Saturday, September 24, 2016

DonorsChoose: A Jackpot of Classroom Funding!

Do you spend too much of your own money on classroom supplies and resources? Learn how to tap into the DonorsChoose jackpot of funding so you can get the materials you need without breaking the bank!
Free Webinar for Teachers!

Click here for the replay!

Do you know about DonorsChoose.org? It's an amazing organization that helps public school teachers in the U.S. get funding for their classroom projects. I received thousands of dollars from donors when I was teaching, and now I love telling others about this fantastic organization.

My friend, Francie Kugelman, has experienced amazing success on DonorsChoose, so I invited her to be my guest for a free live webinar. She quickly agreed because she loves to spread the word about DonorsChoose, too!

We're presenting DonorsChoose: A Jackpot of Classroom Funding on Sunday, September 25th, at 7:30 pm EST, and we hope you can join us. If you read this post after that date, use the link above to sign up for the replay.

If you're like most teachers, you spend far too much money on classroom supplies and resources, so you owe it to yourself to learn about DonorsChoose.

Francie is a true DonorsChoose expert because she reads and edits project proposals which means she knows exactly how to write them so they have the best chance of getting funded. She's been using DonorsChoose to obtain funding for her classroom, and when you look at her results, it's obvious that her strategies work. Over the last 10 years Francie has had 185 projects funded with a total value of over $112,000! Francie knows every trick in the book when it comes to DonorsChoose, and she's going to reveal all her secrets in the webinar!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five Ways to Fit Science In

Guest post by Tammy
from The Owl Teacher Blog


Every year when I sit down to plan out my class schedule around all my specials, it seems I just don't have a lot of time left to fit in science, and don't even get me started on social studies. My district requires so much time to be spent on language arts and math. It's understandable that these are important subject areas, but I always feel I'm short changing my students. By time I get done, I'm often left with 30 minutes (give or take) for science. That often leaves me wondering, just how am I going to give my students good quality instruction in science while meeting the required curriculum?

Most districts (though not all) have a required amount of minutes they would like to see teachers spend in certain subject areas. Since this is typically something we have no control over, I wanted to share with you some strategies that I have used over the years to help fit more science in when I'm limited with class time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Math Problem Solving: Knowing Where to Begin

Teaching kids to how to solve math problems is a huge challenge, but often the biggest challenge is knowing where to begin instruction. Learn where to download this free set of problem solving assessments to use in your upper elementary classroom!
Teaching kids to how to solve math problems is a huge challenge, but often the biggest challenge is knowing where to begin instruction. Without administering some type of pretest, you risk boring your students with problems that are too easy or frustrating them with problems that may seem impossible.

Before you begin, you need to have some idea of their current problem solving skills. For example:
  • How do they attack different types of problems? 
  • What strategies do they use? 
  • Are they functioning below grade level, at grade level, or above?
  • If they struggle, is it due to poor computation skills, poor reading skills, or misconceptions about basic math concepts?  
The Problem with Problem Solving Pretests
Unfortunately, most math word problem pretests don't provide enough information to help us answer those questions, let alone know where to begin instruction. Many tests are so challenging that kids who've been out of school all summer are likely to give up after making a token effort to solve the first few problems. Also, most tests use a multiple choice format which makes them easy to grade, but not so easy to interpret. Students don't have a place next to each problem to show their work, so you're left guessing as to the reason they missed each incorrect answer.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Secrets of Launching a Stellar School Year

What if you could walk into the class of your dreams this year? Of course you'd jump at the chance! But what does that mean? What would your "dream class" be like? Would the students be self-motivated and excited about learning? Would they treat each other with kindness and respect? Might you look forward to Monday mornings instead of dreading them????

Believe it or not, this year's class could be your dream class. In fact, the secret to having an amazing class might be directly tied to what you do during the first week of school, and it might not have much to do with who's assigned to your classroom roster!

Consider this: When you know how to unlock the amazing potential in every student, magic happens in the classroom!

I know from personal experience that what teachers say and do during the first week of school sets the tone for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, it took me YEARS to figure out how to launch a great school year, and it wasn't always easy. I knew it was essential to get the school year off to a great start from day one, but I had so many unanswered questions about the right way to accomplish this. How can we find the right balance between being friendly and setting clear expectations? Should we seat our students in rows or in cooperative learning teams on the first day of school? Is it true that we shouldn’t crack a smile until Christmas?

After years of trying different strategies during the first week of school, I finally nailed down a system that really works. In the process, I discovered that it's actually a lot easier than you might imagine to create a caring classroom of students who are motivated and excited about school!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Grab Your Free 2016-2017 School Year Calendar!

When I was teaching, I searched everywhere to find the perfect calendar for my students, but I just couldn't find one that worked. I wanted 8 1/2 x 11 monthly portrait-style pages that would fit in a 3-ring binder, and I also wanted large blocks for writing in the dates and events.

Eventually I gave up the search and decided to make my own. To create more space for writing on the weekdays, I made skinny blocks on the weekends. It turned out to be exactly what I needed! When I started my Teaching Resources website, I decided to share it with other teachers and it was a hit with them, too!

The School Year Calendar starts with July of the current year and ends with June of the following year. Each year I update the calendar with the correct dates as well as new clipart and fonts to give it a fresh look. The calendar pages are in color, but if you prefer black and white copies, just change your printer settings to the B&W mode.

Sign up here to download your free copy of my 2016-2017 School Year Calendar!