Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching!

Friday Again! 
Let's  tackle TEN THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM TEACHING!!

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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Let the Sun Shine In! ( ....Or Is It Friday Already?)




Why do the summer weeks go by so fast......? Anyway Friday is a fun day because it's time for Favorite Pins of the week!!!!!!!!!!! But SADLY, I could not find that The Favorite Pins linky was available- I did find a linky for Five Random things so here we go:

Here's my Five Things:

 (1) Let's start with my very favorite pin of the week:
I love all of that outfit and have most of it already- so I filed that away to pull out when the weather turns (right now it's 97 in Alabama....) 

(2) Look at these amazing re--creations made by Becky at Beyond the Picket Fence! On one of these posts she even gives a tutorial of her painting technique:


The cart in the first picture is actually a rolling cart used for an overhead projector- I know we have several of those still in my school.....hmmmmm......

Okay, now that I got those out of my system let's just focus on school...right...cause by this time of July we are only thinking about getting started back...tell the truth, you are even beginning to dream about your classroom again, right?!

(3) So here's an old pin but one of my favorites on my Art Ideas board and the reason for the title of this post:
I love this project ---so myself and two of my teacher friends hosted an Art Summer School and recreated this! Here's a shot of our display in the hallway of my school:
Pretty awesome, I know! Thank you Farley for  that idea! Click on the picture to link back to her post about how to do this project!


(4) Now, I know this next one is something you have seen on Pinterest--- a re-created filing cabinet! You just use some mod podge and scrapbook paper and turn your boring cabinet into a masterpiece. Here's a comparison of the Pinterest idea and my cabinet:
Now, I am not going to lie- this was not easy. First, the drawers have to be pretty empty- so removing the contents is a big task all by itself! I took the handles off and removed a plastic insert. Then I was able to remove the label frame which left a pretty smooth surface. Once, the stuff dried I went back and added a strip of thin duct tape to the bottom of the drawers to help with opening and closing and possibly damaging the scrapbook paper where it overlapped. I might also have to go back with some tape around the drawer sliding buttons to reinforce. But, it did turn out cute!

(5) Next project-----PAINTING BULLETIN BOARDS!!
Like this pin (sorta):

Several of my friends have tackled this and their boards all look great! It eliminates the need for covering boards with paper---- here's a step by step for you:
1. Purchase supplies- I got the little paint container at our local Sherwin Williams store for less that $7. (Click HERE to see the product- it's called "Color to Go".)  I used a little roller and a very old paint tray:
2. Start painting- I did not tape edges or anything extreme- just started rolling:
Also, I used a small sponge brush to get close to the edge of the board but did not paint it completely to the edge as it will be covered with border anyway.

3. Finish and let it dry:
Add the border and here's a close up of that and you can purchase it HERE from Creative Teaching Press):


Finally- don't we all love quotes:
Seriously, that sign may be my next project !



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Moving Day!!

Well, yes, I want to spend lots of my summer moving into a new classroom......actually I really do. After 18 years in third grade I made a decision to become our school's STEM Lab teacher! Yahoo!

So, first, I explore my new classroom! It's our school SCIENCE LAB-- too cool for words!

So, I'm a little OCD (ahem....a lot) and the first thing I did was empty all the cabinets and drawers:
That left me quite a LOT of Science related stuff to put away--- but into the organized cabinets the stuff went:


Then I started hauling my personal stuff from my old classroom....
That was the first of about 50 trips OR MORE!

So I am still working on the little things: painting bulletin boards, making curtains for the doors (FOUR of them), decorating bulletin boards, stocking shelves, labeling, good grief.
Pictures later when it is FINISHED!

So, for all those people that think teachers do nothing during the summer (and still get paid) ha!
Watch this video:




In the meantime, I can't wait to start this new chapter in my teaching life!! 


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Awesome Week and new Fav Pins!



This week was BUSY...Busy...busy...I am moving my classroom!I will be the STEM Lab teacher in my school and my new classroom is the SCIENCE LAB!
                      

How Cool is that for a classroom!
Anyway....it's a work in progress.

Favorite PINS of the Week:

First this is hosted by Cara at The First Grade Parade:

Here We GO:


First is an Anchor chart about Reading. The picture itself is too cute, but I love the words around it! 
This is from The Teacher Trap. Click on the picture to get there!

Another Anchor chart I liked this week is about Writing. I also love the art work- this be will be fun to make with the kids!
This is from Life is Better Messy Anyway (I think). Click on the picture.

One more Anchor chart- but it's really also kinda like a Rules poster.....I love it. I think I would have the kids each make their own little self and then attach to the poster. That's probably what this teacher did!
This is from For the Love of First Grade. (Click on the picture!)

One of my new favorite blogs is called Pinterest Told Me To. If you have not visited that blog, GO NOW! It's funny, informative, and Sheaffer directs you to sales on all the items she recommends.
I actually just received the jacket she suggests Yesterday and it IS terrific! 



Do you just love this idea!!!!!!!!! I wish I had thought of this!

I cannot find the original source of this pin. But I do think I would combine this idea with the highlighters in a basket I used last year. Kids had to highlight their names on their papers before turning the paper in. It worked GREAT!

One last pin and it's a Book Report Idea--- and too cute!
How fun would that be????
Also, cannot find the original source for this pin.

Well that's it-- a great week-- next week will be even busier. Tuesday we are tackling a Farley Art Project....and I have to get settled into my new classroom!  Yahoo!!


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