Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Get Your Hearts Pumping with GoNoodle!

Do you GoNoodle? If your students love it as much as mine do, you're going to want to pop over to my Instagram page to check out this fun giveaway!
I have a GoNoodle swag bag full of goodies to give away to one person who shares a photo or video of their students getting their hearts pumping on Instagram!

What are we looking for? 

Check out these posts for some inspiration:

Of course photos are great as well, I just love capturing my little people in action!!

How to win:

Post your photo or video on Instagram between February 1st and 12th using the hashtag #GoNoodleLove, and tag me (@mrs_beatties_classroom) AND GoNoodle (@GoNoodle). Easy as that! You will receive one entry for every photo or video you share!

Good luck!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Winter Fun Blog Hop & Giveaway

I'm thrilled to be joining Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner and a pile other amazing teacher bloggers for this Winter Fun Blog Hop & Giveaway! We have winter ideas for your classroom, a free eBook full of winter activities for your primary students and... wait for it...

A HUGE $100 TpT Gift Certificate Giveaway!!
One of my favorite ways to bring winter into my classroom is with books. I LOVE picture books and have a huge collection that I pull out each year. Some of my favorites are:

I have reading response activities available for some of these books in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!
Art is a great way to bring some winter fun into your classroom! I taught my students about pointillism recently and we created some winter snow globe scenes.

This was super-easy to do and the final products are SO cute!!

You can find tons of great winter ideas for your classroom on this Pinterest board:

Everyone participating in this hop has contributed a resource to a Winter eBook that we're offering as our gift to you for joining us in this hop! I've included a synonym and antonym activity sheet:
You can grab a copy of this activity in the FREE eBook by clicking the cover image below:

Enter to win a $100 TpT Gift Certificate by entering my secret word into the rafflecopter form below. Then, click the image at the bottom of this post to hop on to the next blog for another chance to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Snowflakes in headings from Chirp Graphics!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

100 Days of School

We're only a couple of weeks away, so as the 100th Day of the 2015-2016 school year approaches I'm reflecting on last year and thinking ahead to what we will do to celebrate this year!

I begin every school day with attendance on the SMART Board. My students LOVE doing attendance this way - on the odd day when the computer isn't working properly and I can't pull one up the day can hardly begin! lol I have over 30 different files that I can rotate through including holidays, special events, and a pile of everyday files like monsters and owls. The 100th Day of School of course gets something special!

Each morning also begins with a Swiper Challenge on our hundreds chart. This is one way I spiral my number sense skills throughout the school year - my students need to find the sum (or difference) to get the missing numbers back from Swiper. You can read more about that {HERE}. Check out the numbers Swiper grabbed last year on the 100th Day... he's clever, isn't he?! ;)

From here I have a bunch of different activities that the students can choose from throughout the day. Being a special day, I like to move away from our usual routine and offer my students a little bit of flexible choice. I have a variety of writing and word work activities that I go back to year after year simply because the students have so much fun with them.

We create a 100 word collection, 
brainstorm 100 things we'd like to do before we are 100 years old,
and write about what we would do with $100!
Of course math is integrated into everything we do throughout the day. There are lots of counting opportunities, and since I teach 2/3 I take the opportunity to practice our skip counting and multiples to 100.

During writing, I surprised my students with this writing paper, created using the free Aging Booth app. The students' reactions were PRICELESS and motivation to write was amazing when they saw their aged photos! I've included a link to this app and customizable writing papers for you to do this with your own students in my 100th Day of School Writing & Word Work package!

A week or so before our celebration, I ask my students to start thinking about how they can create a collection of 100 at home to bring and share with their classmates. I did show them some ideas last year, and was very impressed with the variety of projects that came to school on that day! These were two of my favorites:
What would a party be without gifts?! Since we collect Brag Tags in our classroom there definitely needed to be one for our 100th Day celebration! This was last year's design.

And party favors are also a must! One of my absolute favorite resources in my TpT store are these 100th Day Brighter tags for glow wands! They are always a hit with my students!

There are SO MANY amazing activity ideas out there on the web. You can find a ton more things to try with your students on Pinterest!

Pin this post to share with friends and colleagues!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Connecting GoNoodle to Your Curriculum - Guest Post

I am Guest Blogging at GoNoodle today with some details about how you can customize the activities to connect directly to your curriculum! Pop over and check it out, and be sure to sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of GoNoodle Plus!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My 5 Favorite Ways to Use GoNoodle in My Classroom

It is no secret that GoNoodle is one of my favorite classroom discoveries of all time. Seriously... in my nearly 18 years of teaching I have never come across a resource as useful and versatile as this one. Every day I hear that some teachers are just now discovering this gem, so I am popping in today to share my 5 favorite ways to use GoNoodle in my classroom.

We all know that kids today need frequent brain breaks to be ready for their best learning. This is probably the purpose that GoNoodle is best known for. The choices are incredible - from the antics of the guys from Koo Koo Kangaroo to Moose Tube's fun chants to my students' favorite Zumba channel. The great thing about the Zumba dances is that they are directed, so even your more reluctant students will feel comfortable participating since they don't have to choose HOW to move their bodies!

Sometimes students have enough energy to go around WITHOUT any external help! On days like this, GoNoodle's calming activities are just what you need. Think About It is a series of quick, inspirational messages, Airtime and Airtime Space are incredible breathing activities, and my own personal favorite is hands-down the charismatic Maximo who leads us through fun yoga movements.

The majority of GoNoodle's activities are completely free for teachers and parents, but there IS an option to purchase a yearly membership that teachers everywhere should know about. The fantastic activities in the GoNoodle Plus library include awesome learning activities like Mega Math Marathon, where students actually run an entire marathon (in many visits, of course) while answering math questions on a topic you choose, Field Trip, where students run and avoid obstacles while heading toward a mystery field trip destination, and Bodyspell, a kinesthetic spelling activity. The most awesome thing about several of the GoNoodle Plus activities is that you can CUSTOMIZE them with your own questions - perfect for reviewing your curriculum!

GoNoodle also has amazing activities to get students focused - PERFECT for testing season or mindset work! Flow is absolutely awesome. These are mindfulness activities are a little longer than the Think About It messages and are the perfect way to prepare for a test, focus after a recess break or settle a child in turmoil. I have even used this in my class privately with a single child who just needed the opportunity to redirect her thoughts to something more positive and get focused to move on with the day. So powerful!

Finally... the really good stuff! Face it - there are times when you have an extra five or ten minutes at the end of the day and the kids are too tired to listen to a story, or you're too tired to try to settle them for one, OR it has been raining for three days and the students can't go outside and you're pulling your hair out for a break. Let me tell you that GoNoodle has got you COVERED!! Probably the most incredible feature (I know... I've said that already haven't I?!) is the Indoor Recess Mega Mixes!! These are playlists full of all sorts of GoNoodle activities in a range of lengths and designed for a range of classroom spaces. They have thought of everything!! These are a gift to teachers everywhere!

Are you still here?? What are you waiting for? You students are going to love it. YOU are going to love it! Click on any of the images above to get started today!

Psst... you can also grab this FREE GoNoodle SMART Board attendance with 3 different screens to choose from!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 - Year In Review

Happy New Year! At the beginning of each new year, I love looking back on the highlights of the year I'm leaving behind. Here is my 2015 Year In Review:

In 2015 I reached a TpT milestone, hit a milestone 40th birthday and spent many weeks traveling the world with my husband and partner of 17 years. My blog also continued to grow, surpassing 600,000 views this year! I'm pulling together my top posts of the year. I hope you find something inspiring or helpful here!

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

#10 - Tricks & Treats: A Halloween Blog Hop and Giveaway

Who doesn't love a good blog hop?! This one was packed with 20 awesome freebies and a fantastic TpT gift card giveaway from the Under The Maple Tree Bloggers. Keep an eye out for more fun blog hops from us in 2016!

#9 - Back-to-School Bonanza 2015

This annual linky was a fun way to share some awesome resources for heading back to school! 75 great products were linked up this year and it was the perfect time for me to announce a huge product makeover!

#8 - Engaging Students Using Technology

With new iPads in my classroom came the discovery of some fun apps and resources to engage and interest my students. I share all of my favorites in this guest post on the Who's Who and Who's New blog!

#7 - 5 Reasons You Should Be Using Guided Math In Your Classroom

Another guest post on the Who's Who and Who's New blog and one of my favorite posts to write was this one where I share 5 practical reasons for using the Guided Math structure in your classroom. If you haven't looked into Guided Math for your classroom, this post just may convince you!

#6 - Throwback Thursday: Word Work In Action

While I was away on vacation I shared one of my most popular posts from 2013 and it turned into one of my most popular posts of 2015! Jam-packed with awesome ideas for your word work centers, this post is one you shouldn't miss!

#5 - 5 Creative Ways to Use Clothespins in the Classroom

Every teacher has a bag of clothespins kicking around in their classroom, but do you know what to DO with them?! In this post I've shared five fun and creative ideas for you, so dig them out and make them work for you!

#4 - Fighting For Fiona - A Fundraiser

I am thrilled that this post got the attention it deserved this year! I teamed up with a pile of other great TpT authors and bloggers to raise funds for Fiona, a three-year-old little girl who was born with a life-threatening immune deficiency that required an expensive series of infusions and a bone marrow transplant to treat. The amazing product bundles are still available for purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers and are a great way to boost your classroom resources while helping a family in need. I hope if you check out even one of my Top 10 posts it will be this one.

#3 - Pumpkins in the Classroom

Bringing pumpkins into my classroom has become one of my favorite things to do with primary students. There are so many fun stories, writing ideas and math opportunities to be explored. In this post, I share some of my favorite pumpkin books, a fabulous math activity and a Pinterest board that will help you make your Pumpkin Day one to remember!

#2 - Making The Most of Your Smart Board

I LOVE my SMART Board. I'm not quite sure what I would do without it. It is such a fun way to engage learners! Making your lessons interesting and interactive isn't difficult, but I know that many teachers just don't get the training they need to make the most of this technology - I didn't. I did my own research and taught myself tons of easy tricks to make the most of the SMART Notebook software and I share these tips and tricks in this collection of step-by-step tutorials! If you have a SMART Board this post is a must read!

And finally... #1 - How To Differentiate For Your High Achievers

I've always found tons of blog posts for supporting and engaging our struggling students, but when I noticed a lack of resources targeting our high achievers I decided to write a post of my own. This one is full of tips for differentiating for these stronger students and very quickly became my top-viewed post of the year. I hope you find some inspiration for your own classroom here!

Runners-Up Worth Mentioning:

Here are a few more top posts from 2015 that I think you'll enjoy:

You can visit any of the blog posts I've mentioned by clicking on the headings or images. 

I'd like to take this final opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your continued support - for the comments, the shares and for returning time and again to read what I have to share. I'm wishing you and yours a wonderful 2016 full of health and happiness. love and laughter! I hope you'll continue to join me here, and on Facebook and Instagram, as I continue to share ideas, products, and freebies in 2015!

If you're posting some reflections of your own year of blogging, please join me by linking up your post below! Just grab the Year in Review image at the top of this post and link back here!

Thanks to KG FontsLittle Red and Sonya DeHart Design for their talents as seen in the Year in Review images!