"How do you see your role in the classroom in terms of the first month of school?"  That was a pivotal question on my job interview many years ago. Sometimes the more things change, the more the stay the same. Whether it was asked during your interview or not, the answer can make or break your classroom management plan. If you don't accomplish anything else during the first weeks of school but to have control of your class, then you have done a good job! It was my answer and the  school superintendent interviewing me agreed!

It is absolutely critical that clear, concise rules and procedures are established during the first few weeks of school. Nothing can be accomplished until the class knows that you, the teacher, are in charge. Just as teachers  have high expectations of students, students have high expectations of teachers. If you send the message that you don't always mean what you say and are quite lax about enforcing established rules, don't be surprised when your students do whatever they please in your classroom. This doesn't mean there are no exceptions, but there needs to be a valid reason for an exception and the student should understand that he is getting a special privilege.

So what rules are important and how do you establish them? Here are a few helpful hints.

1. Greet your students warmly. After giving seat assignments, taking attendance, putting away all their school supplies, etc., begin discussions about the wonderful school year you are about to share. Discuss how important it is for the teacher and classmates to respect each other. Discuss how people feel when they and/or their property are not respected. It is as important to give respect as it is to receive it.

2.  Together with the kids write a list of the classroom rules. Keep it short. Too many rules can become overwhelming for kids. Write rules that encompass many things. Here are a few examples. You can verbally expand on these rules but they do not need to be written out. It is always nice to say to kids, "We only have 3 or 4 rules to follow. So I expect everyone to follow them." It makes the requirements seem much more doable!

  • Respect the teacher and your classmates. It is wrong and rude to use inappropriate or insulting language.
  • Respect the property of others. Materials are expensive and cannot always be easily replaced.
  • Listen when others are speaking. It is rude to interrupt lessons or the conversations of others.
  • Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself. It is not okay to risk the safety of someone else.

3.  After discussing rules and receiving student input, give students the opportunity to write the rules they feel are most important. You will have an opportunity to view what your students think and kids have the opportunity to assess what they learned in the discussion.

 


Read about my newest resource and then download FREE brag tags created especially for you, my followers!  The free brag tags are not the same ones offered in this resource. The free brag tags can be downloaded below.

Of course you know what to do, but time is often a factor at this time of year. If you are short on time you might want to try my new resource highlighting three areas of school rules. My principal always wanted them addressed the first week of school. After a long vacation kids need reminders!

Important areas to discuss:

  • classroom rules
  • school bus safety and
  • fire safety

includes boy and girl clip art

includes boy and girl clip art

After a class discussion kids can list the highlights of what they see as the most important. When you have completed each section, there is a brag tag for you to reward your students.

Buyers said:

  • Rules are something I spend all year on with my students, thanks for sharing another way to cover rules.
  • Thank you! I especially love the brag tags that go along with each topic!

 

Getting to Know You Activities

Get off to a good start! Plan to do an activity that you know they can complete with success. Getting to know you activities are especially appropriate and fun this time of year! We want kids to be happy and comfortable. Kids love to share information about themselves and learn what their classmates have been doing. To make the most of these activities be sure to take notes documenting what you see when the kids are working.

Teacher tip: Keep a year long log. I always started the year with a large index card for each student. (Before meeting the kids, I wrote their name and any services they are mandated to receive, OT, PT, Speech, etc. This helps to  have important information at your fingertips) Be sure to date every comment. Your notes may include observations such as: works well with a partner, work is neat, poor organizational skills, able to stay on task, poor spelling, unable to write a sentence. The list is endless! After a few days, you will have a wealth of information about each child. What last year's teacher saw may not be what you see. As the year progresses add information regarding academics and behavior. Also write dated notes whenever you have a parent conference--in person or on the phone. These notes are invaluable when writing report cards and to prepare for another parent conferences.

 

Classmates, so alike, so different

Find the Classmate who. . .

Two Truths and a Lie

Be sure to tell kids to make each statement believable. Who could guess the lie this fourth grader told?

  1. I love to dance on stage.
  2. I've never been on a plane.
  3. I have four pet chickens.

 

Before you go, be sure to download the FREE brag tags I made especially for you. I hope you and your kids enjoy them.

 

 

However you start off the school year I hope you and your students have fun! The beginning of the year is such an important time as well as a very exciting time! I wish you a great school year!

If you have any comments about this post, I would love to hear from you! What's the most important thing for you to accomplish in those first few days?

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to learn about more freebies coming your way!

 

 

 

Once again my friend, Kelly Malloy, is organizing a great giveaway to help teachers get ready for back to school. This time the prize is a $100 gift card to shop at Erin Condren. Wouldn't it be great to start off the school year by choosing a beautiful teacher planner from Erin Condren's fabulous collection? You'll be smiling all year!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
 
 

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 8/18/17 and is open worldwide.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers! 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 


 

July has been a wild month of sales and giveaways, but all good things must come to an end! Our last big sale week has just ended and we have collaborated to celebrate the July month-long sales event with this BIG giveaway.

There are three Rafflecopters live right now! EACH Rafflecopter contest will giveaway 5 gift cards! Yes, you read that right! There will be 5 lucky winners for each of the following companies:

Five $25 gift cards for Teachers Pay Teachers

Five $25 gift cards forStarbucks

Five $25 gift cards for Michael's

So enter all three Rafflecopters for your best chance to win one of the 15 gift cards being given away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good Luck!

A few blogger friends and I have collaborated to host this mega giveaway to cap off our week of special savings! There are three Rafflecopters live right now! Each Rafflecopter contest will giveaway 5 gift cards! Yes, you read that right! There will be 5 lucky winners for each of the following companies:

Five $25 gift cards for Teachers Pay Teachers

Five $25 gift cards for Vera Bradley

Five $25 gift cards for Oriental Trading

So enter all three Rafflecopters for your best chance to win one of the 15 gift cards being given away!

The contest starts now and ends Monday morning at midnight!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Click this image to link to today's sale

Today is Day #1 of this tremendous month long sale! There will be different resources on sale everyday, but each offer lasts only one day! There are over 140 resources posted right now that are priced at only $1, again just for today! So hurry on over to grab a few  great bargains!

While you are there check out my two resources perfect for getting back into the swing of things when school opens. They are both $1 today1

 

Resource #1 has brag tags to celebrate  student achievement in various content areas.  The best thing about brag tags is your kids will be motivated to receive them, they are always on hand and you don't have to run out to buy little prizes and spend $$. Brag tags are a great tool for behavior management!

 

Resource #2 is a multiplication game, based on the popular game Uno, with a back to school theme. Kids love to play while reinforcing the times tables. Of course, the object of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. To do that you must match either the answer to the problem on your card or the image on your card to the answer or image  for the last card played.  A few wild cards are in the deck to add to the fun. For differentiation: The game can be played at a higher level by removing the cards for the easier times tables. The game can be played for kids just learning their times tables by removing the more difficult times tables. If more cards are needed to play, just print a few extra sheets of the problems you want to reinforce. You kids will love to play this game!

Have fun at the sale! Check back tomorrow for the link to more great buys!

Summer is finally here and the weather has been beautiful! I'm hoping all of my teacher friends have had an opportunity to wind down a bit are beginning to really enjoy themselves. Speaking of fun, I am so excited to share some news with you! Something absolutely incredible, and lots of fun, is going to happen In July!
75 Teachers Pay Teachers are participating in an incredible sales event. It's time for the Sun, Sand & Savings Summer Sale!! ! There will be tons of sales, drastically slashed prices and weekly giveaways with lots of gift cards for lucky winners! So check back here daily to learn about the event of the day! You're going to love it!

Today's Unconference in New York City was awesome! What a great day! Members of Team TpT were on hand to join in the fun!

Our Director of Seller Happiness, Amy, greeted everyone with a big smile and a positive attitude. Behind Amy the schedule of sessions is projected onto the white wall.

    

The new office on 18th Street is huge. Love the modern decor that is so interesting! Colorful artwork and seating encourages energy and enthusiasm. In the second picture you can look through the window of the 11th floor office and see the tall building across the street. Topics discussed during the session  are written on the chart paper near the window.

The sessions in an Unconference are very relaxed as there is no presenter. A facilitator asks questions and participants join in conversation to discuss topics important to TpT teacher-authors. There were lots of conversations all day long, conversations during sessions and everywhere else. It was a great opportunity to meet other TpTers and exchange ideas!

I had some fun with Nicole at the photo booth.

Team TpT sent everyone home with a treat from the Big Apple.

It was a fun day to share with other like-minded people, see old blogging friends and meet new ones.

Angela Watson gets a special thanks for all of her hard work organizing the event.

 

As the school year is winding down, it might be a nice idea to plan something special for the moms and dads of your students. What could be better than having your class host a fancy tea party  to honor their parents and/or grandparents?  The kids will love the planning, the parents will love attending and you will be earning some of the best PR any  teacher could ever hope to get!

I am going to share with you some of the festivities my granddaughter Mia planned to celebrate her 7th birthday. She had a great time planning her "fancy"  tea party. When she was brainstorming possible ideas to make her party an awesome event, I remember thinking what a great idea a fancy tea party would be to celebrate Mother's Day in the classroom--or an awesome event to invite moms in near the end of the year. I want to share some of the decorations Mia used and offer a few suggestions for creating an elegant tea party on a budget.

To set just the right tone for the tea, you will need some colorful decorations. Grab some brightly colored tissue paper, pipe cleaners and a pair of scissors. You are ready to begin creating beautiful flowers to decorate your room and to serve as a gift for moms to take home. In the picture below (on the right) you can see a flower hanging from the ceiling!  I have outlined the steps to create the flowers in an earlier post. Click here to read it. Your kids can absolutely make them!

   

Another powerful element for setting the right mood is the table setting. Mia used table cloths and a runner from the thrift store. A less expensive version would be to use a long sheet of white paper from a large roll to serve as your "linen" tablecloth. Cut a table runner from a large roll of lightly colored paper.  Have the kids write little messages to parents and grandparents and enhance the messages with drawings. Irresistibly cute! You might chose not have the moms sit at the table. It could be used as a decorative table with trays of goodies and a pretty tea pot--or coffee. The children attending Mia's party actually had a choice of different juices and chocolate milk.

The roses and tulle decorating these chairs were purchased at a Michael's sale. A less expensive version would be to decorate chairs with kid-made flowers to match the table setting.

Mia's mom used  cookie cutters to make these adorable sandwiches. Butterfly sandwiches are on the right.  You could serve chocolate chips--homemade or packaged--or any other cookie, brownie or cake you can get.

Here's one happy kid celebrating her special day.  I have tried to give you some cost effective ideas so you too can host a special day for your students and guests. Have the kids design special invitations! Don't forget some materials, such as a pretty tea pot, can be borrowed too. Mia got hers at a thrift shop for a very reasonable price. There are so many things you can do for the kids and their guests to have an unforgettable day to celebrate the end of a year in your class. If you do decide to host a fancy tea party, let me know how it turns out. Have fun!

 

It's time to celebrate all the hard-working teachers out there! We all appreciate everything you do each and everyday! A group of blogger friends have gotten together to co-host a fabulous giveaway with tons of "must have" supplies for your classroom and a $50 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card for a fabulous shopping spree! One lucky winner will take home all of these goodies! I especially love that laminator and the Astrobrights! What are your favorites?

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the contest. Good luck!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  
 
Prize: 10 Teacher "Must Haves" prize pack including: Mr. Sketch Markers, Flair Markers, Personal Laminator, Dry Erase Pockets, Dry Erase Markers, Astrobrights Paper, Sharpies, Ticonderoga Pencils, a Wall Calendar, and a $50 Teachers pay Teachers gift card.
 
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
 
 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 5/8/17 and is open worldwide.
 
 
Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!
 
 
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What an honor! I am so excited to say that my story about a Special Education student was posted on Rachel Lynette's blog, Minds in Bloom, this morning.  Click on an image  to visit  Rachel's blog and read about one 3rd grader who begins to like learning for the first time. How many kids like Molly have been in your class?