Exploring the Dictionary (Worksheet)

Check out this printable over at We Are Teachers! It’s an easy page to practice navigating the dictionary. Click here to go to my post.

Exploring the Dictionary Preview

Learning Survey Printable

Another freebie for you over at We Are Teachers! This one’s all about figuring out how your students learn best. Click here to visit my post and download the page!

How Do You Work Best preview

Join the Teacher Freebies Community on Google+

Did you know I’ve set up a Google+ community page? The idea is that we can all share freebies we find and harness our collective power! If you’re on Google+, join the conversation! Click here to view or join the Teacher Freebie community on Google+.

Teacher Chat!

Teacher Chat - TealI’ve decided to start learning more from other teachers around me. I’m eager to start conversations with other teachers to learn from them. I’ll be sharing what I learn in a series called “Teacher Chat!”

Chat with Diane from the USA

What grade(s) do you teach/have you taught? 2nd & 3rd

What’s one thing you do to prepare for/get through parent-teacher conferences?

I have students write a fill-in-the-blank letter to their parents telling what they like about school, their hardest and easiest subjects, their friends. At the conference, that letter is the first item in their folders. I have the student read it to their parents which gives us a great starting point for talking about reading, or whatever their strengths and weaknesses that they wrote about.

What’s one of your favorite end-of-the-year activities to do with your class?

I love to give each student an award. (There is a great list on squareheadteachers.com.) This is the last thing we do before they leave on the last day. We put the chairs in a big circle and then I pass them out, telling a little about what the student did to earn the award. We let each person determine which cheer they want us to give them for their award. It’s a super positive way to end the year.

 What’s one thing you do to encourage good behavior in your class?

Tired of tattling, I made a “Caught InThe Act Doing Something Good” spiral notebook. When kids notice someone doing something good, they write it in the notebook. I read it once a week, kids loved it!

Tell us about one thing you wish you’d known when you first started teaching.

I will never be “caught up” or “finished” with the things I want to do for my class. So, don’t stress, do what you can, then go home and have an enjoyable life outside of teaching.

 What gets you through a hard day?

On hard days, I like to remember the small things that I am making a difference on with individual kids – especially the tough ones.

New Printable Timeline on TpT!

Timeline Blank sticker

Check out this printable graphic organizer/blank timeline I added on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Yes, it’s still FREE! Perfect for history lessons, summarizing stories, or describing science observations!

Visit my store button

 

Online Teaching Conference 2015

I recently attended another conference, the Online Teaching Conference. Held at the San Diego Convention Center, it covered a wide variety of topics from increasing participation in online classes to free tech tools to group work in distance education classes. I’m assuming that most teachers in America (of the world, for that matter) don’t teach courses exclusively online. However, many of the ideas presented there are applicable to any teaching arena.

Online Teaching Conference

The topic I found the most interesting was the conversation about group work.  One of the suggestions was to encourage the group to not only do an “ice breaker” at the start of their team experience, but to also explore what roles each member would have in the group. After the students discuss roles, teachers can have the group decide on group rules and expectations.  This is especially important for a long-term project.

One of the teachers presenting talked about how they have their students turn in a “group expectations” page detailing what the group expected of its members. The presenter said that while they give the group a grade for turning in the page, they don’t necessarily grade the group on how closely they actually stick to their original expectations. This is often because the students set unrealistic expectations for the group. On a number of assignments, the presenter said he asks his students to revise their expectations document part-way through the project so they can make their guidelines more realistic. The presenter indicated that the times when he provides this kind of group support to his students, the groups usually do better, produce higher quality projects and get along better.

This idea makes so much sense! But, I had never thought of it! Learning how to function in a group (that you can’t always choose) is an essential skill in today’s world, and we as teachers can do a lot to help teach our students how to be a good group members.

What have you learned about working with groups (in your experience as a student or as a teacher)? Comment below!

Digital Media Educator’s Conference

DMEC stickerA few months ago, I attended the Digital Media Educator’s Conference in California. (Yes, it’s taken me forever to write about it!) There was a wide range of workshops focusing on everything from technology tools and tricks to business and industry-related topics. I learned a lot from the conference, but there’s one thing that stood out to me as a “must share” resource. Drum roll please…

Adobe Education Exchange! This is a collection of free resources, expertise, and opportunities for educators of all ages (early childhood – higher education). It’s got a variety of support for educators: everything from instructional resources, professional development, and peer-to-peer collaboration. I’ve poked around a bit and what I’ve found is pretty cool. I definitely need to spend more time exploring everything they’ve got.

What do you think? If you’ve explored Adobe Education Exchange, please comment below!

Fourth of July Words Freebie

Fourth of July Words preview

I just posted a new worksheet over at my TpT store! It’s perfect for summer school and year-round schools. Be sure to check it out!