It's that time of year! Back-to-school is in FULL SWING and I thought it would be a great time to share some of my FAVORITE activities for the first week of school! These activities are geared toward first grade but can absolutely be applied to K or 2nd!!
"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." - You've Got Mail (top 5 for me!)
If you read my post on Leprechaun Traps, you know I absolutely LOVE STEM! So when Carson Dellosa Education contacted me about reviewing their new Stem Challenges and Seasonal Stem Challenges, I didn't hesitate! I can't wait to tell you all about these LOW PREP, grab and go STEM activities!
If you're thinking about starting flexible seating in your primary classroom, check out some of my tips and tricks below! From student management and self assessment to a variety of flexible seating options, this post will hopefully give you some ideas and get you started in the right direction!
I'm so excited to share some of my FAVORITE Back to School books with you today! I call these MUST HAVE BOOKS because not only are they perfect for BTS but they also help teachers discuss important themes & topics with their new students like handling worries, using manners, bullying, celebrating differences, and growth mindset. They're all such powerful stories, each in their own way! Your new group of students will get a taste of some amazing authors and really start to develop a love for reading if they haven't already!
Do you know what made me become a frequent Dollar Tree shopper? It was when I became a classroom teacher! I needed to get my room ready for my first year of full time teaching and I didn't have much to go on for a budget. Stocking up on book bins, office supplies, and classroom decor all for $1 was my golden ticket.
What happens when you've been sucked into buying ALL the blank books in Target's Dollar Spot and you discover them stashed in a drawer at the end of the year. Well.... use them with my End of Year Memory Books of course!
If a book I think EVERY elementary school teacher should own, it would have to be "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. The way this book unfolds and the messages it holds makes it timeless and ageless. If you've never read it (is that even possible?!) this book tells the story of a boy who finds comfort and shade from a special apple tree. As the boys grows older, his needs become greater and the tree offers her apples for selling, her branches for lumber, and her stump for a boat. At the end the tree is merely a stump. There are so many ways to interpret this story and it lends well to class discussions about taking & giving, contentment, and cause & effect to name a few. It's also a GREAT discussion for Earth Day! You can grab your own copy of The Giving Tree from Amazon HERE.
Today I'm sharing a simple and budget friendly tip with you! Classroom Rewards that don't cost the teacher any money!! I mean, we already pour our limited teacher salary into school supplies, pretty classroom decor, and fabulous teaching resources from TpT! Why not save a few bucks AND reward positive student behaviors at the same time?
I started using a Treasure Box my first year of teaching to help reward student behavior. I found it to be quite motivating and students were so excited to see it on the first day of school. The downside, I found out quickly, was that it can also be costly to keep it filled. Parent donations certainly help and so does buying items in bulk, but I needed a better system!
After teaching for a few years I made the switch to a Rewards Binder and never looked back! These rewards don't cost a teacher ANY additional money and are incredibly motivating! There are many goodies in the binder students LOVE, like eating lunch with the teacher or switching desks to sit by a friend. Want to know what's crazy? My Reward Binder ended up being MORE motivating than my treasure box EVER was!!!!
Making this Rewards Binder was seriously one of THE best decisions I made to motivate student behavior. You can easily adjust how your students earn a trip to the Rewards Binder. For my students, they chose a reward after ending the school day at the top of the clip chart 5 times. Your class may require more or less incentive. It really depends on your management style and your students.
I introduce this binder at the beginning of the year (seriously FIRST DAY!) and we flip through it like a read aloud. I give students the opportunity to turn and talk to their knee partners about which of the rewards they like most and want to work towards. This conversation leads perfectly into our clip chart system and we talk about how behaviors will be monitored in our class.
These rewards keep the interest of my students ALL YEAR LONG! Best of all, making this Reward Binder is SO easy. I just print the pages onto cardstock and place them in page protectors (like these) and put them in a binder. Students can easily flip through it on their own and it holds up year after year! Another option, print 6 to a page, laminate, and place on a binder ring (as seen below). Hang them near your desk or easel!
You can purchase these reward printables in my TpT store HERE. Do you have a great reward system set up in your classroom? I'd love to hear about it!
Pin Now, Save for Later!