Friday, November 20, 2015

GoNoodle's Game On!

This week I want to share one of my favorite GoNoodle Channels, Game On!
The thing I love about the Game On! Channel is the ability to make the activities personalized to my classroom learning using the My Questions option.  Let me share some of the favorites in my classroom!

Our all time favorite so far is Body Spell!  This 2-10 minute activity lets you add your weekly spelling words so that students can practice spelling each word using their bodies by following the body outline.  This kinesthetic activity gets us using all up and moving as we learn.  It's also great for students to use for practicing their High Frequency Words!

Think On Your Feet is a 2-10 minute Kinesthetic Learning Activity with a game show type format.  The class is broken into 2 groups.  All students participate in a physical challenge such as balancing on 1 foot while the selected team answers questions to earn points.  This game also features the My Questions option so you can add questions based on your current learning outcomes or you can choose grade level appropriate questions from a bank of subjects.

Freeze It is a wonderful 1-2 minute game which also has the My Questions option.  I actually use the question bank on this game with my students to practice math skills such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication.  There is also a set of questions based on letter sounds which is so valuable for those students just learning letter sounds or who struggle with them.  Students move until the word freeze appears on the screen when they must freeze and call out the answer to the posted question!

Mega Math Marathon is a 1-2 minute fun game which incorporates running in place with math questions.  Although this doesn't have the My Questions option, you can choose your grade level and question set which then breaks that question set into sub sets of questions.  I love this activity for the afternoon when we are bubbling with energy and struggling to focus.  Not only does it wear us down a little but we are getting those math minutes in as well!  

As we finish any of the above activities I always transition back to a calm classroom atmosphere by choosing one of the calming activities.  My favorite being Airtime which is a 2-4 minute video which uses breathing techniques to relax and settle down for classroom learning.

If you haven't joined GoNoodle it is absolutely free!  Visit the following link to join teachers all over the world who GoNoodle!

I encourage you to visit GoNoodle this week with your class and give the Game On! channel a try.  I would love to hear from some of our UAE teachers who have tried out GoNoodle in the classroom so add a comment with one of your favorite activities!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

GoNoodle's Koo Koo Kanga Roo!

This week has been full of awesome GoNoodle fun!  My kids have loved sampling activities from several channels this week for lots of different purposes like brain breaks, skip counting, guided dancing to get the wiggles out, and calming to help us settled down for some learning.  The kids have been so excited I wanted to take the time to share a little about one of our favorite channels of the week, Koo Koo Kanga Roo!

Koo Koo Kanga Roo is loaded with 31 fun-tastic activities.  We started out the week with Skip Counting.  This video is 2:25 of counting by 2s, 5s, & 10s.  

I was also able to get everyone cleaned up and ready to go by offering the incentive of using the Class Dismissed video which lasts a quick 1:52.

Ever wonder what to do for the few kids that know their "happy birthday"?  Try Birthday Hooray.  It's a quick 2:17 to make that child feel special!

Cat Party is one of my personal favorites and the kids love it as well.  It's 3 minutes of heart pumping fun.  I love it because I'm grabbing a few minutes of exercise during the day as well.

I hope you take some time this week to try out the  Koo Koo Kanga Roo channel on GoNoodle.  If you don't have an account yet it is free to sign-up.  Here is a link to join and I would love to hear from some of my fellow UAE teachers on how it's working in your classroom!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Congratulations Lucky Winners!

I am so excited to announce the lucky winners of the Happy Valentine's Giveaway.  The 3 lucky winners are Michelle Williams, Hafiza Sayed Nabee, and Andrea Gallien.  Thank you to all those who entered using the Rafflecopter.  For those who did not win but would like to pick up a copy of their favorite product, I am holding a sale for the next week on my Teachers Notebook shop at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day Give Away!

Today is one of my favorite holidays, Valentines Day!  To celebrate I am hosting a free give away!  Sign up using the rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of your favorite product from my Teachers Notebook Shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Calendar Giveaway!

Register to win 1 of 2 English and Arabic Calendar Sets in my TeachersNotebook shop at the following link  Giveaway ends on January 9, 2014.  GOOD LUCK!!!

Welcome 2014 Using Morning Meeting and Daily Calendar

     The winter holiday is winding down and I am looking forward to the return to class next week.  As I look back over the first trimester I can pin point several strategies that are working really well to motivate my girls this year.  I hope to share a few of these over the next few weeks to help others who are searching for something new to jazz up their daily routines.
     The first day of class will be fun as the girls and I update our daily calendar.  I am so excited about my new translated calendar set because the girls love to interact with it during morning meeting as well as in their "Reading the Room" center.

     This year I have incorporated music into our daily calendar routine.  We use the computer screen to the right of my calendar to sing along with several videos each day.  During trimester 1 I incorporated several songs from  My girls absolutely love Matt from Dream English.  They can be heard singing these songs throughout the day as they work and play. The use of music has dramatically increased their recall and sequencing of both months of the year and days of the week. I use name sticks (popsicle sticks with student names) to call on students to lead us with a pointer, writing, or adding word cards or sticks as we go through our daily routine.
     The following is a list of the activities we include each day:
1.  Good Morning Song
2.  Months of the Year Song
3.  Student places correct month card in The month is __________. pocket chart
4.  Day of the Week Song
5.  Students place correct cards in the Yesterday was, Today is, and Tomorrow will be pocket chart.
6.  Today's date color pattern added on the pocket chart.  This month we were using AABB patterns.
7.  How many day's have we been in school?  Student adds a straw to the base 10 pocket chart and write the number on the 100s chart.
8.  What's the Time Song
9.  Read the clock.  We are working on reading the clock to the hour.
10.  Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s.  Student helpers point to the numbers as we count.

     This semester I plan to add some new songs as well as a daily number pattern.  I hope some of my ideas help you throughout your teaching in 2014.  Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Discipline Success In The UAE!

Last year one of my biggest frustrations with teaching in the UAE was discipline.  During my 20 years of teaching experience in the US I had success using many discipline strategies and thought they would easily fit into my classroom in Abu Dhabi.  That did not turn out to be the case.  I'm not saying the students were running wild and out of control, but I wasn't experiencing my usual level of success.  I realized it all came down to one very important missing component, parent communication.

Parent communication has been a huge challenge for me over the past year.  I work in a community off island where most parents speak little to no English and I speak little to no Arabic.  My campus is not equipped with a translator so phone calls home are nonexistent.  I needed a way to communicate with parents concerning the students daily behavior and how they could play an active role in the educational process.  This was the beginning of my English and Arabic Discipline System.

I have been using the new discipline system since school began and I cannot describe the difference in my classroom this year.  I began by creating the translated color poster and displaying it on a magnetic surface in my classroom.  I use magnets this year with each students' number but others on my campus are using clothespins with student names. I also sent home the translated parent note as that explains the discipline plan in both English and Arabic which is the first step in communicating with parents.
Students begin each day by placing their magnet on ready to learn (green).  As students progress through the day they earn moves up the chart for positive behavior such as working quietly, turning in homework, helping a friend, or any other behavior you would like to reinforce.  Each behavior earns 1 move up the color chart.  For negative behaviors students are required to move their magnet down one color level.  I love that students are able to turn their behavior around and move back up the chart with a change in behavior.  I find that my students will do just about anything to move those magnets up.

Each day 3-5 minutes before class ends students are asked to color the monthly discipline calendar included in the set.  As students color I walk the room and sticker or stamp any calendars who were initialed by parents the previous night.  This calendar has a translated color chart so it is clear what behavior their child had that day.  If students end the day on Parent Contact (red) I send home a translated parent letter that includes a list of negative classroom behaviors.  I am able to check the areas that students struggled with during the day.  Parents are asked to discuss this behavior at home with the child then sign and return the note to school.  This note is placed in the child's folder as documentation of parent contact.
This Behavior Set includes English and Arabic translated introduction parent letter, 2013-2014 school year calendars, translated parent contact note, 7 Level Color Coded Behavior Chart.  I also have a document to track weekly behavior that accompanies this set available in my freebies.  If you are interested check it out.