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Showing posts with label back to school ideas for teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label back to school ideas for teachers. Show all posts

Back to School Success Strategies Part 3: Review, Review, Review!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

Today is Part 3 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Review, review, review!


We all know that our students have had a whole lot of time away from learning. You can call it "summer slump" or "summer slide," or numerous other things! No matter what it's called in your neck of the woods, it's time to get them back in the swing of things and bring those skills back!
 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


You may remember that I'm a big fan of Boom Cards because they are easy to use in the classroom and can be used remotely by sending a link through any platform. These vocabulary Boom Cards are a fun way to review important science and social studies vocabulary. Building Vocabulary Science and Social Studies Boom Card Bundle

 



Speaking of Boom Cards, these  six multiple choice Boom Cards are perfect for reviewing important skills: Combined 2nd Grade Skills Review Boom Card Bundle

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

But it's important to keep it interesting. I like to let the children practice important reading skills by having them read informational text about important Science and Social Studies topics. It's a real time saver, and they absolutely love the topics! This bundle of Earth Changes gives them a lot of information, yet loads of practice with reading and comprehension skills. Earth Changes Bundle: Reading Comprehension for Active Learners.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


Math fact fluency is an important part of everyday mathematics. (This system was mentioned in Part 1 - Routines.) Brain research tells us it's important to review information in order for that information to go into their long term memory. I recommend that children review frequently the "levels" they have already mastered in this system to keep the information solid. If they never go back to it, they won't remember it! Math Fact Fluency System: the Bundle

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


These Math Challenges are a fun way to review old math skills for grades 3-5! Since math continues to build on previous skills, it's important that those skills are strong. These challenges review second grade math concepts, but with an added challenge! Mystery Math Challenge Bundle

Here's a link to several "summer review" resources that can get their brains back on track: Summer Review Games and Activities

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more ways to review and strengthen important skills!

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

 

Back to School Success Strategies Part 1: Establish Routines!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Today is Part 1 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Establish Routines!

Establishing routines make children feel safe. It takes the "guesswork" out of each day when students know what to expect and what is expected from them. It makes children (and adults) feel secure when they know what is going to happen.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

I like to start each day with a morning meeting. I typically have a question for discussion that's based on that day. These Morning Meeting Greeting Activities and Calendar Writing Prompts are perfect for displaying whether you're having a morning meeting in the classroom or virtually.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Each month comes with daily pictures/ prompts for display, plus matching text for writing answers.This is a great routine that could be started every morning in the classroom. They could also be discussed, then given as a written assignment as well.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Math facts are an important part of the math routine, as research tells us these should be practiced a little bit each day. I swear by this system, which gives the students a small amount of fact families at a time to master. It's very easy to differentiate, as they can move to the next level as soon as they show mastery. Plus, there's a digital component for practice and/ or assessment! Math Fact Fluency Systems for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Fact Fluency.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

For years, I have started the beginning of the school year by teaching these Six Strategies for Success. We recited them (along with gestures) every morning during Morning Meeting. Six Strategies for Success in School: Activities, Booklets, and Posters
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Another routine to start is regular communication with parents. Here's something that will make your life easier! (The Back to School edition is free, if you want to check that one out!) Parent Communication Monthly Brochures
 
  
https://www.elementarymatters.com/2012/01/writers-workshop.html


I If you have some time in the classroom at the beginning of the school year with yoru students, starting Writer's Workshop would be a top priority! This resource will help you get going. Writer's Workshop Starter Kit. Once the students learn the routine, they can practice at home. For more about Writer's workshop, see this blog post: Writer's Workshop.

Here are a couple more resources to help you get started on some important beginning-of-the-year routines:

These are perfect for learning and spelling sight words: Research Based Sight Word and Spelling Activity Cards.

Research tells us that sight words are best practiced in phrases. I've used these Warm-up Phrases as a warm up to my reading groups for years! It's great for building fluency! The first in the series is free: Dolch Warm-up Phrases: Pre-primer Level.

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more routines that will be important. 

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

 
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

Ideas to Help Get the New School Year Started

Looking for ideas to start the new year? 

Every year, when the calendar turns to August, I start thinking about how I want to make the new school year the very best one yet! (Apologies to those who have already started this year... I'm sure you went through this in July, when people around here were just starting their vacation!)

I have a feeling I'm not alone in trying to "beat" last year's opening!
 

I have plenty of ideas to share, some are my own blog posts, and some are from my teacher/ blogger friends!

Here is a fun Math icebreaker by Brenda of Enjoy Teaching with Brenda Kovich!


Here are some great suggestions for Back to School Night from Two Boys and a Dad!
 https://www.twoboysandadad.com/2018/08/mistakes-avoid-back-to-school-night.html 


Building community is essential at the beginning of the school year. Here are some great ideas from Michelle of
 https://www.teachingideasforthosewholoveteaching.com/2014/07/five-great-ways-to-build-community-and.html 

I've spent 40 years in the classroom, and have built up a whole lot of "tricks" up my sleeve! Here are some of my favorite blog posts from "Back to School" in years past:

https://www.elementarymatters.com/2017/08/five-must-dos-on-first-day-of-school.html


Another favorite, having experienced plenty of "back to school" first days!


For those of you who AREN'T interior decorators in your spare time:
https://www.elementarymatters.com/2016/08/my-not-so-cute-classroom.html 

I've made this promise as far back as I can recall. It helps them understand why they're there, and what they can do to make school a positive experience: My First Day of School Promise

Ideas to Help Get the New School Year Started: After many "first days of school", here are several "back to school" ideas to make this year the best year ever!

This is a fabulous book to read on the first day, plus there's a freebie!


https://www.elementarymatters.com/2015/07/your-fantastic-elastic-brain.html 

 There's a freebie with this post as well!
https://www.elementarymatters.com/2018/08/helping-parents-help-their-children-be.html

Speaking of freebies, here are ten, that will hopefully help you get started for the year:
 
 
 I hope these links help you get organized and awesome! 

If they do, please pin for your friends to see!

Ideas to Help Get the New School Year Started: After many "first days of school", here are several "back to school" ideas to make this year the best year ever!

Predictability and Novelty

Children will not learn until their needs are met. These are two of the most important needs of children:

Predictability and Novelty: Here are some ideas for teachers to help reach these two needs in their students.

 Predictability and Novelty.
Yes, I know what you're thinking, those words are opposites, how can a child need both?

Well, yes, they need each. 

They need a classroom that's predictable. This is a source of security for children. They need to know what to expect. They need to know what's coming up. They need routine.

The first month or so of school is when most classroom routines are established: entering the classroom, morning routines, lunch count, taking attendance, moving between classes, bathroom procedures, lunch procedure, dismissal, recess, and so on. Once these routines are established, the children feel secure in their routines, know what to expect and feel safe. Now the REAL teaching can begin!

For more ideas on teaching procedures, see this blog post: Tips for Teaching Procedures

The trouble with routine, is that it gets boring. They need a change of pace and new experiences. That's when novelty is needed.

Predictability and Novelty: Here are some ideas for teachers to help reach these two needs in their students.
Novelty is the way to shake things up! When boredom sets in, the brain tunes out, so it's the job of the teacher to keep things alive. 

Here are some ways to shake things up in the classroom:
Have a backwards day
Change the seating arrangement
Theme days or theme weeks
Create a new routine
Establish higher expectations
Swap classrooms with another teacher for the day
Rearrange or add to your classroom library
Ask your students for ideas

Here's a resource where you can establish a "safe" routine, raise expectations, and it changes every single day, so it never gets boring: Daily Questions for Team Building, Morning Meetings, and Daily Writing Prompts 

Predictability and Novelty: Here are some ideas for teachers to help reach these two needs in their students.

And by the way, it's not just children that have these two needs!

Predictability and Novelty: Here are some ideas for teachers to help reach these two needs in their students.

Communication With Parents

Communicating with parents can be a challenge, for many reasons! 

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.

It’s important to keep that communication open, but you don’t want parents to feel inadequate or make them feel inferior. The last thing you want to do is make them feel like you don’t believe in their competence as parents!

I have seven suggestions for maintaining positive communication with parents:


Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
Start your communication routine at the beginning of the school year. You might write weekly or monthly newsletters. You might call or text a few parents each week, or you might do individual notes or messages. Whatever it is you choose to do, make sure the parents will expect what's coming and when it's coming. That way, they'll anticipate the communication and be ready for it.

Here's a link to a blog post going into more detail about a routine for communication: Getting Parents to Read Your Notes!


http://bit.ly/ReadYourNotes

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.

Be sure to mention how hard it is to be a parent, and how busy they must be! Be sure to ask basic family questions about siblings, jobs, pets, and hobbies. The more you know about them, the more you'll have to talk about! If you show an interest in who they are, it helps keep the communication open!

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
This works with notes, texts, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations! No matter what the context or purpose of the communication might be, there's got to be something the child is doing well. It might be as simple as... "I really enjoy working with Johnny." or "Mary always walks into the classroom with a smile." 

It's not a bad idea to end the communication the same way, along with a "Thank you" of course!

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
 Parents are mostly interested in what their child is doing, but also are interested in what the class is studying! 

Here's a piece of advice I got when I was a beginning teacher, a very long ago. If a child isn't doing well on a skill, they are "working on it." Rather than, "Mark is struggling with his math facts," or "Jenny doesn't remember her short vowel sounds," I'd say, "Mark is working on his math facts," and "Jenny is working on remembering the different vowel sounds." 

And of course: "Brian really enjoyed our unit on Earth Changes."

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
Children enjoy being part of the communication. Of course, they love their parents and want their parents to know their successes in school.  Quite often I'll send home a quick note asking the parents to ask their child about a situation. It might sound like this: "Ask Emma about how she helped her classmate today." or "Be sure to ask Randy about his thoughts on South America."

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
Communicating with parents is a two-way street. They are the experts on their child and know things the child might hide from their teacher.

Yes, it's true. No matter how loving or nurturing a teacher might be, the child holds back information.

There's an easy explanation for this: the parent gives unconditional love, and the child lets the parent know when they're upset. Often the same child will see the teacher's love as conditional, so they hide their feelings, afraid the teacher won't like them anymore. I've experienced this many times, both as a parent and as a teacher. 

I've learned many things about my students that I never would have known without those conversations with the parents. It's definitely worth the time to understand your students better!

Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
It's tough to give parents advice on parenting, isn't it? (Especially if you're not a parent yourself!) I find it best to "pass the buck" and refer them to links, books, or research that was developed by someone else. 



Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.

Each month has research-based information that parents can use to help guide their child and make your life a little bit easier. Each brochure contains links to articles, ideas, suggestions, seasonal quotes, jokes, and even tips for family fun!

If you're interested, here are links to more blog posts about parent-teacher communication:

http://bit.ly/OpenHouseSuccess

http://bit.ly/ConferenceQuestionaire

http://bit.ly/HelpingParentsHelp


Communication With Parents: Here are 7 ideas for opening and maintaining positive communication between teachers and parents.
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