Shape Graphing (Beginner)

Shape Graphing stickerI recently found this worksheet I made forever ago. It worked well with basic graphing. . Have the kids color and count each shape. Then create a graph based on the number of times each shape appears. It has worked well to start with a page like this where the graph structure is there and they just have to fill in the grid. Once we get good at this kind, I start having the kids make the graph structure themselves. Sometimes I just cover the bottom half of the paper before I run copies. Then the students have to make the entire graph themselves. Easy-peasy!

Download the printable: I can graph the pictures SHAPES

Firework Even/Odd Number Worksheet

Firework Numbers stickerWhenever we have a family gathering (like Fourth of July that’s coming up!), I like to have something for the kids to do. Whether it’s a craft, new game, something to color or an educational page worth a candy, I don’t feel prepared unless I have something planned in case they don’t find something to entertain themselves. Check out this page. It’s super simple: just color the fireworks based on if they’re even or odd.

Download the PDF: Firework Numbers

End of the Year Interview

End of the Year Interview stickerThis year, I conducted “interviews” with my second grade class (ages 8-9). I gave them 5 simple questions to respond to. The questions were:

  1. What makes a teacher cool?
  2. What can kids do over the summer to not forget everything they learned that year?
  3. If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?
  4. What advice would you give to kids who will be in second grade next year?
  5. What do you think teachers do during the summer?

Here is the PDF version you can use for your class: End of the Year Interview. (Just change the fourth question to say whatever grade you will teach next year.)

Here are some of my favorite responses:

Question #1: What makes a teacher cool?1 - rock star glasses

 

Question #2: What can kids do over the summer to not forget everything they learned that year?2 - write a book 2 - write and keep 2- swimming makes you think 3 - in my head

 

Question #3: If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?3 - clean playground for teachers

Obviously that’s why teachers don’t play on the playground themselves – it’s not clean enough? ;-) 

 

Question #4: What advice would you give to kids who will be in second grade next year?
4 - do your best 4 - give teachers stuff 4 - good and quiet 4 - have fun

True, fun is not optional.

 

Question #5: What do you think teachers do during the summer?
5 - eat food 5 - hang out 5 - hot summer 5 - prep not fun 5 - sleep

Nailed it!

List of Patriotic American Songs (And YouTube Video Links)

Patriotic Song List stickerA friend of mine plays patriotic songs in her classroom all year long. After all, appreciation for your country shouldn’t just happen on holidays. Whether it’s during clean up time, line up time or as a reward, her kids LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing these songs! Most of the kids have even learned the words too! How great would it be if the rising generation could regain the fire of patriotism of the past?!

Here’s her list of songs/video links to help get you started:

 

A Salute to all 5 military branches (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force & Coast Guard)

Air Force Off We Go (lyrics)

America The Beautiful (lyrics)

Anchors Away (lyrics)

Anchors Away no lyrics

Caissons Go Rolling no lyrics

Caissons Go Rolling (lyrics)

Coast Guard Marching Song (lyrics)

Fifty Nifty United States

God Bless America (lyrics)

God Bless the USA (lyrics)

Marine’s Hymn (lyrics)

My Country Tis of Thee (lyrics)

Off We Go

Star Spangled Banner (lyrics)

This is My Country

This Land is Your Land

What’s More American

This Land is your land Simple

You’re a Grand Old Flag

Best Practices for Teaching Students with ADHD (Guest Post)

ADHD tips stickerA classroom is a microcosm of society, and just like in any society, there are outliers who stand apart from the majority. As a teacher, you strive to keep your classroom fair and develop your lesson plans to suit the various spectrums of learning. At some point, you may encounter a student with ADHD who poses a challenge for your standard classroom management techniques and your carefully curated curriculum. A student with ADHD has the brainpower for learning, however their unique brain composition makes it difficult for them to focus on the subject matter. The more you understand this condition, the more you can help your student.

What Is ADHD?

About 11 percent (6.4 million) of school-aged children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD in their lifetime. Boys have a higher ADHD diagnosis rate than girls, and the average age of diagnosis is at 7 years of age. Make sure you know the signs of ADHD so you can recognize when a kid may need special help.

The symptoms of ADHD are grouped into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Behavioral signs related with inattention include: easily distracted, doesn’t follow directions, fails to finish tasks, has difficulty with organization. Hyperactivity can manifest itself behaviorally as excessive talking, always moving, difficulty with volume control, inability to stay seated and fidgeting. Impulsivity includes blurting of answers, unable to wait for his or her turn and interruption of others.

Classroom Challenges

A child with ADHD will cause interruption within the classroom and may have difficulty in the completion of their individual tasks. You must anticipate their behavior and develop appropriate reactions that will keep the mood positive, help the child with ADHD and keep your entire class on track with their learning. In the classroom, children with ADHD may struggle with long-term projects, group work, difficult math equations, reading and writing. Regardless of your ADHD student’s struggles, make sure you never shame him for his behavior, but instead encourage him or her towards academic success.

Have a brief conference with the ADHD student and come up with a secret code or signal for when he or she is distracting the class and must re-focus his attention, like a hand signal or a light shoulder tap. Don’t over-do the signals; refrain from pointing out every instance when he or she is off task and only the moments when his or her behavior is a distraction for the whole class.

How You Can Help

Create classroom accommodations for your students with ADHD. Seating assignment can help limit distractions in the classroom. Make sure they are seated away from the windows and the door, put them near your desk and organize the classroom desk formation in rows, rather than table groups. Deliver task instructions in a clear and concise way. Write on the board step-by-step instructions that the students can easily follow and provide other visuals like charts and pictures.

Allow writing assignments to be completed on a computer, rather than in handwriting. A student with ADHD often thinks faster than he or she can write, which can result in messy handwriting and a loss of cohesive thought. Utilize writing prompt tools to help the student practice their composition skills. Help the student with his or her organization and provide the entire class with five to 10 minutes of desk organization and cleaning time at the end of the day.

Work one-on-one with your ADHD students and come up with a special organization system for them. A strong organizational system may include color coding, a three-subject notebook or three-ring binder, and a planner where he or she can write down important assignments and due dates.

About the author: Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.

 

Art/Craft Activity File Folders (Photos Only)

Another gem I found in my mom’s old teaching files were these art center folders. I realize that teachers nowadays don’t have time for an art center every day (or can’t use some of the tools needed for these projects), but they’re interesting ideas that you could use as springboards for projects during art or at home with kids. I only have the photos; I don’t have more detailed directions than what’s in the photo.

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Fraction Pictures (Pictures Only)

I recently found this cool fraction picture book in my mom’s old teaching files. I don’t have directions, but the pictures seem pretty self-explanatory. Using different common fractions cut out on different colored paper, students made a bunch of cool pages. Not bad for integrating math and art!

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This page (quick tips on how to cut out each piece) was also in the file:

20160311_161156If you wanted to allow for more creativity, you could have students cut out a bunch of the fraction pieces and let them make whatever they wanted. Then have them label the size of each piece and tell you the total whole pieces they used in their picture.

5 Things Substitutes Wish Full Time Teachers Knew (Guest Post)

Subs Wished Teachers KnewAbout the Author: Christine writes her own blog called Confessions of a Modern Day Substitute Teacher. She has been working in the education field for 7 years as both a teacher and substitute.

1) Substitute teaching jobs can be hard to find

Sometimes there are A LOT of substitutes in a division or district. This means that it is difficult to pick up sub days for a substitute. As a substitute teacher I wish that any teacher that liked what I did with his or her class and didn’t have a regular substitute already would ALWAYS book me. Maybe this seems greedy but it gives me a day that I don’t have to try to compete for online.

2) A substitute’s time is valuable too

So please give us a bit of a break at some point throughout the day. I’ve been a teacher so I know that we often work through recess breaks, on our preps, and maybe even for part of our lunch as well but you don’t have to fill up a substitute’s time with marking on her prep and recess’… because sometimes we need a break too. Don’t get me wrong… I’m more than happy to do some marking. Just don’t leave a large stack of it expecting me to get through it.

3) Please talk to us

I wish regular teachers knew how awkward it can be in a staff room for a substitute teacher. I’m not the most outgoing person so having to sit in a room filled with people I don’t know… well it’s awkward. The other week I was at a school, in a crowded staff room, and no one said anything to me. It was awkward and I quickly ate and left.

4) Try to make the day run as smoothly as possible

I wish teachers realized that I don’t know your students names (and I likely won’t learn them all by the end of the day)… so if at all possible seating plans are a HUGE help. That way instead of saying “you in the red shirt, sit down!”, and having everyone check the colour of their shirt, I can just use that student’s name. When I was a full time teacher I used a little whiteboard that I tacked above my desk to draw in all the tables and where students sat. I moved students around as they began to cause trouble where they were so using a whiteboard meant I didn’t have to redraw and write everything every time.

Be wary of leaving a bunch of extra time for a substitute teacher to fill. I’m experienced enough that I could probably get through an entire day without a proper plan… but that doesn’t mean I want it to happen! Other substitutes don’t come with as much experience or ideas on what they could do to fill time. If a substitute arrives at your classroom with no plan I think it is unfair to expect the day to go well. I wish teachers knew that any visitor to their class does not know where to find things. Keeping things neat, tidy, and organized helps a lot. This way substitutes don’t have to waste a bunch of time trying to hunt things down that to the regular classroom teacher would easily find.

Fire drills, lock downs, and other events students practice for are often scheduled in advance and staff members usually know about them (at least in my school we always did). If you know there is going to be a drill of some kind I wish the regular teacher would let their substitute know about it. Once I was in a middle school that despite being with a different class every period I was required to find my homeroom outside and take their attendance. What chaos! I couldn’t remember what my class looked like to even attempt to find them then I had to figure out if they were in the front or back of the school! For lock-downs, remember to leave a key and tell me where the kids normally sit.

5) But most importantly…

My wish for teachers is to keep in mind that for the most part substitutes are in a different school or classroom or subject every day. This means new rules, procedures, students, and assignments every day. Although it can all fall under the umbrella of “teaching” it can also seem a bit like a new job every single day. Can you imagine going to a new job every day? Do you think some of your days may be a little off? So regular teachers, my wish for you is to be prepared and understanding when a substitute comes into your class.

Thank you, Christine, for this thought-provoking post!🙂 -Mindy