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10 End of Year Activities to Keep Your Students Engaged

classroom community end of year

10 End of Year Activities to Keep Your Students Engaged

Approaching the end of the school year can be maddening! First off, us teachers are exhausted. Not just from the long school year, but from the grueling testing season. I think it’s safe to say that we all desperately need a well-deserved vacation. But wait! Before you head for a day at the beach, or a late night filled with binge watching your favorite Netflix shows, you still have at least a few weeks left in your classroom. And on top of that, your classroom is sure to be filled with students who are probably even more excited for the...

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Story Elements Bookmarks

close reading evidence based guided reading writing

Story Elements Bookmarks

Finding new and exciting ways to keep our kids engaged during guided reading can be a challenge. Doing the same things day in and day out can be exhausting and, let's face it, boring. I loved switching things up by using these story elements and genres bookmarks. They are easy to use and the kids loved them! WHAT ARE THEY? Now you might be asking yourself what makes these bookmarks so special. Not only are they print and go (which saves your sanity), they are also a great springboard to get your students to dive back into the text.  There...

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Sentence Swag: Helping Your Students Write Better Sentences

Sentence Swag: Helping Your Students Write Better Sentences

Writing sentences can be difficult for some of our students. No matter what age our kids are, using correct punctuation, writing neatly, and spacing words correctly can be a challenge. Annnnnnnd don't even get me started on using capital letters correctly.  I have a couple activities that can help.  SENTENCE SWAG ANCHOR CHART The first is this anchor chart. Giving kids an acronym to remember important parts of writing sentences can be powerful.  I am not an artist and find making cutesy anchor charts a challenge. I really like the idea of using clip art to make my charts engaging....

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Dear Teacher, I Hear You.

Dear Teacher, I Hear You.

I’ve been thinking about the struggles we face as teachers a lot lately. I read more and more stories from teachers who are burnt out, tired, frustrated and stressed. Oh so much stress. I bet most of us never anticipated the amount of stress we face on a daily basis. Every year things get harder. More disrespect from students (and parents), more restrictions on what we can teach and when, more directives, rules and procedures sent down from the district. I think back to myself and wonder “Was there EVER a time I got to teach how and what I...

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5 Steps to Setting Up Your Math Centers

math centers

5 Steps to Setting Up Your Math Centers

Setting up math centers in your classroom can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. I know that I tried (and failed) several times before I found the right combination that worked for me.  Before I started math centers, I had a lot of questions and concerns about how centers would really work in my room.  My Concerns: 1. How can I create meaningful, engaging centers every single week? 2. How can I ensure that the students stay on task? 3. When do I have time to put everything together? 4. How do I organize all the materials needed? 5. How can...

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