Do you start the year by teaching about place value and rounding? It's pretty common.  Lots of teachers in our teacher Facebook groups have been struggling with teaching rounding strategies. I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of the strategies that I used in my classroom. Ditch the Rhymes Confession time! When I first began teaching, I thought it was necessary to have a rhyme for rounding. I taught my students all the different rhymes you hear. My go-to rhyme was, "Five or more, raise the score. Four or less, let it rest."  I came to a realization several years ago that I was doing a disservice to my students when I taught them rhymes about rounding. I was teaching steps and my students did not truly understand why they rounded the way they did. Then, when we were ready for more challenging numbers, my students were stumped and did not have a solid number sense foundation. Rhymes don't teach number sense.  Students should...
Do you use a yearly pacing guide?  It is so handy to have a map of how you plan to fit the various standards into your academic year. Things WILL change, but it nice to have some idea of where you'd like to be with your instruction. I think that it makes lesson planning easier. I get lots of teachers who email me to ask how I fit everything in and what order I teach and use my resources.  For math, I always followed my curriculum. I taught a lesson each day and I didn't change the order. But, I didn't really use my ELA curriculum (Shhhhh!!!) and so I had to create an order that made the most sense for me and for my students.  Click HERE to grab my FREE ELA pacing guide for third grade. I realize that this won't work for everyone. Some states have very different standards and some schools don't organize their year into quarters. Many of you don't teach third grade. The freebie is not editable. However, you are welcome to use my ideas...
I am often asked about the notebook that my students used for writing workshop. After all, having the right materials helps our students to be organized and more successful.  So here is a look at my notebook and answers to the questions that I am asked most often... Type of Notebook I tried everything: spiral notebooks, binders, folders and composition books! They all have their positives and their negatives. Always use what works best for YOU! I personally like the composition books the best. They are more durable than folders and spiral notebooks, but they are cheaper and take up less space than binders.  The first time that I used composition books, it was a bit of a mess. Students had multiple stories written right after one another and no room for revisions. After that year, I decided to add dividers to the notebooks to fix that issue. Dividers & Cover I don't think it really matters what type of paper you print the cover on. I typically have s...
Setting aside 10 to 15 minutes daily for grammar instruction is important in the elementary classroom. Using the resources from Not So Wimpy Teacher's grammar bundle , I have been able to easily implement this practice in my classroom. You can read more about this routine by clicking H ERE . As the year progresses, I like to use easy and no prep ways to spiral review these grammar skills. Here are four simple ways that you can add grammar and language into your day. Price of Admission This is a simple way to review any skill. This does need to be prepped once, but then you will be able to use it all year with little work on your end. I printed  THIS  free sign, laminated it, and stapled it by my classroom door in the hallway. Then, I used a dry-erase marker to write a question I wanted my students to answer as they entered my classroom. One way you can use it for grammar is by writing a descriptive sentence on it. Then as the students enter, you can ask each stu...
Whether you are a first year teacher or a veteran teacher, there are certain supplies that will make your teaching year so much easier. These would also be great gifts for student teachers and new teacher graduates! I give my own personal opinions and preferences throughout the post. My feeling won't be hurt if we don't agree on each item. 😁 If you want to do a little shopping, I have linked each picture to Amazon or the website where I purchase each of these items. 1. Planner I know that lots of people are in love with a digital lesson planner. If that is you, I highly recommend Plan Book . It's very inexpensive, super use friendly and allows you to create templates that will save you time. If you are a bit old school like me, you might prefer to write your plans. It's just the way that my mind works best! I LOVE Plum Paper planners. They are super cute, durable and less expensive than many other custom planners. The best part is that you get to cust...