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Classroom Management

Classroom DIY,Classroom Management,craftivity,Crafts,DIY,must haves

How to Make Glue Sponges

Glue sponges are my number one classroom necessity. It’s true! I have been using glue sponges for over a year and I will never go back… EVER!!

glue 3

What are glue sponges?

Glue sponges are exactly how they sound, they are sponges with glue on them. There are many different types of containers that you can use as well as sponges, but my favorite are the sandwich containers from Dollar Tree. They come in a set of 3 for $1 and they last you all year.


I did experience some slight cracking in the tops throughout the school year, but the glue sponges still survived a full year with kindergarten students using them several times a day for 10 months. As for sponges, I definitely suggest getting ones that are the same on both sides, avoiding the ones with scrubbing pads. I get mine from Wal-Mart.

spongeThen you just add an entire bottle of glue onto the sponge, close the lid, and let it sit for 24 hours. When you first put the glue on, it will sit on the top, but after 24 hours the glue will be absorbed into the sponge and be ready to go.

How do I use a glue sponge?

Glue sponges can be used on almost everything in your classroom. My favorite way to use them is with interactive notebooks, however you can also use them on art projects. It’s an easy way for students to be able to use glue without using too much or getting too messy. Here is one of my kindergarten students demonstrating how to use a glue sponge.


What are some tips for using glue sponges in your classroom?

  • Make sure you have the students close the top from the sides until they hear it *SNAP*. Avoid pushing down on the top from the middle, this will lead to cracking of the top.
  • Remind students to put the top on when they are not using them.
  • If the glue sponge dries out or isn’t as sticky, spray the sponge with water and flip. If this doesn’t work, you can always add more glue. Don’t over do it though!
  • If you sponges are look a little… funky, spray them with a mixture of water and hand sanitizer to keep them fresh all year.
  • Glue sponges work for almost everything, even larger pieces of paper, but keep some glue bottles around for tricky art projects like adhering glitter to paper.

Video Tutorial

I have also made a video all about glue sponges. In this video I will talk about my tips for using glue sponges as well as a tutorial on how to make your own glue sponges.

If you end up trying out glue sponges in your own classroom or already use them, I would love to hear how to you like them. Also, feel free to share any tips you may have.


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Classroom Management,craftivity,social studies,US Symbols

Five for Friday {09.13.13}

This week started with a lot of craziness, but was a lot of fun. 

1. Monday was a rainy day, and by rainy I mean it was pouring BUCKETS. Here is Arizona, we don’t get much rain, but when we do it POURS. The poor kids had no clue what was coming. Only a few had jackets and even fewer had umbrellas. Let’s just say that by the end of lunch, they were soaked from head to toe. Luckily, they went home dry and the sun was shining by the time the bell rang. My kids were so amazing even through out the rain, I was extremely proud of them.
2. That brings me to number 2. My class finally filled up their compliment (gumball jar). 
We earned our last compliment on Monday and by Tuesday it was time to celebrate. I wasn’t too sure how I wanted to celebrate. Eventually I would like to create different incentive charts and the reward will match the chart. (ex. gumball chart= bubblegum themed reward) That takes advanced planning and I obviously didn’t plan for that. 🙂 Since I didn’t have a reward planned, I “borrowed” an idea from my teaching BFF. I had recently purchased THIS file and wasn’t sure when to bring it out. Her class also filled up their compliment jar and she used it as part of their celebration. The kids LOVED it!!! Definitely bringing this craft back next year.
3. We have been learning about American symbols this week. So far we have learned about the American flag, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and the bald eagle. The students find it all fascinating and have been so excited to learn all about their country.
4. I cannot believe I just completed my 6th week of teaching. I love my class so much this year and they make me laugh every day. If I could have a class like this every year, I would take them again in a heart beat. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids.
5. Even though I LOVE my job and I can’t believe that I get paid to educate kids all day, it’s still very exciting to know that fall break is in 4 weeks. That means conferences are coming up soon. It also means vacation time!!! My husband and I usually plan a little vacation during fall break and this year we are going to… DISNEYLAND!!!! I have always wanted to go to Disneyland in the fall to see all of the Halloween decorations. It has been one of my dreams ever since I was a little kid. It’s also been my dream to stay in a Disneyland Resort and since it will be a shorter vacation than we usually take, it will be nice to stay in a beautiful hotel on the Disney property!!
I hope everyone else has been having a great school year. By now everyone has meet their class and I wish you and your students a great school year!!!
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Classroom Decor,Classroom Management,DIY,Freebie,Monday Made It

Monday Made-It {07.21.13}

Today’s Monday Made it is just a small share of the few things I made this week. I go back in a little over a week. My summer is sadly coming to an end. I enjoyed relaxing and making things for my classroom. I know the school year will bring so many great things. Summer is not over and I will be back next week to share what I make for my classroom. But onto this week…

Item #1- Bathroom Sign
I am lucky to have a bathroom in my classroom that I share with the classroom next door. My lovely teaching partner came up with the idea of using magnets on the back of sticks for monitoring bathroom usage. At the beginning of the year students love going to the bathroom whenever they feel like it. You would think that having a bathroom in your room would provide very little disruptions. Well it seems to be the opposite. I think since the kids see the bathroom in the room, they want to visit it more. I also use the bathroom sticks, but they would always fall off the door frame if someone walked into them and bathroom sticks went flying. I decided I needed something a little more practical. I created this hanging sign. It’s just a magnetic whiteboard that I decorated. Very simple and hopefully it will cut down on the sticks being bumped into and flying everywhere!!

Item #2- Cheers
It seems like everyone is all about cheers in their classroom. I love celebrating moments with my children and sometimes it’s hard to come up with something on the spot. I’m sure that these cheers will come in handy this year. You can get your own copy of these cheers HERE. You can print them full page or smaller. I choose to print the smaller ones so they are a little more portable. I can take them onto the carpet, in line, or even outside!!

Item #3- Rules
Last year I used the Whole Brain Teaching rules in my classroom. We went over them every morning and my students knew them, but we didn’t always use them. I was pretty fortunate to have a pretty good class last year. Even though most of the time they followed the rules, I still didn’t feel like those rules reflected what I expected of my students. This year I am using a new set of rules. You can find a copy of them HERE. It’s great because you can use the rules that are already created or edit them to fit the needs of your classroom.

Item #4- Clock Labels
I have seen so many different clock labels out there and for the last few years I have been using post-it notes as my labels. I decided to step it up a notch and create my own this year. They are using my new forest theme. Now all I have to do is buy a new clock that has a silent tick. 🙂

You can get a copy of your own labels HERE for free.

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Classroom Management,Classroom Pictures

Tables vs. Desks

Now on to what I made this weekend. I saw this pin and I thought it was a good idea.

Then my coworker actually made on in her classroom. It looked so cute. I’ve always had a compliment chain, but it always took too long to reach the floor and it just wasn’t that cute. I knew I wanted sometime cute, but I didn’t want to use the jar. At first I was going to make Brownie Points and when students earn all of their “brownies” I would make them brownies. Very cute idea, but I went ahead and made a gumball machine instead. That way the students will be able to vote on their reward, that is half the fun and surprise!!

The gumball machine starts blank and whenever the class receives a compliment for making smart choices, or for having a nice line, they will get a gumball added to their machine. When the whole machine is filled up, they will be able to vote on a reward (extra recess, movie, free time, etc.)

I’m linking up over at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made it!!
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Classroom Management,Freebie

I Have Self Control and a FREEBIE!!

I was browsing through Pinterest, as I normally do, about 1000 times a day and I came across this video.

First of all, let me say that this guy is amazing. I’ve only watched this one video and after I upload this post, I’m going back and watching all of his videos. How awesome would it be to have him as a teacher? Back to the point of this post though.

I was watching this video and I realized that this would be so helpful in teaching self control, just like he says. It’s very concrete and easy to understand. You can use this for classroom management reminders, cafeteria behavior, recess, etc. All you have to do is remind them of self control and the bubbles. This is also a great idea for students that tend to get very angry easily. You could always pull them aside and do the bubble activity with them individually. You may even let them blow the bubbles slowly to help them with their breathing and calm down.

I am going to try this activity on the first day of school and I will let you know how it turns out. It could go wonderfully, or there could be a few students who take it to far. I will experiment and report back.

Now I don’t want to do this activity all the time because then I think it looses it’s affect. I went ahead and made a poster that I can post in my room and whenever there is a student who is about to loose it, I will point to it and remind them about their self control. Of course I had to share it will all of you wonderful blog readers. You can get this poster for FREE, all you have to do is click the image and it will take you to my TPT store.

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Classroom Management,Freebie

Classroom Management

With the school year starting soon, I’m sure a lot of us are reworking our classroom management plans. Some of you may even be making your for the first time. No matter where you are in the process, I always believe that it is the most important. I’ve always believed that if you don’t have good classroom management, then everything else you do is a waste of time. What is the point in teaching a lesson while your students aren’t paying attention? You’re just going to have to reteach it. Why not use your time wisely and be productive. With all of the right procedures in place, your classroom will run smoother than butter!

Sure classroom management and procedures take a while to teach and learn, but it is all worth it in the end. I am currently reworking my management procedures and when I do I will make an updated post. For today though I want to share with you what I did last year.

When I first started teaching I was using this behavior chart.

I wasn’t really a fan of it because the kids that misbehaved were always on red and the students that behaved were always on green. One teacher I knew had most of her kids on red at the end of the day and this chart back fired for her. For me, most of my students were all on green with a couple on yellow or red so I didn’t find myself using this chart anymore. One year I didn’t even use it at all, even though it was hanging up. Last year I decided to try out the chart again. I added a few more colored cards to see if that made a difference. At the end of every day I was still only moving a few kids’ cards back to green. I kept thinking about all of those kids that stayed on green all day. Sure we give our attention to those kids moving to red, but most of our class is filled with those green students. Why were they not getting the recognition they needed? That’s when I decided that there had to be a behavior chart that worked for those that behaved as well as those that didn’t. That’s when I created this behavior chart.

I went searching online for behavior charts and I saw many different versions of this chart. I loved it because it allowed students to move up or down. As you can see every student starts on green, ready to learn. Through out the day students can either “clip up” or “clip down”. You can make the cards say anything you want, but this is just what works for me. After a week I could really see a difference in my classroom. Even though I never really had major behavior issues, I noticed the little things like interrupting or blurting answers out began to disappear. My students that were normally being redirected, started being able to move their clips up. Now my green kids were becoming blue, purple, and even gold kids! Whenever a student had to move their clip down, they always knew that they could earn it back up throughout the day. It’s important to know that there is downward and upward movement at any point of the day. Just because loss of privilege happens in the morning, it doesn’t mean that they can’t earn their way back up to ready to learn or higher in the afternoon.

How I use this…
Whenever I see a student making a good choice, or a bad choice, they are able to move their clip up or move it down. If we are in the middle of a lesson I will just tell them and after the lesson they are able to move their clip. Whenever the class is working quietly, I can make eye contact with one of my students and without talking just signal a thumbs up or thumbs down and they know right away that this means to clip up or down. Somehow every students knows where every other student is on the chart. Whenever someone makes it to Smart Choices they all gasp and clap for them. Everyone is always trying to make it to smart choices by the end of the day.

How do you become a Smartie Pants?

When you make it to the top of the chart, you have made smart choices. The students are always trying to make it to smart choices, so they can become a Smartie Pants at the end of the day. To make the Smartie Pants, I just bought a pair of toddler jeans from Wal-Mart and decorated them. I kept the hanger that they came with and it’s actually hanging from a push pin. Inside the pants are candy Smarties. At the end of the day, all of my students who made smart choices come to the front of the room. They all receive a Smarties candy as well as a slip that says, “My teacher thinks I’m a Smartie Pants, because I made smart choices.” The rest of the class sings to them and everyone tries to become a Smartie Pants the next day.

You can download a FREE copy of my Smartie Pants labels from my TPT store.

I have a student who is in charge of moving all the the clips back to green at the end of each day. Everyone knows that they have a fresh start everyday, which makes it really nice for students who may have had a bad day.

Other Ideas

  • I have used this behavior plan with Class Dojo as well, but I will create a different post all about Class Dojo soon. 
  • This year I plan on printing my Smartie Pants slips on labels that the students can wear on their shirts. That way when they get home they can show their parents without loosing it.

I hope you found some ideas that you may be able to use.

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