Birthdays in the Classroom

Hi everyone!
It's Jen from {Teacher by the Beach}. I wanted to share with you something I do for birthdays. It's so simple, but means so much to the kids and parents. Every year in the beginning of the school year, one of my "to-do" list items is to write out all their birthday postcards for the year. I just take them home one night and write them out while I'm watching a show.  I put the date on the bottom of the card to remind me when to mail out, and hopefully I get them out in time. 

Yes, I really do mail them out. If you know me, you know that I just love birthdays! Birthdays are such an important day in someone's life, so I love making kids feel special on their birthday.  The parents always comment on the postcards and the kids are always so excited to get mail! A lot of the times, they bring in the postcard to school to show me. And I just love their excitement over it. And to me, the cost of stamp isn't that much for something that makes them happy. I don't give them gifts, aside from a birthday crown and pencil, but they sure do love the postcards!


I Wonder Wall

Hey everyone!

My school is an IB school (International Baccalaureate) and we love to have our kids get into inquiry.

After getting my feet wet with this last year, I am ready to dive in this year.

One way I am helping my kids rev up the inquiry is my "I wonder" cabinet door.

I grabbed some quote speech bubbles and made a header, then laminated them.

Next I put a frame on my cabinet with borders and then taped on the speech bubbles. My kids will be able to go up there and write with dry erase markers any questions they have. If we have any spare time during our unit, they can look it up on the computer.

The right side of the cabinet is going to be my "Read all about it" section. I'm going to put either a newspaper article or a magazine clipping there for my students to read. I plan on them adding sticky notes around it with their opinions, thoughts, and questions. I can't wait until my room is all put together!


FREE Printable Lunch Box Love Notes

 Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas FREE Printable Lunch Box Love Notes!

FREE Lunch Box Love Notes!

I know that this is the craziest time of year, but for Teacher-Moms, as tired as we are, we don't want to short change our own kids. I remember I really wanted my children to have a good day at school, listen to the teacher. learn a lot and make new friends. But mornings for Teacher-Moms are not like something out of the Leave it to Beaver TV show....many a morning at my house was SOMEONE crying over SOMETHING because they weren't the center of attention at that given moment. SOMETIMES it was even me!
  Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas FREE Printable Lunch Box Love Notes at TeacherspayTeachers!
These love notes are a quick and easy way for you to show them some love when they are away from you in that big, ole' cafetorium, as they call it in my district.  BUT no lie, I would write five on Saturday afternoon or Sunday night and hide them in my bedroom. That way I was ready to each morning and if they wanted to buy their lunch that day, I had it ready to slip into their backpack instead. My FREEBIE has enough for 24 notes, that way you can use a different one each school day for a month! Perfect also for teachers to use as an End Of The Day student note!
   Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas FREE Printable Lunch Box Love Notes at TeacherspayTeachers!
My favorite author, Erma Bombeck once said something about school notes....If they are typed on nice paper and signed in pen, they have been forged by the child, a real Mom has to grab a red crayon and writes on a kitchen napkin. :)
   Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas FREE Printable Lunch Box Love Notes at TeacherspayTeachers!
Some mornings, showing your love with a red crayon on a napkin is just terrific too! Enjoy!

Click here to download it!

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We HEART Parent Helpers - Freebie

Good day to you faithful "Owl" followers.  My name is Kelley Dolling and I blog over at Teacher Idea Factory.  I am honored to say that I am the newest member of the "Owl-Ways" crew.  I can't wait to start sharing with y'all on a regular basis . . . I will be coming your way on the 11th of every month!

Today, I wanted to quickly chat about parent helpers. We all know that these extra hands are clutch in the elementary grades. So many of us have to go it alone without teaching assistants these days. Parents help fill this void . . . especially when you land one of those "extra special" helpers that really know how to handle a group :) 

Over the years, I have noticed a pattern emerge in my classroom when it comes to these brave volunteers.  I typically give my parent helpers the "fun" task. They get the reading game or the fun activity in the rotation line up.  If there isn't a game, I tend to have them man the writing station.  What can I say? I just love the extra help in the quality and punctuation department.

I always love having the parents work on retell activities.
This awesome helper read a fun Charlie Brown football story.
The kids then wrote a basic summary of the tale. 

Our Back to School Night is coming up.  You know. That evening when you meet all of the parents and chat about what to expect for the year. I think many of you refer to it as Open House. Well, I am attempting to get my ducks in a row by getting all of my forms together for parent helpers. I figured maybe I could help you out too. Below you will find my parent volunteer sign up sheet. It's editable . . . how ya like them pencils? Yep, the paragraph at the top might not fit your style or overall needs. Just click in and change it. You will need the font -- KG PART OF ME -- before you get going. So, be sure to download and install it before you open the file. 

I also am tossing in a job rundown sheet. In an effort to get myself more organized and not have to handwrite something out in the AM or quickly verbal vomit the directions on my helper, I made a little sheet that explains the task for the day. I surely am not saying that I will always complete one of these as I know how I tend to roll. However, I vow that I will attempt to have one of these with the station each day. #promisespromises

Click either image below to snag these two freebies.  They are in power point form, and again, they are editable.  Just make sure you have the font installed before you mess with the text.  

If you are looking to get a few more things organized this year, I have an editable back to school form/letter/checklist packet.  It offers everything from Transportation and Contact Info forms to birthday and field trip checklists.  It even has an editable classroom handbook option.  I am all printed and ready to go a little ahead of the game this year . . . 8 days and counting :) CLICK HERE to check it out.  

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us today.  Until next month . . . this is Kelley Dolling from Teacher Idea Factory signing out :)

Helpful & Inspirational Nameplates {free download}

Choosing nameplates can be tricky.

Not too busy.  Not too boring.  Not too expensive.
Sleeves or no sleeves?  Tape them down?

I recently got fed up with the nameplate
situation and took matters into my own hands.

These nameplates don't have clipart.  But
they do have lots of helpful information.

- the alphabet 
- number line from 1-30
- months of the year
- days of the week 
- "Welcome to ___ Grade!" greeting
- space for the student's name
- inspirational motto

The best part (I think, but I'm a little
biased) is the inspirational motto.

The motto says "believe - respect - try."
I truly want these things for my kiddos.

I want them to believe in themselves.
I want them to respect each other.
I want them to try their best.

You can snag the nameplates {HERE}
or by clicking on the picture above.



That's the BIG SALE of course! It's quite possibly my favorite time of year (right behind Christmas!) I love back to school! I love the shopping and decorating mostly, but don't we have the only job where we get a do over every single year! (and sometimes every single day!)

So it's stock up time for BTS!

Thank you Courtney from Swimming into Second for the adorable signage!

And don't forget to use the CODE! BTS15 for an extra 10% off! 

here's quick links to all our shops!
Happy Saturday!

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