Friday, December 30, 2016

My Favorite Teaching Ideas of 2016

2016 was a year of big changes for me.  I went from a full-time classroom teacher to a part-time teacher who helps out where needed. I love working with students one-on-one or in small groups however the biggest change for me was the paycheck.  I only get paid on the days I work and no holiday pay.  That means I had to cut WAY back on my school spending.  I no longer have money to spend on activities for school.  I need to make do with what I can find for free. Luckily for me I had a fairy-god-mother this semester. 

 In January my class made this beautiful snowflake tree.  My students were so proud of their snowflakes.  They would touch them as they walked by them each day.  Honestly when they took home their snowflakes you would have thought I was sending each of them home with a bar of gold.  
 Our Chinese New Year Lanterns turned out so adorable this year.  We used water bottles to stamp the flowers and sharpies to add details. They turned out so cute and colorful.  We used red, orange and pink paint.  Our room was so colorful at throughout the month.  
 I don't do a lot of directive drawing in my classroom however at the end of the school year I was looking for something cute and simple to go with our US Symbols lesson.  This was perfect.  I also found some wonderful books to go along with the unit.  
 This is a lesson I am always trying to instill with the variety of children I am working with....stretch out the words.   Give it a try ....give it your best try.   I always try to get them to sound out a word first before I help them. 

I updated this alphabet book at the beginning of the year and I think it turned out so cute. They kids love to read it.   
 I have spent a lot of time this year creating qr codes for the listening centers in the first grade classroom.  Right now they are by author but I hope to add holidays as well.   
 I created these name bags at the beginning of the year for my little four year olds that I has working with.  They loved them.  They would work through them each time they saw me.  They still think through their names to recall letter names.  
 These alphabet stickers on rocks is one of my most used items this year.  My young students love them.  The four year olds put the rocks in abc order and the five year olds create cvc words with them.  They love how they feel.
I bought these Tieks shoes because so many teachers said they were super comfortable even on the first day they wore them.  I struggle with shoes, if fact I hate shoes.  First I purchased a gray pair and LOVED them.  Then I got navy and black and for Christmas I got a pair of bright pink.  
 This bag on wheels was another gift to myself.  I was carrying around a bag with so much stuff in it for all the different kids I work with.  Then I got this bag and now I can find all my stuff and it is all organized.  

These three games are all similar and they work on number recognition and counting.  I put these games together for the four year olds I work with.  I was lucky enough to have the frogs and turkeys from years past.  However the christmas dice and gingerbread men were a gift from the wonderful people at Oriental Trading.  

When I first downloaded my original CCBB Bingo games I was disappointed with the fonts and colors of some of the letters.  The kids were struggling identifying the letters as well.  I decided to remake it which was a big project because I didn't save the original document. However it was well worth it.  I purchased some new graphics and jazzed it up a bit and now it is amazing.  The kids are lovin' it too.  I did draw "hats and shoes" on the Uppercase I after I printed it. The kids pick this every week as one of their activities.  

 OMG...every since I received the sensory cards and put together the lego activities these have been a HUGE hit with the students.  I have enough activities now that I can give them some choices and the sensory cards/sand boxes and lego alphabet are always picked first each week.  

The Sensory Table is something I just started to explore with.  My little sweetheart is at the perfect age for this type of an activity.  We found the perfect table for her at Ikea and we can have two different activities going at one time.  She is learning a lot by playing at this table.  

I have learned so many new things this year I can not wait to see what happens in 2017!

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