Can you say C-R-A-Z-Y that is how I feel right now! Even after two days off last week to get ahead I am behind again!! I know it's just that time of  year, so many things going on, so much to do!! I am looking forward to a couple more vacation days soon :)

I worked hard this weekend to get my February Fluency Pack all ready for the new month!! Here it is...
Six Valentine themed centers or small group activities all ready to go! I can't wait to start using them! The January set went over so well and I know the  kids are going to love getting new stories, poems, reader's theaters, and games in their centers soon! This week is our fourth week using the January pack, to mix it up a little bit I used the pocket chart cards as a "read the room" activity. I taped a few up around the room, students used pointers to go around and read them! They loved it so much I decided to add a couple of fun elements to February's pack! So I created these.........
Heart glasses and pointers! All you have to do is cut them out and laminate for some Valentine read the room or pocket chart fun! The kids can just use the tab on the glasses to hold them up to their faces, or attach a small dowel rod to hold them up with!! I can't wait for my students to see these in their center they are going to love using them to read!! If your students would enjoy them feel free to click on the picture and get a free set for your classroom!!!

If you would like the whole February set, just click on the picture above to come on over to my TPT store and purchase it. Again it's only $4.50 for the whole thing!!! Thanks for checking it out! 

I hope your all having a great Monday!!
I got a nice little surprise in the mail this week, BOOKS!! I LOVE books!! I have spent a small fortune trying to collect books that I feel will be of interest to my particular group of students and it's not always easy to find good non-fiction books that struggling readers love. These new books from Carson Dellosa are right up my alley!
They come in three levels, and cover a variety of subjects (not just animals!!) I have a lot of awesome animal non-fiction books but it can be difficult to find books about other topics! Carson Dellosa has a whole list of titles to choose from!
This one about space is a level three, it has amazing pictures with great details and includes little facts highlighted throughout the book. It's not to easy but it's not overwhelming. I found it to be a really good fit for my struggling 5th and 6th graders.

Level 2 is a little easier as you can see and the other details such as fun facts are left out so the students are distracted by them. My students are also enjoying these because look at those cool photographs, he looks like he's coming off the page at you!!

 Level one is obviously short on words, my second graders read these very well. We are continuing to work on fluency and adding some non-fiction to the mix was great! Again AMAZING pictures and well laid out.

For more information or to purchase Spectrum® Readers, visit 

Carson Dellosa Publishing - Celebrating 35 years

It's really cold outside!! They say this morning "felt like" -19* yep that's a negative in front of that 19!! BURRR! So we ended up having a snow day or cold day - a day at home with nothing planned - just what I needed to finally get some stuff done! Here's a look at what I accomplished with my time off....
These are my lesson plans!!! I decided to try and do the "visual lesson plans" I've seen a lot of you doing! I  LOVE them, I love that I can put links in them to each of the activities that I am using online and they are all in one place! I printed them but I LOVE that they are digital and I can just open the file and change it up if needed! (I didn't make them large enough to read with links and all that here because they are personalized with student names right now. My plan is to be able to start sharing them here on Sundays each week (that's the plan anyway we will see how disciplined I am at making that happen)!!

These are the activities from the plans above (and a couple not in the plans) that I made today......
Penguin gift tags = fraction game - I wrote improper fraction and mixed numbers on the back, students will choose one and then write either the improper fraction for the mixed number or the mixed number for the improper fraction they drew!

These two activities I found. They are freebies one is a fraction "I have who has game" from Functional Fun
the other is a penguin nonsense word sort that I made for my paraprofessional to use with Kindergarteners. I got it from Berry Creative. Click on either name to check them out!

 This is a sequencing activity from The First Grade Sweet Life, (also a freebie). It included five sets of cards that gave instruction for how to do something. I put each set in a pencil case. I plan on passing them out to groups of three students. They will open the box and read the cards, then put them in to correct order. I'm only giving them 5 minutes then they have to pass the box to the next group. Each group will get to order each situation once! I think they will have a lot of fun with this!! It's Valentine themed so head on over and check it out, lots of other great stuff at

Another nonsense word sort, this one I made using tongue depressor sticks and these super cute labels I got from our free teacher store!! I wrote real and nonsense words on the labels attached them to the sticks and that's all - a center is ready!! The students will use the cups below to sort them as they read the words.

These snow man sticky notes were a great easy way to make another game. I wrote fractions on them and the students will have to sort them into sets of equivalent fractions. I just keep trying to come up with better ways to teach fractions than worksheets and it really isn't that easy!! I think they will like this one!

These penguins (another notepad that I got from Walmart after Christmas for 20 cents) still need to be cut out. I laminated them and I'm still working on the cutting!! They have long division problems on them, again trying to make review a little more engaging than worksheets. Students will draw a penguin, solve the problem on their white board and then I will check it. For each one they answer correctly (if they are incorrect they keep trying until they are correct and I help them) they win points, at the end of the week they can redeem the points for treats (small suckers, gum, and starbursts.....shhhhh no candy allowed :) ).

So now that I am feeling better about where I am as far as planning, (I think I almost caught up with paperwork) I'm looking forward to finishing up my February Fluency and Math games packs I've been working on! Hopefully I'll be back to share those with you soon!

Thanks for reading, happy Tuesday!

I haven't had much time to blog lately, I've been sooo busy!! Report cards went out this past week and although I had collected all the data for my IEP progress reports I spent a lot of time reorganizing it and getting it all in order to actually get the progress reports done and sent home. It took way longer then I thought it would! I am soooo glad I got it done though because next time it should be really easy!!! I didn't get a picture of the data binders I'm using so I'll have to show you more about those later.

I was so fortunate to have another Donors Choose project fully funded and had a projector delivered this week. I can now use the document camera I got last year and the projector to project activities and make them more interactive. I am really anxious to get them up and running but I need to rearrange some things to make it all work! Hopefully it will be ready this coming week, and again I'll share more once it's up and running!

I also made a couple changes to our classroom routines. I have a bit of a confession to make....I LOVE the Daily 5 and CAFE concepts, but I just wasn't being able to make them work for my classroom this year :( I know BOOOO! I have tried to make them work but I am using the general education curriculum that takes up most of our time. I only have 30 minute  groups each day and I just wasn't finding the time to fit the other stuff in. So I decided that our CAFE board that has not changed in a couple months (YIKES) would be better utilized as a focus board for the different groups I see each day! Here's what it did look like......
This was before school started, we had added a couple strategies to each section but It was still looking bare

and here it is now........

I took the first day with each group to talk about our objectives and skill focus, then they helped create the posters that will be on display while we study that skill. We referred to it a lot this week and I am hopeful that it will be a much more functional display for us to use as the skills we are working on change for each group.

My second grade group is still working on fluency this week. We have been having such a wonderful time with the activities from my January Fluency pack. They loved playing the roll a phrase game this week and practicing poetry then reading it to the class. Next week we are going to be working on the readers theaters!

I started working on a February packet this week and wanted to share the Valentines Fry Phrase Game

Hope your all enjoying your weekend! I am so excited that we have Monday off because I still have sooo much I want to get done!! I hope to be back sharing more with you soon :)
The alarm went off way to early this morning!! I was not prepared liked I wanted to be!! WHY did I procrastinate!! I did enjoy the time off with my family doing nothing work related, but now I'm feeling a little behind! I did get things together but not as well as I would have liked!!

I spent a large amount of time over vacation creating my new January Fluency Practice package!! Six different small group or center activities all about winter fun! I am so excited about this because it includes a lot of original work!! Five original winter poems, original fluency passages, and reader's theaters!!

One of my student's favorite activities is the "unique voice" reading we do. I give them fry phrases or sentences, they choose a "voice" card from the jar and then read their phrases using that voice. It was a fun way to get back into reading today! So here are my Unique voice cards for January if you would like them!

If your first or second graders need some practice with fluency you can check out my entire unit, just click on the picture to head on over to my store!!

Hope you all are having a great first day back! I got a couple packages in the mail today, can't wait to share what's going on in my classroom, but right now I need to take a nap go make dinner!! Happy Monday!
Hello Readers of the Resourceful Room,

I am so excited to be guest blogging on Amy’s blog as part of a blog post swap arranged by the bloggers from Primary Possibilities, don't forget to check out all the other posts after you read this one!
My name is Kristy from the blog 2 Peas and a Dog I currently teach Grade 8 in Ontario, Canada. 

Classroom management starts from the first minute of meeting your new class, and continues to the last minute of the school year.  How do you greet your students on the first day? My school meets all students on the black top before they enter the school. Teachers hold up signs with their name and class code. Students find their teacher either from the posted list of student numbers on the front doors or by asking each teacher “Are you my teacher?”

I greet all new students with a smile, an enthusiastic I AM YOUR TEACHER, and with instructions on where to stand and our entrance time. I start modeling the behaviour I want to see with my students from the first minute. I want them to greet me when they see me during the school day, and I want them to remember classroom and school wide expectations.

In the upper elementary grades, classroom management is about building a good rapport and classroom relationship with your students, it is not about the latest reward system. All classrooms are different, just as all students are different. Some might respond well to rewards based classroom management, the others might not. You as the education expert in your room have to decide what works best for you.

Now what about this rubber chicken you ask? Last year I wanted a new classroom management approach. I had done the reward based systems, and they were a lot of work, with minimal results. The chicken was born! My new classroom management system is about mutual respect, trust and getting to know my students.

What do I do to build relationships?

I talk to all my students every day (whole class, small groups or individually) about something relevant in their lives (hockey, dance, books, music, even Justin Bieber!)

I stand at the door and greet each student as they walk into the classroom and remind them what they need to bring to class.

We mutually create classroom expectations – we brainstorm my responsibilities and theirs.

Students give input into their seating plan. Some months they may get to choose their groups or seat partners other times they help with the desk arrangements and I choose their seats.

What do I do to keep the students organized?
Our daily schedule is posted on the white board when they walk into the room.

Students create a Table of Contents in the first page of their notebook, binder or duo-tang.  I photocopy a template that they can fill in with the page number, lesson/handout title and date.

Each subject has a classroom table of contents anchor chart on chart paper. This is posted in the room. Ask a pair of students who finish early or need some leadership experience to create this. Have them create as many columns as rotary classes you teach. As you teach each lesson or pass out photocopied sheets write the date in class column.  

Need to sort students into pairs quickly? Cut a deck of cards in half and hand out each student one half of a card.Then students must walk around to find their surprise partner. Explain to your students ahead of time that you can change any grouping if needed. This stops the card trading immediately, as they know my goal is to have them work with as many different people as possible, not just their immediate friendship group.

Assign each student a number according to their position on the class list. Tell them this number the first day of school. Have them write this number down on anything that is handed in. Now you can sort the pile very quickly to see who handed assignments in and what is missing. This number system also makes lining up for fire drill very easy.

What do I do to keep things fun and interesting?
To get their attention from day one the only two signals I use are: squawking the rubber chicken or I count down and use my hands to demonstrate 3,2,1. My students love the rubber chicken noise. Sometimes I add something funny like "The chicken has spoken". 

When I create an assignment or task that needs names I use either my dog’s name to make it fun (my dog had a serious shopping problem during our Rates, Ratios and Percents Math Unit) or with student permission I use their name. Students love seeing their name in print. Other students enjoy reading about the “adventures” of their classmates.
Now that I write this post, I remember that I do use one rewards based item in my classroom: Homework Passes. Every student gets a homework pass the first day of school. After the first day they have to earn their homework passes. I do not have a set system on how they are earned. Usually once or twice a month I provide an opportunity for all students to earn a homework pass. Last month anyone who handed in their monthly book report on time earned a homework pass. See an example of my monthly book reports here:  
I also allow students to use homework passes as an Assignment Extension. If they hand in a homework pass the day something is due, the students has one addition day to complete that assignment.

Now it’s your turn! I want to hear from readers about their best classroom management tips. Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading my post. 


You can find more of my classroom ideas on:

Thanks Kristy for blogging here today! Great ideas!! 

Now don't forget to come visit me at Jamie's blog where I am the guest today!
 Then follow the links through blogland to visit all the wonderful blogs participating in Primary Possibilities swap!
I've enjoyed a little after Christmas shopping this week and picked up a few fab finds!
At Michaels I got these adorable note cards and Christmas Scentos for 10 cents each! The cards are blank so I could use them for notes or thank yous!!
 I picked up these super cute owl gift tags to make a game with
Here they are with multiplication facts written on the back and laminated, they make a great center activity!!
 I also got these penguins and the coasters below (from Mejier) to make games with! The tags were only 25 cents for 25 of them and the coasters were 24 for a dollar!
The Target dollar spot had a few new things including an assortment of alphabet stickers, I use them all the time for making centers and labeling things!
 Heart dice!
 Heart shaped note cards (blank inside) with cute little envelopes!
a pencil shaped notepad and duck tape in my classroom colors!!!

For myself I got these.....
red shoes from Kohls for $8.00!! I have been wanting red shoes this year to match this super soft red scarf I made!

And now the classroom projects! I want to start the new year off right, I've had some behavior issues including just the need to renew procedures and shake off that "break" is coming craziness, so I am going to implement a behavior chart. I debated with myself on how to do this, is it to "little kid" how else could I do it, but I need it to be simple and easy to use as well as consistent between my para-professional and I so I decided to go with the clip chart and make it not look so "little kidish" here's how it turned out.....
 I wanted to make sure it included good behavior as well as those that aren't great so that everyone can earn something and I can give it a positive approach!
 Close up of the top, trying to stay with classroom colors here!
These are the magnets with numbers on them, each student will have a number and it will move up and down depending on their behavior. I am looking forward to having something very consistent and easy to track in place!

I also have a couple of groups that overlap in time, one group comes in before the other leaves and I wanted to create a way that exit slips could be given for the first group to work on and turn in without disrupting me while I get started with the next group. I created this board...........
a sheet of foam board from the dollar tree, colorful frames also from dollar tree, and that duck tape from the dollar spot in target and it turned out really well I think! Each student will be given a large sticky note to write their exit "thoughts" on and then post it in a square I will know everyone's done when all the squares are full! 

I am hoping these couple of changes will create a better learning environment when we return from break, I have a couple more in the works but won't be able to get pictures of them until I am back in my classroom!!
Now I just have to get busy with the lesson plans!! 

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