Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November Pinterest Pick 3

Today I'm linking up with PAWSitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner for the November Pinterest Pick 3 linky party! Here are three fun pins that I have pinned for the month of November! Check it out!!

 Vocabulary Display

One thing that I think I could have definitely improved in my classroom was vocabulary instruction. Vocabulary can be super boring, especially when kiddos are just memorizing a set of vocabulary words every week for a test on Friday. Then they promptly forget what the words mean on Saturday. I just love the idea of pulling vocabulary words from authentic texts! They become so much more meaningful this way! And I love how the The Mall-ard Kindergarten Marquee displays these vocabulary words. Having the cover up with the words will help students recall the story and the meaning of the vocabulary words as it was used in the story! 

Here's another version of this board that doesn't take up quite as much room from F is for First Grade:

 Fall Door Ideas

Another area with room for improvement in my classroom was my door. I'm pretty sure that last year, I decorated the door for the first day of school and left it like that all year. Whoops! I found a ton of cute door ideas for Fall compiled over at Crafty Morning!

 Phonics Turkeys

I just love this idea! These turkeys are practicing word families but the possibilities are endless! In third grade you could do types of sentences, parts of speech sort, or main idea and supporting details sort! I love the idea of incorporating themes into literacy practice! It makes it so much more fun! This little idea comes from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas! Love it!

Well there you have it friends! My favorite pins for the month of November! Now remember to scroll to the bottom of this post and check out all the other fun posts in the linky! You can also link-up with your 3 favorite pins for the month of November!

Want to see more fun pins?! Follow me on Pinterest below! :)

Visit Mrs. Cain's Creations's profile on Pinterest.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Well guys, it has been awhile since I have posted. But I promise I have a good reason!

I've been a little busy having a baby!

Eleanor Grace made her big debut on July 27th (my in-laws' anniversary) via c-section. Our stubborn girl decided that she wanted to be breech!

So for now I'm learning to be a mommy to a sweet, precious newborn. It's definitely difficult but so absolutely worth it!! We are so in love with our baby girl!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wonderful Idea Wednesday!

Hey guys! I'm linking up with Freebielicious yet again for Wonderful Idea Wednesday! We'll all be sharing some wonderful ideas that we have for the classroom! Make sure to hop on over to Freebielicious to check out the wonderful ideas in the link-up!
My wonderful idea really should be credited to my husband. He comes up with all the wonderful ideas for my classroom when I'm in a bind or trying to save money. Not even kidding. He's pretty resourceful! Ha!

So for the last two years, I taught 3rd grade departmentalized ELA. Which I really enjoyed. And even though I only had my kiddos for a fraction of the day, I knew I wanted to do Daily 5 (well, my own version of D5) with my kids. They just get so much out of it! I figured out how to fit everything into my schedule, I figured out how to hold my students a little more accountable, I figured out word work stations for 3rd graders, but one thing I could not figure out? Book boxes.

Oh man did I want to be able to have beautiful, hard, plastic book boxes for my kiddos all lined up in neat rows like these beauties from Mel over at Seusstastic Classroom Creations!
 Seusstastic Classroom Creations
But guess what? When you have 45 kids one year and 55 the next, these boxes just aren't happening. First of all, where would I put 55 of these babies?! Second, how on earth can I afford 55 of these at $3.50 each?! That's over $190 for some book boxes. Ain't happening, my friends. Especially when you're a first year teacher with no paycheck yet. Ha!

So I gave up my dream of having the most gorgeous book boxes ever. And sulked about it. And then turned to my husband and griped about it to him. 

His response?

Get some bags. 

What do you mean, "Get some bags?!?"

He wanted me to use Ziploc bags. I mean really? Come on now. But wait a minute. That's not a bad idea. Ziploc bags are cheap. I can get a few boxes of them and have enough for all my students! And we can get labels and the kids can decorate them and make them more personal. PERFECT!!!!

The only problem? One gallon bags don't fit picture books very well and they certainly won't fit folders and notebooks. Sad day :(
Dang it. There goes that idea. So husband and I stomped off to Wal-Mart to find an alternative. And guess what we found guys. TWO GALLON BAGS!!!! I mean, I'm not kidding when I say I heard the hallelujah chorus. 
Did y'all know that such a thing existed? Because I definitely did not. Well they do exist. And guess what? They are PERFECT for book baggies!!
We can fit everything in these babies! Students can fit their book baggie folders, reading journals, writing journals, and their independent reading books! It's perfect! 

Now I think the ones I actually used both years were these Hefty 2.5 Gallon Storage Bags with sliders but I didn't have any of those to show you. They are a little bit bigger and have a slider which is easy for kids to use. The only problem is that the slider falls off or breaks pretty early on, so you can just use whichever one you think is the best!
And the awesome thing about these bags?? They fit perfectly in a milk crate! I had a milk crate for girls and a milk crate for boys for each class and we would just line them up in the crates when we were done with them. It worked out fabulously!! You can sort of see the book baggies in the crates in the pic below. 
And the great thing about these baggies is that if you have a kiddo who is rough on his baggie, you can replace the baggie easily! We did a lot of discussing at the beginning of the year about how to respect our book baggies and how to properly hold them and carry them. Almost all 55 of my students last year made it through the year with only one bag! It was great!

Well there you have it, my friends! My wonderful idea for using two gallon Ziploc baggies for Daily 5 book baggies! Love it! I need to do a post about how I do Daily 5 in a departmentalized classroom. Look for that at some point!

Now make sure to check out the other fabulous bloggers linking up with their wonderful ideas!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Must Have Monday!

Today I'm linking up with Freebielicious for Must Have Monday! We're sharing all of our "must haves" for the school year! And boy do I have some things that I just MUST HAVE!!!
Now let's get started.

First of all, please don't chase me out of town with pitchforks after you read this first one. I need my anchor chart markers. And guys, my go-to markers are NOT Mr. Sketch. *GASP!!!!!!* I know. I know. What is this teacher blasphemy?! A teacher that doesn't use Mr. Sketch?! Not a real teacher. Lord, I apologize. But these babies are my go-to anchor chart markers:
Sharpie's Flip Chart markers. I used to be a die-hard Mr. Sketch fan but then I used these at a professional development and I FELL IN LOVE, Y'ALL!! Why would you ever switch, you may be asking? Well, they don't bleed first and foremost. Every time I used Mr. Sketch markers, I had to have a scrap paper under my anchor chart because they always bled through! These ones never do! Also, I just love the tip on these so much more! I never could get the hang of the chisel tip. Don't worry though. I always buy a pack of Mr. Sketch because the kids love to use them when they write on the anchor charts. But for my own personal use, it's Sharpie Flip Chart Markers all the way. So sorry, not sorry, Mr. Sketch. We just had to break up.

Okay, moving on! My next "must have" is a heavy duty binder.
I use binders for EVERYTHING!!!! But my favorite binder by far is my Teacher Binder! I absolutely love it! It has all my important stuff in it! And I take it everywhere so it has to be tough. Any ol' binder just won't do! It has to be this Heavy Duty version. And y'all, you may think I'm prissy but it also needs to have this fancy easy-open opener (is that what it's called?). Trust me. It's amazing. I don't have to be the Hulk to open my binder! It's great!! I've got a post started to explain my teacher binder but I haven't finished it yet. But you can check out my Teacher Binder product HERE!

My next "must have" is sticky notes!
I always have to start the year with about a billion sticky notes because we use them ALL.THE.TIME! We use them when we read to jot down our thoughts. We use them for exit ticket questions. We use them for review games like THIS ONE. Seriously. I can't get enough. And neither can my students. Even the most mundane tasks become amazing when you are using sticky notes! The only thing I can't stand though is a sticky note that doesn't stick. Makes me sad. So I tend to stick to the name brand Post-Its #namebrandsnob #notashamed

And, finally, my last "must have" for the school year...my SCENTSY!!!!
No, I don't sell Scentsy. I just love a classroom that smells FABULOUS! It is unbelievable how much a good smell can add to the ambiance in a classroom! I always make sure I have a yummy, warm scent going during Back to School Night so that parents and students feel welcomed and at-home in my classroom! I make sure I have a happy, uplifting scent going during my planned evaluations. Not only to keep me happy and calm but also because maybe it'll make my principal a little bit happier, too. HA! You know when else these scents come in handy? After recess at 2pm when it's 100 degrees outside and you have smelly third graders coming back into your room adding their own special aroma. Scentsy always masks the smell of sweat! LOVE IT! Can't go a school year without my Scentsy! 

Well there you have it, folks! My "must haves" for the school year! As long as I have these items, I'm one happy teacher! 

So what are your must haves? Make sure to head on over to Freebielicious and link-up!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Series: Beautiful Behavior and a FREEBIE!

Today I'm linking up with Delightfully Dedicated to talk about behavior management! Make sure to check out all the other fabulous teachers that have linked up!

 My behavior management plan grew a lot after my first year of teaching. I learned pretty quickly what worked and what didn't work. This is what I did last year:

First and foremost, I used Whole Brain teaching's classroom rules. I read the book before my first year of teaching and fell in LOVE!!

Whole brain teaching has 5 class rules: 
1. Follow directions quickly.
2. Raise your hand for permission to speak.
3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
4. Make smart choices!
5. Keep your dear teacher happy!

I just love these rules because everything falls under one rule or another. "Keep your dear teacher happy" and "make smart choices" goes a long way! 

Plus, the rules have fun hand-motions to go along with them and my third graders LOVED THEM! Seriously, I really recommend reading this book if you haven't yet.

I used Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts' posters to post the rules in my classroom. Check them out HERE!

When I wanted the attention of the whole class, I used the 'Class-Yes' callback from Whole Brain Teaching. It works like a charm every time! I add a little extra incentive to doing the callback right the first time. Because I was departmentalized and had 3 classes, I created a little class competition which my students loved (inspired by Whole Brain Teaching)! If they all responded quickly and quietly, the class got a happy face. If they didn't respond quickly or quietly, the class got a sad face. At the end of the day, I would tally up the class points and record it on our class competition chart. At the end of the month, the class with the most points got a reward (usually extra recess or a homework pass). Below are my charts that I used for class competition!

This picture ties into my next aspect of behavior management: Class Dojo! Now, I'm sooooo obsessed with Class Dojo (as were my students). Class Dojo was especially helpful for students who couldn't seem to get it together with just the class rules. 

Class Dojo is a fun little tool that allows you to create an avatar for each student. If a student is misbehaving, you can give them a negative Dojo point. You can customize the behaviors you want to use!

 If they are going above and beyond, you can give them a positive Dojo point.

 I liked to keep my Dojo points on the positive side so I rarely ever gave negatives. Usually all I had to do was say, "I just love the way Sally is sitting so quietly waiting for directions. I'm going to give her a positive Dojo!" This would cause little Johnny who is swinging from the ceiling fan to pop to attention in his chair so that he can get a positive Dojo point, too!

The cool thing about Class Dojo is that it gives you a handy chart to track students' behavior. This chart was awesome for RtI meetings and parent conferences!

I added a little incentive to getting positive Dojo points in my class. I created a Class Dojo rewards menu so my students could trade their points in every other week. Students could either save their points or trade them in for a treat. I was so impressed with how many of my students saved their points for larger rewards! Teaching responsibility and money-saving skills early!

And now, I have a freebie for you!! It's my Class Dojo Rewards poster! You can hang this in your room and allow students to trade in their Class Dojo points! Click the picture below to download it!


After many, many requests, I have created an editable version of my popular Class Dojo Rewards Menu! You can find it HERE! Enjoy!

Well, there you have it! My behavior management plan in a nutshell! How do you manage behavior in your classroom??

Friday, July 3, 2015

July Pick 3!

Today I'm linking up with Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching Pick 3 Linky Party! I found some super cute pins that I am just obsessed with this month! See below. :)

The first pin I found makes my teacher heart AND my mommy heart smile!! Framed children's book pictures for the nursery! I just love it! I have got to do this!! Baby girl comes in less than a month so my project list is pretty long, but maybe I'll have time to sneak this project in!

My second pin is school-related. Even though I'm not going to be in a classroom next year, I'll definitely be saving this idea for when I go back! I hate answering the same questions a million times and this little system would answer all those questions! LOVE IT!!

And finally, one more classroom management pin! I just can't get enough classroom management ideas. And this one goes along with my love for Class Dojo! It's a 100 Point Club for Class Dojo! My kids would have loved this last year!!! What a great motivator to get those positive points! I'll definitely have to remember this for next year!

Well there you have it! My favorite pins for the month of July! If you want to follow me on Pinterest (which I totally think you should), you can find me HERE!

Now head on over to Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching for more fun July Pinterest Picks!! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Camp GoNoodle!!

Today I'm linking up with Holly from Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections to talk about Camp GoNoodle!

If you're a teacher, you probably already know how AWESOME GoNoodle is!! I used GoNoodle in my class almost everyday to take a break and work out our wiggles (I saw "our" wiggles because I was always dancing right along with whatever brain break we were working on #noshame). 

Well now, GoNoodle has started an AWESOME program for the summer called Camp GoNoodle! This is great for parents who have their kids home and have run out of ideas of things to do! Your kiddos are sure to love it!!

Here's how it works:

First, you sign up for a FREE account HERE! Did I mention that this site is completely free?! YAY!

Every Monday, starting today, Camp GoNoodle will post five new adventures at campgonoodle.com. These adventures are all about getting kids to use their imaginations, get moving, and get outside! They are fabulous and oh so fun! This week's camp theme is Friendship and here is an example of one of the activities:

Kids will also learn two new, fun camp songs every week! 

Kiddos can also earn badges for completing the week's adventures! Who doesn't love a badge?!

Now here a few of my favorite Camp GoNoodle-related things! Check it out!

Now hop on over to Camp GoNoodle and get started on the fun today!!!