Homeschool Ideas for Early Elementary During Emergency School Closures

Hello all! As a Kindergarten teacher my heart breaks that we will not be starting our school year in the classroom. I know that this is the best decision to keep our students and families healthy and safe, but it is still not easy. As a teacher and a parent, I can understand how overwhelming it can be to know what to teach or how to teach. My best advice is to keep things simple. Spending time with your family and keeping them safe and healthy is most important and keeping things stress free is best. Please don’t feel like you need to spend hours a day teaching your child. Enjoy the extra time together and have fun playing games, making crafts, cooking together, playing outside etc. Here are a few simple ideas of ways you can teach your child during this time.

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A Glimpse into Our Kindergarten Schedule

Check out this post if you are looking to set up your kindergarten schedule for the first time or refresh your current schedule for full day kindergarten. Engaging, hands-on day that includes play and building a community of learners.

Kindergarten has changed so much over the years with many Kindergarten programs going from a half day to full day and with more academic content and skills. This is how I set up our daily schedule on a typical day. This is the order I like to keep for our schedule, but it may vary slightly since our specials times vary from day to day.

Arrival (25 minutes)

After students unpack and make their lunch choice, they do a morning worksheet. This year I plan on implementing a soft start approach to our morning (students choose a preferred activity to help adjust to the school day) I am working on getting activities together to implement this soon. I will do a separate post on soft start mornings later on.

Morning Meeting (30 minutes)

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8 Ways to Find Cheap Books for a Class Library

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! I can’t believe how fast it is flying by. Today I wanted to share with you how to find inexpensive books. Whether you are looking for books for your own personal collection, or if you are a teacher wanting to build your classroom library. It can get pricey, but it is possible to build a library on a budget.

Click HERE and find out where to find inexpensive books to rocket your kids imaginations into orbit! Whether you're trying to build your home or your classroom library on a budget, this lists will surely give you the "book smarts" to fill your shelves with knowledge and stories alike.

1. Garage Sales

Garage sales are a wonderful way to find books for about .50 to $1 each. Keep your eye out for retiring teacher garage sales too.

2. Facebook Marketplace and Garage Sale Groups

I have found large bundles of books on Facebook Market Place that people were selling for cheap, although these can be a bit of a hit or miss. Because these  books are sold as a lot, they are often much cheaper than purchasing individually.

3. Library Sales

Check to see if your local library has any book sales. Both of our local libraries have large sales a few times a year where they sell old library books and books from the community. The larger library in our city has a permanent bookstore that is open a few days each week. I have found a nice variety of adult and children’s books for $1 each.

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First Year Teacher Tips to Succeed Your First Year

Congratulations on your new teaching job! Being a first year teacher is exciting, but can also be overwhelming at times. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help your first year teaching be successful and help you have a great year.

Congratulations on your new teaching job! Being a first year teacher is exciting, but can also be overwhelming at times. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help your first year teaching be successful and help you have a great year.

1. Before the first day of school, create a well thought out classroom management plan.

As a first year teacher, this is probably the most important thing you can do before your students arrive on the first day. Think through your classroom management plan and what routines and procedures you want students to practice those first few weeks of school. Stay consistent with your expectation and review the rules often. Think through:

  • What classroom rules will your class use?
  • What consequences will students have for not following the rules?
  • Will you set up a reward system?
  • How will students get your attention?
  • When can students use the bathroom, get a drink, sharpen pencils, etc?
  • How will you hold students accountable for incomplete work?
  • What will students do once they are finished with their assignment?
  • How will you communicate with families?

2. Build relationships with your students

Greet them at the door each morning and learn about them and their interests. This helps so much with setting up a positive classroom community.

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10 Tips to Land a Teaching Job

Whether you're looking for your first teaching job or you're veteran teacher, these tips to land your next teaching job will help you prepare and ace your next interview! #teaching #teacher #interview #tips #jobs

Searching for a job can be stressful and time-consuming. When I graduated college in winter of 2014, my plan was to substitute teach for the remainder of the school year in a few schools I was interested in teaching in. I happened to find a paraprofessional job at the end of February and worked as a parapro in a first grade classroom for the rest of the school year. In the summer I taught summer school at the same school district. I would love to say that helped me find a teaching job right away, but it didn’t. What it did do was give me experiences in different grade levels that helped me figure out what grade I wanted to teach, and were experiences that looked good on a resume. When I graduated,  there were hundreds of applicants for each teaching job that was posted in my area. Thankfully things have relaxed since then, but it took me a few years to get into a school district I could see myself in for the long-haul.  These are the tips I have learned through my experience looking for a teaching job over the years.

1. Look for jobs daily

Take a few minutes each day to check on the new job listings. In my experience, when a school knows that a teacher is leaving or retiring, they start posting the jobs as early as spring. Apply to the job early. Just because a posting is set to close at a certain date doesn’t mean that principals aren’t looking at applications and setting up interviews prior to then.

2. Go to job fairs

This is a great way to meet many people at once and there is a good chance that there will be principals and others that make hiring decisions there. Be sure to bring multiple copies of your resume that you can pass out to individuals you meet.

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