April 7, 2014

Hosting an Intern

I have been very blessed over the years with the opportunity to host many talented and inspirational upcoming teachers and this year was no different.

I had two interns this year, Crystal as a practicum student in the fall and Samantha as a final level intern in the Spring. I feel like they have taught me just as much, if not more, than I taught them.

It is exciting to see their enthusiasm for the profession and the fresh ideas.

At the beginning of the semester, I wanted to be sure that my final level intern, Sam, felt welcome and had her own space. So, I created a work-space for her as seen below. I adapted the picture frame post it note holder idea a bit. I used an 8 1/2 x 11 frame to hold a the school district calendar and a space to write notes using an expo marker.

You would have thought that I gave her the world. She was so thrilled.

In what ways does hosting an intern inspire you? Do you have any stories to share? How do you make your intern feel welcome? Please comment. I would love to hear from you.

Crystal (left), Sam (right) and I having fun on Read Across America Day

February 16, 2014

A Class Valentine and Self Esteem

Are you looking for a self esteem builder that you can use not only during Valentine's Day, but also throughout the year? This activity always brings tears to my eyes and is one for the parents to store in the memory box.

Have your students decorate a sheet of paper with only their name. Since it was Valentines Day, I used heart shaped paper. But, this activity can be done at any point in the year. Be sure to tell the children to leave room for others to leave comments. Split your students into two groups and align their papers into rows. Tell the students to move to the very next paper and write a positive comment about the student whose paper is in front of them. I instruct my students that it can not be based upon their appearance, but about their personality or an act of kindness that they have done. The youngsters continue to move to another paper one at a time until they return to their paper. I also tell them not to peek at their own paper until it is time.

Have a camera handy because their faces surely light up when they read all of the wonderful things that their peers have written about them. It is a tear jerking moment.

What is your favorite activity to build self esteem? I would love to read about them in the comments.

January 1, 2014

Teaching with Music

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to share a website that I found quite some time ago that utilizes music to teach and reinforce many basic skills. It is PhilTulga.com.  My favorite is the activity which uses music to teach fractions. You drag colored fraction bars to rulers to create music that can be played and emailed. There is also a list of songs already created using the fraction bars and ruler. It was so much fun that I couldn't stop playing with it myself. It is so much fun to put this on the SMART board and let the students create and document their own music while learning fractions at the same time. Be sure to check the site out. Do you have any unique ways to teach fractions? If so, please leave your suggestions in the comments. I'd love to read all about them.

By the way, in honor of my upcoming birthday on Friday, my TpT store is having a 20% off sale
Happy New Year,

December 15, 2013

Mini Claw Vending Machine and Elf on the Shelf

Hi Everyone,

I am enjoying seeing the escapades of the elves in classrooms everywhere.  Our classroom elf, Peppermint, surprised the students by getting stuck in our Mini Claw Vending Machine. I have a carnival themed classroom so my dear friend and teaching buddy, Jenn, gave me the vending machine which is a big hit with my students and it seems our elf as well. Be sure to link up or find more ideas with Mel D from Seusstastic & Michelle From Apples & ABC's by clicking on the Linky Party Image.
click on image to find at Toys R Us