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  • 5 Meaningful Activities for the First Week of School

    5 Activities for the First Week of School We know that the first week of school should be all about teaching procedures and building classroom community – but how can we do that in a meaningful way? With all the things that need to happen at the beginning of the year, it can be hard to come up with activities for the first week of school. Here are some ideas. Ideas for First Week of School Activities The first week of school should be focused on getting to know each other and learning about the classroom. Here are 5 ideas of meaningful first week of school activities. Decorate a Name…

  • My Favorite Activities for Community Building in the Classroom (+ FREEBIES)

    Community Building in the Classroom Having a strong classroom community is arguably the most important aspect of teaching. Our classroom community is what makes students feel welcome and comfortable when they’re at school. Community building in the classroom is something I am super passionate about, so today I’m sharing with you my favorite activities to build a strong classroom community! Classroom Community Building Why build a strong classroom community? Our students spend approximately 40 hours a week in our classroom – equivalent to the amount of time adults spend at their full time job. Think about it. Would you like to work in an environment where your coworkers don’t really…

  • Meaningful Goal Setting for Students for the New Year

    Happy New Year! Do you have your New Year’s resolutions yet? Or have you already given up on them? It happens! However, I still believe that setting goals for the New Year can be a GREAT thing when done correctly. The new year provides new opportunities for growth and a fresh start. This goes for our students, as well. If you’ve never had your students think about their resolutions before, check out these tips for goal setting for students. Brainstorm Possible Goals The first step students (or anyone) should take in setting meaningful goals is to brainstorm areas of improvement. Before having your students write out their goals, allow them…

  • 6 Awesome Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work!

    Classroom management can be tough. It’s hard to find a solution that works when every class and every student is so different. Often, we think we’ve finally found a system that works, and then suddenly it doesn’t anymore! I found this often happened around Christmastime for my classes. Are you in the same boat? If so, I’m sharing 6 of my favorite classroom management strategies with you for some inspiration. Classroom Management Strategies 1. Mystery Reward Board This is one of my favorite strategies for classroom management. I always used these at the beginning of the year to help reinforce our routines and procedures. A reward board is basically a…

  • The Most Effective Classroom Management Plan I Ever Used

    It’s that time of the year when I always had to take a step back and evaluate my classroom management plan. Toward the end of the semester, things that worked earlier in the year seem to become less effective. This is probably because both teachers and students are tired and getting antsy! If you’re looking for way to switch things up, I thought I’d share with you the most effective classroom management plan I’ve ever used. Of course, every teacher and every class is different; but at the very least, I hope this can give you some fresh ideas and inspiration as you work on a new classroom management strategy…

  • Why Student Reward Coupons Are the Best Thing Ever

    Ah, student incentives. I honestly cringe just hearing that phrase. I’m personally not a huge fan of using any kind of external incentive in my classroom management routine. But on top of that, it can be incredibly hard to manage and sometimes even expensive. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that at some point in our teaching careers, we will need to give students a tangible reward for one reason or another. For this reason, I started using student reward coupons 3 years into my career. I couldn’t handle the treasure box – too many distracting trinkets lying around all the time. Plus, my wallet wasn’t such a fan either. Student reward…

  • How to Build a Strong Community with Classroom Jobs

    Do you use jobs in your classroom? They can be a really great way to build classroom community! Classroom jobs instill a sense of responsibility and belonging in students. They understand that everyone has an important role to play. However, classroom jobs can also be a pain point for many teachers. It’s just one more thing to have to keep up with! I know personally, as I was on that struggle bus for several years before I came up with a solution that worked for me and my students. I’m sharing with you how I used jobs in my classroom last year and why it worked, along with some classroom…

  • Summer Guest Post: Liberating Your Classroom with Student-Centered Learning

    If you’re intrigued by the concept of student-centered learning but don’t know where to start, you sound like I used to.  My name is Jenn Breisacher and I am the CEO of Student-Centered World, your new favorite professional development website that helps teachers move to a 100% student-centered environment in their classroom (yes, even yours….and yes, even with your students!).  You can check out our website or follow us on Instagram! When you ask someone why they became a teacher, many times the reasons are similar: they loved school themselves, they want to make a difference with children, they have an innate desire to teach, etc. As time has moved forward, we know…

  • 9 Things I Learned as a First Year Teacher

    I have a special place in my heart for first year teachers. I had absolutely zero idea how hard my first year of teaching was going to be. I knew it was going to be hard, but it was so much harder than I imagined. I don’t want to scare anyone! Admittedly, I was way underprepared and had a lot of things working against me. I’ll save that story for another day, though, because right now I want to focus more on the things I learned as a first year teacher and turn that into advice and encouragement for anyone going into their first year teaching. So, if you’re a…

  • Summer Guest Post: Creating a Successful Classroom Management Plan

    Cassie, from www.adventuresinbehavior.com, is a special education teacher in Texas and has worked for the past 5 years in an elementary behavior classroom for students with behavior disorders or autism.  She has a Master’s degree in special education and a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Cassie is a self-proclaimed behavior nerd and loves to talk about all things related to behavior, coffee, and Harry Potter. We’ve all heard the horror stories of teachers being driven out of their classrooms and out of the education field because of student behavior!  It seems like these stories are popping up across social media more and more these days and it can be so…