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  • The 3 Best Christmas Science Experiments for Elementary

    Christmas is just around the corner, and the kids (and, let’s face it, teachers) are getting antsy. But, the teaching must go on! At this point in the year, you’re likely scrambling for educational content that will keep your students engaged. To help you out, here are 3 of my favorite Christmas science experiments for elementary students. 3 Christmas Science Experiments Crystallized Snowflake Ornaments This first experiment is so fun, easy, and makes a great Christmas decoration! Students will get to observe the process of crystal formation while making snowflake ornaments. What you need: Borax Boiling Water Pipe Cleaners String Individual jars/glasses/etc. Pencil or ruler How to do it: Have…

  • How To Win 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 these things, our students…

  • 5 Easy Early Finisher Activities Your Students Will Actually Like

    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 have a choice of what…

  • 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…

  • An Easy STEM Challenge to Celebrate Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is just around the corner! If you’re like me, you love incorporating seasonal activities into your instruction. If you need a quick, easy to prep activity to do in the weeks before Thanksgiving break, I have a super easy STEM challenge for you! This STEM challenge is super low prep and uses materials you probably already have. If you don’t, however, you can get everything you need with one quick trip to the dollar store. (You know I’m all about sticking to that budget!) What You Need For this easy STEM challenge, all you need is some index cards, tape, and a can of corn (or other vegetable). I…

  • 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…

  • An Outstanding Room Transformation Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

    A room transformation is an instructional technique that helps us engage our students by bringing real world scenarios into the classroom. It is exactly what it sounds like – teachers transform their classrooms into something else in order to pique students’ interest. Room transformations are super trendy right now, but many teachers are concerned that in order to implement one, they have to spend a lot of time and money. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case! I am a firm believer that creating engaging lessons shouldn’t cost a lot of time or money, and room transformations are no exception! Today I’m sharing with you my super simple tips…

  • This is Why You Need to Be Teaching Math Vocabulary

    Do you teach math vocabulary? If not, I have a story to tell you that may convince you otherwise. A few years ago I was speaking to the math specialist at my school. She told me that one time she had been in a first grade classroom where students were working on comparing numbers. The teacher had taught them the alligator trick – you know, the alligator always eats the biggest numbers. So the math specialist was going around the room talking to students, asking them about what they were learning. Almost every single student she talked to referred to the comparison symbol they were using as “the mouth.” “7…

  • How to Incorporate Movement in the Classroom

    Kids need to MOVE! We know this is a fact. Plus, scientifically speaking, movement helps improve learning, too. For this reason, it is so important to get our students up and moving during class time! Unfortunately, with so much content to get through, this can be difficult to do. Today I’m sharing 3 of my favorite, super easy ways to add movement in the classroom without interrupting instruction time. Obviously, brain breaks are important – small instructional breaks taken throughout the day so students don’t get burned out. But, often times, brain breaks aren’t enough to keep our kiddos focused on instruction. My tips are not only easy to implement,…

  • How to Teach Place Value in a Fun Way

    Place value is one of my absolute favorite topics to teach in math. However, when I first started teaching, I had absolutely no clue how to teach place value. It seems easy enough, but it can certainly get pretty mundane and boring after awhile. Over my years of teaching, I found some pretty creative ways to make teaching place value way more fun for our students. I’m sharing 5 place value activities with you today that can help add a little something extra into your instruction. How to Teach Place Value Activity 1: Place Value Ring Toss View this post on Instagram A post shared by Math & Science 🍏…