1. Birthday Balloons
I saw this idea on pinterest a while ago and knew I had to do it. I decided to do the silly straw version. You can get 8 straws at the dollar tree in a pack. So for $4 I got 24 straws to turn into balloons. I printed the balloons from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure and taped them onto the straws. When I get into my classroom (because that is where my passes are) I am going to staple a homework pass to each balloon. And my students now have a birthday happy!
2. Lightbulb Moment
I have seen a lot of bloggers post about this and I was dying to get to Target to get these lightbulbs. Luckily ours still had a few when I went in. And I grabbed the cute container for them too. I got the label from There's No Place Like Second Grade. But I decided mine were going to be used as something different. It seems most people are using them as brain breaks. I decided to use them in my "time out" spot. In responsive classroom, one of the logical consequences is time out. I, of course, will not be calling it Time Out. I am going to tell children to take a lightbulb moment. They will go to the designated area of the room, get a lightbulb to squeeze out their emotions, and fill out a reflection form. This will then be taken home and signed by parents to alert them of their child's behavior. You can grab a copy for free here.
3. Put your name on it!
I also saw the idea on pinterest to have students highlight their name before turning their work in. My students turn work into the drawer with the coordinating subject. Whenever they have an assignment I take a pretyped slip of paper with all their names on it and write the assignment name on it (I usually have over 100 of these slips waiting on my desk) and stick it in the drawer. Students turn their paper in when they finish and cross their name off. But I can not tell you how many would forget their name. So adding this extra step will hopefully help.
4. Missing pieces bucket
We got a new math series last year and with it came all new manipulatives. No matter how hard I tried to make the students put the pieces in neat piles when using them and to only take out what was needed and even COUNT how many they had, somehow I magically ended up with pieces on the floor. So we had a ziploc bag that I kept putting the pieces in. This bucket makes life so much easier because when they find a piece they can just put it in the bucket themselves instead of having to give it to me to find the inevitably MIA ziploc bag.
See- I told you I have been busy!