Holiday Gift Guide for Teachers

Holiday Gift Guide for Teachers | Remedia Publications

It can be hard to compete with those adorable student-made gifts that the teacher in your life will inevitably get this holiday season. But we’ve gathered 12 exceptional gifts sure to please your special teacher whether he or she is your co-worker, friend...or yourself.

1. Comfy Shoes
It’s no surprise, teachers are on their feet all day! Treat them to a stylish and comfortable pair of shoes. Like these Crocs™.

2. Cup Sleeve
Fueling up with hot coffee or tea is a must. Show your favorite teacher some love with an adorable Coffee Cozy from Catherine Mason. Starting at $10.

3. One-Year Subscription to edWorksheets.com
A membership to edWorksheets.com gives teachers a year of unlimited math, reading, writing, and science worksheet downloads for only $49.95.

5 Gift-Themed Activities

5 Gift-Themed Activities that Students will Love | Remedia Publications
‘Tis the seasons for celebrations and gift giving! It's easy to make this generous season part of your math, writing, science, and thinking lessons with these tips. Plus students will love giving and receiving these gift-themed activities.

Gift Stations ~ Math
Fill several different size boxes with random dollar store gifts and wrap them or use the dollar store gift boxes--no wrapping necessary. Then, put the gifts at different gift stations: one station for measuring, one for weighing, and one for word problems. Split students into groups and rotate them through each gift station. Have students work together to answer the questions you’ve left at each gift station.

Word Problems Gift Station: Tape a word problem to the bottom of each gift. Ask students solve one or all of the problems on each gift. Or to further challenge your students, ask them to determine which gift is the largest or heaviest, and then have them only answer the word problem on the bottom of that gift.

Measurement Gift Station: Ask students to measure each box’s width, height, length and determine which is the largest, smallest, and tallest gift.

Weight Gift Station: Do the same as the Measurement Stations with weight related questions.

Celebrity Gift ~ Writing
Because gift giving is so special, it should take a lot of thought and planning. Ask students to think about what they might give to their favorite celebrity or character from a book. They can pick the celebrity or have students pick one person from list. Then have write about the gift they would give. Ask student to describe the gift and why they chose it for that person.

Celebrity Suggestions: Santa Clause, the President, Walter Payton, J.K. Rowling, Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Bart Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games).

For more inspiration and mini biographies to help students know what to choose as a gift, have students read any one of our Celebrity Readers stories.

Encouraging Grit & Perseverance in Your Students

There is a lot of buzz about teaching students "grit." The word is gaining excitement and controversy, and no matter where you stand on the debate, it's hard to deny that encouraging students to have grit and perseverance can't be a bad thing. The idea of "grit" is like when if you fall off your bike, you pick yourself up, and get back on the bike. If we can instill this value in students who struggle in math, reading, or any other subject, just think how far they could go.
 
If you're interested in helping your students gain some grit and perseverance, you're going to have to put in some effort. Sometimes through the pounding over the head method of teaching and sometimes with a bit more subtlety. Because unfortunately, you can't teach these traits in one single lesson plan with a quiz and letter grade at the end. So we have compiled some suggestions on how to instill some tenacity in your students. 

 

Verbal Encouragement
Instead of general praise (i.e. you're so smart), recognize a student's performance based on their effort. Try saying, "Great job on that test! The time you spent after class reviewing really paid off." Students need to understand how their efforts effect their outcome, whether it be success or failure.

Resist the Urge to Offer Hints
Letting students struggle a little to answer a question will be a hard task for both you and your students. However doing this not only teaches them that it's okay to not always know the answer, as it's an opportunity to learn, but it also lets them become comfortable with the struggle. Just because it's not easy, isn't a reason to quit and give up. 

Pilgrim Pen Pals

Pilgrim Pen Pals: Writing & History Activity that Meets the Standards | Remedia Publications
You and your students will love this unique writing exercise! This activity meets the writing standards and will align with your history lessons about the pilgrims, Native Americans, the Mayflower, and the first Thanksgiving. You can even use this activity to assess students' understanding and knowledge.
Instructions: Imagine you were a passenger on the Mayflower. Now that you are in America and have started making a new home, write a letter to friend back in England. Tell about something that has happened since you left nine months ago.

Tip: Diversify this lesson by having some students write from a Native American’s point of view. These students can write letters or diary entries to show their understanding, which will give a complete perspective of the events during this time period.
Meet the Common Core State Standards with this Activity
Pilgrim Text Message | Remedia Publications
Enlarge
  • Students should begin by reading informational text to gain knowledge about this time period. (CC.R.I.10) 
  • Have students use the parts of a friendly letter correctly, including: date, greeting, body, closing, and signature. (CC.L.2)
  • Ask students to write their letters as narratives. They should  develop imaginary, yet realistic, experiences using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. (CC.W.2 and CC.W.3)
  • Give students time to research, reflect, and revise their letters. (CC.W.10)
  • Require students to do additional research. Have them draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis and reflection while writing their letters. (CC.W.7-9)
  • Students should explain events, ideas, or concepts, including what happened and why, based on specific information they find. (CC.R.I.3)
  • Help students use technology to type and publish their letters. (CC.W.6) 
    • Students can type and print their letters, then display them on a bulletin board display (see Bulletin Board details below). 
    • Students can create a Fakebook account for their fictitious pilgrim. Learn more about Fakebook.
    • Students can write a text message conversation between two pilgrims, a pilgrim and a Native American, or a pilgrim and his friend in England using this SMS Generator.
Students will have a blast writing Pilgrim Pen Pal letters & I love meeting the standards! via @remediapub { Tweet This }
Bulletin Board: Pilgrim Pen Pals
Create a bulletin board to display students’ letters.Pilgrim Pen Pals Bulletin Board | Remedia Publications

Use this pattern to make a pilgrim boarder.
Pilgrim Bulletin Board Pattern | Remedia Publications
Cut construction paper strips 3”x18”. Fold in half. Fold in half again. Place pattern on paper, trace, and cut while still folded. Open and decorate the pilgrims. Students can do this fun activity after all of the hard work they’ve put into their letters.


Need step-by-step activities to improve writing skills?

We've got you covered! Our Writing Basics Series has 8 books to help you improve one writing skill at a time. Including our Writing Letters, which is filled with lessons that teach skills needed to write business, invitational, thank you, and friendly letters.

Candy Corn Activities

10 Candy Corn Activities to Help Celebrate Candy Corn Day on October 30 | Remedia Publications
October 30 is Candy Corn Day. Yep, you read that right. Candy corn has a day dedicated to it! Instead of eating the entire jumbo-sized bag of candy corn you just bought to celebrate this new-found “holiday,” try incorporating it into these activities for your students.

Tips for Boosting Vocabulary Skills

Tips for Improving Students' Vocabulary Skills | Remedia Publications
Vocabulary instructions should be both organic and planned. Learning new words shouldn’t be a chore. Spark an interest in students to discover new words by discussing unusual words, talking about the history of words, playing word games, and most importantly read, read, read! Try these five tips, plus free downloads to help boost your students vocabulary.

5 Non-Reading, Inference Activities

5 Non-Reading, Inference Activities | Remedia Publications

Making inferences means using facts and reasoning to come to a decision or an opinion about something. Doing this involves an abstract level of thinking and can, therefore, be a complicated skill to teach, especially to students who struggle with reading. With practice though, students can become comfortable with the skill before having to tackle the concept while reading. These five activities will give your students a chance to practice making inferences without reading.

Pump Up Your Pumpkin Lessons this October

Pump Up Your Pumpkin Lessons this October | Remedia Publications
October is a great time to make this super-fruit the center of your lessons on observation, measurement, problem solving, seeds and growth, and more. For these activities, you will need one to two large pumpkins. Let's start by introducing students to the pumpkin with their senses.

Sensory Boxes
You will need:
  • Fresh/raw pumpkin seeds
  • Cooked or store-bought pumpkin seeds
  • 4 shoe boxes with lids or empty tissue boxes
  • Scissors (to cut holes in boxes, not necessary if you use tissue boxes)
  • Tape (to keeps lids closed, not necessary if you use tissue boxes)
  • Blind fold or bandanna
  • Put fresh/raw pumpkin seeds in 3 of the 4 boxes and label them:
Smell – Poke small holes in this box so that the students can smell the contents, but not see inside the box  
Touch – Cut a hand-sized hole in this box. Have the children put their hands in the box and feel the slimy/wet seeds  
Sound – No holes necessary on this box. Tape the lid onto this box extra tight. Instruct the students to rattle and shake the box.  
Taste – Add cooked or store-bought seeds to this box. Cut a hand-sized hole in the box. Blind fold students and hand them a pumpkin seed to eat (know your students’ allergies before allowing them to participate in this box).  
Sight – for a unique and fun challenge, skip sight. Students will all get to use sight in the next activity.

Game-Winning Ideas for Teaching Through Sports

We've got a game-plan to win over your students’ attention! Dive headfirst into a sports themed lesson plan with these game-winning ideas!

Geography
Give each student a blank U.S. map <free download>. Have students use an Atlas to locate their favorite team’s home city and state. Have students mark their blank map with a star on the home city. Then each week students keep track of where their team is playing by finding the city in an atlas, and then marking their map.  Have students answer these questions based on each week’s traveling: Which direction did the team travel? How many miles did they travel from the last city they were in?  How many states did the team travel through to get where they are? How many miles from home is the team? You can even introduce time zones and weather/climate changes.

Language
Have you ever realized how many of our everyday terms and sayings come from sports? Introduce students to sports idioms like: ballpark estimate, behind the eight ball, first out of the gate, come out of left field, dive headfirst, game-plan, get the ball rolling, and many more!  Have students familiarize themselves with these by drawing a picture of the idioms, defining the idioms, and using the idioms in a sentence.

Vocabulary
Make your spelling list sports themed with words like champion, arena, compete, coarse, fitness, performance, or opponent.  Challenge students to see how many times they can find and highlight these words in a sports magazine or newspaper. Have students write a news article about their favorite team using as many of the sports-themed spelling words as possible or use these spelling activities <free download>. We also have a Sports Vocabulary activity book that is packed with over 50 pages of reproducible worksheets all about, you guessed it, sports vocabulary!

Reading
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Pick up the Sports section of your local newspaper and get your students reading about their favorite athletes and teams. When students are more interested in what they are reading, they are sure to stick with it! Try this worksheet of questions students can answer after they read <free download>. Or grab one of Remedia’s high-interest, low readability activity books that focus on sports and famous athletes (click here to view).

Math Sports and math go hand-in-hand. From simple addition to physics and geometry, no matter your students’ math level you have an opportunity to introduce a math concept through sports! We recommend using Teaching Math Through Sports - high-interest, real-world math activities, templates, and lessons featuring hockey, baseball, basketball, skateboarding, the Olympics, and more!

7 Tips for Managing Restless Students


7 Tips for Managing Restless Students | Remedia Publications
Every class will have a student or two who struggles with sitting still, paying attention, or staying on task. How you handle these students can affect that student’s learning as well as the rest of the class’s ability to learn and focus.  Kids are kids and they need to have fun and release energy, but they also must learn when the appropriate time for that energy is.  As you work with students who struggle with sitting still or paying attention, remember that these students need extra patience, kindness, and compassion. Some just need a little extra attention and will respond to your consistency, firmness, and kindness. Here are 7 easy tips for managing restless students:

  1. Students are more alert in the morning and may be more tired and rowdy in the afternoon. Plan your activities accordingly. Knock out your seat work and circle time in the morning when students will be more likely to stay focused.

  2. Even adults struggle to pay attention for long periods of time. Give students short mental breaks during long seat work activities. Take short breaks to discuss the activity, let students sharpen pencils, or use the restroom.
     
  3. For the student with fidgety hands, try giving that student something small, soft, and quiet to hold onto. For instance a rolled up sock or stress ball.
     
  4. Some learning disabilities may prevent students from being able to sit still and stay focused for very long. Give these students reasonable expectations. If you expect the class to sit still for 15 minutes, excuse that student after 10 minutes. Challenge the student to improve over time.

Game Show Games with an Educational Spin

3 Game Show Games with an Educational Twist | Remedia Publications
We all love a good game show! Next time you’re looking for ways to spruce up your game-play in the classroom, try watching your favorite game show and then modify the games for your classroom. This is not a new concept; it has been done for years with shows like Jeopardy and Family Feud. And now we’ve done it with three games that are spin-offs of NBC's Hollywood Game Night classics.  

If you're not familiar with it, the show brings together two awesome components—games and celebrities. We’ve simply put an educational twist on a few of Hollywood Game Night's very simple games so that you can use them to review just about any subject in your classroom. You probably won't have the celebrity guests, but you can definitely have fun! Bonus…these games require very few materials. Each game will require you to have a writing utensil (shock!) and a timer (a watch will do just fine).

Want more reasons to start playing games in the classroom? Read this!

Off the Top of My Head Materials: Sticky-Notes, Marker, & Timer

Split the class into at least two teams. Each student will have a sticky note on his or her forehead. Each sticky note has a review word, phrase, punctuation or grammatical term, math formula, historical figure, book character, or whatever you might want to review written on it. Everyone can see what is on the sticky note, except for the person wearing the sticky note.

Have one team play at a time. Depending on how many students are in each team, assign a time limit, like 90 seconds. Each team has that much time to try and get through as many sticky notes as possible. Have team members line up. The person at the front of the line turns to face the person behind him. That person gives the guesser clues to help him figure out what the sticky note on his own forehead says. Once the guesser gets the answer, he moves to the front of the line and turns around to begin giving clues to the person who was behind him. The person who was giving clues goes to the end of the line. Each correct answer is worth one point.

Watch how this game is played on Hollywood Game Night.

10 Real-World Activities that Support Your Curriculum

 
When it comes to getting your students' attention, and keeping it, making your lesson as relatable as possible is key. Turn what kids already find entertaining, like going to the movies or texting, into learning experiences, and they'll meet the challenge head on! And they'll have fun doing it! Here are 10 tips to supplementing your daily lessons with real-world kid experiences.
 

  1. Have students text a summary of the story they just read to a friend in the class and then share their friend’s summary with the class. This will really help them to make a summary brief and to the point.

  2. For book reports, have students write a review of the book on their Facebook page. This may even prompt discussions about the book with their peers. Have them print their review and discussions to include in their book report.

  3. Take a picture of your mall’s directory and post it on your whiteboard to teach mapping skills. “Travel” through the mall with your students. Have students write directions from one store to the next store.  Find the pet store. How would you get there from here?

  4. Follow-up your lessons on fact and opinion with some previously recorded TV commercials. Have students divide a piece of paper into 2 columns, labeling one as "facts" and the others as "opinions". As students watch the commercials, they'll quickly see that there are probably more opinions in commercials than facts!

5 Math Activities Using Repurposed Magazines

5 Math Activities Using Repurposed Magazines | Remedia Publications

Before you toss your TV Guide, People, or Every Day with Rachael Ray in the recycle bin, read these tips for repurposing old magazines.  That pile of magazines has great activities to support your math lessons!

Magazine Math
  1. Have students cut colorful pictures from magazines and paste them onto a piece of construction paper use this template <free download>. Underneath the collage of magazine clippings have students write a math word problem related to the picture they’ve created. Have students carefully proofread their work for errors. Also have them answer the word problem and write the answer on the back of the activity. Then have students share their word problem with a classmate to solve. Post the colorful word problems on your bulletin board for an eye-catching math board.
  2. Go on a magazine scavenger hunt! You can modify this concept for any subject, but for the sake of math related activities, focus on your current lesson plan. For example, have students find: a line longer than two inches, a number in words, a percent, a pie chart, a bar graph, a date, a cylinder, a right angle, and so on.  Instruct students to find an example of each in a magazine, cut out the example, and glue them to a piece of construction paper. This would also make for a colorful math bulletin board!
  3. Start clipping and saving the recipes printed in magazines for your next fractions lesson. Provide each student with a recipe. Challenge students to double, triple, or cut the recipe in half.  For a hands-on approach, give students only three measuring cups, for example: ½ teaspoon, ½ tablespoon, and ¼ cup.  Have students determine how to make the recipe with just those measuring tools.  If the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour, how many ¼ cups will you need?

  4. Local city magazines are typically free and easy to find, plus they are always packed coupons to local restaurants. Provide each student with a coupon and ask them to identify how much they must spend in order to redeem the coupon and if they spend x amount of money, how much will they save by using the coupon?  To give students a hands-on experience, give each student different amounts of play money. Have them deduct the coupon’s discount amount from their stack to see what 10% looks like versus deducting $10.

    Real estate advertisements are also common in local magazines. These advertisements often market a square foot price (i.e. $0.50/sf). Ask students to determine how much a building would cost of if the square footage was 7,000 sf. Or if the square foot price and the total price are listed, ask students to determine the size (sf) of the building.

  5. Save the postcard-size blow-ins that sell magazine subscriptions. See example below. Give each student a postcard.  Ask students to find, or determine using math, the following information from the postcard: magazine name, regular subscription price, single magazine price, number of issues, and special subscription price.  Have students determine the savings per issue, the price per issue with savings, the annual price of the in-store magazine versus the subscription price, etc.

5 Math Activities using Repurposed Magazines | Remedia Publications

Get Your Class Up & Moving with these Fun Activities

Get Your Class Up & Moving with these Fun Outdoor Activities | Remedia Publications
Use these fun activities to get get your class up and moving this year. Your students will love the change of pace and gain the healthy benefits of moving around.

Math Races
Put math word problems on index cards. Split your class into teams of four. Take your class outside to the football field. Have each team of four split into twos so that two students stand lined up 30 yards across from the other two students in their team. Hand out an index card to each pair closest to you. On your "Go!" students race to their teammates with the question in-hand. As a group, the teams of four will work together to answer the word problem. As soon as a team has the answer, the second pair run the answer back to you. The first team back to you with the correct answer gets a point. Repeat!
Modify this activity by having students do lunges, skipping, or crab walks instead of running back and forth.

Reading Races
Similar to the game above, hand out short reading comprehension stories instead of a math problem. We suggest using our Specific Skill Builders--these short, high-interest stories are captivating and can be grouped by reading level. Plus the questions are already done for you. Have each team of four split into twos so that two students stand lined up 30 yards across from the other two students in their team. Hand out a story card to each pair closest to you. On your "Go!" students race to their teammates with the story and question in-hand. One student on each team should take a turn reading the story out loud to the group. As a group, the teams of four will work together to answer the comprehension question. As soon as a team has the answer, the second pair runs the answer back to you. The first team back to you with the correct answer gets a point. Repeat!

The Benefits of Playing Games in the Classroom

Playing Games in the Classroom | Remedia Publications

There's a lot of game playing going on in the classroom these days, and we think that's pretty awesome! Are you among the 67% of teachers using traditional and digital games in their classrooms?

Money-Saving Tips for Teachers

Money-Saving Tips for Teachers | Remedia Publications

Save in the Classroom 
  • Have parents donate a book to your class library in lieu of bringing cupcakes on their child’s birthday. Write the student’s name, birthday, and year on the inside cover so you and all of your students will know who the book was celebrating.
  • Use plastic plates as individual dry-erase boards for each student--they are reusable and less expensive than a personal white board (and you can usually find them at the dollar store!).
  • Invest in fade-proof paper to back your bulletin boards. It will last all year.
  • Apple, Disneyland, Barnes & Noble, and many of other retailers offer teacher discounts--be sure to ask about them!
  • If you’ve used your teacher discount to purchase an iPad, take advantage of the thousands of digital children’s picture books that you can read to your students from your iPad. For a low price, you’ll have these books forever with no torn pages.
  • Don't be shy--ask for donations! One of our Facebook Fans, Lisa, suggests this site: Donors Choose.

How to Use Audiobooks with Your Students

Implement audiobooks in your classroom with the below tips and you’ll see your students’ fluency, comprehension, language, and listening skills improve. | Remedia Publications
Audiobooks are a proven method for improving reading fluency. The great thing about using audio in your classroom is you can use it as a whole class, small group, or individual exercise. Read-along audiobooks teach students how:
- a breath is taken at the end of a sentence
- the natural pause after a comma sounds
- questions and exclamations should sound
- to pronounce new vocabulary words

Implement audiobooks in your classroom with the below tips and you’ll see your students’ fluency, comprehension, language, and listening skills improve.

Adult-Created Audio

If you can’t find a specific book on audio, you or a parent volunteer can create your own books on cassette/CD by recording yourself reading.  Add 15-20 seconds of music at the beginning of the recording so students can adjust the volume and get their book ready. Don’t forget to read the title and author’s name.

Student-Created Audio

Student-created audio will be less hi-tech, yet more rewarding for the student reader. Choose a student who is either an excellent reader (fast-finisher) or a struggling reader. Have the student practice reading a book, first. Once he/she has perfected their reading, they can record themselves reading the book. This exercise is a great way to give struggling readers extra practice reading that they won’t dread since they will feel that they have a purpose and a goal. Plus, you will be giving them an extra boost of confidence because you have entrusted them with this very important task. Once they have finished, make sure they listen to their audio, write their name and the book's title on the cassette/CD, and add it to your growing collection.

Professionally Recorded Audio

This is the easiest way to quickly implement audiobooks in your classroom, simply download and play! Professionally recorded audiobooks will often have fun sound effects, page turn sounds, and have actors who read the stories using unique voices for each character and know how to give sentences inflection to show emotion. Check out Remedia’s high-quality read-along audiobooks here.

Reading Wand

For students who have a hard time following along as a story is read aloud, cut yellow (or any color) translucent paper into 1” squares. Glue each square to the top of a popsicle stick. Have students highlight each word as they follow along with the audio. You can even use the “reading wand” as a listening/reading game, by asking students to highlight the character’s name or to find a verb on the page.

Extra Tips!

- Add stickers to your playing devices to help students know which buttons to push--a green sticker on the play button and a red sticker on the stop.
- Listening centers should be both comfortable and functional. Have some pillows and stuffed animals, but also make sure there are clipboards, pencils, and paper so students can write, draw, and take notes.
- Check out our Pinterest board for more links and tips for using audio!

5 Interactive Bulletin Boards


Bulletin boards may be the thorn in your non-decorating side or your favorite part of getting your classroom ready for the new school year. Either way, we’ve got five bulletin board ideas that will get the whole class involved! Also check out our Pinterest board with other great bulletin board ideas.

1. Reading Tree
Foster a desire in children to read with a Reading Tree bulletin board. At the beginning of the school year, tape a construction paper tree to a wall—give it lots of branches. After a student has read a book have that student add a leaf to the tree. Click here to download a leaf template. First have the student write the book title, author, and their name on the front of the leaf. On the back of the leaf, have the student write a summary of the book. Then they can tape the leaf to the Reading Tree. During the year, your students will watch the tree grow and fill with leaves.


2. Graph Bulletin
Draw a grid on a large piece of poster board and display it on a bulletin board. Take photos of each student in the class and laminate them. Trim each photo to fit inside the boxes on the grid. Display a question above the graph such as, “What method of transportation do you use to get to school?” To the left of the grid write categories like Bus, Walk, Bike, and Car.  Have each student move their picture to the appropriate column. When the graph is complete, use it as a basis for math questions like, “How many students in this class ride the bus?” The activity can change daily or weekly.  


Or try this spring weather graph bulletin board.

First Day of School Goal: A Valuable, Memorable, & Fun Day

First Day of School Goal: A Valuable, Memorable, &amp; Fun Day | Remedia Publications
Oh the joys of the first days of school. The students are perfectly attentive. You still have all 24 No. 2 pencils that you bought on sale at Target. All 120 crayons are unbroken and in their box. The desks are perfectly aligned within the tape margins you placed on the floor. And you don't have any homework to grade!  During these days of bliss is the time to grab your students' attention and get the year started on the right foot. Give your students a valuable, memorable, and even a little fun, first day of school with these activities. 

Handshake
This simple gesture gives each student some initial one-on-one attention that they will appreciate
young or old.  Greeting your students at the door with a firm handshake is a great way for you to get a head start on learning their names, welcoming them to a new classroom, and instructing each where to take a seat. Plus, it's never too early to teach children how to properly greet someone.  
Pass the Hula-Hoop
This team-building exercise is perfect for the whole class (including you) or for smaller groups. How to Play: Place a Hula-Hoop over one student's arm, and instruct everyone to join hands. Without letting go of anyone's hand, the team must find a way to move the hula-hoop all the way around the circle.
  

Wear a Disguise
This is a fun way to build into your science lessons for the year. You can go as simple or elaborate as you’d like. The point is to make your students believe that this is how you really look. The best way to go about this is to wear a set of Austin Powers/funky teeth. Wear them with pride, like these are your real teeth—sell it. After you’ve introduced yourself to your students (looking a bit ridiculous and probably slurring your speech), tell them you are going to jump right into the first activity. Great scientists have very good observation skills, so you want them to work on making observations. Ask the class to describe you. What do you see? What color is my hair? Do I have glasses? What color are my eyes? Am I tall? Am I short? What am I wearing? What do my teeth look like? You may have to prompt them and encourage them to make observations about your funny teeth. When you’ve gone through this mini-exercise on making observations, you can reveal your true identity and remove your teeth. Expect a few gasps and a big laugh! Now ask your students to turn to a partner and write five things they can observe about their partner. Encourage them you use one more sense besides sight.

Easy to Implement Classroom Organization

Don't let a disorganized classroom stress you out! Make this school year your most organized. All you need is a little planning and dedication. Here are a few tips (and products) to get your school-year off to a great start.

Organized Classroom

If you have a file cabinet in your classroom, make a file for each student. For confidentiality purposes assign each student a number and use this for filing. In each student's file keep any parent communication, IEPs, tests, reports, notes, etc.

Another great folder to have on-hand is a "Substitute Teacher" file. Keep notes, extra worksheets, your current lesson plan, and activities there so whoever is standing in for you is not at a loss for what to do.

Organized Traveling Teacher

If you are a traveling teacher, you may not have the luxury of a big file cabinet. Use an accordion file organizer that you can take to any classroom (and even home). These typically only have 10-15 tabs, so use them wisely.

Tab Suggestions:
- To be Graded
- To Be Returned to Students
- Letters
- Tests
- Ideas
- Monday through Friday
- Fast Finisher Worksheets
- Class Roster
- Subject/Period

Time Management

Time management is just another way to get yourself organized. The Time Timer® effectively communicates the concept of elapsed time—just watch the red dial get smaller with each minute. Great for tests, reading-time, waiting for recess, homework, games, and more!

Online Organization


Are you on Pinterest? Instead of printing every great teaching, craft, or organization idea you find online, “Pin It”! You’ll always have that great idea right at your fingertips without wasting paper or valuable file cabinet space.

You’ll likely find Pinterest just as much fun for your personal life, but also create a few boards just for your “Teaching Stuff” such as:
- Printables
- Classroom Management
- Materials I Want
- Books
- Crafts
- Specific Reading Skills
- Classroom Organization

Pssst...we're on Pinterest! Come follow us!

3 Fun Dictionary Games to Build Vocabulary

Dictionary Games | Remedia Publications
Build students' dictionary skills and you’ll watch their vocabulary, reading skills, and independence grow! Each week, before you hand out your spelling list, introduce students to the words with these fun dictionary activities. 

Unique Activities to Boost Reading Comprehension

Unique Activities to Boost Reading Comprehension Skills | Remedia Publications
Help your students improve their reading comprehension by focusing on specific skills. Certain reading skills will be harder for some students and easier for others. Knowing which skills they struggle or excel at will help you improve how you teach. With these fun activities, you can work on multiple skills or focus on one skill at a time to improve reading comprehension.

Sneak in Some Fun S.U.M.M.E.R. Learning

6 Ways to Sneak in Some Fun Summer Learning | Remedia Publications
Don't let summer derail everything your students have learned! We know you can’t visit every one of your students over the break to make sure they are keeping up with learning, so here are some tips to send with your students into SUMMER! ...or to use with your own kiddos.

Activities to Improve Students' Verbal Communication Skills

6 Activities to Improve Students' Verbal Communication Skills | Remedia Publications
Verbal communication can be difficult--even for adults! It's one life skill we inarguably all need to work on. And the more practice we can give to our students early on, the better off they will be in the future.

“I came to realize that conversational competence might be the single-most overlooked skill we fail to teach students,” said Paul Barnwell in the article, "My Students Don’t Know How to Have a Conversation" from The Atlantic. The article is about one teacher’s concerns regarding how on-screen communication had diminished his students’ engagement and abilities in “real-time talk.”

Don't worry though! We're here to help. Below are six fun games that will get your whole class talking--not just talking--communicating.