Teacher Ideas

Teacher Ideas
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Printables & Freebies
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Classroom Ideas

Groundhog Painting and Shadow Observations


With just a few more days until Phil delivers the news about the seasons, I thought it would be a great time to make some groundhog art!  My son also seems to be fascinated with his shadow.  While on walks, playing in the yard, or even driving in the car he points out shadows.  It's a great opportunity to talk about the sun,  make observations, and why not mix in some paint.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him and his shadow sidekick!

For this project simply search Google Images for a groundhog printable that suits you.  Print and cut.  For older children have them trace the groundhog on a piece of black construction paper.  The black piece will be the groundhog's shadow.

I also searched Google Images for a flower and a snowflake.  After Punxsutawney Phil comes out on Saturday we can circle our snowflake for more winter, or flower for soon to be spring.

Now it is time for finger painting.  Of course my son's favorite part!
 
Can't you tell that boys are attracted to mess!


Our finished product looked something like this.  An easy activity that mixed art and science!  A win-win for this mama!  Talk to children about where they should place the shadow.  With a quick field trip to the school yard or backyard, they will quickly see that shadows are all around them!

For more Groundhog Day activities visit our Simply Sprout store.




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Will He See His Shadow?



Did you know that male groundhogs can whistle when courting a mate in the spring? 
 How cute is that?  They're exceptionally clean animals, and almost go into a coma when hibernating.  What interesting little critters they are.  With Groundhog Day just around the corner, we'll  anxiously await to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow this year.  Will we have six more weeks of winter, or is spring on its way.  I don't know how much it will mean to us at this point since we are living in short sleeves in the south, and our friends up north are sloshing through snow.  Needless to say, Groundhog Day can be a fun and educational day for our students. 

a perfect sampling of activities for Groundhog's Day.



Share with your students the history of this holiday, and watch Phil's 2013 prediction by visiting the official Punxsutawney Groundhog Day Club's site at www.groundhog.org

Check out a few of our favorite Groundhog Day ideas on our Pinterest boards




To get you started grab our FREEBIE below. Perfect for a morning writing activity.




Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday




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Love is in the Air!


We love these sweet little owls that we found perching in a first grade classroom.  Mrs. Selfe and her students always amaze us with their creativity!  Keep them cute and simple, or have your children add a Valentine's poem to the them.  Valentine's fun is popping up everywhere! 

Send us a picture of your Valentine's bulletin board at simplysprout@gmail.com.


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100th Day in School Celebrate with style!





We just love seeing pictures from your classrooms, here area few of our Favorites from 100th Day celebrations in our area.

1. Ms. Andreu dressing up like she was 100 Years old
2. First graders from Mrs. Selfe's Class wearing decorated crowns from our 100th Day Kit 
3. Mrs. O'Brien's  Classroom display for the 100th Day


Looking for some last minute fun stop by the simply sprout store and check out our 100th Day Kit





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Let's celebrate 100 Days in school with a mini kit

The 100th Day of school is quickly approaching, our students have been in in school over half of the year! All of the learning that has taken place is definitely something to celebrate! 
We have created a mini kit perfect for the 100th day of school.


 Celebrate the 100th Day of school 
with our collection of Journal prompts and activities.

This Kit contains:
7 journal prompts and 2 blank journal pages
2 crowns perfect for a 100 day celebration
Counting to 100 snack activity
What have you learned in 100 days ( self reflection page)
drawing a collection of 100 circles

Here are a few of our favorite activities for the 100th Day


1. Making fun 100th Day shirts, this can be a homework project or something you do together as a class. If your kids are computer savvy just have them use Microsoft word to create a collection of 100 items. To do this they can select one clip art image (resize to be small) show them how to use CTRL C to copy and CTRL V to paste till they have a collection of a 100. Print onto AVERY Dark tshirt transfer paper and iron on to shirts ( perfect task for those helpful parent volunteers. Or go an easier route using puffy paint. View Here

2. Gumball collections of 100. Use a pencil eraser dipped in paint to create a 100 gumballs in your gumball machine. View here

3. Give your students the numbers 1 0 0 and a sheet of blank construction paper. Have them create their own masterpiece. Use one of our journal pages from our 100 Days Kit to add a story to their artistic creation. This makes a great classroom display. View Here

4. 1 100 Days necklace, get fruit loops and have students sort them into colors grabbing 10 of each colors ( some will have to be used twice) thread onto yarn, tie ends and attach onto a 100 diecut from Creative Teaching press. View Here


5. 100 days snack  is always a lot of fun. Have students make a trail mix using 10 of each items 
(marshmallows, raisins,fruit loop cereal, m+m's, pretzels, cheerios, chocolate chips etc) Give each child a large piece of construction paper to sort their snack. Grouping each item by 10. View Here

To get the party started we hope you enjoy this freebie from our 100th Day Kit

 Stop by our Pinterest boards for more ideas for the 100th day!






Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Freebie Fridays


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Getting the Kids Organized!


We recently shared with you our suggestions for setting up and maintaining an organized classroom.  To organize oneself is only half the battle, the other half is the kids.  No matter what grade you teach, or what age child inhabits your home, you probably have some that are "organizationally challenged".  

Here are some of our suggestions for setting the organizational tone in your students:

* Make sure that areas of your classroom are well defined and labeled.  Students should easily be able to locate items and also put away items without confusion or the wasting of time.  Our newest kit can help you establish organization, with style, in your classroom.

* It's important to have children start and finish their day on an organizational high.  This alleviates stress and anxiety at the start of our school day and as we bring it to a close.  A defined homework area is important.  Students know that homework will be turned in to the homework trays at the start of each day, previously absent children can pick up any missing work in this area, and nightly homework will be listed all day for them to write in their planner.

*  Speaking of planners, it's pivotal that children, even in elementary school, begin to take responsibility for their past, present, and future tasks.  Writing down daily assignments, upcoming projects, future field trips, etc. is key to staying organized.  It's also important as a parent to monitor what's being recorded in their planner. 

Check out our Simply Sprout Teacher's Notebook store for a FREE weekly agenda sheet to use at school or home.


* Students should have resources at their fingertips.  Within reach a child should be able to locate paper, pencils, and their books for smooth transitions between subjects.  A three ring binder is great for this!  Students' binders should have a table of contents, labeled dividers, a zipper pouch for loose items, and extra notebook paper.

 * Treat their time at school like a job (a fun one at times!).  From the way that they behave, sit, speak, and how they treat their work.  At the beginning of the year ask for students to get a plastic accordion folder with a rubber band closure (They have some in the $1 section of Target right now!).  This will be their "briefcase" for the year.  All homework, graded papers, weekly reports home, etc. come into our classroom and exit our classroom in this folder.  The durable plastic folder ensures that papers will not be crumbled, stained, or lost.  Just as we wouldn't turn in wrinkled work to my boss, they know their work isn't excepted that way either.


Just as important as organization is in the classroom, it's equally important in the home.  Take some time to talk to your child about their "homework style".  Have students take a survey at the beginning of the year that lets their parents know if they like to play then work in the afternoon, eat a snack first, have soft music playing, etc. in regards to completing their homework.  Once you know the environment that's best for your child, establish a homework station in your home.  This area (whether it be in the dining room, bedroom, kitchen, etc.) should have all that a child needs within reach.  Items like pencils, scissors, glue, markers, rulers, and a timer/clock should be handy.

 Visit our Pinterest "Get Organized" board to find great ideas for a homework station of your own.



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Get your teaching, blogging and mommy life organized in 2013!

There is something about this time of year that makes us teachers want to start fresh and reorganize our classroom.  We started out on a great note as we ushered in our children at the start of the school year, but within weeks (who are we kidding, days) the classroom was already in disarray.  Items were shoved in bins, lesson plans fell by the waste side, items for a variety of centers were mingling, and all those important papers that need to find a home remain homeless.  This disorganization can't even be blamed on the children.  Let's face it, teachers have to manage A LOT of pieces of paper!

The start of a new calendar year is also a great mid way point to get your classroom and life back on track!  At the start of the school year we shared with you some of our favorite classroom organizational items.  We have developed a kit to help organize both you and your classroom. From blogs to border trim this kit has you covered! These are things that make our classrooms run smoothly for the students and for us. We hope you find this kit as useful as we do.


Visit our Simply Sprout store to see a complete description.
*  Daily Bins.  Label individual bins with the days of the week.  Inside the bins corral your copies of warm ups, assessments, books, or anything else that you're going to tackle on that given day.  These are great for last minute substitutes as well!

*  Monthly Bins.  Much like a daily bin, keep your important resources for the month together in a clear plastic bin.  This way you can grab all the bulletin board art, centers, teacher resources, and extra copies you need for the month.

*  Blackline Binder.  Store your favorite blackline master copies in a three ring binder.  Only keep one copy and recycle the rest!  Extra copies floating around are an organizational nightmare.  Marcy likes to organize her copies by month, and Amanda likes to organize her copies by subjects.  Either way works as long as they are easy to find and keep organized!

*  Label, label, label.  Simply placing a label on binders, bins, cubbies, and more you are holding yourself accountable for staying organized!  This also teaches your students to respect the organization of the classroom.

*Border trim....what on earth do you do with that when you aren't using it? We absolutely love using it but it is one of the hardest things to store. One of our favorite ideas is to use frosting canisters....absolutely brilliant! Check out our Pinterest board for a visual.

*  Teacher clipboard.  Both Marcy and Amanda are strong believers in only having the most important things in front of you to get through the day.  Clip all important notes, plans, rosters, etc. to your clipboard and refer back to it throughout the day.

*  Instill organization in your students.  Being tidy, organized, and responsible are life lessons.  Show your students the importance of these characteristics by creating and having them help in keeping an organized classroom.  An organized classroom has quicker transition time between subjects and activities, which leads to more learning time!

Here are a few of our organizational faves

 
To check out the entire post and see where you can find these awesome products
please visit our Avoiding a Manic Monday post.

One of our New Year's Resolutions at Simply Sprout was to liven things up and get more organized!  We hope you will join us in making 2013 an organized one!  Our newest kit has everything you need to organize your classroom and your teaching life. Get organized and stay organized with our brightly colored kit. Perfect for labeling everything, and organizing those file folders and binders. Lots of great resources to keep track of your classroom ideas as well as your meetings, plans, etc.
This kit also includes templates to keep Bloggers and Teachers Pay Teachers authors organized and on track.

To help get you on the right track we wanted to give you a FREEBIE!
This is our Blog Planner: Weekly Planning Sheet.
It will help you keep track of your online life and hopefully make your blogging life a little bit easier.


We use ours so much we were going through them like crazy so we created our very own notepad. 
You can purchase yours HERE  



We hope you enjoyed some of our tips, we would love to hear how you keep organized in your classroom, leave us a comment below.
Check out our Pinterest board  for more classroom ideas to get organized.




Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Freebie Fridays


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Ring in the New Year with your students!

 

Many of you head back to the classroom tomorrow and welcome in a New Year with your class. This was always my favorite time of the year in the First Grade classroom because you could see so much growth in your students. They would come back in sporting more missing teeth, showing off their reading skills and acting a little more like Second Graders than Kindergarteners. 

I always loved making goals for the new year with my students. Having them focus on what they would like to learn or change in the new year. I hope you enjoy this freebie in your own classroom, it would make a great classroom bulletin board display or be great in a book for your reading corner.

Start the New Year off with this colorful display. 
Create your own banner using the alphabet provided in this kit.


To assemble, print, cut and laminate
To make a banner with the letters, hole punch the top corners of each letter and then tie together using colorful ribbon, tuelle or ric rac.



For some more creative and colorful ideas be sure to stop by and check out what's new on our Pinterest board!

View these ideas and more on our Pinterest Board!



Classroom Freebies Manic Monday



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Snowflake Fun!






It's a new year and a new opportunity to make the most of each day of 2013.  Over the holidays many tragic, but also joyous things transpired throughout our world and our homes.  As I was thinking about these individual events, I realized that these are unique and delicate matters that shape our outlook of the world around us. 

So as I was faced with a two year that decided to skip a nap the other day, I decided to rise above my frustration and savor this rainy winter afternoon with him.  Since our residence in the Sunshine State does not afford us snowy days, we decided to pretend that it was snowing outside.  We donned hats and mittens (for a bit) and created unique and delicate snowflakes. 








With brightly colored tissue paper from the scrap basket we made circles and then formed special snowflakes.  The "master of the glue stick" was busy placing each flake carefully on a piece of white card stock paper.


















I was feeling extra adventurous and brought out the Mod Podge to seal his snowflake collage.  You could also make a mixture of glue water to give the collage a finished look. 

These collages would make for a sweet card sent to a grandparent far away, or laminate it for a colorful place mat.

Our snowy fun continued to the kitchen where we made Borax snowflakes.  Super simple, a fun science lesson, and a beautiful masterpiece in the end.






For this fun snow activity, and other winter fun check out our newest primary and intermediate Winter Work packs in our Simply Sprout store.

For more snowy crafts ideas check out our recent "Snow Day".  







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