Click on the image below to check it out!
I am always looking to inspire my students in all aspects of their life. I find students often need visual reminders to inspire them.
I have discovered that growth mindset bookmarks are a quick, cheap and easy way to encourage students throughout the school year to persist, not give up and support their development of having a growth mindset!
I have been told by other colleagues that they love using these as a beginning of the year student gift. I love that these ones are already set up for me to give away!
Click here or on the photo below to check them out.
The Giving Tree
Even share photos of what you want with your friends and family on Facebook! You would be shocked how happy your family and friends will be at purging what they don’t need and that they are able to help you out!
I know it sounds silly to mention it, but looking through what you already own will often shock you about what resources you already have. Spend time in the summer sorting your materials and you’ll likely find some gems you forgot you owned!
Do you teach an inquiry based program?
Holidays/End of Year
Do you have something that you “need” for your class? Would you enjoy a gift card to an educational store or even the dollar store? Consider sending a note home to parents and listing theses ideas as alternatives in leu of teacher gifts. Parents might appreciate knowing they are investing in their child’s learning environment!
Use your Budget!
I know many teachers who do not use up their allocated classroom budget. Don’t be afraid or forget to use it! Many do.
Do you have any other tips for teachers who are trying to stay on a budget?
Have you ever struggled with pdf links no longer working for you?
I have run into this issue a couple of times in my career and for some reason I cannot always remember this tip.
So, I wanted to share it with you as I’m sure others have had the same issue!
The simple secret to making sure a link does not go dead is to ensure that all the text is on one line! That’s it! It is that simple! You’re link will not go dead if you do this.
I used to often make my url’s the same size as my text on the page, which could often vary in size, but not anymore! I’m tired of my links going dead!
Welcome to the sneak peak of my teacher desk.
I’m going to list my favorite “go to” essential supplies that I always have on hand.
It’s taken me a long time to figure out what I use and what I don’t use in my classroom. Everything that I have listed below I use on a daily or weekly basis in my room.
FYI: This post includes affiliate links for where you can pick identical or similar items off of Amazon. No pressure. I just wanted to make life easy for you!
If you cannot tell through my pictures, I LOVE Sharpie pens as they have so many uses in my classroom.
Writing on chart paper.
Creating bulletin boards.
Using as an art medium.
Flair pens are my new favorite writing tool.
I use them for EVERYTHING.
My favorite pen, when I need a black one, is the Dixon Trend brand.
I like how smooth it is when it prints.
Chalk & Whiteboard Tools
Chalk paint markers for whiteboards and dry erases crayons.
The markers are great for being “permanent” in that they need to be washed off.
The dry erase crayons are fun!
I love using chalk markers for blackboards. To be honest, this isn’t the brand I use (I got mine in the craft section of the local Dollar store).
I use thin and thick highlighters.
I use them mostly in my writing program having students highlight where they have edited their work.
Scissors & Punches
Fiskars is the only brand that I like for scissors or hole punches.
The brand of scissors we are allowed to purchase through our school is horrible at cutting.
Do you have any other “must have” items that are on your teacher desk that you cannot do without?
Let me know below!
I love having an organized parent-teacher communication binder.
It helps keep me focused and I don’t need to search for multiple binders when everything is all located in on spot. My binder does get quite big by the end of the year but I do appreciate having a one-stop-spot for everything.
What Do I Keep?
Any information from our Special Education team or any
professional who comes to service students.
Parent communication log – both praise points and concerns
If you want to check out the log I use in my binder click on the image to view it!
If I have tabs that I want to reuse every year I assign each student a number and then attach a class list to the front of my binder using a clip. I then can easily flip to the students’ number by counting to find their information quickly.
I have also used numbered tabs for multiple years but I find they don’t last as the ones I have purchased are not reinforced and I often have had more than 31 students in my class and I like a consistent form of organization.
If I had regularly had fewer students than 31 I would be more inclined to use these again. Click on any image on this page if you want to check them out on Amazon affiliate for more information. I don’t make a lot off of this at all, just hoping to cover some costs of running this website.
Write & Erase
These, by far, are my favorite!
AND have saved my sanity this past year.
I have found that the Avery Write & Erase labels are often more durable than other dividers as they are reinforced along the edge where the holes are punched.
I also love them because I can write students names on these and reuse them year after year! I’ve had the set shown below but in the colors of my photos for a year and all of the dividers are in perfect condition despite daily use!
I love picture books!
They are an engaging way for kids to connect their world to the world around them.
It makes it easier for them to adapt to new situations when they know others have felt the same way that they do.
I hope you find this list to be helpful in your planning of your first week of Kindergarten!
Here are some tried and true books that I have found to be amazing in my classroom.
I personally love having my own collection.
If you’re interested in picking one of these up I am including my affiliate links to Amazon simply for your convenience to check them out. No pressure!
First Day Jitters
The Kissing Hand
Countdown to Kindergarten
Tiptoe Into Kindergarten
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School
The Twelve Days of Kindergarten
Froggy Goes to School
A Bad Case of the Stripes
If you Take a Mouse to School
The Way to School
At first I really didn’t know what to expect and then I discovered that the Instagram community is extremely diverse, dynamic and FULL of amazing ideas and resources for teachers to take advantage of!
It is not exclusive to education.
When you scroll through your feed you will see that people share about their everyday lives as well as their teaching journey. It honestly is a great way to connect with the greater teaching community!
Many bloggers host fun giveaways and even participate in IG blog hops!
Kindergarten to Grade 2
Grades 3 to 6
Now that you are on Instagram what can you search to find ideas?
I’ve collected a wide variety of hashtags for you to check out as a starting point.
It’s a great place to start searching for educational content relevant to your grade and classroom needs. Have fun exploring other hashtags on your own!
Hashtags to check out!
Sales or Marketing Tags Worth Following
If you are anything like me, adapting to an inquiry approach is often a journey that many of us educators dapple with timidity at first.
This blog post isn’t going to explore what inquiry is but how to support providing it in the classroom.
I quite remember my first few weeks and months exploring inquiry which is now three years ago.
I didn’t know what to expect from myself or from my students.
I remember wondering…
Will this work?
How will I facilitate students learning?
How do you manage a full class of students while keeping them engaged?
What inquiries do you investigate and which ones get left behind?
How can I justify exploring some topics and not others?
How can we “go deep” when there are so many questions in the classroom?
How do I know what to ask them, probe their interests without overtaking their learning?
Sometimes I felt that I had more questions than answers but I’ve learned to become comfortable with that.
It took a little while for me to be comfortable with the children leading the learning in the classroom.
When I first started teaching there were certain “themes” that were great for exploring our curriculum at different parts of the school year. My first ECE teaching partner had taught in an inquiry environment for a couple years and she was amazing at reminding me to relax and let the learning just happen – and it does!
One thing that helped me during this process was to post a variety of question prompts in my classroom to help guide my thinking. When my planning time teacher, supply teacher or parent volunteers come in they often reference these questions while engaging with the students in the classroom.
Simple question prompts that guided my thinking included:
How can we…
What are you wondering about that?
Why did you say that?
How do you know?
Why do you think that?
If you want to see the questions I actually posted in my classroom click on the image below.
How do I Include All Students?
I Wonder Book
Are you considering SeeSaw for documentation in your classroom?
I there are many great options about it as well as a few items to think about!
I recently decided to use the program SeeSaw in my classroom to help with documentation of the learning.
My student’s parents absolutely loved looking up their student’s photos, work, and assessments which were shared with them. A few parents checked it regularly and raved about it. Other than that, to be honest, I didn’t get any other feedback from the families in my classroom. I loved working with this app!
So many people have already created many assessment tools to share with others. These can easily be found in collaborative grade Facebook groups or with friends who you know who have created them.
It helps teachers keep assessment simple and not having to worry about reinventing great assessments which have already been created.
Limited or slow internet?
Consider using a computer to search for assessment or add an assessment to SeeSaw.
At first, I was using my iPad but I eventually found that this was the most effective way to access all my stored information as my iPad ended up slowing down too much.
With having two educators in the classroom I didn’t always know what had been uploaded and the computer provided the fastest “check” for me to see so I wasn’t making duplicates!
The unfortunate part of this is that in order to purchase many iPads, the purchasers sacrificed on storage space and our iPads came with the smallest amount of storage space available.
Once our Board installed apps were added to them we had next to no storage space left! I found that SeeSaw is a memory hog as it is always trying to access what has been downloaded. As a result, the app crashed all the time. Computers were my lifesaver when using it!
If I could, and I had access to better storage on an iPad for convenience, I would LOVE to continue to use it! I highly suggest you try it out!
What have your experiences been with SeeSaw? Please comment below to let me know!