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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30 Brain Break Clips: Fight the Fidgeting!

Brain breaks have been popular for quite some time now. We’ve learned that regularly incorporating short movement activities throughout the instructional day not only allows children to get their wiggles out, but it energizes them while increasing their ability to focus on the next learning activity as well. Just...

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Rainy Day: Beat the Blues with Learning

It’s raining. It’s pouring. Your poor child is boring! Here are five fun activities you can do at home with your child that promote learning when stuck inside on a rainy day. 1.  Make a Cake:  Cooking with children reinforces several important skills that will help your child succeed...

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