Sunday, July 26, 2015

Assess Me!! { A Get to Know You Linky!}

Today I'm linking up with the Tattooed Teacher for a fun new linky she's just started! 

For the next 3-4 weeks, Rachel will be posting new 'assessments' to help us all get to know one another a little better! I can't wait to see what else she has in store :) 

On to today's assessment……

Don't forget to head on over to Rachel's blog so you can link up too! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Made It {Teacher Plan Book}

Happy Monday!

Today I'm linking up with the fabulous Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made it!

I finally got around to putting together my Plan book for this upcoming school year. 
So far, I've created a new plan book every summer. You can check out my past planner post here and here.

This year I wanted to go for a bright and colorful book with some awesome Melonheadz clipart! 
I am soooo happy with the way this book turned out- My heart feels happy every time I look at it :) 

It took me quite awhile to print, but it is definitely worth it to print on your own! Once I was done printing, I took it to Office Max to get bound. It only cost me around $4.00!

If you are interested in purchasing this planner, I will have it on sale for the rest of today in my TPT Shop!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

5 Tips for New Teachers!

This past school year I was asked to be a part of our school's mentoring team. It was the first year they had actual teachers mentoring our first year teachers. 

This past week, I spoke at a Summer Symposium for all of the new hires in our school's complex. I was asked to share some tips with them in opening up the school year and to answer any questions the teachers had. 

So today I would like to share with you the 5 tips I have for any new/beginning teachers. 
Routines and Procedures
In order to have a successful school year, it is so important to establish routines and procedures for EVERYTHING. Know what you want done and how you want it done. 

Be sure to clearly communicate these expectations to your students so they know exactly what you expect! 

Creating posters with your students and modeling these expectations are extremely helpful.

It is important to remain consistent throughout the year! Be consistent in your expectations of behavior, routines, procedures, and consequences. Consistency is key when it comes to classroom management! 

If you don't follow through with what you say you will do, your students will not follow through on what they are expected to do. 
 Planning and Flexibility
Always have a plan for how your day will go! Know what you need to teach and have the materials prepared for your day's lesson.
Students can pick up on when a teacher is
unprepared, and they will take full advantage of it! 

With this, also learn to be flexible! Things will
always come up throughout the day or a lesson may not go as planned….and it’s okay!!
Reflection is an important key in order to help
yourself to become a better teacher! Some
great questions to ask yourself are:
  • What went well during my lesson?
  • What could I have done to make it better?
  • What did the students have a difficult time with?
  • How could I improve? 
  • What will I do differently the next time?
Reflection at the ending of the school year is also important. 
Think about your year and choose one area that you feel you would like to really work on and improve in the upcoming school year. Find some professional development books, do some research online, and read blogs about that topic! 

Learn to become a good listener! By listening to your students, you can learn a lot about how to improve your teaching as well as how to engage them in learning!

Also, be open to hearing how other teachers teach. You can learn many new things from your coworkers!! Ask them how they teach a science lesson you may be struggling with or if your students aren't understanding how you're explaining a math concept-ask for new ideas! 

Another great way to learn new things is through reading educational blogs. I can honestly say that I would not be the teacher I am today if it weren't for blogs. 

I hope that these 5 tips can be helpful to you or a new teacher that you know! 
If you are interested in sharing these tips with  new teachers at your school- I have a free PDF download available for you here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Building Relationships --BEFORE School Starts

Every summer I look forward to getting my class list and finding out who my "kids" will be for the next year! :) Once I get that list, I hand write a post-card to each child so that I can introduce myself, invite them to our school's Meet and Greet and get them excited for a fun year of learning! 

I feel that this simple gesture helps soooo much in building positive relationships with both my students AND parents. I have so many parents thanking me for sending their child mail. Many of them say it was the first time their child ever received mail and they wish they could've captured the look of sheer joy and excitement as they read the post-card out loud. These postcards help to let my students know that I care and they seem to be a little less nervous upon meeting me (because they feel they kind of already know me). 

Since we don't have any Dollar Stores here in Hawaii, I would have to buy the postcards from a regular teacher supply store. They would usually cost me about $15 each year PLUS shipping of the cards. Last year, I decided to just save myself some money and create some postcards of my own! 

I finally got around to putting it all together into an editable file. There are 5 different postcard styles to choose from, with the last style being grade level specific. You can open this file up in PowerPoint and type your own messages as well as student addresses. If you prefer to handwrite, you could simply print the postcards then write each message out. 

You will need to print on both sides of the card stock…so I recommend playing around with printing a little before printing out all your postcards!

I also have these postcards available as a freebie in my TPT store! :)