Thursday, August 27, 2015

Whooo C.A.R.E.S.?!?!

I LOVE the beginning of the year because it gives me a chance to teach my students about character education and social skills. I teach my students about C.A.R.E.S. and I can integrate these themes into our social studies unit about citizenshipC.A.R.E.S. stands for Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control. If you miss my posted introducing CARES and covering the bulletin board that accompanies these five topics check it out HERE!
Using C.A.R.E.S. topics during the first few weeks helps build a positive classroom atmosphere, while teaching my students about our class expectations. I have created five lessons, each one covering one of the C.A.R.E.S. topics.  Each lesson introduces the topic and hooks students with a read aloud by Mo Willems. I like using Mo's Elephant & Piggie series because these two characters are in each book and show my students that a character can display each one of our CARES traits. There are other great books out there for teaching CARES traits but my students really enjoy the Elephant & Piggie series because they are kid friendly books with not a lot of language. The drawings in these books grab their attention and the simplicity of the stories allows me to get right to the teaching topic. 

In "Today I Will Fly!" Piggie wants to fly but Gerald isn't too willing to help. With the help of another friend Piggie shows Gerald that flying can be possible when working together. This makes for a fantastic read aloud when teaching cooperation!

"There Is a Bird on Your Head" is perfect for teaching assertion because Gerald becomes frustrated when two birds make a nest and lay eggs on his head. He doesn't know what to until Piggie suggests that he kindly ask the birds to go somewhere else. To Gerald's surprise speaking up solves the problem and the birds go find a new place for their nest.

In "My Friend Is Sad" Piggie discovers her friend Gerald is sad. She works really hard to cheer Gerald up because she understands that being sad is no fun! The simplicity of the story helps students to focus on the meaning of empathy while getting a good laugh at all the silly things Piggie does to make Gerald happy again. 

Gerald realizes he is getting cranky and the only thing to help him get out of his cranky mood is a nap! In "I Will Take a Nap!" Gerald teaches us that taking care of our self and being responsible is very important. 

Self-control is a theme displayed through out "Waiting Is Not Easy!". Gerald learns that surprises can be worth the wait even when it is hard to use self-control and be patient. I like reminding my students that waiting to be called on or waiting your turn in line can be challenging, but just like Gerald experiences in the story, the wait can be worth it. 

If these read alouds interest you and you are looking for some new lesson ideas to teach your student's all about C.A.R.E.S, click on the pictures below check out these lessons:

Don't forget, if you want all five lessons and the bulletin board, make sure to grab the bundle in my store and save $4! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Winner Wednesday: Find Someone Who!

Wahoo! What an exciting week! That TPT sale was so much fun and I stocked up on TONS of goodies! There are some talented TPT'ers out there! I hope you were able to find a few great products yesterday! 

Today I am linking up with Jennifer from A Day of Glue Will Do again to bring you the chance to win a product from my store for FREE! All you will have to do is enter your name into the Rafflecopter below!  

"Find Someone Who" is such a great structure to use for a back to school activity to promote class community building while allowing students to get to know one another!

To play "Find Someone Who" students each recieve their own paper. They then walk around the room, meet other classmates, and talk to them to find out if they fit any of the categories or boxes. If a student finds another student who fits, he/she has the other student sign his/her name or initials in the box. The goal is to complete all boxes in an allotted amount of time. 

Lets play a few rounds! If you can say yes to any of the following categories let me a comment below!
  • Who loves math?
  • Who has a sister?
  • Who has a pet?

This is an editable product and you can open the file in PowerPoint to change my categories or make your own! Page 3 of this file is not editable and is ready to use if you do not want to create your own. If you like most of page 3, but would like to change some of the categories, then edit it on page 4 by clicking on the text. If you want to completely make your own edit using page 5. 

To use the same font that I have used download and install the font from these amazing font makers!

If you would like to enter to win this product for FREE please enter below:

The drawing ends at midnight tonight so make sure to enter right away! I will email the lucky winner a copy of this product on Thursday. 

If you can't wait to get your hands on this BACK TO SCHOOL product, then check it out in my store

Also, feel free to follow me on Facebook or Bloglovin' for other future Winner Wednesday FREEBIES and giveaway updates! Winner Wednesday happens the first Wednesday of every month thanks to Jennifer's wonderful link up! Make sure to mark your calendars for September 2nd and check back here for my next Winner Wednesday!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

All Things Bulletin Boards

I am linking up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners to bring you my newest bulletin board and a few bulletin board tips because #2getherwearebetter!

First up is my new bulletin board, just in time for Back to School! My new bulletin board focuses on social skills and character education. It is very important to me that I teach my students social skills early on in the school year. Since I follow a Responsive Classroom approach in my room, I always start the year off teaching my students that "Our Class CARES"! CARES stands for Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-control. These five traits fit right into my curriculum the first month of school because we work so much on setting up routines, exceptions, and rules. 

When students enter the classroom the bulletin board looks quite bare because I want them to be part of the process of putting it up. I first start with just the banner across the top. As I introduce each skill we add the large word and definition to the bulletin board. Once we discuss a trait and fully understand the skill, we then add the “looks like” examples to our board. 

For example, when I introduce the meaning of responsibility we read the Mo Willems book "I Will Take a Nap!" After reading the story we discuss what it means to be responsible and how Gerald was responsible in the book. We come up with a class definition so everyone understands what responsibility means. Then we play a fun game called "Showdown" to sort through task cards with examples and non-examples of responsibly. After this activity students have a better understanding of this social skill and we add the "looks like" cards under the definition. We add to the bulletin board that responsibility looks like; following directions, telling the truth, working hard, completing school work, and keeping our school safe. 

If you are interested in the bulletin board and the 5 lessons that go along with teaching students about CARES click HERE to check out the bundled pack and save $4! 

Next up is a little information about my bulletin boards! I love to have bulletin boards in the classroom that we add to throughout a unit or subject. I usually have a reading bulletin board and then a science or social studies bulletin board. 

Just like with the CARES bulletin board, I will put up a header and then as we learn more about a subject we add to the board. My bulletin board is one large one, so I divide it in half to use it for two different subjects. The board on the left is for our focus on reading and understanding fluency, accuracy, comprehension and expanding vocabulary. The board on the right was from our American Indian unit in social studies. We were learning about Pueblo, Lakota, and Powhatan tribes so we compared their region, homes, land, and transportation. I used string to help divide the sections on this bulletin board. 

A finally, one tip for you! If you don't have too many bulletin boards in your room then get crafty, make some fun anchor charts, and hang them up with Command Hooks! I only have one large bulletin board in my room so in my reading corner I added 6 Command Hooks on the wall and hang three different anchor charts in this area. Using the hooks makes it quick and easy to replace the anchor charts. 

Thanks for checking up my new bulletin board and learning more about bulletin boards in my class. Ashley and Angie will be linking up the 2nd of every month for more #2getherwearebetter!