Creative Ways to Communicate with Parents

Looking for some ways to improve communication with parents this year!? Here's a few creative ways to communicate with student's parents and get them more involved in the classroom!
It seems like some years are easier to maintain communication with parents than others.  If you are looking for some new, creative ways to communicate with your student's parents this year, look no further!

Brag Tags in the Classroom

Have you heard of Brag Tags? I had seen them on Pinterest but didn't really know what they were until a coworker and friend of mine mentioned she wanted to try them in her classroom. In my quest to make them for her, I started to really like the idea of them and decided to implement them in my classroom as well.
So what are brag tags? They are little badges that the students earn throughout the school year. They can be earned for character related traits or academic accomplishments. You can hop on over to my blog and read more about how I intend to use in my classroom.
I got some super cute new clipart today and decided to make a "bee themed" set of brag tags. Maybe you can use them in your classroom, click here to download.

Give EVERY Child The Opportunity To Succeed!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!   


The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!

CAT: Computer Adaptive Testing

CAT: Computer Adaptive Testing and What It Means For You!

On July 15th, the Superintendent of the state of Virginia released this memo stating that the CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) format of the Math 4 and 5 SOL test would begin to be administered in the Spring of 2017.  A second memo, found here, also stated that students in grades 3-5 would also begin the CAT test in Reading this Spring.  So what does this mean for you and your students?

Making Virginia Readers Choice Work in Your Elementary Classroom


It's all the rage ~ Virginia Readers Choice -right?! OK, so maybe you have a hard time getting your elementary students to read these magnificent books, but it can be done. It just takes a little ingenuity and passion for reading.

Three reasons to use Google Docs now



I hope our summer series on all things Google Apps has you thinking about how to implement some new tools in your classroom this fall. You can find previous posts here:  ClassroomSlidesFormsHangouts, Drive Today I'll show you one of the quickest and easiest GAFE tools, Google Docs. Seriously, you could do this the first week of school.

Starting Your SOL Test Prep in September

Virginia is for Teachers: Tips to Start Your SOL Test Prep in September

If the title of this post made you groan, I totally understand! It feels like it was just testing season and nobody wants to talk about it again until next spring! I know, I know. But the sooner you start thinking about the SOL tests, the more time you and your students will have to feel ready to tackle them. If you hit the ground running when school starts in August or September, you can lessen that panicky feeling you get when April rolls around and you realize how much content there is to review! There are lots of easy ways you can start preparing for the SOL tests at the beginning of the school year - and the good news is that you're probably already doing a lot of them!

Organizing Files on Google Drive to Maximize Learning Time

Are your students struggling to find items you've placed on Google Drive for them? Are you searching for a way to organize all those files you've created?  Then this post is for you!
Organizing Files on Google Drive to Maximize Learning Time

Getting Ready for Next Year While Still Relaxing!

Getting Ready for Next School Year While Still Relaxing
If you're anything like me, it isn't long before the year closes that you start thinking about freshly waxed floors, unopened school supplies, and new beginnings.  Don't get me wrong - I am loving summer time (especially this year with five month old twins).  But let's be honest - August will be here before we know it!

I can't get into my classroom for a while because of summer school and cleaning classrooms. I've learned that there are a few things I can do now that help ease that dreaded Teacher Work Week stress - and keep me out of my classroom the weekend before school starts!  Here's some ideas to help your transition!

Back to School Freebie

Hello all! Haley from Owls and Lessons, Etc. with you today, talking about the three worst words a teacher can hear in July.

Back. To. School.

Sorry.

I hope to make it up to you by sharing with you a little treat I used this past year to give my students when they arrived at open house/registration. 

Back to School Freebie for students

How to Transform Behavior Using Mascots


This is Quentin the Quality Penguin.  He goes home with a quality student every night and the student writes about him.  He or she writes about what Quentin did at his or her house and reads it to the class the next day. Pictured next to him is his read aloud book that teaches about being a quality students. We sell his book in our store.  Just click the image to read more.  He really helps the class remember how to be quality students.  The students love earning "Quentin Dollars" when they do good work.  They use them in our class store.  This FREE DOWNLOAD is an awesome addition to our penguin mascot.


Growth Mindset Activity: Learning Style Quiz and Hemispheres of theBrain

Would you like to get to know your students on a deeper level and discover their learning styles all at once?  How about a way to teach your students their learning style strengths while teaching them realistic ways to practice with the opposite learning styles.  Then this post is for you!
Growth Mindset Activity: Learning Style Quiz and Hemispheres of theBrain

We've been using Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci in our county.

One of my favorite activities I did in college was to learn if I was "right-brained" or "left-brained". We've all heard the talk about how we are either one or the other. Turns out, most of the successful people in the world have more balance between the two hemispheres. So, I wanted to create an activity that would not only gauge students' learning style, but also give them strategies to create the balance that successful people have. 

To read the rest of the post and learn more about learning styles, click here.


Summer Anchor Chart and Writing Prompts

Even though it is summer, teachers are always thinking about great ideas for their classrooms. Some schools are in session year round and there is always a teacher looking for ways to enhance and encourage children to retain the skills they acquired during the regular school year. Parents and teachers alike look for resources to help keep their children excited about reading and writing.

Back to School Pin Ideas

Back to school can be a very stressful time of year. I started thinking that in less than a month, I will already be back. No more shorts or flip flops. Or multiple cups of coffee. No more bathroom runs whenever I want. I have a lot that I still want to pack in this next month! But I still want the beginning of the year to be a smooth transition.

Why Writing Must Be Part of Your Daily Routine

Writing has a strong connection to reading growth and achievement. Find out why in this post by Comprehension Connection on Virginia is for Teachers.

If your day is busy, and you're pinched for time, what do you eliminate from the schedule? Do you snip a few minutes from each lesson? Maybe you divide a lesson across two days? Perhaps you remove a lesson from the list? Whatever you do, do not short change writing, and here's why...

Google Apps for Education GAFE: Google Hangouts on Air

Have you discovered Google Hangouts? Well, in this post, you can learn how Google Hangouts on Air is being used in one of our school and how it's worked.

If your school is a GAFE district, Google Hangouts can be useful in a few different facets. Google Hangouts is very similar to Skype, so it can be used to video chat with others as well as type to chat. It can open within Gmail and is easily accessible. This can be used to communicate with colleagues, other professionals that you would like to make a guest appearance in your classroom, or even parents! There is another awesome part of Google Hangouts that I am going to focus on today, and that is Google Hangouts on Air.