Aug 3, 2019

Building A Classroom Community

Classrooms are actually communities...after all, educators and students spend a lot of time there least seven hours, five days a week.  We laugh together, we cry together...we work, play, and celebrate here...we have rules and consequences,  we share with others and work independently....everything you would do in a community.

So with that, we need to treat it as it is...
A community needs TRUST, COMPASSION, HONESTY,  SUPPORT...just to name a few!!! the beginning of a new school year, educators need to get the ball rolling first thing, as far as establishing that community!  

Get to know each other.
Share a variety of "getting to know you" activities with your class.  Share likes/dislikes, favorites, and such.  As an educator, share things about yourself (you don't have to get super personal) so they know your family, favorite color, birthday, fav food, if you have pets, and such.

Establish this from the beginning...

Establish rules, rewards, and consequences.
This is a MUST!  Your expectations, rules, and consequences may vary from the previous year...because they are a year older.  

Set goals.
It's important for students to realize where they are and set realistic goals for the school year.

Be a Bucket Filler
I love this book...and the idea of praising, encouraging, supporting each other!  

We all need to be bucket-fillers....and never bucket-dippers!  Share this book and provide buckets for students to fill for each other!!!  

I hope you have a wonderful year in your Classroom Community!
Enjoy each other.  Lift Up each other. Make it a place that is safe for your students...
A caring, compassionate community for all!

Chatterbox Blessings,

No Fake Reading Here

I actually have a poster in my room that says, "No Fake Reading Here".  We all have know what I'm talking about.... those students that hate to read so they fake it!!!  Here are some signs to look for...

So confession time....when I was young, I didn't like reading...yeah, you read that right....THIS reading teacher didn't love reading!!!  I was a good reader...I just didn't like it!  I'm not exactly sure why, but I didn't.  I remember one day in third grade, we got to choose a book from the teacher's "book cart".  I chose a book that had several stories in it.  The story I chose was about a girl that visited her grandparents and got to ride a horse.  I wasn't a huge horse lover or anything...but I visited my best friend's home, on a farm, often!  It was such a different life for me because I lived in town.  I loved being on her farm!  I remember being so involved in the story when the teacher called time...we had to put the books away.  I remember the next time we got to choose a book, I went back to that book to finish it.  To this day, I can even recall the story.  The next year in fourth grade, I had a teacher that turned out to be my favorite of all time...Mrs. Beth Jackson.  I'm still in contact with her today...I give her most of the credit for me wanting to be a teacher!  She read to us every day after lunch...I couldn't wait for her to read...that was it!  I looked forward to going to the library to check out books...I would ask my parents to even take me to the public library to check out books!  So....I think my number one tip is....

Have a variety of books to offer choices for all readers...not just interest...but reading levels, as well!  Set aside time for students to have a CHOICE of what they read!

Share your story...if you didn't like reading (like me) then share that!  If you did like reading, share why!  Connect with your students!  This can go a long way!

Offer other things than books!  There are lots of other types of text...authentic reading....menus, catalogs, comic books...etc. etc. etc.

Build stamina!  Practice this in class!  Start off with one minute...then increase...until you reach 20 minutes.  

Be patient!  Don't give up!  It doesn't happen at the same time for everyone...and it might not happen while they are with you....but lay the ground work!  

Keep reading/modeling aloud for your students daily!  And...never give up!
Chatterbox Blessings,

Jul 30, 2019

Back To School

The beginning of school is always an exciting time!  I've always loved getting my room ready for the school year.  
This year, I didn't focus on a theme, which I normally do, but decided to focus more on options for my students.  

I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
I started back last Thursday, and students come back this Thursday.  Have you started working on your room?  When does your school start?  I'd love to hear all about it!

Jul 18, 2019

Vocabulary Practice: Making it Meaningful

Gadzooks! I just LOVE words!  These are just a few of my favorites!  Do you have some words that you just love?  So what is all this brouhaha over teaching vocabulary you ask?  Well...vocabulary is such an important part of reading instruction!  Research says that kids need to be exposed to a word 6-12 times before they actually master the word!  Putting words into a center for kids to "work on" just isn't enough!  Having them look up words in the dictionary is not only boring, but a meaningless activity!  I'm not saying throw the dictionaries out but giving a list of words and having them copy definitions is a waste of time!  1.  Some definitions leave the students stumped and continuing to question the meaning.  2. Copying definitions isn't going to help them master a word's meaning. 3. Many words have multiple meanings, so more than likely they are going to copy the shortest definition whether it is the one that matches the meaning you are teaching...or they are going to be asking, "Which definition do I copy?"    When it comes to vocabulary practice, there needs to be more!!  

But what?!?
Are you bumfuzzled at what to do?
   Well, I have some activities that will please even your persnickety students...and it won't cause a great hullabaloo in your classroom!

Jul 2, 2019

This or That? Classroom Choices

Everyday, there are choices to be made.  
For the most part, we like to have choices.
For kids, it's no different.  At my school, students get to make a lunch choice with 4 options.  Sometimes, that is even a struggle for a few!   Choices and Decision Making go hand-in-hand and should extend the mere daily lunch choice...for several reasons.

Jun 30, 2019

Flexible Seating: Potential Problems & Remedies

As addressed in my last blog post, flexible seating in the classroom is a big topic these days.  Some might ask what is wrong with traditional seating.  My answer to that is NOTHING.  Nothing is wrong with it!  However, some students just do better with something more flexible.

Jun 29, 2019

Flexible Seating: Trend or Best for Students

Flexible seating is all the CRAZE in classrooms right now!  More and more teachers in my district are embracing this concept in their classrooms....some are just getting their feet wet while others are going all in.   

So, as you continue to read, just remember this is MY take on the subject.  This is from what I've done and what I feel!  

Building A Classroom Community

Classrooms are actually communities...after all, educators and students spend a lot of time there least seven hours, five...