Getting Ready to Go Back to School

Hello everyone! In case you haven’t heard, I am going back to the classroom next year! I am super excited! I have spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at ideas to decorate and organize my new room! I must also confess that I have been to several dollar stores and Targets as well as buying things from neighbors on beg barter Facebook groups. I know it seems early and I see some of my friends are upset about the back to school stuff being out in stores, but I am excited to get back and don’t want to wait until the last minute to get it all together!

First up, look at these colorful totes I found in the Target Dollar Spot (I might have gone to a few Targets to get the colors I wanted)!  The labels were FREE from The Hungry Teacher.

welcome to school

Also, I found the triangles for a welcome banner using letters I already had! I am planning on adding some black and white polka dot ribbon to make finishing touches!

How cute are these colored clothes pins??? I think I will use them on this string to hang student work!

clothes pins.jpg

I also found these pencil cups and used FREE labels to prep them!

pencil cups.jpg

I was planning on making tissue paper pom poms, but lucked out at the dollar store and found these!

pom poms.jpg

Should I hang them from the ceiling or use them to make truffula trees?

Last, but not least, these Dr. Seuss posters were a steal… All 6 for $1 at the Target Dollar Spot!!!  The Seuss stickers were also $1 for each pack.

seuss posters.jpg

Here are a few rooms that I have been looking at for inspiration:

https://www.playdoughtoplato.com/target-teacher-hacks/

And, don’t worry, I have not forgotten to prepare for the ACADEMICS!  All this cute decor is fine and fun, but we do need to think about content and curriculum! Look at my last post to see all the fun games I have been making for my 4th graders!  place value game

https://learningwithmrskirk.com/2018/06/26/super-fun-fourth-grade-math-games/

Want to see more?  Check out my Pinterest Board:

 

 

 

Discovering Multiplication

Multiplication can be a daunting concept for some students. But in my many years as a teacher I have learned that starting out with a discovery activity can help students to understand the process of multiplication and relieve some of the stress.

I like to start off with a real world problem such as “Jessie has 4 plates of cookies. There are 5 cookies on each plate. How many cookies does she have in all?” I have students work in groups or with partners and with counters or color tiles to solve the problem concretely.  I will walk around the room and discuss the methods used, and give a lot of praise for effort.

cookies multiplication

After working out the problem with the counters we will have a class discussion to recognize that there are many ways to solve the problem. Some students count, some skip count, some use repeated addition and some might already know a few multiplication tricks. I validate each method and move into the next phase, drawing pictures… Again I let students work in groups to find ways to draw pictures and then we share. After sharing I show the the way I like to make my pictures:

cookie groups.jpg

I continue this process with several more problems and then name multiplication as a way to solve problems with equal groups more quickly than adding.

We practice with picture problems as well and I reinforce vocabulary…

cupcakes.jpg

And, as with any skill, we practice, practice, practice!!!

stars.jpgbutterflies

I would love to know what strategies you use to introduce multiplication in your classroom! Add them in the comment section below!

 

Classroom Activities to Celebrate the New Year

Looking for exciting activities to ring in the New Year in your classroom? Here are some of my favorite ideas for making the week(s) back after the holiday break special.

Make a New Year’s Eruption in Science!  Kids love chemical reactions and this one is extra special because, well … glitter is way cool!

Read special books to your class about New Year’s and talk about how holidays can be celebrated differently by different people. You could even have your class create a chart of things they do to celebrate the new year and point out similarities & unique traditions!

Brush up on Math skills with this great New Year’s Scavenger Hunt! Students will have fun working around the room finding the cute frogs and solving the problems.

Teach your class how to set goals. Then have them write their goals on special paper shaped like a party hat. Have them add a self portrait and a party blower for a fun classroom display. Another option would be to have the children trace their arms and hands on construction paper and write goals. This makes a great display with the title “Reach for The Stars”

This is a great time to review or teach your students about Growth Mindset! Have students reflect on skills that were tough at the beginning of the year and not so tough now. Talk about ways to grow as a learner!

Make a New Years Book or Time Capsule!  This will be a keepsake for years to come!

For more great New Year’s Ideas, check out my Pinterest Board:

 

New Year’s Math Fun!

Looking for something fun to do when you return from the Holiday Break? This New Year’s Math Scavenger Hunt is a great way to practice engage students while practicing math skills!

Math Scavenger Hunts are perfect for guided math, whole class, centers or small groups! They are a great way to have students moving while working with a partner on Math.

And they are so easy for the teacher to prep! Simply print the problems, hang them around the room or another area. Print record sheets for your students and you are all set!

new years frog

You can hang the problems on the walls in your classroom or hallway.

new years on bookshelf.jpg

You can hide the problems on bookshelves or even have a scavenger hunt on the playground if weather permits! Just give students a clipboard to use while they work on their record sheets!

new years math on playgrouond

Click any image in this post to get the Scavenger Hunt!

 

math new year scavenger hunt.png

 

 

Very Merry Classroom Ideas for December

very merry classroom blog

Well, Thanksgiving break was a great time for relaxing and visiting with family and friends. But … Now we have to go back to school?  What on Earth will we do with these excited children while they count the days until their holiday break?  Here are some ideas to help you make the days/weeks leading up to the holiday break fun and educational.

Joy, Sunshine, and Lollipops has excellent  ideas on her blog for celebrating Holidays Around the World!

How about a Grinch Day?  Falling Into First has great ideas on her blog for celebrating Grinch Day!

Get your students moving around the room with this Math Scavenger Hunt! Your students will love solving word problems with partners.

Looking for great Read A Louds for Christmas? The Printable Princess has a collection for you.

How cute is this writing activity “If Santa Was Stuck in My Chimney…”? Check out other related ideas on the blog, First Grade Wow

These Holiday Math Games are perfect for elementary classrooms!

This Gumdrop Math Challenge is a great way to get your students using critical thinking skills while having fun!

More Math??? Here are some great ideas!

If you are having a class party, check out these 15 Class Games from A Girl and A Glue Gun.

And, how about some crafts?

 

Want more great ideas? Check out my Pinterest Holiday Board: