weekly work for them to take home.  I added it to the back of my ugly file cabinet so it saves space! I ordered it from HERE.





I love using my Campground Coins for behavior management! They can earn or lose coins, and we shop at the end of the week in my coupon store.  

Each time a student earns or loses a coin, they track it on this laminated sheet.  If they earn a coin they put a + by their name.  If they lose one, they put a -.  At the end of the day, the students record how many coins they earned/lost that day.  We erase it and start over the next day! Very easy management.  


Here is our word wall and alphabet.  Pick up my D'Nealian Alphabet HERE!

We have a writing word wall (pictured above).  I laminated construction paper with commonly used words at the top (small, big, said, nice, happy, sad, etc).  Throughout the year, we come up with strong words to write underneath the overused words. This word wall really transferred to their writing last year!

This is a shower caddy you can find at Wal-Mart. 


 I had these for each kiddo at open house.  Golden Grahams, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips make for yummy fake s'mores! Pick up these tags from my Beginning of the Year Camping Packet.  


I loved this reading spots board last year! My students would find their spot during independent reading time and there was no fuss.  

My new Noggle and Boggle boards! Check out my blogpost to learn more about the games and snatch a FREEBIE! Click HERE to read more.  


I'm excited about my small group goals board! I laminated poster board and assigned each student two squares, one for reading and one for math.  During small group time, we will use dry erase markers to jot down short term goals for each student.  


I found some belt and scarf hangers at Dollar General and knew I would find a use for them! They are perfect storage for all of my reading fluency rings.  Grab the rings HERE! 


Last but not least, we have my reading centers wheel! This wheel does wonders for your centers organization.  You don't have to stop your small group instruction to signal your students to change centers.  They are each in an animal group, and complete their two centers for the day at their own pace.  When they finish, they complete the four finisher activities at the bottom of the board.  


Welp, that's it folks! This is my fourth year with a camping theme and I still have fun with it.  Maybe next year I'll switch it up . . . :) 




Boggle and Noggle

It is August 1st. August 1st! Let the teacher anxiety begin, am I right? I'm lucky enough to be able to get into my classroom at any time during the summer. Yes, be jealous. Today, I finally finished my new Boggle and Noggle station. I had lots of questions about the games when I posted the picture on my Insta and Facebook, so I wanted to make a FREEBIE just for you :) Click any of the pictures below to get your freebie!
Pictured above is my cute little work station for my kiddos. I used poster board from the Dollar Tree and secured it to the back of our bookcase. I love finding ways to use every inch of my classroom!

To set up the game boards, I used baking sheets from the Dollar Tree because they are magnetic. I also found these amazing magnetic containers at Dollar Tree! I made the letters and numbers to fit perfectly inside these cute little guys. Just print, laminate, and add a magnet to the back of the numbers and letters. Easy peasy.
To keep my kiddos accountable when they are playing, I made these recording sheets. I love Noggle because it can be used with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. When introducing the game, just instruct your students so they know which operation they will be using. You can have them choose their goal number or you assign them one. For my second graders, I usually tell them to use 20 as their goal number for addition and subtraction. Boggle is just a simple making words game using the letters on the board. The magnets make it easy for the kiddos to take them down from the board and work with the numbers and letters. Interactive and fun!
I swear I find everything at the Dollar Tree. To hold the recording sheets, I used these Dollar Tree tubs and command hooks to attach them to the wall. The kiddos will be able to use these games during centers and also as an "I'm Done" activity. I can't wait to see how they like it!
Click any of the pictures above to get your Boggle and Noggle freebie! Send me pictures when you get your board all set up :) Enjoy your last few precious moments of summer, sweet friends!