Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Amazon, but you can get them almost anywhere. I even saw some in the Target Dollar Spot the other day! I put several copies of each worksheet inside the sleeve. Students use dry erase markers to work through the problems. At any given time, I might ask a student to take out one of the pages and complete it with a pencil. Then I can really check their understanding or even take a grade! :)
Slide the answer key in the back so students can self-check.
For my students that need an extra challenge, I add blank part part whole worksheets so they can create their own! They LOVE playing teacher. They can complete the entire page or create problems for a friend to work through. Awesome way to really check their understanding of part part whole! To download these Addition & Subtraction printables, visit TheHappyTeacher store.
Monday, September 28, 2015
- Create a warm environment in your classroom. If you have a Keurig, bring it to school for the day so parents can have a cup of coffee before or during the conference. Have peppermints or chocolates on your table. Turn on soft lighting/lamps. Turn on your favorite Scentsy warmer so your classroom smells great! (-Ms. Lang)
- Send home a pre-conference form for parents to fill out and return prior to conferences. They can write down questions and topics they want to discuss during the conference. You will feel more prepared when it's time for the conference and be able to manage your time a little better. (-Mrs. Cannon)
- Have a notecard or form for each student. BEFORE the conference begins, write down a positive about the child, an area needing improvement, and important information about the child's behavior. Always start and end your conference with a positive comment or sweet story about the student. (-Mrs. Bond)
- Dress your best! Be comfortable and confident. If you never wear heels to school, don't start today. Your feet will never forgive you. (-Mrs. Blackmore)
- Empower parents to help out at home by giving them resources. Give them a bookmark with questions to ask their child while they read at night. A list of educational websites/apps is always appreciated. Parents love ideas for practicing spelling words or math facts with their child at home. Send home a little treat for the kiddo too. This will help parents spark a conversation with their child post-conference. (-Mrs. Harris)
- Have a notecard with a list of topics to talk about if you get in a bind. Some conferences flow naturally and time flies by; others can be more difficult. Examples: Upcoming field trips or school events, good books to check out at the library, student work samples, a funny story from class. (-Mr. Pettis)
- Pack snacks, lunch/dinner, breath mints, chapstick, bottled water, etc. My go-to snacks are protein bars, trail mix, banana with peanut butter, CHOCOLATE, iced tead. A hungry teacher is not a happy teacher! (-Mrs. Pledger)
- Send home reminders. Everyone is busy, and you will undoubtedly have a few no-shows. It's frustrating and time consuming to reschedule parents. Send home a note or two in students' folders. If you use Sign Up Genius to schedule your conferences, it will e-mail parents a reminder automatically. (-Mrs. Duke)
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Parent teacher conferences can be stressful, time-consuming, nerve-wracking , and downright scary for new teachers! My first year in the classroom, I taught Half-Day Kindergarten. This meant I had 26 kiddos in the morning and 25 in the afternoon. Do the math...I had 51 Parent Teacher Conferences. Eek! Talk about overwhelming. I've assembled 8 tips from veteran teachers that will help ALL teachers have productive & successful conferences.
- Use an online sign up tool to schedule conferences. Sign Up Genius is awesome and free! This allows parents to sign up online for a time that is convenient for them. Parents can edit/swap conference times if a conflict arises. It automatically e-mails parents a reminder. (-Mrs. Duke)
- Use the "sandwich method." Start off by praising the child, sharing a funny/sweet story, and by telling the parent what you love about their child. Next, talk about areas that need improvement before ending with another positive about the child. (-Mrs. Trujillo)
- Let students be involved in Parent Teacher Conferences by letting them fill out a self-evaluation. This gives them the opportunity to take ownership of their grades & behavior. (-Mrs. Swanson)
- Have a notebook to jot down questions parents ask you or issues you need to follow up on. If you have all of these questions in one place, it will be much easier to address them when conferences are over. (-Mrs. Harris)
- Have activities for kids/siblings to do if they show up with their parent. Keep it simple like computer games, puzzles, coloring pages, Wiki Stix, or a bucket of math manipulatives. (-Mrs. Vides)
- Set up a giving tree so parents can donate classroom supplies. Cut out some apples and write what supplies you need on the apples. (-Ms. Campbell)
- Remember that you and the parent are on the same TEAM. You both want the same things for the child. Tell parents that you appreciate all of the work they do with their child at home, and be sure to thank them for making it a team effort. (-Mrs. Rincones)
- Have a folder for each student. Put everything you need inside the folder so you aren't searching around for papers and forms. (-Mrs. Pledger)
Check out Part 2 of my series about Conferences!
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Today I'm going to share an easy, fun, and powerful math center that is perfect for FALL!
Here's what you need...
1. Flip book with math facts written inside (If you don't have these flip books, you can use index cards or flashcards instead.)
2. Ten Frames & Part Part Whole Mats (Download for FREE here.)
3. Mini erasers, candy corn, or other math manipulatives
4. FREE printables
To really build conceptual understanding of math facts, I want students using manipulatives and showing the fact in various ways. During this center, they will show the fact on a Ten Frame, on a Part Part Whole Mat, pictorially (on their recording sheet), and they will also write an equation.
Students work through the flip book or choose random index cards/flashcards. They create the problem using manipulatives before showing their work on their recording sheet. (Several to choose from!) I love putting students in charge of their own learning. The kids are shocked that the worksheet is BLANK, and they get to fill in EVERYTHING! It also gives the teacher the opportunity to differentiate for individual students' needs.
This activity would also be great for small groups or tutoring. You could even take a grade on independent work.
A few tips to make your life easier...
1. Laminate your ten frames and part part whole mats for use throughout the year.
2. Store the mini erasers in individual Tupperware containers from the Dollar Store.
3. Ask parent volunteers to send in candy corn/fall candy at the beginning of September so you have plenty!
4. Have a parent volunteer make a baggie of candy corn for each student.
Need more K-2 Math Resources? Check these out...
Monday, September 14, 2015
October is one of the craziest months of the year in elementary school... There is so much going on between field trips, fall festival, HALLOWEEN, parent/teacher conferences, Fair Day, and our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. I bet it is just as crazy for you! I created this pack of NO PREP printables, activities, & worksheets to help teachers get through the chaos of fall & Halloween. They are perfect for morning work, centers/stations, for use with a substitute, homework, independent work, bell ringer activities, or for when you have 10 random minutes in the day! :)
Need pumpkins for this Math/Science activity...
I love all things pumpkin, and I love seeing my kiddos taste new foods for the 1st time! We taste different pumpkin goodies every year, but pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pumpkin butter, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin ice cream are all fun & delicious for the kids to try!
Leave a comment below (with your e-mail) and I'll send this updated pack to a few people! :)
Friday, September 11, 2015
Store them in a Halloween candy bowl for easy access during centers/free time!
We celebrated Jack's 1st birthday over the weekend. It was a "Thomas the Train" party! Here's a few pics of the cuteness.
He loved every bite of the smash cake! :)
I saw this on Pinterest the other day and had to share..."Kaboom!" is the best center game ever.
You can read more about the game on The Starr Spangled Planner's blog post.
My little guys started Mother's Day Out on Tuesday. Eek!
Their darling, personalized shirts came from Etsy!
Does your school celebrate Halloween? Do they call it Fall Festival or something else? I'm working on updating my "Pumpkin Palooza" printables. It was one of my best sellers last fall.