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Celebrate Black History Month

The influences, innovations, struggles, contributions, and successes of African Americans to our history and culture are an incredible opportunity for important discussions and activities in your classroom. Recognizing this history is important the entire school year but should be a focus and a celebration during Black History Month in February.

Here are my three tips for celebrating Black History Month with your students.

Tip #1:
Read Aloud

I schedule read-aloud time with my students daily. During the month of February, I read a picture book per day or an excerpt from a book about an influential Black American.  I have so many favorite books in my classroom library, here are just a few of my favorite books to share with my students:

Celebrate Kindness

Image of hands holding a heart with the text "Celebrate Kindness"

World Kindness Day is observed on November 13th and The Great Kindness Challenge begins on January 24th but kindness should be observed EVERY DAY.

This year more than ever, we need to recognize kindness. Teach your students how to be kind and show them how good it feels to be kind to others. Read through to the FREEBIE at the end!

It is so important to model and teach our students how to be kind. Even the smallest act of kindness can have a far greater impact than kids can imagine. Kindness is a mindset. Being kind is a choice and we need to teach our students the benefits of making the choice to be kind. Acts of kindness can brighten the receiver's day but it makes the giver feel good too.

Pumpkin Investigation

Fall is a wonderful season that lends so many possibilities to incorporate seasonal items into our classrooms. Fall is also pumpkin season and a pumpkin investigation is a great way for students to get hands-on and practicing science and math skills.

Effectively Building a Home-School Connection

One of the keys to a successful school year is to build that home-school connection. developing a good relationship with students and their families is a key to a great year.  The easiest way to build that connection? COMMUNICATE!

I’m going to share some of my favorite tips from my classroom to help you build that homeschool connection.

How to Have Your Best Open House

Why You Should Try a Student-Led Open House

Open House can be so stressful!  I can stand and talk to a roomful of students all day long, but a roomful of adults causes me MAJOR STRESS!  I wanted my Open House to reflect HOW I teach and how my students learn in my classroom, so I created a Student-Led Open House!  The results??  It was a HUGE hit!  The parents loved it, my students loved it, I had a better-than-usual turn-out, and my principal LOVED it too and sat in my room for a good part of the session.

To have a student-led Open House, you must train your students to teach their parents all about your class.  The students are in charge and you have the opportunity to casually join the family conversations.  A student-led open house is far more fun and enjoyable than having the teacher lecture from a presentation for 30 minutes!

Here are the details on how you can plan and hold your own successful student-led open house.

Meet the Teacher Day

Meet the Teacher Day

This summer just flew by and was shorter than usual.  It’s hard to believe that we’re gearing up for back

to school again!  I’ve been teaching for over 15 years so I have a bit of experience in prepping for the

first weeks of school.  I really enjoy setting up my classroom and getting things ready for my newest

group of students.

I have some tips for you on how to take some of the stress away and make your Meet the Teacher Day

a success.

In my school district, families and their children can come to find their new classroom and meet the teacher on the Friday before the first day of school. Families can come in at any time during that hour. (MOST families are lined up at the door EARLY eager to meet their new teacher!).

End of Year Memories of a GREAT School Year!

Winding down the school year is so bittersweet.  The school year has had its challenges and juggling all the teacher things is hard work (and we are all looking forward to summer break) but….your class has become a little “family” and it’s always hard to say goodbye.

Memories of a Great School Year

To end the school year on the BEST note, I have students reflect, collaborate, and write down all of the

memorable events, lessons, activities, and fun things our class did throughout the year. We

collaboratively put all of these amazing memories together to create a special digital class yearbook.

Read all about how I create a digital class yearbook with my students:

Step #1

Collect Memories and Photos

First, we begin brainstorming a list of memorable events from the school year and then I have students work together in groups to add to the list.  I gather all of the photos from the school year and create a folder my Google Drive and share the folder with my students.
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