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  • 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…

  • 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…

  • How to Write the Best Sub Plans

    It’s that time of year when you’re probably starting to plan a few days off from work. Or maybe you’re not, if you’re like me. I hated writing sub plans so much, that I didn’t take off work unless I had to! Writing sub plans can be a stressful and daunting task. It’s actually easier to just show up and teach than it is to write a plan for a substitute teacher. However, there are times when we simply don’t have the choice and must get a sub. I’m sharing with you some practical tips to writing great sub plans, so that both you and your substitute can feel at…