Category Archives: Teacher

Building Home-School Connections Through Reading

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Building Home-School Connections Through Reading

Reading is a wonderful and enjoyable pastime that can transport the reader to interesting times and places.  Reading, however, is not just for enjoyment and this is something we should be teaching our youngest readers.  Think about all of the reasons you read things in a day.  The grocery list, street signs, novels, news articles, recipes, bills, social media… Read More!

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Printable Book Log

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Printable Book Log

Since starting kindergarten, we’ve had to keep track of The Tiny Human’s reading. His goal is 15 minutes of reading or more at least 16 times per month (as set by the school). We’ve been keeping track, but on the calendar grids sent home from school and now a simple lined list. Neither of these provide enough room for me to write the title of a book. Read More

Planner/Journal Planning for 2016

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Planner/Journal Planning for 2016

I love planners.  I love the idea of them, anyway.  I certainly use my Google Calendar…but I am an analog keeper of plans.  Every year, I buy a planner or a Daytimer or put one together using a binder and printable templates.  And every year I stop using it after about a month.  They end up being too big, too bulky, and not giving me space to plan what I want.  And therein lies the problem:  I am a special snowflake and I want my planner to be a special snowflake, too.   Keep Reading

Creation Station, The Best Thing I’ve Ever Added to My Classroom

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Creation Station, The Best Thing I’ve Ever Added to My Classroom

Kids are crafty and creative.  If you give them a pile of materials, they will think of ways to put things together that we, intelligent adults that we are, would never have thought of in a million years.  They’ll make all of our Pinterest searching and project planning seem like, well, child’s play.  But Creation Station isn’t just about making things!   Read More

50 Strategies for Differentiation, Adaptation, and Support for Early Learners

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50 Strategies for Differentiation, Adaptation, and Support for Early Learners

Whether there are 40 students or 5 in a classroom, there are always differences in how kids learn and what they need in order to be successful.  The longer you work with children, the more tools you’ll have in your toolbox and you might think you’ve got it all figured out, until the day that you don’t.  Students’ needs vary widely and what works for one year’s class might not work for another; what has worked for the 150 students you’ve taught over the last 7 years might not work for the new student who arrived last week.  To help you build your toolbox, here are 50 strategies for differentiation, adaptation, and support for early learners. Read More

Superhero Unit

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Superhero Unit

During the last week of our Apple Unit, I sat down with the kiddos and asked them what they wanted our learning theme to be next.  We’d gotten to know each other and the school routines well enough that I could start stepping back into the teacher-as-facilitator role and the kiddos could take a more active role in constructing their own interest-driven learning.  We came up with a bunch of ideas:  dinosaurs, princesses, cats, Batman.  Then one of the kids suggested “Superheroes” and they all agreed that it sounded like a great idea.  So, Superheroes it was! Read More

Apple Unit (Preschool)

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Apple Unit (Preschool)

This was the second learning theme of our year.  I selected it, unlike the themes that will follow.  This theme started on the third week of school, so I started planning during week one.  At that point, we were all still learning about each other and settling into routines, so I didn’t feel like the kiddos were ready to vote on a theme quite yet.  Even though it was my choice, the kids still enjoyed all the fun activities. Read More

Preschool Catch Phrases for Teaching Children Appropriate Social Interactions (With Literature Connections)

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Preschool Catch Phrases for Teaching Children Appropriate Social Interactions (With Literature Connections)

I noticed today when I was debriefing with a parent and child that I have a lot of catch phrases.  Seriously, there are so many.  Being both a parent and a teacher, I end up saying them so many times a day that I hardly even think before the words are out of my mouth.   Read More