Monday, May 21, 2012

Product Recommendations for Teachers

I was thinking it would be great if we could share our favorite products with each other and learn from each other.  I definitely have found a lot of useful products created for teachers on Teachers pay Teachers, but I also have two other products that I use every day in my classroom that I find very beneficial.  Let me state that I don't get any commission for the shout outs for these products.  I just find them so useful that I thought I would share with you.

The first product I love is Nicky's Folders

I use these two ways in my classroom. 
The first use I have for them is for the student's home folders.  I have NEVER had to replace a folder for a student due to it falling apart.  These folders are built to last.  I can also personalize them because you can put sheets in the front and back of the folder.  Here is an example of what I put on the back of the folder.  You can see I put all of the word wall words we cover in first grade, a chart to 110 and a numberline so the students can use these as a resource at school or at home.  On the front, I put a page with their name, my name and a Bulldog (our school Mascot).

The 2nd way I use the Nicky's Folders are at my Work on Writing area and my Word Work area for Daily 5.  I put a copy of the activity on the outside of the folder.  My students can look at the front of the folders to see the choices and then once they have made a choice they can go in that folder to get the corresponding paper.

The second product I recommend is planners from School Mate.
When I taught 2nd and 3rd grade we used these more as a traditional planner and we would write the dates of the class activities as we became aware of the dates.

In first grade, my students write in them daily.  This helps me cut down on having to type notes to the parents all the time to keep them updated.  Examples of things we might write are:
1.  Test over coins on Wednesday.
2.  We had a fire drill today.
3.  Tell your parents 3 things you learned about the monarch today.
4.  Reminder - 1/2 day on Friday.
5.  Math homework due on Thursday.  (I don't have set days for homework.)
Parents are required to initial the planner each night.  This helps me know that they are reading the communication from school instead of throwing it away. 

I also keep track of the student's behavior in their planner and write all communication with parents in the planner so I have a record.

I will post some picture this week to give you better visuals.

What is your favorite product?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Correct Letter Formation in Handwriting

Looking for a way to help your students form their letters correctly?

After trying handwriting practice sheets from several different sources, I decided to create my own.  The practice sheets I have created have a dot on each letter.  The students place their pencil on the dot to start their letters.  This is to get them to learn that all letters start at the top.  This product is available in my Teachers pay Teachers store by clicking on the picture.

My Summer Reading Plan

Every teacher dreams that their students will read all summer and that they have instilled a love of reading.  Unfortunately the truth is many of our students don't read all summer long and they return to school reading at a lower level than when they left.  Parents get busy and may not make reading a priority.

Why not doing a lesson on keeping their brains smart over the summer? 
Talk to your students about what they can do over the summer to keep themselves reading.  Help them brainstorm ideas as to where they can get books, magazines, etc.

Ideas: Go to the library, swap books with a friend, shop at garage sales, download on a Kindle or other device . . .

Have your students write a reading plan.  Have them include when they will read, where they will read and how long they will read.

Ask your students to display their poster in a place where they can see it all summer long.  Hopefully, the visual will help them remember their plan.

Here is a FREEBIE poster that you can use with your students.  Just click on the picture.