Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School YouTube Party Winners Announcement!

All of us over at the Primary Chalkboard would like to thank everyone who participated in our super fun BTS You Tube Party and Giveaway!  We had a blast making those videos!  But most importantly, we sincerely hope you walked away with some great ideas and tips to help make this school year the best yet.

Ok, here is the fun part…..drum roll, please!  Time to announce the big winners!

Thanks again for playing, and keep checking back to see what is coming up on...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How-To: An Easy Way to Post Planner Information & Reminders

Greetings Everyone!
John Hughes here, from Created by MrHughes! I am SO excited to be a part of the primary chalkboard and represent all the upper grade teachers out there! WAHOO!

Today, I want to share a quick way to post your daily homework assignments for students to see. I just moved rooms this year so I had a bit of a dilemma! In my old classroom, I had a white board that was dedicated to the daily planner information. I choose to leave what I write for homework up ALL WEEK so that students who are absent can see what they need to do to catch up, OR, so that students CAN see that I really DID assign "that" assignment. 

In my new classroom, there just wasn't a board that I could use. I was really quite unhappy about it as this is part of my teaching routine and one that I don't want to change! (If you don't do planners, this is still a great way to write reminders of upcoming events for the week and such). 

As I was going through the treasures that were left by the previous retiring teacher, I found a box of old whiteboards that were cut from shower wall material. As I counted them out, I was pleased to see that I would have plenty of extra boards. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do.

-5 Whiteboards (or similar writing surfaces)
-3 Inch Mailbox Letters (I got mine at Wal-Mart for $3.00)
-Double-Sided Tape (You want heavy duty tape for this)
-Cupboards/Space to Hang Boards

First, you will need to mark each board with the day of the week. I only use the first letter (except for Thursday, which I use a TH).
(Monday was hung up before I took the picture- Opps!)

I put a good amount of double-stick tape on the back. You don't want them falling off and breaking.
Decide where you want to hang the boards. Mine are pretty high up, but I am tall and can reach them easily. I love that the students CAN'T reach them!

This is what mine look like hanging up. It is simple, clean looking, and just big enough to write their daily homework and reminders on (I give VERY little homework).

Here is a day up-close:
I write the date, subject, and assignment. EASY-PEASY!

My administrator LOVES it because he can see what assignments I have been giving just by looking on my wall, and parents love it because they can pop in and see what we have been doing as well.

I hope this easy tip will inspire you create a space to share your assignments!
Cheers and have a great school year-
John, Created by MrHughes

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tips For Cooking In The Classroom

Aloha everyone! It's Corinna from Surfin' Through Second.

Does the thought of "cooking" in your classroom send chills up your spine?  Many teachers shy away from cooking activities for many reasons.  It can be costly, messy, food allergies, no equipment and sometimes very time consuming.

Kids love eating and when you tell them they get to cook they go nuts! Here are some tips and tricks to make cooking fun and easy in your classroom.

Graphics by Melonheadz, Dancing Crayon and Graphics From The Pond

*Send home a letter in the beginning of the year telling parents you plan to cook in the classroom.  Ask for donations of bowls, mixing spoons, plastic cutting boards, any kitchen utensils you might need. Parents are always happy to donate instead of throwing their old items away or giving them to Goodwill.  You can also ask for dry food donations such as graham crackers if you know ahead of time what you plan on making.

*You can also pick up measuring cups, spoons and bowls at your local dollar store.

*Cooking does not mean you have to use heat!  I tell my students that cooking is preparing food to eat.
   Choose recipes that are easy and inexpensive for students to prepare.

*Check for any particular food allergies your kids have and plan your recipes accordingly.

*Plan for one cooking project per month.  I usually plan around a theme.

September/Back To School-Apples/Seeds/Fruit






March-Green/St. Patrick's Day



*Set up your project like a center and have other students at their desks doing a related activity.

*Put all of their recipes into a class/individual cookbook.

I always start the year making a fruit salad.  I ask all children to bring in a piece of fruit. Some do and some don't.  We seem to always have enough to share.  The students all cut the fruit they brought and if a friend doesn't bring in a piece they can help stir and serve.

I type out a recipe page for each recipe we make.  I am working on getting them all together into one cookbook.  It should be finished soon! I just updated my fruit salad recipe page.  Click on the picture to grab it in Google Docs.

Students read the recipe page and then color it.  They glue their recipes into their own personal
recipe book.  Simply take ten pieces of 9x12 construction paper and bind it together. They can add to it throughout the year and then take home all of their recipes.

If you would like a more detailed description of how I cook in my classroom click {HERE}.

I have a great Pinterest Board with tons of fun ideas for cooking with kids.

I hope you are inspired to try a few new recipes in your class this year.  
Have fun!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Primary Chalkboard's BTS YouTube Party + Giveaway!

All of us at Primary Chalkboard wanted to do something BIG for back to school for you.

So, we decided to throw a party. Who doesn't LOVE a party? This isn't just any party. Get ready for this....

Yep. That's right. It's a YouTube party! Woo-hoo! We are so excited for you all to party with us. We've all made videos to share some of our favorite back to school tips and tricks.

 There are so many tips here -- organizational, DIY, helpful ideas-- lots of things you can do RIGHT NOW to make your back to school a little easier!  Take a break from reading blogs and see our tips come alive in our videos. Are you excited yet?

Well, time to get more excited. Yes, there's MORE!

We are having a huge GIVEAWAY!

Want to know what amazing prizes you can win? 

$100 Amazon Gift Card
$100 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Card
A fabulous Michael Kors bag (you know, the one you want but can't justify spending the money for)?

Ah-mazing. Now you're excited, right?

You can enter to win this right here!

Hold up now. There's MORE!

You can EVEN gain EXTRA entries in the giveaway by watching our videos and entering our SECRET WORDS into the Rafflecopter (but I know you were going to do that anyway, so... 2 birds, 1 stone).

We will be linking up 5-ish new videos every day this week... so you can come back, watch, and
enter every day!

You can come back every day this week to watch more fabulous videos and gain more entries!

Where do you start?  Click on the links below to watch the first videos. Don't forget to come back each time and enter the secret words into our rafflecopter.

Fran's Video is all about making those darling photo booth props!!!

Click her picture below!
We're kindly requesting that only the Chalkies link up to the InLinkz Link-Up below. All other links will be deleted.
Click below to see our other amazing videos!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Labeling your tables!

Hey friends! Jessica here from Second Grade Nest. 

How do you guys label your tables? 
I've always had the hanging tissue paper puffs with the owl sign that says what table they are sitting at.
I do know that some schools don't allow hanging from the ceiling because of fire laws and what not. So I'd love to know what you do! 

This is how I've always done mine!
BUT I know that teachers are spending a LOT of money right now and these puffs are just another puchase. So, I am showing you guys how to create them on your own! 

If you click here, you will find a blog post on how I used Dollar Tree tissue paper and Dollar Tree bobby pins to create mine. Granted, they aren't as cute as the ones from Party City or Hobby Lobby, but they are around $5 or LESS!! 

Thanks for reading this sweet and simple tip!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School Routines!

Hey everyone! Karen here from Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten and I am here to talk about one of the most,
 if not THE most important piece of Back to School planning....


We all know,  both big and little kids alike need to be taught routines. Need routines modeled for them. Spelled out if you will. R-O-U-T-I-N-E-S.
Every step, every thing.
One of the best pieces of advice I remember getting way back when I first started teaching was ASSUME they know NOTHING. Good stuff right there, write that down.

But, if you don't want to write that down, that's okay, I've got you covered! Just hop on over to my blog, Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten, where you can print out my MASSIVE list of Back to School Routines to help keep you assuming nothing and creating law and order in the land of your classroom.  
It is geared towards Kindergarten, but can definitely be used in any elementary grade.

Have fun teaching! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to School: Getting to Know Your Students

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be a part of The Primary Chalkboard! This is such a wonderful group of teacher bloggers and I am so honored to be a part of it.

I know we all have Back to School on the brain, even though some of us don't actually go back for another month. August is always the beginning of the end of summer, which is actually crazy to say because I actually have almost half a summer left. You know what I mean though! We're thinking, we're creating, we're organizing, and yep, we're dreaming about it too. So why fight it? :)

Something that is so important to me is getting to know my students and making that connection with them. I always feel like once I've made that connection, everything else falls into place. So today I have two little ideas to share with you all about how you could get to know your students.

The first one I recently created. I have to admit, I made this as a parent. Yes, I always want to get to know my students, but now that I have one going into kindergarten, I have a whole new perspective. My son is a little shy but has a lot to say if you take the time to listen and get him comfortable. He's just not that kid that's going to be chatty right away.  I was thinking about how I hope his teacher takes the time to chat with him at recess or during down times because it would be a game changer for him. He would just blossom in class if he developed that relationship sooner rather than later. If only she knew to ask him about space, or swim lessons, or sea creatures, or dragonflies. So then it got me thinking... if I feel like this, maybe other parents do to. That is the inspiration for this first get-to-know-you idea.

It's just is a simple half-page that goes home with parents or that you can have out on desks during Meet the Teacher/Supply Night. It should only take them a second because they only have to write one(ish) word.  Parents will write something that their child loves to talk about. Anything that will get them chatty. You've probably seen it, right? The moment when you've finally said something that a quieter student wants to talk about.  They just light up. Simple, but hopefully effective. :)

The next thing is a little more generic, but it has been a staple in my classroom for all the years that I've been teaching. I finally took the time to redo it in PowerPoint and cutesify it with clip art and fonts. Oh my, the one I've used for almost a decade has (EEK) Comic Sans and no clip art. Not pretty my friends. Yikes! Don't worry, I've remedied that and it's ready to share with you all. I seriously use this throughout the WHOLE year.

I send this home on the first day for the parents to fill out. BUT it doesn't end there! 

How to do you get to know your students? I'd love to hear more ideas! :)