Saturday, July 28, 2018

Organize Exit Tickets


Exit Tickets are a great way to quickly assess how well students understand a concept. I have had a  people ask me how I organize my Exit Tickets after students take them. I know some teachers send them home, unless they are collecting data or intervention. I like to keep them. You never know when a student might struggle later. Plus, they are aligned to all of the Common Core Standards which makes report cards easier, I have a few different ideas for you. Hopefully, one will fit your teaching styles. If you haven't bought Exit Tickets yet, now is a good time. For a limited time, I have my ELA Exit Ticket Bundle and my Math Exit Ticket Bundle ON SALE for 50% off.



The easiest way is to give every student a file folder and put them in the folder as students complete them. I try to do 1-2 exit tickets every week for Math and for Literacy. At the end of the grading period, I will use these to help with grades. If the student is doing well and I do not need any additional documentation, I will send these home.


Do your students have a traveling notebook for Math and Literacy? Have students glue them into their notebook. Then, they are organized for the year. If you print them at 85%, you will actually be able to print two at a time. 

Teacher Tip: Did you know you print center recording sheets at 85% as well to glue in their notebook. I check 3-5 notebooks everyday, allowing me to check them all by the end of the week. I can quickly see who understands a concept, and who doesn't.


Thee next two ideas can be used with a pronged folder or a binder, depending on your preferred organization. I would not put this is a binder or folder that goes home everyday. Instead, I would create a data binder or folder at school for each student. In this top picture, I placed them in a page protector. I put all of the Letter Recognition tickets on the bottom and all of the letter recognition on the top. This is how I store mine and I was surprised that they didn't slide down. If you are concerned, put a binder blip at the top and then they won't slip.


Same concept here, except I skipped the page protector and just hole punched them. Hopefully, one of these organizational ideas will help you. Let me know if you have any questions,




I also have Math Centers that come with thematic Exit Tickets specific to each center. As an added bonus, you also get printables.



Friday, July 27, 2018

Brag Tag Bracelets

Have you tried Brag Tags yet? I LOVE them. They are a great way to make kids feel special. They help to create a positive classroom environment. They can be used as a positive behavior system.

 I created Brag Tag Bracelets. They are extra fun for youngsters. There are over 40 different  bracelets. They are all in black and white so kids can wear them home and tell their family all about their amazing day. I printed mine on Astrobright paper.



I like the idea of writing on the back what the kids did to earn the bracelet. It is so important to teach social emotional learning in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade. Kids need to be told specifically WHAT they did well so they can repeat that good behavior. Plus, this helps with parent communication. It is crucial that we communicate the positive with parents, no just the negative. This helps to foster a positive relationship between parents and schools.


Binder clips are a great way to keep them organized. When I get into my classroom, I am going to put command hooks inside a cabinet shelf and hang them with the binder clips.

These Brag Tag Bracelets include adorable seasonal options. I plan on printing a class set the week of the holiday. If all of the kids earn a bracelet, we will do something special to celebrate!


Keeping with the Positive theme, earlier this summer, I shared the FREE Positive Behavior Clip Chart. You can read the entire post here. I shared that when a kid is always moving down, you really shouldn't use the chart. It is not meaningful for that child. Instead, I recommend gving that child their own chart.


I created this FREE Chart that you can find here. The thumbs up stickers came from the Dollar Tree. I use these differently for each child. Some kids need multiple opportunities in a short time to get a reward. One sticker for sitting. One sticker for raising hand. One sticker for keeping hands to self. One sticker for staying quiet. Some kids need to earn all 5 stickers in 5 minutes, and then take a five minute break. I know that sounds like, wow, they are not working at all if they take a break every 5 minutes.
 This is the best teaching advice that I have for you.
You must get the behaviors under control before you can focus on the academics.

Some kids come to school with zero readiness skills. Five minutes on the carpet may be their limit (in extreme cases, 1 min). Over time, you will be able to increase the amount of time they work. I will write a post about using a work-system soon!

Looking for more resources on social emotional learning? Click here. These are a few of my favorite Read Alouds.





Saturday, July 14, 2018

Back to School Word Work (Free Resources Included)

Word Work is so important in Kindergarten and in First Grade. Throughout the year, I expose kids to letters and sounds and back to school is no different. Kindergarten can be tricky because some kids do not even know the names of the letters in their name. I think it is important to expose kids to all of the letters right away. You never know which letters will stick. Then, I will go through the letters slower, for students who may need that.


I LOVE using Pocket Charts. This is a letter sort for letters with holes and without. This helps students to really look at the letters, even if they do not know the names yet. In my Back to School Word Work, you can get this pocket chart sort, tall, short, hanging letters sort, and a sort for letters in my name, not in my name.


After introducing the letters in the pocket chart, you can move to centers with the same activities. You can also fin thee sorting boards in my Back to School Word Work.


In small group, I like these letter recognition cards. They include a small picture at the top to help students associate the letter with the sound. Thee are great for Guided Reading at the beginning of the year and then they can be transitioned to an independent word work center.


Matching Letters to Picture cards can be used in a pocket chart, Guided Reading Groups, or Independent practice. For students who know their letters and sounds, make it a challenge by them play memory.


These cards can be used for so many activities. In the beginning of the year, I use them in Guided Reading. I put them in a cute box, pass it around the group, have students pull out the card, say the letter, the picture, and the sound (make sure they say ALL THREE). If they don't know it, just model for them. Eventually, they will get there. this is another favorite from my Back to School Word Work.


These Letter Formation cards are perfect for teaching how to write the letters. they come in both Print and D'Nealian. You can put them in a cute tub and have students randomly pull out a letter, say the name of the letter, and then trace the letter.

Roll a Letter makes a great center, after you have taught letter formation. This FREE Resource is also Editable. You can print it on color paper and laminated it for multiple uses with a dry erase marker. You can get this Free Editable Roll a Letter HERE.

Teacher Tip: When your laminated sheets start to look yucky, use a magic eraser to clean them. I also avoid red on laminated sheets. Eventually, it won't come off. I like to to stick to black, for lamination.


Picture sorts are an essential piece  word work. If kids do not know the letters or sounds yet, you can model the letter, have the student repeat, model the sound, have the student repeat. After all the picture cards have been sorted, have the students repeat all the letters and sounds. Daily exposure to letters and sounds will help transfer the skills into students long term memory. This is in my Beginning Sounds Word Work unit.


These puzzles are perfect for an independent Word Work center. I recomend you have an amazing parent cut these out. They take a LONG time! You can fin this in a Beginning Sounds Word Work.

 I LOVE Roll, Say, Keep Games. The kids love Roll, Say, Keep Games. They are fun with a partner or small groups.


I like to use these letter cards in my Guided Reading Groups. You can use letter tiles, magnets, or you can have students write their letters with a dry erase marker (less prep because yo don't have to sort out the letters!!! lol).



Aren't these FREE Letter cards adorable? You can have students match letters to them or cut them in half as a matching game. Easy Peasy!

I hope I gave you same great ideas for back to school word work!