July 24th, 2006 by crystal

Teaching, especially for the first time, can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful if you let it. There are so many preparations that must be done prior to school, during school, and on a daily basis. The following is a list of tips and ideas made by someone who truly had a bad case of anxiety as a first year teacher.

My story: I was so excited about becoming a new second-grade teacher. I had planned for this day for what seemed like years. I had so many teaching materials, student manipulatives, resources, ideas, and so on prepared and ready to go. Well, let me just say that NOTHING could have prepared me for the weight of responsibility that hit my shoulders when 22 seven year-olds were all sitting there staring at me with that “What now?” look on their faces. I smiled, introduced myself, then excused myself, and went and lost my breakfast in the restroom! This continued on for the rest of that day, the rest of that week, and for a couple more weeks! I had experienced an entirely new feeling- anxiety! I loved my job, but I was so sick for a while that it really took a lot out of me. Once I got the hang of it that year, I felt much better. Then the second year came and the anxiety again returned for a couple of days. From my third year on, it hasn’t been as hard but I still get those “First Day Jitters”!

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July 18th, 2006 by crystal

Once you’ve set down some rules and guideline in your classroom, there are so many fun things to do on that first day of second grade! The list below contains ideas, suggestions, and books that can be used to get the year off to a great start!

1. Name Game: Sit everyone in a circle. The teacher begins with, “My name is ______, and I______”. The student to the right of the teacher repeats, “Her (the teacher) name is ______ and she______. My name is ___________ and I like to ___________.” The game continues with the person repeating what the individual before him/her just said, and then they introduce themselves. After the circle is complete, a review of names and likes is repeated together. This is a cute and easy way to get to know everyone’s names on the first day of second grade!

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July 16th, 2006 by crystal

Okay, so it’s the first day of school and you have 25 precious little students staring at you…what are they thinking? What are YOU thinking? You are all probably thinking about how this whole new situation is going to work out. Children in the primary grades are usually silent upon entering, because this situation is new to them. It makes you think, “Wow! This is going to be a great group…look how sweet and quite and still they are being—and they are all getting along!” Well, this could very well be true, but before anyone gets too comfortable, it’s important to “lay down the law”. Now I’m not saying that you should wear your military uniform, I’m just encouraging you to establish authority through classroom management very early on. Here are some of my tips, tricks, and ideas for managing a classroom…

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July 9th, 2006 by crystal

Writer’s Workshop for Primary or Elementary Students

Writers Workshop was something new that I implemented into my classroom this past year. I was sent to a workshop myself, in order to learn how to teach it. It was an extensive training, and I still do not feel that I am doing it exactly the way it was taught, but just as with everything else I do in the classroom, I tend to do it my own way! Doing it every single day was difficult at first, as it is definitely something the children have to learn how to do themselves, so we all learned it together at the same time! I have picked up a few books and tips that are extremely helpful in putting together lots of Writer’s Workshop activities. Here’s a brief synopsis of how I did Writer’s Workshop and tips for setting it up in the classroom!

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June 11th, 2006 by crystal

Making learning fun is essential in my classroom. I try to do all I can to actively engage the children in all areas of learning, math in particular. Along with manipulatives and other hands-on activities, I try to include math trivia and math games into my math curriculum. The following are just a few activities, ideas, and books that I feel are an awesome asset to teaching math!

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June 8th, 2006 by crystal

Teaching proper language and grammar usage to children at the primary age is critical, as we all know. Students need to know how to properly construct a sentence with sentence structure, and they also need to understand capitalization and punctuation. Along with these skills, children need to understand how to utilize all of those “little things” that the English language entails. Some examples would be: parts of speech, singular and plural possessives, commas, apostrophes, colons and semi-colons, plurals, and so much more! I have found a few ways that I feel have improved my students’ capabilities with Language Arts in the elementary classroom. (2nd grade in particular!)

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June 6th, 2006 by crystal

I love to use graphic aids / graphic organizers in my second-grade classroom. Student response to stories, articles, books, and more is key to building comprehension of the primary-aged child. I try to include graphic organizers in my curriculum on a weekly basis. Sometimes finding just the right one can be distressing as you may need a graphic organizer for writing , reading, or other areas.. The following is a list of ideas and tips when searching for that perfect elementary graphic organizer to use in your primary classroom!

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