I hope you are off to a great school year! I have been overwhelmed with a new reading program this year that has really taken up a majority of my free time so far! I have been wanting to pop in and share some activities I do in my classroom for vocabulary practice. Years ago I stumbled upon a blogpost from one of my favorites, Amanda from One Extra Degree. She used a plastic Mystery Hat from Learning Resources to engage her students during vocabulary practice. I looked for that original post and couldn't find it, but I did find this post from her. I wanted to provide you with a link for the hat, but apparently it has been discontinued! Any magician's hat will do, though, and I found a few fun things that might work from Amazon HERE. (I think I need to grab a real magic wand!) You also might have luck at a Halloween costume store, since Halloween is right around the corner.

I call my hat a Magic Hat. I dramatically wave my wand above the hat, and call students to come up one at a time and reach in and pull a vocabulary word out of the hat. They have to give the meaning of the word and relate it to the story we are reading in their own words, and use it correctly in a 7-up sentence. We also talk about the part of speech and synonyms and antonyms that are associated with each word. 
It's a simple activity, but there's something about pulling the cards from the hat that turns it into pure magic. The students are captivated and engaged, and that's exactly what I need them to be!

If you would like to try using these magician's cards in your own classroom, just click on the photo above to download your own set that you can edit and use however you like.

I will be sharing a few other vocabulary ideas and freebies in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back. Don't forget to sign up for Primary Picks Newsletter below. We send out lots of freebies and ideas each month! 

Have a wonderful weekend! :)

(I shared this post awhile ago on another blog, but I want to make sure you were able to grab these freebies in case you missed them!)
Last year I gave each student a writing journal. My plan was to give them a daily prompt to respond to, but the journal quickly became their place to write all of the things that were important to them. They were constantly asking if they could write inside their journals. Next year we will have a new reading program, so I'm not sure how I will have my students use this journal, but I know I want my students to have one. I cut construction paper to fit the covers of composition books (they are 8 1/2 x 6 7/8 and from my school's office supplier) and added the My Writing Journal cover to the front. The students can color them on the first day of school to personalize them. 
Writing Journal Cover Freebie
Last year was also my first year in my new classroom. There are tons of shelves and cubbies for the students, but I wasn't sure how to use the cubbies, so I didn't assign them their own specific space. Each group had buckets to store markers, colored pencils, etc. on their tabletops.  Since they didn't have much extra space inside their desks, I gave them a durable Ziplock baggie to keep their crayons and other personal items in. This was a disaster! Crayons, erasers, pencils, pens, and highlighters were constantly all over the floor. When the back to school sales begin, I am going to buy a class set of supply boxes, and I will assign cubbies. When they aren't using their supply boxes, they are going to be stored in the cubbies. 
Student Supply Label Freebie
Since our school wide theme will be superheroes next year, I added superheroes to them. You can grab them here if you would like to try them out. 
Earlier in the year I bought a photo storage container from Michaels to organize my math task cards. These containers hold 16 plastic cases that are perfect for holding task cards. 
I picked up a second one on sale last week at Michaels to store my language arts task cards. Since we will be using our new reading program, I want to make sure my task cards are organized for each week. 
Task Card Label Freebie
Task Card Label Freebie
I always have task cards available for students to grab and take to their seats during math and language arts Daily 3 rotations. This is something I want to continue next year. I love how Rebecca from Create Teach Share organized her Close Reading Took Kits, and decided to buy two more containers to store math and language grab and go task cards for the week. The individual cases inside are the same size as the ones in the containers above. (Below is what the labels on the containers look like in case you want to pick some up.) There are six plastic cases inside. I've seen them at Joann's, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Some people have even seen them on clearance at Target. 
I'm redoing my classroom decor this year, so I added these cute kiddos and colors to match my new theme. You can download all four labels here
Task Card Label Freebie
Task Card Label Freebie
I hope these labels help to organize your kiddos and classroom! 
Have a great week! :)

And just like that, it's September. I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks today. A wonderful friend who volunteers in my classroom almost daily brought me one- my first of the season! I'm really not thrilled about saying goodbye to August and that I notice it's getting dark earlier each day, but I do look forward to the cooler fall weather!

If you are in need of some September inspiration, you have come to the right place! I always find the best pins from the bloggers who participate in our link up! 

I fell in love with these marbled painted leaves! I'm sure my students would make a huge mess with the paint and shaving cream, but the finished products would be worth it. I would love to decorate a classroom tree with these beauties! They are gorgeous!
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
These apple core art projects are so adorable! They would be a great art project for the kiddos during an apple unit. I might make a few samples and see how the apples look when they are made from a whole plate. I will probably let my students decide whether they want to create whole apples or apple cores. 
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
These apple core art projects are so adorable! They would be a great art project for the kiddos during an apple unit. I might make a few samples and see how the apples look when they are made from a whole plate. I will probably let my students decide whether they want to create whole apples or apple cores. 
The kids always go crazy over baking soda and vinegar experiments- and this one involves an apple! I am definitely doing this one during Apple Week! Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies has lots of other great apple week ideas on her blog. And if you are in need of a great homemade Crock Pot applesauce recipe, be sure to check this one out. I have each student bring an apple to share, then we peel them and chop them up to make our applesauce for Apple Day. 
(Click Photo Above to See Original Pin)
Be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in our linky for every more great ideas! I hope you find some fabulous ideas to pin! 

This linky is hosted on the third of each month. We would love for you to join us! 
1.  Save the Pick 3 images to your desktop.
2.  Create a blog post using these images to share you 3    
     Pinterest Picks for the month.
3.  Share a link to your full Pinterest page if you would like.
4.  Link up by clicking the "add your link" button below.
5.  Be sure to check out the other Pinterest finds that have 
     been shared and leave a comments on the ones you love!

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