A Little Motivation Never Hurts…

I decided to knock out the December to January change over today in my classroom.

To treat myself, I headed to the dollar store before heading to school.  Everyone needs a little motivation.  Plus a few little changes brighten the eyes of my students and make them excited to learn.  Yes, it’s all for the children…Ahem.

 Before checking out I snapped a pic.  This blogging thing will make you a little camera crazy.  I almost yelled at the sweet check out girl as she reached for my basket.  “HANG ON!  LET ME GET A PICTURE!”  She just giggled…then refused to look me in the eye….   What, no one takes pictures of their baskets?

 I grabbed these seasonal math manipulatives.  I’ll figure out what to use them for soon enough. 

 I changed our yellow tubs to blue for January.  Why?  Because it makes me happy.  It adds a little thrill and difference to our routine. 

 That spurred on arranging our January math and literacy tubs.  It was so fun to get them out and arrange them! 

See the little holders in my buckets above this sentence?  Yup got them at the DS today.  Perfect for holding cards and game pieces and fit right in the bucket to keep everything from rolling all around!  {No I am not blogging for the DS—Just love a good container}

Yesterday I finished making a new packet called, Math Sticks!  I am so thrilled to have this because my students LOVE our sight word sticks.  I know they will go crazy for these math games too!


To prep them I put the directions on one side of a small manilla envelope and the teacher prep directions on the backside.  That way I will know what to write on the sticks for that game if I ever misplace the sticks.  Each game has different numbers for K,1,and 2 so I can differentiate with my groups too!  There are ten total games in the pack!

 I added one stick tub to our January tubs.  I know it will be a favorite with my students.  They can’t resist pulling a stick!!!

 Next, I tackled some classroom management.  We use the color change system.  But in order to keep it relevant and to motivate my students, I changed it up to a winter theme.  If you think it would work for you it’s a freebie {here}  Like a clip chart, kids can move their snowball up or down.  The snowman is the highest level. I was messing around and playing dress up for the snowman the green beanie doesn’t belong there….forgive me….I should grow up any day now.  I use their numbers for all kinds of things so I love that I can grab them and slap them on the job chart or anywhere else. 


 Next, I cleaned out and restocked my tried and true gray box for the week.  This little baby has been with me since 1997.  It’s really nothing spectacular, but it works for me!

Finally, I set up our attendance file for January.  Kids come in and drag their mitten to the center.  I have loved using this for three years!  Thanks Denise!!!  You can get it {here}.  She has 20 different themes for the school year. 

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  1. I love the math sticks! TBH I've been using the sight word sticks of yours for a while and I have tried to use the same ideas with math facts but not with all the cute images and ideas. I'm not very good at making things on the computer. I am so glad you did this! I will scoop this up for sure. Are you thinking about re-imaging the sight word stick file? I like the images of the math! They are so cute and inviting!

    thanks again

  2. I love the math sticks!! I wish I could get them but the idea of popsicle sticks makes me sick…. It is like nails on the chalk board 🙁 It makes me sad to look at you amazing idea!! (never thought I would say that about popsicle sticks! lol)

    Congrats on changing out your room…. I should
    Happy New School Year

    Kickin It Whole Brain In Texas

    1. There are craft foam sticks that look just like the popsicle sticks (but in colors) Then you wouldn't have the nails on chalkboard feeling. I have seen these foam sticks at the dollar store.

      Just a thought

  3. I love the snowman, thank you for making it free! I am a little slooowww, though-could you tell me, do the kids have their snowballs all on the green hat, then move up or down, or are the hats all on top of the snowman? This is a good change from the clip chart that I've been using all year.
    Thank you!

  4. I'd soooooooo love to go with you to a Dollar Tree one day …. we have one in Friendswood! So much enthusiasm and passion … love, LOVE, LoVe!!! You could be their spokesperson … seriously!

    Great new look … happy new year!


  5. I love your literacy and maths tubs. Could you please tell me what your system is, how does it work and how is it implemented during the day? I'm really interested in doing something similar… great ideas!

  6. I have a question about your tubs also……..you call them "January math and literacy tubs"—-How often do you rotate your centers in these tubs? I am a fairly new teacher and I'm trying to figure out a good system for using centers. I feel like I need to switch out the centers daily in order to keep my students from getting bored and I am driving myself crazy trying to come up with simple centers that don't require a lot of prep work! (Cutting/laminating, extra manipulatives to purchase etc.) Any help you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated! (I teach Kinders in the morning and PreK in the afternoon…….I feel like I am going about things 100K different ways with NO true direction. And it's literally making me sick with the pressure that I'm putting myself under.)

  7. Could you also please elaborate more on your behavior management snowman with the hats and snowballs? Please and thank you!