• Meaningful Goal Setting for Students for the New Year

    Happy New Year! Do you have your New Year’s resolutions yet? Or have you already given up on them? It happens! However, I still believe that setting goals for the New Year can be a GREAT thing when done correctly. The new year provides new opportunities for growth and a fresh start. This goes for our students, as well. If you’ve never had your students think about their resolutions before, check out these tips for goal setting for students. Brainstorm Possible Goals The first step students (or anyone) should take in setting meaningful goals is to brainstorm areas of improvement. Before having your students write out their goals, allow them…

  • 6 Awesome Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work!

    Classroom management can be tough. It’s hard to find a solution that works when every class and every student is so different. Often, we think we’ve finally found a system that works, and then suddenly it doesn’t anymore! I found this often happened around Christmastime for my classes. Are you in the same boat? If so, I’m sharing 6 of my favorite classroom management strategies with you for some inspiration. Classroom Management Strategies 1. Mystery Reward Board This is one of my favorite strategies for classroom management. I always used these at the beginning of the year to help reinforce our routines and procedures. A reward board is basically a…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Why Student Reward Coupons Are the Best Thing Ever

    Ah, student incentives. I honestly cringe just hearing that phrase. I’m personally not a huge fan of using any kind of external incentive in my classroom management routine. But on top of that, it can be incredibly hard to manage and sometimes even expensive. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that at some point in our teaching careers, we will need to give students a tangible reward for one reason or another. For this reason, I started using student reward coupons 3 years into my career. I couldn’t handle the treasure box – too many distracting trinkets lying around all the time. Plus, my wallet wasn’t such a fan either. Student reward…

  • How to Build a Strong Community with Classroom Jobs

    Do you use jobs in your classroom? They can be a really great way to build classroom community! Classroom jobs instill a sense of responsibility and belonging in students. They understand that everyone has an important role to play. However, classroom jobs can also be a pain point for many teachers. It’s just one more thing to have to keep up with! I know personally, as I was on that struggle bus for several years before I came up with a solution that worked for me and my students. I’m sharing with you how I used jobs in my classroom last year, and why it worked! Ditch Classroom Jobs for…

  • Math Toolboxes: How to Make One For Your Students

    Math toolboxes are a game changer in my classroom. Once I made commonly used math materials readily available to my students, they took charge of their own learning. It was amazing! Using a math toolbox is a great way to teach your student independence and responsibility. And, they’re so easy to make! Here’s a peek at how I make and use math toolboxes in my classroom. What Are Math Toolboxes? A math toolbox is a small container filled with frequently used math manipulatives and reference materials for students to access. Math toolboxes can be made from small photo boxes, buckets, pencil boxes, or other containers. Why Use Math Toolboxes? As…

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    Teacher Organization Part 5: Time Management for Teachers

    Happy Tuesday, friends! I can’t believe this is the last week of our teacher organization series! Today’s post is a little different as it is all about time management for teachers. We’ve mostly been focused on getting our classroom organized for the new school year, but time management is such an important part of staying organized as well! I wanted to make sure to spend some time talking about this before the series ended. As you know, I pride myself on my organizational skills as a teacher. But I also consider myself a really great manager of my time. Time is EVERYTHING as a teacher! We have a countless number…