How I Survived My First Year of Teaching

Overwhelming! It’s the perfect word to sum up my first year of teaching.


It’s not all doom and despair though. It is exhausting, but your first year teaching will also be full of discoveries and excitement! I’m reflecting back and writing this post with the hope that my experience makes the transition a little smoother for other teachers.

Here are the top 7 things I wish I had known going into my first year:

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The Giving Classroom ~ Promoting Generosity & Gratitude

It’s always a good time to teach about generosity & gratitude, especially when kids are hyper-focused on ‘getting’. This is one of the best times to teach them about the joy of giving. As always, take it easy on yourself! If your days are jam-packed and you don’t have time to add this concept into your teaching schedule, no worries. Just make a mental note to tackle it at some point during the year.

Gratitude is a life skill.

Practicing gratitude for the smallest blessings chases away discontent. Learning and practicing this skill early on teaches children how to lift themselves up emotionally when life gets hard. This type of metacognition can equip students to better deal with depression. Academics are surely important, but social emotional skills are must-haves ! Continue reading

Teachers That Give ~ Over $500 in Gift Cards & Holiday Freebies!

  1.      Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a $25 Tpt gift card! (There are 4 chances to win.) Our contest runs from 11/26/2016 – 12/3/2016.
  2.   Then, click through the links below to stop by a few of my blogging buddies’ sites. Each teacher is offering up a unique gift card & freebies. Our giveaway exceeds $500! Best of luck & happy holidays!

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Tips on Structured Student Conversations


Welcome! I’m joining up with a few of my favorite teacher bloggers for a book study of Jennifer Serravallo’s book, The Reading Strategies Book. Join us as we focus in on a few of our favorite reading

When our principal walks through our rooms she leaves a little note with a few compliments and a suggestion. The last suggestion she left me was to increase student talk. Knowing that this is an area I need to work on, I’m excited to take a deeper look at a few of the ideas presented in “The Reading Strategies Book”. Deepening comprehension through speaking & listening is part of the 12th goal. Here are 3 “gold nuggets” I especially liked from this chapter: Continue reading

How to Teach Main Idea


+++Understanding the what a reading passage or book is mostly about is at the core of reading comprehension.  As the complexity of the text increases, the task of determining importance becomes more challenging. Students at all grade levels need support in this process. They need strategies and practice to hone this skill as texts get longer. Reading research quaterly states that even expert readers follow a process and apply strategies while constructing the main idea. Continue reading