TEACHERS… STOP laboring over your lessons! Here is your chance to win a MEGA shopping spree to buy everything you need at TpT!
We will raffle off: ❤️A $500 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card ❤️ ❤️A Kid’s GROWTH MINDSET JOURNAL –Learn Grow SUCCEED! By Brandy Thompson❤️
What kind of resources will you buy for this school year, if you are the lucky winner?
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Refer your teacher friends to increase your chances to win! Raffle Ends at 12:00 AM EST Thursday (9/05/19) The lucky winner will be announced by 9/07/19.#LaborofLOVE
👉You must be an educator to win and provide proof by providing your school name and grade level within 48 hours after contacted or a new random winner will be selected.This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, or Teachers Pay Teachers. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this page and not to Facebook , Instagram, or Teachers Pay Teachers. No Purchase Required.
Pick a theme or color scheme that you will love all year!
Themed Classroom Decor
Picking a theme that not only you love, but inspires your students to learn is one of the most important decisions for a teacher! Your classroom decor sets the tone for your students all year. Teacher’s want it to be warm, inviting, and materials to be easily accessible to the students. Keep your theme calm, yet fun. Nicole Woody’s camping reading area is warm and inviting! What student wouldn’t want to curl up with a good book in a tent next to a camp fire?
Create a STEM Area
If you love a particular subject, make sure you incorporate your favorite subjects in a way to make you feel happy and inspired. Not only will you walk in to your classroom with an instant feeling of happiness, your students will see your passion and follow suit! Check out Lisa Taylor’s STEM area for ideas in your classroom. She also creates amazing STEM products in her TpT store! It is bright, happy and screams “MAKE SOMETHING GREAT” with the way she organizes using accessible bins with various items. This also makes clean up a snap for students to easily put materials away.
Check out The Fairy Tale Teacher’s classroom where imagination meets blooms of color to engage her students and set a happy tone to the school day! Using your imagination to design your room is a great way to model for your students how they should use their imagination. Not sure what theme to pick? Consider leaving the room a blank canvas and let the students choose a theme and maybe even a class name. You can invite the students help create the decorations or help write a grant to obtain materials they want for their room.
Bulletin Boards are the best way to spruce up a classroom! Rikki Heyman has utilized hers to make a “Smart Spot” and another to place her learning objectives, so students can clearly see the targets they should be aiming for during lessons. She said, “Creating a learning environment is a lot of work, but well worth the community I get to share it with…” Do you have a spot in your classroom for placing learning objectives? Her “Smart Spot” board is used for students to be able to locate flexible seating choices. What child wouldn’t want to be in this class?
Add Some Color
Sometimes all you need is some great colors to brighten up the walls of a dull classroom! I love the way this room utilizes colorful pompoms, blue hanging paper lanterns, various forms of lighting, and the cute chalkboard table stands. Adding pennants and lanterns are fantastic ways to transform a classroom into a positive environment for learning.
Don’t forget about your doors. They are the first thing your students will look at in the morning! Either decorate your door, or for younger students, have a choice for them to pick for a MORNING GREETING (Grab the freebie!) or GOOD BYE. If you don’t have time to greet the students in the morning, let that be a student’s job. It can change the mood of a student who had a rough start at home.
Travel the World
Want to bring Hawaii with you into the classroom for the year? Use this tropical themed classroom decor set that includes watercolors and real photos of Hawaii. Decorate some palm trees for holidays. Create a warm environment by using bamboo, beach colors and tropical decor in your classroom. Students can relax in beach chairs in the reading nook.
Colors make a Difference
Find you local home improvement store to find paint color sample strips. This will help you pick some colors that really go together, if you want to transform you classroom without having a particular themed room. You can find empty new paint cans there also. Use the paint cans as pencil holders, flower pots, spray on some chalk paint to easily use chalk to write table numbers, and use the lids for students to practice tracing circles. You can spray the lids with the same black chalk paint, add a magnet to the back and write your class schedule on the lids. So many possibilities! Whatever you decide, make it feel like your second home, because that is really what your classroom is to you and your students.
4. Do you need something more for your students to practice writing skills? Check out the K-3rd Writing Prompts Yearlong Bundle. This has 12 monthly themed journals with writing prompts, practice with opinion, narrative, letter writing and more. Each prompt has a Self Check Rubric at the bottom of each page.
5. Social Studies is another area that teachers lack materials for in K-1. The Kindergarten and First Grade Social Studies Bundle makes finding materials that meet the standards a SNAP! Also, there are journals, interactive notebook pages, home activities and crafts included in this mega bundle all hitting the standards.
I mentioned there could be a way to get all of you favorite TpT items. Check out the raffle going on UNTIL MIDNIGHT tonight for one lucky teacher to win $475 to Teachers Pay Teachers! They will pick a winner who can shop the sale tomorrow morning. Next, try checking your Teachers Pay Teachers account for previous purchases you might have forgot to leave feedback on because they will give you store CREDIT! (A lot of people don’t know about this FREE money.)
This summer you can discover fantastic space-themed events, as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of America’s first steps on the moon. Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those first steps on the moon as the rest of the world watched and cheered in amazement.
The moon landing marked the day American positioned itself as a global leader in science. Fifty years later, we remember this mission. So how do we get our students to feel the aw of this moment? If you visit NASA’s web site, you will find events all over American to attend celebrating Apollo’s 50th Anniversary.
As a teacher, I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn about the first time man walked on the moon. So I created a 2 week lesson plan that would dive into the event while hitting standards. I wanted parents to be involved, so I added a “HOME CONNECTION” project which included them making a rocket ship. I wanted to make those two weeks Apollo 11 themed in all the subject area, so students wrote about themselves going to the moon, made books, created a STEM Challenge of making a Lunar Lander, studied vocabulary, and made books.
Young students love pretending, so how much fin is it for them to pretend to be an astronaut who wants a job by filling out an application! Students love making little “space men” finger space holders on craft sticks for them to use during writing activities.
Moon phases are easily displayed on and “ipad” printable during science. The best way to really get your students to understand the event if to share videos with them from NASA. It will help them understand the how long ago it was when we visited the moon. You can talk about the importance of teamwork to get to the moon.
What are you going to do with your students to celebrate The Eagle landing?
One of many fantastic topics to teach in kindergarten is the alphabet! Students are like sponges in the classroom ready to absorb anything you put a song to when it comes to letters. As a kindergarten teacher, I was always looking for the most engaging ways to energize my students, so they would quickly learn their letters.
Letter Identification Activities
Sometimes I couldn’t find what I needed, so I would design it myself. I wanted students to have a lot of practice with each letter. In centers, it is not enough for students to write a letter. I wanted to help create a hands-on experience. So, we would use play doh to form letters, trace them on each other’s backs, and use rice or pudding in a pan to form a letter with our fingers. The class’ favorite way to learn about letter identification was to solve mysteries. It could be escape rooms, puzzles, or problems to solve as a classroom to find missing letters from the word wall. Anything that seemed “secret” was a hit!
Every morning my students would get a morning work tub with different activities. This would provide extra reinforcement with the letter for the week. They could choose a hands-on activity or their Morning Work Journal. Students played games, looked around the room for the hidden letters, and had to find all the letters for the week that were in a large pile mixed with other letters. They loved morning work!
The Next Step
Once students grasp letter identification, it’s time to work on the letter sounds. This is much more difficult than letter identification, but so rewarding!
Teachers are resigning from teaching in droves! I’m ONE of them. I loved teaching in the classroom. Being in the classroom for 20 years is one of my greatest life treasures. Now, like many teachers, I resigned and work full time out of the classroom, leaving my tenure behind. My field is still in education, but I’m out of the classroom.
WHY ARE THEY LEAVING?
While I can never talk on behalf of all teachers, I can share why I left the classroom. After meeting lots of other teachers who left the classroom, I found that we all had similar stories. The student behaviors are getting worse. You would think that would be the reason we left, but it is not. Helping troubled students was part of our vision. There’s an amount of pride in being able to help a student through their grief, anger, or loss. The reward it high. Some students we never think we reach, but years later, we receive letters of appreciation from them for our hard work.
So why? It is not about the behaviors, it’s about the lack of support from the administration and the district. There are many administrators who don’t have the best interest of the children in mind. Some have used a behavior situation to encourage a teacher to leave who they might not like, or they see that one teacher is talented with behavior problems and overload them with too many. The district doesn’t provide proper training for teachers to deal with severe problems. School counselors are busy doing lunch duty, testing or some other activity that has nothing to do with their job description. With many evaluations today, the teacher gets written up for not being able to handle behavior problems. How is writing a teacher up helping them learn how to handle a future behavior problem?
The lack of support is a helpless feeling for a teacher. Many teachers have had nervous breakdowns from being physically abused from the students and emotionally abused by their district who provide not support to the teacher. When you have to weigh teaching in a classroom with your own personal health, there is really only one option.
Yes, this can be prevented to where we can retain our most experienced and qualified teachers. Teachers need to gain the respect of being the professional in the classroom. They need to be taken seriously when they inform administration about behaviors. There should be a plan in place that EMPOWERS the teacher. The plan needs to provide the teacher with the knowledge of how to handle problems, insurance that they are not alone while dealing with severe behaviors, and real training prior to getting in the classroom that is on-going. Our students are in crisis! Our dedicated teachers are leaving! It’s time to fix the problem.
Have you ever heard about how powerful visualization can be to help people with their confidence, business, or personal life? Well, there is science to back it up! One of my favorite examples of visualization was listening Jim Carey talk about seeing his future. He would visualize being successful in detail when he had nothing. It made him feel better. He wrote himself a check for ten million dollars and dated it for 1995 for acting services rendered. Years later in 1995, he found out he was going to make ten million dollars on Dumb and Dumber.
That is a perfect example of how powerful your thoughts can be to your real life.
Why don’t more of us use this tool?
I found many scientific studies that show that the brain doesn’t differentiate between a real memory and a visualized one. If you visualize an item, an action or moments, your brain chemistry actually changes as if it was real. Your mind records the memory.
I used this technique many times when I needed to build my confidence. One time I had to talk to someone I feared, so I visualized the conversation before it happened. I found that I dominated the conversation and had the outcome I desired. If I didn’t visualize it, it could have left the conversation open to the other person to dominate. I would bet that the outcome would have been different.
Visualization is a skill I used when I first became a teacher. I feared talking in front of students. Even reading a book in front of them caused me a little anxiety. I would practice in my mind. The emotion of joy would fill my body as I could see the students gaining understanding from my lessons and giggling at my tone. It helped me get through my first year. Repetition turned my fear into something that is as natural as breathing for me now.
The trick is to pretend like you already have what your are wanting and attach an emotion to the event. This will ease your fear and anxiety of an event you might feel dread about attending. It will boost your confidence about following through with something you may fear.
Many studies show that using visualization is effective to improving skills. Some studies showed evidence of visualization being just as effective as real practice when it comes to improving skills. This is why athletes’ use it in their training. It works well!
HOW To Visualize
Here are the techniques that are effective.
Close your eyes, mentally state your goal or your intention of the visualization.
Imagine the situation or event with all of your senses.
Place a STRONG emotion with the images. Feel as if it is real so your brain can record all the images while you feel the emotion.
Focus on breathing calmly. Repeat the whole process until it is clear and easy to imagine.
I hope these tips for visualization are helpful for you to gain confidence, take control of your life and change your mindset to achieve your dreams.
If your goal is to include families to be engaged in your family literacy night at school, you need to be creative. You will find some great ideas here. We will also focus on a Dinosaur Themed Escape Room that the entire school can participate in during Literacy Night. Here are some ideas, tricks and tips for a successful family literacy night.
Know your GOAL
First, you will want to think about what your main objective is for the night. Do you want to build family and school relations, connect the student with the parent, build and excitement about literacy, sell book fair books as a fundraiser or support parents with helping their children at home with literacy skills? Once you know your goals, it will help you think about your activities for the event.
Know your audience. What challenges will there be? Knowing your challenges ahead of time will help you prevent any mishaps during the night. Are there kids with needs, language challenges, or is it difficult to get your families to participate in school events after hours? Picking a great theme can motivate families to participate. Here are some theme ideas:
Reading in Pjs
Trunk or Treat
Dinosaur Hunt Escape Room
Sports Jersey Night
Around the World
Selecting a theme will help you come up with some great themed activities. For example, if you are doing a camping theme, have tents up, have a special reading about camping, make s’mores at a station, a reading picnic or a photo booth with them catching a BIG FISH. The BIG FISH could be a book. All of the themes could have photo booths, professional storytellers, giveaways and stations full of literacy activities that include the parent.
Help and Reminders
Finally, sending home reminders regularly will increase the participation. Written invitations, phone messages, texts, calendars and emails are all great ways to remind families to participate in the Family Literacy Night. Most importantly, make sure you send a reminder home the day of the event. It helps to provide some incentive of a book giveaway that is high on the student’s interests meter or gift cards.
If you need help running stations, request parent volunteers. You can offer child care where a teacher watches siblings for the parents who are volunteering. You should encourage teachers to participate. One way is to let teachers know the theme, and let them pick an activity they would like to do with families. It doesn’t hurt to offer an incentive to the teacher volunteers either.
Dino-MITE Escape Room for Literacy Night
Kids love dinosaurs! What better way to get parents engaged with their children than an Escape Room with a dinosaur theme that they all can enjoy. Even teachers have fun with this Literacy Night theme! This escape room can be used for literacy night or for a single classroom to reinforce sight words, blends, problem solving and teamwork. They will have to open a box with surprises to escape their room! No need for locks or fancy boxes either!
This escape room is editable, but it comes with two activities that are differentiated. Students will solve 3 clues in order to solve the mystery, find a baby dinosaur and break out of the classroom. There are step-by-step directions, but you can easily change things around to fit your needs. The sight words, blends and riddle are all editable, if needed. It takes about 45 minutes to set up, 30-40 minutes to solve all the clues and 10 minutes to clean up! You will find invites, homework passes, reminders and photos of the easy set up. Check it out!
Want to learn about how to set up your own classroom Escape Room? Check this blog out HERE.
If you have ever worried about your kids suffering from summer brain drain, then there are some easy things you can do to keep them motivated to learn all summer.
Here is a list of things to tell children’s parents to do with your child at home:
1.Crack open a dictionary. Ask them to find a hard word like, “integrity” in the dictionary. Then, have them explain the meaning to you.
2. Teach your child how to do the laundry.
3. Play a board game with your child.
4. Teach your child to set the table. Have them count all the silverware. Reinforce the “game” by offering desert for the right answer. Continue with teaching them how to make a special dinner.
5. Children at any age love to paint! Give them water colors and paper outside. Let them go crazy with splattering/flicking paint on the paper. If they have an outdoor playhouse, let them paint it with water colors. When it rains, it come right off.
6. Encourage your child to tell you a prediction to an ending to a movie or story.
7. Tell your child they can only watch TV or play a video game if they can tell you the time on the clock. (not digital…)
8. Encourage your child to do a garage sale with you or open a lemonade stand to earn a little extra money. Tell family members to come visit so they can not only participate, but test them on giving change for items.
9. Father’s Day is often overlooked during the school year, so let your child make a project or go shopping for dad and give them a budget.
10. Ask your child to come up with words that rhyme and challenge them to make a rap using the rhyming words.
11. At bed time, ask your child to sequence the events of their day.
12. Create a new dance move or hand shake with your child.
13. Do some wood working with your child, but letting them use a hammer and nails to build something like a birdhouse with your supervision.
14. Ask your child to show you a Jumping Jack, Push Up, or Skipping.
You would be surprised how many kids can’t do these tasks.
15. Use chalk outside to make Hopscotch.
Teach them how to play.
16. Teach your child figure out how to play frisbee or tennis.
Summer Practice for Kids
Sending home summer practice packets for kids is a great way to keep kids actively learning all summer too!
I had someone once try to make me feel bad about having fun while teaching in my kindergarten classroom. They even said I should use the word “engaging” instead of fun.
Never mistake smiles and laughter in the classroom as not learning. It is the way to build rapport and capture interest. It is a tool to open the door to learning! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty about having fun in your classroom! Open that DOOR!
Not every lesson is going to be a Disney experience. We want students to value learning even if it’s not always fun. Plus, teachers would be exhausted planning lessons. That is a great reason to used Teachers Pay Teachers to find “FUN” lessons. Rigorous learning entails deep thought and reflecting on those thoughts. You should also run a very tight ship when giving instructions or it will lead to repeat instructions and misunderstandings.
We are competing with technology now in a new way. Today’s technology is a game changer in education! One great way to ensure engagement is to integrate technology into your lessons. I try to make every educational resource have some kind of fun hook or exciting end of the unit review to capture a moment that students will be inspired to learn. Most of them include technology.
I want children to wake up excited to come to school. FUN lessons are a perfect tool to increase student engagement, to retain information, and to build a rapport with your students. We should strive for creating fun memorable moments with students regularly. Research shows that engaging students in the learning process, including technology, movement, comedy and collaboration increases learning.
🍏👉 Share your ways you build rapport with your students.