Go-to-School Night—Strategies for Success

Preparing for Go-to-School Night
Go-to-School Night is one of the first and most powerful chances you have as a teacher to create a great first impression with the Ps & Gs* (parents and guardians) of your new class (or classes) of students. Often, this hectic, anxiety-filled night comes much earlier in the new school year than many teachers might like. Other teachers, however, are just happy to have this night in their rearview mirror as quickly as possible. Either way, it’s important to best use this night to kick off great relationships with these Ps & Gs for the year ahead.

To prepare for Go-to-School Night, consider these strategies for success: Continue reading “Go-to-School Night—Strategies for Success”

Success Starts with a Smartly Arranged Classroom

A new school year means a new start for you, your students, and your classroom. HOW you arrange WHERE you teach is important. As teachers stream into schools to unroll posters from last year, make new locker signs, and set up classroom spaces, it’s an excellent time to consider something new. Just because you always had the word wall by the door doesn’t mean it has to go there again. Give your classroom—and yourself—a fresh new set up.

Big Goals Set Your Stage
First, articulate your big goals for the year. If you are teaching a new grade level this year, goal setting will be a natural part of your planning steps. If you are returning Continue reading “Success Starts with a Smartly Arranged Classroom”

Teacher Peach Freebies: CCSS Big Picture Graphic

Understanding the Big Ideas of CCSS
The Common Core State Standards have gotten a lot of press over the past few years. The initiative has shaped today’s educational landscape. Whether you think the Common Core State Standards are a good thing or a bad thing, the initiative probably shapes your classroom in one way or another. As a result, you will most likely find yourself in a situation where you have to explain the CCSS and how they affect your classroom to someone who doesn’t know much about the standards. We have a simple solution for that problem.

Post a Graphic of the CCSS
Click here and post this freebie graphic in your room for you, your students, and their parents to see. Posting the form will help everyone understand the core ideas of the CCSS and how those standards turn into objectives for your classroom. This simple chart may also help parents understand what the Common Core State Standards are and the reasons behind them. The chart helps the standards become something digestible rather than some obscure, undefined thing they’ve just heard snippets about on the news.

You can further augment this document with any additional ideas of your own.

Help See the Details
Teacher Peach's Jumbo Text MagnifierWhile this graphic showcases some big picture ideas, sometimes you need to see the small details—literally. With small fonts and misplaced reading glasses, keep this Jumbo Complex Text Magnifier on hand in your classroom to ensure that you can read fonts of all sizes.

Journal Your Way to Successful Teaching and Personal Growth

The Benefits of Journaling
Many studies have highlighted the health benefits of writing in a journal. It is an excellent and often therapeutic habit to cultivate, regardless of age or vocation. As a teacher, keeping a journal is a great way to process on the go—reflect on the day, the week, the semester, and even the year. Here are a few ideas to help spark your journal writing.

Journaling as an Emotional Release
Bottling up feelings is unhealthy. As a teacher, it’s easy find yourself in situations where you have to contain your emotions and project an even-keel demeanor. While this sort of demeanor might be best in the classroom, Continue reading “Journal Your Way to Successful Teaching and Personal Growth”

Teacher Peach Freebies: Rating Peer Team Effectiveness

Improve Teamwork with Feedback
In order for groups to attain goals, they need to work together effectively. A group’s effectiveness can grow with feedback from fellow members of the team. Giving feedback to fellow team members—and receiving feedback from fellow team members—encourages collaboration and communication, which will positively impact the group’s overall effectiveness.

Help foster this feedback and collaboration by using this Teacher Peach freebie Rating Peer Team Effectiveness form.

Rate Your Peer Team Members
After working as a group for a set period of time, Continue reading “Teacher Peach Freebies: Rating Peer Team Effectiveness”

Journals Send Messages to You—and Others

Why Keep a Journal?
Can you recall a lesson from last year that didn’t turn out as you’d planned? Or maybe a great lesson idea popped into your head one morning this past summer while you were drinking your coffee? As we head into August, many teachers’ minds shift toward the school year ahead. Sometimes great ideas come to us most easily when we are relaxed and refreshed—before the school year begins. Having a journal nearby can help you quickly capture those ideas whenever they pop up.

With a journal in your tote bag, you can quickly jot down ideas, plans, or even questions. Once you’ve recorded your thoughts, you can always go back to the journal to flesh out your ideas or seek out answers to your questions. We’ve been taught that brainstorming Continue reading “Journals Send Messages to You—and Others”

Teacher Peach Freebies: Team Collaboration Commitments

Collaboration Takes Commitment from All Team Members
A new school year means attending plenty of meetings. Meetings are effective when everyone has a clear understanding of the meeting’s goals and when all team members are committed to the collaboration. Whether your school has team meetings every week, every month, or every quarter, you’ll want to set the tone for those meetings early in the school year.

Ensure All Team Members Are Committed to the Cause
Establish meeting ground rules and get buy-in from all team members by using this Team Collaboration Commitments document. It features a list of best practices for team collaboration that can serve as your ground rules for your team meetings.

Read through each point on the document. Discuss what each point means and how the action might look in your particular meetings. Then have all group members cement their commitment to the team by signing the document. Keep the document accessible during your meetings throughout the year and refer back to it to make sure your meetings continue to be effective.

Be Sure Your Group Is Prepared to Participate
Help liven up your team meetings with these Teacher Peach supplies.

Help reinforce the collaborative process with “Write.” Mechanical Pencils and “Revise.” Eraser Sticks. Show your team that you’re willing to write ideas and try new things, but that you’re just as willing to erase and revise ideas when bigger and better ideas are introduced.

Teacher Peach's Write Mechanical Pencils Teacher Peach's Revise Eraser Sticks

After your team meetings, be sure to show your appreciation to your team members by giving them a Partner Thank You Card that has the perfect message thanking them for being your partner. Enhance the message by writing your own message inside the card.

Teacher Peach's Partner Thank You Cards

Need more ideas? Check out teacherpeach.com.

Putting Your Best Teacher Image Forward, Part 2

A New School Year Means New Beginnings
A brand new school year means the chance for brand new beginnings. Not only do you have the chance to connect with new families and students, you also have the chance to connect with peers, and even yourself, in new ways—and with a great new image that honors the fine work you do as an educator.

Your professional persona has a powerful impact on families, administrators, and colleagues—key people in your professional life as a teacher. How others perceive you at the start of each new school year can Continue reading “Putting Your Best Teacher Image Forward, Part 2”

Teacher Peach Freebies: Class Profiles

Gather Information About Your Group of Students
As you prep for the new school year and a new set of students, you’ll want to gather and organize all the information you can about these students. Collecting the information will help you learn about your students quickly. Collecting the information on the first day of school is a great way to break the ice with your students and have a productive first day. Keeping the information organized will help you access the information quickly when you need it.

Use these two PDFs during the first day of school to build a profile of your class.

Tell Me About You
Give this survey to your students to learn more about them—and about their own opinions of themselves. Learn the things they like about school, the things they find hard about school, their favorite subjects, and their favorite activities. Gathering this information directly from your students will help you understand more about each student. If your students are able to write, have them fill out the form themselves. If they are not able to write, go over the form with them in a one-on-one situation and fill in the form for them with their answers.

Click here to download the Tell Me About You freebie.

Class Profile/Special Challenges
This two-page PDF gives you a place to organize special information about your students. The Class Profile page give you a place to log information that may go beyond the information contained in your class roster. The Class Profile page gives you a place to record the following information about each student: native language, interests, challenges, and parent/guardian information.

The second page of this PDF gives you a place to organize special challenges your students have. It gives you a place to record reminders of special technology or materials the students in your class may need to complete various activities.

Click here to download the Class Profile/Special Challenges freebie.

CCSSKTFS-2TIf you like these two organizational tools, check out our Common Core State Standards Kit for Success available at teacherpeach.com. Use this kit to stay organized and on track to success in today’s standards-driven classroom.