DIY Flashcard Pouch

flashcard-pouch-with-flashcards

Almost every teacher I know has the uncanny ability to take common household supplies and turn them into some sort of classroom supply. I do not go to the extremes of some of the teachers that I know, but I will admit, I get the DIY classroom supply itch now and again.

Over the past few years, I manufactured DIY Ziploc flashcard pouches for back to school. Using quart-sized Ziploc bags and some duct tape, I make a pouch that clips into student binders to hold loose materials. At the beginning of the year, I give each student a pouch to hold vocabulary and grammar flashcard rings in their binders. The pouches also work well for math facts flashcards, sight word flashcards, username/PW information for school apps, and a variety of other everyday classroom items.

flashcard-pouch-materials

Materials

  • quart-sized Ziploc bags (go for heavy duty, so they don’t rip before the end of the school year)
  • duct tape in a fun color/pattern (I like Duck tape brand that has the crazy patterns)
  • single hole punch
  • sharp scissors
  • one piece of notebook paper to measure the distance to punch holes

diy-flashcard-pouch-in-binder

Directions

  • Put one Ziploc bag on a flat surface, front of the bag facing up.
  • Eyeball the length of a piece of duct tape that reaches from the bottom of the Ziploc bag to the “collar” or area where the bag snaps together.

flashcard-pouch-duck-tape-strip

  • Cut the length of duct tape you need and place the duct tape on the flat surface, sticky side up.
  • Place Ziploc bag on top of the sticky side of the duct tape only covering half of the width of the tape strip.

flashcard-pouch-duckt-tape-strip-folded

  • Fold the remaining exposed part of the duct tape strip over the top of the plastic bag, so the left edge is covered with a strip of duct tape.
  • Hold the notebook paper with the bottom two holes over the duct taped edge of the bag. Line up the bottom of the piece of notebook paper with the bottom edge of the Ziploc bag.

flashcard-pouch-hole-punch

  • Hole punch two holes into the Ziploc bag.
  • Clip into binder.

 

Discipline Dollars

 

discipline dollars with name and bonus money

Classroom management (the fancy teacher phrase for behavior) is my least favorite part of teaching. My main plan of attack is to keep students so busy they really don’t have time to get off task and stir up trouble. Unfortunately, that does not always work, so I have to have some sort of monitoring system in place. This year, my teacher teammate and I implemented a classroom economy to keep students motivated to make positive decisions and (hopefully) reduce disruptive behavior.

Many classrooms have a similar plan. It’s like pulling a ticket or a bear or a penguin or a turtle… The beauty of this system is that incorporates math skills and financial literacy. Students are paid a set amount on Monday mornings. The goal is to keep the money throughout the week. Students “pay” the teacher for repeated class disruption, organizational issues, or any behaviors that stop the classroom from running efficiently. On the flip side, students can EARN extra money for positive choices that help keep the classroom community running smoothly.

discipline dollars and library pocket

At the end of the week, the students total their earnings and keep a balance sheet of withdrawals and deposits. After a designated amount of time, the students buy a class reward if they have saved enough money. For kids with a surplus of money, they can purchase bonus rewards.

sample balance sheet

Adapt for Home: Not only does this system work in a classroom, it is a system that works at home for weekly allowances. Children have their weekly amount of allowance money and can keep it if they complete all chores. If they forget to feed the dog for several days in a row, they could have their pay reduced. If they do extra chores like wash the car without being prompted, they could be rewarded with extra money. At school, I use fake Monopoly-like money, at my home, I would pay my children real money.

My students are most excited about the individual rewards. We have tangible items for a lower price that I am getting at Oriental Trading. Our first group reward will be the first of October, so I am stocking the prize box with Halloween themed items LIKE THESE and THESE. But, we are also offering more costly items that are specific to our school. Students can save over several months to cash in for experiences that are considered a “coup” at our school.

halloween treasure chest

School Bonus Reward Ideas

  • $10 – $25: Prize Box (erasers, pencils, stickers, bookmarks, key chains, fidgets, fun school supplies)
  • $25 – $50: Shoes off in the classroom, sit at the teacher desk, pick your seat at lunch, homework pass, be first in the lunch line
  • $50 – $100: Hold the flag at school assembly, pick the game at PE class, wear jeans to school (if you have school uniforms)
  • $100+: Design the school lunch menu for a day, make the school announcements over the speaker, pull the fire alarm during a fire drill, give a homework-free night to the whole class

At Home Allowance Reward Ideas

  • Go to the movies or pick the movie for family movie night
  • Go to an indoor bounce/trampoline park for an afternoon
  • Pick the restaurant for a family dinner out
  • Extra TV, iPad, game time

CLICK HERE to visit my TeachersPayTeachers store to purchase the Discipline Dollars Product with editable money templates.

discipline dollars pin

How to Write a Letter an Author Will Love

secret destiny of pixie piper

In This Recent Fractured Fairy Tale Book List Post, I highlighted a sweet book Miss Priss and I found this summer called The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper. Because of the post, a real live book author contacted ME! She offered to author a guest post at TheRoomMom and include a giveaway for an autographed copy of her book. Ms. Fisher offers great tips for contacting book authors and writing letters that authors love to read. If you would like to win an autographed copy of her book, share this blog post on social media using the hashtag, #readpixiepiper. After sharing, add your information to This Rafflecopter Link to be entered to win! Contest ends Friday, September 2, 2016.

annabelle fisher letter

A Guest Post by Annabelle Fisher

Author of The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper

Have you ever written to an author before? Have you imagined her (or him!) reading your letter while drinking a cup of coffee? Was this author smiling, laughing, or wishing she could give you a comforting hug?

The letters we authors like to receive best are a bit like conversations. The one I posted above is one of my favorites because I could picture the letter-writer’s class laughing or shouting as the teacher read. It included details about exactly what was funny. I also liked hearing how my book let the class “get the laughs out” after reading a sad book. I loved knowing that my story made those kids feel better.

I asked some author friends of mine what questions and comments they like to see in the letters they receive. Here are their answers:

Donna Galanti, author of Joshua and the Lightning Road, wrote that she’d had a young reader (who actually reviews books) tell her that he liked how she used scents and smells in her book. He quoted the line “He smelled like a wet dog that had been swimming in sour milk.” He said he knew “exactly how revolting is.”

Author Susan Lynn Meyer wrote that one of her favorite things was hearing from a young reader in Austria who had read the English edition of her novel, Black Radishes, although German was his first language and it had been translated into German.  Ms. Meyer said, “It’s exciting the book is traveling around the world, including to places I’ve never been.”

Jeannie Mobley, author of Silver Heels, says, “I commonly have kids tell me what they think should happen to my main characters after the story ends, and I always like that.”

Author Susan Ross says, “I was very moved by thank you letters in a blog from an inner city class…that read Kiki and Jacques prior to my author visit. One student’s favorite part was the father getting help with alcoholism; another said he could face up to a bully now….Meant so much to me!”

These caring authors are curious about what you think – and so am I. We enjoy knowing not just what our readers liked, but why. We want to know not only where you’re from, but what you would show us if we came to visit your city or town.  We like to hear if the main character or another character reminds you of yourself, a friend, or a frenemy. And we absolutely want to know if our books inspired you and how.

Your questions and comments remind us that our readers care about what we write. So keep those letters coming!

Annabelle Fisher is the author of The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper, which reviewers have called, “entertaining,” “fresh,” “creative,” and “pretty darn charming.” Visit her website at www.annabellefisher.com for info about author talks and writers’ workshops. Or email her at annabellefisherbooks@gmail.com

fisher author letter tips pin

For more help writing author letters, CLICK HERE to download a Free Author Letter Resource on TpT.

BTS Teacher Emergency Kit Giveaway Winner!

back to school teacher emergency kit 2016

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway for two Back to School Teacher Emergency Kits.

Congratulations to the winner, Michel J! Michel, please look for an e-mail from me, so I can get your kits in the mail to you promptly.

For those who did not win, it is easy to make your own Teacher Emergency Kits. Find a small zippered bag (like a cosmetics bag), a little box with compartments (like a bead box from Michael’s Crafts), or a simple gift bag and fill with items that would be helpful to have in your teacher desk or bag.

  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • aspirin
  • mints
  • dental floss
  • cough drops
  • Sharpie pen
  • safety pins
  • travel comb
  • chapstick
  • quarters (for the soda machine)
  • hair ties or clips
  • Band-aids
  • Tide to go stick
  • travel sized hand lotion
  • Smart phone charger
  • compact mirror

teacher emergency kit 2016 contents

2016 Teacher Emergency Kit Giveaway

back to school teacher emergency kit 2016

One Lucky Winner Will Receive TWO Back to School Teacher Emergency Kits!

I am giving away two (2) Teacher Emergency Kits to one (1) lucky winner! You can keep one kit and give one to a teacher friend (or make two teachers, friends, co-workers, neighbors… super happy and give both as gifts). Click HERE to enter. Giveaway ends this Wednesday, August 17 at midnight (EST). Shipping addresses must be within the USA or Canada.

teacher emergency kit 2016 contents

Winner will receive 2 vinyl pouches and emergency kit contents. Each kit contains a $10 Starbucks giftcard, travel sized lip gloss, travel sized Shout and Windex wipes, travel sized Advil, Tums, Band-aids, nail file, and peppermints. See this BLOG POST for more details about the Teacher Emergency Kits.


Click this RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY LINK and follow me on various social media and/or share the giveaway using #theroommom to be entered to win!

teacher emergency kit 2016 top view