Saturday, January 30, 2016

Live gratefully


Gratitude is the art of being thankful.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. ~Cicero

Do you ever look around your world and think about all those things that you want that you don't have? I'll be the first to admit that I have.

I wanted to start looking at my life differently. I wanted to start living my life with gratitude. To be grateful for the big things and the small things.

So I created this gratitude jar.

Looking for an easy and simple way to bring more gratitude into your life? Create a gratitude jar – great for your family or classroom. I love that it’s so easy to implement!


It was so easy to put together! I got a clean jar, a chalk label, and some chalk.

The concept is simple. Every time something happens for which you are grateful for (no matter how small) write it on a piece of paper, fold it, and then put it in the jar.

Read back over your notes of gratitude at the end of the year or when you're having a bad day.

This would be a great concept to introduce to your students in your classroom. You could read all the gratitude notes on the last day of school. What a wonderful way to end your year!

Remember...a moment of gratitude makes a difference in your attitude.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reward system that kids LOVE!

I have done many things as a reward system in the classroom. Passing out tickets (carnival tickets) where the students put their name/number on the back, merit money, etc.

A couple of years ago I came up with Star Bucks. They use the Star Wars characters, with each dollar denomination having a different character. To make it easier, I printed them out in colored paper, with each denomination having a different color.

************* AMENDMENT *************

Due to copyright right laws I have had to edit my Star Bucks and remove the Star Wars characters. Now they have space clip art. Still super cute!

Star Bucks made my life easier. I never went back to another system.

STAR Bucks in the classroom? You bet! Star Bucks are fun and easy classroom economy system that kids love. Great for behavior, homework, and participation. Perfect for the home too!

My students LOVED it! I passed out Star Bucks for great behavior, going above and beyond on their homework, coming to Open House or Meet the Teacher (I taught in Title 1 schools where it was tough to get parents to come), doing great on quizzes and tests, being respectful and helpful to one another, etc. Be creative!

Now students can owe you bucks as well. Together as a class, come up with a list of "no no's" and how much each "no no" would cost.

Every Friday, my students could trade in their bucks at the bank. Star Bucks help reinforce place value too. Hey! You didn't know these were great for math too, right?

Once we had had Bank a couple of weeks, I chose 2-3 students to be the bankers. They took their job extremely seriously and it only helped to boost their math skills and confidence.

I also worked with my students to create a list of rewards that students could buy with their Star Bucks. I'm all about not spending any more money than I have to (if you're like any teacher I know, you spend hundreds of dollars already), so the rewards were all free. I also got some McDonald's toys from a friend of mine...her kids weren't playing with them anymore. I also let my students bring in things to sell. They loved that! I called it the student market, and they brought in books they had read, toys, things they had made...basically anything they wanted.

Oh, and if I ever forgot Bank, they would let me know!!!

May the force be with you!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Interactive science flip book

Hey y'all! Hope your year is going well so far. I can't believe it's already January 11th!

I've been working on creating more science goodies. The school district I taught at for years was really concentrating on science for the past couple of years due the big state test in Texas, the STAAR. Do other states also have state science tests?

I've been working on creating more science flip books. Here is my latest, Landforms.

These flip books are interactive, open-ended for critical thinking and creativity, and so easy to put together.

Step one: Color (or you can have your students color it at the end if you want)

Great teaching idea for science. Unique way to take notes. These science flip books are interactive, open-ended for critical thinking and creativity, and so easy to put together.


Step two: Cut pages along the dashed lines

Great teaching idea for science. Unique way to take notes. These science flip books are interactive, open-ended for critical thinking and creativity, and so easy to put together.

Step three: Put together in order and staple

Great teaching idea for science. Unique way to take notes. These science flip books are interactive, open-ended for critical thinking and creativity, and so easy to put together.

And here is the finished flip book!

Great teaching idea for science. Unique way to take notes. These science flip books are interactive, open-ended for critical thinking and creativity, and so easy to put together.

I want to give one of these away! Let's play Pin It to Win It!
All you have to do is pin one of the images above on Pinterest and then paste that URL in the comments.

A winner will be chosen on Sunday, January 16th.

Good luck! Feel free to share with your teacher friends!

Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Goals for 2016!

2016 is here, and it's time to think about New Years resolutions. But I decided not to do New Years resolutions this year. Why? Because they don't work. At least for me, they don't.

So I'm trying something new this year. I am setting intentions and goals. I'm linking up with Stephanie at Principal Principles to share my goals.


Here we go!

Goal #1: Put my health a priority


I've done the whole "lose weight" for New Years resolutions, and yeah, that didn't work so well. I'm sure I'm not the only one...right? So this year I am setting an intention on making my health a priority. Weight loss will be a great bonus. I want to focus on making better choices when it comes to food. I'm hoping in the process that my taste buds will change, and I won't want Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's, and who knows what all the time. I also want to focus on adding more activity into my day...taking a walk (I would take my dogs on walks, but I have 2 special needs dogs), dancing, whatever. It's time to love myself! It's time for the new version of me!



Goal #2: Step out of my comfort zone

I've got in a rut and have been afraid to do certain things. But I am setting my intention to step out of my comfort zone this year and try new things...despite being afraid.


Goal #3: Seek out more adventures

When I moved to Korea, it was amazing because practically every day was a new adventure. I LOVED it! When moving home, I was going to do more adventures here in my area, but I have become quite lax. So that's a big goal for me. Seek out new things to do and do them!


Btw...I would be perfectly happy if that adventure involved traveling to another country. I'm just sayin'...


Goal #4: Create videos for teachers

I've never tried this. But I LOVE to share my ideas with teachers, and a lot of times writing it down just doesn't cut it. You need to see it in action and hear it. So I have bought some new equipment to start making videos. Be on the lookout for them!

What are you goals for 2016?

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