100th Day Fun!

        Today was our 100th Day Celebration! My students had a fun filled afternoon as we spent the entire day doing everything the 100th way. This year, 100th day came much later than normal due to the fact that we started school after Labor Day and we had several snow days that seemed to push back the date. I'm so glad that it finally came. To prepare for this special day I sent home special paper bags with instructions stapled to the front. Each child was asked to send in a collection of 100 things to donate to our class and keep it a secret. They were asked to write three clues on the front of the bag to describe what was in it. The instructions did provide a list of suggestions of items that students could bring in such as pompoms, popsicle
sticks, cotton balls, q-tips, sequins, index cards, etc. Each year, I get a nice variety of things that I can then use at the art center table or use  to help make a variety of literacy or math activities. This year I had a brilliant idea to use some of these materials at a sensory table. In our class we have a large sandbox table that we rarely use since it makes such a mess on the floor. Even though we sweep the sand up, it scratches up the floor. I decided to dump out all the sand and  put all those cotton balls, pom poms, pipe cleaners, beads and more into the box. When my students came back from specialist, they were so excited! They could not wait to dig in and play with all the treasures that they brought in. I also think that I will make the janitors very happy because they no longer have to deal with the scratchy floor and the mess it makes.   
    My students all had a chance to read their clues and choose classmates to try to guess what they brought in the bag. Once we finished opening all the bags, students had a chance to count their objects by placing them in ten groups of ten. Our day was filled with many more fun filled 100th day activities. We read 100th day books, sang 100th day songs, did 100 exercises, and counted to 100 by 1's,5's,  and 10's. Students made 100th Day crowns to wear and their very own 100th day grids to take home and practice. They were asked to write in the missing numbers on this grid. All my students had a chance to draw a picture of what they would look like when they reached 100 years old and write sentences to describe what they would do when they reach that age.Who knows, perhaps many of them might reach this golden age with all the new medical breakthroughs and technologies we now have. My students were especially excited to get the pretend 100 dollar bills. Students could write about what they would do if they received $100.00. It is always fun to read all the interesting thoughts and ideas. Some students have some very unique ideas while others just make you laugh. It was a very busy exhausting day, but I'm hoping that it will be a memorable one.   

Congratulations to the Winner of my Giveaway!

Congratulations to Rhoda! She has won over 20 fabulous prizes from some fantastic teachers who donated their products to my one year anniversary giveaway. Would you believe there were 777 entries on Rafflecopter?  I am feeling pretty lucky. I know Rhoda sure feels the same way. My husband wants to take me to Foxwoods on Friday for our wedding anniversary. I am not big on gambling since I work way to hard for my money, but I think I will hit the slot machines and hope for "Lucky Number Seven." 

I want to thank all the wonderfully talented teachers who have donated a product and help support me along the way. Hosting a giveaway is a lot of work, but at least I know that I put a happy smile on someone's face today. It is all worth it in the end.    

What Are Your Plans for Valentine's Day?

     Tomorrow will be a fun filled afternoon. Not only is it going to be a  full moon on Valentine's Day, but it is also the last day before our winter break. Our class has been busy this week making Valentine Animal Creatures, doing some Valentine writing assignments and leaning some new Valentine songs. Tomorrow, I  plan on  reading some Valentine stories to my students and we all are looking  forward to exchanging cards. To get some of the wiggles out, I am planning on showing a couple of my Brain Break videos from Pinterest.  My students just love to get up and dance along with these videos. Best of all they are not only fun but educational.  They have been a life saver during all these cold, snowy winter months in which we can's get outside for recess. You can check out my  video collection of my classroom videos board by clicking the Pinterest link on the right. Our school does not allow food during celebrations. Years ago, we used to have students come in with lots of party treats such as cookies, brownies and cupcakes. Since there are so many food allergies, we no longer have celebrations with food in our classroom. At first, I thought that this took all the fun out of celebrations, but now I don't mind it at all. I no longer have to worry about the ton of  food that gets thrown away since the kids can't possibly eat that much junk food. I don't have a huge mess to clean or worry about the sugar high the kiddos get after eating all those goodies. It is important after all that we encourage healthy eating. "Food Free"  makes celebrations so much simpler. I would love to know if your school still allows party food coming in to your classroom. 
      As a last minute art project, I am also planning on having my students make Valentine cards for their parents with the "I LOVE YOU TO PIECES" idea that I found on Pinterest. It is a great way to get rid of all that extra scrap paper and  it makes an adorable card that I think the parents will treasure. What are your plans for tomorrow? Do you have anything special planned? Please comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Enjoy Valentine's Day with your class and especially your family.    

Giveaway Celebration! Enter to Win Lots of FabulousPrizes!

     A couple of years ago I discovered TPT and I became a buyer. I found so many creative activities to help enhance my classroom. I thought about becoming a seller so I could share some of my own creativity with teachers and students. As a seller I began my journey with the online teaching community a year ago during my February Winter Break. What an awesome feeling it is to be able to create an activity and know that teachers from far away places are using it in their classrooms with their students. I have loved each and every minute of this new experience. I am meeting so many supportive and brilliant teachers out there. The creativity is astonishing! I am also celebrating 300 wonderful followers this week. I appreciate each and every one of you for supporting my store. Once I found some success on TPT, I also decided to open a new store at Teacher's Notebook to share my ideas with even more teachers. I am just getting started with it and I hope it begins to get some more recognition.  

     I love giving back to other teachers. I feel like so many people have helped me along the way. I am hoping this giveaway is one way to give back to other teachers. Several amazing PreK-2 teachers have generously joined in on the fun and donated a product. I will be hosting my giveaway during my winter break which is Feb.16-18 on this blog using Rafflecopter. Be on the lookout for this exciting Giveaway to begin. I will be posting direct links to the fantastic products in this giveaway, so you can further preview all the fabulous prizes that are in store for the lucky winner. Feel free to share this giveaway with all your teacher friends. 

Do You Have A Classroom Website? It Is Easier Than What You think.


 This year I put together my very own classroom website. It was much easier than what I thought it would be. Communication with your parents is vital to the success of your students. Parents can use the website as a learning tool, a source of information, and a way to stay connected. Yes, as teachers we all stay connected with notes, logs, newsletters, emails, phone calls and conferences but by creating a website can also bring a whole new level of communication to your parents.
     I used Weebly to get started. It is free and very user friendly. You can have your site up in no time. Several teachers across the country have found success using Weebly.  There are several other sites to help you get started but I thought Weebly was pretty easy to navigate through with tutorials that can easily get you started. You can post all those newsletters that you send home, classroom rules, word lists, and so much more. One of the  benefits of having a website is that you can post direct links to helpful educational websites or video clips for your students.  I do usually give a hard copy of my monthly newsletters to my students but they do sometimes get lost. Now, parents can simply log in and check on important information that they might have missed. There is no excuse for students claiming they do not know the classroom rules when they are posted on the site. You can post lots of helpful hints for parents on your site and not worry about wasting massive amounts of paper. I even set up a separate Pinterest account just for my classroom. This set of boards has tons of video clips that are categorized to help support learning at home. Parents have access to this special Pinterest account through my Weebly Website simply by clicking on the P which is a direct link to these special boards. You could also post some photographs of your students busy at work in class. Parents would love to see what they are doing. This is something that I have not done as of yet. I just want to clear it with my principal. I do have permission from all my parents through the photo and internet forms that were sent home.  
      At the beginning of the year, it is helpful to send a questionnaire to your parents and be sure that they have access to the internet. This way you will know which students need a hard copy of certain documents. If it is really important I would definitely send home a hard copy to your entire class.
     You may already have lots of older newsletters and documents that you send home and just tweak each year to accommodate the needs of your students and classroom already saved on your computer. Simply copy and paste your documents from Microsoft Word or wherever you store them and add to your site. It is really that simple. You can easily fancy things up with some clip art and you have a professional looking website. Do you have a classroom website? I would love to check it out. Here is a link to my website.
 If you are thinking about starting one, I hope this site can inspire you with some ideas. I am hoping to check out some of  your classroom websites and find some new fresh ideas as well. Please leave a comment with links to your site or if you found this post helpful to you.