Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hall Pass!

I am linking up with Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for this super fun, and cute, linky!

So let's start off with my favorite product that I have created...or should I say my kids favorite product...is the Common Core Math Hot Seats!
Before the students enter the classroom, I hide a hot seat or two under their chairs. The best part is, you can differentiate the questions for different kids. If you know one student needs to work on a particular math problem, then you can purposely give them that question.
Sometime during the day I announce that there are HOT SEATS!!! and the students all jump up and look under their chairs to see if they have a question...
If they do, then their challenge is to come up with the answer! If they are having trouble answering the question, then they are allowed to 'phone a friend' and ask someone at their table for help.
On this day, I had three hot seats! Here is another little one working on his counting...
My students absolutely LOVE hot seats. They literally asked me if there was a hot seat ALL.DAY.LONG for the first month I introduced them! I kept explaining to them that it was supposed to be a surprise!
I love these cards because they hit every common core standard and they are super easy to use! You can find them for different grade levels below:
The other grade levels are coming this summer! and ELA too!

My favorite classroom area has to be our carpet area! This is where SO much learning takes place....calendar math, whole group reading, we even do our math at the carpet!
My 'go-to' signal in class for transitions is to actually play 'Simon Says'. It gets my students attention right away and gets their wiggles out! I can say, 'Simon says say shhh!' or 'Simon says do 5 jumping jacks' if I need to get them moving a little or even 'Simon says spell are'. It all works for my class and that's what I am sticking too (for now) haha! If I just need my class to listen to me quickly, then I will say 'Class' and they will say 'Yes' or I will say 'Classy Class' and they will say 'Yessy yes' haha they repeat the way I say class and the tone I am using--I got this idea from a video I watched on Youtube!!

How do I keep my sanity at work? Well...that used to be an even easier question to answer...DIET COKE!! But, I gave it up this year! However, I do have a connecting door with my teaching bestie and we hang out during our special's break! We chit-chat, prep, gossip about who we like on the Bachelor, plan...anything! But, it is lots of fun to have her next door!

Head on over to read about other blogger's 'Hall Pass'!


  1. Every time I see your Math Hot Seats, it makes me wish I taught math! I love your signals, too. I want to learn more about WBT. Sounds like it's right up my alley!
    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  2. I love the simon says idea for spelling sight words etc!!! I am starting that up TOMORROW!!!! Hot seats=genius! Thanks so much for linking up!!!

  3. Caitlin,
    I LOVE your hot seats idea! I like how it keeps your students on their toes always curious to learn. Great job!
    Kindergarten Milestones

  4. Simon says perfect idea! Thanks for sharing! I also have your hot seats on my wish list! I have to get them into my cart now after seeing how much fun they are and how the students like them!

  5. I love the hot seat idea. Genius!


  6. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your hot seats idea. Brilliant and so much fun :)

    Granny Goes to School

  7. The hot seats is so cool!!!!! How often do you do hot seats???

  8. I really like the hot seat idea! And I agree, it's so nice to have someone to rely on at work. I don't know where I'd be without my co-teacher :)


  9. Beth, I probably do hot seats twice a week now. I started off doing them every day just to get my kids in the habit of them and understanding what they were (plus they were addicting because the kids had so much fun with them). Now, I am trying to make it more random and more surprising! But, when I do the hot seats--I usually do 3 or 4 questions at a time :)

  10. I love you hot seats idea. I've never heard of doing that. Very creative!

  11. Hi Caitlin,
    I am wondering where you got that large wonderful ABC rug, if you have any idea..?

  12. Hi Mary! That carpet is from Lakeshore Learning :)

  13. GAH!! I am seriously diggin' your Hot Seat idea!!! I popped over from the Hall Pass linky...I'd love it if you'd "sneak down the hall" and check out my Hall Pass post. :)

    Happy Teacher Heaven