SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Years ago I would get some disapproving looks when I mentioned how much classroom time I dedicate to social emotional learning. “What about the curriculum! You’ll never get through it all if you don’t start right away!”
But I did get through it all, sometimes with time to spare. Why? I found that if we solidified expectations for kindness, inclusion and self-management early, and spent a LOT less time on disruptions through the year. Plus, we were shaping future citizens; it’s not [Read More…]
Teaching about kindness and acceptance is always time well spent, especially at Christmas.
Here’s a fun and FREE activity to share with your class!
Santa’s long beard is filled with acts of kindness for children to complete. The tasks are simple, such as “Smile at as many people as you can today” or “Give a compliment”.
Students trim each task off of Santa’s beard as the task is completed! This makes for wonderful discussions as students share their experience and feelings after spreading [Read More…]
It can be tricky to support your emergent writers who are tackling spelling. Early writers may have a delicate confidence when it comes to spelling, and they often don’t realize that guessing and making mistakes is an important part of learning.
It’s our job as teachers to explain that they are not expected to know how to spell every word! Always take time to let your students know that you’re looking for the effort and the attempt. Our mantra is “Make [Read More…]
Why Get Organized?
Why should teachers care about being organized? Whether you are naturally organized or not, using simple tips to be organized can make or break your teaching day!
Many years ago our staff participated in a district professional development presentation where we all had to take a personality test. The purpose was to demonstrate that we all had very different strengths and learning styles, and so would our students!
The one thing almost all of the teachers had in common was [Read More…]
Phonics: Classroom Practice
Much of our phonics instruction comes from our daily practice. Most of the activities are embedded into PLAY. Apart from some direct full class and small group lessons (including guided reading lessons), most of our phonics practice takes place through game boards, sorting, word building and creative writing.
Here are some specific ways to find phonics practice happening in our classroom.
PHONICS BOARD GAMES
The easiest to prep, and a big class favorite through the whole year is phonics game boards.
I have [Read More…]
I recently updated my classroom phonics posters to match my classroom decor. There was nothing wrong with them – I just wanted an update to match my new themes.
That got me thinking about ways I could use them to teach about phonics.
Here are some ideas I came up with in my classroom:
BE THE TEACHER CENTER
My students LOVE to be the teacher! One of my most popular centers is also the easiest to prep for. Students get a fancy hand pointer [Read More…]
As teachers and parents of beginning writers we want to encourage our students to see themselves as authors. This can be so challenging when working with emergent writers. Students can be overwhelmed by a blank page. The idea of “sounding out” all those hard words can prevent them from enjoying the creative process and instead fill them with anxiety! This is NOT how we want students to feel during writing time!
SUPPORTING NEW WRITERS
Here are some examples of how I support [Read More…]
Here’s an easy way to make math time more fun!
Integrate math, art and writing to practice ANY math skill through the whole year!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Here’s how it works:
Choose a math skill to practice. (ie: Addition Doubles)
Use the built-in spinner to choose a number to double. (ie: Spin a 2)
Write the equation in one of the spaces provided. Find the answer. (ie: 2+2=4)
Use the answer (4) to choose which doodle design to use on the Doodle Chart.
Use that design to [Read More…]
Looking for a quick, hands-on way to review your study of life cycles?
Here’s a free pack of life cycle spinners and cut and paste printables – you can choose which one to use with your students, or mix and match for variety!
Each option comes with life cycle details for four different topics:
Frog Life Cycle
Chicken Life Cycle
Apple Life Cycle
Butterfly Life Cycle
4 LIFE CYCLES SPINNERS
For this activity, all of the work is on one page so it’s easy to prep.
Students cut out [Read More…]
I’m always looking for new ways to integrate social skills into my teaching.
Poetry is a fun new way to teach social skills!
This year, we decided to integrate social skills in our teaching with our Poem of the Week! Each week we focus on a different social skill and use it to read, write, discuss, sort, and so much more!
Here are some of our poetry topics:
For Carpet Time:
Hands In My Lap, I Can Raise My Hand, Meet At The Carpet, Ready To [Read More…]