Archive for the ‘Teacher Resources’ Category

5 Tips for Establishing Strong Parent-Teacher Relationships

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Teacher Created Resources Blog

Building a strong relationship with parents is one of the most important steps a teacher can take towards establishing a productive and rewarding school year.  As a teacher and a parent, I have learned to appreciate the value of a strong home–school relationship and the positive impact it can have on a child’s educational experience.  Below are just a few tips for simple things you can do to help build a relationship with parents.

1)     Daily Classroom Updates – A quick email to parents at the end of the day can be one of your most powerful tools for getting families involved.  In your email, highlight the major accomplishments of the day, new concepts learned, and maybe some areas that may need some extra attention at home.  Include a few questions about the day parents might ask.  Don’t make the questions too difficult.  Your goal should be to generate conversations at home, not frustration.

2)     Weekly Newsletter – If a daily email sounds too ambitious (It’s actually easy, I promise!), or if you try to spend as little time behind a computer as possible, a weekly newsletter (printed or digital) is a great tool for keeping parents updated and informed.  Similar to daily email updates, a weekly newsletter can include an overview of what’s being covered in class, follow-up questions for parents, and any relevant news (such as important dates, upcoming events, etc.).

3)     Be a Strong Communicator – During the first few weeks of school, request as much contact information as you feel you need.  I recommend collecting at least two phone numbers, a mailing address, and an email address from each family.  In return, make sure to share your contact information as well, including times when parents can drop in unannounced, or an email address where they can expect a quick response.  (Check your email daily!  Before school and early evening are optimal times.)

4)     Use the Contact Information! – Now that you have phone numbers and email addresses, reach out and get to know the parents.  Do your best to learn their names and faces.  During your first contact with the parents, share something positive about their child.  It’s amazing how powerful a two-minute call can be.

5)     Invite Parents into the Classroom – Make parents feel welcome by inviting them to volunteer in the classroom or participate in special events.  Additionally, give parents an opportunity to voice their input and help be a part of classroom decisions.

This is far from a complete list, but implementing even a few of these tips early in the school year should help to foster a stronger parent-teacher relationship. Find more teacher management resources here.

Border Trim Pumpkin Lantern Tutorial

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Border Trim Pumpkin Lanterns - Teacher Created Resources

Have you started thinking about Halloween decorations for the classroom yet?  If you have leftover border trim around, this easy hanging pumpkin lantern is a great way to transition your classroom into October.

Materials:
(3) 36” Orange Border Trim
(1) Green Border Trim
Ribbon
Scissors
Stapler
Glue

Pumpkin Lantern Tutorial - Teacher Created Resources 

Instructions:
1) Cut your orange border trim into the following strips:
-13 inches (x2)
-11 inches (x2)
-9 inches (x2)
-8 inches (x1)

2) Stack the border strips altogether. The 8” strip would be in the center and then sandwich them from shortest strip to longest strip. Push the stack of strips down to make the pumpkin shape and staple. Push the bottom strip up and staple.

3) Draw or trace two leaves using green border trim and secure to the top of the pumpkin with glue.

4) Attach a piece of ribbon (brown burlap ribbon looks great) and hang a bunch of pumpkins lanterns from the ceiling.

These border trim pumpkin lanterns are also a great craft for students. Each student can make their own pumpkin lantern so you can use them to hang them above their desk or students can take them home to their parents. For more Halloween classroom crafts see our Halloween Classroom Ideas Board on Pinterest.

3 Classroom Behavior Management Tools for Success

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Erin here, from Creating & Teaching! Today I’m going to share some classroom behavior management tools and strategies for success that I use in my classroom. Don’t worry, these behavior strategies don’t have anything to do with a color clip chart.

I use a color clip chart in my classroom and I went one year without one, then it came back, but there is so much more to management than a simple clip! I know, you’re a teaching pro—you don’t need me to tell you that! BUT, I hope that I can share some new ideas and strategies with you.

1.     Use Footprint Guidelines to Establish Boundaries

Classroom behavior management tools - Teacher Created Resources

One of my most favorite ideas that I started a few months into my first year teaching is taping down footprint accents to the floor at the sink. Most likely you’re anxiety levels are slightly elevated just like mine and most likely you want your students to have great sensory experiences in pre-k, so you let them finger paint. Then the moment comes when they have to wash their hands. You’re sweating bullets hoping no one decides to give a “love tap” to the person in front of them to hurry up. That’s where the footprint accents come in.

By taping the footprint accents down in front of the sink you give your students behavior management guideline and boundaries while they wait. They know where they need to be. Not too close to the person in front of them and not standing next to the person who currently is using the sink. For my classroom, three sets are the magic number. Maybe your number is four, or five.  Footprint set one will typically need to be replaced about half way through the school year. Then a little before the end of the year, maybe set number two. Set number three always makes it to the end—for me.

2.     Spot Markers with Student Names are Ideal for Lining Up

Classroom behavior management tools - Teacher Created Resources 1

 

Up next are spot markers. Most commonly found amongst your P.E. teachers or hanging out in your gym, but these babies are more than welcome in my classroom!

I add each student’s name and I use spot markers for lining up. If you don’t have spot markers you can easily use circle accents and add double sided tape on the bottom. Now, I teach a small class size of special needs pre-schoolers so I’m not dropping (and then later picking up) 20+ spot markers every time we leave the room. At max, I’m probably picking up 8. Again, these have the same purpose as the feet. They provide boundaries. The students know where they are supposed to be while they are waiting for the rest of their friends to line up. I discussed a little more in detail our line-up procedures over on my blog, {here}.

3.     Sand Timers are Perfect for a Smooth, Quiet Transition, without Alarming Students

Classroom behavior management tools - Teacher Created Resources

And last but not least, sand timers. I know you’re thinking—“Lady, do you live under a rock? Those things are digital now!” That is true. I use digital timers a lot, even the ones that only vibrate. However, I also have students who get alarmed pick up on the sound of the vibrating timers. There are times when I don’t want the students to hear the timer. Only I, or my classroom paras need to know when time is up. That is why I love sand timers to help with time and behavior management. They are perfect for just that! This particular one is jumbo in size and is for 1 minute. I splurged on this big one, but quickly realized I needed more of them in other time increments.

Do you use any of these classroom behavior management tools in your own classroom? Or have similar ideas we all need to hear about? Leave a comment; I’d love to stop back by to read your ideas! If you want to stay up to date with MY classroom ideas, don’t forget to follow my blog, Creating & Teaching.

Good Behavior Rewards Cards

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Good Behavior Rewards Cards
Need a way to reward good behavior in the classroom? Use a rectangular accent piece or thick card stock to make a rewards card for each student. Write each student’s name in the middle of the rewards card and use a hole puncher to give hole punches to students when they are demonstrating good behavior. Keep the rewards card in a visible place on the student’s desk. This way, you can check to make sure that you are not missing a student or unfairly giving one student too many punches on his or her card. Randomly reward good behaviors such as the following:

-Completing work assignments
-Following instructions well
-Studying with another student
-Attention to task
-Helping another student
-Showing kindness to fellow students

Set a time limit on the card’s use, such as a new good behavior reward card every two weeks or so. You will find that students will count the number of holes they have earned. This makes the card a constant reinforcer of good behavior. If you are a preschool on kindergarten teacher, have students thread a string around all the holes when their rewards card is full. Threading is a great way to strengthen fine motor skills.

Have a special reward or treat when each student has earned a set number of hole punches. Students must know they are working to attain a goal.