Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful turkeys and my very first linky party

We spent the last two days talking about the meaning of Thanksgiving and all the things we are thankful for before gearing up for our mini-unit on the First Thanksgiving - which is one of my favorite things to teach!  Here are a few of the thankful turkeys we made today!

Now, on to my very first linky party!!!!! I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten for her teaching tip linky party!  

One tip I have, especially for new teachers, is don't be afraid to ask for help.  No one expects you to be superwoman all the time (just most of the time!).  There is no shame in asking a more experienced teacher for ideas or suggestions.  And don't be afraid to share ideas of your own!  I held back a lot my first year teaching because I thought the other teachers who had been teaching for so much longer than I had probably didn't need suggestions from a newbie.  But a good teacher never stops learning, and you will find that the best teachers are constantly looking for ways to sharpen their saw!

Another tip I have is something I use to supplement my behavior management plan for some of my more, let's say, challenging students.  I'm sure everyone's had one of those little friends can't seem to sit still on the carpet.  Or keep their hands to themselves.  Or raise their hand before they answer a question.  Or a combination of the three.  I had a little friend like that and no amount of silent lunch, notes home, or missed recess seemed to break him of his bad habits.  So I gave him a Post-it note to put on his desk.  And each time I had to remind him to sit still, keep his hands to himself, or raise his hand, he had to give himself a tally mark (also a great way to reinforce a skill he was struggling with!!).  When it was time for recess he had to count up his tally marks, and he had to do a lap around the fence for each tally mark he had.  It was a great way for him to take ownership of his behavior, and he quickly discovered that the less tally marks he had, the less recess he would miss. 

My final tip is one I have implemented this year to help my students with punctuation and capitalization in their writing.  The group I have this year is doing a fabulous job writing stories, but they are lazy when it comes to the mechanics.  I pick writing assignments at random to check for proper punctuation and capitalization.  I use one color marker to make corrections, and then I use a yellow marker to circle all the places they have use correct punctuation and capitalization.  I write the number of yellow circles in the corner of the paper, and they can pick that many Skittles from the treat jar.  My kiddos absolutely love it!  It started out as way to get them to edit their work, but now they have realized the more sentences they write the more chances they have for correct punctuation and capitalization!  Their writing gets longer every day!

I hope you find some of these tips helpful! Don't forget to visit Miss Kindergarten's blog to link up and check out the other amazing tips teachers have left! 


  1. Hi Lindsay -
    Welcome to the world of blogging. I am your newest follower and linked up with Hadar too. Great ideas, I especially like the highlighter and skittles one. :o)
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

    1. Thanks Vicky! I just followed your blog and I love the pictures of your pilgrim dress up day! So cute! :)

  2. Hello! I am pretty new to this whole blogging thing too! I am a new follower! Thanks for the tips. I especially like the one about running around the fence. The kiddos who are in trouble the most are usually the ones who need recess the most!
    Second Grade is Out of This World

    1. Hi Hilary! I'm your newest follower. I'm so excited to see what other amazing teachers have been doing in their classrooms, and share what I'm doing in mine! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Your sea creatures are so cute! I bought the set, also, but I really like how you are using them.
    I also like your tally marks and laps idea. I have several students who I terribly me a lot. This might be a good way to get them to be aware of what they are doing.
    Thanks, Sara

    1. Thanks Sara! I love my new blog, but I definitely can't take credit for the design - it was all Christi Fultz from Ms. Fultz's Corner and Design by Christi! She did an excellent job! I'm so happy you stopped by!