Saturday, July 23, 2016

My Free & Easy Classroom Reward Binder . . . Or "How I Replaced The Classroom Treasure Chest FOREVER!"

Happy almost-August folks!  I have NO IDEA how we got here so fast, but HERE. WE. ARE.

It's hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that I made a decision to switch schools AND grade levels.  Crazy, right? 

Oh . . . and did I mention that this decision happened a week before the first day of school??!!  As in, my kindergarten room was pretty much set up and ready to go, I was pumped to be starting my 9th year in kindergarten and have some pretty sweet returning families . . . and then IT happened.

I had an opportunity to teach with my teaching bestie Kerri B. 

Ever since I was pink slipped during budget layoffs years ago and we ended up at different school we ALWAYS said how fun/great/wonderful/fabulous/cool it would be if we could ever teach together again . . .

Well, God's timing sure is funny sometimes!

Anyhow . . . if you had NO IDEA that I was in first grade last year that would be because: 1) I fell off the blogging bandwagon, 2) I hardly had time to take a picture of what we were up to AND 3) I had no idea what I was doing most of the time . . . Okay, maybe just SOME of the time.

Luckily, there were some things that I was able to bring over from kindergarten that I easily used with my FAB FIRSTIES. 

One of those was my classroom reward binder!

Once upon a time I did have a treasure chest, and spent lots of time and money making sure that it was well-stocked with lots of fun trinkets, that there were plenty of choices of things for both boys and girls . . . blah, blah, blah.  Then I heard about having a classroom reward binder with things for my kiddos to choose as a prize that were FREE and I. WAS. SOLD.

I had a binder for many years, but last summer I gave it a lil makeover . . . and I hafta say that it is pretty darn cute. Amiright?

If you aren't familiar with the way a classroom reward binder works, it is SO EASY. 

First, you decide what rewards you would like your class to choose from.  I made 24 different reward choices, but I did not actually put all of those choices in my binder.  I wanted to start the year off with a few choices, and then add some more and keep changing the choices up so that my students would stay excited to pick from the binder.

{Disclaimer: There are SOME rewards in the binder that are ALWAYS a choice that my kiddos just loooooooove and they would be crushed if those choices were taken out . . . choices like Stinky Feet, Thump Bump and Fluffy Friend.}

Next, you need to create your binder.  I printed out the reward choices full-size and put them in page protectors in our classroom reward binder. Anytime a student earns a reward, they know where the binder is and they can flip through and peruse the choices. :)

In the back of the binder I put in baseball card collector sheets.  I found mine at a local sports memorabilia store and was able to buy them by the sheet.  These are the perfect size to store the reward coupons in!  When a student picks a reward, they take the corresponding coupon from the back of the binder. So easy and convenient!  

The coupons serve as a reminder - students sometimes leave their coupon in their pencil box so they remember they have (fill in the blank prize) the next day OR some rewards need a take-home reminder . . . like if they chose Fluffy Friend and want to bring a favorite stuffed animal to school the next day.  Their lil coupon that they take home will be a great reminder at home to pick their stuffed animal and pack it in their backpack.

Finally, you need to have your classroom reward plan in place.  My reward binder corresponds to my classroom behavior chart. Students who move their pin up get a sticker at the end of the day that they put into their work folder on a little chart.  When a student gets 5 stickers, they get to pick a reward.  After they get a reward, they have to work to get 5 more stickers, and so on.  This part can totally be tailored to whatever works best for you and your students.

The point is that rewarding your students can be much, much easier.  And cost-effective.  And fun.

Ready for a cute story?

Once I was gone for a teacher training and one of my ittiest bittiest kiddos went right up to the substitute teacher for that day and announced to him, "I have STINKY FEET!"  Well, that sub was pretty confused and didn't know what to say, so he just tried to ignore the Itty Bitty.  So she said it again . . . "No really, I have STINKY FEET today!"  Finaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally, after some explaining from the other students (and a classroom aide who happened to be in the room), the sub realized that Itty Bitty was trying to tell him that she had a reward called Stinky Feet for the day - which basically meant she got to take her shoes off all day. :)

Interested in making the jump from a treasure chest to a classroom reward binder?  Or perhaps you already are doing the reward binder but it's time for a lil update?  You can check out my Free & Easy Classroom Rewards in my TPT store HERE.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm off to have some delicious BBQ with the family . . . hooray for summer break! :)
Talk to y'all soon!





Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Summer Olympics are coming!!!!

Good Morning, friends! Kerri here...

I LOVE the Summer Olympics! Like, I seriously LOVE them. I love the theme song, I love the opening ceremonies, I love Bob Costa announcing and commentating, I love this guy...
Oh Michael, I forgive you for getting all wild and crazy at that party after the last Olympics. You were obviously under alot of stress!

Most of all, I love this sport and these gentlemen...their muscles are HUGE!  I mean, they are AMAZING talented on those rings! 

What I DO NOT love, however, is when I go on the internet and Yahoo ruins it for me by announcing winners before I have actually watched the event. DANGIT!

To celebrate the upcoming Summer Olympics in BRAZIL this summer, I have created my Summer Olympics! Math and Literacy Centers Pack!! Cue Olympics theme song...
This pack is the perfect way to get your little cuties all excited about the upcoming Summer Olympics (remember, most of them were wee babies when the Olympics were on last time!) AND this packet is sure to keep them engaged during the "I could care less about school cause I want it to be summer already" period that we are all going through right now! Am I right??
Here is what you get... 10 centers total!

Literacy Centers:
-Summer Olympics Contractions-
laminate and cut out Olympics word cards. Students use cards to match up the contractions and fill out the 2-sided worksheet.
-Summer Olympics! Sentence Scramble-
laminate and cut out word cards. Students unscramble sentences and complete the 2-sided worksheet, adding correct capitalization and punctuation.
-Summer Olympics! ABC Order-
laminate and cut out word cards. Students put cards in ABC order and complete the ABC ORder worksheet.
-Summer Olympics! Making Words-
laminate and cut out letter cards. Students use letters to make words and write those words on the worksheet.
-Summer Olympics! Vowel Sort-
laminate and cut out word cards. Students sort words by short or long vowel and then complete corresponding 2-sided worksheet.

Math Centers:
-Summer Olympics! Bar Graph-
laminate and cut out Olympics picture cards. Students sort cards and then make a bar graph and answer questions based on the data on 2-sided worksheet.
-Summer Olympics! Fact Family Sort-
laminate and cut out fact family and number sentence cards. Students sort number sentences by fact family and record their work on worksheet.
-Summer Olympics! Add 3-
laminate and cut out number cards. Students sort cards by picture, add the 3 numbers on the cards, and write number sentences on worksheet
-Summer Olympics! Subtraction Match-Ups-
laminate and cut out number cards. Students match subtraction facts with their sums and record number sentences on the worksheet.
-Summer Olympics! Part/Part/Whole-
laminate and cut out part/part/whole number cards and the missing number cards. Students put the missing numbers where they belong on the part/part/whole cards and write the corresponding addition or subtraction fact on the worksheet.

You can also get the Summer Olympics Writing Center companion!

Click on any of the above pictures to go to my TPT store. You won't regret it, I promise! :)

Go USA......and Michael Phelps. :)

Monday, May 2, 2016


Good Morning, friends!! Kerri and Lindsay here…

Thank you Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for the adorable button!
Well, it's FINALLY here! TPT will be having a Teacher Celebration sale on Tuesday and Wednesday and both of our stores will be 20% off. Combined with the extra 10% off that TPT is offering, you can get 28% off! What a killer deal!

Here are some  Goodies from Kerri's TPT store you might be interested in to get you prepared for next year or to use for the end of this year (click on each picture to get a closer look)…

My BRAND NEW HOT OFF THE PRESSES Ocean Animal Writing Unit!! Guaranteed to get your kiddos' excited to learn and write about lots of different ocean animals!

Word Family Notebooks anyone?? Only the bestest way to get your kids writing and learning about different word families!!

Or how about an easy way for your kiddos to show growth in writing with my Monthly Writing Prompts Pack?

Super Sentences to the Rescue!! Get your kids writing juicy sentences!!!

How about a Number Representation Pack to help your kiddos represent numbers in lots of different ways??

Or maybe my Word of the Week! Print and Go Pack? Perfect for warm-ups or literacy centers!

Sentence Scramble Centers for the entire school year...

Sight Word Practice mats...

Context Clues Riddle Centers for the whole school year...

 Blending Puzzles Bundle...

My best-selling Rainforest Art and Writing Unit...

And if all that shopping goodness isn't enough, here are some great things to check out in Lindsay's TPT store as well:

SUPER AWESOME Science Notebooks for your little learners:

Get your kiddos writing with some fun, easy and INDEPENDENT Write the Room {All Year Long} activities!

Give your behavior management & reward system an update with Free & Easy Classroom Rewards!  Over 24 reward items to choose from for your little cuties!  Say GOODBYE classroom treasure chest, HELLO free & easy rewards!

 It's never too early to start thinking about the end of the year, right? (Tee hee!)  Seriously though - your kidlets will love these Little Miss & Mr. Fabulous {End of the Year Class Awards For All Your guys & Gals} certificates that celebrate all of the wonderful & unique students in your class!

Get a head start on those sight words with my Trace It, Write It, Find It, Make It - Sight Word Practice Pack!

So many great resources - my Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy CVC pack will give you everything you need to get your kiddos fluently reading, writing and building CVC words!

Lotsa number practice for beginning numbers with my Nifty Numbers 0-10 set! (My favorite -making numbers and filling ten frames with play-doh!)

An oldie but a goodie - my Poetry from A to Z pack!  I have done poetry every single year with my kinder kiddos and they look forward to learning/reading/illustrating our new poem . . . Every. Single. Week.

And HOT off the presses . . . you can also pick up my brand spankin' new Classroom Rules {For Your Littlest Learners}.

We hope you get your SALE on tomorrow and Monday!! We know we will be! Thanks friends...

Kerri & Lindsay

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's a BIG OLD SALE!!!!!

Happy Sunday folks!!  Kerri and Lindsay here . . .

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a super successful Black Friday!! Well, get ready to shop AGAIN because TPT is having a GINORMOUS Cyber Monday and Tuesday SALE!!

Thank you Traci from Dragonflies in First for the ADORBS button!!

That's right. You can get 28% off all of the products in both of our stores! BAARGAIN!!
Here are some goodies from Kerri's shop you might want to pick up for the Holidays and the upcoming New Year...

You can get a closer look by clicking on any of the pictures above! Thanks friends!!
Kerri B

And here are some goodies from Lindsay's store your kiddos will love in the coming months: