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Monday Made It - Absent Work Folder FREEBIE!

Happy Monday, friends!

I'm joining Tara for Monday Made It this week! I'm starting to get a little nostalgic about school starting back...I mean, the school supplies are out at Target, people! I'm not quite ready yet, but my battery is definitely at least halfway charged now!
Last year was my first year to fourth grade. I LOVED the challenge of a new grade and teaching 110 kids, but all year I definitely felt like I didn't quite "have it together." I kept telling myself it would be easier next year, and I know it will be! I'll be prepared for my students this year (or try to be! HA!)
Something that my teammates do is pass around a make-up work folder for students who are absent. When you have 5 classes and then the flu goes around the school....these will DEFINITELY be used.

I made these little folders into an EDITABLE FREEBIE so that you can make your life easier, too! I printed the sheets on Avery shipping labels that are 8 1/2x11, but you could just as easily print, laminate, and then tape to the front of your folder. The file is editable so you can put your name on the front cover and then type out the subjects you need on the insert page.

My second MMI is a lightbox! I LOVE this new classroom trend...I'm already working on printing out a bunch of little sayings and quotes for my classroom!

Nouns {FREEBIE included!}

Hi friends!
Now that I've taken a little breather in June - {we had birthday parties for both of my kids - so you know what kind of a "breather" that is ;)} I'm ready to hit the ground running for July! Teaching nouns is one of the first things we start content with in the beginning of the school year, so I put together a little packet of printables, interactive notebook pages, and games to use when we start back!

Scroll all the way to the bottom for a little freebie! 

My teammate had a cute game like this for prepositional phrases that my kids went crazy over (I ended up laminating them and putting them in free station baskets)

Click HERE or on the picture above to grab this page from the packet as a preview. I hope you enjoy!

Father's Day Gifts

Happy Monday, friends!
I'm joining my friend Tara for Monday Made It again! This week I made coasters for my husband, dad, and father-in-law for Father's Day. I made these with my students also before school let out but I was too busy to take pictures! One of my teammates has made these in the past with students and I *loved* the idea....they turn out so cute!
I bought some 4x4 white porcelain tiles from Lowes for 16 cents a piece - this project is totally economical for making with your class! I have 22 students and it was just around $8 for my total cost...mostly because I am a craft hoarder and had most of the material on hand. 

I took pictures of my students (and then later, my kids) against a solid background - for my kids I used the side of our house and I love how the brick looks in the background! I wrote "My Dad Rocks!" on a little chalkboard that my kids held in the picture. I printed the pictures 4x6 and then cut them down to 4x4. 4x4 tiles are a teeny bit bigger than 4x4 so there will be a perfect little white frame around the pictures. 
 Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile and then place your picture on top. Wait a second before putting the top layer of Mod Podge on so the picture doesn't slide around. You will want to do 2 coats of Mod Podge on top - make sure each coat is dry before beginning the next!
 After the Mod Podge layers are dry, take the coasters outside and spray paint over the tiles with clear acrylic, enamel, or polyurethane. This will prevent the pictures from getting water damaged! After the tiles have dried, you'll want to place them somewhere where the clearcoat can air out for at least a day to harden.
 Once they're all dry, place sticky felt dots (like the kind you put under furniture so it doesn't scratch) on each corner of the tiles. (I forgot to take a picture!)
 Perfect little gifts for any dad around! 
Hop over to Tara's blog to check out the rest of the Monday Made Its this week! 

Motivation Marbles

Happy first Monday in June, you guys!
I'm happy to be guest posting over at my dear friend Tara's blog today for Monday Made It! MMI is one of my very favorite summer traditions so I'm excited to get the ball rolling for summer starting. Here's a little sneak peek of what I crafted this week. Hop over to Tara's blog to read more! {and snag up those cute little labels!}

Poetry Writing

Mother's Day is just around the corner and if you're a Last-Minute Lucy like me (hand raised, here!) then you're still looking for great ideas for Mother's Day gifts. We're smack dab in the middle of a poetry unit so, naturally, we've been writing poems for mom this week!
 Y'all...there is nothing more genuine than hearing fourth grader's poems to mom. Most are sweet and a little bit silly, but there are some that are downright hilarious. I've got to get some pictures for you once we complete the finished product!

We used this little page to brainstorm and get our brains thinking about what we should write about Mom. Snag the freebie up {click the picture below} then head on over to my store to check out the rest of the pack!

Building confidence in writing

Every one of us has had that moment with a child...they shut down and simply refuse to write. I remember my first student...a kindergartener who would hide under the table and say that she didn't want to write. :( It was my first year of teaching (in kindergarten) and I really wasn't sure what to do. Writing is not as natural to students as reading, and it takes hard work!

Now that I teach fourth grade, at the beginning of the year (on the second day of school) I ask my students to write freely. I ask them to write "When I write I..." and write every little detail that comes to their minds while writing. I write right along with them every time we write. Once we finish this activity, I have my students place their journals in two baskets: one for me to read, the other if they don't want me to read. I'm always amazed at how many students actually want me to read their innermost thoughts about writing. I spend that second day of school reading and writing kind little comments back to them in their notebooks. Use this knowledge as you conference with your students through the year. I love seeing how many go back and read these comments as the year progresses.
{click the image to snag up the freebie}

At the beginning of the year, only use the kindest comments to give feedback to your students' writing. Sometimes it is hard, but you can find at least one positive thing about their writing. Even if it is just "Great capitalization at the beginning of your sentences!" "Great complete sentences!" "Nice handwriting!" Building your students' confidence in writing is one of the most important things you can do all year. Start super positive at the beginning... you have all year to critique! 

Who likes to be told what to write about every. single. time?! I know I don't! Give your students some guidance but then give them free reign to choose a topic! If you're working on narrative, let them choose what story they want to tell. We spend a great deal of the first few weeks in writing learning how to think of a topic and making list upon list of brainstormed ideas that they can refer back to any time they need to. I know you're thinking "But what about the test?!" There will be a time and place for writing from a prompt. If you can't let it go....choose some fun topics to write about:

- The funniest thing that's ever happened to me.
- The most embarrassing thin I've ever done.
- My most prized possession.
- The best day of your life. 
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

If you aren't having fun teaching it, most likely your students aren't having fun learning it. Play grammar games, have snowball fights with writing, allow your students to sit wherever they want when they write.  The list could go on and on! Writing is hard work, but if your students are having fun learning writing, chances are it's going to show through in their writing.

Intro letter {FREEBIE!}

I believe that a fresh start for the school year is the best place to start! Every year, I always send out a letter introducing myself so that hopefully I can create connections with the families of my students. I'm a pretty open person and I feel like this helps my parents relate to me and make connections with me, too! This year I'm not sure where to start (yet) since each school has their own set of rules/procedures/ etc. so I'm not sure to start with my back to school packet- but I know this letter is tried and true!

Hop over to my store to download an editable version for yourself!

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