School has started and we have been working hard to learn some routines, get to know each other, and establish some positive classroom culture "vibes". I thought I'd share a few snapshots of some of the things we did to build our new classroom community! Getting started building community Of course, there were tons of things we did that I haven't included...lots of anchor charts about ... Read the Post
Cooperative Group Formation Made Easy!
Today's post is a "reissue" of a post from two years ago--and the idea is a simple one...and one I have done for years. In my class, we do a HUGE amount of work in teams...teams of 2, teams of 3, teams of 4--and even bigger teams! Setting the climate for group work is critical from day 1--and I like to have a number of different ways to form those groups without wasting time on ... Read the Post
Planning Ahead for Back to School
It's hard to believe that it's back to school time...and there is so much to do to get our classrooms and our "selves" ready for the rush of the first days of school. I thought I'd get back into the swing of things with a quick back to school photo show! Once things settle down, I promise to get back into the routine of real blogging! Although this post isn't a real classroom "reveal", I ... Read the Post
Back to School Ideas: Reader Tips!
Looking for some great back to school ideas? Today is my FIRST installment of "Reader Tips", a new feature on my blog where I work to collect some of the GREAT expertise from my readers on a certain topic. My first question was simply a request for back to school ideas and tips--and I think you'll agree with what you read below! Tips about building classroom culture... Jessica from ... Read the Post
What Refreshes Me As a Teacher….
OK...let's be honest. We work in a highly stressful field. (Sorry if this is news to you...Maybe stop reading now...) We have to be "on" from the minute we walk through the door until the minute we leave. We go home and think about our students...about our planning...about the events of the day...about tomorrow...about the immense responsibility placed upon us. We lay in bed ... Read the Post
Early in the year I like to give my students time to revisit some of the work quality expectations along with a little bit of fun, and using "puzzles" has been something I have done for years! To begin, I teach a little lesson about what it means to do quality presentation-worthy work. We brainstorm a list that includes everything from using pencil before you color, cut carefully, color ... Read the Post
Day 1 in the books!
Just thought I'd post a little bit about my first day back with students--and I think I can summarize it in just a few words. I am so exhausted. My throat hurts. HA! I'll bet a few of you are in the exact same boat. We spent the day starting to get to know each other... And I thought I would share one of the most fun moments of the day! We started the day in a community ... Read the Post