“Snapshot of Fall Break” Graphic Organizer

Thank heavens for fall break! It can’t come soon enough and it never lasts long enough! At least you can have an easy way for everyone to share their fall break adventures with this easy printable! Have your students write or draw something to answer each prompt.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Fall Break

 

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Tech Tuesday: Free Resource for English Learners in Your Classroom

Lauralee is now a technology coach in her district. Here is a helpful resource for English Learners (and every student!) in your classroom!

If you have students who are struggling with your tier one (whole class) instruction because they don’t understand the challenging English vocabulary, then Quizlet is a great FREE website for you. It is a wonderful resources that will help your student learn some of the important vocabulary words before you use them in class. By front-loading your EL students with the vocabulary prior to a lesson, they will better be able to follow along during the lesson and understand the content discussed. It’s so easy to access, requires VERY little prep, and the students don’t even need accounts!

 Just follow these simple steps:
2. In Upper left corner, use search bar to type in content area. (For example: I typed in Space Spanish terms. See image below.)

3. Look through the results to find a set that fits your student’s vocabulary needs
4. Copy the link for future access
(You can get a free teacher account and create your own vocab sets also. Don’t have students get accounts until you look into your district’s student privacy policy to see if Quizlet follows the proper privacy!)

 

Here is an example of how I use Quizlet in my classroom: Let’s pretend that I am about to start my space unit in science. I have a student who doesn’t speak much English. Naturally, I am thinking about how to help this student get something out of my lesson. So, I go to Quizlet, and find a vocab set that has the words that she will be hearing. Then, I have her do the activities that go with that set of words before I start actually teaching the unit. When I do start the space unit with the whole class, that student has heard the words and is WAY more familiar with their meanings.
#ELhelp #EveryKidCounts #SetUpForSuccess #TechTuesday
P.S. I know it isn’t Tuesday yet, but I wanted to share this resource with you because there are so many helpful things on Quizlet!!

Teacher Chat! (Rachel, 6th Grade Teacher)

Note: I was blessed to be able to teach 6th grade with Rachel. She always had great ideas and such a fun energy that made her a successful teacher!

What grade(s) do you teach/have you taught?

10 years of teaching 6th grade!

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

I make sure I am prepared and organized. I have a folder for each student with their report card, a progress report that shows all of the assignments, test scores, and often a note with upcoming important dates. It’s good to have water close by since I do a lot of talking. Mentally, I remind myself that both I and the parents want what is best for the student, so we need to work to be a team.

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

Kindergarten Day. We have one day where we do a lot of kindergarten-type activities (play doh, coloring, calendar, story time, centers, etc). Anything that involves writing or coloring is to be done with their non-dominant hand. I teach small groups how to use a combination lock in one of the centers so they will be able to (hopefully) open their lockers once they hit middle school in a few months.

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

I have my students help create a list of desired rewards, then print them in a series of boxes, and cover them with scratch-off stickers (found on Amazon). If there is a certain behavior I’m trying to encourage (working quietly, turning in assignments, etc.), each time they do what is desired I give my students a letter to spell a word, or an initial in a set of boxes on the board that they have to complete to earn a reward. When they finish the word or fill the boxes, then I draw a name for who gets to scratch off one of the stickers to see what reward they get.

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

Do not grade every single little thing that is turned in. So much of it is practice, and it doesn’t need more than a glance and a mark that it was completed. I made myself crazy spending countless hours grading stuff that wasn’t necessary.

 

What gets you through a hard day?

A chat with someone who gets it, and sometimes a good hug. Teaching is hard, and it often seems to be getting harder with each younger group of kids. I just try to remember that I am doing my very best, I’m human, and if there is one kid (or parent) that is really hard to handle, I only have to deal with them for one school year.

“Snapshot of Summer” Back to School Writing Activity

As an elementary school kid, I always looked forward to telling my classmates all the cool things I did during the summer. I also usually wanted to tell my teacher about my summer… and so did everyone else! Teachers can facilitate a mass “share your summer experience” activity with this simple (self explanatory!) page. Depending on your grade level, have your students draw or write about each of the 5 prompts.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Summer Break

Some students don’t have amazing vacation stories to tell, so I tried to include things that every kid can write/draw about (like “things I ate”) when I was creating this page.  Good luck on your first day!

Sneaky Leprechaun Word Swap (Context Clues)

Looks like those pesky leprechauns have done it again! Use the context clues to figure out which words the leprechauns have swapped out for silly ones.

Free printable for upper grades! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Download the free printable PDF: Sneaky Leprechaun Word Swap with Answer Key

Click here for more St. Patty’s Day stuff!

Christmas Classroom Door Ideas

I love how creative teachers are! I’m always impressed at the clever door decorations I see. Here are some of my favorites from my web-surfing this year!

 This is how you show you’re a trendy teacher!

 

This one seems like it would be one to laminate and reuse.
I just love the Peanuts Gang! They’re pretty timeless.

 

Just plain cute!

 

New perspective of a snowman! I love it! (If you’re not a math teacher, obviously, you can change the text to fit whatever subject you’re teaching!)

 

I found these on Pinterest, and sadly, my 4 favorites didn’t have good photo credits. If these images are yours, please email me and I’l post your photo credit! Merry Christmas!

 

Easy Halloween Costumes for Teachers

Halloween in school is nuts. Not only do you have to keep your students focused while they’re on a sugar buzz, but they’ll be dressed up like what’s his face from whatever that popular new show is. AND you need come up with a costume that’s cool (and totally appropriate for school). Just what you needed – another thing to worry about. Well, here are a few easy Halloween costumes for teachers that can be thrown together at the last minute (and when I say “last minute,” I mean, 2 days – 2 hours before school).

OPTION 1: Children’s Book Characters

Viola Swamp from “Miss Nelson is Missing!” by Harry Allard (source)

Camilla from “A Bad Case of the Stripes” by David Shannon (source)

 

Rainbow Fish from “Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister (source)

 

Professor Trelawny from the Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling (source)

 

(If you feel the need to do a group costume)
Madeline, Miss Clavel and the girls from the Madeline series
by Ludwig Bemelmans (source)

 

Emily from “Clifford the Big Red Dog” by Norman Bridwell  (source)

 

The coconut tree from “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”
by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault (source)

 

The Giving Tree from “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein  (source)

 

OPTION 2: Puns
I don’t need to caption these. They’re pretty self-explanatory!

(source)

 

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(source)

 

Looking for more punny costumes? Try this list from Buzzfeed.

Also check out my Halloween free printables! Click here!

Happy Halloween!

Close Reading Trick – Side Loading Dry Erase Sleeves!

I received free products from Oriental Trading Company in exchange for sharing my thoughts on this blog.

Close reading is all the rage right now. My team and I have read several books about how to make it happen effectively. We specifically focused on the sign posts for close reading book. I recommend this book for 4-6 grade teacher.  After reading about how powerful close reading can be, I wanted to have my students mark up their pages with questions, comments, and symbols. I wasn’t very successful though because writing in textbooks is a big no no! People suggested sheet protectors and all kinds of things, but they don’t work with textbooks unless you rip out the pages.

I have finally found a solution! (Que the applause!!)

SIDE LOADING dry erase sleeves!I found these horizontal sleeves from Oriental Trading Company that slide on SIDEWAYS onto the page.   This is perfect because the kids can do all the marking with a dry erase marker, and then turn in the sleeve so I can look at it later.  It also leaves the textbook in tact and bound. I think this is a major win-win! Click here to check them out.

Please comment below if you’ve got other close reading tips! I’m always on the lookout!