My Favorite Holiday Cookie (& Cookie Hop)

I love December.  I love the smell when you first turn the heat on in your house.  I love the first snow fall, but not as much as I love snow days.  I love Christmas.  I love baking cookies.  I love eating cookies.   

A bunch of my friends from Classroom Tested Resources have joined together to share our favorite cookie recipes that you're going to want to try this holiday season!

Why You Will LOVE Student Led Conferences

We are headed into parent conference season and that always is a little extra hard on teachers.  Conferences can take up a lot of time and energy!  But, have you tried student-led conferences?  There are so many ways to implement them in your classroom but I can assure you, that if you do, you will LOVE them!
We all know that when students take ownership of their learning, they are more likely to put forth more effort in their daily performance.  You can read more about having your students set and track their own goals in this blog post.  

How to Have Successful and Productive Team Meetings

How many of you have weekly meetings with your team?  I know it is best practice, but it is soooo hard to stick to a consistent schedule, especially when my inclusion team involves 3 general education teachers, 4 paraprofessionals, and myself.  And that is not even including the special area folks and related services providers.  

When you have several adults working with the same group of students, it is vital for everybody to be on the same page.  It is especially important to keep the paraprofessionals in the classroom up to speed on student progress and your expectations for continued growth, both academically and behaviorally.  

Over the years, I have learned a few things about successful and, more importantly, productive team meetings and I am hoping to put them into practice before I go on maternity leave in October.  That way, my team can easily continue our schedule.   

Student Led Success

With back-to-school season here, it's a great time to start thinking about implementing student led goals in your classroom!

One thing I have found is that students work so much harder when they have created their own goal.  They put forth even more effort when they are involved in the progress monitoring.  And, boy, do they celebrate their success harder when they reach a goal they set for themselves.  Feeling that success makes them crave more!

10 Alternatives to Traditional Book Reports

Last year was my first year teaching Read180 in a few years.  I love Read180 and what I have seen it do for my kiddos so I was excited to get a chance to implement it again.  But...the book projects included with the program are B-O-R-I-N-G!  Sure, some of them are pretty good, but the directions can be questionable and I find myself using the same two projects over and over with my class.  
My students started to get frustrated (beyond frustrated) with the repetition so I promised them that one of my summer tasks would be to create new book projects, just for them.  

I mean, who doesn't just LOVE working on school stuff during summer break?  You know we all do it!

These book project ideas are a break from the traditional book report and can be used with any book!

Put a New Twist on Your End-Of-Year Activities

I cannot believe that another school year is winding down!  It seems like each school year goes by more and more quickly!  With summer right around the corner, I wanted to share a few end-of-year activities that I have done in my classroom.

I think almost everybody does some type of memory activity with their class.  I have found that many of my kids are bored with the usual memory books and activities.  A few years ago, I thought of a way to put a new twist on the old end-of-year activities.  

Make Homework Collection A Breeze

Homework collection can be such a nightmare, especially when you have several sections of students turning in work at the same time.  This simple trick will make collecting homework so much more manageable.

Fire Safety (Freebie Included!)

Let's talk about fire safety...

Using Graph Paper as a Math Accommodation

As a special education teacher, I work with a lot of kiddos with tracking issues that impact their reading, writing, and math skills.  In addition, many of them also struggle with fine motor skills and have larger than typical handwriting.  

One of the ways that I help my students during math is to have them use graph paper when solving problems.  

Handing out graph paper for your students to use to work through problems is a very simple way to help them keep their numbers aligned correctly.  

A Perfect Way to Display Student Work

 Yay!  The Bright Ideas Link Up is back!  I hope you all had a restful holiday season.  We had a wonderful time with both kids old enough to understand what was going on.  The excitement was electrifying!  

I am super excited to catch up on some bright ideas from my blogger buddies!  I have been inspired by so many wonderful ideas since this link up started last year.  My bright idea this month is all about displaying student work in an easy and attractive way.