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Are you changing grade-levels? Do standards based grading? Need a way to keep track of which standards you taught and when? Or maybe you need a refresher of your current grade-level?

Common Core Checklists are for you! There are 2 versions.




The Mastery Data Checklists  are perfect for report cards, RtI, data for PLCs, or to give you detailed information for your small group work. You can type in the names of your students and it will autofill on all of the pages (up to 30 students)...or you can write them in like the picture above. 
Grades K-6th available! 



  

  

  








We also have CCSS tracking checklists available! These make it so you can "check off" things as you teach them so you can track what/when you've taught. You can also track whole-class mastery (not individual students- that's the data checklists). Grades K-6 available! 


  

   

   




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Sometimes when I have to get a substitute in my class, I leave a challenge for my students to complete while he/she is there.  It keeps them motivated and is a constant reminder to follow the expectations. The very first time I'm absent in the school year, I send my students this video to watch right when they come in!


Substitute Challenge - YouTube



The video isn't mandatory, but it adds an element of excitement! I email the video to the substitute  and leave her a laptop from our laptop cart (when we request for a sub, it gives us an option of contacting them via email), but you could also burn it on a DVD or have another teacher quickly show it for you. I made this video in iMovie, but if you don't have an iPhone or a Mac, you can use the app InShot. It's free and simple!


So, here's the challenge! If the students follow the expectations, the sub can open up an envelope and get a clue out! As the day goes on, the substitute can keep opening up the envelopes. I have my clues spell out iPad, so I only needed 4 envelopes. I feel like in my classroom that was just enough. The last clue is unlocked at the very end of the day!



You'll leave the envelopes hanging on the board so that your students can see them! I leave the substitute direction sheet on my desk with my sub plans so she can fully understand it as well. This freebie comes blank, in case you want to change it up each time you have a sub (different reward).


Click here for this freebie!

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I have to admit...now don't hate me here.... I love bulletin boards.  Do I change them out every month? HECK NO. It's maybe every 3 or 4. ;). But, I do love creating them and sharing them with my students.

Here are some of the back-to-school bulletin boards I've created over the years. You can see the quality gets better over the years. Don't judge my oldies.





Most of these bulletin boards are just made by me putting the letters in PowerPoint (tying one letter per page), printing and cutting them out. Then, I'll find clipart that goes with it and print them off and stick a label with my students' names on it!




First Grade is our Jam



Donut Worry 1st Grade is Sweet!



A Minion Reasons to Love 1st Grade!


Picture Perfect Class

  

Under 'kid"striation 

"Ant"icipating a Great Year!

A New Twist on a New Year

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I wanted to throw it back (to school) and re-post some of my favorite back-to-school ideas!

I have a few random pictures of what I've been doing in my classroom to get ready! I love the energy of my school during back-to-school time! Everyone's excited, but slightly bummed that summer is over.  That feeling goes away once we all start working in our classrooms and prepping for our new students (ok, well that bummed feeling *mostly* goes away).

I LOVE to think of fun ways to welcome my students to my classroom with my back-to-school bulletin board. Check out *some* past bulletin boards HERE.
 This year, I took some inspiration from my husband who LOVES Minions (he's a little kid at heart). We watch Despicable me with our niece and nephews and my husband laughs louder than they do. ;) Sure do love that man!  Anyway, I found a piñata at Walmart that just CALLED MY NAME and then I found these cute Minions on TpT. Off I went to decorate!




 I cut the headers for this board on my Silhouette Cameo (best crafting tool, ever!).
The names on the Minions are just Avery mailing labels. Easy-peasy.


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Each year I do a Donation Door for our Back-to-School Night. Parents can come by and grab a sticky note off of our door that says the name of a school supply. They can send in the donated school supplies with their child to school the next day! It's an awesome way to get a variety of supplies for your classroom and not just getting 3,934 boxes of tissues. ;) {You can check out another donation door I've done, here}




I did print on SUPER sticky notes (found at Target) and I used a tutorial from this cute blog.
Arrows are vinyl and made with my Silhouette Cameo with KG Arrows font.


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A few years ago I found this CUUUUUTE behavior mangament idea from Growing Kinders.  I've always done Brownie Points as a whole-class incentive, but this year I'm doing Mr. Potato Head.  I'll pull off all of his parts (hehe) and if the students are working quietly, I will add one part at a time until he is all put together.  Once he's all back together, there will be a MYSTERY prize that the whole class will win (lunch with teacher, extra recess, or maybe popcorn party).

With pretty much everything, I got mine on Amazon. Praise all that is holy for Amazon Prime. ;)

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This year it's all about emojis! I can't wait to start this end-of-year memory book with my students. It's got everything you need to end your year with ALL THE FEELS! There are 3 versions (kinder, 1st, 2nd/3rd). 









We've got to have a fun bulletin board to end the year with! This is a interactive writing activity for the end of the year that your students will love...and you'll love how easy it is to create a cute/meaningful bulletin board. 






Each year we have a class awards ceremony. I've made these emoji themed awards (30 different awards)! They come in color and black/white, with an editable option so you can type your students' names and your name (and you only have to type your name once- it will autofill your name to all other pages)!



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Organizing and managing (passing out) math manipulatives can be a PAIN! It takes extra time during the lesson to get them out, pass them out and then to put them away at the end. I like to save time with this tip that my team at my last school used.

My most used manipulatives are stored in little tupperware boxes that each of my students have inside of their desks!




They keep these boxes right inside of their desks. The tupperware/Gladware boxes are the kind that are "disposable" and found near the Ziploc bags. These boxes have lasted 7 years! Whenever we use a certain manipulative, my students can quickly grab it out and be ready for our lesson. 




Inside of their boxes I put the most used math manipulatives that we have. It took me a few years to accumulate all of the manipulatives that I wanted in their boxes.




    

If you'd like the number cards, you can click here. (Tip: copy the number cards on various colors of card stock to keep them from mixing up their cards with other students at their table)




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We'll be learning all about Washington, Lincoln and Obama, and President Trump!  This is by far one of my favorite thematic units to teach! We will also learn about 10 of the most famous U.S. Symbols and we'll it all while integrating social studies with reading, writing, and math. There are REAL pictures in this unit, as well as clipart pictures. :)




President's Day and U.S. Symbols Unit

*UPDATED January 20th, 2017 
(Now includes President Trump)
This President's Day and U.S. Symbols unit is a great unit to celebrate America {available in color and black/white}!  
This unit includes:

*President Lincoln Poster
*President Washington Poster
*President Obama Poster 
*President Trump Poster
*Tree Map
*Graphic Organizers
*President Application
*President Picture {___ for President}
*If I Were the President Writing
*Dear President Trump
*U.S. Symbols book {includes 10 U.S. Symbols}
*U.S. Symbols Student Book
*Asking/Telling Literacy Center
*Hot Seat Vocabulary Game
*The Presidential Race {Graphing Math Center}
*Count Them Up! {Money Math Center}
*Class President {Tallying Math Center}
*Abe's Hat {Could be used as a writing center or whole group}
*President Washington Craft and Writing Activity
*President Lincoln Craft and Writing Activity
*President's Day Word Search




There's lots in this unit! So click [here] to check it out! 




* * * * *


Do you teach the upper grades and want to make teaching about President's Day more meaningful?

Try using some of the pages in this American History Graphic Organizer.



There are pages that teach about:
American Symbols
The US Constitution
Branches of Government
Recent Presidents
and MORE!

Read more about it: HERE


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Dear Infertile Teacher,

I-N-F-E-R-T-I-L-E adjective
1.   not fertile; unproductive; sterile; barren:

Maybe you felt like your doctor needed to spell it out to you, much like you spell out tricky words for your students. You couldn’t be infertile. That’s not you. You’re meant to be a mom. But, yes. Our doctors told us that we have PCOS or Endometriosis or “Unexplained Infertility” or any other name for it. But those names don’t matter… what we heard was “broken”.

a is for alligator
b is for ball
i is for infertile

Maybe you had plans, too. College, career, marriage and then maybe children. But the years past and the most time that went on, the more we yearned for children of our own. We’ve got kids, sure. We’ve got 26 first graders who accidentally call us mom on the daily and if we’re really lucky they might even call us grandma. We’ve got students who ask us how many kids we have and without hesitation we say “I’ve got all of you and right now, that feels perfect”. What we really want to say is “we want kids of our own, but we’re broken”. It seems like  our students’ parent’s are so much younger than we are. They have 4 children. We should have at least 2.  We’ll be the parents that teachers think are the grandparents. Time is not our friend.

Maybe you find it painful when the innocent substitute teacher down the hall asks you how long you’ve been married and you cringe because you know what question is coming next. It’s even more painful when they ask us WHEN we plan on having kids. “One day”, we say or maybe we make up something like “we just aren’t ready to have kids yet”. Because lying is easier, it saves our pain from flowing out.  What we really want to say “Well, I’m broken and there’s a lot of money we need to come up with for us to have children…care to pitch in?”

Maybe you find it difficult being on timed medications as a teacher. Oh, inject this shot into my stomach at 9:05am? Sure! That’s right during small group reading instruction so I’ll just leave those 6 years to themselves for 10 minutes (it takes us 9 minutes to muster up the courage, 1 minute to actually administer the shot) and they can teach themselves to read. Remember when we thought we had the flu, but it was really the Clomid? It was sure a blast to teach double-digit addition while periodically heaving into the garbage can in the hallway. Keep your lunch down! Keep your lunch down! Keep your lunch down!... was our new call to attention in room 104.

Maybe you had a hard time managing all of your appointments to get your blood drawn, temperature taken, uterus scanned. The last appointment of the day…3:30pm?!? Really? Guess we’ll be finding someone to take our class for the last 30 minutes of first 30 minutes or maybe we could make my appointment during my lunch break? No? Well, we could get a half-day substitute. We love writing sub plans! Sometimes we wonder why we don’t just have a desk job that allows us to leave for 2 hours during the day without batting an eye.

Maybe you wonder where the money will come from, but you haven’t let that stop you. We as teachers make so much money and IVF is so affordable (BTW insurance gets a giant middle finger right here). Our sarcasm is at an all-time high on this topic.

Maybe you are still happy for your friends and family having babies but you can also be completely devastated and confused at the same time.  These happen for us simultaneously, don’t they? Oh, you didn’t have to track you periods and ovulation for 2 years and you just had a baby…by just…wait for it….”doing it”. It stings a little to think this happens for other people and not us, but you go Glen Cocoa! No period trackers, ovulation trackers, and temperature taking at all? We want to give you an award and snuggle your baby and cry- all at the same time! 

Maybe we haven’t told anyone about our infertility struggle over these painful years because we don’t want pity or awkwardness or worry. Maybe we are scared to talk about it because we don't want to share bad news, only the good. Maybe 2019 is about telling our truth. What do we want from this? We just want a listening ear and a high-five or a hug.

We are the 1 in 4. When we teach fractions we see the odds of 1/4, but we do not understand it in this capacity. Guess it’s that dang Common Core.



I see you. I am you. Continue to fight, teacher warrior.  

Love, 
Rachelle

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This year is EXCITING because I have added 8 new countries!  I have now created a Holidays Around the World Part 3. I had so many requests for certain countries that were not included in Part 1 or Part 2. Ask and ye shall receive (but I really wanted the variety for my classroom as well)!




This bundle has 20 countries included
Countries and their corresponding holidays included are: 
  • Netherlands- Feast of Sinterklaas (Clog Craft)
  • Israel- Hanukkah (Dreidel Game)
  • Italy- Day of Epiphany (Broom Craft and Poem)
  • Mexico- Las Posadas (Poinsettia Craft)
  • England- Christmas (Stocking Crafts and Card Writing)
  • Germany- Christmas (Gingerbread Man Craft and Writing)
  • Australia- Christmas (Koala Craft and Writing)
  • Sweden- St. Lucia's Day (Candle Craft)
  • America- Kwanzaa (Bead Bracelet)
  • France- Christmas (Game)
  • Greenland- Christmas (Santa Craft and Letter)
  • India- Diwali (Lamp Craft and Writing)
  • Brazil- Christmas (Sandpaper Snowman)
  • South Africa- Christmas (Bead Christmas Tree)
  • China- Chinese New Year (Fireworks Painting)
  • Saudi Arabia- Eid al-Fitr (Lantern)
  • Russia- New Year's (Nesting Doll Craft)
  • Greece- Christmas (Sailboat Craft and Writing) 
  • United Arab Emirates- Ramadan (Moon and Star Craft)
  • America or Canada- Christmas (Christmas Eve Craft, Christmas (Rudolph Craft, Mad Lib, and Writing) *America/Canada is included in each pack



I know you're spending your own money on this and I want you to make the most informed decision. Because of the updates I've made the past year, I feel like this product has everything we need to teach Holidays Around the World and not get sick of it each year (there are SO many options, guys!).  Want to know more? I've made this video to describe pretty much everything in the pack so you can see exactly what's included. If you purchase the NEW bundle, you get 20 countries instead of 13! 

Holidays Around the World - YouTube


If you own Holidays Around the World Bundle (Part 1 and 2), but you still want more countries, Part 3 is the stand-alone pack so you can still get 8 more countries!

  • Brazil- Christmas (Sandpaper Snowman)
  • South Africa- Christmas (Bead Christmas Tree)
  • China- Chinese New Year (Fireworks Painting)
  • Saudi Arabia- Eid al-Fitr (Lantern)
  • Russia- New Year's (Nesting Doll Craft)
  • Greece- Christmas (Sailboat Craft and Writing) 
  • United Arab Emirates- Ramadan (Moon and Star Craft)
  • America or Canada- Christmas (Ornament Watercolor) 

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Something else I've wanted to do FOREVER is make informational slides for each countries that I teach about in Holidays Around the World. There is just not much information out there for so many of the countries/holidays. I have taken what I know and what I've researched/read and put the information in slides with graphics.  There are 20 countries included and 4 slides per country (1 slide with the country's flag and 3 slides with information). 



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This blog post is in partnership with Wonder Workshop. All opinions are my own. 



1. STEM integration made-easy (coding!)
My students are learning the basics of coding by using the Wonder App on our classroom iPad.  The Dash robot from Wonder Workshop is ideal for K-6 classroom (if you're looking for something 6th-12th, try the Cue). They go through the engineering process when coding as well. The iPad app easily pairs with your robot. We learned how to make the robot talk, move, and light up- all in one day! The great thing about Wonder Workshop is that it has resources for educators (videos, curriculum, accessories, etc). They've really thought of everything!

We love watching YouTube videos to learn more:

The Dash & Dot Show: Intro - YouTube

There is also coding curriculum for Dash that is available to educators when your school purchases the robtos.


2. They are SO engaging and fun!
My students are obsessed with our "class pet" named Dash. We use him during STEM rotations and my students work together on an ipad to do block coding. They figure it out on their own because the app is so user-friendly. My students set a timer on the iPad and trade off after 4 minutes each. They collaborate and problem solve when Dash isn't doing quite what they coded him to do.


It's funny that I'm writing this post because here's what 2 of my students wrote today!




3. There are a variety of extensions, apps, curriculum and resources!

Don't worry, when you get a Dash or Cue Robot in your classroom you won't be left to figure it out on your own! There are so many things available to your students and one of them we love is the Sketch Kit. The Sketch Kit is a new accessory for Dash and Cue robots that enables kids to visualize the results from their code on a large-scale, dry-erase surface. Sketch Kit helps kids sketch out their programs so they can share their creations with friends, teachers, and parents. Sketch Kit allows kids to express their creativity and exercise their critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills as they draw geometric shapes, abstract patterns, animals, words, and more.



I would HIGHLY recommend getting a Dash for your classroom! This was me a few months ago figuring out:
Dash Robot in the Classroom - YouTube

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