Monday, August 26, 2013

PBS Learning Media

I think I have mentioned this in the past but it came across my desk again recently and wanted to remind you all of it as well. Many of you are back to school already or will be soon. And, many of you will be looking for ways to incorporate technologies and create lessons that are standard -friendly. So check it out. It's free and you really couldn't ask for a more reliable, trusted resource. PBS LearningMedia

Friday, August 9, 2013

You'll Never Have More Time Than at the Beginning

I know that at the beginning of each school year you likely go to your classroom a week before you're required to and start getting things ready. I also know that it feels like there is never enough time. At the start of the year though, you actually have a bit of flexibility. Specials schedules may not have started yet, pull-out services haven't been established, curriculum expectations may be slightly lighter... so it's a great time to take the time to get to know your students and let them get to know you. Scholastic has a nice set of ice-breakers on their site right now. I've linked it here. See if one or more appeal to you.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gearing Up - Try Something Different and Save Yourself Some Time Along the Way

Well, it's that time again. Time for all of those shiny new things we bring into our classrooms each August. Time to make our spaces look clean and crisp for the first day of school. Every bulletin board will be full of student names on apples and welcome messages. The bookshelves will be organized perfectly, our materials in order, desk tags with all kinds of colorful bit of information will be put in place. It will be perfect. But...perfect for who? You or them?

I propose you try something new thing year. something that might make you a little uncomfortable. Leave your bulletin boards at the ready, but empty of decoration besides a background and border. Give your students sentence strip pieces with their names written on them and let your kiddos decorate them on the first day. Ask them about the kinds of things they'd like to see in the room and do what you can. Have them bring a favorite t-shirt, share them, and then hang them up. In other words, make it their room. Not only will it save you time and money, it will also be a big step towards building a classroom where students are invested and involved.