Monday, March 30, 2015

Autism Awareness Fundraiser

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I have put together a bundle of products with the help of some AWESOME TpT sellers. 

100% of the proceeds will be donated to Autism Speaks. I can't say thank you enough to all the supporters!!!
Download the previews and click the images to see all of the products in this bundle. 

PLEASE REMEMBER that this would be an awesome gift to give to a teacher if this packet is not for you!

Thank you for your support!
The Autism Speaks mission is to find the causes, effective treatments and a cure for autism by accelerating the pace of scientific research, while raising awareness about autism and providing education and outreach opportunities.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Interactive Spring Lapbook Craft

This packet includes everything you need to make a colorful interactive lap book for Spring and/or Easter. 18 templates included. 

Foldables are simple enough for younger grades to cut and glue (grades 1 and 2 may need assistance with cutting), and engaging enough for the older grades to have a blast with this activity.

Spring Foldables Include:
Flowers: Can, Have, Need
SPRING Acrostic Poem
Once Again Poem
Spring Venn-Diagram
Booklet: My Favorite Spring Activities
Booklet: I am going to "bee" helpful this spring by...
Tab Booklet: The Smells of Spring, The Sights of Spring, The Sounds of Spring,
Petal: I enjoy...
Spring 3 page Q&A

Easter Foldables Include:
Basket with Easter eggs
Bunnies: Can, Have, Need
EASTER Acrostic Poem
The Easter Bunny Poem
Easter Venn-Diagram
Booklet: For Lent I'm Giving Up...
Booklet: My Favorite Easter Memory
Tab Booklet: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday
Petal: I enjoy...

Friday, March 20, 2015

National Poetry Month FREEBIE

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

In honor of National Poetry Month, I created a Poetry Bundle (common core aligned) with FREE sample pages! Download your FREE copy by clicking the link below.

Included in the Bundle:

1. Poetry Cheat Sheet

2. Poetry Comprehension Task Cards - 3 sets for differentiating /includes answer key (Appropriate for grades 1-3)

3. Poetry Comprehension Task Cards - 3 sets for differentiating /includes answer key (Appropriate for grades 3-6)

4. Poetry Open-Ended Task Cards

5. Choice Boards – 2 sets

6. My Poetry App Activity Sheet

7. Poetry Poster Presentation – Center Activity/Homework Project/Enrichment

8. Acrostic Poem Poster/Matching worksheet

9. ABC Alliteration Poster/Matching worksheet

10. Cinquain Poster/Matching worksheet

11. Concrete Poem Poster/Matching worksheet

12. Couplets Poster/Matching worksheet

13. Diamante Poster/Matching worksheet

14. Haiku Poster/Matching worksheet

15. Powerpoint - 27 Slides 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Challenge Based Learning: Possible For All Ages

Challenge Based Learning is all the rage as the next educational endeavor, and for the right reasons. Students select a challenge or problem they identified in society and work to fix it, using skills that cover multiple disciplines. "Challenge Based Learning is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with peers, teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to ask good questions, develop deep subject area knowledge, identify and solve challenges, take action, and share their experience."

Normally, Challenge Based Learning is focused towards high school and middle school levels, and students explore these endeavors individually. However, this is no longer just for older kids! Challenge Based Learning is easily applicable to the elementary classroom. Rather than individually, have the whole class do something together following these simple steps.

  1. Sit the class down and ask them to think about the world. Ask them what problems they see. This could be in the community, the state, or the world. Help encourage the class to come to a consensus. Form an essential question of about 7 words that puts everything into perspective clearly.
  2. Research the cause and look for an organization that helps the cause. As a class, brainstorm what you can do to help the organization. This could be anything from collecting books to having a penny war to raise money.
  3. Over the year, work to get the word out about what you’re doing and gain more support. At the end of the year, have students look over their progress and share the groups success with administrators, peers, colleagues, and the community.
  4. Finally, decompress. Think about what you did and what impact you made. Did you answer your essential question? Are you going to continue next year?
A project like this is a great way to engage students to think globally and combine information they learned in other subjects together. Creating an awareness and teaching kids to care about the world around them will translate beautifully in future years.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

14 Classroom Management Strategies Every Teacher Should Know About

In teaching young children at the elementary level, having well thought out classroom management strategies will help you out considerably, as well as to enhance the learning experience of the students themselves. It can be quite a daunting task on some days to make sure that your students don't get out of hand, but the following strategies will help you out immensely and make your classroom much more efficient:

1. Create Fair Classroom Rules and Punishment:
Classroom rules should be established at the start of the school year and be consistently enforced, in which every student is treated equally. However, the rules should be fair and not be too harsh or unrealistic. You don't want to create a toxic and negative environment in the classroom.

2. Be Positive:
Use language that is positive rather than negative. For example, a teacher should tell students to "Raise your hand before speaking," rather than "Don't speak unless you raise your hand." This will help students to focus on what you want them to do, rather than what you don't want them to do.

3. Create a Student-Centered Learning Structure:
You want your students to feel as if they are playing an important role in their own learning. Make sure to walk around the classroom and have students engage in classroom discussions together, rather than just providing instruction from the front of the classroom.

4. Be Aware of the Rate at Which Students Learn:
Some students learn faster than others. You should be aware of the individual tendencies of each student and make sure that you help those who are behind some of the other students, as well as to challenge the ones who learn fast. You don't want frustrated or bored students.

5. Talk With the Parents:
You should always make sure that you chat with the parents about their children. Have open and honest communication with them, which will help to create a feedback system in which they will work with you to help their child.

6. Provide Students with Encouragement:
Don't just let students know what they did wrong. Tell them what they did right and encourage them. That will build up their morale and make them want to listen to you even more.

7. Show Respect:
Believe it or not, it's important for a teacher to show respect to each student, while still retaining their authority status. You should treat them with dignity and try to avoid singling out any particular student in front of the class.

8. Cut Out Bad Behavior Before It Develops Further:
If a student is misbehaving in the middle of your lesson, walk over to the student and stand close to him or her. The student will most likely stop misbehaving. After class is over, speak to the student privately and express your displeasure with their behavior.

9. Come Prepared:
Your students will know if you're unprepared for the day's lesson or disorganized. Being organized will also help the students to stay organized.

10. A Fun Way to Assemble Ideas:
At the beginning of class, get a piece of paper and write the numbers one to ten in a list format. Then, give it to a random student and ask them to write something important from the last lesson on the first line. After they do, instruct them to pass it to the student on their left to fill in number two, then three, and so on. After a few, minutes call “Time!” and have the paper passed back to the original owner.

11. Get Written Feedback:
To be sure that information from your lesson has sunk in, ask your students to write a short summary in their own words of what the lesson was about near the end of each class.

12. Try Using a “Stuff Happens” Card:
On the first day of class, give every student a card (about the size of a business card) with their name on it. At the top of it will read “Stuff Happens”, and they can turn it in if they are late, or if they need a little more time on a paper, etc. They can only use it once, but let the kids know that if they never use it, the card can be traded in for 10 points on their final grade (or next test). You can download a FREE set of "Stuff Happens" cards by clicking HERE.

13. Handling the Overly-Participating Student:
This student is loved because they take the pressure off of their classmates by being ready to answer every question. They are also sometimes hated because they speak out so much! The best way to handle this is to talk to them in private about it. Let them know in a nice way that they are doing well, but to give their friends an opportunity to show what they have learned too.

14. A Cool Way to Get to Know Each Other:
Do a little research before the first day of class on the original meanings of the names of your students. Then, as they stand and introduce themselves, reveal to them what theirs means. One source you could use is this Name Meanings Website, but there are tons of other ones online and at the library.

Managing your classroom is about planning out and implementing various strategies.  I'd love to hear about some of the unique management strategies you use in your classroom!