I’ve heard all kinds of debate about whether to name leveled groups using colors, animals, etc. One year, my guided reading groups were all animals, which I didn’t think would be a problem. But I had a fellow teacher criticize my naming of groups because “6th graders are too old for animal groups.”
A friend showed me this idea that I really like. The reading groups were named after pets that the teacher had owned over the years. One of the pets was a dog named coco. The group wasn’t called “the Cocos”, but were called “Coco’s Team” or “Team Coco” so that the students were team members rather than animals. (Since the theme was pets, the teacher also chose a weekly “Top Dog Reader” to spotlight good work or improvement.)
I thought this would be a clever way to help your students get to know you while helping with the group naming situation. I’m definitely trying this in the future.
Have a great idea? Send it to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post it so other teachers can benefit. Thanks!
There are so many things to keep track of at the beginning of the school year. There’s so much information to make sure your students and their parents know! I recently made a sheet of teacher contact cards. To along with that same idea, here’s my class contact page. Print out the page, write in the information and then run copies for your class.
It’s really helpful, if not essential, to have open channels of communication with the parents of your students. That all starts with sharing contact information. Here’s a free editable file you can use to make your own teacher contact cards. Hand these out to parents at the beginning of the year or throughout the year as needed. Encourage parents to keep this in their wallet or somewhere they won’t lose it, so they can communicate to you conveniently and quickly if needed. Enjoy!
A reader recently submitted this picture of a box of Cracker Jacks with a fun saying. Her principal gave one of these to each teacher and staff member in celebration of a successful first week of school. Too cute!
My friend is teaching a bilingual class this year. I made her these homework coupons or homework passes (or whatever you want to call them). They’re blank so that you as the teacher can write in the value of the coupon before you copy them. Read my post about classroom reward ideas if you need some inspiration.
There are many ways to organize subject journal. Here’s one way to separate a spiral notebook into sections, or a single notebook into two different subjects.
Here’s a sample of how you can format your page: anchor chart tab for math journal. You can type whatever you want on the tab. Print and cut into strips. Glue anchor chart/show my work tab in middle of spiral notebook math journal. When you are making an anchor chart with the class, have each student copy what you are doing into their journal. Or when you pass out math definitions, examples, charts, or whatever that you want students to glue in their journal for future reference, have them start writing and gluing at the beginning of the book. When the student is just showing work or writing different ways to write a number or story problems, etc., have them go to tab and then start that sort of work there. That way, your student has the more pertinent information in the front of the journal and it will be easier for students to use their journals as a reference.
I don’t know about you, but most times when I’m in a workshop or meeting and I’m given a handout, I instinctively write my name in the top right corner. You may laugh, but that’s the kind of automatic thing we want our students to do! I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to make my own. Some students just need that simple little reminder and hopefully this will help! This poster is the size of regular printer paper (8.5″ x 11″).