Monday, July 13, 2020

Shoe-Tying Club

Research says that children are developmentally ready to learn to tie their shoes around age 5.  However, many of my students come to me in first grade not knowing how to do so.  A few years ago, I decided that I was not going to tie shoes for students any longer.  It was a waste of my time, and difficult for me to constantly be bending over.  Plus, let's not discuss touching those disgusting, wet shoelaces!  Hahaha!  As a solution to my problem, I began the "Shoe-Tying Club."  To start the club, I found out who (there are always a few that come to me knowing how to tie) could tie shoes in the classroom.  I would have them show me they can do it, and do it well enough to tie others' shoes.  I added their name to a cutout of a shoe and hung the cutout on the wall.  Anyone that needed their shoe tied would have to look at the wall and find a friend who already knew how to do so.  When I began implementing this system, little did I know how much it would encourage healthy competition and make everyone in the room want to learn to tie, ASAP!  Kids would beg for practice time and I would witness children helping their friends learn to tie without being prompted.  So sweet!  

The Shoe-Tying Club evolved to a bit more two years ago when I began posting photos of the kids that could tie.  Who didn't want their photo on the wall?  Fast forward to this year, when I'll be doing both a shoe cutout and photo, but also adding in a certificate!  In addition, I created some direction cards/posters for students to use as reference as they practice and help one another practice. 

You can find these direction cards/posters, certificates, and shoe cut-outs (along with a parent letter and signage for your display) in my latest product, "Shoe-Tying Club."  Grab it now and start thinking about where you will display it in your classroom!


Monday, July 6, 2020

Healthy Habits Poster Set

We are in uncertain times right now.  The unknown of back to school is hanging heavy on all of our hearts.  While we don't know what will happen in the fall, we do know that eventually, we will be back in our classrooms doing what we love.  Once we return to school, we know that hygiene will be a large part of our day.  I created posters that will help reinforce and remind students of healthy hygiene habits for our little ones.  These posters can be displayed in your classroom as visual reminders.  There are several options for you to choose from, as I know many don't have lots of wall space.  There is a full-page poster included, 1/2 page posters, and full page, individual posters.  Color and black and white are also included.  

Click the cover below to check out my Healthy Habits Posters.  

Stay healthy, friends, and wash your hands!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Kindergarten Crate Summer Stock Up Box

If you have been following me for awhile now, you know that I am a big fan of "The Kindergarten Crate!"  The KC is a monthly subscription box that includes a picture book, student activities and materials, and a teacher gift (or two!).  *Many times the teacher gift is a teacher t-shirt!  *KC asks for your size when you sign up.  Each box has a theme and the picture book and activities correlate nicely with the theme.  

I love getting my box in the mail each month!  It's always fun to see what's inside.  The KC is also a great way to learn about picture books that you may not have seen before.  Hello to stocking up your classroom library!  

You can subscribe month to month, do a 6 month pre-pay, or a 12 month pre-pay.  The KC is available for pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade.  I love that they have different grade level options!  KC makes a wonderful gift for graduates or first year teachers.  It is also a great self-care gift each month.  

Here's a peek at what I received in this month's box.  This box was a "Summer Stock-Up" box and was full of goodies to help replenish your classroom supply.  I especially love the teacher lanyard and Play-Doh alphabet cards!

Next month's theme is "Me and My Community."  The KC will be designed to fit a variety of teaching situations.  It will also include a distance learning pack that goes along with the theme.  PS: It includes a t-shirt!

I have a code for you to use at checkout that will save you some $ on your box if you decide to try out The Kindergarten Crate.  Use code "Wheeler" to save 10%!  


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Birthday Gifts

Good Morning!  I hope those of you that are on summer break are enjoying it!  *For those of you that aren't there yet, I'm thinking of you!  Hang in there!!  While I'm all about taking much needed relaxation time during summer break, I am also about doing some simple projects that will make your back-to-school season a bit less stressful. 

One project that I complete during the summer months is assembling my kids' birthday presents for the year.  Getting them finished during the summer prevents me from scrambling as their birthdays roll around.  In years past, I've created "Birthday Bags," which were bags filled with trinkets, a birthday sticker, and maybe a lollipop.  However, I decided to switch it up last year and went with fun birthday straws.

I purchased my straws from Amazon (affiliate link below) for around $12.  I printed the balloon part on Astro-Brights paper (Amazon affiliate link below) and laminated them.  You could skip this step if you print the balloons on card stock (Amazon affiliate link below) instead.  I used masking tape to secure the balloons to the straws.  I kept my straws near my desk so that each time a birthday came up, I grabbed a straw!  Super simple and thoughtful!  The kids always loved receiving their straws!  I'll definitely be making these again this summer.  To grab the printout of the balloons, click below.

Shop all of my favorite things HERE.


Saturday, June 6, 2020

Early Finisher Board

Hi friends!  Popping in today to share one of my favorite (probably THE favorite) classroom management strategies I use.  Finding things for kids to "do" after they finish their work was always something I worked on as part of my classroom management.  When I first started teaching 16 years ago, I would put out games that I made BY HAND!  Who remembers file-folder games?!  Then when TPT became popular, I bought several products and tried to set up an early finisher station.  That idea was nice, but it required TONS of worksheets being copied.  Our copies were tracked at the time, and I needed to save mine for my actual lessons.  Plus, who really wants to do a bunch of worksheets after they have finished doing their work?  Fast forward a few years later to when I would only let kids read after they finish their work.  I'm all for reading whenever you can, but 6-7 year olds can't hold their attention on books for the amount of time necessary for the rest of the students who are still completing their assignment.  All of these strategies that I tried were good, but nothing was solid.  That is, until I created a game-changer, the "Early Finisher Board."

The board is a single poster or paper (I print mine in good ole' 8.5x11 paper) that can hang on a white board, wall, or bulletin board.  A piece of Velcro goes in the middle of the square on the poster.  Opposing Velcro goes on the choice cards. 

You choose the activity to place on the poster, depending on what you want your kids to do after they finish their work. 

You choose how often you change the activity card.  Personally, I change mine once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  It only takes a minute to switch the card and grab a container of whatever the activity card says.

You decide how you want to set this up.  In my room, I just throw a box of whatever the activity card says on the floor under the board.  However, I have seen more elaborate set-ups using organizational systems like the one shown below.  It's all about what works for you and your students!

I love this management tool because it's hands-on.  What kid doesn't want to play with blocks after they've completed their work?!  I also adore the fact that this doesn't require you to buy anything extra.  This product comes with tons of activity card options!  Use the cards that go with the materials that you have.  In addition, this product is editable, so you can customize the activity cards to match your supplies. 

I very, very rarely have someone complain about the activity on the board.  I also tell my kids that reading is ALWAYS an option. 

If you'd like to check this out, and end the "I'm done; what should I do?" saga, click the product cover below.  Beware: Your classroom management and life will be transformed!!!!!!!!


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday 6 May 31

Good Morning and welcome to another edition of "Sunday 6."  This is a weekly whenever I feel like it or have time to write it series that contains 6 random happenings from my week, or the last several weeks.  Some things are teaching-related and some are related to my personal life.  Enjoy!

I went back to the grocery last week!  It was very exciting.  My husband has been doing the weekly grocery shopping during the quarantine.  While it was great having him shop for us, I felt like I could never ask for anything "weird" (as he would say), because he would call me flipping out about 1. what it was and 2. where it was located in the store.  Hahaha!  I had a good time shopping, but I still felt a bit nervous.  Luckily our local grocery store has been taking tons of precautions and they also require masks.

Our peonies bloomed!  I picked a huge bouquet and have had them on our deck table for a few days now.  They smell amazing!  I would love to bring them inside, but did you know peonies attract ants?  They were covered in ants when I picked them!  

Mr. Wheeler finished our kitchen floor.  It was a big job (particularly the tear out, because there was 6 layers of flooring he had to rip out first...our house was built in 1940) but it turned out beautiful!  I am so thankful that he knows how to do this things, and is so good at them!

We had a "reverse parade" at my school building last week, as a final send off to our students.  The families drove through a "tunnel" that the staff made with our cars and we waved and yelled and held up signs and balloons.  It was great to see the kids and staff members, as well.  Below is a photo of two of my teammates.

Because our local pool won't be opening this summer, I had to take matters into my own hands and purchase a blow-up pool for the backyard.  Hahahaha!  Kind of random, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?  I have never not had or gone to a pool in my entire life.  So I guess you could say I am spoiled in that aspect!  This is working out just fine!  Water is water, right?  

I mailed off my kids' end of the year packets and they have received them by now.  If you saw THIS POST, I mentioned what all I sent.  I enjoy making these bookmarks for my students each year.  The kids love that their names are on them, too!  I've linked them below in case you are looking for something to give to your students.  They are easy to mail if you are unable to give your students a gift in person.

Have a fantastic week!