Sunday, July 14, 2013

I absolutely love the new rules on many boards at Pinterest. I think all of the boards have become more interesting, exciting and engaging when filled with great teaching and organizational ideas.
However, I have always loved pinning and re-pinning other sellers' great products. I have always pinned about 10:1. 10 great things that cross my path and then one of my own.
Pinning Parties have been a challenge for me lately. I love pinning for all the wonderful creative authors over at TpT, but more recently I have been pinning others' things to my own private boards for fear of breaking rules on other boards.
Pinning Parties can be SOOOO much fun, but it is time consuming. When I am trying to find a good collaborative board (with lots of followers) that would be a good match for someone's pin, I don't always have time to double-check the rules. I definitely do not have time to check through the board to see if that pin is already posted there, and I would NEVER want to add a pin to a board and put that person in jeopardy of being deleted because there were duplicate pins!
So, when I do pin for others I put the pins on my boards, which at least a few people will see, and to only a scarce few others that I think are "safe".
So, I got the idea today to start a new Collaborative Board called Pinning Party so that we have another "safe" spot to pin for our friends. If duplicate pins appear because several people have pinned something, that will be ok. Ideas and blog posts are welcomed and hopefully everyone that comes by will re-pin a few things to some other safe spots!
This will be a little bit of an experiment, but we'll give it a try. Now of course it will be great if we get a ton of followers here. So, let's get started!!!

Good Character Board at Pinterest!

Some great collections to help create a caring and considerate classroom!
To be added email me at

Great Social Studies Lesson:
Show Where Your School is in the World
Start with just the bottom box showing
with all the other boxes tucked inside.
Open like it's a present...
Then keep going and going and...
Until you get to Your School!
I put the box on top of a rolling cart,
so I can spin it around to show the other side.
Have students read the names in order for both sides.
They have a blast with this lesson.
Then leave the boxes out for a while as a station!
They love it!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Helpers Chart System
This is the EASIEST and most CONVENIENT Helpers Chart I have ever used! I am very excited to share this system with you. Use the long side of a file cabinet, or any other magnetic board that you have. I use 15 Job Cards and place either one or two dots on the bottom of the card to show how many helpers there will be for that job. This changes each year to match the number of students that I have. Make several jobs a 2 person job and then everyone has a job each week. These jobs are Common Core Aligned and provide opportunities for Cooperative Learning!
Close-up of a job card with 2 dots (bottom right corner)
2 Helper Name Cards.
I put the names in alphabetical order and number the name cards. This helps when students are helping with the chart and the names get mixed up.
These magnet clips make this system so SIMPLE to use and it is such a TIME SAVER!! Clip the name cards and when time to change the jobs, simply move the magnet name over! I always take the last name off the chart and hold it. Slide everyone over one spot and then the one in my hand goes up to the first spot on top. Easy and Efficient! I love this and I hope it can make a difference for you too!

I finally completed my Complete & Comprehensive Helpers Chart System including my Barclay Bear Weather Wheels and Calendar Pocket Chart Sentences Pack. If you are interested in using this system, I have all of the pieces ready-made for you. You can find them at my little TeacherspayTeachers store called Silly Sam Productions.
                 Helpers Chart Weather Wheel and Calendar Pocket Chart Pack

                     Barclay Bear Weather Wheels

Calendar Sentences
Pocket Chart
Helpers create and share the sentences each day.
Students can copy the sentences in their journal and answer a question of the day to extend this Morning Routine activity.
Over the years I have designed and created many versions of a Helpers Chart. This is the complete package of the one that has worked the BEST for me in my classroom. The Job Cards are bright and cheery and help early readers with great picture cues.
The Magnet Clips for moving student names around the chart have simplified this task and are a true TIME SAVER!  This Helpers Chart System solves every problem I've ever had with a Job Chart. Every student gets a job each week, it runs automatically to keep things fair. Jobs are adjustable to make the perfect number of jobs to match the number of students that you have.
Children LOVE doing their jobs, training peers and sharing their knowledge with the class. Parents have commented about the excitement and enthusiasm the kiddos have about having a job in class. They look forward to their jobs and talk about them at home, Woo-Hoo!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Easy Word Wall Idea for Limited Space

Window Words

Word Wall Alternative
Bulletin board space is limited in my classroom.  This idea works great to utilize space up high in the classroom where it can be easily seen and easily reached.  Attach laminated chart paper with alphabet to the window shades.  Just lower the shades to add your words in wipe-off marker.  I color-coded the consonants and vowels.  Then wipe down the charts at the end of the year and start all over again! 

Utilize that wonderful space up high, with no climbing!!