The VIP Bucket, Math Crowns, and Love Bots: Five for Friday Fun

I have lots of random things to share with you today, so it's only fitting that I link up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

I'm hoping that my randomness leaves you with a tad bit of inspiration, as well as a smile.

Let's start with the smile!  First up, are these love bots.  I know I've shared them on the blog before, but look carefully at their hands.

Hehe.  It looks like one of my second graders decided these little robots needed to live up their name.  Normally, I would have a very teachery talk with the kids about not touching things on our bulletin board, but honestly, this was just too darn cute.  The love bots have been holding hands since Monday.

Recently, Amanda from Teaching Maddeness shared a great idea on her blog about her VIP table which was inspired by The Tattooed Teacher.  The table is reserved for students who give it their all each day.  The table is special because she sets out a variety of office supplies for the students to use, among other things.  I loved this idea!  When you're 8, there is nothing better than getting to use fun supplies while the rest of the class is stuck with their boring pencil box supplies!   

As soon as I read all about this great idea, I decided I needed to try it in my own classroom.  First of all, it's a fun and special way to recognize those students who work very hard each day to make good choices and always do their best.  Second, it totally goes with my Rock Star themed classroom!  But, there was one small huge problem.  I do not have a table in my classroom, and I do not have the space to bring a table into the room.  Then, inspiration struck!  If I can't give them a VIP a table, I can bring the table of them, so to speak.  Introducing the VIP bucket.

This bucket is stocked with items such as washi tape, post-it notes, stickers, Scentos markers (not shown because I added them after taking these pictures), regular markers, colored pencils, mechanical pencils, cute erasers, a fun little rock star sign, and more.  It has been a hit! The VIP's have been busy writing themselves notes with the smelly markers, putting stickers on their assignments, and proudly using the mechanical pencil on any and all assignments.

I only have one bucket, and that means that only one student gets the bucket each day.  In order to earn the bucket of supplies, a student has to make smart choices They also have to do their best,  Students find out who the new VIP is each day by walking into the classroom and noticing whose desk it was placed on.

Ok, let's talk academics for a second.  The other day, I still had some time left during my math block. Knowing that my students can always use a little review with two-digit addition and subtraction, I pulled out these task cards from my sweet friend Jaime at Bright Concepts 4 Teachers.  I simply showed the task cards one at a time via my classroom projector/Elmo and the students solved them on a blank piece of paper that we divided into fourths.  It was a quick and easy way to practice some important skills.

Please don't tell me that I'm the only one who gets the itch to reorganize this time of year?  It happens every single year, without fail.  My most recent reorganization project was making my writing prompts more user friendly.

Previously, I had them stuffed into these adorable little buckets. I had one bucket for each table group, which is why the buckets are numbered.  Sadly, they always fall over, and the students never put the cards back into the buckets properly (read: the cards were going every which way).

So, I decided to hole punch the corner of each card and put them on a ring. Then, I put all the ring sets into a bucket.  Now, the kids just grab a set of cards and choose a prompt.  The cards are always going the same direction, all of the table groups have access to all of the prompts, and nothing is being knocked over.  Yay!

The writing prompts shown are from the super creative Molly at Lucky to Be in First, and Lori Rosenberg from Teaching with Love and Laughter.

I recently set out some new "fast finisher" activities.  You have to change it up every once in a while, and, well, it was time.  Our class journals remain a favorite, but let's be honest, a little variety never hurt anyone.  These dice games from Stories by Storie are so great!  My students already keep a die in their desk (for our Roll-a-Story boards), so these games are so convenient for us, and the kids love them!  I simply printed them out and put them inside the dry erase pockets.   I plan to switch out the games every few weeks or so.

Can I cheat and share one more thing with you?  We celebrated our Valentine's Day on Thursday because Friday is a day of non-attendance (staff development day).  Party days are insane, as you know!  But, I did walk away from my day of chaos with two highs (we won't discuss the lows).  First, are these cute heart crowns that the kids made in math.  They wrote two-digit subtraction problems on individual hearts and glued them to a headband.  I did this  few years ago, and it's a fun alternative to the candy heart graphing.

The second success of the day were these strawberry floats!  They are so easy to make.  All you need is some vanilla ice cream, strawberry soda, and red licorice.  They were delicious, and the only silence I got all day was when the kids were eating them.

Well, that's it!  I hope you were able to take an idea or two away from this post!  Don't forget to head on over to Doodle Bugs!


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  1. The Love Bots holding hands is TOO CUTE!!! And you are much more organized than I am :)

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  2. I love your V.I.P. basket. I really like how it's small and portable. I read the other bloggers posts too and think this is such a fantastic management idea. Thanks for sharing!

    Lattes and Lunchrooms

  3. I just have to try out your VIP bucket idea. You found such fun items to put inside of it! I bet your kiddos just LOVE this! Putting my task cards on rings will be a great summer project. Thank you for all of these great ideas! I hope your lows were not too low! :)

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  4. I love the VIP bucket idea... so motivating for all the kids!

  5. Your VIP bucket is such a great classroom management idea! I can only imagine how excited they are each day to find out who will get it! I also love your strawberry ice cream floats. I am pinning that idea right now. Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas! -Jaime

  6. So excited to borrow/copy some of your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Fantastical! I love putting everything on a ring too! So easy to keep together :)

    -Bri @ Knowledge Mobile


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