Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop! Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love. You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and/or TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post. Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop. Just click and you will be taken to their posts. We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Howdy! I'm Cassie. I'm a 27 year old 1st grade teacher. I've been married to my hunky hubby for 5 years and we have 3 fur-babies. I've only taught 1st grade and I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

Well, I live in Cowtown and I love it! The Fort Worth Stockyards are 10 minutes from my house. We also live close to wonderful museums and tasty restaurants. It is the quiet of the suburbs with an amazing night life all rolled into one! There is always a lot to do here in Fort Worth, Texas.
One of my favorite things in my classroom are my BUILD math stations. It is a very flexible way to run stations and it has been rocking in my classroom for years! My students have 5 choices and all the choices are things that we are working on or have been working on. I have found that these fun (and easy to prepare!!) choices for my students are a key factor in keeping them interested. A lot of the choices I have in there are simple and easily changed out.

Buddy Games, Using Manipulatives, Independent Reading, Learning About Numbers, Doing Math

My students don't go with a specific group to their station (although you certainly could do it that way- my teammate has her students go by table group to each bucket). I call whoever I need to my table first, and then I call the other students to make their choice. The kids at my table might be up there for word problems in one rotation and then coin recognition in the next rotation. This setup makes it very easy to fit the needs of my class at any given time. I'm a very structured teacher in all other areas, but with SO many concepts being taught in math, I wanted to allow a lot of leeway when seeing groups. I use a blank chart and I just write down what letter they go to. I can look back on my spreadsheet and see that Sam went to the U bucket yesterday, so today he should do L or B instead.
Head over to the 'BUILD' section of my blog using the tabs at the top and you can find a lot more info! :)  
Here is a FREEBIE to get you started with organizing and planning BUILD in your classroom!
Click the image to download.
Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tips and Tricks for Teachers

Hello friends! I am linking up with my friend Becca from Foxwell Forest to bring you some Tips & Tricks for Teachers!
My trick for you today is about storage and organization. I use those giant Sterilite bins above my lockers to store all the stuff that I don't use all the time or that I just flat out don't know what to do with! My room doesn't have a whole lot of useful storage. I use these bins for everything at school AND at home. When we moved, I didn't buy cardboard, I bought bins! :) I love them... it might be a bit unhealthy how much bins make me happy!!! LOL!
In the past, I've made labels for my bins and in some cases (eek!) I just wrote in marker ON the bin. I'm not sure what I was thinking doing that...
I also sometimes threw things into bins without paying attention and then when I went to go look for it... dun dun dun... I wasted about 30 minutes pulling each one down and searching through it!

After about the 5th label change on some of my bins, I had an epiphany!
I decided I would number my bins....
and then just create a key for what was in them.
I did this in December and WOWZA!! It has already been a lifesaver! :)
When we had indoor recess I knew RIGHT where the puzzles were, and when I was searching for a specific basket for my library, I went right to bin #7!

And I have a BONUS surprise for you... click here and here to download the contents key and the large number labels! :)
Also, check back on Saturday for a huge Texas Teacher Blogger linky and giveaway I'm participating in!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

You Oughta Know about Table Captains!

You Oughta Know About.... Table Captains
Have you ever had kids who fight over who is going to be the one to bring you the papers or who is going to come get supplies? How about when your students table buckets are all messy and crazy and your glue bottles are open? All of the above drives me bonkers, so a while back I introduced Table Captains. The table captain for the week is in charge of turning things in, getting supplies, making sure tables are cleaned up, and closing the glue bottles. My kids take it SO seriously! It saves me a lot of headaches and wasted glue. If a student isn't on task or being a good citizen, they lose their turn as Table Captain. I put this cute little cone from the Dollar Tree on their desk when they are the Table Captain and then each Friday we rotate to the next person. However, if someone loses their turn, then it rotates to the next person. Everyone wants to be Table Captain... it has to be because of the fancy title and the cute little cone! :)

P.S. Head over to my Facebook page for a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!