Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Jumpstart January With Bookmarks


Are you looking for an easy and functional way of getting your students to make new year resolutions and keep them? Well, this is just for you! Your students get to write simple yet attainable goals then  use these bookmarks as visual reminders. For one of them I chose the rooster graphic as a wake up call to motivate them along the way also. It's like keeping them in check with their efforts. Isn't that cute? I also made sets that include a bunny, a wild safari and  a bear. They can have as many bookmarks that they wish. The key is to reach their target. You can add motivational stars to the bookmarks also as a way to reward them for their efforts too! These  bookmarks work well with the Chinese New Year theme even though I already have a set for that. Check out both my New Year Resolution Bookmarks and the Chinese New Year Bookmarks below.



New Years Resolution Bookmarks on TPT



Chinese New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
Chinese New Years Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


A Beary Good Year resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
A Beary Good Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


WildYear resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
Wild Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


A Hoppy New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
A Hoppy New Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


A Swan-to-be Happy New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
A Swan-to-be Happy New Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT



Ready to Read New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
Ready to Read New Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


Bee-zy Bee-havior New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
Bee-zy Bee-havior New Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


Snappy New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
Snappy New Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT


Ready to WRITE New Years resolution Bookmarks on TES Resources
Ready to WRITE New Year Resolution Bookmarks on TPT




 Making New Year Resolutions and keeping them is not an easy task so make sure your students stay focused and keep on target so that they can look back with pride on their achievements at the end of 2017!









Wednesday, 14 December 2016

This is My Spankin' New Teacher Store

 I have so exciting news for you! My new store is open! Please check out my newly launched online store at TES Resources, and let me know what you think! I'm so excited about it especially after I have spent the past week fixing it up. 


TES Resources


My goal for this upcoming new year 2017 is to market my resources to a wider teaching audience. I just finished my master's degree this year so I wanted to try to get my work out on a much larger scale. TES Resources has been such a wonderful experience and I am all for teacherpreneurs like me to hone in on this opportunity.

So are you ready? Just click on the image above to go directly to my TES Resources.





Become a TES author - Take the Plunge!


Are you passionate about education? Do you like helping others? Are you interested in earning extra cash or learning how to build a business? Join me and many other teacherpreneurs at TES Resources

TES Resources has the following benefits:

Discounting and shop functionality

            A resource bundler tool

              Up to 80% royalty around the world

            No upfront fees

           Free resource listings

           Zip file enabled uploading

           Preview image selection

           A tool to back-up your resources

           Featured author blog and homepage

          Global exposure - and much more!




                                                                        Sounds Interesting?
If you are already a seller and you would like to add your entire volume of resources to open your TES store click the link below to start the bulk upload process. 










Tuesday, 29 November 2016

There is No Stress Like Teacher Stress: The Ultimate Guide To Teacher Happiness



Chances are that one day you would be made to feel that you're either not working hard enough with your students OR you are simply not good at teaching. Well, that is a problem that we all face and in most cases the opinions of others are not necessarily true. So you find yourself reflecting and going over your own practice with a fine-tooth comb. This is inevitable! I wish I could say that it cannot or would not happen, but it always does. This post is not about avoiding being criticized or chastised for your efforts. It's about offering ways of lessening that feeling of worthlessness; it's about coping with the bad and finding boosters for your morale. Here's my ultimate guide to teacher happiness!



Stay Positive

I know that you're probably tired of hearing this, but it is the best piece of advice anyone can offer. Stay positive! Find something that you look forward to doing that helps you take your mind off of bad situations. I love creating resources for teachers and students and this is how I began to spend my spare time. If you enjoy taking care of your flower garden  or simply writing memoirs then do just that. At the end of the day I look forward to spending my time doing the things I enjoy and you should too!

Another way of staying positive is to do something for someone else. Recently I took the opportunity to do something for my friend who least expected it. She was very happy and I got a chance to focus on somebody else besides me.

Exercise!!! You can devote at least twenty minutes to walking or any other aerobic activity to keep your mind at ease. I enjoy exercise in the comfort of my own home since I am steeped with work most times. I either do it early in the morning (at 4:00 am) or at about 7 o'clock at night. The weather does not always hold out so most times I am indoors. You should probably try searching for some easy exercise videos on youtube. I love Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zone a lot.

Another great way to keep yourself thinking positive is to spend some money on an experience rather than buying expensive things. When you do this you don't feel all that guilty knowing that what you spent money on is an experience. There's nothing to make you feel bad more than to spend money on an object which when you think more about it, there was no need for it. I'm sure you know what I mean.


Change how you react

You can change how you react to the world of disappointment and stress by looking for the good in a bad situation. So your principal gives you a low score on the accountability scale and this makes you feel unappreciated. The natural thing to do is to rehash those feelings and put yourself under the microscope to see where you can make small improvements where possible. I know this may sound cliched but dwelling on the bad comments would not put you anywhere closer to comfort or a sound peace of mind. Change how you see the situation and your mindset would be more positive.
Of course you may not have had all that was required of you in your appraisal and your principal might have come down on you pretty hard, but look at it as a hurdle. Take that leap forward and you will get to your goal. Make the small moments count! 

Sustain good habits

Create good habits and sustain them! Get rid of those habits that are not so good! Spend no more time on the things that are not good for you; the things that are not productive. At the end of the day there should be no doubt that your time has been spent productively. Start coming to school earlier. Spend some extra time on the things that need your attention. Don't waste your time anymore. Sustaining those good habits and eliminating those that are counterproductive is a surefire way of becoming a happier teacher!

Seek social support

In my weakest moments I turn to my family and friends for both encouragement and support. They may not understand too well the troubles before me but they do listen to what I have to say. Sometimes a listening ear is all that you need at the end of the day. At times they can be so helpful and unobtrusive when I go on my rants. There is no advice that I love to hear more than a positive one. Dealing with your troubles seem to be an insurmountable task but believe me you are not in it alone. Take some time to use your social support. It is a great thing to know that there is a structure of support that is just waiting there to help you get it together!




Wednesday, 19 October 2016

How To Add More Fun into Learning Science!

Adding fun into the learning of Science is a great way to get students to remember really hard concepts for a longer period of time. I'm always looking for wonderful ideas which would get these young detectives on the right track. What about ensuring that every unit has just the right amount of pizzazz to captivate your kiddos and keep them engaged? Well that is easy with these great ideas that I came across recently. It has to do with a scientific journey on a magic school bus!
I'm writing today to tell you about this AMAZING , HANDS-ON, YEAR-LONG SCIENCE JOURNEY!

For All the Kids Who Love to Ask “Why?"

408274e7782a4af8ca40c991cbd7cc88-2

The Magic School Bus Science Club is a 12- month science kit subscription based on the award-winning series, The Magic School Bus. If you haven't heard about the series before, each of the stories center on the antics of a frizzy-red haired fictional elementary school teacher, Ms. Frizzle, and her class, who board a “magic school bus” to take them on field trips to impossible locations, like the solar system, clouds, the past, and inside the human body. This story-based learning took the science scene by storm in the 90's.

But it's the 2000s!!

The kit subscription takes it to the next level with HANDS ON learning that all ties into the stories! It's also HALF OFF FOR 10 MORE DAYS! This is a great choice for families with multiple children, kinesthetic, and visual learners - and just a fun, educational activity for a rainy day! The kits include experiments related to Volcanoes, Weather, Water, Fossils, Bacteria and Fungi, Star and Planets, and the weather, which, given recent events I want to brush up on, too. One experiment I've been really excited to try is the Volcano Kit! The kit comes with a small volcanic rock, a pumice stone, sheets of paper, black paint, paint brush, a magnifying glass all to build a volcano. Check out the video below to see the fun experiment and explosive result (this one is from Educents so you don't have to see my kitchen..)

 
 And there are so many more experiments!
ff754fca-82d1-4db3-8cc5-c69305769e51-2
magic-school-bus-human-body

Think of a sibling science club coming to life in your home - or friends bonding over making volcanoes explode, and learning all about how the human body works! Getting kids excited about STEM learning is exciting stuff. And it's especially exciting because it's HALF OFF FOR 10 MORE DAYS. Here's the run down:
       
  The 12 Magic School Bus themed science experiments sent to your doorstep, monthly include:
  • Detailed, extensive 12-page colorful manual that is full of experiments and topic information
  • Each manual was based on the award winning Magic School Bus Book (and TV) series
  • A handy dandy cheat sheet for adults, so you can lead the way with no background in science (shhh.. I always preferred reading...)
  • Tools and instructions for a at least 7 interactive experiments per month
  • Online Clubhouse for further exploration on each package topic (take advantage of this!!)
  • Certificate of Completion - a great way to reinforce learning and accomplishments
The Price: Package is for $119.00 currently (50% off deal for only ten days). You do have to pay it at once, but it comes out to $10/month over the course of the year. For me, that's a solid investment!

  get-it-now-200x60  





Thursday, 29 September 2016

All About Adverbs


This resource pack covers the definition of adverbs, the main types of adverbs, how to identify them and how to distinguish between adverbs and adjectives. This pack is ideally for first grade but can also be used as a starter or quick re-cap for any class. The Adverbs Poster makes for a large, colorful and pointed class display and copies of it can be laminated and given to students to refer to during their writing.



Here is a free sample page from this resource.



This resource includes:-
Word Wall Posters 
Adverb Header Cards
Adverb Word Cards
Printable Worksheets
Adverb Cheat Sheets for notebooks. (Two per print)

Adverb concepts covered:
Adverbs of Time -- When?
Adverbs of Place -- Where?
Adverbs of Manner -- How?
Adverbs of Frequency -- How often?
Adverbs of Degree - To what degree?


To get further details go to my TpT store.



Sunday, 11 September 2016

Phonics Sounds Posters





Phonics Sounds Posters

I created these posters to supplement my current class phonics units. These are the 42 primary phonemes in English represented by a letter or sequence of letters and organized into the following 7 groups, to make it easier to teach and learn the letter sounds.

SOUND SETS #1 = s, a, t, i, p, n
SOUND SETS #2 = c, k, e, h, r, m, d
SOUND SETS #3 = g, o, u, l, f, b
SOUND SETS #4 = ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or
SOUND SETS #5 = z, w, ng, v, oo (short) , oo (long)
SOUND SETS #6 = y, x, ch, sh, th (voiced), th unvoiced)
SOUND SETS #7 = qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar

The sets begin with the easiest single letter-sound grapheme/phoneme) correspondences and end with the more difficult letter combinations. I also included a black and white version for coloring activities or for printing on colored sheets for inserting in student work folders.


This resource comes in both color and black and white.







If you are interested in this resource click HERE to be taken to my TpT store!



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Pronouns for Beginners



Pronouns for Beginners Posters are brightly colored and beautifully illustrated pronouns for classroom display in your literacy centers or bulletin board areas. The charts support visual learning and are a great way to brighten up any classroom. You can use these for whole class instruction, reference for writing, review of the concept or for test prep. The categories are:

--Subject Pronouns
--Object Pronouns
--Possessive Pronouns (these replace nouns. These are not to be confused with Possessive Adjectives which describe nouns)
--Possessive Adjectives (BONUS CHART)
--Reflexive Pronouns
--Indefinite Pronouns

The picture cards are great for little hands. They are great for target expressive skills and for encouraging focused writing.



Here's a link to this resource at my TpT Store

FREEBIE


Here's a free general class poster for you! Click the picture below to be taken to the free resource.




Sunday, 28 August 2016

Labor Day Headbands

“Work is love made visible. And if you can't work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”
------ Khalil Gibran


As the above quote so rightly puts it, work is a physical manifestation of love. If you don't love what you do then you are doing an injustice to many.

My passion for teaching drives me to work harder every year. I'm not saying that I don't get frustrated at times, but, the difference is that when you love what you do then you bounce back rather quickly..

 Nothing is more fulfilling than to sit back and enjoy the fruits of hard labor.

Yes! Hard Work! As a teacher every year I feel a sense of satisfaction when I see how my students progress. Not all of them are at the same level, but, I feel good to know that they are leaving my hands and going into another class stronger and wiser than they were at the beginning of the school year. How do you feel about what you do?


Labor Day - Love the Workers Headbands

Labor Day in the United States will be celebrated on September 5th. In honor of Labor Day I've decided to showcase this fun-to-wear Labor Day Headbands that I labored at just for you. I enjoyed creating it and I'm sure that your kids will enjoy decorating them! 






labour day

labour day




Wednesday, 17 August 2016

How to Start RIGHT on the First Day of School



back to school

Phew! All the preparation and planning for the first day of school is finally over!
Now it's time to do the do, make all the planning a reality, after all, it is the day that you have been waiting for .... right?

 Right! 

Let's do this!

Yikes! Wait a minute now! Tweet: You need to start things RIGHT because you only get one"first day of school." So how do you get it right the first time?

Here are 10 tips that will make you rock on YOUR BIG DAY! You will begin the year setting things in place so that your teaching does not become tedious or monotonous. Read 'til the end because I have something for you!

Tip #1


A Teacher's Idea

So how early is early? Well early here means before your students, at least a half hour before the first bell rings. I think that this sets the right example and it makes you emotionally ready after a long vacation.

Tip #2



Smile and greet your students as they come in at the door. A smiling teacher can move mountains of anxiety and fear from a child! It is important to help them ease into the new day, especially if it's their first day in kindergarten. They need to see a face smiling back at them to ease their tensions and make them feel less pressured. 

Tip #3



A little chit chat moment can always work in your favor. You can start the day by talking about your vacation then give each student a chance to tell their own story. This can be followed by a drawing or writing activity which will give the non-talkers a chance to show their story rather than tell it.


Tip #4


a teacher's idea

Let your students write their names on name tags by themselves. Of course, not all of them may be able to do so, but at least you would see those who need help with it. A name tag is used for identification, but in this case, you can turn it into a feat of creativity. Use a blank tag and have them rainbow write their names and embellish the tag with lots of color.

Tip #5



The first day is the best time to educate your students about the school rules and procedures whether they are returning  or reception students. They need to know or be reminded of how things work around the school. Get in as much of the rules and procedures as possible but make it clear to them about the consequences if they breach these rules.


Tip #6



Class rules are just as important as school rules. Both you and your kids should establish rules of conduct in the classroom on the first day.  This collaboration increases students' sense of responsibility and they tend to work harder to keep and obey the rules.

Tip #7




You are the teacher and you are the one who is directly accountable for what goes on in the classroom. This is precisely why you should organize the school day around particular routines. When you plan properly you will be able to accomplish more by starting the school year with the communication of class routines. This helps tremendously as your students become so familiar with what comes next, that they are eventually able to preempt what you are about to do. Even if they are unable to read the class schedule, they know what follows. This helps to manage your students so much better!!!


Tip #8



Pictures of your students at work at different times of the day can give  parents an idea of the typical day for parent nights or meetings. I share some of the pictures with parents but I mostly keep a photojournal for my own personal growth.



Tip #9


a teacher's idea


Setting class goals is a great idea for the first day of school. You can set class goals both short term and long term. The goals must be SMART goals:

 S=Specific
M= Measurable
A=Achievable
R=Relevant
T=Time Bound

This will help everyone to understand how they can help.


Tip #10


a teacher's idea

I think that there must be some activity that can get your students mobile. The day can be a fun day also, even if it is singing and clapping to a few nursery rhymes or action songs that they are familiar with. Of course, you will need to be a little more creative with the older students. Think about it this way, they get to do a physical activity which will relieve  all the tension and stress that comes with the first day of school. What do you think? Feel free to comment below!




So this is how I spend my first day of school. I do as much of the ten tips that I can, and in some cases I continue the next day with those that I could not complete due to disruptions which are typical in any school. For the most part, by the end of the first week I have already begun to 'personalise' my little darlings in front of me, just a bit so that they love me enough to want to come to school again! :)



And now for your free resource that was promised to you! Here's a set of monster themed name tags for you. Click the picture below!








Monday, 1 August 2016

Happy Emancipation Day!



Today, in Trinidad and Tobago, celebrations are taking place to commemorate the abolition of slavery on August 1st 1838. Emancipation Day is a national holiday that celebrates the African presence and highlights their traditions, customs and contributions toward the melting pot that we call Trinidad and Tobago. Join me in wishing all a wonderful and safe Emancipation Day celebration!


Comment!


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Beginner's Guide: Focus Walls in The Classroom!

... MAINTAINING A COLLECTIVE VISION!



"Yes!" "You can do it!"
"Great going, Micah!" 
" Stay focused!"

Nothing is more inspiring for students than to hear words of encouragement and support from their teachers. As an educator, I would say that our students need a learning environment that motivates them by communicating clear goals and a vision of success. An easy tool for accomplishing this is to designate an area in the classroom as a 'Focus Wall'.

What is a Focus Wall?

A focus wall is simply an area in the classroom that you choose to display curriculum to direct students in terms of key learning targets for the upcoming week. 
Tweet: It is like a vision board that keeps your students continually logged in towards their learning goals! Specific themes, topics, skills and strategies are posted on the walls and are great for launching and reviewing units.

Where Can I Place it?

You make any central point in the classroom a focal point, however, they are more meaningful when placed at the front of the class, near or behind the teacher's desk. Of course, if you don't have wall space to spare then you can use a tri-fold display board which can stand at the front of the class.


Components of a Focus Wall

So what do you put on a focus wall? Well, a focus wall can be used in all curricular areas, however, it is mostly geared towards the learning of ELA concepts. Some suggestions for the layout of a basic ELA focus wall are:-

Title of Theme
Brief Overview of Theme
Language Arts Standard/s
Genre
Comprehension Strategy
Comprehension Skill/s
Academic Vocabulary
Spelling Words/High Frequency Words

Many teachers add their own spin to this basic frame with one or more of the following ELA areas:
Story Title, Author, Illustrator
Grammar Skills
Writing Skills
Fluency Skills
Essential Questions (for Common Core State Standards)
Phonics
Words to Know
Enduring Understanding...and the list goes on!

Bottom line is that your focus wall is the place for putting curriculum learning targets for students to stay focused.


Examples of Focus Walls

There are a lot of examples of focus walls that you can find on pinterest or when you conduct a search on the internet for that matter. I included a few in this post. 









{Source}



Free Focus Wall Header

Here's a free focus wall header for you that's cute and colorful. Click on the words "I Got it" below to download it!


Comment!

How creative is your focus wall? Leave a comment below describing how you used your classroom space for a focus wall.


Focus Wall and Learning Target Headers!

Looking for a super cute focus wall set that really pops? Here it is! If you like my freebie and you want the whole elephant (ha ha), then click the picture below to go straight to my TpT store for purchase. 

 




Friday, 22 July 2016

Close Reading is Not New!


When it comes to the teaching of reading, history does repeat itself.  A close look at the teaching of reading today shows yet another paradigm shift in which the text is once again the authority in the classroom.  The text is a work of art full of meaning, waiting to be read and understood by its readers. Essentially, the reader must be able to dig deep to find meaning and to be able to truly appreciate the text.





I believe that close reading is as the term suggests, a very thorough, purposeful scrutiny of the work of art so that the reader understands the author's intention without directly asking him. In other words, the text carries its own value. It involves the rereading of the text, first to get a sense of what it says, to focus on how it actually works, then to determine its relation to other texts or to the reader's own experiences.

Close reading, as a strategy, is not new! It has been around for decades but under a different label (New Criticism).  When we perform a close read we are actually evaluating a text by focusing on the craft and structures contained in the text without the input of the author. As such, our evaluation of a text is not tainted by knowledge of the author's true intent but by how he skillfully presents it in the text., at least that is how I see it!

I may not have done a good job at explaining close reading for what it is, but I made an attempt based on how I understand it from my independent reading. If  you think that I need some more help at it, do not hesitate to leave me a comment below!:)

Here are a few of my CLOSE READING resources plus I included some others as well. Simply click the picture for more details!








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