Monday, June 24, 2013

Management Monday: Classroom Rules and Procedures

Oh boy, the summer heat is getting to me!  We still have one more month of summer vacation, but I can't seem to get my mind off the upcoming school year.  Do you ever get so overwhelmed that you just stay idle and don't know where to start?  I'm feeling a little bit like that right now!  

Anyway, I wanted to share with you how I set up my classroom rules.  I always start the first day of school with introducing my class rules.  It is very important to let your students know your expectations from the very first day they step into your classroom.  

Each morning I have the class recite each rule aloud and use gestures to represent each one.  By the end of the first week of school, almost all of my students can recite my rules by heart.  This helps a ton when you have to discipline your students for misbehavior.  You can have them self reflect on what they did wrong, identify which rule they broke, and what they will do differently next time.  

Here are my classroom rules with gestures:  

Say:  "Rule number 1, Follow directions quickly."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with one finger (to represent #1), then pretend like you are marching (use your arms only) at a steady pace.  Then when you say the word quickly, move your arms faster.  

Say:  "Rule number 2, Listen to the speaker."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with two fingers (to represent #2), then put your hands to your ear, and then put your hands in front of you and pretend like your hands are talking.  

Say:  "Rule number 3, Raise your hand to speak."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with three fingers (to represent #3), then raise one hand swaying it left to right, and then put your hands in front of you and pretend like your hands are speaking.  

Say:  "Rule number 4, Be a caring friend."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with four fingers (to represent #4), then use your arms to hug yourself and twist your torso from left to right. 

Say:  "Rule number 5, Make good choices."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with 5 fingers (to represent #5), then give two thumbs up while nodding your head up and down.  

You can get these classroom posters on my TPT store or Teacher's Notebook store.  

Right now I use the traffic light system for behavior management.  In addition to this, I will be using my blogging friend Mrs. Pauley's kindergarten behavior management system.  Click here to see her post on this topic.  It looks very easy to use and kindergarten friendly.  

Click Here or the picture below for my rules letter to parents for FREE! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday: Make Your Worksheets With Powerpoint Instead Of Word

Hi Friends!  This is my very first Tech Tip Tuesday!  I will try my best to post one up at least every other Tuesday.  So, if you have any tech questions that pertain to your classroom, let me know and I'll try my best to answer your questions on my blog!   

My first tech tip is to always use powerpoint to create your classroom printables/worksheets.  I've used word documents to create worksheets for years and grew increasingly frustrated because I would often run into problems.  Some of the issues I had with word documents was manipulating pictures and text.  If I moved an object on my document, it would move other objects as well.  This was time consuming and made the process more laborious.    

WARNING:  It will take a little time to get used to using powerpoint, but once you have it down, you will save a lot more time (I promise).  One of the benefits of using powerpoint is the ability to manipulate pictures and text easily.  You don't run into the same problems that you would in word.  

Here are some simple steps to get you started using Powerpoint.  

1:  Set up you page:  Landscape or Portrait

Click on File--Page Setup---Then choose Landscape or Portrait.
You can also set up your margins here.  I like to put 8.5 x 11 so that it is margin free and I can create my worksheets without any margin restraints.  It might say that the current page exceeds the printable area of the paper in the printer.  Just click OK.

2:  Set up your Ruler and Guides to properly space your text and clipart

Click on View---Ruler (should now have a check mark next to the word ruler)
Click on View---Guides---Static Guides
Set the blue static guides to 0 vertically and horizontally.  Doing this will help you to place clipart and text more precisely where you want it to be.  It makes it easier to center them too! 

3:  Setting a Background Picture using Digital Papers:

Right Click or Control Click (mac)---Format Background---Picture or Texture---Choose Picture (find the background you want on your computer)---Apply.  

4:  Adding Borders and Clipart

There are 2 ways to do this:
Drag your clip art directly to your powerpoint or Click insert---photo---picture from file---choose your picture---insert.  

If you want to rearrange how your clipart overlaps onto each other right click or control click (mac) on the clipart and click reorder objects.

5:  Adding Text

Click Insert---Text Box.  Then click and drag your mouse to your desired area you want to put your text box.  
Choose your font, size, etc. to make it look just right. 
If you want to format your text:
right click or control click (mac) on your text box---format text---make your changes----click OK

6:  Duplicating Pages or Adding New Pages

Right Click or Control Click (mac) onto the slide in the left hand column---Click on duplicate slide or new slide (whichever you need).  

The greatest part about this feature that word documents don't have is that you can reformat your new page quickly without having to change the whole thing.  If you look below, I was able to keep the background and border, but change the words and clipart.  Now I have a new page with the same theme as the previous slide.  

7:  Save your file as PDF or Powerpoint and you're done!  Congratulations on making your very first powerpoint worksheet.  

Have a Blessed Week!  Till next time ;)

P.S.  Let me know if this saves you time when making worksheets or if you have any questions!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm Back!!! Summer Kickoff Giveaway: Receive any one item from my store for FREE until June 18, 2013

Hi Friends,

I'm sorry for my absence these past few months, but there's been so much going on that I couldn't keep up.  However, now I'm back and I promise to be more dedicated to this little blog of mine!  

As a gift to my dedicated followers and hopefully some new followers I am having a Summer Kickoff giveaway!  Just for following me you can receive any ONE item from my Teachers Pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook store for FREE.  

Here's the details:
1.  Check out My TPT store or Teacher's Notebook Store and choose one item you would like to receive.  
2.  Follow me on TPT, Teacher's Notebook, or my Blog.  Even current followers can get something!
3.  Leave a comment or email me: and tell me how you are following me, what item you would like, and an email address I can send it to.  Must include all 3 items in your email or comment.  
4.  OPTIONAL:  Rate my product or give feedback on my TPT store or TN store.  


I've also just posted some new items in my store.  These are just a few of them:

Alphabet Playdough Mats with Stroke Order:

Polka Dot Classroom Rules:  
These polka dot posters are fun and vibrant. They include a large and small version of the classroom rules. Read below to see the sizes in inches. 

Rules included are:
Follow directions quickly.
Listen to the speaker.
Raise your hand to speak.
Be a caring friend.
Make good choices.

Giveaway is now closed and no longer available :)