I'm excited to link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It! I missed the last MMI because things were really hectic getting ready for my daughter's birthday party and various other things!
Speaking of birthdays, I love spoiling my students on their special day. Last year I was scrambling to find things to give them for their birthday present. I decided I didn't want to stress myself out, so I would prep everything over the summer. 
Student Birthday Ideas and Printables

I'm fortunate that my school has a wonderful parent club that allots us a nice budget for things like this, so I don't have a lot of out of pocket expense. I found the adorable birthday pails and the tray to hold them at Target. My plan is to have this tray inside my cabinet, and when it's the birthday kiddo's special day, I will grab what I need to give him/her. I found the birthday pencils here and the wrist bands here. I created a pack here that includes the balloons, bookmarks, homework passes, certificates, cards, candy bar labels, and badges students can wear. 
Student Birthday Ideas and Printables
I found the easel sign at Target and added a sign to it. The cute travel mugs are from Dollar Tree here. I've been hoarding the crazy straws forever and I don't remember where I bought them, but you can find similar ones here or here
Student Birthday Ideas and Printables
I laminated and taped the balloon label to the straw. In the past I've taped the balloons to Pixy Stix or pencils. I'm planning to laminate the cup labels before I place them inside the cup. (I'm not sure how waterproof the Dollar Tree cups are, so I thought it would be best to protect them. I don't think I will use my personal laminator with the thick film, but the school laminator should work ok.) Another option would be to get these 12, 16, or 18 oz. cups here or here. Maybe the local coffee shop would donate some if I ask. :) 
FREEBIE Happy Birthday Granola Bar Labels
There are rumors that next year we won't be able to give out any sweets at my school. I'm hoping I can at least give my students a reduced sugar granola bar, so I made a set of labels for them. If you want to grab the freebie set, you can click on the picture above or head here and download the preview to the birthday pack. 
Pin This Image for Later
Student birthday pack perfect for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade students. Included are cup labels, topper labels, certificates, birthday badges, passes, and cards.
My next MMI project I finally finished yesterday after working on it for an entire year! I'm changing up my focus wall, and I started working on these posters last year, but finally got them all completed!

Last year I tried using three huge binders to keep all of the resources for the 6 units of my district's new reading program. I put two units in one binder, but all of my posters and copies would fall out of the page protectors, the pages wouldn't turn correctly, and it was a huge  mess! I decided to use the large open-top file boxes from The Container Store in the photo below and hanging file folders to keep everything organized this year. Our units are divided into weeks, and each of the 6 units has five weeks. I put everything I need for each week in a hanging file folder. Hopefully it will keep me organized!

Below are the posters I am going to use for my second grade class. You can check them out here.
That's what I've been up to the past few weeks. I have today off, then have to get back into my classroom tomorrow! The kids come next Monday! 
Have a great week! :)

I'm excited to be guest blogging for Tara from Middleschool Frolics today! Come check out my post and learn more about my projects below! There are some freebies to grab too! :) Just click HERE to  check it out!

Used Kahoot to review and practice skills as well as for formation and summative assessments.

Today I'm going to share with you a website that has added so much fun to my students' learning. Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system that can be used for review, practice and formative and summative assessment. It can give a quick snapshot of students' learning or need for additional teaching. It has added a new element of excitement to my classroom. In fact, students even ask to play it for fun! I recently began having my students make their own Kahoots to show what they have learned. These have been perfect as final projects for our Genius Research Projects. Students could also work in groups to create Kahoots. What a great way to get students motivated to show all they have learned! 

I created the Kahoot below for extra math practice. It took me about ten minutes to make a ten problem Kahoot. What you see on my device is a Kahoot game projected onto my overhead screen. The students have a certain amount of time to answer each question I had already typed out. Fun game show themed music plays and a running clock with a tick-tock sound is heard during play.
This is what the students' devices look like during play. They choose the color for the correct answer. Messages appear throughout the game letting the students know how they are doing compared to others. 
Below is a Kahoot a student was in the process of making for his Genius Project. He chose to research the Oakland A's baseball team for his project. He created questions from his research to make his Kahoot. After students have completed their Kahoots, I have them self-edit and revise, then have a peer edit and help them fix any mistakes in their Kahoot. Their final projects will also be graded on spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 
After reading this student's Kahoot, I encouraged him to add four answer choices to make his Kahoot more challenging, instead of making it a simple yes/no answer choice like he did in the picture above. By having your students create their own Kahoots, you can easily assess their learning based on the questions and answers they include. 

Below is what the student's Kahoot looks like in preview mode. Students are able to preview and play their Kahoots, then go back and edit them if necessary.
My entire district received 1:1 devices this year, but I know not every classroom has enough devices for every student. If you have a few iPads, iPods, or other devices available to your students, you could have them work in teams and play Kahoots you give them or have them create their own Kahoots. Students can even bring their own devices from home and link up with you over wi-fi. If all you have is your computer and you are able to project from it, you could use the free printable tablets I created below. Students can point to the color or shape and you could still use Kahoot to quickly assess their learning that way. (You wouldn't be able to print out their individual assessment data, and you would have to choose the correct answer from your device for each question.) This would still be a great way to review. There are a few choices of sizes and color and black and white.
Making a Kahoot is just the beginning! You can download each students' score and use it as an assessment. If you decide to do that, I would make sure the students use their name and maybe a number as their username so you can easily see which score belongs to which student. You can also search for already made Kahoots and use them as is or edit them to make them work for your class. 

Below I've included step-by-step directions if you would like to make your own Kahoot. Creating an account and making my first Kahoot was very easy. The most challenging part of the whole process was when I was ready to play a Kahoot with the class. You have to keep the game projected on www.getkahoot.com, but your students have to go to www.kahoot.it to type in the pin number and log onto your game. 

You can click on the graphic below to get your own copy of step-by-step directions to make your own Kahoot. I've included pictures along with the step-by-step directions.
Click on the graphic below to visit Kahoot.
I hope Kahoot becomes a useful tool in your classroom.  What other websites are must-haves in your teacher technology toolkit? I would love to hear what you use in your classroom! 
Image Map

Before I began making files to use in my classroom a few years ago, I had never worked in PowerPoint. I always thought of it as presentation software, not something you would use to produce a file to print out. I never purchased anything on TpT that required me to edit in PowerPoint because I didn't feel comfortable using it. After using PowerPoint, I quickly realized that it's easy to use and create editable items. I have had several questions from followers about how to use these editable files, so today I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way. (If you are already a pro at this, you can skip down to the bottom and grab a fun freebie!)

***Disclaimer: I'm a Mac girl. There are some differences between the Mac and PC versions of PowerPoint. Older versions of PC PowerPoint don't have the Color Picker/eyedropper tool I mention in the tutorial, but the new version does. There are color picker tools you can download if you are interested in looking into that. Years ago I used one with Photoshop Elements that worked really well. 

One of the most important things I want to share is that in order to use a font that's in an editable PowerPoint file, you have to have the font installed on your computer. There has been confusion about this, but you can't use a font that isn't installed on your computer. Many times TpT sellers include a list of fonts they used in their editable PowerPoint files so you can get a similar look for your edits. On my Macbook Pro, it's easy- I just download the font and click "Install". I have to restart PowerPoint in order for the font to be useable, but once I do that, it's there for me to use. If you need help with installing fonts, check here.

Another important thing to remember is to save your edited file as a different name. I usually add "revised" or "edited" to the end of the original file name, but you can name it whatever you like. That way you can keep your original file and your edited file. (Although the good thing about TpT is they always have the original files you purchased, so you can always re-download if you accidentally edit and save the original instead of renaming it.) 

Below I will go through the steps I use to change my font style, color, and size on a poster in my Classroom Decor pack.

 You might want to add text boxes to a page. The slides below explain how to do that.

Sometimes I want to make duplicates of a page such as my desk name tags. Once I choose my text style, size, and color, the text box is already formatted, so it's really easy to just duplicate the slide I want to use to create my entire class's desk tags. The slides below explain this. 

Here's a freebie for you. Included are two sets in both editable and premade versions so you can customize them for the supplies you have. They have helped me to keep my desk organized and I can easily see what supplies I have before I go out and spend more money on things I don't need. These also make great gifts for new teachers and colleagues. Click on any of the pictures to download a copy.
Thank you for stopping by! 

(This is an archived post from the iTeach Third Blog.)

End of the Year Freebies
I wanted to share some end of the year ideas and freebies that might help make your end of the year run more smoothly!
Every year I recruit parent volunteers. I usually have them work with students on reading comprehension, fluency, spelling, and basic facts. Sometimes they file papers and cut the endless piles of laminated items I have. I depend on them so much to help give my students the extra one on one they need. And at the end of the year, I love to spoil them! Last year I created a freebie parent volunteer thank you pack. I've included a paper bag album, thank you cards, and gift labels. You can click on the image below to download.
Parent Volunteer Freebies
I have my students write and illustrate one page as a thank you for the parent volunteers, then I glue them inside a paper bag scrapbook. The parent volunteers love to get this keepsake from the students.  
Parent Volunteer Freebie Thank You

I've done this strawberry theme for a few years now. Last year (see picture below) I wasn't fast enough to get all of the strawberry products from Bath and Body Works, so I had to supplement with other items. This year I found soap, lotion, and hand sanitizer at B&B Works. 

Parent Volunteer Gift Ideas and Free Printables

I usually make them cupcakes too. These strawberry cupcakes are one of the best things I've ever tasted! Then frosting tastes like strawberry fudge. The recipe is below. 

Parent Volunteer Gift Ideas and Free Printables

Strawberry Cake Recipe

These cards are great to give to colleagues or your children's teachers. Just add a coffee gift card, print, and you are all set! Cute, quick, and so easy! Click on the images to download the cards. 

Thanks a Latte Teacher Cards

Thanks a Latte Teacher Cards

This is a fun freebie I always do the last week of school. I have the students write a letter to next year's students, since they are now the pros! You can read more about it here, or click on the image to grab your freebie. 
FREEBIE Letter From My Desk
Here's a template for my end of the year parent letter from last year. Parents always ask what their children can work on over the summer, so it's nice to send a note home on the last day. This year I'm changing it and adding Xtra Math, Prodigy, and Myon, since we have been working on those websites this year. You can grab your copy here and edit it to suit your needs.  
End of the Year Parent Letter
And here's a last day of school poster just for fun. 
Freebie Last Day of School Poster
Hopefully you can grab something that will help you get through your last week. Enjoy those last, precious moments with your class!  

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