back to school · classroom management · routines and procedures · Uncategorized

How to Keep Your Pencils from Disappearing in the Classroom!

Do your personal teacher pencils disappear? Do you feel like you’re always buying new ones for yourself and your desk? If so, look no further with this FREE and easy way to keep track of your pencils!

When I taught fourth grade, my pencils went missing daily. Sometimes it was fault. I would walk around with a pencil and know that I didn’t bring it back to my desk. By the end of the day, the pencil was nowhere to be found and it never was…

I also had a feeling that at times my pencils ended up in my students’ hands. I wanted to get to the bottom of my missing pencils. What was happening to them?

So….

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This simple trick that took minutes was all it took! I took a sharpie, made an easy design by the eraser, and POOF! When my pencils went missing I could do a quick glance around the room at all the pencils being used or laying around the room and could easily find mine!

Hope this makes you as happy as it made me HAHA!

-Mrs. B

back to school · classroom management · routines and procedures

Why I NEVER Call on Volunteers

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share with you something so simple, yet LIFE CHANGING (at least for me)!

Years ago, I began my teaching career as an English Language Development teacher. I taught in a school where nearly 100% of the students were English Language Learners. I quickly learned how important it was for the students to TALK, TALK, TALK! This was something that I think is so true, not just for ELLS, but all students! Imagine if a teacher asks a question, and calls on ONE VOLUNTEER. There are many problems with this scenario…

  1. A student is only going to volunteer if they know or think they know the answer
  2. You are only having 1 student participate (that’s a small percentage of your class)
  3. The students that REALLY need to be TALKING are probably NOT the ones volunteering

I began the year trying to think of various ways to maximize student engagement. I tried many great practices (think-pair-share, etc.), but after attending a Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshop, I found (and tweaked) something that has worked incredibly for me (and other teachers I’ve helped).

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

-Students should already have an assigned partner. My students have a shoulder partner (sitting next to them at their desk), a face partner (sitting across from them at their desk), and a carpet partner (student sitting next to them on the carpet). These partnerships are strategically designed by me with a lot of thought put into them (a future blog post…) In these partnerships, there should be a Partner A and Partner B. You can get creative here…partners can be anything from “ketchup and mustard,” “cookies and milk,” etc. The most important thing is that the students know who is who!

-After raising a question to the class, rather than ask for volunteers (ahhhh please don’t), tell them it’s time for “Partner A” (or whatever you call that person) to talk. Give them a designated time depending on the question. During this time, Partner A is the ONLY partner talking. Partner B is SILENT! (THIS IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE MODELED, TAUGHT, AND PRACTICED, PRACTICED, PRACTICED). In the beginning, you will notice many students say a few words and then sit in awkward silence for the remainder of the time. This will get better with time and more practice.

-After the designated time is up, tell them it’s time for Partner B to talk. Repeat what happened when Partner A talked, just with Partner B now.

THAT’S IT! SIMPLE!

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This small little strategy will literally change your life. After you raise a question, instead of one volunteer participating, you will have 100% of your students that were engaged and talking! WOW! Think of all the practice your students will be getting with talking! Think of how much more talking your ELL students will be doing! It’s awesome!

-Mrs. B

 

back to school · classroom management · routines and procedures · Uncategorized

Welcome! Back to School Routines and Procedure FREEBIE

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the very first post on Created by Mrs. B! I want to personally thank those of you who are reading this…you’re here at the beginning of my blogging journey! Thanks for joining me on this new adventure!

A little about me:

I’m born and raised in sunny California. I live with my husband, son, and many animals 😉 I have taught English Language Development, 4th grade, and 2nd grade. I love to read, travel, and spend time with my family and friends.

 

I hope everyone is having a fantastic beginning of the year so far! I personally think the first weeks of school are so important in setting the tone for the rest of the year. Routines and procedures were my #1 focus (even before the content) during the first few weeks. If you get your classroom management set up correctly, you will save SO MUCH TIME each and every day and maximize your students’ learning time!

I’m a little crazy when it comes to routines and procedures. I have one for nearly EVERYTHING you can possibly think of in the classroom (tissues, broken pencil, asking for help, you name it!). It’s a lot of time and effort to model, teach, and implement each routine and procedure, but I PROMISE the pay off is huge! My students pretty much run the classroom and there is little need for student discipline because of all the routines and procedures in place. I’m never nervous for substitutes or guest teachers and they always comment on how smooth my class runs.

I’m sure I’ll have many other posts about specific procedures and routines in the future, but for now, here’s a FREEBIE for you!

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BACK TO SCHOOL ROUTINE AND PROCEDURE CHECKLIST

It’s a checklist of the majority of the routines and procedures that I teach at the beginning of the school year. Just print and check off each one after your students have been taught the procedure or routine. Remember, each routine and procedure takes TIME! You must teach, model, practice, and repeat multiple times for it to be successful!

Good luck teachers and happy teaching!

-Mrs. B