Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dollar Store Birthday Books

It's time for "Bright Ideas" for the month of June.  Do you need a cheap, easy way to make your students birthday books? I went to the Dollar Tree this week in search of some dominoes, when I passed these birthday sacks.  Well, these sacks were too cute,  so I bought 2 packages ($2.00) along with a basket full of other fun things.   Who can leave the dollar store with just 2 items?  Not me!  


 Option #1 (See top 2 photos)

1.  Open up the sack and remove the bottom part of the sack.  You can use scissors to cut it off or just pull on the bottom tabs and open them.

2.  Cut around the fold around the bottom on the sack.



3.  Fold the sack in half by laying flat at the natural fold. You will have 2 choices for the front cover. (See top 2 pictures).

4.  Cut on the side fold and open.

5.  Place paper inside the book.  I use 2 sheets of folded copy paper, but you can also use lined notebook paper too.

6.  Staple on the left side.

Option #2

1.  Follow the steps 1-3.

2.  Cut on both sides of the paper sack.

3.  Cut the thin side off of one side and save for later.



4.  Put paper to fit inside of book.  The inside binding will make the book sturdier.

5.  Staple on the left side.

Laminate the leftover sides of the sacks and make birthday bookmarks.



If you choose Option #1 or #2, you can make 20 books for $2.00 without using any color ink.  They are bright, colorful, and fun!

When your students have a birthday, let them choose a birthday book and bookmark. They can write about their birthday in their book and share with the class.  Another option is to have your class write "Happy Birthday" and sign their name to give to the birthday student. If they are older children, they can write a birthday message and even create the birthday books by themselves.  Just place them in your writing center.


If you like this "Bright Idea,"  please stop by these other amazing blogs to find more.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Getting Rid of the Wiggles, a Book Study, and a FREEBIE

Classroom management and dealing with student behavior is an crucial part of every teacher's day.  If your day is filled with disruptions, then teaching can be difficult.  Learning how to be proactive to your students' needs is the first step to diffusing a difficult situation.


Here are some frequently asked questions that I receive about classroom management and working with students who have challenging behaviors.

- How can I keep my students' attention during group time?
- What do I do if a student does not want to participate?
- What strategies can be used to help young children with transitions?
- What can I do when my students don't stay on task during centers?
- What strategies can I use to help my students regulate their emotions?
- How do I teach my students to stay in their place of learning?
- What do I do when my students refuse to follow the rules?
- What type of behavior management plan should I use?


Because we all struggle with these areas, I'm excited to participate in the "Challenging Behavior" book study being hosted by Vanessa at Pre-K pages and 3 other amazing bloggers.  Here are the list of bloggers participating.  Click on the "Challenging Behaviors" picture above to learn even more about this book study.

Vanessa from Pre-K Pages
Karen from Prekinders
Deborah from Teach Preschool
Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
Kathy (me) from Kathy Griffin's Teaching Strategies

The focused areas will cover preschool to 1st grade; however, many of the strategies and discussions will carry over to other grades.  If you are a parent, they will be helpful for you too. The book study will begin on June 23, 2014.  Make sure and follow these bloggers by email (ME TOO), so you don't miss out on any of these posts.  Whether it is August, December, or May, these discussions will provide you with many strategies for dealing with challenging behaviors.


And YOU can participate too!  Look for updates on how to join the linky and add to our discussions.  Don't have a blog?  No problem.  Just leave your comments for our bloggers in their comment sections.  If you are interested in earning graduate credit from Concordia University, click HERE.  It is not a requirement, but is available for those who are interested.


Here are the books we will be using for our study. We hope these books will be valuable resources for your classroom.



So HERE WE GO with your first strategy!  Here is a FREE song and music video from ME to help your students get ready for group time.



If you like the video, you can check out my "Listening Strategies to Get Rid of the Wiggles" packet HERE.  I just updated it on June 10, 2014.  I added 4 mini-videos, including the one on YouTube, 4  books, and listening strategies posters.


I am very excited about this book study on "Challenging Behaviors." As always, I look forward to reading your comments.