Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching!

Friday Again! 

By the way this is a Linky with Miss Kindergarten!

These posts have been so much fun to read and see what teachers are saying! It will make you laugh, but also give you really great advice---
Ten Things I Have Learned from Teaching- a list of ideas, advice, and teacher thoughts after many years in the classroom!

So here's my ten things- in no particular order:

1. Have a GO-To Game (or two): Years (yes years) ago I took over a classroom in January! My new students taught me a game they called "Silent Toss". Every student stands. If you speak you are out except for saying the name of the student you choose. (Hence, the name Silent Toss.) The teacher starts a ball by tossing it underhanded to a student. That student tosses it by saying someone's name and tossing underhanded. Continue for a few minutes and then the teacher adds a rule. I usually go to throwing and catching one handed next. After a few minutes we add bouncing and catching. You get it! If you drop the ball you are out. We play until we have a winner! I use a rubber band ball but foam balls also work great. When do we play? Once every couple of weeks when we have that weird leftover five minutes. Every class I have ever had LOVES this game!
Silent Toss: a kid favorite for those few minutes when you just need a break or have minutes to burn! It's easy and fun and QUIET!

2. Kids need to share! That's why they want to tell you things all day long that are off topic. Have a morning meeting time and let kids talk! The secret is: YOU have to listen and SHARE, too. Kids really do want to hear about your real life.
Share Time has such value in the classroom! Kids love to talk about themselves so let them. Make it part of your morning meeting, share projects, or book shares. The number one thing is that the teacher should share, too!

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. Spending time fussing about No Names on papers does not make kids put names on their papers. Taking points off when grading does not make them put their name on the paper. So, stop worrying about it. Have a system! Go {HERE} for an idea about this! I did this system last year and it really does work!
No Name dilemma in your classroom? Try having students highlight their name on their paper before turning it in! It really does work!

4. Model what you want. If you want kids to READ, then they have to see you do it, have you talk about it, make recommendations to them, give book reports yourself! If you want kids to write- then write when they write and share your writing! 
Reading in the classroom is so important! If you are the teacher, do you ever pile up with your kids and read your book, too? It's a great thing to do! Try reading something funny so your kids will hear you giggling! They will want to read that book!

5. You will always have a student that needs YOU! It's usually the least likely suspect- but there will always be one that gets love from you and no one else. Give those hugs freely.
Every students deserves a teacher that cares and listens and hugs and encourages! Are you that teacher?

6. Set the bar high! Children really do perform as we expect. 

7. Treat the office staff, custodians, and cafeteria ladies with RESPECT! You will need them one day and they will help you because they remember that you talk to them, laugh with them, and bring them brownies. Example: Our cafeteria has two choices each day. What do you think happened the day I reversed the order and every child in my room was going to get fish sandwiches instead of chicken nuggets.......yep, the cafeteria ladies saved me. 

8. Pencils are like socks in the washing machine. They disappear. If you can solve this mystery every teacher everywhere will love you.......
Do you lose pencils in your classroom? Where on earth do they go? It's a mystery as much as socks in the washing machine!

9. Learn to sing. Yep, in an opera voice. Somehow, when you sing, "It's time for Math" as if you are Paul Potts, kids giggle and get ready. Speaking of Paul Potts and opera, play classical music and opera while kids work. It's beautiful!
Opera and classical music in the classroom! Absolutely! Want your kids attention? Sing to them in an opera voice!

10. READ ALOUD to your students and DO VOICES! Make the story exciting and funny and dramatic and if you cry or laugh or are bewildered....guess what.... your kids will be too! And they will love listening to books! Here's my favorite read aloud for voices:
The Tale of Despereaux- one of the best read-aloud books ever! Kids love! It has vices! It has likable and fun characters! The author addresses reading as a necessary life skill! It's perfect!

Well, I could probably continue on this list as I have thought of a few more things as I typed, but let's save those for an other day!

Have a great weekend!

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  1. LOVE your 10 Things list! These are so true! However, I still get caught up in the missing pencil thing...so frustrating...


  2. Great 10 things! I have some similar and some I share the same thoughts!
    Singing (not well) and voices are my fave thing to do!

  3. I so agree with doing voices during read aloud! It's a sure-fire way to hook them in. I nominated you for a Liebster Award- check out the details on my blog!

  4. Meredith MatthewsJuly 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    You are so funny - I can hear you saying some of these things! We are going to miss you next year, but so happy to still have you once a week in STEM lab! Can't wait to see and marvel at the new organized lab - envious!


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