A Teacher Gift Your Students Will Treasure All Year!

In years past, I have struggled with what to give my students for gifts.  I usually defaulted to candy and pencils.  Such gifts didn’t break the bank of a first year teacher, but it wasn’t really what my students wanted. However, they took the bags with a smile. Flash forward to my first year at a new school and my usual teacher gift of candy and pencils just weren’t going to do the trick as many of my students weren’t all that crazy about sweets or needed extra pencils. What to do, what to do? Continue reading

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How To Conquer The Early Finisher Syndrome

We’ve all been there…It’s small group and station or center time.  You are in the middle of small group when you hear them!!! Those words of horror… “I’m done!  What can I do now?”  What do you do?  Sweat pops out between your shoulder blades and your mind goes blank.

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My Mistakes Will Make You A Better Teacher!

 

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And so it begins!!!

It’s Back to School time!!!  I am pulling out my list of things to get done before school starts and here is the first thing I put on my To-Do list!!!

Whether you are a brand new teacher entering your first classroom or a veteran teacher, there are always mistakes made, that if you aren’t careful, will  have you wondering if you chose the right career!!!  Read on…

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What Happened in the Classroom When I Posted the Schedule

I was recently asked what advice I would give a brand new teacher.  Well, I’m not a new teacher but I felt like one when I moved to a new school last year.  After my experiences last year, I would always suggest posting a daily schedule!!   Who knew a classroom schedule could be a game changer and bring calm to a classroom of fifth graders?

Up until last year, I was a departmentalized 5th grade teacher with no control over my schedule.  All that changed last year when I moved to another school.  Suddenly, I had a lot of control over when and what I taught AND I was self contained… meaning I taught all subjects except specials and science to a fabulous group of 5th graders.  Wahoo!!! There was just one problem….due to the specials, not one of my days’ schedule was the same!

Looking back,  “Hello, Captain Obvious.  a posted schedule is the answer!”  Well, I never claimed to be the sharpest pencil in the box!  It was a rough couple of  beginning days….”What’s next?”, “What books do I need this morning?” “What specials do we have today?”  I could go on, but it is just too embarrassing!!!

About the third day, after answering way too many questions about “What are we doing today” or “What books do I need to have?”,  I had a moment of clarity after the students left!!! I literally walked over to the white board at the front of my room and wrote the next day’s schedule on the white board.  My classes were listed in one color; specials and non-academic activities such as assemblies in a different colors.

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Nirvana!!!  No, not the grunge band…but perfection!   No more, “I don’t have my math book!”, “I thought today was computers, not media!”   No more clamoring from the students as to what the day would bring as students came in.  Suddenly there was peace in the classroom!

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graphic by http://www.mycutegraphics.com

 

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