At the beginning of the school year we work hard to teach students some basic courtesies to make everyone happier and keep students responsible for their learning space. these are five basic things we teach repeatedly during the first month of school to our upper elementary students. We also want to stress that just because this is how we do things, doesn’t mean these procedures will work ‘as is’ in your classroom. Feel free to solve the issues in your own way. Continue Reading
Flexible seating-it’s all over social media right now. It’s strange to us that it’s so popular right now as we’ve been doing it in our classroom for over seven years, but there is definitely a trend that doesn’t mesh with our philosophy of flexible seating.
Flexible seating is a mindset-not an opportunity for shopping!
Teachers are notorious for never really taking a break. We’re super teachers! We never need sleep or down time or family. Somehow we feel guilty if we don’t spend our whole summers getting ready for the new school year.
It’s true-we could spend every waking moment working on our classrooms or planning amazing lessons for our students. Should we feel guilty for not spending every weekend slaving over marking or making resources?
Absolutely not. After all these years of teaching, we’ve managed to figure out that it will still work out whether we spend a thousand hours or three. Continue Reading
Are you someone people like to work with? Or not? It’s too easy to blame others when we aren’t happy in a situation. So, here are some ideas about how to be a good teammate: Continue Reading
Flexible seating is all the rage these days. Finding information on different seating arrangements and types of furniture is easy. But how do you keep students and their many belongings organized?
We’ve used flexible seating in upper elementary classes for the past six years. Our students are taught from the first day how to properly choose a seat, work where it suits them best and how to stay organized so their stuff isn’t all up in our stuff.
You’ve seen those beautiful planners all over Pinterest and on everyone’s social media. They are masterpieces that we wish could emulate, but alas, us ninjas have a lot going on and so our plan books have been an evolution. We realized early on that our plans aren’t pretty and we needed a way to share a classroom and thus, share our plans with each other.
Finding the planning style for you takes time. Here are some of our best tips for figuring out your planning style. Continue Reading
There has been much talk on social media lately about picking a word to represent your year or what you would like to accomplish. It’s been a challenge this year to pick a word, but all of that will be revealed in another post. As for last year’s word, there’s a story and tattoo involved, so get ready for the story. Continue Reading
We use interactive notebooks in our math class. We have found creating a reference book of concepts and procedures that students can refer to when working in math helps them build confidence and develop independence.
Our notebooks are created using two pages for each concept. On the right hand page, we share the lesson including important Continue Reading
The most difficult part of teaching is often the fact you are in a room with young people all day long every day. It would be nice to get out and talk to the adults, but the mere culture of school often keeps us from having conversations about our real lives outside of the walls of the school.
That is why finding your peeps is so important. Continue Reading
If you have not read our What is Universal Design for Learning? post, we recommend you start there.
For those of you that have learned a little about UDL, you are now ready to dive in and start the journey. By coming back for the second post in this series, it must mean you actually want to try this out. GREAT! We hope we can help make your journey simpler.
A key component of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is understanding who your students really are. That could include: