11 Plant Videos for PreK-3 Students

I think most teachers would agree that the best way to learn about plants is to actually plant one. Taking students on nature walks is another great way to bring the study of plants to life. In addition to these kinds of authentic, hands-on opportunities, finding ways to embed media can...

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Twitter Education Chats for Newbies

I don’t use Twitter for noteworthy news. I don’t use it for socializing with friends. I don’t use it for posting photos of my meals, nor do I use it for keeping up with the Kardashians. I use it for professional learning. Twitter is an incredible digital resource for educators...

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13 Tips for a Talkative Class

I LOVE my class this year. Diverse. Capable. Sweet. Unique. Enthusiastic. Energetic. Hard-working. Funny. Lovable. These are some of the words that come to mind when I think of my first graders. But one more word that also comes to mind is…chatty. Very chatty. We are a work in progress with...

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10 Tips to Build Student Rapport

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship…” ~Dr. James Comer These words are my mantra. Building a strong rapport with students is vital to maximizing academic growth. Here are some of the ways I cultivate relationships with my fabulous first graders: 1)  Positive Discipline:  To create a happy,...

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20 Dollar Tree Finds for Teachers

Dollar Tree is a thrifty teacher’s best friend. I personally can’t exit that place without a cart full of teaching supplies, organizational materials, classroom decor, readers’ theater props/costume items, or prizes for my class shop. It’s my go-to place when I’m in need of some retail therapy after a...

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Readers’ Theater: 10 Ways to Rev It Up!

Readers’ theater is one of the cornerstones of my reading instruction. I’m not talking about the stand in a straight line and read your parts to the class kind of readers’ theater (though, that’s how we start). I’m talking about the lights, camera, ACTION kind of readers’ theater. It’s...

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50 Nifty End-of-the-Year Awards

It’s official. The end of the school year checklist magically made its appearance in my mailbox. Summer is just around the corner!  As I wrap up these last few weeks, I have to remind myself to focus on what matters most (and it’s not checking off the empty boxes). The students...

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Teaching is Tough: Stay Positive!

Let’s face it. Teaching is tough! Aside from being on our feet all day juggling the social, emotional, and academic needs of 20 or so little ones, we’re also dealing with endless stacks of paperwork (that often come home with us), increasing city-wide and state pressures, a new curriculum,...

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10 Tips for Reluctant Readers

Little Johnny gets off the bus, scarfs down a snack, and flies out the front door to go play with the neighborhood kids. When he comes back inside, the Xbox is calling his name. It’s tough enough ensuring the homework gets completed, but getting him to actually want to...

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