Folder Games and Centers

I was recently working with a teacher who introduced me to something called file folder games. They were used in a station activity and I really liked them. They are easy to create and many are pre created online for you to print and put together. All you need is a folder and some place to laminate the materials. In searching the web, I discovered many of the games are targeted for younger learners (pre k /k) but after seeing so many examples I could easily create my own.

In this post I wanted to include some links to the file folder sites and center ideas. Would you use some of these ideas in your room? What games or stations do you use in class?

Share and Grow,

-Miss. Moriah

-This site had some good ideas. However, the games labeled grade 2 seemed a bit young so use a teacher eye!

-I liked that this page gave me some ideas for science and social studies folders. I probably would not use the games for these subjects from this site. However it gave me some good ideas about how to make games similar for my room.

-This blog is wonderful! Shout out to ILovetoTeach! The teacher behind this blog shares many of her stations and prompting ideas. They are beautifully created and online for you to borrow.

 

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Friendship Drama

Every grade has it’s own challenges and rewards when teaching. Regardless of the age of the students you teach friend drama always seems to occur at some point or another. How do you handle the best friend break up or the partner pair that just throws the whole class off?

Friend drama or students who plain dislike each other can leave you as the mediator and tangled in some sticky situations. Who will work with who today? Are they going to be speaking tomorrow? Oh no tears!

Here you will find some useful tips I have learned from working as a camp counselor and in an after school program setting. I hope you find them helpful!

Learn and Grow!

-Miss. Moriah-

  1. It’s ok not be be friends with everyone. / You don’t have to like everyone you just have to try and get along.– You don’t have to be friends with everyone. They can just be your classmate and someone you are nice to in school, on the playground, if you see them at the store… You don’t have to invite them to the movies or over to play if you don’t want to. However, in this room we are kind everyone.
  2. If you want to be a friend ,be nice, be a good friend.– What does it look like to be a good friend? Do you stick up for them if someone says something mean or ask them whats wrong if they look sad? What would you want in a good friend? Don’t say or do something mean to them because you would not like it if you were in their shoes.
  3. ALWAYS REMEMBER! Friends can not be forced!- Friendship happens over time. Sometimes you and someone will play a lot on the playground or sit near each other on the bus, but it might not mean you are friends. What do you know about them? Do you do nice things for them and play together or hang out together outside of school? Friendship takes time and work.

Social Stories

Social stories are a great teaching tool for students on the autism spectrum. They use pictures and words to help students learn about a behavior, event, skill, or concept they may be struggling with. Since they first were popularized, many have found them to be useful teaching tools for behavioral issues in general. Pictures from the students home or classroom can be used to make the story come to life if it is ‘homemade’ though. So that’s kind of fun!

There are many resources online for creating your own social stories or many are pre- written too. If you are looking to create your own social story for a student this is a good guide. We created social stories in partners one night in a class. It was the first time we tried it all the way through. We chose to make them in powerpoint , a very doable option. The time from start to end took most of us 20-30 minutes. It may take your more or less depending on the story though. This is not a novel don’t worry it can easily be accomplished by parents or teachers on a lunch.

Here are some resources to help !

-This site has comic strip type images free to use.

-Feeling tech savvy? This App costs a few dollars but if you work with students who use social stories on a regular basis this may be a good tool for you!

-Looking for something a little more interactive? This teacher got creative! She created a social story spin with a social story sort. See it here!

-Sometimes I like a reference book to pull from my shelf. If this is a high use item in your classroom this might be a good investment for you. Borrow ideas and edit them to make your own until you know exactly what to do!

PBISworld offers a whole host of commonly used social stories. Check it out.

What other resources do you know of for helping students in this area?

Share and grow,

-Miss. Moriah-

Class Expectations

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It is hard to plan expectations or rules for a group of students you haven’t met. Especially when you are not sure what grade or population you will be working with as a first year teacher. In this post I wanted to target the first year teacher; since I will be one soon too!

-Ideally you should try and keep the expectations/ rules for the room at 3-8 and grow them if needed. More than that is hard to follow and remember. If you overload students with 30 rules and procedures about the classroom PLUS the lunchroom, bathroom, nurse, and hall all on the first day it’s a lot! They will not remember it all and you can’t really expect them to either.

-What are your must have rules or expectations? The ones you know you can’t runt eh room without? Do you have a pet peeve that can be prevented with a rule? I really don’t like disrespectful students and need personal space to work. In my room please/thank you, and respecting others personal space will be must have rules.  Others,I may come up with the help of my students. What do they need to succeed? Why not ask the class and edit from there!

-It’s important to consider when creating your rules if there are food allergies in the class (including yours)! Can students have snack? What is ok to have for snack?

This is just a small list of many things to consider when planning setting up classroom expectations. Check this out for more tips!

*What is your classroom must? What do you consider when planning classroom rules and expectations?

Learn and Grow,

-Miss. Moriah-

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Quotes and Inspiration

Quotes and Inspiration

Grades due, gotcha blue? IEPs, 504’s, the acronyms in meetings I can’t take one more!

Sometimes, ok many times, in the year being a teacher can be stressful. You may wonder why the heck did I get myself into this?! I love quotes as little pick me ups of inspiration. They work great not only for me but sometimes for students too (depending on how old the student is). If your students are working on ELA skills like, decoding a digging into meaning, starting the day off with one may not be a bad idea. They are nice discussion points and can be community building.

Since the holidays, grades, and first snow are all fast approaching I think we could all use some words of inspiration to keep us going right now!

 

Keep Calm, Grow On,

-Miss. Moriah-

 

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”Socrates

“Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults.”Abraham Lincoln

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”Rita Pierson

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”Abraham Lincoln

“The secret in education lies in respecting the student.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

*I saw this one recently and it’s a good one for the class wall 🙂

“There’s an old saying: Erasers are for people who make errors. But a better saying: Erasers are for people willing to correct their mistakes.”

“A hundred mistakes are an education if you learn something from each one.”

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.”-Smiles

“Form good habits. They’re as hard to break as bad ones.”

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”-Thomas Fuller

 

Fidgets

Fidgets are the perfect little tool for classroom teachers of all grade levels. So what’s a fidget? A fidget is a little toy or object you use to fill a need of releasing excess energy. Students can have then attached to their desk or hold them in their hands. They can be DIY, store bought, soft, hard, twisty, bouncy, the possibilities are almost endless!

While fidgets may not be good tools for all learners they can help many. Here you will find links to explore if they may work for you, easy to make fidgets, and some store bought ones too!

Learn and Grow,

-Miss. Moriah

Articles and Info

I’m not a sit still teacher. How can i expect sit still students? Learn more about why fidgeting is ok and can even be beneficial by exploring the articles posted here.

  • The WSJ posted an article about how the may benefit students with ADHD to fidget as they learn.
  • This former preschool teacher posted about her experience with fidgets. She defines them and gives some inexpensive younger user examples.
  • The NEA posted a nice article with some teacher reflections on how you can accommodate the wiggles.
  • Within this article you will find many ideas for sensory fidgets to use in your classroom.
  • While this article does not relate to students, it relates to the ones they love. It was interesting how their school tool can be used in a different setting and I thought it would be worth the share.

Fidgets of Fun!

-These were created for office health. But they could be great fidgets if used appropriately.

-This site has all the fidgets you could ever want!

fidget 1 Fidget 2 fidget 3 fidget 4 fidget 5 fidget6

Spark Cubes AKA Story Cubes

Have you ever heard of Story Cubes? If you haven’t I highly recommend finding a set ( or two) for your classroom. Later on I’ll post a picture and but here is a link to where you can find them online.

I found this gem a few years ago at a store when they were closing and have used them for everything but the game the game on the box.  Basically, they are dice with images instead of dots. I have renames them “spark cubes” because they spark ideas.

Some ideas for these cubes can be sparking creative writing, bell ringers, or a station for ELA.

I made a lesson to help students understand verbs using movement. Students were placed in groups of three or four and each group was given 1-2 cube. They had to roll the cube then draw and write what they thought the image was on a paper. After that, they were asked to collaboratively write a 3-5 sentence story with VERBS (action words) and act or dance it out. They were asked to share this with one other group as I wandered around to observe and assess.

The stories were all unique and the students had fun. These spark cubes are a great creative tool and I would recommend them as a tool for your classroom.

 

Learn and Grow!

-Miss. Moriah-