Looking for a fun way to engage students?  There lots of fun games to play with your class, but this year, you might want to try hosting a Scrabble Tournament.  Great for pre-Christmas craziness and year-end excitement. First steps Your students may or may not know how to play Scrabble.  Those who have played “Words with Friends,” “Bananagrams” or similar games will catch on quickly. Students who do know how to play may not know how to play by the rules…. Read more »

Create a fun journal jar for your students.

A journal jar is a great way to offer students choices during writer’s workshop or journaling time. I’ve always loved using a journal jar.  In the past, my journal jar consisted of topics written on strips of paper and stuck into a jar.  Students could pick a slip, glue it to the top of their journal page, and write. That was great except that I had to remember to replenish the jar.  Even though it sounds easy, it was one… Read more »

Four ways to make your lunch break more meaningful.

I’ve asked my dear friend Dayle to write a post for this month’s Healthy Teacher installment since she is all about bringing balance, movement, and a joy to people.  I love the insight she offers as an opportunity to transform our crazy lunch schedule into something meaningful and calming.  Check out the end of this post for a special offer.  Thank you Dayle! Adult children, arm-in-arm with parents, walking granny pace down endless stretches of boardwalk; couples smooching as they… Read more »

    The first day of school is full of organizing, paper passing, and expectations.  While kids are happy to reconnect with friends, the business of the first day can be draining.  That’s why playing a game on the first day is a great way to engage students. I play Scattergories throughout the year with my class as a review game, but it’s also a great way to start the school year.  If your students will  work often in cooperative groups… Read more »

I’m participating in A Dab of Glue Will Do’s “Winner Wednesday” giveaway today. I’ve chosen Reading Badges:  Use genre stickers to motivate reading  for the giveaway.   I love this product because it motivates students to read a variety of genre– and adds a bit of competition to the mix.  There are 16 badges — 4 badges celebrate reading achievements or favorite books.  Just like those Boy Scout and Girl Scout badges that encourage kids to try new things and learn new… Read more »

The last quarter of the school year can be exhausting.  If your school has testing, there may be several weeks left in the year that you and your students are watching the clock. Try out something fun to end the year. 1.  Go back to September.  Think about the ideas you had at the beginning of the school year that somehow got pushed to the side.  Dust them off and try them out!  Wanted to do interactive notebooks but didn’t… Read more »

I am not artistic, but I love to decoupage.  Collage and glue — right up my unartistic alley! A few summers ago I made this stool for my classroom.  My students loved it but were only allowed to use it as the “author’s chair” when they were reading something they’d written to the class.  Fellow teachers borrowed it for poetry readings or special events, and it was easy to toss it in my car at the end of the year… Read more »