Sunday, August 17, 2014

Leadership Table Teams Using the 7 Habits!

Phew.... I finally finished my latest leadership project. It feels like it took forever, mostly because it was in my mind for a long time before it came to be!  I was so tired of referring to my tables as a "color." It was just so boring and I wanted something fun. I also knew that I wanted to bring the 7 habits into my table teams.

So while on the beach at Lake Michigan, it hit me! I started to think about the names for my table teams. This is what I came up with.... the proactive pirates, the end in mind astronauts, the first things first thinkers.... go check out the rest here.

Coming up with names was the first step in creating this pack. Then I had to choose clipart to match each name. Of course I went with Melonheadz clipart because they are all just too adorable AND she had clipart kids that fit each of my 7 habits names!

Because my students sit at tables, I have all of their materials stored by table. This means lots of bins around the classroom, which means lots of labels are needed! I have the following bins for my table teams: math journals, writing folders, snack baskets, and word study folders.
As you can see in the picture above, I did change the color of the scalloped frames in case anyone
wanted the option of referring to groups by color
I also wanted to have my table teams easily identifiable so I made table top signs that fit PERFECTLY in the IKEA TOLSBY 4x6 frames. Each table will have one of the 7 habits table top signs in the middle!

Just in case anyone wanted table signs to hang above tables, these are also included in the pack!

My favorite part of this pack are my table leader wheels. Here's the deal with these... every day I assign a "table leader" for each table. The table leader's job is to get their table's supplies for each subject area. For example, when it's writer's workshop time, the table leaders get their table's bin of folders. I teach the students early on how to hand out their supplies. At the end of writer's workshop, table leaders are also responsible to put things away for their tables. The arrow (see in picture) points to the day's table leader. At the end of the day, I simply turn the wheel to the right and it points to the next day's table leader.

In my classroom, I have students switch seats/table every month. This helps keep things fresh and also encourages students to work with new classmates. I created "team promise" pages for all 7 habits:
plain lines for upper elementary

primary lines for lower elementary

At the beginning of each month, when table teams are new, teams will work together to complete a team promise page. The idea behind this is to help students think about what being proactive looks, feels, and sounds like in a team. I'm super excited to use this with my students!

I use a data wall in my classroom to keep track of student progress. I have a section on my wall for behavior. So I decided to add teamwork tallies to this pack. 
You could glue the table group squares to a piece of poster board then laminate OR just laminate the pieces and put up on the wall. In my classroom, I give tables a tally when I see them exhibiting leadership behaviors, working quietly,  or coming to the carpet quickly. At the end of the week, the table with the most tallies gets our TABLE TALLY TROPHY! I put little goodies in the trophy for each student at that table.

If you are using the 7 habits in your classroom or school to grow a group of "leaders" then please check out this product!  Click on the picture below!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet the Teacher Linky!

Hi there! I'm a first grade teacher from Michigan. This is going to be my 10th year teaching... that seems so weird to say (and it also makes me feel old!). I am married to the love of my life and together we have an amazing little 2 year old boy! 

My best days are spent with my family, but I also love blogging, creating, crafting, and shopping whenever I can! This summer I've been busy working out (Jazzercise) and eating right. Our family spent a week together on the west side of the state relaxing and having fun on the water! I splurged this summer and got a custom blog design! I love it!

Getting ready to watch the sunset on Lake Michigan!


My family, Sunday mornings at church, playing cars with my boy, Jazzercise, wandering around Target, Chai tea Lattes from Starbucks, pizza, crafts, garage sales, a good breakfast, bright colors, all things chalkboard, first graders, the beach, shoe shopping, nail polish, LOFT

I love creating all things digital, so I know I'd love being a full time graphic designer! Creating things on my MacBook has become a serious hobby of mine!

ambitious...  dedicated...  busy body


"I wish summer was a little shorter...said no teacher EVER!!"


A Day in the Life... of teacher, wife, & mommy

Flying. As a child, I used to have continuous dreams about being able to fly... they were seriously the best dreams!


"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."- Gandhi


 "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles....

For some reason this is the one song I know all of the words to! It has something to do with singing it in my room as a child in 1988!


I am a complete morning person. The second my eyes open... I. AM. AWAKE!


 I really love my Leadership jobs and Leadership packs. I work at a school that is implementing The Leader in Me so these two products have helped me weave The 7 Habits into my classroom.


I have a huge collection of NRFB (never removed from box) Barbie dolls! I always thought I'd give them to my daughter, but things didn't work out that way, so I'm stuck with a rather large collection in my basement!

Join in the fun and link up below!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It

I'm so excited to be linking up with Tara from 4th grade frolics for Monday Made it!

I've been slowly but surely working on a project for my classroom and it's finally done!!!!!

I created a leadership classroom decor pack for my classroom to highlight the Seven Habits in a bright and bold way!

It is available for sale in my TPT store. I have 2 versions: chalkboard background, and white background. (I used the chalkboard background style for my own room)! 

I printed everything at the UPS store (color copies are 25 cents for teachers!!! Woo hoo!!!). 

I used my awesome Scotch laminator to laminate everything Then I went out and got the following supplies to brighten everything up:
-Document frames from The Dollar Tree (8 1/2" X 11")
-TOLSBY frames from IKEA- for the "7 habits of a happy table" signs
-4 different colors of spray paint

I also used my laminator and hot glue gun for this project.

1. Pop the glass out of the frames and spray them a bright color! I threw away the glass since the posters are already laminated. This also makes the framed poster super light to hang on the wall.

2. I trimmed the posters' laminated border and popped them into the painted frames.

3. I wanted to put one more final touch on the frames so I decided on black and white polkadot ribbon. For this part I cut the ribbons to be the same size. 

4. Then I put a little hot glue in the middle of the ribbon and pinched it together so it would stick. I did this so when they are hung on the wall, the ribbon is facing polkadot side out.

5. The last step was gluing the ribbon to the back of the frame so they can be hung. I plan on displaying the finished frames in my classroom. I've thought about displaying them around my door or up high at the front of the room. I'm going to play around with it to see where they look best!

After finding Scentos markers fro 95 cents at Staples last week, I immediately thought of student birthdays...which inspired my made it #2!

Everyone knows that first graders LOVE these things so I thought why not let them choose a SCENTO of their choice on their special day?!?!?! I whipped up these little tags to attach to them... they are free in my TPT store! I'm going to print them on card stock, punch a hole in the corner, and tie them to the markers with a colorful ribbon. 

****If you print these tags, print them at 60% so they aren't so big!****

So there you have first 2 Monday made its! Link up with Tara if you'd like to share something you've made!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All About Me Pennant FREEBIE!

I just posted an All About Me FREEBIE to my TPT shop. 

During the first week back to school, I love having my first graders share information about themselves with their classmates. This pennant is a quick activity to help with this! Students simply fill out the pennant, color, cut out, and share with the class. YOU can string all of the student pennants together with ribbon to make an adorable banner for your classroom or hallway. I'm thinking I might print the pennants on different bright colors, then string them together in a pattern. If my first grade teammates are on board, it would look so fun to string all 4 classes in our hallway for curriculum night.

Can you do me a favor?.... if you download this freebie, leave feedback please and thank you!!

Off to bed! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gem Shopping!

In my classroom I use a clip chart behavior system. I found a free clip chart on Pinterest that uses the seven habits language for each color. I use glittery clothespins with student numbers on them. Students begin each week on green (I am proactive and ready to learn!). Underneath the green is yellow, followed by orange, then red. Students who remain on green all week, earn a gem on Friday. I simply use a hot glue gun to glue the gems onto the student's pencil boxes (I purchase pencil boxes for everyone at the beginning of the year). I actually refer to them as "gem boxes" with my students. These gem boxes get covered with gems and the students are so proud of them! 

Gems are a big hit in first grade with the girls AND the boys. It's amazing to see how much the kids love gem shopping. I've been doing this for 8 years now, and it's probably the easiest, cheapest, most loved reward for making good choices. I buy the gems wherever I can find them! Joann's sells a big bag of them so I use a coupon and they are very reasonable. 
Because students have to stay on green EVERY. SINGLE. DAY of the week in order to gem shop... they are very conscious of their behaviors and understand from day one that it only takes one move on the clip-chart to lose out on a gem. For some students, it only takes one mistake and they learn from it real quick! For others, gem shopping may not be as important. In these cases, individual behavior plans may be necessary. But overall, gem shopping is a big motivator and is always a big hit in my classroom.
So if you're looking for an easy little reward for making good choices, try out GEM SHOPPING!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Must Read Monday- The Looking Book

The Looking Book by P.K. Hallinan is my favorite book to break out during the introduction of my poetry unit! I start teaching poetry by having my kiddos collect "notes" on ordinary things. But there's a catch... they must look at these ordinary things in "fresh new ways." On day 1, I have the kids take notes on objects I provide. On day 2, I ask kids to bring in their own objects to take notes on. On day 3, I read "The Looking Book" and we venture outside and collect notes on things we see in the environment.

The Looking Book is about 2 brothers who just want to stay inside and play. Their mom tries to get them to go outside to play but gets resistance. So the mom decides to whip out "Lookers" to encourage the boys to get out there and explore! The "lookers" are just plain black glasses but are a novelty for the brothers. The boys go outside wearing their lookers and soon discover extraordinary things in the ordinary outside! This book has rhyming text and a wonderful message about seeing the world through fresh new eyes... perfect to jumpstart any poetry unit!

I bought 25 pairs of black glasses in the party favor aisle at Target. I simply pushed out the sunglass lenses and had a class set of "lookers' for this fun lesson! The kids look so adorable wearing their "lookers" and holding their clipboards as they see the outside world in a fresh new way!

Thank you teachingmaddeness for hosting this linky party!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Father's Day FREEBIE!

This Father's Day FREEBIE is an easy, low prep card that students can make for their dads!
First I read this Scholastic book to get the kids thinking about their dads...
Then I have students make their own TOP TEN LIST...

Next, students use a TIE TEMPLATE (included in the freebie) to trace and cut out a tie on patterned/colored paper. They glue the tie to the front of a business size envelope that has been prepped by: cutting off the top, cutting a slit down the middle,  and folding down the collars. The TOP TEN LIST slides into the top of the envelope and makes the perfect thoughtful card for dad!
Click here to download this freebie. Please leave me some feedback if you download!