Sunday, July 23, 2017

Classroom Theme Galore!

Hi friends :)
When I had a classroom, I used to start going to my school to put it together in the middle of July... I used to start early, but not all day like crazy, just little by little.. I am sure most of you, if not all, are back into your classrooms decorating and maybe some even have finished with decorations (because we all have seen them on Facebook and Instagram!)... Anyhow, whatever your case is, I hope you are having a great time and that you are looking forward to a new school year! :)

I want to take some time today to share with you some of the classroom themes I have done in the past.  

This is my most favorite part of what I did on the year I decorated my classroom with a Jungle theme. It took me several hours and a few days to finish it, but I loved every single thing of that door! :) I have different blog posts, if you want to read these and see more of my classroom on that year. Please click on Classroom Tour to take you there. I also have some goodie bag labels to use as a welcome snack that goes along with this theme, so click on Snacks
I have a Jungle Theme classroom decor product, so if you would like to see it on my TPT, please click HERE. I also have a FREE welcome banner that goes along with it and it comes in Spanish and English.

The year after my Jungle Theme, I created a Circus theme classroom decor, but sadly I don't have any pictures of this theme. This theme was when I had just given birth to "Pollita" (my daughter) and I just couldn't think of taking any pictures or posting anything about it.. I only had the energy to get my classroom ready, breastfeed, and if I was lucky, I was able to sleep at night... lol, So I am sorry about that. However, there is a post about it, so check it out HERE!!
If you would like to see the Circus Theme classroom decor product on TPT, please click HERE.

Last but not least, I want to share this theme... If you are doing a superhero theme this year, you might want to check it out!! I am so excited about this theme. It is so colorful and fun! I really had a great time creating it...

If you would like to see this product,  please click HERE to take you to my TPT store :)

I took some pictures of the sheets so you can have a better preview of what comes in it.

1. Name tags: These come in 3 different styles for boys and 3 different styles for girls. You can edit this document by typing the student's name on it :)

2. Calendar: This calendar comes with numbers, days of the week, months, cupcake pictures for those special birthdays, and cards to point out what day is today, what day was yesterday, and what day will be tomorrow :)

3. Material Tags: I have also included blank cards so you can type in words :) 

4. Word Wall: It comes with all letters in both English and Spanish with four different styles. It comes with blank tags so you can write or type the words.

5. Behavior Chart and Subject Signs (ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies).

6. Table Signs in both Spanish and English. My favorite is the Laser Eyed Heroes!! :)

I did not include pictures of the banner, but you can see some of the sheets on the product preview picture (the first picture I posted).

You might think I am crazy for decorating a door in my house, but when I did this, I still had one child and therefore I had a "me time"! LOL I am telling you, this makes me happy! Just to decorate and create stuff for the classroom.. I just love it and I can't have enough of it! Now I have two little blessings at home that love being with her mami and mami loves being with them as well :)
Anyhow! If you are looking for a fun decoration, check out my door! It is very simple and inexpensive to do!
I used a roll of blue paper for the background and black paper for the buildings. I used yellow construction paper to make the windows and bought the letters and borders at a teacher store.

I am going to be honest, I was going to stop there. But it looked so empty and sad!!! :( So I used a picture of my face to use as an example. I got some masks and some lighting clip art, print those on color cardstock, and whaalaaa!!

Before I go, I would also like to share with you a Snack that you can give to your students on the first day of school or Meet the Teacher Night. It is so simple and inexpensive! The yellow cereal is "Kix." I have never heard of this cereal before, but I saw it on a "healthy school list snack" and I tried it; it tastes pretty good! If you do not want to use that one, you can also use Corn Pops. I also used this with a colorful cereal, which is the Cap'n Crushs Oops all berries, but you can also use Trix or Froot Loops Loopers.

Click on FREEBIE, to grab yours now! :)

Alright friends, that's what I have for classroom decor! Hope you find something good for your classroom and you get to use it as well! :)
Thank you for stopping by today and have an awesome upcoming weeks before you get back to teaching those little ones (or big ones, too)!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017 Spanish ebook, free Spanish lesson plans, games, activities, and teaching tips

Whether you're new teacher or a veteran teacher, the 2017 Spanish ebook, is a definite must-have for your school year.
What is the Spanish ebook you ask?  It's a downloadable document with teaching tips and free resources from 25 top teacher authors.   Yes, you heard that right!  You get 25 free Spanish resources for your classroom.  And trust me - these lesson plans are really good!  We created 2 versions, one for K-5 Spanish teachers and one for Grades 6-12.

Grades K-5 Free Spanish lesson plans, games, and activities:

*Take Home Binder Labels *Los sonidos iniciales *Llama coloring sheet *Back to School Pennant in Spanish *Trabajo de palabras *La araña pequeñita *Scoot Numbers to 5 *Los Pescaditos Poem *Colombia Minibook *Adivina Quién Game *Los días de la semana reader *Transition Video *Repaso de sonidos *Goal Planning Worksheets *Back to School Games Sampler *Unit 1 Los Pollitos Dicen

Grades 6-12 Free Spanish lesson plans, games, and activities:

*Scavenger Hunt Activity *Present Tense Summary Chart *Interactive Notebook Flash Cards *School Supplies Vocabulary Puzzles *All About Me Infographic Activity *Reward Coupons *Imperfect Tense Task Cards *Readings for MovieTalk Extension *"Fotografía" Song Activities *Student Profile Sheet *Para Empezar Daily Bell Ringers *Transition Video *Interactive Reading Activity for Hispanic Heritage Month *Categories Game *50 Culture Project Ideas *Clothing Google Drive Activity *Preterite vs. Imperfect Graphic Organizer *Interactive Activities for September *Todo acerca de mi Build-a-Book *Spanish Adjective Bingo *Comic Strip Activity *Instagram Activity *"Paraíso" Song Activities *Digital Breakout Activity *Conjugation Game for -AR Verbs *Classroom Management Strategy

Not only do you get the free resources, but each of these veteran Spanish teachers shares a pro teaching tip.  Even though I've taught for many years, I always learn so much when I read these. Our K-5 2016 ebook and Grades 6-12 2015 ebook and 2016 ebooks have been downloaded over 14,000 times.  And guess what? Each of them has additional teaching tips and free Spanish resources.  Triple the fun! So you can get 80 free Spanish games, activities, teaching tips, and lesson plans for your class.  Amazing! Still not sure?  Here's a sneak peek at my page.  You'll need to download the actual ebook to be able to click on the resources.  

And for those of you who also teach French, be sure to check out the French ebook.
Hope that all these tips, tricks, and resources help you have the best year ever!


Friday, July 7, 2017

Take Home Binders... a more Sophisticated way to be organized :)

Welcome back everyone!! It is time talk about back to school!! I know this might sound a little bit early, but it is good to start a little early!! Especially for these binders... believe me.,.. they might be out at the stores already!

(I love this guy!!)

Anyways, I am back with an idea that has been put in practice for a long time already, but I never thought about blogging about it because I figured most teachers have it down and this might not be something new to anyone. HOWEVER, I was going to Walmart and I saw all those BTS materials (and yes, that was on July 11, "What the heck Walmart?"). So I started thinking of things I could write about (since I'm trying to write once a week) and what new blog post that could be helpful to others... and then, the light bulb turned on!

So I purchased a three ring binder, three hole punched pocket folders, some labels, and some clear sheet protectors.

I just want to clarify that this was not my original idea. When I was student teaching, my mentor teacher (who is amazing, by the way) showed me this binder that the students had as a take home folder. She also got this idea from a previous teacher that she taught with... Anyways, I loved it so much that I implemented the same system when I started teaching. I have changed the name of the binder and maybe taken a thing or two out since it wasn't working for us. These binders had hole punched folders inside with labels to organize papers and a zipper pocket to keep their pencil and eraser when taking it home.

The binder was always a present from me to my students. There were so many of them that coulnd't afford school supplies, so the binder was something I purchased for them. Yes, it was a little expensive if you had about 25 students (which was always the case). However, it was so great to keep the papers organized, that it really didn't matter to me. Now, if a part of the binder broke or got lost, then I did NOT replace it. With this gift, I always pointed out to my students about being careful and responsible with their supplies, and this was definetely not an exception. If they did break something from there or lost something, they were responsible to replae it (I always had at least one student each year who did, but I was always happy that parents never took too long to keep this binder with all materials needed). I only added the labels for the folders or the label in front with their name on it.

Alright, we were the Gators at my school. So I named the binder as "Gator Binder". Let me tell you that these binders did NOT make it to their hands until the second week of school (or even the third). You might wonder why ??? Well, on my first year I got too excited too soon and gave these on the first week. Then I had not one, but TWO students changing schools by the end of the first week of school. So I, of course, was not going to ask for the binders back! So lesson learned, do not give them out too soon!!!
Anyhow, these are the following things the binders have inside:
  • I purchased a three ring binder. You can find them at any office supply store. I try to buy the ones that have a flexible material because they cost less and believe it or not, they are more difficult to get damaged. The first year I bought them at an office supply store, but then I found them at walmart. I realized I had to buy them from Walmart AS SOON AS THEY PUT THE BTS SUPPLIES. Why?? Because these babies get sold out like hot bread!!! One year I waited for a little longer and I had to buy two different colors for my students because there were NOT enough! Most of them were gone, gone, gone!!! That year I almost had a heart attack (not really, but almost), because if you know me, then you know that I am NOT ok with having things that missmatch! Anyhow, the binders are like $0.50 so it's not bad at all :) Since we were the Gators at my school, I had a label with a clip art of a gator and their name on it. The labels are 2x4 and I tape it with clear duck tape on the front cover of the binder to it doesn't peel off.

  • We had daily spelling homework. So I had a clear sheet protector for each folder so students could keep their Spelling Sheet in there. We were a bilingual classroom, so when we started inctroducing English sight words, we had two lists. Here is how the lists looked like in the sheet protector front and back :)
  • The binder contained three hole punched folders inside. There are two ways you could get these folders. Either you buy the folders without brads (which are the cheapest to buy) and you hole punch them OR you could always buy those already punched (which are a little bit more expensive than the others I mentioned). I also used white labels and they are 2 x 4 as well.
    Inside the folders we had:
    • 1 folder for Calendar: This folder had our behavior calendar.
    • 1 folder for Stay Home and Bring Back to School: The stay Home side was any paper that needed to stay home, like flyers and graded papers. The Bring Back to School side was any paper that needed to be signed and be returned to school, like field trip permission slips or report cards.
    • 1 folder for Homework: We kept our math homework or any unfinished work in this folder.
  • The folder also had a pencil bag inside. The pocket was useful so students were encouraged to keep a pencil and eraser there AT ALL TIMES so they couldn't say "I didn't do my homework because I lost or didn't have a pencil". However, after two years of buying them, I decided not to use those anymore because they were very expensive (when you had to buy 25 of them) and I spent most of the time reminding students to keep a pencil in there (because I saw them constantly empty). To me, that was not worth the amount of energy and money I had to spend on those bags. So when I stopped buying them, it was like nothing happened. I did not see a big deal of not having one :) 
Well friends, that is it for me! I honestly would like to say that I have freebies for you, but I honestly do not have any because these binders were based on my school mascot and the labels were created based on the size I purchased them. However, I hope this post has given you an idea of maybe creating your own binder based on your school mascot and based on what you would like for your students to have in their binder.

I decided to create a general binder for FREE in both English and Spanish!!!, I was so happy on how people commented on my facebook and how they liked my post. So thank you very much to all of you! :)
Before I continue, if you don't think this binder is a good fit for you. Don't worry! Please see how I created the labels!! Maybe you can use these in a way you choose to do your take home folders! Maybe you can use some of them :)

Here is a peek of what I have created:

The freebie is in a Zip folder my friends! You may wonder why... Well, after I finished the whole document of the labels by just inserting cells, I tried it and everything was missplaced! :( I hated it so much and I tried everysingle thing to make it work, but I couldn't. So when I tried only one page with the original document of the labels, everything worked just fine! So I know you will have to open the labels individually, but hey! They will all work and be aligned with the 2x4 label sheet! :)

Anyhow, I have included black and white labels for Calendar, Stay Home, Bring Back to School, and Homework. Of course, all these are also in Spanish :)
I have also included color labels for the front cover of the binder. One version for boys and another for girls. THESE FRONT COVER LABELS ARE EDITABLE! Yes! You heard me right! I would hate for you to handwrite your students' names, so I made it editable and you can even use the pretty font! Or if not, I gave you access so you can change it to whatever font you have :) Read the instructions on the sheet so you know how to do that :)

If you would like to download this freebie, please click HERE. Also, if you get a chance, please leave me your feedback! I would love to hear what you think of it!! :)

If you have BlogLovin', follow me! so you don't miss the fun and latest posts!!! :) Click on the picture below to take you to my BlogLovin' page :)

Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see mo

Monday, May 8, 2017

"Let's Find Out" in Spanish Scholastic Magazine Review & Giveaway

Hello my friends!!
I am very excited to share with you a review for the "Let's Find Out" in Spanish from Scholastic Magazine! Scholastic contacted me a few weeks ago asking me to test their magazine (I was in seventh heaven when I read their email!) Sadly, because I am not in the classroom, I couldn't do a class set. However, they asked me to still do the review as an educator and I offered to blog about it. So let's get started!

Magazine Set

The monthly magazine set comes with Teacher's Big Issues and student matching small issues (one per student). I really think this is a great magazine. The photographs that you find in them are very clear and crispy! The information given is perfect for students to read and very enganging.
The teacher's big Issue  is perfect to be placed on a board for a visual to engage students. If you use this in small groups, you can also place it on a easel and use it during an intro discussion before students use their own magazine. This magazine is perfect for Prek, K, and 1st grades. However, I can see a second grade teacher using them for students who might be below reading level.

I love the enganging reading inside of each issue and the interactive questions. On the back of the magazine, it comes with an activity that students can either solve on their own or in a small group.

The monthly set includes a small reading issue. This is perfect to use in small groups. The pictures are great and the sentences are mixed with pictures, which makes it a great fit for early literacy. 

In addition to the magazine, you also get a Teacher's Guide. In there, you can find a snapshot of what you can find online for that monthly set (issue sample, videos, games, and activities) and lesson ideas for each issue included in the monthly set.

The Online Access

Besides getting the print resources that I mentioned above. You also get an online access to the magazine! In there, you don't only find the reading issue, it also has a feature where it reads out loud! In addition to this great feature, you can also find enganging videos that are related to the reading, games, and even printables!

The printables are easy to find and print! They include a variaty of skills. You can find activities for sentences structure, phonological awareness (final sounds), predictions (a big halleluyah!), counting/symmetry, diagrams, and reflections.

If you would like to start planning for next year, try the 30-day free trial and find out more about the subcription HERE :)

Now it's time for our giveaway!! Drums pleaseee!!!! Let's Find Out in Spanish and I have come together to giveaway a classroom set for the May/June issue (max 30 students copies) to 5 LUCKY WINNERS! If you win a set, please know you must provide your full name and address in order to receive it. It is very simple to participate! All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment below telling me how you would use the magazine in your classroom and leave me your email.
The winner will be chosen and contacted on May 13th, 2017.

Thank you everyone for stopping by on my blog and good luck to everyone! :)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tips for Ending the school year and TPT Giftcard Giveaway!

Welcome back my friends!
Today I am joining some other great bloggers to bring you some tips of things we do to end our school year :) 

In my opinion, awards are a big deal! I have worked in two different schools where awards were handled differently. At one school, teachers were a 100% responsible for the awards. This would take place in each classroom on the last week of school. At another school, awards in a classroom was just optional because the school did an award ceremony for everyone.

Regardless of the case, I believe that awards can be the best way to reward your students to show them how much they mean to you and how important they were in the classroom. I personally don't see awards as "I have to have one for each" type of thing. There is honestly something good and positive we all can find in our students. On a particular year, this is a true story, I had to create a "elepehants never forget" award for one of my students. You might think it is funny, but I kid you NOT when I tell you she was the ONLY ONE in class who would remember all the extra activities or the crazy day schedules. She would always tell me "Mrs. Nicolau aren't we supposed to go??" There were times that she really saved me from being too late or even missing something! We all know we tend to get carried away with other things! Don't you agree??
You might think she was a low student and probably she was paying more attention to leave the classroom. She was not! She was an excelent student, too! However, even if she was struggling academically, she saved me many times by reminding me of the time. Wouldn't you like to reward this student or let her know how grateful you are for being the way she was? ABSOLUTELY!!

I would like to share with you how I used the awards in my class.  I didn't have a specific theme in my classroom, so I created The Rock Star Student Award. I gave this type of award to ALL of my students along with a goody bag. Oh boy! I'm telling y'all, they all loved their award and goody bag so much! Some of them even showed me the next school year they still had some of the goodies from there (I moved up with them to third grade). 

These are pictures of my goody bags :) Each bag had a card (click HERE if you would like to download it from my Google Docs. They come in color and B/W with a boy and girl version), two erasers (a guitar and a pick) from Geddes (they are not available anymore there, but you can find them on amazon), a pair of glasses that are called "shutted shades" (purchased at a craft store - Hobby Lobby), and a glowing in the dark bracelet (purchased at Dollar Tree).

This is a picture of the award that everyone got in my class, along with the goody bag. I had a girl and boy version, so I also made bags for boys and girls (same goodies, just different colors and cards).

Hope you like these as much as I did when I made them for my kids :) 
I have created a Free Sample of some awards, these are general awards and have no theme. The Free Sample comes with three awards, in both color and B/W versions. These only come in English, so I'm sorry, but I never had the time to create the whole thing in Spanish.My classroom theme was just animal prints so I didn't really want anything specific.
This sample is found on the preview of the product, so you will see the cost of the product and won't see the free sample by itself. 
All you have to do it's download the preview and you will find the 3 free awards: Smile (boy version, the girl version is in the paid product), hard worker, and perfect attendance. Would you like to download this sample? Just click HERE 
The rock star award is part of my paid product. If you would like the paid product, please click HERE.

I also have a second set of awards! On this set, the theme was all about Jungle stuff!! These awards are different from the first, not only because it has an actual theme, but also because it is editable; all you need is Power Point. I have included instructions when you click on the editable section. Editable means you can type your name and the student's name. Please be aware that "editable" means typing names only, I can't make the titles or the clipart editable due to the illustrators' copyright. Just in case you forget, I have included that information on the product :) Like I said, it is based on a jungle theme, so most of all (if not all) has jungle illustrations :) I have this free sample available in both ENGLISH and SPANISH

Thank you for stopping by today!! I hope you have found this post helpful and it motivates you to do a huge celebration in your classroom with some awards! :)

Before I say goodbye, remember we are having an AWESOME GIVEAWAY! Please enter on the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $50 TPT giftcard! All you need to do is visit the rest of my friends' blog posts and figure out the secret code! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These are my other friends' blog posts! Please visit each of them! They have awesome ideas on how to finish the shcool year as well! :)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Easter bunnies are ready for you!!! Freebie and a Unit!

Hello everyone!!!
Can you believe we are already posting about bunnies and Easter eggs?!

OMG Where has time gone?! Last year as I was posting this, I was about to have a baby boy, plus having an almost two year old daughter... Now I am about to have a THREE-YEAR-OLD daughter and a ONE-YEAR-OLD son! :'( Let me cry a little bit!!!!

Anyhow! Enough of that! right?!

I would like to share with you once again my freebie! On this activity, two students can work together or independently. Each get a bunny with a wheeler; they spin it and mark on their laminated graph with a dry-erase marker. They stop spinning once any of the items have reached the top. MAKE SURE THEY DON'T ERASE THEIR RESULTS, THEY'LL BE USING IT ON THEIR BOOKLET.
Next, students record their result on the paper graph. Once they finished recording it on the graph sheet (they need to color the eggs as well), they can start writing their conclusions on the question section. Once they are finished with all the work, they can work on their booklet by coloring the front cover.

Would you like a copy? Of course!!! Just click HERE to take you to my TPT :)

I also wanted to share with ya'll my Chick Craftivity freebie. I created this little friend a while back when I taught second grade. We read books and different facts about chickens. Then, my students took notes and wrote about different things they have learned about the life cycle of a chicken. As I said, this was created for second grade; However, this would be perfect for any project you do in your classroom! If you would like to read more about it click HERE to take you to my post :)
Here are some pictures of how my students' work came up. If you would like to download it, click on Chick Craftivity to take you to my TPT store.

Lastly, I wanted to share with ya'll my Easter unit! It's mainly for second grade, but there are some activities that can be use for 1st graders and 3rd graders :)
This unit contains 7 centers (ELA/SLA and Math):
Fact and opinion, A sequence activity for the book "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Chick", Regular Vs. Irregular Past verbs
ABC order activitty.
For Math
2-Digit addition/subtraction with/without regrouping

I have this unit in English.. Click HERE to take you to my TPT store.

I also have the same unit in Spanish, click HERE to take you to my TPT :)

I hope you have a great weekend!
Remember I am on BlogLovin' and if you would like to get my posts through email so you don't miss the fun, you can sign up on "follow me by email" (click HERE for instructions)!

Thank you for stopping by, I am working really hard on finishing my last theme unit. I still have a few more things to add, but it's coming! I promise!! I'm also working on some end of the year activities and some career day stuff... So stay tuned friends!! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Need some games for INSIDE RECESS??!

Hello everyone and welcome back! I wanted to share with y'all a unit that has been created for those rainy and testing days (I know, both are coming up!!!) We all get tired of having inside recess with a movie or "Free time" inside our classroom. PLUS during testing time, there is no recess at all! So poor babies need some kind of activities that does not required for them to be sitting watching to a screen (maybe they don't mind that at all, but after a while mine used to get soo bored!).

Before I continue, I wanted to remind my old and good TPT followers!!! Back when I created this product, I was giving hints on my posts about a surprise for y'all!
I sent them all an email on TPT (which TPT reviews and approves within 48 hours) with the links of this product in both languages! I checked the number of followers before clicking "send" and the last follower was 554... Soooo if you have been following me around that number (now I am on 2,100 followers), you probably have it in your TPT inbox, so check it out!! :)
I have been very thankful to my followers and I wanted to express it by sending you that freebie!
You will see on my TPT a Freebie product that says TPT Followers Freebie #1, please leave me any questions or comments. Maybe you would like to give me your feedback about what you received, so please feel free!!! :)
If you did not get to follow me on time to receive this huge Freebie, do not worry! I am planning on continue with these surprises, just make sure you click on "Follow Me"!! :) The more I get to hit at least a half milestone, I get inspire :) (hint, hint)...

I have created a FREE Sample, so if you DID NOT get the email, here is a feebie for you.. I wouldn't leave you empty handed! If you DID get the email on TPT, you might want to download this Freebie from my Store :) Click HERE to take you to my product.

Now, here is what the product contains (what my followers up to 554 received in their TPT inbox for free).
1. The unit starts with some colorful puzzles. I gave a sheet with instructions on how to storage them and how to color code them to avoid students mixing them up (we all know that always happens in centers!)

2. Guess What game board has clues of items that students need to guess, this only has the answer key and does not have a word bank. I thought it would be "too easy" since this is similar to the Criss-Cross activity. 

3. Word Search and Criss-Cross puzzles with word banks :)

4. Domino game

5. Rain, Rain, Go Away Bingo version:

6. Last, but not least; I created a Writing activity for those students that just would write at any time and would love to do a "Rainy Day" Craft!

If you would like to purchase this unit or would like to see more about it, click on the links below to take you to my TPT store. 
Click HERE to take you to the ENGLISH unit

Click HERE to take you to the SPANISH unit

Thank you for stopping by my blog! Hope you are doing just fine, I know the last months of school are the hardest! Good luck everyone who is testing as well! :)