Growth mindset is an important topic to discuss all year long, but it is especially easy to implement at the start of the year . As teachers, it is our job to encourage and promote a growth mindset in our classrooms as much as possible. I love integrating picture books into these lessons. You could use the following books at the start of the year, one each month, or when your class needs a reminder of these skills. Click on the titles to check out these books on Amazon.  Bubble Gum Brain Introduce your students to Bubble Gum Brain and Brick Brain in this growth mindset story. Both of these kids have completely different mindsets. Bubble Gum Brain is adventurous and isn't afraid of trying new things or making mistakes. Brick Brain is set in his ways. He will not try new things, especially if it means he might make a mistake. Use Bubble Gum Brain  to demonstrate to your students what growth mindset looks like. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes We all usually have at ...
The first weeks of school are always my favorite time of year. We are encouraged to stay away from curriculum and build a positive and caring classroom community. It's time to lay down the foundation for the year, set procedures in place, and most importantly, get to know your students. I love using picture books the first weeks of school to create lessons for my students' social skills. There are many classic picture books that I use every year to meet this goal. Some of those include Peanut Butter and Cupcake! ,  Enemy Pie ,   My Mouth is a Volcano , and   Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun .   However, I went on a search this summer for new books that I haven't used. Let's face it, who doesn't love new books! We're All Wonders This instant classic inspires kindness and acceptance in all readers. This book is my favorite new addition. This is the picture book version for young readers of the chapter book  Wonders  by R.J. Palacio. Be sure to visit the accom...
How do you teach writing? I used the writing workshop model. I did modify the model slightly to make it work in my classroom. You can read more about that by clicking HERE . I loved that this model helped my students to grow as writers, but it also got them excited about writing. That's not always easy to do! One of the components of a successful writing workshop is a mini lesson. The mini lesson is a whole group lesson that focuses on a writing skill that you want students to practice and implement in their writing.  I have had many mini lessons flop, but that just gave me the opportunity to learn to do them better! Here are a few tips that made my mini lessons engaging and meaningful for my writers. Don't skip the lesson. Due to time constraints (and possibly our comfort level with teaching writing), some teachers have a tendency to want to skip the writing mini lesson. DON'T!  The mini lesson is your opportunity to give students valuable tools an...
Teaching writing can be challenging. Writing is very subjective. There really isn't one right way to write. That's why we don't all like to read the same books. And it makes writing instruction a tad difficult. On top of that, teachers struggle to squeeze writing into their already full classroom schedule.  The struggle is real. I totally get it. But teachers are super creative and always looking to improve and learn. We CAN make our writing instruction more meaningful and manageable! Let me share with you what writing workshop is (and is not) and how I made it work in my classroom. Let me start by being very honest with you. Writing was a HOT MESS in my classroom for several years. I had no clue how to teach it. My kids' writing was not improving. And I was literally hoping for a fire drill during writing time every day. #notkidding Fast forward a few years and I found some confidence! I created routines and started to see growth in my students...
I am a book worm! Nothing is better than having an abundance of fiction and nonfiction books to share with your students. However, when my shelves are stocked, it's hard to keep track of what books I have, have read, which books are popular, and which ones the students have checked out. Luckily, technology has made organizing books easier. These apps to organize your classroom library are so easy and helpful! Booksource Booksource's classroom organizer is a favorite amongst teachers at all levels. Students can check out books and leave reviews. Books can be organized by reading level and easily scanned to inventory. Check books out to your students with your smartphone or tablet! BookBuddy iOS users will love BookBuddy for its price (FREE) and ease of use. Books do need to be entered manually but if your students help as they check out a book for the first time, you'll have it done in no time. Keep BookBuddy handy not only for your classroom library but to or...
Who loves FREE classroom resources?! I made these grammar posters and I am giving them to you for free! There are 20 different posters included that cover many of the parts of speech and other grammar terms that students need to know in grades 2-4. Just plug in your name and email address below and I will send you the free grammar posters and another surprise grammar freebie! (I highly recommend using a personal email address as school email filters sometimes don't let my messages get through.) How would you use these grammar posters? Grammar Bulletin Board You could create a bulletin board to display the posters. This will give your students a place to reference the different terms throughout the year. I like to add new posters as we learn about the new skills. Anchor Charts I am not an artist and anchor charts are pretty basic in my classroom. But these posters make a great starting point. Put the poster in the middle of the chart paper. Then have ...