Back to School Tips

Back to school is just around the corner and I am slowly beginning to prepare things for the first week of school.  It is hard to believe that this will be my 29th year of teaching.  Here are some tips for a successful school beginning.

Teaching is demanding and exhausting.  A teacher could work 24 hours a day and still not get everything done.  Here are a few tips to make your job just a little bit easier.

Procedures.  The first few weeks of school is all about teaching rules and procedures.  Your students need to know the expectations and procedures foe EVERYTHING you do in the classroom.  Be very clear on how you what your students to line up, ask to use the restroom, sharpening pencils, etc.  

Make sure you compliment your students for a job well done.  Students respond better to praise than to negative feedback.  The more time you take to teach them the procedures, the smoother your school year will go.  Make sure to MODEL, MODEL, MODEL.

Don't try to do it all.  There are so many great teaching ideas and resources that we want to do them all.  This is not realistic.  Choose a few new thing to try each school year and do them well.  If you try too many new things, it will not work.    

 Ask for  help.  Try to get parent volunteers to help you with copying papers or getting art projects ready.  Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues foe help and advice.  They might have some great advice on handling a challenging student or teaching a concept a different way.  

Become friends with your custodian and secretary.  They may a time when you are in a bind and you need the help of your custodian and secretary.  They are more likely to help them if you take the time to know them and treat them with respect.  Give them a little treat from time to time and let them know that you appreciate them.

Be positive and make a connection with your students.  Many of my students do not get the attention they need at home.  My most difficult students respond the best to me when I take the time to get to know them and I am positive with them.  They know that I truly care about them and want what is best for them.  Being positive with your students goes a long way.

Find time for yourself.  You can easily run yourself down and get teacher burn out.  Take a break and read a book, go to a movie, or find a hobby.  I take dance classes on a regular basis so I get plenty of exercise and hang around people that aren't just teachers.  I love teaching but I don't want to be talking about it all of the time.  It is important to find some time for yourself to stay healthy and happy.  Teaching is HARD and DEMANDING work but the rewards are well worth it!  I could not imagine doing anything else.

Back to School Freebie

I hope you are enjoying your summer and getting some time to relax.  Before you know it, summer will be over and school will be beginning.  I created a Back to School Math FREEBIE to share with you.  It is simple addition and subtraction to help your students practice math facts.

Simple addition and subtraction for second grade

Click on the picture below for your Back to School Math FREEBIE.

Everything in my TPT store is on sale.  Click here to go to my store.

I am teaming up with many other amazing bloggers that have many freebies to share with you.  We are also giving away 5 gift cards.  Make sure you enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Morning Work for First Grade

Many people have asked me to make morning work packets for first grade.  Here is a FREE sample of my newest creation.  It can be used for morning work or homework.  It is a spiral review of the first grade Common Core Standards.  Click on the picture of the morning work for your FREE sample pages.  

First grade worksheets

Free morning work

Free morning work

You can purchase the packet by clicking HERE.

Spring Book Giveaway

I am teaming up with my wonderful blogger friends for a Spring Book Giveaway.  I hope you get many great ideas and freebies to use in your classroom.

The lucky winner will receive these 8 books.

Earth Day is just around the corner.  How to Help the Earth---by the Lorax is a great way to introduce Earth Day.  This book suggests ways to reduce waste by donating clothes, carrying a lunch box, recycling cans and bottles, and sharing magazines with friends.  The  Lorax also gives examples for saving energy.

I have a writing FREEBIE to go with the book.  

Click the picture below to get your Earth Day writing freebie.

I was going through my old posts and found these money task cards for Earth Day.  Click  here for your FREE copy of money task cards.
Free task cards for second grade

Now for the giveaway details! Here is how you can enter to win 8 books for your classroom. Grab my number before heading on over to my sweet friend, Amanda over at Teaching Maddeness.   Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way, and when you're done, add them all up and enter the sum in the Rafflecopter below!

Happy hopping and I hope you get some great ideas!

Spring Math for Second Grade

I love springtime.  The flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer.  It is difficult to sit at the computer or grade papers when the weather is so nice.  I am putting a few of my favorite freebies all in one place so you don't have to spend time looking all over the place.   I purchased a license from Scrappin Doodles so I can offer some of my freebies on my blog rather than downloading a preview from my TPT store. 

I need to constantly review with my students so they will remember all of the skills that I have taught them.  While my students are doing their morning work, I can make a quick assessment on who needs extra help on a specific skill.  Click here for your FREE sample pages of morning work for April.  You can check out the packet in my TPT store.

Bell work for second grade
Morning work for 2nd grade

From time to time, I like to give a math review for homework.  Click on here or on the picture of second grade math review for your FREE copy.

second grade math
Math Spiral Review for Second Grade

math for second grade

Morning work freebie for second grade

Here is a sample of my newest product.  It is a spiral review with math and language arts all on one page.  It is in black and white to save on ink.  Click here for your FREE sample pages of morning work for second grade.  It is aligned with the Common Core Standards and is a great way to start your day while you take attendance and lunch count.  You can purchase the entire packet in my TPT store.  I have it on sale for the next few days.
Math for second grade

Easter Math for Second Grade

My students love it when I change our math centers.  Here are a few ideas for math centers for Easter.

Math centers for second grade

My students love doing bunny equations.  I tell them it is simple algebra and they want to do it so they can be like the big kids.    You can get the Easter math in my TPT store.  The Egg Hunt is a freebie from Teacher Tam.
Skip counting math center for second grade

Math centers for second grade

Easter Math that includes 3-digit addition, word problems, skip counting, and more
You can get the Easter FREEBIE by clicking HERE.

March Ideas and Freebies

Here are some ideas and freebies for the month of March.

I like to have math centers for my students to work on when they finish their work.  Here are some task counting money task cards that are great for a math center.  Click on the picture of the money task cards for your FREE copy.

Free St. Patrick's Day task cards involving counting money

counting money task cards for St. Patrick's Day

It is always fun to do little naughty things in the classroom the week of St. Patrick's Day and blame it on the leprechaun.  I like to leave a gold glitter trail and tiny green footprints the first day to get the students excited about the leprechaun.  I have a little hat that he forgets in our classroom.  We keep the hat to try to lure him into our trap.  Throughout the week, the leprechaun messes up our room like knocking over all of our chairs or dropping the crayons onto the floor.   Sometimes he will even leave a treat!

The students talk about catching him and we discuss what we would do if we caught him.  I usually have a student that will make a trap for so we can try to catch the leprechaun in our classroom.  I have my students write about what they would do with the leprechaun once they catch him.  

St. Patrick's Day ideas 
                                                         Leprechaun Trap

I am always reviewing with my students so they don't forget the skills that I have taught them.  Click here for a spiral review for 2nd grade.  It covers skills such as counting money, telling time, expanded form, and skip counting.  It can be used for morning work or homework. I have a St. Patrick's Day math packet in my TPT store that is on sale for the next few days.
Free math for second grade
Math Spiral Review for 2nd grade

Here is morning work that is aligned with the Common Core Standards.  Here are sample pages from my March Morning Work packet.  You can check out the packet here.  Click on the picture of the second grade morning work for your FREE sample pages.

Free morning work for St. Patrick's Day
Click here for your FREE sample pages of morning work for second grade

Grammar for second grade

Free bell work for second grade

Last year I bought this Leprechaun Science Kit from Steve Spangler Science.  My students and I loved doing the various experiments.  I am going to use the same kit with my students this year.  I will wrap it up and let them think the leprechaun left it for us.  It will be fun to do the experiments right  before spring break.

My students loved watching me make leprechaun  green snow that came in the science kit.  Here is a great video on leprechaun  green snow.


Inflating a giant leprechaun bag

These beads are clear and they change colors when they are in the sun.  They came in the science kit but you can purchase them from Walmart.  They are called UV Pony beads.