Archive for the ‘Classroom Management’ Category

10 Terrific Ways to Use Library Pockets

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

10 ways to use library pockets Teacher Created Resources

Library Pockets aren’t just for checking out books. They are so versatile, you can use them in many creative ways in the classroom.  As teachers start preparing for back to school, organization is key. You can use library pockets to stay organized with a classroom job chart, birthday bulletin board and more. Check out a few of our favorite library pocket ideas for some classroom inspiration.

Library Pockets Classroom Jobs Chart

CLASSROOM JOBS

Write different classroom jobs on each library pocket. Use string and clothespins to hang the library pockets to a bulletin board. Write student’s names on craft sticks and place in appropriate job pocket for each day. Use letters to spell out “Classroom Jobs”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Library Pockets Lunch Board Idea

LUNCH COUNT BOARD

Keep track of lunch count by labeling each library pocket as: brought lunch, hot lunch, salad bar, and potato bar. Write each student’s name on an accent and glue to a craft sticks. Place craft sticks in the appropriate lunch pocket for each day. Use letters to spell out “Lunch”. Complete by adding a coordinating border trim.

 

Library Pockets Student Treats Idea

TREAT POCKETS

Surprise students with a reward by writing their name on a library pocket and filling it with rewards, special treats or school supplies. Treat pockets filled with pencils & erasers are a great first day of school gift.

 

 

Library Pockets Birthday Bulletin Board Idea

BIRTHDAY BULLETIN BOARD

Create a birthday bulletin board by using decorative letters to spell out “birthdays”. Label each library pocket by month and attach to a chart or bulletin board. Write each student’s name on a mini accent and glue to craft sticks. Place each student stick in the library pocket of their birthday month. Use coordinating border trim to complete the look.

 

Library Pockets Reading Chart

WHAT WE ARE READING CHART

Label each library pocket with reading genres such as, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, fantasy, and biography. Glue library pockets to a large chart. Write each student’s name on a mini accent, and glue each accent to a craft stick. Place name sticks in appropriate category pocket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Library Pockets Classroom Calendar

CLASSROOM CALENDAR

Hang a calendar grid with calendar cards. Below the calendar, write the days of the week on each library pocket. Write yesterday, today, and tomorrow on mini accents and glue to craft sticks. Use Create & Decorate pieces to write the current month, season, and weather. Put the whole look together with border trim.

 

Library Pocket Fact Card Holder

FACT CARD HOLDER

Add each student’s name to a library pocket. Punch a hole on the top left and top right of the library pocket. Loop ribbon around the holes and secure with a knot on each side. Decorate with stickers and mini stickers, and give to students for an easy way to hold fact cards for field trips or special events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Library Pockets Number Chart Idea

NUMBER MATCHING CHART

Create a number matching chart by writing numbers 1-10 on each library pocket. Glue library pockets on a chart. Write numbers 1-10 on accents, and glue them onto craft sticks. Have students match the numbers by placing the numbered craft sticks in the corresponding pocket. Other varieties of this activity include using even or odd numbers, counting by fives, etc.

 

Library Pockets Synonyms WallSYNONYMS WALL

Make a synonym wall by writing a word on each library pocket. Stick the library pockets on a bulletin board. Write synonyms of each word on accents, and attach the accents to craft sticks. Have students place the synonym sticks in the corresponding word pocket. Embellish with decorative letters and scalloped straight borders.

 

Library Pockets Book Check OutLIBRARY CHECK-OUT SYSTEM

Assign each student a number. Label each library pocket a number to represent each student. Place on a chart and hang in the library or reading center. Insert a library check-out card in each pocket. Each time a student checks out a book they write down the book title, the day it was checked out, and the day it is due back.

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher Tips: End of the School Year Organization

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Teacher Tips End of the School Year Organization Teacher Created Resources

Testing is done and you had another fantastic year of teaching! The school year is coming to an end but there’s just one last thing left to do—pack up the classroom! It’s important to do as much cleaning, packing, planning, and organizing in the classroom before the school year ends. It will save you a lot of time and stress when school is back in session. Here are some great end of the school year organization and summer tips that will keep you organized and prepared while you relax this summer.

Chevron Name Tags - Teacher Created Resources

 

1) Store everything in plastic bins with labels. On the label, write down the contents of the box as well as where the box will go in the classroom. This will save lots of time when unpacking at beginning of the school year.

2) Take photos of your classroom. Taking photos of your classroom after everything is cleaned up and empty will help you organize your decorating ideas for the next school year.  Let’s say you found some cute accents, but are having trouble trying to remember what your classroom looks like in order to find the perfect spot for them? Keeping photos of your classroom will serve as a reference and give you a visual of what your next classroom theme will be.

3) Have students keep inventory of supplies in each center or section of the room. (I.e. Group A will keep inventory of how many pairs of scissors and glue sticks you currently have). Once you have this inventory, you will know exactly how many supplies you need for the next school year.

4) Keep a teacher memory book. Add photos of field trips, class photos and more in a memory book. Writing down things like “funniest moments of the year” and “favorite classroom activity” are fun memories to look back on. Having a hard copy book is great keepsake for yourself and the students.

5) Stay involved. Attend teacher conferences and workshops in the summer to keep yourself learning new things. You will be surrounded by like-minded teachers that love teaching just as much as you do.

6) Pin, Pin, Pin. Use Pinterest to pin lessons and projects you’d like to save for the following school year. Create boards and organize them by subject.

7) Have older students or parents help clean up the classroom. Play some music and offer snacks and you’ll see just how quickly your classroom will be clean.

8) Out with the old, in with the new. Let go of any items you no longer need and put in a box with a sign that says “free”. Put the box in teacher lounge for other teachers to take.  Sometimes getting rid of items is difficult, so offering them to other teachers is a great way to reuse and share. This makes room for all the new supplies and decorations you will need for the new school year.

Writing Effective Report Card Comments on Behavior

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Writing Effective Report Card Comments on Behavior

When it comes to writing report card comments and progress reports, it can be challenging to find effective words to communicate the details of each student’s progress. When writing report card comments, remember to focus on the positive first. Comments on both academic and personal behaviors should be assessed and written in a report card so that students and parents can see their strengths and areas of improvement in order to create a progressive, effective outcome. We have included some thoughtful, constructive, and easily-customizable report card comments designed to address behavior issues and strengthen parent-teacher communication and improve student behavior.

Proficient

  • ______ is a good citizen. He/she is dependable, responsible,
    and respectful.
  • ______ shares and listens. He/she works well with others.
  • _______is a pleasant, respectful, and well-behaved student.
  • Making Progress

  • Since our last conference, _______’s behavior has been improving.
    He/she is showing interest in his/her schoolwork and seems eager to learn.
  • _______ is showing increased desire to demonstrate appropriate attitude and acceptable behavior in the classroom.
  • _______ is learning to anticipate the consequences of his/her actions. This is improving his/her behavior because he/she is taking time to think before acting.
  • There has been noticeable improvement in _______’s behavior. He/she has made an effort to cooperate with his/her peers and practice self-control. Thank you for your support.
  • Lately, _______ has been working to correct his/her behavior, and I am very proud of him/her. I hope he/she continues to maintain improvement.
  • Needs Improvement

  • _______ can be very aggressive towards his classmates. Perhaps we should have him/her meet with the school counselor.
  • Please encourage _______ to use socially appropriate language at all time.
  • Socializing seems to be more important to ­_______ than classwork. He/she has great potential, but will not realize it until he/she pays better attention in class and focuses more in his/her work.
  • _______can be disruptive and disorderly. Please encourage him/her to be more responsible in his/her behavior, and call me to schedule a conference.
  • The above comments open the door to communication between the teacher and parents. It demonstrates reporting behavior progress in a clear, concise, and constructive manner. A teacher’s well written report card comments will be effective and can have the power to encourage and impact students and their parents positively.

    For more tips on report card comments in all subjects see, Writing Effective Report Card Comments.

    Making Assessments Meaningful for Students

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    Making Assessments Meaningful for Students

    I think meaningful assessments can come in many shapes and sizes.  However, to be thoroughly engaging and to draw the best work out of the students, assessments should be aligned with real-world skills.

    When I think about my own definition of a “Meaningful Assessment,” I think the test must meet certain requirements.  The assessment must have value other than “because it’s on the test.”  It must have value to the individual student who is taking it, should incorporate skills that students need for their future, and it must assess skills other than the mere content. It must also test how the students communicate their content.

     

    CRITERIA FOR A MEANINGFUL CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT

    To address these requirements, I ask myself the following guided questions:

    1. Does the assessment involve Project-Based Learning?
    2. Does it allow for student choice of topics?
    3. Is it inquiry based?
    4. Does it ask that students to use some level of Internet literacy to find their answers?
    5. Does it involve independent problem solving?
    6. Does it incorporate the 4Cs?
    7. Do the students need to communicate their knowledge via writing in some way?
    8. Does the final draft or project require other modalities in its presentation? (visual, oral, data, etc…)

    Clearly not all assessments achieve every single characteristic listed above.  But in our attempt to address some of these elements, we will have made our classroom assessments so much more meaningful.

    So how can high-stakes assessments be meaningful to students?  For one thing, high-stakes tests shouldn’t be so high-stakes.  It’s inauthentic.  They should and still can be a mere snapshot of ability.  Additionally, those occasional assessments need to take a back seat to the real learning and achievement going on in every day assessments observed by the teacher.

    The key here, however, is to assess everyday.  Not in boring, multiple-choice daily quizzes, but in informal, engaging assessments that take more than just a snapshot of a student’s knowledge at one moment in time.

    When assessing the value of your own assessments, remember the 4 Cs and ask…do they allow for:

    Creativity – Are they students creating or just regurgitating?  Are they being given credit for presenting something other than what was described?

    Collaboration – Have they spent some time working with others to formulate their thoughts, brainstorm, or seek feedback from peers?

    Critical Thinking – Are the students doing more work than the teacher in seeking out information and problem solving?

    Communication – Does the assessment emphasize the need to communicate the content well?  Is there writing involved as well as other modalities?

     

    RUBRIC ON MEANINGFUL ASSESSMENTS

    So as an activity for myself, I created a rubric to look at whenever I was wondering if an assessment was going to be a waste of time or was going to connect with the students.  I thought I’d share it here:

    Meaningful Assessments

     

    Additionally, if you want to encourage students to really focus on the requirements on a rubric, add a row that’s only for them to fill out for you.  That way, the rubric’s feedback for you too.  Here’s an example of a quick rubric I designed that students could fill out. By also giving them a space to fill out, they own the rubric even more.  It’s one way the students and I can learn reciprocally.

    Meaningful Assessments

     

    So how do you ensure that your classroom assessments are meaningful?

     

     

    Heather Wolpert-Gawron is the author of the Project Based Writing series. This post is an excerpt from Heather’s new book, Writing Behind Every Door:  Teaching Common Core Writing Across the Content Areas (Routledge, 2014.)  You can follow Heather at her website:www.tweenteacher.com.