Monday, September 22, 2014

Spanish Teacher Giveaway!

Hey, guys! I just got back from a lovely camping trip with my husband in Brevard, NC...

 ...and now I'm back home ready to share with you a super fun giveaway hosted by me and my fabulous friend, Juliana Suarez of Kinder Bilingue.

What's in the GIVEAWAY:

1) Juliana is giving away one digital copy of her "El que busca encuentra" Write the Room All Year Long Packs. I have been using these along the walls of my classroom for my 4th graders to use and create stories. There are UN MONTON de maneras to use these cards for any grade level in the primary classroom.

2) Gracias Customized Little Buwo Cards - If you win this giveaway, you will also receive a set of 8 cards mailed to you with whichever name you choose. I have a little Etsy shop where I create these cards, and I find them so useful for saying thank you to students, parents and colleagues in an adorable yet easy way.

So, we hope you will enter down below! We'll choose one winner this Friday, September 26th, at midnight (est). ¡Gracias por participar!

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Tabitha Carro

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Table Organization with Colored Stickers: A Bright Idea!

Hey, ya'll! It's Bright Ideas time! I shared this idea in my classroom reveal, but it's just been working so well, so I though I'd share one more time.

I've seen some clever ideas about numbering places at student tables, so you can call their names to help pass out papers, take turns, etc. However, nothing I stick on tables lasts. (If you have the magic tip, please let me know!) I thought about placing numbers on chairs. However, we stack them every day, so it would be a mess trying to get each chair back to where it was before we stacked them.

I then decided to use circle labels on the chair legs. I talked with my teacher partner, and she had an even better idea. She had colored circle labels on hand, so we placed a differently-colored circle label on each of the four table legs.

Now, whenever I need papers passed out, waste buckets handed out, or students to take turns during a science experiment, I just call out a color. Students look at their right table leg to figure out which color they are. After a week or two, they have this figured out. If a table only has three students, one very helpful student can have two colors. Or if you have an awesome group at one table, they can take turns doing the missing color's duties.

This has been so helpful and has kept my students up and moving. This has really taken the place of brain breaks for us this year. I also made this little display on our white board. I move the magnet every time I call a color to make sure I am calling out colors equally (I didn't have a yellow - sorry!). This also helps students know which color's turn it is in the very possible event they were not listening to the teacher. :P

So that's it! Very simple but my favorite trick so far this year. If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please connect with me at Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for more. :)

For more Bright Ideas from a ton of teacher bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade that interests you. Thanks for your visit!

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Tabitha Carro

Friday, September 19, 2014

5 for Friday - My First Time!

So, I've seen these posts for a long time, and I finally am jumping on board. I think it might be nice to try to document my week in the classroom like a diary, so I'll have something to look back on. Of course, I'm estimating I'll stay committed to this for maybe...two weeks!

So here goes.

Since I have only a few devices in my classroom for scanning QR codes, I kind of went on an out-of-control Ebay app shopping binge looking for iPods. I ended up buying like six...??! I just couldn't help it! I got them on average for $65 and I'm hoping I can sell them back for around the same if we ever go 1-to-1. 

So, I used one of my pantyhose organizers from Amazon that I absolutely love, added some slits in each pocket, and ended up with a pretty nifty charging station!

Here' my Tuesday attempt at eating healthy. I'm really trying to get back on track. My husband bought me a Bosu ball, and I am loving it!

However. This was today.

But it's my birthday, ya'll!! Can I just say, this was the most amazing thing I have had in a long time. Some moms came in with this lighted and all the kids singing "Feliz Cumpleaños" to me. And yes, I ate it all. Almost. 

I also need to share that I just have the sweetest kids this year. And the parents are so awesome, too! They are such a motivation to me to try to do my best at my job. I received gifts, cards, and even lunch from Chic-Fil-A! One student wrote me this letter and gave me three of her rainbow loom bracelets.

I am not a very emotional person. I've kind of dried up in my old age lately, lol. But I actually had to compose myself after reading this letter. Obviously the Spanish needs serious help, but for my non-Spanish friends, on the left she made an acrostic with my name. One word I don't even know what it means, but a very interesting word she wrote was organized. It is so surprising sometimes when you realize other people see you in a much different light than you see yourself. Because organized is definitely not something I'd write on my resume.

She goes on to say I have the best ideas, that I'm fun and work hard for them, that she loves my math groups, and she knows that I love my students. Yes, I am trying not to sniff right now again.

 So my Little Buwo thank-you cards I make and sell at Etsy came in perfect to let her and several other students know how much I appreciated their thoughfulness.

 Ok, here's something academic - pulserita patterns! Fourth graders are not too old for this and boys love making them, too. And some will even choose pink.

Inspired by all of the fanastic interactive notebooks out there, I am starting one right now with my students to help them develop their second-language of Spanish. My poor babies just hear math and science all day, but they never get much of a chance to learn the actual language.

Right now we are working on weather expressions to go with our science unit. I added a QR code of a fun Spanish song, so while we worked, I scanned it with my phone, and they listened and sang along.

The blank mini suns and raindrops will get filled in whenever I hear them practice the vocabulary in a natural setting.

So that's my 5 for Friday! My hubs is pressuring me to get off the computer so we can celebrate my special day, so I guess I gotta go!

Have a great weekend!

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Tabitha Carro

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How To Use Woobox for Facebook Giveaways

Hey, yall!

If you have a Facebook page and have never used Woobox to help you randomly pick winners, let me just say, it's pretty awesome!

I made a tutorial in August, and a month and a half later, I finally got it on YouTube. Hope it helps you out! Is there a different way you use to pick winners at your Facebook page?

I've also compiled a playlist for my few videos with tips for teacher authors. Click the image below to watch them all. And please share your tips, too! I'm trying to work smarter, not harder! How about you?

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Tabitha Carro

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Black and White CHEVRON Editable Frame FREEBIE

Hope you all had a great week! Mine went really well! I'm once again fortunate to have an amazing group of super sweet kiddos. Look as this adorable portrait a student drew of me - I love it! The details in the eyes are amazing I think. And she drew my back to school t-shirt, too! :)

Click here for an editable black and white chevron frame to help make your job a little easier. Use it to create classroom posters or additions to your teacher binder or whatever!

If you'd like to see how the complete Black and White Chevron Editable Classroom Decor Pack was used by my partner teacher, click here.

Have a great weekend!

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Tabitha Carro

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Classroom Reveal Using My Primary Paisley Decor Pack

I have such ambitions of what I'm going to accomplish when I get home from a day of teaching, but it all seems to come to naught when I sit on the couch and start snuggling with my Pookie-Lou and a package of Chips Ahoy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Creations.

Very frustrating! I have got to get back on track! Me actually posting this classroom reveal post will be a great sign.

When you enter my portable, you are greeted with the best feature of my whole classroom - this beautiful wreath with our school colors handcrafted by my partner teacher. She, quite simply, is the best. You will hear a lot about her in this post!


When you enter, the first thing you will notice of course are the typical paper lanterns. I kind of went overboard, but everything serves a purpose. Almost everything.

Every table is a Spanish-speaking country. I have six tables and their corresponding countries are: Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Columbia, Spain, and (best for last) Argentina. When I call students to line up or work together or play against each other in learning games, I often do it by table. And it gets the students thinking about that country. Now that I think about it, I should have each table do a country project! Yes, that will definitely...most likely...possibly happen. Who knows.

The numbers hanging from each lantern are different learning stations or groups students may go to when they are finished with required work or when we do math stations.

Here are my station wheels from last year that I use for grouping students (I have two classes). They have held up swimmingly! You can check out how I do my math stations here.

Here's my reading/iPad area. Did not touch it one bit from last year except to move the iPads down to the floor because the wall holders kept breaking from the weight of the iPads.

Here's our Student of the Week Wall and computer area. This also has not changed. I choose two students a week based on their ClassDojo points to be students of the week. I take their pictures and place them on a star. They also have their picture posted on our class website and receive an extra QR code behavior coupon.

Here is the student supply area and also where they find prizes and pencils in exchange for their QR code behavior coupons. All headers were made from the Paisley Pack.

Here's our schedule! For you Spanish speakers, I have a typo in related arts, sorry! And honestly, what is related arts in Spanish?? I translated it literally, and I'm feeling that's not right. Ugh! #notnativespeakerproblems So anyways, my students always ask when we switch or go to lunch or go to recess (even in May!), so here they have it. And you should hear them try to pronounce horario (schedule). It sounds like they have a mouth full of marbles!

Here's our Muro de las palabras! In 4th grade immersion, I use this all the time for Spanish words my students need to learn. To the far top right I have my attention grabber posters. I thought about redoing them to match my theme, but regardless - THESE WILL NEVER CHANGE! You can see more and grab some free copies here.

You can find my alphabet circles in the Paisley Pack, too!

I changed this sign to match my paisley theme. In 4th grade immersion, always speaking Spanish is a big deal, so hopefully this in-your-face-yet-sweet-and-cute sign helps serve as a constant reminder.

Ok, this looks pretty crappy, I admit, but I have no space! Here's my attempt this year to make more use of vertical space with their station journals. The circle poster was made with my pack and the fonts are Zippypaisley by Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah-Designs and This Font Is Bold by Darcy Baldwin.

Here's our lunch choice board with the same bottle caps I've been using for...5 years maybe?? Geesh!

Here's a transportation board that my lovely partner teacher inspired me to do with her transportation board. Click here to see just a little bit of her black and white chevron decor.

Here's our welcome banner on a very bright green screen background. Once again, I used the editable banner in my Paisley Pack for this.

Ok, here's my "dirty closet." Behind those painstakingly handmade curtains is a lot of disorganized teacher mess. But it's stuff I need, so for now, it will stay hidden. On top are some cultural items I bring down from time to time. To the right is a bag of whiteboards and erasers for one table. I have six of these hanging in discreet places all over the classroom for students to grab for their tables when we need them. Since we have small tables for our growing 4th graders, there's just no space on the tables to store items all day long. So I'm loving these, but I'm not sure I have faith in those 3M hooks. We'll see. And who got me those lovely Dollar Tree bags?? My fabulously awesome teacher partner, of course! Courtney, you're going to have to guest blog one day!! I'm talking about you way too much!

And how do I decide which student grabs the white board bags, or helps hands out papers, or grabs the table waste basket? Well, my PT and I placed a colored sticker on each leg of a table.

If I call out "niños rojos," the students look to the table leg on their right, and if it's red, they're the ones to do the task I call out. This has worked AMAZINGLY. We don't even need brain breaks (so far) because students are always getting a chance to get up, move around, and help out. My PT had a circle sticker pack that contained colors red, green, yellow, and blue.

 Here was my first day set-up - paper straws from Target and my "Back to School" mini-book freebie.

Lastly, for my Spanish friends, these are some circle posters are created for the steps students should take to figure out a word they don't know in Spanish. I am #5, so they have 4 prior steps before coming to me: word wall, ask a friend, look in a dictionary/Google Translate, think of a synonym, ask the teacher.

These 5-step posters are provided in a blank, editable format in my Primary Paisley Pack, too. If you're interested in that pack, just click here or on the cover page below.

If you're interested in any of my other class decor packs, click here.

So, I know my classroom is kind of like a rainbow threw up, but my kiddos and I are very happy here, and hopefully one day I'll become more organized and streamlined. If you made it down to this part, thanks so much for visiting my blog! I hope to hear from you - unless you are a spammer and want to share about computer software or something totally irrelevant to this post! :P 

Hope you're having a FABULOUS year! Thanks for what you do!

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Tabitha Carro