Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Calendar Time {using interactive calendar notebooks}

I've always enjoyed calendar time {as you may know by now, I love to sing ;)}, but as the year goes on, I find that my students are braiding each other's hair, picking their noses, not doing what I want them to do during calendar time! We do our calendar whole group during our "overlap" time so as you can imagine, keeping 33 kids engaged while on the carpet can be a tough task! I also try to be fair and choose my calendar helpers by picking name sticks, but you know how it goes, there's always those few students that cry if they don't get picked every time ;) So I knew I needed to think of something new!

I was brainstorming fun ways to keep all my students engaged {and keep crying to a minimum ;)} while we learn important calendar concepts, practice our math skills and discuss the weather, when the Interactive Calendar Notebook was born! 
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Each student will have their own calendar notebook so that EVERY one can be actively engaged during calendar time. I found these pencil pouches at the 99 cent store and stuck a pencil and a couple of crayons in each so that we have easy access while at the carpet. {Side note: this would work well at centers or during seat work too!}
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

While we are working on our calendar wall, we will complete our calendar notebooks together!

We will talk about the date and the students will trace the month, write in the date and the year. We also learn about the digital date so we will write that as well. {I plan on printing these pages back-to-back to save on paper, but you can also print one copy, slide it in a sheet protector, and have your students complete this page with a dry erase marker. Then they can just erase it at the end of the day and it will be ready to be used again!}
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Then we sing our Months of the Year and Days of the Week songs {you can find ideas for songs in my Songs for the Classroom pack on TpT!} I printed the days of the week and months of the year page on colored card stock and stuck it in the front pocket of our notebooks as a reference for my students. I think I will have them point to each word as our calendar helper points on the board!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Then we talk about today, yesterday and tomorrow. I am changing up the way we do this because I wanted to pull my hair out every day it was too confusing for my students the way I did it last year. I'll show you the updated calendar wall after I put it up! Anyway, my students will find the day on their paper, circle it, and trace the word. As the year progresses, they will be responsible for writing the beginning sound for each day and then finally writing the whole word on their own.
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!
After that, we count how many days we've been in school. We use this huge number chart that came with our math series. It's laminated so we can circle the number with a vis-a-vis marker and erase the circles at the end of the year.

As I circle the number on the chart, my students will write the number on their papers. Then the calendar helper will add a cube to our pocket chart. We started using base-ten blocks to count the days last year. BEST.IDEA.EVER. {thank you Pinterest!!!}
{Please ignore that the numbers don't match the blocks! I took this picture before school started last year and I didn't think to change the numbers! But you get the idea!}

You can have your students write the numbers in their hundreds, tens, and ones chart, OR you can have them sketch a picture of the blocks!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

We talk about the season, circle the name and color the corresponding picture. Then we check the weather. Our weather helper checks the weather while we sing my most favorite weather song ever! {I found it online and I'm not exactly sure who it belongs to, so if you know, please share!} It's to the tune of "Frere Jacques" {which happens to be the tune to all the songs I sing but whatever ;)}
Weather Watcher Song

Then we will record the weather for the day on our weather graph!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

At the end of the month, we will track the kind of weather we had.
{Not to rub it in, but sunny always wins ;)}
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Our notebook will also include our 100s chart so we can count to the 100th day of school!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

We will also count the days using ten frames!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

On every 10th day of school, Zero the Hero comes to visit! He helps us change our ones to tens, so we will color him and trace his number when he visits. But we use him to help us count by 10s every day!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Finally, we will graph when our classmates have a birthday each month and when someone loses a tooth!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

I am so excited to share these notebooks with my class this year, I know they will love them!

If you're interested in trying these out with your class, you can find them in my TpT store!
Interactive Calendar Notebooks! Keep all your students engaged!

Oh! I didn't include a monthly calendar because we do our calendar projects every month. However, if you want to include a calendar in your binders, you can download them for free {here}.
Monthly Calendar Templates {free download!}

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Try it Free Tuesday {write the room}

Thanks for stopping by week four of Try it Free Tuesday 2014!
Each Tuesday this summer, I will be featuring a product or two that you are able to try out for FREE!
The products will be available for free for one day only! Of course, you will be able to purchase them on TpT after that.
{button by the fabulous Lyndsey Kuster}

I'm so very excited to share all of these awesome products with you!

Today's freebie is by the one and only Lori from Teaching with Love and Laughter.
Follow Lori's blog
Follow Lori's TpT store

Lori has been teaching for 20 years and can't imagine doing anyting else. She is a laid back, casual teacher, and literally spends her days "teaching with love and laughter". She teaches kindergarten and first grade, which makes it easy for her to know what her students need to succeed.

Lori is also an amazing writing teacher! She always comes up with the most engaging writing activities that gets her students excited about writing! Today she is sharing a sample from her Write the Room, Part 1!
 These write the room activities will keep your students active and engaged, while they walk around the classroom, reading and writing theme related vocabulary. These are perfect for your Work on Writing Station!

To prepare, just print, laminate, and cut out the word/picture cards and hang them around your classroom. Students put the recording sheet on a clipboard and walk around the room, finding all ten cards and writing the words neatly on the correct line. Answer keys are included to make these activities self checking.
Download this amazing freebie today, July 22nd ONLY! Be sure to tell your friends before time runs out!
And come back next week to download some great products from some of my favorite bloggers!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Adding a Watermark to Your Blog Photos {a tutorial}

Watermarking your photos that you share on your blog is super important for two reasons! One, you want to protect your work! Adding your blog name to your pictures can help to ensure that no one takes your pictures and tries to play them off as their own. Two, you want people to associate your photos with your blog so when they see a great picture {on Pinterest for example}, they know exactly where it's from! I've had several people ask me how to actually add a watermark to a picture, so I made some video tutorials to help you out. {just ignore the super high-pitched voice ;)}

In this tutorial, I will show you the step-by-step to add your watermark to an image using PowerPoint. I'm on my Mac, but it's very similar on a PC. This is how I watermark all of my pictures because it's easiest for me.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add a watermark using PicMonkey. You can tell that I don't use this option often ;)

If you have any questions about adding watermarking leave me a comment below!

What other kind of tutorials would you like to see?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Amazing Trip to Vegas 2014!

Oh my goodness you guys, Vegas last week was uh-mazing. I can't even put it into words! I am still recovering! I had too much fun hanging out with all my best blogging buddies and meeting new friends from all over the world! So my intention was to tell you a little bit about my trip and then share a tutorial that I had many questions about during my presentation, but as I was putting my pictures together, I realized there are actually more that I wanted to show you than I thought! So the tutorial will be a whole separate post at a later date ;)

Here I am at the Freebielicious booth! Crystal made the CUTEST little candy buttons for us and I of course had to take a million pictures with them ;)

As we were walking through the hotel, we ran into these sweet girls {we knew they were bloggers/TpTers as the Paul head was a dead giveaway}
LOVED meeting these sweet girls!
{Laura, Mary, me, Tamara and Christina}

That night, we had our 3rd annual Teacher Blogger Meet Up! You guys, I can't even explain! It just gets bigger and better every year, and the energy in the room is unbelievable! {can we also just real quick talk about how the Venetian makes EVERY picture yellow!? gah!}
 I got to spend a lot of time with my bestie Christy, I just adore her!! I also met Cara!!!! I have been dying to meet her for years! Love her! And I got to see my other favorite friends, Traci, Kelley and Steph! {side note, I am obsessed with Stephanie's new blog design!!!}

It was so fun to see Amy again!!! Love her! And my BBFF Teeny :) {why yes, we were attached at the hip in case you were wondering}

On Thursday, we headed back to the booth and met lots more fabulous teachers!
Annie and Mel are hilarious and so fun to be around!

I also did a fun little instagram giveaway, Casey won a classroom apron that my mom made! 

Friday was spent at the TpT Super Conference! It was hands-down, the best conference I have ever attended! And I had SO MUCH FUN presenting!!! I can't wait to do it again!
{Did anyone see the Flutter Girls present??? They were AMAZING!}

I was SO SO SO excited to meet Kimberly!!! {after I stopped ignoring her ;)} She is just so adorable and I am obsessed with her. Deanna Jump is the best, I just love that she is a part of my life!

Thank you Amy and Karen for putting on such a successful conference! You guys rocked it!!!
AND!!!!! I got to meet Paul!!! In my usual stalkerish ways, I accidentally stalked him at lunch on Wednesday and apparently was the first Paul hug of the week. UMMM I'll take it!!! He was amazing and genuine and so nice to everyone!!!

I loved spending time with my Freebilcious girls and getting to know them better!

And finally, all the wonderful presenters and Team TpT!

What a SPECTACULAR week! Can't wait for Vegas 2015!!!!

Wanna hear more about Vegas? Visit Dierdre's blog to see her Vegas linky party!

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