Plants have Parts!

I just added a new product to my store at TPT, Plants have Parts!  It features a wealth of resources including the lesson plan, PowerPoint presentations, movies, copyright free images, worksheets, a student booklet, assessments, and a web page with more resources. Check it out! I’ve also uploaded freebies – seek-a-word puzzles for plant parts and seek-a-word puzzles for fruits that students often confuse with vegetables. Are you interested in integrating plants and language arts? Consider Jack Prelutsky’s poems “The Cherries’ Garden Gala” or “I’d Never Eat a Beet” from his book New Kid on the Block. You might create an ABC book for plants. Here’s a list …

Need Dice for a Game?

How is it possible I can buy dice and somehow they evaporate over time? I know it’s rare for a solid to sublimate into a gas, but every June I end up with far fewer dice than I had in September. And the ones I have can be in pretty bad shape. I hesitate to send dice home with math games because I know they don’t always come back to school. Many of my math games require dice so here’s my suggestion for you: use a six sided pencil! A student sharpens a pencil until it’s too short to sharpen. Do you …

Grade It Quickly!

No teacher wants a stack of papers on the desk waiting to be graded days after the assignment or assessment was given. Students need feedback and you need information to guide you as you plan the next lesson. One simple suggestion – make a pattern in the answers! Have students grade their own papers. Because you have a pattern in the answers – they won’t know it but you will – you can walk around checking answers as students volunteer the correct answers for the assessments.   Here’s a couple of examples. In my TPT products for introducing frogs, birds, bugs, whales, …

Routines, Procedures, and Expectations

  Establishing clear procedures is key to a successful classroom. Every class of students is a bit different so having a variety of options for this will give you an advantage as you support your students learning.   Here are resources I think you might find useful as you collect options for setting up routines and procedures: Dr. Fred Jones – proactive versus reactive management Scholastic – check out the narrated slideshows with images of a variety of great suggestions! Fern Smith – she uses a “Yes Line” to get students from place to place Denise Young – a quick checklist of what and when This …

Put Your Team on Display

It’s the first day of a school year or the first day with a new group of students. Routines aren’t set, classes like music or PE haven’t started, and you don’t want to spend every minute explaining expectations. What to do with this initial time that’s provides you with information about your students, gives them a chance to be creative, and begins the process of building a team in your classroom? Have your students make people to be posted on the wall. Maybe up high, above your bulletin board? You have a chance to talk to students as they decorate their person. You might have …

Trouble with Tattling?

Do you have students who aren’t clear about the difference between reporting and tattling? Is tattling driving you and your students crazy!! I searched for resources you could consider using in your classroom to help students understand the difference between being safe and getting a classmate in trouble. I also found forms and created a couple more that you could use or adapt for your classroom. I tried to make a primary form that doesn’t require words and a form from students who are able to describe the situation in writing. Let me know if you have suggestions for modifying …

Need Desk Tags?

Oops, I forgot to post about desk tags after the “It’s Just the ABCs” post. These desk tags are FREE or a few dollars. The free desk tags feature colors, two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes, a number line, an alphabet, and left and right hands. Choose from the Century Gothic font or the D’Nealian font. The desk tags that are a few dollars have been saved in a Word™ document so you copy and paste your class list into the document. Every name is placed on a desk tag. No need to write each student’s name. It’s great if you have a new student …

Can’t Read Their Handwriting?

So you have an alphabet on the wall or on their desks. You just can’t quite read their handwriting. Consider having students practice their handwriting skills a few minutes every day while you walk around the room checking their posture, how they hold their pencils, and if they’re forming their letters correctly. More than a few minutes and your students tend to lose interest in working carefully. This can result in sloppy handwriting habits. I explain it by comparing practicing good handwriting to practicing a sport or a musical instrument. Do it well or not at all. I also try to emphasize that people …

It’s just the ABCs!

Are you putting the ABCs on the wall or maybe on student desk tags? If you’re putting it on the wall, find the middle of the wall, put up the letter “M”, and then add the rest of the alphabet A-L and N-Z. By starting in the middle of your wall with the middle letter in the alphabet, you won’t have to measure where to start the alphabet with the letter “A”. Do you need a simple alphabet to get you started? Here’s a one that’s FREE. I chose the Century Gothic font with black, blue, cian (light blue), green, pink, red, white, or …

Congratulations, you’re a teacher!

You tried many different jobs working with children and it seemed to fit what you wanted to do with your life. You found a university program,worked with great people, did your student teaching, and now – drum roll please – you’re a teacher! You have your very own classroom and your very own students. You might need a few of the nitty, gritty details about teaching.    I hope, with this blog, to share with you some of those details, some of the wisdom others very generously shared with me during my long, long teaching career. Please ask questions, share your stories, and impart your …