Dear Tired Teacher, You need to hear this... I know that you are exhausted. I know that you spend countless hours at school worrying about your babies. I know that you are stressed about test scores, report cards, grading, observations and conferences. The holiday season is upon us and that brings even more stress and even longer to do lists. I hate to be the bearer of that bad news. Before you start stressing about student gifts and holiday crafts, can I offer some advice? If not, my feelings won't be hurt if you close out this post. Most of your kids will not remember the gift that you stressed about and spent your own hard earned money on. Most of your kids won't remember the holiday crafts that you spend hours planning and prepping. Do you know what your kids will remember? They will remember feeling loved. They will remember feeling important. They will remember being happy. They will remember feeling proud. Those memories don't hav...
Let me start by saying that you do  NOT  have to get your students a Christmas gift. You go out of your way to create meaningful experiences for them every day. That is enough. But sometimes we really want to send our babies home with a little something. A couple dozen gifts is tough to do on a teacher salary. Even going to the dollar store and getting cheap goodies gets expensive and most of the junk will break or get lost within a day or two. I put together a list of fun, but inexpensive, gifts that I think your students will find meaningful. 1. Book Books are hands-down my favorite gift to give my students for any holiday! Scholastic dollar books make it a very economical gift. Plus, you can use your bonus points to order books that are higher priced. Check out  THIS  post to learn more about getting the most out of your Scholastic book order. You can just write a note on the front cover, wrap them up and give them to students. Or.... have a book raffle!!!...
We have all been there. We have all had that one student who constantly pushes our buttons and doesn't seem to follow any of the class rules. We have all had a challenging kiddo with behavior that has made us cry. So how do we deal with a student who has challenging behavior? I think that lots of teachers would say that you need a good behavior management program.  I agree. Good classroom management is key! But I also think that you can have an amazing program and still struggle with a kid or two that just don't seem to care. I am about to share my honest opinions about challenging student behavior. Please know that I am not a psychologist. I am not a child behavior expert. I am just a mom and a teacher who has been insanely stressed by student behavior. I am just like you. So if you don't agree with what I am about to say, no worries. I hope we can still be friends.  So here goes... There is NO classroom discipline program that is perfe...
If you have been following my blog for long you probably know that I totally geek out over math centers in the classroom. I think math centers are THE BEST way to differentiate and meet all of your students' needs. I wrote an entire blog post series about how I run math centers . It is a must read! Here is the thing: Even if you have the best math center routine and activities, you are still going to have some students who struggle during math center time. Sometimes you have students who don't behave during center time. Other students may not get their work completed or find the work to be too hard. This is normal! They are kids! They won't be perfect. But with a little help...they can be NEAR perfect! 😜 I typed up some of the most common math center challenges and provided several suggestions. What should I do if students are not behaving during center time? Do you need to practice procedures and expectations? The number one way that I have found to im...