Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Buddy Program & Some Halloween Fun

My BUDDY PROGRAM is off and running! I have been working on setting up a buddy program to allow the 5th graders at my school to assist my special needs students during lunch, recess, and in the classroom. I was amazed with the number of signups......27 students signed up!!! And they have been so wonderful with my students. My students are soooooo excited too to have a BUDDY! They couldn't wait to see them today! Here are a few priceless captures I was able to get today!

I met with each of the 5th graders for about 20 minutes prior and explained how to interact and work with my students.....how to encourage them to use their words and how to encourage their independence and help ONLY WHEN NECESSARY! Too many times, people try to do everything for these individuals, when they need to be taught how to do things on their own and can do more than many realize! 

I also provided each student a bio summary of the buddy they would be paired with. The bio included things about my students like their favorite color, their interests, their grade, their pets, etc. This helped the buddies to spark conversation with my students. 

If you'd like to start up a buddy program at your school and don't know where to begin, I'd be happy to help! Below is a sample of the letter that was given to the 5th grade classes introducing the program to help get you started. Feel free to download it and edit, or use the letterhead! 

 Tomorrow night is our school's Fall Fest and this year we are having a door decorating contest! I had just read "Aargh, Spider" with my students and completed some really fun activities from Miss Kindergarten's Mini Spider Unit, so I decided to use this for our door decorating! 

I really love how well my girl turned out that I duplicated from the front cover of this book! You can get Miss Kindergarten's mini spider unit to go with this book {here}. And it's free!!! 

I've also been breaking in the new Cameo finally! I made these for my aides and student teacher.

Inside each bag is..............

A notepad & pen

 A candle holder

And their favorite chocolates

I also cut these from my cameo and will put some goodies in these for my students! Loving this machine and its capabilities!!! The possibilities are endless!!! 


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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Do you have a classroom website? Are you thinking about creating one? Then, you will love Class Jump! My school district offers a platform that allows us to create free class websites, but it's.....well I must say, cheesy. It's plain and not very user friendly. 

I knew what I wanted! I wanted to design a class website where I could add my class photos for parent viewing, post calendar events, include "one click" links to educational websites my students can access from home, links to parent resources, an email link, and a subscription link where parents could subscribe to receive notifications via email. 

After much shopping around, I found it!! Class Jump allows me to do all of these things. It's user-friendly, reader-friendly, and it's FREE! My favorite thing is that I can upload all of my class photos so parents can see what's happening in our classroom! Very few sites offer this! Parents can also right click and save the images of their children to their files for long lasting memories. 

Another great feature is that parents and students can access resources and links with one click. No copying or pasting web addresses. They just click on my links and they are directed straight to the site they have chosen. 

Here is a snippet of my homepage. 

 I chose blue, but you can choose from various background and font colors! You can also customize your sidebar, events, and layout! It's super easy to work through the site!! 

Here's a snippet of my links page........(with more to come)

.............And a snippet of my class photo album.

The pictures will normally display upright. This is my fault that I forgot to rotate them before uploading them! 

If you're looking to create a class website, you'll want to check it out!

You can visit my class website at:

A class website is a just another great way to communicate and keep parents up-to-date and involved in what is happening at school! I'm super excited about my new site with Class Jump and feel confident that you will like it too!!! :)

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Monday, October 21, 2013

My Truth Monday

I'm linking up this evening with Denise from "Sunny Days in Second Grade" for her new 12 part linky series!! My Truth Monday! Each Monday a new topic will be featured. This week the topic is fitness and here is my truth about fitness!

Click on Denise's linky button below to head over and and read what others have posted or link up your own truth about fitness!!

Happy Fitness,

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween Pizza

Here's a fun and easy activity your students can do for Halloween!

Halloween Pizza!!!

TIP: Save this activity for the end of the day, so you can send your kiddos straight home after eating all this sugar!! heehee!

I also have a pumpkin observation FREEBIE for you!

Enjoy your weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pics, Phonics, Posters

Here's a little recap from Fire Safety Week! I was so happy my kids got to participate. We tend to always get left out of these events. :( Sad, I know! These events are always scheduled for the general Ed classes and they tend to forget about my little unique and special group of learners on the far side of the campus! BUT NOT AS LONG AS I HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT! So I watch that school calendar like a hawk and make sure my kiddos don't miss anything. We just showed up as usual and the fireman were more than happy to accommodate us! 

As you can see, my students had a blast trying on the fire hats and jackets. They also got to go through the firehouse on wheels which was really cool! The vents actually omit smoke, the door gets warm, and they get to evacuate through the window. Great fun and a great learning experience that my kids need as much as everyone else! 

For the last few years, one of my teacher colleagues has included my class in decorating christmas stockings for the soldiers. So sweet of her to include us. <3 Well she retired last year and still came to the school today to carry out the project....AND as always made sure my class was involved! 

Here are some of them decorating their soldier stockings today!

My aide helping one of my students
and yes...I have one under the table!
That's typical in my room. ha.


I posted my phonics sound posters on TpT this evening! Darn it, I hung them in my room yesterday and forgot to take a photo. I've been wanting to make these for a while because my students are on many different levels and are all working on different phonics skills. I was tired of trying to keep the appropriate flashcards organized and handy for each student. This chart will remedy me of that frustration. Now all of the sounds are displayed and right at my fingertips, so I can easily use my pointer and review the sounds I need to with each student. 

I love how they look in my classroom and it worked really well during review today. 

Here is a preview. 
These are full page posters that can be displayed just like your alphabet chart! I have two large whiteboards on each side of my room, so I displayed them over my back whiteboard, where I my small group teacher table is. My alphabet chart is over my front large group whiteboard. 

Click to download.

This is such an exciting and busy month. We have dental hygiene week which is presenting on Thursday, the police dog, "Mr. McGruff and parent conferences coming next week, Nevada Day....yay....no school for us, on the 25th, but we went on Columbus Day, Phoenix State Fair that weekend, our school fall fest, and then.... HALLOWEEN!

What does your month of October look like?? Is your school planning a fall fest or halloween carnival? 

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Observation Freebie

It's that time of the year where I know most of us are planning 
or already doing pumpkin units in our class. I've created a pumpkin activity sheet for my class that I thought you might be able to use in your class as well! 

With the wide range of age groups and levels that I accommodate each day, I'm always looking for ways to simplify paperwork, so I love this activity as student's can use one sheet to target various skills and use the same sheet at various centers.  

With the activity sheet students will: 

  • learn and list the stages of the pumpkin life cycle, 
  • label the parts of a pumpkin, 
  • measure the circumference, 
  • count the ribs, 
  • see if it floats, 
  • estimate how many seeds, 
  • record the actual amount of seeds, 
  • draw their pumpkin, 
  • describe their pumpkin, 
  • and name their favorite pumpkin recipe! 

There is a color and b/w version. 

Freebie Fridays

I also just posted my "Ten Frame Addition & Subtraction" pack in my store to help my students with learning addition and subtraction and give them more practice with ten frames!

Here are some sample pages from the pack............

Until next time......Have a great weekend!!! :)

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