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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…

  • 9 Back to School Tips for a Successful Start to the Year

    9 Back to School Tips Back to school is just around the corner! Whether you start back in just a few weeks or still have a whole month ahead of you, you’ve likely already started getting ready for the first days of school. I know that back to school can be such an overwhelming time, and it can be hard to keep track of all the things you need to do. To help you out, I’ve compiled some of my favorite back to school tips to help you start the year off on a good note! Tips for Back to School The beginning of the year is really important to…

  • 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…

  • 3 Helpful Tips for Successful Parent Teacher Conferences

    Parent Teacher Conferences Does anything give a teacher more anxiety than parent teacher conferences? I don’t know about you, but I always dreaded conference season! Even though I’ve been blessed to work with some of the most incredible parents in my career, I still get so nervous before meeting with them! Over the years, parent teacher conferences have become much easier for me to run. Don’t get me wrong, I still deal with the nerves – but I have found a system that works well for me. Keep reading for all my tips for running a successful parent teacher conference! Tips for Parent Teacher Conferences Tip #1: Start Early By…

  • How to Manage Classroom Noise Levels Effectively

    Classroom Noise Control Do your students struggle with their volume control when you’re working on fun activities? Same! This was probably the number one thing I struggled with when I was in the classroom. I have a loud voice, and my students would follow suit. Plus, I have a high tolerance for noise, so it never really bothered me! However, when classroom walls are thing, classroom noise can become an issue for neighboring classes. Because this has always been such a big struggle for me, over the years I have tried many different noise management strategies. The following list is a compilation of my favorite strategies. Just remember – every…

  • How to Encourage a Successful Classroom Clean Up

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t function in a messy classroom. And unfortunately, working with children isn’t exactly the best way to keep things clean. Because I am a huge stickler for keeping the classroom tidy, over the years I’ve perfected my classroom clean up routine for my students. If you need help encouraging your students to effectively clean up the classroom, here are some of my best tips. Keep in mind, my method does involve a little bit of micromanaging. Normally I am 100% against micromanagement in the classroom, but with cleaning up, I find it is somewhat necessary; at least until students fully understand your expectations.…

  • 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…

  • How To Win Parent Communication For Teachers

    Parent Communication for Teachers Ah, parent communication. In my opinion, this is one of the most stressful parts of being a teacher, but also one of the most important! Having strong parent relationships is SO valuable and make a world of difference in your school year. Because I believe so strongly in this, I’m sharing some of my best tips on parent communication for teachers. There are many different aspects to communicating with parents. There’s day-to-day communication about regular class business (homework, etc.). There’s communication about special class events and volunteer opportunities. Then, of course, there’s communication about student performance. If we aren’t properly communicating with our parents about all…

  • 5 Easy Early Finisher Activities Your Students Will Actually Like

    Early Finisher Activities for Math One thing I always struggled with as a teacher was keeping my fast finishers busy. This was by far the biggest issue with my classroom management – those who finished quickly would start talking and distracting others who were still working. This is because they either didn’t know what to do, or didn’t want to do it. I didn’t have engaging early finisher activities for them! My go to is always “read a book.” But not all students like reading or have a book on hand they’re interested in. Over time I’ve learned about the power of choice to help keep students engaged. If students…