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Friday, August 20, 2010

September Teaching Themes-Holidays-Lessons

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back-to-School Checklist: Organizing for Success |  Get off to a Smart Start Resources Checklist Make Every Minute Count Ideas Organized First Day-Checklist  Themes Organizational Resources and Ideas


First Day of School To Do List

Set High Expectations On The First Day
There is no beginning too small. Thoreau
What To Do On The First Day of School
  • Use an opening assignment
  • Establish routines
  • Teach organizational skills-Role Play
  • Learn students' names
  • Plan your first day down to the minute
Poem Poster for Door, Wall, Hall
We're a class who
Enjoys working and
Learning together. We
Care for
One another and
Make sure
Everyone feels important.
More Resources:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Before School Starts Top To-Do List

Top Dozen To-Do
Before School Starts
Clark County Induction Program
  1. Plan seating assignments (i.e. random, numbered, alphabetical).
  2. Determine essential procedures for a smooth-running classroom.
  3. Over plan!
  4. Gather lots of teambuilding activities to be used early during the year.
  5. Post your discipline plan, including rules and consequences.
  6. Identify a location in your classroom to post your daily agenda.
  7. Create a daily routine for the first five minutes of class.
  8. Anticipate and prepare all supplies needed (dry erase markers, corridor passes, stapler, etc.).
  9. Organize and prepare your classroom so it is ready for learning.
  10. Think of ways to learn your student's names quickly (i.e. mnemonics, pictures, etc.).
  11. Introduce yourself to the teachers next door and across the hall.
  12. Commit to connecting with each student on a daily basis (eye contact, greetings, acknowledgements, quick notes, high fives). 

One Hundred Years Teacher Poem

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bucket Fillers-Program-Sources

Bucket Fillers-New Twist on the Golden Rule-Teach the True Meaning of Kindness
Bucket Filling is based on the book Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. There are several books that can be purchased about Bucket Fillers.
Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions.  It encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love.  When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad.  We fill buckets by saying nice things and by doing nice things for people.  Bucket Fillers can be used in a classroom or an entire school.  Check it out at:  Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids-Source for Bucket Filler Program

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ways to Quiet the Classroom-Management Strategies-Ideas

Ways to Quiet the Classroom
Managing a classroom takes time to learn and to refine. With younger children it often means a ton of repetition, modeling, role playing, and consequences that they understand. Sometimes even making it into a game can make a huge difference. Your principal is giving you time to get things under control at school so you will want to implement a few things to make a difference in what you are doing in your classroom.
The following ideas will help to get the students to quiet down and focus on direct instruction.  Try different ideas to find one that works!
You can use a variety of "quieters" like wooden castanets, frog clicker, wind chimes, metal New Year's ratchets, bells, lights, timers, whistles, chants, and other methods in the room. The first few weeks we spend a lot of time practicing our quieting procedures; when I use my quieter they freeze their bodies and their voices. I will reward their exceptionally good response time with a marble in their marble jar. If they are unable to respond we will take a few moments to practice again. I will also stage a practice time right before recess.  If the practice doesn't go well we take some of the recess time to practice. This saves my voice and my nerves!  I love my desk bell to get them quiet!  Use one, two, or three rings for different signals like one for attention, two for too noisy and need to work quietly, and three for whatever you wish!  You can play a game like Simon Says or Copycat to get their attention and for fun!
I've seen teachers blink the lights as a signal that it's time to listen.  In your loud, teacher voice say, "Everyone put your hands in the air." Not one hand, both hands. This way they aren't fiddling with something else and they are focused on the directions you have to give.  The students like to make up chants something like, "1, 2, 3, eyes on me, 3, 2, 1 until I'm done".  You can clap out a pattern, the students clap that pattern and you continue until you think you have everyone's attention.  You can use a "hands up" signal. It is a universal signal at our school so when an adult raises their hand, the students are to do the same thing and stop, look and listen. No class of kids is ever quiet and studious all of the time, no matter what you see when you walk by other classrooms.  Try some of these ideas to help get the students to quiet down and focus. You can sit the kids in table groups between 4-6 members each and have them come up with a name. They should make signs that hang over their group. Make a laminated chart with those names and another column in which you will make tally marks. You call this "Group Points." You use it every week as a way to make transitions as well as monitor talking, cleanliness, and attention. If I am needing the children to put something away and clear their desks, I will count 1-2-3-4-5 and award a point or tally mark to that group.  Classroom Management Ideas
At the beginning of the year they brainstorm what good listening looks like, then what it sounds like, what does a good line, look like? sound like?  They do this for every situation used in the class and outside the class at school. 
Use "give me three" which stands for stop, look, and listen. 
You can use the "Give me Five" program campus wide. You have a large poster of a hand. Each finger starting with pinky: eyes on speaker, mouth quiet, body still, ears listening, hands free. Anytime an adult holds up their hand and says "give me five" the children stop and look at them. There are always the few that you have to wait to get their attention. 
If I say "Give Me 5" and put a hand up. They follow by putting a hand up and I go through each finger and use a poster:
Eyes are looking.
Ears are listening.
Lips are closed.
Hands are still.
Feet are quiet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Classroom Management Tips

20 Tips for Taking Attendance, Motivating Students, Rewarding Good Behavior, and More

from Education World ®
Who said classroom management has to be boring? While you've been (we hope!) enjoying a relaxing summer, the editors at Education World have been lurking on listservs and in chat rooms, reading articles and message boards, and surfing education sites and teacher Web pages in search of classroom management tips you can use in the new school year. This week, we offer you the results of our search: 20 successful classroom management strategies to get your year off to a great start and keep your classroom running smoothly throughout the entire year. 
Every teacher knows that the right strategies can make the difference between a calm classroom and a classroom in constant chaos. Teachers in well-organized classrooms in which students know and follow clearly defined rules and routines spend less time disciplining and more time teaching. To help keep your classroom running like a well-oiled machine in the coming year, we've collected some successful -- and often fun -- classroom management techniques from teachers across the country and around the world.

Start the Day the Right Way

Words of welcome. Many teachers have found that the best way to start each day is by greeting students at the door. A warm personal welcome sets the tone for the day and gives the teacher a chance to assess each student's mood and head off problems before they start. One teacher reports that she offers her younger students a choice of three greetings -- a handshake, a high five, or a hug. Their responses, she says, tell her a lot about how each student is feeling that day.
A sea of calm. Kids who arrive at school wound up or upset often calm down, experienced teachers say, if classical music is playing as they enter the classroom. Some teachers also turn the lights down low and project the morning's brainteaser or bell ringer activity onto the chalkboard with an overhead projector. That spotlight in the dimly lit room helps focus students' attention on the day ahead.

Time's a Wastin'!

For most teachers, there are never enough hours in a day. Saving even a few minutes of your time can make a big difference in what you accomplish this year.
On the move. Increase flexibility in seat assignments -- and make life easier for substitutes -- by creating a visual seating chart. Take a digital photograph of each child in the class. Print the photos and write the student's name at the bottom. Attach a Velcro dot to the back of each photo and to a seating chart created on laminated poster board. The Velcro allows seats to be changed as necessary, and substitutes love being able to easily identify each student.
Make it up. When distributing work sheets, place copies in folders for absent students. At the end of the day, simply label each folder with the absent students' names, and missed work is ready for the students' return.
Would you sign in, please? Avoid time-consuming attendance routines by following the technique used by a Washington teacher. Write each child's name on a strip of tag board, laminate it, and glue a magnet to the back. Each day, post a question and possible answers on a whiteboard. Students can "sign in" by placing their magnets in the appropriate answer column. Questions might be personal, such as "Do you own a pet?"; trivial, such as "What was the name of the Richie's mother on Happy Days?"; or curriculum related.
Make attendance count. If you prefer to take attendance individually, make it meaningful. Instead of calling out students' names and waiting for them to say "Here," ask each student a quick question related to the previous day's work.

Where's My Pencil?

The average teacher spends $400 a year of his or her own money on classroom supplies. At that price, holding on to the supplies you have can be a priority. But who has time to search every child's backpack for borrowed pencils? These teacher-tested techniques can save your money and your sanity.
Forget-me-nots. A South Dakota teacher uses floral tape to attach large silk flowers to the tops of the pens and pencils she keeps for student use -- turning the writing tools into hard-to-forget flowers. The "flowers," kept in a vase on the teacher's desk, also serve to brighten up the room.
Do you have a shoe to spare? If you find the flower pens cumbersome, try the technique used by an Iowa teacher. She allows students who forget their pens or pencils to borrow one -- if they give her one of their shoes. Students only get the shoe back when they return the pencil. No half-shod student ever forgets to return that borrowed pencil!
Neither a borrower nor a lender be. This tip comes from one of Education World's regular contributors. It developed, says Brenda Dyck, a teacher at ABC Charter Public School, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, because she grew tired of dealing with students who came to class without pencils, texts, or homework. In Dyck's classroom, each student starts the term with 100 points toward a "Preparedness Grade." If they come to class with a pen or pencil, textbook, and completed homework, they get to keep the 100 points. Every time they show up without any one of those things, however, one point is subtracted from their grade. The students' report cards include a category called "preparedness," which counts toward their final grade. "For some reason, keeping their 100 points is quite motivational for my middle school students," Dyck says. "Unprepared students have become almost nonexistent in my classes. I've been amazed!"


Discipline problems, experienced teachers say, can be greatly reduced if students are properly motivated -- to come to school, to arrive on time, and to work diligently while they're there. Some simple techniques can make doing the right thing even more fun than misbehaving.
Round 'em up. First you have to get them there. Discourage absenteeism by randomly choosing one student's desk or chair each day and placing a sticker beneath it. The student who arrives to find the sticker under his or her seat gets to choose a small prize. If the student is absent, of course, the prize is forfeited. (And the other students are always happy to pass along that news!)
Don't be late. A teacher in California discourages tardiness by inviting students who are not in their seats when the bell rings to go to the front of the room and sing a song. "Sometimes we have a duet, a trio, and even a choir," she says. "It puts a smile on everyone's face and starts the class in an upbeat way. And no one has been more than 30 seconds late since I started using this technique!"
Can you spell homework? A simple group motivation technique can be helpful in encouraging students to complete their homework. Every day all students in the class complete their homework assignments, write one letter of the word homework on the chalkboard. When the word is completed, treat the entire class to a special reward.
Not a minute to waste. Do you find yourself losing precious minutes as you attempt to change activities, line up for specials, or return from recess? Tell students that they are going to be rewarded for the time they don't waste during the day. Explain that you will give them 3 minutes a day of wasted time. They can use up that time each day or save it up and use it for something special. Agree on something students could do with the "wasted" time and decide how much time they will need to save for that special event. Tell students that as soon as they've saved the required amount of time, they will be able to hold their special event. Each day, give students three minutes. When they waste time during the day, start a stopwatch, time the amount of time wasted, and subtract it from the three minutes. You'll be surprised at how quickly your students learn the value of a minute!
The door swings out. Sometimes it seems as though you have a swinging classroom door -- leading straight to the restroom. How do you determine if those restroom requests are legitimate or just an excuse to leave the room? Stop guessing! You can discourage middle and high school students from asking to leave the room unnecessarily by providing an unwieldy or embarrassing hall pass. Some suggestions: an old wooden toilet seat or a huge stuffed animal.

You Done Good!

Many new teachers make the mistake of thinking that discipline is all about dealing with poor behavior. In reality, the best discipline is the kind that encourages good behavior. Try one of these strategies for encouraging students to do the right thing.
The victory dance. At the beginning of the year, help students create a classroom victory dance. When you want to reward them, either individually or as a group, allow them a minute or two to perform the dance.
Cheers. Reward students for good work and good behavior with a silent cheer.
And the winner is ... Throughout the week, "catch" students in the act of doing something good -- whether it's good work or a good deed. Write down each student's name and good behavior on a slip of paper, and place it in a jar. At the end of the week, draw a few names from the jar and hand out small prizes to the winners of the drawing.
I spy. Create character "tickets" by writing the words I Spy, along with a list of positive character traits, on slips of paper. When you see a student demonstrating one of those traits, circle the trait and write the student's name on the paper. At the end of each month, count the papers and name the student with the most tickets "student of the month." Display his or her picture on a classroom bulletin board, and at the end of the year, reward all students of the month with a pizza party or another special treat.
Poppin' good. Each time the entire class receives a compliment from another teacher, completes their homework, or behaves particularly well, place a small scoop of un-popped popcorn in a jar. When the jar is full, have a popcorn party.

Now You're Cooking!

What are you going to do with all those great tips to make sure you don't forget them? Print this article and cut it up into individual suggestions. Paste each idea to an index card and file them under an appropriate category in a recipe box. It's a sure-fire "recipe" for a successful year!
More August Resources:  Mrs. Jackson's Class-Themes-Lessons-Activities-Ideas  August Theme-Lessons-Activities-Ideas  Back to School Theme-Lessons Inspirations-Quotes-Poems

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Breaking the Ice-Back to School Tips

2010 - 2011 School Year Teacher Guide
Teaching Tip: Breaking the Ice

Find 5-10 really interesting pictures or posters about 8"x10" in size. Laminate the pictures and then cut them into 4 equal pieces. Depending on how many students you have in your class, pick out the number of pictures that you need to equally distribute each piece to all students. For example, if you have 20 students, you will need 5 pictures which will yield 20 pieces. Shuffle the pieces and then randomly hand each student a piece. Ask the students to find the other pieces to complete the puzzle. It's a great ice breaker; it gets students to interact! Also, see our Printable Cooperative Group Tickets
Weekly Tips for Teachers Issue 526: August 9, 2010
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Create A Curriculum-Calendar

Tips on How To Create A Curriculum

One of the most difficult planning tasks is taking on a new curriculum.
Where do you start? Where do end? What do you
teach and when? It's mind boggling at times.
In this video, offer a suggested path of events to follow when tackling
a new curriculum to teach. .
  1. Talk to your curriculum director.
  2. Talk to current teachers of that curriculum.
  3. Talk to educators who have experience with that curriculum.
  4. Look at the standards as you guide to units and eventually lessons.
  5. Are you working with others? If so, build that into your plan.
  6. Outline your year by organizing units into yearly calendars.