It is that time at our school….State Testing week. In the past as a School Psychologist I never really participated in this week, but that has changed this year as a Special Education Coordinator. In order to provide a little dose of encouragement, I found these great FREE sayings from Math Mojo on Teachers Pay Teachers that can be attached to different treats. I wish I had found these a little earlier because I would have made more of them, but for this time, I only had time to make two of them.
Teachers tend to get overly stressed around this time of year, so we had donuts of teachers in the morning and a little note of encouragement.
We actually have testing coming up for another two weeks for different grades so I hope to be able to make some more little notes of encouragement for teachers and students!!
I’m excited to be teaming up with some other great bloggers for a Springing into Learning Blog Hop! Thanks to Kim at Elementary Antics for organizing this fabulous Hop!
I would like to share a fun craft I recently made for St. Patrick’s Day which is right around the corner! With some old pots we had in the yard, I created “Pots of Gold” to take to both my school and the girl’s school. This is a simple, yet thoughtful way let others know you are “lucky” to have them either teaching with you or teaching your kids!
All you need to make these pots are black paint, gold glitter, decoupage, outdoor pots, shamrock stencil and Rolos! The pictures below walk you through the different steps.
Now for the fun FREEBIE!!! We have been working on numbers lately at the house , so I have made my starfish numbers 1-9 free for the next three days. This set includes numbers 1-9. It is a great way to introduce and practice numbers as Spring time begins!
I am also currently have a giveaway going on for a set of 12 Kwik Stix for the next 12 hours. You can read my review here of these fun, vibrate, no mess paints. Enter the raffle below to win your own set!
I’m excited to be linking up again with Stephanie at Forever in 5th grade for another Tuesday of “Show and Tell”. I have been working on a lot of different projects since last month!
Special Education Parent Resource Night
We will be hosting our first ever Special Education Parent Resource Night in a couple of weeks and I have been busily planning the night’s activities. Parents can choose from 12 different mini-sessions that will be provided by special education teachers, OT, Speech Pathologist, Counselor, or myself to attend. Each session will have “Make and Take” materials, so parents can begin working with students at home immediately with different tips and material. I’m really looking forward to this night and will write an article about it after it takes place detailing all the different components and ideas!!
We had a lot of fun with making Valentines this year…..we actually made almost 100 Valentines between a staff of teachers, 2 preschool classrooms and teachers, and coworkers. Here is a little sample of all of the different Valentines we made…..”Superhero lollipops”, “Shooting for Brownie Points”, “Thanks for putting your heart into teaching”. I have to admit, I am pretty obsessed with Pinterest and all the amazing ideas you can find, so I can’t take credit for any of these as original ideas!
This month we have picked the book Raindrop Plop for our book buddy. We are still working on all the different activities, but the picture below is a sampling of what we have done so far. The girls LOVE creating book projects each month. We would love to expand this “project/idea”, so if you have a child between the ages of 2-4 and would like to join in the fun, let me know and I can send you all the details!
Giving Parent Positive Feedback
I just finished a product, that gives parent very specific, positive feedback regarding behavior. So often, parents of challenging students only hear the negative comments and feedback, the purpose of this product is to send home a quick, simple note that gives very specific behavior feedback. These notes partner with Behavior Badges and can be used in conjunction with them!
We have been busily having fun making Valentines this week. Between the girl’s friends and teachers and my coworkers, I think we made close to 100 valentines.
For the girl’s friends at preschool, we made superhero lollipops. We made them out of dum-dums and red felt. I found the cute superhero printables from Less Ordinary Designs and glued them to the felt capes and then tied a ribbon around the stick and added the mask.
For the girl’s teachers at preschool we gave them brownies with a cute little phrase I found over at The Gaines Gang blog. This was so simple and quick to make!
For my coworkers which consists of around 40 teachers, I bought some treat bags at the Dollar Tree and added some chocolate candies. I found this gift tag at Eighteen25 and added a heart sticker to the center to give it a little more color!
And finally, I made some no sew shirts out of different size hearts to make a fish. The girls were excited to wear their matching shirts to their Valentines Day Party!
And give out their superhero Valentines to their friends!
I’m joining Focused in Fifth for their 12th day of Unwrapping Holiday Classroom Ideas Link up. It can be overwhelming all the different gifts that you have to buy for Christmas time, not to mention expensive! Today, I’m sharing a gift idea for your co-workers or teachers.
During Thanksgiving Break, I found these mugs at the dollar store and knew they had some potential to make a cute gift. I bought about ten of them and stored them away until I decided what to do with them. In addition to buying gifts for all my children’s teachers (they have 3 each), I also needed to get something for my special education staff (9 people). All these little gifts can really add up after awhile!
These mugs made the perfect option to say at $1 person and personalize them with a monogram that I created using PicMonkey. I LOVE PicMonkey. You can create pretty much anything on it.
I’m excited about how they turned out. Now, it is time to start to think about a little gift for all our special education students! Click the link below to find other great gift giving ideas.
Today is the last day the girls go to school before Thanksgiving Break, so we decided to make a fun and easy sweet treat for their teachers!! We are so lucky to have such wonderful preschool teachers. I envision a lot of other learning activities that could be done with this craft in a classroom if teachers wanted to do it with their students (counting, graphing with colors, sequencing, ect.). We just stuck to the basics of filling the containers and sneaking a piece of candy every now and then!!!
All you need is a baby jar container, orange felt to make the nose, and googly eyes. I used hot glue to glue the nose and eyes on the container. I traced both of the girls hands and let them color the hands and then cut them out. The hand actually stuck nicely to the glue that was left over from the label on the back of the baby food container.
They were very excited to give them to their teachers this morning!!! Now to start thinking about Christmas!
As Thanksgiving approaches, it seems like a perfect time to share some tokens of appreciation, I have been working on. A month or so ago, I participated in a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) Blog Hop and shared a sneak peek at my teacher feedback form. Way, way, too often teachers are observed and only given negative feedback or no feedback at all. So, I created the following forms that can be used to give teachers quick, positive feedback on what you observed.
In addition to positive feedback, just letting a teacher or colleague know that their work is appreciated is so important. Not only does it make someone else feel good, it also makes them work harder and builds a more positive atmosphere. It also encourages teamwork and motivation. As a leader in a school building, it is important to lead by example. I have used the following tokens of appreciation in the past. While, they may be a little puny, they get the point across that “you are doing a good job and thank you”.
My favorite is the following saying that is attached to a box of Cracker Jacks.
However, sometimes the biggest thank yous to others are not notes or little pieces of candy, but public acknowledgement of a job well done. Sending emails thanking others for doing a good job and ccing other “important” people on the email can make all difference in the work to a person. When teachers feel good about what they are doing, they will shine in the classroom and be better teachers.
This poem from Molly of Classroom Confections articulates the exact reason it is so important to compliment and encourage teachers. One single compliment can lead to so much more for our students!
If you would like to get the above examples in a teacher feedback kit, you can find it here.
I’m linking up this week with Stephanie from Principal Principles, Ashley Reed from Just Reed and Brook Brown from Teaching Outside the Box for a BOLO (Be on the Look Out) item. This is just a sneak peek of a product that I have been working on but would love some feedback.
I’m in the process of creating a teacher feedback form for classroom observations. This is not the typically observation form that might be used for teacher evaluations or such, but a positive note. Many, actually most times, teachers are not given positive feedback on what they are doing in the classroom. In my current role, I have the opportunity to do just that….give positive feedback and ideas to help individual students. I feel it is so important that people in any type of administrative/leadership role within the school, build teachers up and give them confidence.
I ran across this poem from Molly of Classroom Confections and absolutely loved it! She is able to articulate the exact reason it is so important to compliment and encourage teachers. One single compliment can lead to so much more for our students!
So far this is a peak at what I have been working on…..It is nothing very fancy thus far, but I want to continue with building a Teacher “Encouragement Kit” that will give administrators and others some ways to help build teachers up.
I have used the above form twice and the teachers actually thanked me for the feedback, and they were much more receptive to other ideas I had to implement in their classrooms for individual students. I would really appreciate some feedback from teachers on this form. I would also be interested in other ideas that you have seen or have used that help encourage teachers and create a positive atmosphere. Enter to win one item from my TPT store below!!
I have been saving some mason jar glasses I found at the Dollar Store for a couple of months for this gift. Whenever I see something that looks like it may have potential at the Dollar Store, I will pick it up and keep it for a future project! I picked up nine of the glasses and the girls have six teachers this year, so I had three extra to give to the office/secretary staff at my new school which was perfect. All I needed to buy was some snickers and almond joy candy. I also made some tags to hang on the glasses that were coordinated to the straws (orange, blue, and green).
These glasses were extra cute because they had a chalkboard label, so I could put each of the teachers name on the label.
I think it is really important to let teachers and staff know how important they are and how much you appreciate their time and energy everyday. Throughout the year, I hope to be able to give the teacher’s little tokens of appreciation!!
If you would like a copy of the tags for FREE, click here.
Since I have always been a school psychologist in multiple schools, I never participated in Open House nights. So this year, I was excited to be part of the back to school night at my new school. While being a Special Education Coordinator, you do not get as many parents coming by to visit, I still wanted to be prepared with a little treat!
I was inspired by this post I found on Pinterest and replicated something similar. I just happen to have red and green boxes that I bought years ago for potential Christmas gifts that never got used so I decided to put the cookies in them.
I then attached the poem below to each box full of cookies. I really loved this poem because it emphasizes the importance of educators and parents working together for our children.
The final product turned about pretty nice and hopefully the parents will enjoy the message and the treat!I also found these other great ideas on Pinterest, but did not have time to make them all, but possibly something to try for next year.