Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Behavior Rewards Punch Cards

As a behavior incentive, I used to give out little stickers to the kids to place on their sticker reward charts. But in the past couple of years, those stickers increasingly "went missing" from some children's charts, only to "magically appear" onto other charts. 

Trying to find a solution, I started putting my initials in the squares. After a while, that didn't work well, either.

Hence my current solution. I made up new charts. Punch cards, actually. Each child will get to decorate their own card with their name or picture. The cards will fit nicely in the table tubs.

You can get a copy of these punch cards here.

Now, each time they earn a punch, they'll bring me their card. Note that the hole punch I'll be using is actually a star, and not a circle like a regular hole punch produces.

We'll see how this works out.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Road Trip Game: Spa-dittle!

A friend of mine taught me this game years ago, and I taught it to my two sons whenever we had to be on the road after dark. It's called "Spa-dittle", and it's easy. First person to spot the first car with only one headlight shining gets ice cream. The only rule is that we ALL have to see it, too, to verify. No cheating and saying, "Oh, it just turned the corner."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dollar Store Finds and Ideas From TARGET

Run, don't walk, to your nearest Target store, and check out their dollar bins! I went in, hoping to find a few odd items I could use in the classroom, and this is what I scored.

* 5 write on/wipe off boards for working with small group writing
* 2 cans (30 total) of glow-in-the-dark bracelets (Super for treats, or to save until Halloween!)
* Flashcards featuring colors and shapes, counting to 20, and the alphabet (I have many ways to implement these as games!)
* more stickers
* sea creature erasers (details below)

These are my favorite. No more having to run off pre-lined worksheets!

Not only do these make great gifties/giveaways, but they're also make neat tokens for board games.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Sequencing Game

As promised, here's the sequencing game I thought of, which will give me an additional use out of these cards. The neat thing about this game is that I can use any set of sequencing cards to play.

To play:

* put all the puzzle pieces/game cards (separated) into a large tissue box, or any container where the child can't look inside to find what he needs.
* shake the penny cup (heads = pick, tail = lose turn) - see below
* child pulls out a puzzle piece from the box and looks to see if it matches another puzzle piece he has (keep the piece whether it does or not)
* the object is to be the first person to complete ONE sequencing pattern correctly

Here's the penny cup, in case you need a reminder.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dollar Store Finds and Ideas, Part 2

Today I'm showing you the rest of what I discovered during my recent jaunt to the dollar stores.

I saw these growing crystals. Although I've never used them before, for a dollar, I thought they would make a great experiment for the kids to observe. I found these over in the toy section.

Of course, any sort of puzzle/matching game that reinforces basic knowledge is worth buying. I'll put these in separate plastic containers for the kids to use. The same goes for these puzzle sequencing games (see below). Incidentally, I just got an idea for a game using the sequencing cards. I'll post it on Friday.

And, finally, who doesn't need stickers? The googly eyes were a bonus, as we use boocoos of them during the school year for art projects!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dollar Store Finds and Ideas, Part 1

Within a five-minute radius, there's a Dollar Tree, a Dollar General, and a Family Dollar store. Each one carries similar items, but not always the same merchandise. Every so often I go in one to pick up something, and when I do, I always peruse the store for things that catch my eye and ignite my imagination. (This also goes for those dollar bins at the grocery store and Target.)

This go-round, I came away with a bonanza, which I'll be sharing this week in three parts. Most of these items I already have, but through use and "borrowing", my supplies needed replenishing or replacing.

One can never have too many shapes puzzles to use in centers, or to put out during my Ten Minute Smarters. These are great ways for the kids to use Tangrams, work on their fine motor skills, and to recognize shapes.

Seashells can be utilized in many ways: as part of your science center, to have the kids separate into classifications, as markers on a game board, or simply to count. The possibilities are endless!

Marbles are terrific when it comes to marble painting (rolling it in Tempra, then letting it go all over a sheet of paper.) They're also neat to use in science experiments (let them roll down ramps, and see if the angle of the ramp makes a difference in speed.) Have racing games with them. Play "croquet" using a pencil for a club. Or go bowling.

The chips are also great, and these multi-colored ones offer a wider variety of utilization. They make terrific tokens or markers. Toss them into a paper cup. Count them, or show math sentences for sums (ex: 2 yellow + 3 green = 5, the same as 4 yellow + 1 green = 5). Divide into different color classifications.

More to come!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Instant Classroom, Random Name Selector

I wish I'd found this sooner! According to this site, it allows you to:

* Call on your students in a different order every time

* Up to 100 students per group

* iPad friendly!

* Tested to work on all modern browsers (and even some older ones too!)

* 100% Free forever

I'm adding it to my teacher links on the side of the blog.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Antique Stores = Inexpensive Museums

If you live where it's inconvenient to get to a museum, why not visit an antique store? Not only can you spend time explaining to the kiddos how things "used to be", it's also a very hands-on place. And there might be an item or two you can purchase as "souvenirs".

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On the Road? Snap the Alphabet!

Going on a road trip? Or just running around town, getting errands done. Have the kids keep alert for signs to help complete their City Alphabet. The only rule is that the letter can only come from the first word if the sign has more than one word in it (of course, you can fudge a bit for the letter X). And an inexpensive photo album from the dollar store can hold print-outs of what they've found.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mr. Happy - Mr. Sad Math Game (Freebie!)

Here's a freebie addition/subtraction math game you can download from here. It's called MR. HAPPY - MR. SAD, and the rules are simple.

* Each player starts out with 10 tokens (If we were studying pets, I let them use the little cats and dogs figurines. For the farm unit, the farm animals. We've also used rocks, unifix cubes, and little bears. Anything that fits whatever unit you're working on is great!)
* The player picks a circle from the basket (I ran mine off on blue tag.). If it's a plus + (Mr. Happy), they take that many tokens from the pot. If it's a minus -, they put that many tokens back into the pot from their own pile. This version only goes up to 3.
* When a player runs out of token, the game is over. And the person with the most tokens left wins!