Student Self-Evaluation for Parent Teacher Conferences

Self Evaluation Preview

Parent teacher conferences are stressful. There are so many things that teachers want to show parents that  it’s hard to remember everything! Hand each of your students one of these pages and let them tell their parents about how they’ve done! One less thing for you to do! Also, I’ve found that giving students a self-reflection page before handing out grades, helps kids be less surprised by their grades.

Get the free PDF from my recent post over at We Are Teachers!

Missing Letters – St. Patrick’s Day ABC Worksheet

Check out this St. Patrick’s Day freebie I posted over at We Are Teachers recently! It’s perfect for pre-K or kindergarten, or students needing a review of the English alphabet. Enjoy!

Missing Letters PreviewClick here for more St. Patrick’s Day freebies!

First and Second Hand Accounts (4th Grade)

1 2 Hand Accounts Preview

One of the fourth grade English Language Arts standards in the Common Core is about first and second hand accounts. What can you use to teach this? I’ve got you covered! My fourth post over at We Are Teachers is a graphic organizer all about it!

Click here to view the post and get the free printable PDF!

Onomatopoeia Game for K-2

Onomatopeia PreviewI’m so thrilled to be blogging over at We Are Teachers! They’ve got tons of great ideas over there. My third post was an onomatopoeia game for grades K-2. It’s a really simple idea, but your kids will love it!

Click here to view my post and get the printable!

Graphing Balloons (K-2)

Balloons 1 previewI have an exciting announcement to make! I’ve been going nuts trying to keep it secret! I’ve been asked to blog over at the fabulous teacher site, We Are Teachers! They’ve got tons of good information for teachers and getting a hang of the teacher lifestyle. I’m still getting used to the differences between blogging platforms, but I’ve already learned a ton! My first post over there was a two page graphing activity for lower grades. It’d be perfect for K-2, depending on the students.

Click here to check out my post and get the free printable!

Experimenting with Candy! (Guest Post)

Candy Giveaway STICKER

Giveaway coming later this week!

With summertime fun and sugary snacks providing so many distractions, can your children actually learn anything over the summer?  Yes, they can, if you sneak in some science with fun activities like candy experiments.

Our family created candy experiments when my oldest daughter was four, and wanted to put Nerds in water. Since her first experiment, we have destroyed candy in dozens of ways and learned about chemistry, physics, and nutrition along the way. Here are a few of our favorites.

Melting:  If summertime heat makes your kids complain that they’re going to melt, try melting candy to see what’s inside.  If you microwave Starbursts, you’ll see shiny spots of oil that separate out from the candy. If you microwave chocolate, you might start the blooming process, in which unstable chocolate crystals start to move and separate, causing white cocoa butter “bloom” to form on the outside of the bar.

Cotton Candy Experiments:  Some candy experiments use cotton candy, a summertime staple.  To make cotton candy vanish, dip a puff of cotton candy in water. As capillary action carries water up the network of tiny candy strands, the water dissolves the candy from the bottom up. You can also weigh cotton candy to see how much sugar it really contains–you might be surprised to see that cotton candy is mostly air!

Find Hidden Candy:  You’ll find hidden sugar in all sorts of summer snacks, from popsicles and ice cream bars to “healthy” power bars and sports drinks. To help your kids see how much “hidden candy” they’re eating, read the snack’s nutrition label to see how much sugar it contains. Then weigh candy on a kitchen scale until it matches the weight of the sugar on the label.  Eating the snack would be like eating that amount of candy.

You’ll find more summer learning experiments in our book, Candy Experiments, or at Enjoy summer learning!

Loralee Leavitt is the author of Candy Experiments, Road Tripping, and Candy Experiments 2 (coming in January 2015). Follow her candy adventures at

Classroom Calm: Understanding Kids With Special Needs (Guest Post)

Classroom calm sticker

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 14 percent of American children aged three to 17 have some sort of developmental disability. Most teaching programs require at least one course on children with special needs (source). But dealing with students with developmental disorders is an ongoing and ever-changing task. Here are some tips to help educators deal with two common disabilities among American students.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

The prevalence of autism in America increased by an astounding 290 percent from 1997 to 2008, according to the CDC. WebMD points out that public schools are required by law to provide individualized education programs (IEPs) for students with an ASD. But some parents would rather not tell the school that their child has a developmental disability for fear of being stigmatized. It is up to the individual teacher to recognize certain behaviors and effectively communicate them to the parents.

Once you’re aware of the special needs of your students, make small modifications to your classroom to accommodate them properly. National Autism Resources recommends seating students with ASDs away from hallways, pencil sharpeners or anything else that produces background noise. Autistic students have difficulty filtering out this noise. The area around you while teaching should be as plain as possible. Large posters, globes and other visuals can easily distract them. Autistic students also have difficulty comprehending the concept of personal space. Draw borders between desks with white or black tape, and make sure desks are adequately spaced. There should also be some sort of quiet room available for children with ASD to take breaks from class.

Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder

The CDC estimates 20 percent of high school boys and 11 percent of all U.S. school children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. About 65 percent of those diagnosed with ADHD are taking Ritalin or Adderall to control the behavior. It is not the teacher’s job to judge how families and medical personnel choose to deal with their children’s health.

Communicate with both parents and the school nurse to develop a plan of action. ADD and ADHD kids hear the word “no” all the time. Try and use positive reinforcement as opposed to being negative. Incorporate physical activities, such as moving to different desks during lessons. Through all this, keep in mind that you are a teacher and not a psychologist. Know your limits, but do all you can to help make school the best possible experience for the child.

About the Author: Amanda enjoys helping children learn and achieve their dreams in elementary classrooms. In her free time, she loves learning about science, technology and taking her rescued dachshund to the park. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaRichter7

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Any medical information presented on this website is merely information – not advice. If you need medical advice, you should consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional. Squarehead Teachers accepts no responsibility for actions of readers regarding medical information shared on this blog.

Guest Post: Exam Time – What it Lets Teachers and Students Do

During the exams, the teachers help the students prepare for their exams. Here are some of the ways the teacher may assist the students in preparation of the exam:

  • Incorporation of videos in the class. It is said that students retain 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear 20% of what they see. That means when using the videos the students will be able to retain 50% and this will go a long way in helping them in memory during exams.
  • Incorporation of computer or video games into the class. It is believed that people are able to retain 80% of what they experience. The games help the students develop skills such as teamwork, problem solving, calculations, and negotiations and even increase their motivation. Biologically it has been proven that it helps in creation of attention which becomes very helpful when preparing for an exam.
  • The teachers design study to make it simple for the students by using Technology. Instead of a teacher giving students the whole chapter for assignments, the teacher may decide to take a different route and break down the assignments into small bits that will be easy for the students to understand and also would encourage the students to read at any time they could read when traveling or in bed just before they retire this makes studies become easier and helps students pass their exams.
  • The teachers may decide to flip their classroom and make it more interactive by this the teachers may share videos at home. This helps strengthen the teacher-student relationship as a result creates a conducive atmosphere for learning in class. It also helps the teacher and students to interact one on one enabling the teacher to know the students weakness and help them. The students master their courses at their own time and are free to ask the teachers questions that may assist them during their exam.

Some of the problems a teacher may face when preparing the students for the exams may include:

  • It gets to be so stressful for students and this affects the teachers.
  • The preparation classes can become very boring.
  • Sometimes the time is not enough for preparation of the exam.
  • Teachers may also find it hard to get the materials for preparation of the exam.

Yet in many ways the preparation class can be seen as a positive thing;

  • At that time the students are all working towards the same goal.
  • The students are motivated to pass their exams.
  • It also justifies that what teachers teach in class is useful.
  • Both the teachers and students are challenged alike.
  • The results of the exams also encourages both the students and the teachers and helps them know they are doing well.

About the Author: Joana Armie is a blogger from London, UK. She has interest in reading and writing articles. As of now she is busy doing a research work on UK passport, which explains about procedure for applying for a passport.