Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bright Ideas Blog Link Up- Quick and Easy Station Rotation Chart {All Grades}

Yes! It's that time again!

This monthly blog link up is one of my favorites! There are so many amazing ideas shared by so any talented and creative teachers and I can't wait to check out their ideas!

So this month, I have something that you are going to love! As we all know, station or center rotation charts can be a  little expensive and hard to manage. I am the first to admit that it was a class job for my kiddos because I would get so into my small group lesson that would never get to the chart to rotate the stations.  This was something that worked out perfectly for me and I hope that you can use it too! 

Using Power Point, I created a slide for my rotations. Each kiddo was assigned their small group number and this was on a dot on their desk. The great thing about the sticker dots, is that if I wanted to change their group, all I had to do was drop another sticker on top! Yay for super easy!

Once I created the first slide, I changed the group numbers on the rest of the slides and then put it on a timer. 

Every 20  minutes, the PowerPoint would switch and a new rotation would begin. My students had fun putting in sounds and music to transition the slides and loved getting to change the sounds as a reward!

This worked out so well for my kiddos and for me too! The benefits of having this was that it was easy to make and easy to manage. The slide show took me about 10 minutes to make and can be edited very easily. I can change the theme of the station chart (this one was a beach theme for our last few days of school) quickly, edit it from home and can make changes to the stations in a click of the mouse!

After trying several different ways of organizing my stations, this is by far the best system that I have used and I can't wait to make more templates to add to our themes throughout the year!

(Want to save this for later? Here is a Pin for you!)

I truly hope that you enjoyed this bright idea and I would love for you to  joining me on  Facebook,  Instagram  or Pinterest for more fun ideas! 

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. See you next month!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bright Ideas- Summer Reading List

I can't believe that the school year is wrapping it! This year went by so quickly and I have been so lucky to have one of the best classes in my 15 years of teaching (and I was able to be their teacher twice...woohoo!)

As the summer approaches, I love to spend time thinking about what I can improve on for next year. Planning begins quickly and the search of new strategies, techniques and approaches are necessary for making next year great! So for this Bright Idea, I thought I would share a few of the great books that I have planned to read this summer....#booknerd...

I am a huge reader and have a large list of books to read that will help build my teacher toolbox for next year. This summer I have the following books that I think are going to be AMAZING!

I will just let you know that this list is ever growing! Two other great books that have made my list are....

I love to be collaborative so you know that I will be planning several conversations about these to get tons of  POVs!  Another great thing about these books is that there are awesome Twitter chats that will get you involved, thinking and sharing in 140 characters or less! How fabulous is that? Make sure to check out each of the authors on Twitter so you can also get in on the conversation! 

You can chat with my on Twitter too! My twitter handle is @curlsandasmile and I can't wait to connect and share ideas with you! This is going to be an awesome summer! 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Quick and Easy Dry Erase

Whew! It has been CRAZY these last couple of weeks with our second ground of state testing coming up next week! I am so happy to take a break from all the madness to share with you another one of my little tricks of the trade and join the lovely bloggers in the Bright Ideas Link Up this month!

I absolutely love to see my students demonstrate their thinking while we are working in class. It is such a powerful tool and it allows me to check in and see what their understanding of the concept is at different moments of learning. With that being said, my kiddos write on their desks all the time! But there are times when I want them to move freely, group with students that are not at their table or maybe just work independently...but away from their desks.  

So my kiddos and I love to use this super easy and quick way to have an instant dry erase surface. 

Here is what you need: Clear View Binder (I bought mine at the Dollar General...happy dance!), dry erase markers and white paper.

The beauty of this little trick is that it is so versatile. All you have to do is out the paper into the clear sleeve on the cover and then write away! 

It has been such a easy way to give students another writing surface. The best part is that you can out anything from passages that students can use to provide text evidence to math word problems! It works great in stations and best of all, the kiddos have a writing space when they are doing their homework. That alone won me some major cool points with my fourth graders!

Don't you just love it?

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bright Ideas March Blog Hop

am so excited to be joining so many wonderful bloggers this month for the Bright Ideas Blog Hop! 

I don't know about you but my kiddos are always losing supplies. From pencils to crayons, it is so hard to keep supplies in order throughout our super busy day. The ones that go missing most often...lids for our glue sticks and markers!

So I decided to try a little trick...and it has helped! I set up two little baskets near my trash can. When kiddos go to throw away their empty glue sticks and dried markers, they are asked to drop the kids in my baskets before they throw them away.

Now, when students can't find the lids to perfectly good glue or markers, they can go to our recycled tops basket! They can replace them easily and the life of our supplies is extended! It's simple but it has helped keep our supplies in our school boxes and out of the trash can. It has been a great lesson on recycling and the importance of taking care of our supplies so that they have the tools they need to learn in class. 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Howdy! Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop! I have teamed up with over 40 bloggers from all over Texas to share fun facts, freebies and a giveaway just for you! We will be sharing about what we love about our state, as well as engaging and fun activities that you can use in your classroom. At the bottom of this post, you will see all the awesome bloggers that are participating and the rafflecopter for a super giveaway.  So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfy and have a wonderful time traveling across Texas!

My name is Lynda and I write this cute little blog! I have taught for 15 years, most of which were in first grade. I now currently teach fourth grade and absolutely love it! They are so fun to be around at this age and are truly becoming independent learners. I'm a momma of a beautiful daughter and my furry baby of 13 years. I leave in a small town just west of Houston.

One of the things that I love most about my town is the small town feel that it has. I have been teaching at my school for 11 years and I have seen siblings pass through my classroom and families continue to grow. For many of my students, I have known them since they were little and have had the opportunity to watch them grow. 

I am always looking for something fun and engaging that will allow me to teach the content that I have in a way that is exciting to the kids. Using technology in the classroom is essential. Most recently, I have started using KaHoot with my students and they love it! It's a fast paced and entertaining way to practice just about any skill that you can imagine! It's been such a success and I have written a little more about it on Blog Hoppin'.

Here are a few of the freebies that I have shared on my blog about Texas... just click here and here for the posts about our great state of Texas! 

Last, but certainly not least is our awesome giveaway! All you have to do is use the rafflecopter to have a chance to win and don't forget to check out the rest of the terrific blogs that are in this blog hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Go Noodle Sanity Savers

Oh I love you! I have been using it for two school years and they absolutely love it! If you haven't used seriously need to check it out! Go that little cloud... you won't be disappointed!

I am joining my sweet friend Elizabeth of Kickin' It in Kindergarten to share a little bit about how GoNoodle helps save my sanity!

One of my kiddos favorite Brain Breaks is The Continental Drift from Ice Age! They are really get into it and are so funny! The best part...I love to join in on the fun too! 

One of the sanity saving features that GoNoodle provides is beign able to "favorite" your brain breaks. Once you find one that you absolutely love, just click on the favorite button at the bottom of the page and it saves it for quick access...and trust me...sometimes you need quick access! LOL...

My happy place is definitely in my comfy warm bed with a good book! The winter break sure did spoil me and I love just being able to stop, breathe and enjoy a little quiet time. I always have a huge stack of books on my bed. Anything from school to pleasure, books are essential.

I absolutely love all things that have to do with office supplies. The office supply aisle in any store...that's where you can find me! I recently discovered the cutest add on stickers for my planner from The Modern Teacher...and yes, I have special pens just for my calendar! 

Last, but certainly not least, is my coffee. 99% of the time, you will see me with a cup of hot, delicious coffee. Needless to say, I have a Gold Card at Starbucks. It's one of my most favorite things....yummy!  
I'm off to check the awesome linky! Come join in the fun too! 
Can't wait to read your posts!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 12 of The Twelve Days of Christmas with Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs

Oh my word! This has been the most amazing 12 days of giveaways hosted by my dear friend Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs! 

I am so excited and super proud to be joining all the amazing bloggers that have shared in this giveaway. Today, I am partnered up with three other fabulous bloggers to give you a great giveaway for day 12! 

These amazing bloggers have awesome resources and all you have to do is follow them on TpT to find out about their resources! My good friend Zippy has fabulous clip art and if you haven't checked out her will love it! 

Want to see more? Come check out our little shops:

1. Curls and a Smile -
2. Teaching With Grace -
3. Creating Teaching Inspiring -…/Creating-Teaching-Insp…
4. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs -…/Zip-a-dee-doo-dah-Desi…
So do you want to join our giveaway? All you have to do is check out the raffle copter below: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway