Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Although it's summer break, some of us have already begun planning for our next group of sweet faces! If you're like me, you want the first week to run as smoothly as possible.
I learned early on that there's power in preparation. My natural instinct would be to jump right in to the curriculum and start teaching all the standards, after all 180 days will be gone before you know it! However this year, I'd like to challenge myself and you to plan your first week back to school a little differently.

Challenge #1: Spend adequate time getting to know your children

Getting to know your students seems like a very obvious thing to have listed, but in the rush of a new school year, this often become over looked. Getting know really know your students is arguably one of the most powerful things you can do as their teacher. Remember your students want to be loved by you. They need a strong relationship with you. Once that relationship is established, you will see your students rise to meet your expectations academically and behaviorally. If you take the time to build the relationship now, you will benefit from it the rest of the year.

Challenge #2: Spend time creating routines

Routines and consistency are essential. Think of it this way, you can either take extra time your first week establishing routines or you can spend the rest of the school year reminding students of your routines! Get the year started and organized from the start. Take the necessary time with your students to develop the routines and set the expectation. What do I do if I need an extra pencil? How do I let you know if I need extra assistance during a lesson? Teaching routines isn't a curriculum standard, but taking the time to build your classroom routines will allow you to spend more time teaching the standards with fewer disruptions.

Challenge #3: Make learning FUN this year

Let's face it, worksheets are not exactly fun. You don't enjoy grading them, and your students definitely don't enjoy independent repeated practice. Challenge yourself to incorporate fun, meaningful activities this year. Create some game-like activities that provide opportunities for your students to talk and think together. Remember, the one that does the talking does the learning. Plan activities that encourage small group and partner exploration!

Challenge #4: Focus on collaboration

Encourage collaboration with others, and do it often. A team can be more efficient and produce a higher quality of work than an individual. There is some truth to the old adage of two minds being better than one. Challenge yourself to make collaboration an important part of your week. Learn and share with other teachers at your school or catch up on collaborative blogs on line. Remember, Promethean Planet offers forums and groups on just about any topic, so join in to share your struggles and successes with others!
Whatever your goals happen to be for the upcoming school year, write them down and develop a plan for making them happen. Best of luck to each of you, and "Happy New Year!"

Blog Hop and Giveaway Information!
So as you may have guessed, there's a fantastic back to school blog hop and giveaway going on!
We'll have one grand prize winner who will win a pencil sharpener in their choice of color from Classroom Friendly Supplies,their choice of a blog design OR $25 worth from products from Tools for Teachers by Laurah J, and one copy of each donated unit listed below. We will have one second prize winner who will get one copy of each donated unit and their choice of $25 worth of items Tools for Teachers.
  • Elements of Fiction Posters
  • First Week Back to School Classroom Essentials Bundle
  • Write with Me Journal (Common Core Aligned)
  • Latin Greek Vocabulary Through the Year, Set 1
  • Getting to Know You- A Back to School Math Game for your Class
  • Place Value Safari
  • Back to School Icebreaker Pack
  • Ten Real Life Applicable Area and Perimeter Cards 
  • Back to school and end of year foldables
  • Common Core Writing and Editing Checklists

In celebration of the new school year, I'm donating my favorite  Back to School activity for your math class! Check it out by clicking here! 
Available in grades 2-4!

Ready for some freebies?
Once you've followed The Learning Highway on Fb and  on TPT,  take a peek at our previous blog posts and grab yourself a few freebies- six to be exact! 

Ready to enter the giveaway?

Laura Santos
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