Positional Words Fun!

I love teaching about positional words during my Farm Unit with the book Rosie's Walk.  See how I created easy to make manipulatives to do this fun activity.  Click on the picture to check out my post on the Ellison Education Blog!


Halloween Costume DIY

Want to check out how I turned these

Into this?

Head on over to the Ellison blog to check out my idea for a fun and easy Halloween costume that also doubles as an ugly Christmas sweater for your holiday parties.  You can also check out other fun costume ideas for you and your family!

Bright Idea for Morning Procedures

I am a big, huge, ginormous proponent for teaching kids procedures.  Every single year we work extremely hard on our morning procedures because I feel that it just helps us get our day off on the right foot.

By October (if not sooner), my students have mastered our morning procedures and could pretty much come in and get the day started without any help from me.  It is amazing to watch their independence and it's great for when I have a sub.

First things first, I am sure you are wondering how I get this independence to happen.  LOTS of practice.  We practice our procedures multiple times throughout the day the first couple weeks of school.  I know it may seem like I am taking valuable time away from our day to practice these procedures, but the pay off in the long run is well worth it.

Then I create a flowchart with each step of our morning procedures.  This way I can easily reference to it when a student is unsure of what to do.  This is always a great visual for a substitute.

Lastly, I make sure to stand where the students are moving their lunch name and grabbing their morning work to monitor and make sure they are following the procedures.  Once they are independent in this I am busy doing other things during this time.

This year my morning procedures are especially important as we come in from the playground at 7:50 and have to be at a specialist some days at 8:05.  That doesn't give us much time to hang up coats and backpacks, do lunch count, attendance, and put away our lunch boxes.

What do you do for morning procedures?  Do you practice them and use visuals?  I would love to hear how you handle it in the comments below.

If you liked this idea, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see more ideas.  To see other bright ideas, check out the other posts on the link-up below!


Saying NO to Whole Group Bathroom Breaks!

Before I even start this blog post I should state that I do not have a bathroom in my classroom.  Most schools in my district do not have a bathroom in the classrooms.

Now, let's talk about bathroom breaks and why I refuse to take my whole class to the bathroom for a "bathroom break."
 It wastes A LOT of instructional time.  When I used to take my whole class on a bathroom break, it would take between 10 to 15 minutes.  We would take two bathroom breaks a day.  That is a loss of almost 30 minutes of instructional time a day!
 Less behavior problems.  Ninety-nine percent of my behavior problems came from either the playground or the BATHROOM!  When there is a group of children in the bathroom it is inevitable, there will be problems.
Students don't have to go to the bathroom "on demand."  When you take your whole class to the bathroom, you are basically expecting them to go "on demand" but our bodies don't work like that.

Now that you know why I no longer take my students to the bathroom as a group you may be wondering what I do instead.

We have hand signals for a tissue, bathroom, and drink of water.  My students know to put up the amount of fingers for what they need.  I just shake my head yes or no depending on what we are doing and if it is a good time for the student to leave the classroom.

One question I always get from other teachers is "Aren't your students always asking to go?"  My answer is NO!  Because no one hears another student asking to go to the bathroom it reduces that domino effect you normally have.  All my students see is me nodding my head yes or no.  Many times the other students don't even notice me nodding.

Want my hand signal posters for free?  Just click on the image below and grab them for yourself!

How do you handle bathroom breaks with your students?  Let me know in the comments below!


GoNoodle In the Classroom

I am joining some of my fabulous blogging buddies as well as GoNoodle to share some great ways to step up your GoNoodle game in the classroom!  If you haven't signed up yet for your FREE GoNoodle account, then click here to get started.  You don't know what you are missing!

I LOVE that GoNoodle has so many different types of activities.  You can choose which type of activity you want your students to do by clicking on the categories button once you log in.

I usually plan out my GoNoodle brain breaks a bit.  I like to do one after each lesson in my classroom.  If my students have been sitting then I like to do something from the guided dancing, sports and exercise, or free movement categories.

If my students have just been able to be a little louder, for instance if we were doing some cooperative learning structures, then I usually choose an activity from the calming or coordination categories.

Before any assessment, we always do a calming activity.  It helps my students calm down and focus so much better on what they are doing.

Another thing I use GoNoodle for is practicing decomposing the number ten.  Don't look at me like I'm crazy....I see you over there.  It's true.  Each time we finish a brain break and our champ shows up with the bar we talk about what number we are at and how many more we need to get to ten.

By doing this quick little conversation, my students gain so much number sense and then when we start decomposing numbers in math my students already have some knowledge of this.

One lucky reader is going to win a GoNoodle Tumbler!  How adorable are these.  I just ordered mine and can't wait to start using it in my classroom.  Just go to the rafflecopter below to try to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to stock up on other GoNoodle swag?  Use the code BTSwithGoNoodle at check for 15% off your order.

You can also hop over to the GoNoodle blog to check out more great ideas!