Sunday, November 22, 2015

This ANTicipate Challenge Bulletin Board promotes teamwork through The 7 Habits of Happy Kids


Take a look at our new bulletin board idea. If you want to promote teamwork among the students in your classroom you can't go wrong with The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Our students wrote about how the ants connect to them as students who work together to achieve more. They get a kick out of these big personality-rich ants and how they are stepping on each other and the ones on the bottom are struggling. I've heard them talk about which ones are most like themselves.  

Click here to see all the details:    READ MORE HERE

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Use Creativity and Math to Make Perimeter and Area 3D Animals

These 3D Perimeter and Area Animals are a great way to assess student knowledge while giving them a chance to make choices and use their creativity in math class. My students had a great time with this activity and I was able to make sure that everyone held deep understanding and was able to put it into practice and then write about it in their math journals. We were very happy with the finished products! Click here to see more photos and our procedure:  Perimeter and Area 3D Animals for the Classroom

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cover that classroom clutter with easy curtains

It's that time of year.
We're all in our classrooms, getting ready for the best year ever.
We straighten. We plan. We buy things. We try to declutter, but everything we pick up, we think we just might need we don't throw it away.
We organize.
We know that a nice-looking classroom contributes to great learning, teamwork, rising test scores, and all the rest.
So, take the time to cover up all the manipulatives in this easy way. The things we need are still close by.
Whether you have an Animal Print Classroom theme, a Dog Classroom theme, Superheroes Classroom theme, or anything else, you can find a coordinating set of sheets to make these simple and economical clutter-covering classroom curtains.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tissue paper and glue can really make your classroom theme stand out!

Students can make some amazing things for a classroom theme with paper, tissue paper, and watered down glue. Take a look at the colorful animals in this Animal Print Classroom/Jungle/Rainforest. The students are going to love these big decorations because they helped to make them. It's going to be a great year when the students have a room they want to learn in every single day!  Read more  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Animal Theme Classroom Tic Tac Toe Boards

 Wouldn't these Tic Tac Toe boards look great in your Animal Print classroom?  I made these Animal Print Tic Tac Toe boards for a Gifted Leadership event called The Shoe Carnival. Our GT Leadership middle school students headed up a carnival to raise money for Amy for Africa when they were taking 26,000 pair of Sketchers to Uganda. So, all the carnival events were focused on shoes, socks, feet, and toes and ALL with an African decorative touch. The event was a success and we surpassed our fundraising goal.

I also knew these Tic Tac Toe boards would come in handy in the classroom.
Tic Tac Toe can be pulled out for those rainy day recess games.
They can be used in math class and not just for simple Tic Tac Toe. You can tic tac toe multiplication facts, factors, multiples and many other great games. Just look it up on Pinterest!
Once the students know some of the other games, these Animal Print Tic Tac Toe boards can be put into your Centers rotations, too.

I took one piece of white poster board and cut it into 4 pieces.  I ran copies of a tic tac toe board (just Google it) in a color to match my theme and picked out Duck Tape to coordinate. (so, this idea will work for whatever your classroom theme is)  I glued the tic tac toe board onto the poster boards and then put Duck Tape around the edges by taping it half-way along the edge and then flipping it over and taping down the other half onto the back of the board. (see photos)

These versatile Tic Tac Toe Boards will stand the test of time. I also have some that have a page protector pocket in the center so I can switch the game out and students can write on them with an Expo marker.
If you make some to match your classroom, post a photo in the comments - I'd love to see yours!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dog Theme Classroom Photos

Another great way to make your Dog Theme Classroom warm and inviting  is by having dog photos around the room. You can get photos in a good size for a small investment. ( has a 16 x 20 for $5) You can put them in poster frames and really make your classroom one that the students will never forget, especially if the photos are of dogs that we know, like these.

The top photo is of Rupp. He comes to Crossfit Countdown with his owners sometimes and we've watched him grow up. Isn't he adorable?

This photo is of Daisy. She's my 12 year old Jack Russell Terrier.  The photo below is of Mikko, my "grand-dog." He belongs to my son, Ger Sasser and my daughter-in-law, Cassie. He's always at the box, too, and the students sometimes hear a story about him or see him on Instagram.

Dog Theme Classroom Cozy Floor Area

If you have room n your classroom for a comfortable and cozy floor area, you can continue the dog theme there.  You won't have to spend a lot, either. My students love this area of "The Doghouse."

I bought the black and zebra print dog bed at TJ Max for $22. It's a large dog bed and the kids love it. Two students can comfortable read on it and they love that it's got an embroidered bone on it. (Retail $75 - how could I not buy that?)  

The red and bright blue floor pillows are floor pillow inserts from Walmart. I was going to sew pillowcases for them that would be long-wearing and easy to bring home and throw into the washer and dryer and it just CAME TO ME - this idea - in the bathroom towel section. I pulled a large towel off the shelf and folded it over the floor pillow - TA DA!  I came home and folded the towel in half and sewed down the sides, inserted the floor pillow insert, and shut the opening with double-sided toupee tape ( from Sally Beauty - that stuff has a thousand uses)  Now, they are big, they match the room, they are sturdy, and economical. They're very easy to pull off and run through the laundry cycle.

I bought the light brown dog at Walmart for $10.  (I've since received another as a Christmas present form a student.)  The dark brown dog is on loan from a student - she wanted to add to the collection.

I found this beagle second-hand. They have all different breeds on Amazon. He's sturdy and the kids love him. I have a teacher-friend who has a German Shepard stuffed dog in her room she found for $4 at a church rummage sale and it's German Shepard-Sized!

I also have two ultra-fleece throws with a dog print on them that are well-loved.

When the students go to this area they know they can have one pillow, rug, fleece throw, or dog. They go by the rules. They name the dogs, too.

We also have a dachshund that plays a song when you push a button and the tail wags and the ears go up and down. They work hard to earn a "song break" from that little dog.

So, keep and eye out and add to your collection. Kids love to have a place that they love to get on the floor and read or research or do math games.