The year has started. Things are starting to settle and it’s time to count your blessings in the classroom. We call the start of year through Thanksgiving (well, Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October) the beta period. It’s the time of year to try things out, get to know the students, build relationships and set up the year for success.
The beta period is not the time of year we spend getting deep into content. We review. We read. We talk about what is coming next. We check out our skills and show what we can or can’t do.
It’s the perfect time to take a look at what’s working, what’s starting to work and what needs to be scrapped. It’s time to count our blessings and make a list of all the things we are thankful for in our classroom. So, here is a little checklist we use to decide how are things working so far. Continue Reading
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
Do you need an activity that you can use to teach students about color while making something special for Valentine’s Day? Do you dread having to find something do for Valentine’s Day? Are you a Valentine’s Day fool? Or Scrooge? This is for you!
There are several variations to make this project listed below, but basically it’s a tree with heart-shaped leaves. Sounds great, right?
Who doesn’t need a heart-shaped leaf?
Recommended Materials: paper, water-soluble markers (Crayola and Mr. Sketch work best), watercolor paint, watercolor paintbrushes, coffee filters, ice cream pail lids or plastic plates, black thick marker (Sharpie works great), scissors, glue, spray bottle.
Remember, these are just recommendations. Feel free to take the idea and use it with whatever you have available. Continue Reading
Phew! You made it! Christmas is over, but remember how crazy and busy it was? That’s why we always get prepared one year in advance. Are we crazy? No, just thrifty.
Think about all the Christmas items you needed this year. How much did it all cost? More than you planned, right? Here are five things we buy right after Christmas for the next school year to save some money. Continue Reading
Here’s a great reason to eat potato chips. Have your students collect Pringles cans and upcycle them into a great holiday activity. This activity will work with other types of cans that made of cardboard with a metal base and plastic lid.
We made our cans into snowmen, penguins, Santas, elves and reindeer. Continue Reading
You know that week in December when you’re constantly called down to the auditorium for concert rehearsals, some of your students are away sick, some have left for vacation early and you have to keep a classroom full of excited kids busy? Christmas is fun and all, but it’s so hard to keep kids interested in learning and it’s a challenging time to introduce new concepts with all those interruptions. What’s a teacher to do? Continue Reading