Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Mock Clock Faces {with a facelift}

The following post was originally posted in June 2011. You can find an updated version for sale on TPT here. Enjoy! :)

I have gotten a lot of comments about this so I just wanted to dedicate a post to my mock clock faces! At the beginning of this past year (which was my first year teaching) my kids kept hounding me and hounding me about when we go to lunch, when we go to recess, etc. So I came up with the idea to make some clocks with the times drawn on. After they were up for a few days, my kids actually stopped asking me. Genius! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Oughta Know About: Quick and Easy RR Breaks

Hey everyone! I'm linking up with Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for the monthly "You Oughta Know" blog hop! And this month, I think "You Oughta Know" about quick and easy restroom breaks.
At the beginning of this year, we were told we should not be taking class RR breaks. Say what? These little babies are used to having a RR in the classroom in kinder and then they get to first grade and we NEED class RR breaks!! Heck, I need a potty break! We were told that we should send them to go as needed. The controlling part of me had a little freak out.
"They can't handle that... they will play... they will miss instruction... it's not possible!!" That is what went through my head. But do you want to know a secret?? 
I hated taking RR breaks as a class all the years before.
I hated standing there with 14 kids, while 3 boys and 3 girls went in, nagging them not to play, telling them to be quiet and to hurry up... oh and make sure you wash your hands and only get 2 paper towels and 1 squirt of soap. It wasn't fun for ANYONE!
So at the beginning of this year, I decided to try it. I taught my kids right away the signal to ask to use the restroom. The only thing I can't stand more than class restroom breaks is kids interrupting me to ask to go to the restroom.
I taught them that they couldn't ask to go when I was teaching, but that during work time was OK. This was the toughest part for me- letting them go even if I thought they might not really have to go.
When I give them the nod to go, they go and get the hand sanitizer from the shelf and put it on their desk. This tells me who is gone from the room. It also tells the other boys and girls that they CAN'T ask to go. I only allow 1 boy and 1 girl out of the room at a time (of course, unless it is an emergency). It being on their desk also reminds them to use it when they get back! Score!

Sadly, it was one of those weeks, and I forgot to take pictures. It happens! Forgive me? :)

Here is what I learned, and what I REALLY think you oughta know... This was a lifesaver in disguise. I truly feel like I gained an extra 25 minutes in my day (8 minute bathroom break after specials, after lunch, and after recess). You could use an extra 25 minutes, right?! Sure, I might have a kid miss 2 minutes of work time here and there. But that means I get 25 more minutes a day for small groups or conferencing. AH-MAZ-ING. :) :)
Also, by letting my kids go whenever they want, I feel like it kind of takes the 'fun' out of going. It's not a special thing- I'll always let you go. So I think that really fosters independence and responsibility in my kiddos. They kind of feel like "Hey, she trusts me to go. I can go whenever I want. I should live up to her trust."
And when it boils down to it, it's the bathroom for crying out loud. I used to be so controlling. When did I forget that kids are people too?! Well, I'm telling you, I remember now, and I LOVE IT! :)
Don't forget to check out the other bloggers who joined up with Jasmine for her monthly "You Oughta Know" blog hop!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Scoop and other FUN things for you!

Happy Sunday! I recently discovered the super cute blog The Teaching Trio and fell in love! They are hosting a NEW linky party every Sunday called "The Sunday Scoop" and y'all, I think this might actually be something I can commit to on a weekly basis!! Most other linky parties aren't good timing for me or they are way too involved and stress me out! This one was SO easy and I did it in like 5 minutes. Here it is:
Click my image to go to their page and link up your own Sunday Scoop!
The girls at The Teaching Trio are ALSO hosting a fun little giveaway. You could enter to win 3 different prize packs of fun products! My Buddy Reading Task Cards are featured in the K-3 Prize pack. Head here to enter!
Click the product cover image to check it out in my TpT store!
I'm also doing a few things of my own- if you have purchased a product from me, I'd LOVE to see it in action!
And lastly- TODAY ONLY- buy 2 items from my store, get 1 item of equal or lesser value FREE! Simply follow the instructions below with what to email me :)
Photo: I'm joining in on the fun! Buy any 2 items, get 1 free item of equal or lesser value! Today only! :) Email me with the info above at  My tpt store name is: Cassie Thompson  Have a great day!  #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram #firstgradeteacher #texasteachers #teacherspayteachers #teacherblogger #iteachfirst #iteachtoo #tpt #btgo #bts14 #backtoschool
Thanks for reading! :) Have a GREAT day!