Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Favorite Back-To-School Freebies for Primary Grades

It's that time of the year...Back-to-School time!  Every year I'm so anxious and excited about getting back into my classroom, setting up my stuff, and implementing all of the ideas and materials that I've gathered over the summer.  This year is no different!  While looking through my Pin Boards, I compiled a list of my all-time favorite Back-to-School FREEBIES from fabulous TpT sellers, and thought I'd share!

The following items are all things that I've used in my classroom, and would highly recommend!  However, as a TpT seller, I know how much work goes in to creating a product, even a free one, so please remember that if you choose to download any of these items, LEAVE FEEDBACK for the seller!  It means so much to us to see that you appreciate our hard work!

1. Schedule Cards by Cara Carroll
**These are sooo cute!  You'll be able to see why it's the top downloaded freebie on TpT!

2. Pick an Apple {An Open House Donation Idea} by Amy Lowes
**I used this last year and had tons of success getting those extra things that we all need!

 3. First Day Hand Print Puzzle by Deanna Jump
**This is adorable for the first day of Pre-K or Kindergarten!

4. A Bright Future (Student Gift) by Hope King
**I love this Open House gift idea!

 5. Getting to Know You Sheets by Miss Nelson
**Perfect for primary kiddos who are able to read and write!

 6.  Take-Home Reminder Notes by Amy Lowes
**I use these all throughout the school year, so I make sure to have them printed and on-hand at the beginning of the year.

 7. Common Core Informational Pamphlet for Parents by Christine Statzel
 **This is an excellent explanation of Common Core to give to parents at Open House.

 8. Open House Signs by Sparkles Smiles and Successful Students
**These Smart Board Welcome Signs are adorable!  They are available for multiple grade levels too. :)

 9. Picture Directions by A Cupcake for the Teacher
**I LOVE these!

10.  Our Classroom Rules and Procedures Handbook by Teaching With Love and Laughter
**Great project for kiddos who are ready to read and write!  

Have a wonderful beginning of the year everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things... (Products I Can't Live Without!)

Back-to-School time is upon us my teacher friends...Ready or not it's coming!  I've been slowly getting myself into the groove, and by that, I mean SHOPPING for my classroom. :)  The following is a list of things that I'm glad I don't have to live without during those first few weeks of school (or anytime for that matter)!

Mr. Sketch Markers
I don't honestly know if I could survive without these!  I love the broad lines that easily hide errors on anchor charts, the wide variety of colors, and most of all---the yummy scents!  I once had a teacher friend who would draw stars on her students' hands as a reward with these markers. The possibilities are endless!

Really Good Stuff Deluxe Plastic Desktop Helpers
These are the best name plates you will ever find!  They actually last all year!  Even in a Kindergarten room--imagine that!  Really Good Stuff makes several different varieties of these name plates, but I love the ones pictured below.  The 100 chart comes in really handy throughout the year, as does the alphabet line.  These are a little pricy, but well worth the extra money!

What can I say!?  These DVD's are absolutely amazing!  My kiddos start recognizing their sight words in a flash after watching these.  I typically pop one in the DVD player as we're packing up for the day, and instantly, the kiddos are glued to it.  I can honestly say that this was one of the best educational purchases I ever made!

This is the one that I let me kiddos use.  The one that makes NO NOISE, and gets the pencils super sharp!  Disclaimer here:  I still have two pencil buckets in my classroom.  One for sharpened pencils and one for broken pencils.  However, at the end of the day I have a special helper, and that student sharpens the pencils from the broken bucket for the day.  This totally cuts down on pencil interruptions throughout the day.  Now, back to this sharpener... I love this because, it's fairly indestructible, making it perfect for my Kindergarten sweeties.  No more breaking the electric sharpener by ramming pencils into it as hard as you can! Yay!  Plus, it comes in a variety of cool colors, and we all love that. :)

These were a new discovery for me recently.  Granted, I can see how it could create a distraction for some kiddos, the sweeties I tried these with LOVED them, and seemed more able to focus.  They're super cheap too, which is nice!  I highly recommend trying these for kiddos that need a little something to stimulate while they're working.

These are some of the most frequently used items in my classroom.  These things are versatile!  They can be used as counters, for patterning, for BINGO games, for board games, and for word work with Elkonin boxes.  I love them so much because my kiddos are actually able to see what they've covered up while playing BINGO or completing word work tasks.  No more moving pieces, and losing your place!

Last, but not least, one just for me...

Having a tough day?  Classroom a bit chilly?  Need a pick-me-up?  This is what does it for me.  I love this tea!

 What are a few of your favorite things?  I'd love to know!