As the 2015-2016 year winds to a close,  I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas with you! 

 I bought these fans at Hobby Lobby and just added some fun and inspirational words on them.  They decorated my back wall all year, and I love how bright and big they are!  I plan on using them next year!  They were super easy to put together.  I used hot glue to add the words.

I found these foam counting cubes at the Dollar Tree and I wish I bought 10 bags of them, because I've never been able to find them again.  They are perfect for both math and literacy work stations! Here I used them to play a CVC word building game.  I've also used them with upper and lower case letters and spelling words.

I always find great ideas at Michaels.  These are bookmarks, but I use them as "talking sticks" when we do Kagan Cooperative learning.  They work great in my kinder and first grade groups.  If you have the frog or the monkey, it is your turn to talk.

Throughout the year,  I found GREAT alphabet ideas.  From cool clothes pins to fun stamps.  Michaels helped make my work stations more fun!

My students LOVED playing Guess the Sight Word.  It was an activity that always keep them busy the entire work station time! Here is a freebie for you to try.  It comes with a key to help the students solve the words.  

One of my favorite organization ideas is using photo boxes to store task cards.  I use different colors to help differentiate.  You can buy them in 4x6 or 5x7 size.  They are durable and perfect for work stations!

I've been scouring Pintrest and blogs for some awesome freebies for the end of the year!  I wanted to share some of my favorites!

A fun flip book from Sam Van Gorp!

Summer Themed Would You Rather... from Rachel Lynette

Bright Concepts 4 Teachers has an adorable countdown freebie!

Theresa from The Primary Peach has created awesome checklists to keep you organized!

If you are looking for gifts for your students, these freebie tags from Sparkling in Second Grade are great for bubbles.  You can find 3 packs of bubbles for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

My End of the Year Pinterest Board  has lots of other ideas to make the year end fun!

Even though I teach reading,  I always incorporate a social skill learning target into our lesson.  My school has all small groups incorporating a social skill into the learning target (just like classroom teachers).

Some of my groups are a little challenging in terms of behaviors.  I have found that choosing the right social skill based on needs of the group has greatly helped my sanity.  Sometimes we stay on the same learning target for longer than a week.  We also revisit the learning targets, if needed.  For example, one of groups was on, "I will ask before I take something that doesn't belong to me" for a month!  Possibly the closeness of a small group made things more challenging, but this group couldn't keep their hands off of other student's supplies (and mine).  I cannot tell you how many times I said, "What's our learning target?" and  "What do we do when we want to use someone's supplies?"  I probably said this 100 times in a week (not exaggerating).

Some of the learning targets have been:
I will use my words when someone makes me mad.
I will use my manners.
I will keep my hands to myself.
I will ask permission before I take something that doesn't belong to me.
I will count to five and take a deep breath before I respond.

Last week, my principal did a walkthrough during this group.  I was so proud of them.  She couldn't believe how focused and on-task they were.  I realize that it is the end of the year, but they have come such a long way!!!  Incorporating social skills learning targets made a difference.  Even though I wanted to give up after the first week, I'm glad I persevered!

My two favorite author's for teaching about social skills in the classroom are Mo Willems and Julia Cook.  They are great at making social skills concepts enjoyable for students.  I love how Mo Williems' books subliminally spread a message of good manners and being a good friend!  Julia Cook has a book for every social skill needed :)

Download my Learning Target signs for free!! There are two files included and you can edit one of them!

Teacher's Pay Teacher's is having their Teacher Appreciation sale today and tomorrow!! Save up to 28%!

In addition, here are some of my favorite places to use my teacher id badge (or email address) year round!
- Eddie Bauer 
- Michaels
- Joanne's (you need the tag that you can put on your key chain)
- Apple
- Adobe

Here are my top 3 wish listed items from my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store!  I love hearing feedback from teachers that my products help them make their job easier AND they help with student learning!

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