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    5 Tips for Teacher Survival in December

    "Teaching in December is easy," said no teacher ever. Do you find your students' excitement to be through the roof? How about their behavior? Is it also through the roof? Haha! I can relate... but I do have a few tips and tricks that I have found really help to calm the chaos in the month of December, or at least embrace it. They're kids. They're going to be excited for the holidays, but it doesn't have to overwhelm you.

    FREE Thanksgiving Activities

    Are you needing some fun Thanksgiving activities for Thanksgiving? These are some of my very favorite Thanksgiving-themed ELA resources and because I'm so thankful for you, I'm going to give you a 23-page FREE download for being a 2nd Grade Stuff VIP. Scroll down to the bottom and complete the form to get instant access to your FREE Thanksgiving Activities!

    For each activity I provide:
    • teaching suggestions
    • standards covered for grades 1-3
    • links to suggested books
    • links to other resources that you might find useful

    Authentic Writing Centers

    Do you have a writing center in your classroom? If you run Guided Reading in your classroom or follow the Daily 5 approach to ELA centers (or a modified version of it), then you probably do. But may I question your writing center for a moment? Let's reflect on these points together. Are your students writing for an authentic purpose? Are they writing for a real audience? Are your writing centers simulating a real-life writing experience that your students will one day be asked to do in the future? If not, give me just a few moments of your time and let's rethink writing centers in our classrooms.

    Guided Math: Budget-Friendly Math Centers [Part 3 of 3]

    Welcome back! If you missed the previous posts in this 3-part blog series, you can catch up on Part 1: The Overview and Part 2: A Closer Look into Math Rotations before reading this one. If you've been reading the series, then you're ready to finish it off with Part 3 which is all about managing math centers without breaking the bank or spending hours printing, laminating, and cutting math centers. So here are some of my favorite ways to save time and money on math centers!

    Guided Math: A Closer Look into Math Rotations [Part 2 of 3]

    If you missed the first post in this series about why small group math instruction is best practice for your students, you can go back to {this post} to read "Part 1: The Overview" in my Guided Math blog series. I share the "why" behind Guided Math and how the students rotate through the stations including a sample schedule and rotation chart.

    My students use the Math TIME acronym for center rotations and small group instruction. In Part 1 of this blog series, I explained what each letter stands for (see below) and today we will dig a little deeper into what each of the stations look like in my classroom.

    Guided Math: The Overview [Part 1 of 3]

    Why Small Group Math Instruction?

    I have students that range in ability levels from 2-3 grade levels below average to 2-3 grade levels above. Do you see a range of ability levels in your classroom too? If so, how can we justify teaching the same whole group math lesson to all of our students? The below average kiddos will be lost and the above average kiddos will be bored. The only students you are reaching will be your average kiddos. That’s maybe 30% of your class… if you’re lucky. With those numbers, how can we justify that whole group math instruction is best practice?

    Important to Note:
    • You can teach to the ability of your students.
    • You only explicitly teach 4-6 kids at a time which means you can give students the attention they need.
    • Your groups can be flexible (students can move groups) depending on the content and pre-assessment results.
    • You can target your below average group with interventions designed for their needs.
    • You can target your above average group with challenging opportunities to enrich their learning.

    Back to School Picture Books

    Let's talk picture books! I absolutely love picture book read-alouds. Sometimes I use them to introduce a lesson in a content area. Sometimes I read one and we dig deep into the context. Often we read picture books!

    Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite picture books for back to school! Take a look at some of my favorites below. They are affiliate links that will take you right to Amazon so you can purchase. You can also find them all in one place on my Amazon Affiliate Storefront {HERE}.